Materuni Waterfall & Coffee tour | Day tour to Kilimanjaro | What to do before Kilimanjaro Climb | Kilimanjaro Cultural Tours
Materuni Waterfall in Kilimanjaro
A tour to Materuni Village and Waterfalls is a great way to spend a day away from the bustle of town life. The walk to Materuni Waterfall offers a glimpse into the nature of Tanzania allowing you either to prepare your body for the forthcoming climb to Kilimanjaro or ease your muscles after the climb.
The Materuni Waterfall tour starts with a walk through the area adjacent to the waterfall, rich in beautiful natural scenery of Tanzania. It is an opportunity to see how local fruit like avocados, mangos, lemons, and bananas grow, as well as learn some of the local history, traditions, village economy, agricultural and cultural life. When you get to the waterfall, you can refresh yourself in the natural pool, so swimsuits will come in handy!
The tour will continue with a visit to the local village lying in the coffee plantations. The villagers will demonstrate the process of coffee farming and guide you through the preparation of coffee from a bean to a cup. Sing and dance along with the Chaga people as they are grinding, roasting and boiling the beans. When the coffee is ready, villagers will serve lunch – a national Chagga meal.
How to get to Materuni Waterfalls?
If you go by car, Materuni is a 45-minute drive from Moshi and a 2h45 drive from Arusha as you have to pass through Moshi to get there. The ‘normal’ road is currently out of service and I have no idea when it will be usable again, so you have to take a small detour but it should take no more than an hour.
You can take public transport, organize your own taxi (ask your hotel!) or book a tour with a registered tour business in Moshi.
If you go by public transport, there’s a direct daladala from Moshi central bus stand to the office at Materuni village. This is very straightforward, you just have to wait until it’s full before it departs. The price is low at around 1000 TZS per person, one-way. I’ve never had to negotiate on busses here in Tanzania so I think they always just give you the correct price. You can just go to the bus stand and ask which one to take.
How much does it cost to visit Materuni waterfall?
It’s important to know that you can’t get from Materuni village to the waterfall by yourself as there’s not a single sign that tells you where to go. There’s guides at the village office and you can negotiate their salary but please keep in mind that a normal salary for a guide is 20 – 25 USD per day plus the same amount in tips. This is for small groups, let’s say up to 8 – 10 people. A lot of them will accept less out of necessity but I always find it important to pay a fair amount.
Of course the price will depend on your means of transport and whether you use a tour operator or go there by yourself. And if you chose the taxi option, you’ll have to put your negotiating skills to the test in order to get a fair price or you might end up paying just as much as the price of an organized tour. As I wrote above, the bus will cost you around 1.000 TZS one-way and for a taxi for max. 4 people you should pay around 100.000 TZS including a driver that serves as a guide. So you’ll save the salary of the local guide but you’re still supposed to tip the taxi driver.
The village fee is 10.000 TZS or around 5 USD per adult. Sometimes they give a discount for children, sometimes they don’t. The coffee experience and Chagga lunch are privately ran and tbh I have no idea how much they charge if you go privately. If it’s like everywhere else chances are pretty big it’ll be more than what they charge tour operators. Keeping those prices in mind, I’d say don’t pay more than 10.000 TZS per person for the coffee tour (unless you’re solo, then max. 20.000 TZS) and no more than around 25.000 TZS per person for the lunch. You’ll have to bring your own water.
If you go to Materuni waterfall and village on an organized tour, you can count around 60 USD per person in a group of 4 people and around 80 USD per person in a group of 2 people. This is considering you’re dealing with a registered tour business that pays taxes and licenses and does things by the book. You can also find guys in the street who will do it for half that price but it’s illegal and risky.