Get to know Mangi Horombo, the Chagga Chief from Rombo, Kilimanjaro whom Horombo Huts are named after
Mangi Horombo, Chagga Chief'sgrave

Mangi Horombo stands out as one of the most popular and powerful chiefs in the history of the Chagga people that have lived around the Kilimanjaro region for centuries.

Kilimanjaro has several campsites and camps that are used as accommodation points. Most of the routes on Mount Kilimanjaro use tents as a way of accommodation with the exclusion of the Marangu Route. Now, along the Marangu route, there is a camp called Horombo Huts Camp This camp is named in Honor of Mangi Horombo.

Incidentally, there is another accommodation point called Mandara Hut on the same route that is named after Mangi Meli Mandara  (1845–1891) who was a regional Chief of the Chaga people in Moshi .

Horombo is the second camp where tourists who climb Mount Kilimanjaro via the Marangu Route sleep on the second day of climbing the mountain. According to the history of Wachaga, written by Stahl Kathleen in 1962, the tribe had many leaders, but few became famous due to the type of their leadership.

In 1800, a chief known as Mangi Horombo from the East of Mount Kilimanjaro was more powerful and was able to take over the areas that were occupied by youths who were neither economically nor politically powerful.
However, after Horombo’s death, his empire was divided, and formed small independent groups. When the first Englishman, Johannes Rebmann, arrived at Kilimanjaro in 1848, he found the Mangi of Machame and the Mangi of Kilema with great political and economic power, but they faded due to various reasons.
Kathleen says Mangi Horombo was a brave leader in the Eastern region of Mount Kilimanjaro and was feared by his people because he was a strong man. The leader lived in what is now known as the Rombo district. He was the first Mangi to introduce the idea of building a Wachaga empire.

He built his castle in the village of Keni and formed an army, which invaded the empires of other chiefs and succeeded in conquering the area of Vunjo up to the Nanga river. However, after his death, his empire was divided into smaller factions based on the origin and origin of each faction.

Mangi Sina was as brave as Orombo and led the empire that was west of Mount Kilimanjaro to the border at the Nanga river. He built his castle in the area of Kibosho, but he ruled until the area of Marangu and Uru. In 1870 he built a commercial city between Africans and Arabs, where the Arabs gave him clothes and weapons and then gave him the ivory and other valuable things.
Mangi Sina’s rule faded in 1891 when the British decided to strengthen Mangi Rindi wa Moshi, then use him to undermine Mangi Sina’s rule. Mangi Rindi, who was known as Mandara, was the leader of Moshi in 1860. He was among the leaders who dreamed of ruling the entire Kilimanjaro area.
In order to achieve his strategies, he joined with the leaders of the Arusha tribe in the area of Mount Meru and the Swahili from the coast, then signed a German agreement with the aim of placing Kilimanjaro under German rule in the East African region.

In 1891, he managed to preserve the German military fortress in order to destroy the rule of Mangi Sina of Kibosho. Mangi Rindi’s relationship with the Germans enabled Moshi to be the capital of the Kilimanjaro region until 1919 when the town’s seat was moved to a permanent location where Moshi is now.
Mangi Marealle of Marangu was established by Mangi Sina in 1880 when the area of Marangu was part of the Kibosho empire.

The first Mangi Marialle was a smart young man who was eager to be a better leader than his predecessors. Since Mangi Marialle was not a person to use words, he decided to learn a foreign language to be able to communicate directly with Arab leaders and English colonists and invite them to invest in the region of Marangu.
Also, he tried to build a friendship with the leadership of the German administration and it is alleged that in 1890 Mangi Marealle managed to convince the leadership of the German army, to believe that the Kibosho and Moshi people were plotting to overthrow the German government, which caused the Kibosho chiefs and Smoke hanged by the German regime.

The Machame People’s Empire was built by Mangi Abdiel Shangali, who came to power in 1923 and continued to lead until 1946 when he was promoted to become the chief of Hai province, including the Machame area and Kibosho.
Mangi Shangali ruled during the period of peace, so he managed to change the leadership system from the chieftaincy regime to the modern regime by choosing leaders through democracy.

However, the Chagga people did not stop arguing about the lack of land and the situation continued until Tanganyika gained independence and closed the system of tribal administration, and created a government of national unity. After Independence, the Chaga people continued to stare at each other, each group wanting the other group’s land.

Learn about the Chagga people of Kilimanjaro


-He was the Mangi of Keni, Rombo until the early 1800s.

-He ruled over half of Kilimanjaro, from the middle towards the east in his time from the area of Kirua, Kilema, Marangu, Mamba, Mwika and all of Rombo to Usseri, that is Vunjo and all of Rombo was under his rule.

-He is one of the many people who built a large and very strong fortress on Kilimanjaro, which he built in the area of Keni, Rombo.

-He had all kinds of experts to strengthen his empire under his rule, from Kirua Vunjo to Usseri, Rombo from soldiers, engineers, farmers, hunters, etc.,

-It is said that when he was still a young man he once killed an elephant alone.

-Mangi was very strong in the war where he himself was going to war with his army and entering into battles that were very feared by all the neighboring empires and Kilimanjaro, and he was most feared by the Maasai who are said to have been great invaders of many places.

-Mangi Horombo is also the grandfather of Mangi Tengia of Keni, Mangi Tengia whom Mangi Ndegoruo Marealle of Marangu married his daughter named Makyaleni and gave birth to Mangi Petro Itosi Marealle who became Mangi Mwitori of Vunjo State, Uchagga in 1946 and wrote the book “The Life of Mchagga” Here on Earth and Hereafter”.

-History recognizes Mangi Horombo as one of the best Mangi ever to appear on Kilimanjaro.

-The entire area of Rombo which is currently the entire district of Rombo is named in honor of his name.

The name Rombo is pronounced in English and Kiswahili, in Chagga it is called Horombo, as is the name of Mangi Horombo himself.

Learn how to pronounce the name Kilimanjaro

How did Mangi Horombo die?

Their first paramount chief, Horombo of the Chagga, also known as “Kilimia – The Conqueror,” assumed power in the Kilimanjaro region in 1760. He tried to establish a sizable empire but was Killed by the neighbouring tribe of Maasai warriors; his unification strategy was ineffective.

Are there any reported deaths on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Grave of Mangi Horombo

This grave is located in Mengwe Division, Mengeni district, approximately seventy meters from the asphalt main road that goes from Moshi to Tarakea. This tomb has a unique attraction due to the height of Mangi Horombo who was eight feet two inches (8.2 Feet) tall. Basically, it reminds the history of the Rombo as a whole since he died in 1802.

The Chagga Caves of Rombo

In memory of the war between the Rombo and the Maasai, there are trenches in the area of the village of Mamsera, Mengwe Division, with a height of 68 meters under the mountain Uwa. In the caves used by people to hide, there are rooms that were allocated for various uses, including a kitchen, shelter, a place to hide children, and rooms for guards. The tunnel was discovered in 2007 by a local citizen, so we welcome people from inside and outside the country to come, to see it and get the history of the Warombo tribe

Read about the Kikuyu tribe of the neighbouring country, Kenya.


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Joachim Kawishe
Apr 27, 2023
RemaIns of ttThese tunnels (Handaki or mreshe) are also found in the village of Makiodi in Mkuu Division. It runs from one corner of the village to to its end about 4km long.

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