The Mbahe Farm cottages provide an unforgettable experience for those seeking cultural enrichment and who want to feel the daily rhythms and vibrancy of African village life. Guests enjoy the warm hospitality of the local Chagga people, who settled the slopes of Kilimanjaro, a range of invigorating activities, and freshly prepared cuisine made from organic produce grown right on the farm.
The guest cottages are on the ancestral farm of Simon Mtuy, founder and owner of SENE. He designed, built, and operates the farm cottages on universal social and environmental principles.
The sub-village of Mbahe, situated within the larger Marangu Village, is at 6,000 feet (1800 meters) in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, nestled within the lush tropical forest that envelops the mountain.
To reach Mbahe we drive up the steep tarmac road leading to Kilimanjaro National Park. Before the Marangu entry gate a dirt road through the maize field leads to a winding track deep into the sprawling village of banana and coffee farms. Final access to the cottages is ten minutes walk along a local footpath high above the Moonjo River. Staff at the cottages meet you to carry luggage and guide you along the path at any time of day or night.
• 1h45m drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport
• 15m walk from the Kilimanjaro N. P. Marangu entry gate
Three comfortable cottages with a total of 8 semi-detached rooms mix rustic charm with modern comforts, built with sensitivity to the fragile mountain environment and responsible community development.
Each unique room is simply and tastefully decorated in Simon’s own touch with hand-made furniture from local materials. Six rooms have their own en suite bathroom with sink, toilet, and hot water shower. The two rooms in the family suite share a large full bathroom. All the rooms overlook the farm’s flower garden or the forest above the Moonjo River.
• All-weather outdoor dining and meeting area surrounding a large fireplace
• Separate covered deck with cushioned seating overlooking the garden
• Spacious yoga deck high amongst the trees overlooking the river
• Electricity supplied by the national power grid (supplemented by generator as needed from 6am-10am and 6pm-10pm)
• WiFi hotspot in the dining area (service not always available)
Meal preparation is overseen by the head chef who selects daily fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm and meat and fish from the local market. Meals are taken family style in the outside dining area where on cool evenings canvas walls are unfurled and a fire blazes in the fireplace. Fresh-brewed coffee and teas are available all day long.
The Tanzania mountain climate allows for a year-round growing season. When combined with the rich volcanic soil and irrigation directly from the mountain streams this creates an ideal environment for farming. The completely organic Mbahe Farm produces coffee (processed and roasted on-site), honey, and a wide range of fruits and vegetables (to list just a few of Simon’s ever-expanding bounty: bananas, strawberries, mangoes, papaya, avocado, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, carrots, onions, Irish potatoes, and sweet potatoes).
From this and combined with purchases in the community, the Mbahe Farm chef and his staff produce an inspired mixture of international and local cuisine and can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and most other dietary restrictions.
While at Mbahe you are guests of Simon Mtuy and hosted by one of our local English-speaking managers at the farm cottages. In addition to sharing their expansive knowledge of the community, they can lead guests in a variety of cultural, educational, or energetic activities available in the village and around the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro.
• Tours of the Mtuy family farm to learn about Chagga farming techniques
• Coffee production demonstration
• Visit to the local primary school
• Day hike into the Kilimanjaro National Park up to Mandara Hut*
• Hike or run on the footpaths and dirt roads along the mountain*
• Swim in the Moonjo River and waterfalls
• Visit to a pre-colonial traditional Chagga homestead and smithy*
• Relax on your veranda and admire the view with a cup of freshly brewed coffee in hand!
*additional fees apply