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The capital of the densely populated Kilimanjaro region sits at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro and makes a good introduction to the splendours of the north. It’s a low-key place with an appealing blend of African and Asian influences and a prosperous feel, due in large part to its being the centre of one of Tanzania’s major coffee-growing regions. Virtually all visitors are here to climb Mt Kilimanjaro or to recover after having done so. Yet there's much more to do, including cultural tours and hikes on the mountain's lower slopes.

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