I took the Raqib bus from Moshi, Tanzania to Mombasa. The Raqib starts, I believe, in Arusha and picks up at various stops along the way, crossing the border at Taveta, travelling to Voi and then along the highway to Mombasa. From the border to Voi it is a long, bumpy and dusty red dirt road. The dirt seeps in and covers you in a fine layer of red dust. My ticket cost 13000 Tanzanian shillings.
At the border you get your departure stamp in your passport, board the bus again and then drive a very short distance to Kenyan side of the border (near Taveta), get your entry stamp in your passport and have your luggage searched. They mostly just prodded my duffel bag and asked me a couple of questions.
The bus stops for about an hour on the on the Kenyan side of the border and you can get out and buy drinks and snacks, touts will board the bus and offer these as well. Other touts will come up to the windows offering items for sale. I brought along plenty of food and drink for the ride.
The drive was about 7 and a half hours though it varies as you never know what you'll encounter on route. We picked up a few people from another bus that had broken down along the way. Before that I was the only "mzungu" on the bus. The bus drops you off in the centre of Mombasa and you are immediately surrounded by people offering tuk tuk rides, accommodation and taxis. A friendly taxi driver helped me get my bag, even brushed all the dirt off of it and drove me to Tiwi where I had rented a cottage.
I asked my tour operator in Moshi to get my ticket as it doesn't depart or arrive at regular bus stations in neither Moshi nor Mombasa.
It departs from Moshi at 8:30am.
Moshi tel: 255-754-839613
Arusha tel: 255-754-992001
Mombasa tel: 0713-196677
One of the cheapest ways to reach Moshi, if you have flown into Nairobi, is to book one of the many shuttle buses which travel daily between Nairobi, Arusha and Moshi. There are several companies to choose from, we used Impala Shuttle and it cost about $30 each for the journey.
We were staying across the road from the shuttle bus stop in Nairobi and somebody came over to get us at 7:30am. The buses leave between 8-8:30am. All the luggage is loaded onto the roof so make sure you have all your paperwork with you inside the bus.
The road, when we traveled, between Nairobi and the border, was under construction so it was a very arduous dusty, bumpy trip. I believe the trip is shorter when the road is not under construction but the trip took about 9 hours to get us to Moshi.
We did stop for toilet breaks and at the border for everyone to get their paperwork done. Once in Tanzania we stopped in Arusha to let off those staying there and then the 1 and 1/2 hour trip further to Moshi.
You can also use the shuttle to return to Nairobi and there are a couple of departures available.
Other shuttles available are Riverside, Davanu and East Africa Shuttle
The Impala Hotel in Arusha runs a shuttle operation running between Nairobi and Moshi. The shuttles are small but clean and the operation is run fairly smoothly. The shuttle to get you to Moshi leaves Nairobi at approx 8am and gets to Arusha at approx 2pm though with the amount of road works this can vary significantly - our shuttle got to Arusha at 3.15pm. The last leg is the 60 minute or so trip to Moshi on good roads.
In Moshi, Impala have their own offices so you can arrange for return transport if you haven't already. The offices are located 2 mins from the city centre.
There are plenty of buses to get you to and from Moshi. The main bus depot here is large for the size of the city and passengers are crammed in so that all seats are taken, including a little fold down seat in the aisle. The cost for a service between Arusha and Moshi is only TS2000 so cheap enough.
The Dala Dala has it's equivalent in many third world countries. The best description of it I heard was given by Rob as: a small van which you flag down, give them the smallest amount of money there is and they take you somewhere, squashed. This just about sums it up. A journey costs 300 TSH...which is about 20p or so and you should be prepared to share your ride with chickens, lots of people, and you may end up on the roof, or hanging out of the open door. Something to remember when the bus driver drives past you proclaiming the bus to be full...you will know a whole new meaning of the word full after a ride in one of these!
To really gain the true 'experience' of a local in Moshi (and around Tanzania, in general), hop on the local mode of transportation, the DalaDala.
DalaDalas are minivans converted into a makeshift bus that piles in as many locals (and all their goods!) as they could possibly keep, and transports them around town.
For something like 65 cents (U.S.) you can hop in a van at the various stops around town and it can take you anywhere you want to go.
Takes some getting used to, as you can imagine.
It was a riot seeing these DalaDalas zipping through the turnpikes with piles of passengers (legs and feet hanging out the windows), and it wasn't uncommon to see folks 'lap' it inside.
It was a cheap mode of transportation....so cheap even the chickens used it to get from 'Point A to Point B!'
Getting around moshi is very easy, the dala dala is probably your best bet. Very cheap (about 5p UK) but is very shaky and you must be prepared for them to break down. Its the whole african experience!
Moshi is serviced by Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA or JRO) which is about 45 mins west of the town. Most hotels will pick you up at the airport on request.
KLM is the only international airline flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) from outside Africa. KLM operates nonstop flights from Amsterdam (AMS) into JRO. Departing AMS at 10:55am and arriving JRO 9:30pm same day, daily except Sun and Mon.
JRO is also serviced by international flights from Nairobi and Dar.