Located at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, Rau Forest Reserve is a hidden gem nestled right next to Moshi where backpackers begin their treks up Africa’s tallest peak. Passionate about environmental awareness and conservation, a trio of locals co-founded Rau Eco & Cultural Tourism to show that Moshi is more than a pit stop!

Rau Forest Reserve boasts a diverse array of butterflies, birds, trees, and other wildlife! Spot blue monkeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys chittering in the branches. Learn about sacred 200 year-old trees and their significance to local communities. Sip fresh coconut milk while watching colorful water birds in the rice fields at the edge of the forest and, if weather permits, view of Mount Kilimanjaro! 

If you’re looking to learn about local food, follow a guide through the local market to purchase ingredients. You will learn how to make delicious ugali, makande, pilau and banafood in a traditional Tanzanian kitchen. Interested in herbal medicine? Mama Emanuela, an experience local herbalist, will show you her lush garden and teach you about all the trees, vegetables, and herbs that she uses to produce medicines. The “wonder tree” Moringa oleifera is hailed as a superfood with powerful healing powers. With Mama Emanuela, grind your own moringa powder from dried leaves to take home with you!

Still don’t feel like you’ve experienced the true local lifestyle? Do a homestay with a local family to learn swahili words, listen to traditional storytelling, try more local foods, and have the opportunity for meaningful cultural exchange. 

All guests with Rau Eco & Cultural Tourism are invited to participate in tree planting. By collecting seeds and planting a seedling, you will contribute to the protection and conservation of the beautiful Rau Forest!