My last full day in Africa I finally got to go to the place I had heard everyone mention throughout my trip, Maji Moto. I knew it was a hot spring and that there were fish that would eat dead skin off of my feet, but that was about the extent of my expectations of this place.
Getting to Maji Moto from Arusha was quite the journey. I’m not sure how long it takes, as I’m pretty sure we got lost a few times. I had a local guide so I sort of thought I could avoid things like that, but I was wrong. We ended up stopping on a busy-ish street along the way and offering to pay a local to drive there on a piki piki (swahili for small scary motor bike) so we could follow him.
The route was still not easy. The dirt and rock roads navigated by the piki piki with relative ease were a bit more of a challenge in a car, but the scenery was beautiful.
Well, mostly beautiful.
The trip took quite a while, but was well worth it in the end. Maji Moto was gorgeous, though not entirely dissimilar to the crystal springs here in Florida.
The spring was a lot smaller than I was anticipating and was hidden in a landscape that looked otherwise like a dry dusty desert. Of course, it wasn’t really hidden, because everyone in town seemed to be able to find it on this particular day.
The camp was very busy and the spring was full of locals enjoying a swim and jumping off of a rope swing into the spring below (that I was too scared to attempt).
I did go for a swim, I just used more traditional means of entering the water.
The clarity of the water made for excellent underwater photos.
The water as you can see is absolutely clear, which mean that you could see straight to the bottom from the surface. This made it slightly less startling when small fish started nibbling my feet, but only slightly. Having something underwater touch me is still a terrifying sensation.
(As you can tell from the goosebumps on my legs, the hotness of the “hot spring” had been somewhat exaggerated.)
As startling as it was to have tiny fish eat your leftover skin, there are people that pay good money for a garra rufa fish spa treatment in the rest of the world.
Oddly enough, I saw this at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on my way back from Africa the very next day.
So not only was Maji Moto beautiful, I saved money on my layover.
Maji Moto was smaller than I expected, but I didn’t really have a lot of expectations going in. It was a long drive from Arusha, of course part of that could have been the amount of time spent going in the wrong direction. I am however, really glad I made the trip. It gave me a chance to see the scenery outside of the city. It was a little hard to enjoy the spring itself with the crowd. Its not something I would do often if I were there more, but certainly something you should see once, if just for the photo opportunities and the smooth feet.