National Park Gatehouse: Kilimanjaro patches
The gatehouses for some of the routes have some very basic souvenirs for sale, like interesting maps (also available in hotels and in town), and woven patches that many hikers like to sew on to their packs.
What to buy: If you're a patch fan, keep your eyes open at the beginning of your walk: if the gatehouse stocks the patches, consider buying them immediately, even before your ascent, since, as we discovered, supplies can be intermittent and there were none at the descent exit. They can sometimes be found in the local towns, but the prices at the National Park were good and the money goes straight to them.
Beware ebony products!
What to buy: You will see plenty wooden products in most shops you go to. However, ebony carvings are usually covered in black boot polish to make them look shinier so make sure you ask for them to be unpolished, most decent shops have realised this is a problem and will have the same item in unpolished format.
Misc: Map of the area
New Map of the Kilimanjaro National Park is a two sided fold out map that is published by Maco Editions and sold all over northern Tanzania. You can buy this at the Marangu Gate for $5-$7 and about $10 in Moshi or Arusha.
What to buy: This is one of the best maps of Kili I have come by.
One side has a topo map of the summit night ascent along all trekking routes on Kili and the other side has a general Kilimanjaro map highlighting the various routes up to Kibo and beautiful coloration w/legends that depict the various zones on Kili.
I found this map highly useful in identifying the various glaciers on Kibo.
Machame and Marangu routes are given particular attention on this map, with day-by-day distance/altitude information included.
The map also has some useful information about weather, vegetation, flora and fauna and general hiking info for Kili.
I thought the map made a great Kili keepsake and bought it at the Springlands Hotel in Moshi gift shop for $10.
I recently found out that these maps are also available outside Tanzania (see url below for retailers carrying this map).
What to pay: $5-$10 depending on where you purchase it
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
Marangu Gate - Park Store: Post Trek Refreshment
Above the parking area, to the left of the toilets and sign in desk, there's a small covered hut that doubles as a bar and store of some sort.
This place sells cheap sodas and beer. We paid $1 for a beer and $0.50 for a coca cola. They even carry the delicious local ginger drink - Tangawizi. It's marketed by Coca Cola and means "ginger" in Swahili.
I have to warn you that none of the drinks were anywhere near cold. But am sure that probably wont put you off! A long swig of anything is all I cared about at this point!
What to buy: Beer and Soda
Misc Vendors at Marangu Gate: Shopping after the trek at Marangu Gate
Done with the trek and in seek of that warm shower to cleanse yourself of the mountain dust, you walk towards your transport to take u back to civilization after a week or so on the mountain.....Well, they attack you in large numbers holding up all sorts of local crafts from wooden candleholders to elephant hair bangles. Tired as you may be, it's wise to spend a few minutes haggling and purchase a few souveneirs here. They are the cheapest your money will buy.....
I bought a wonderfully painted batik cloth and paid $2 for it. Everywhere else on the trip, I couldnt haggle the price down to less than $10 because other tourists were willing to pay this "cheapest" price!
What to buy: Local crafts
What to pay: Haggle till you drop. Offer to barter a T-shirt or cap if you can afford to do without it (worked like a charm for us!)