Waterfalls are everywhere. Sure. But there is something about them. For example, I would never say no to visiting waterfalls. Therefore it was hard for me to say no to another day trip to Materuni waterfalls. It was very different than the day trip to Kikuletwa hot springs, which was just about relaxation. The Materuni waterfalls lay under the mount Kilimanjaro not so far from the village Materuni. You get to hike to it through local plantages of various fruit and plants. And even though it is not a rain forest or anything like that, you would still get the “Jane from the jungle” kind of feeling.
Day trip to Materuni waterfalls
How do you even get to know about this place? Well, most of the time it is enough if you ask in your hotel. Otherwise, there is a lot of tour operators who would offer you to go there with them. Otherwise, you can just take dalla-dalla. At least that was my case. And I would recommend these tours, as they are unique – most of the people are coming to Tanzania for safari, this is something different but also nice. Also if you will get on a tour, you can get a professional coffee tour.
How to get to Materuni waterfalls
The easiest way to get to Materuni waterfalls is from Moshi where a lot of companies would organize a tour for you. It might not be necessary though it depends on how do you want to travel there.
By public transport
If you want to go by your self, you will probably need to take dalla dalla (local bus) to Materuni village. This might be a kind of uncomfortable option as there is a lot of people in busses like this. On the other hand, it is very cheap. I cost only 1000 TZS to get there and you will spend an hour on the bus.
Busses like this might be uncomfortable, but they will get you directly to the Materuni village and you can hike from there to the waterfall. Don’t forget to ask how often are buses going back. There should be several of them during the day, depending on whether you are traveling on a working day or weekend.
Another slightly more comfortable way of getting to the Materuni waterfall would be to get a taxi in Moshi and drive from there. That would also mean that you need to find a taxi driver, who will wait for you until you hike to the waterfall maybe have a bath there, and go back. That all can take around 3 hours to give or take.
You will need a good car with a driver who knows the roads. The roads up there might be a bumpy and very muddy. But from Moshi, it takes about 40 minutes to get there by car.
It would take around 40 minutes to get there by taxi and you will pay something around 40 dollars. On the other hand, it is a price for the car in general so if you are traveling in a group, it can be a relatively cheap way to get to the waterfall.
With a tour
There is a lot of tour companies in Moshi, that would get you to Materuni waterfall. It is probably the most comfortable way to get there. So what is included?
You will get a hotel pick-up and drop-off, a lunch box, the driver who is most likely guide as well, the entrance fee is included too. Very often you would also visit a local village and their coffee plantages, where they would tell you everything about their habits and how they are growing the coffee.
What is not included is tips for the tour guide. Normally you would give them from 5 to 10 dollars for a day trip like this.
Tours like these usually take anything around 50 dollars per person, but it very much depends on whether you are traveling alone or in a group. Traveling in a group is typically much cheaper with tours like this.
Tours are usually quite nice – I got a guide who had a lot of knowledge about local tribes and all of their habits. So that is a plus for the tours. But it is also good to know that tours can be pricey especially if you are going solo. I’m a solo traveler and I gave a 50 dollars for the tour. And sure, there was a waterfall and hike and everything around it, but it would be a lot cheaper if I would go solo completely.
Which companies are offering tours to the Materuni waterfall?
Twanga touring – The company has two options for the tour. Either you will come to Materuni village with public transport or private transport. Of course, the option where you get there by public transport is a lot cheaper. With that solution, you can pay 45 dollars as a solo traveler or 36 dollars if you are in a group of 5 or more people. However, if you are planning to get private transport, you will pay 80 dollars as a solo traveler or 40 dollars per person in a group of 5 or more people.
Viva Africa Tours – This company offers one of the most affordable tours in general. You will get all the services at the price of 40 dollars. They don’t mention anything about group sizes of public or private transport. However, when you are trying to book them, you will get asked for 120 dollars. So I would recommend to ask them first about the prices. They are also one of the very few tour operators that are offering to pick you up in Arusha or other places.
Zara tours – Perhaps one of the well-known companies in Moshi is the Zara tour. They are also offering this tour for 90 dollars per person.
Can you get to the Materuni waterfall from Arusha?
Yes, it is possible to take the day trip to Materuni waterfalls from Arusha as well. But you will need to count on the fact that it will cost more money since it is about 80 km away from the city and you will need transportation for this.
The direct buses are only from Moshi so you will either need to jump to another bus or you will need to get a tour or taxi driver to come with you. Tours are probably easier since they would both pick you up and drop off.
Also, count a bigger budget if you are coming from Arusha. If the tours from Moshi cost around 80 dollars, they might cost as high as 150 dollars from Arusha.
Because this place is becoming increasingly popular, you will need to pay entry fees for getting to Materuni waterfalls as well. They will ask you for 10000 TZS right around the place where the hike begins. You will also find a lot of people around who would ask you if you need a guide. True African style, I have to say. If you decide to do that, you will be paying another 10 000 TZS for their services.
At some point, you will get very close to local plantages. Whether you are going by car or by public transport, you will recognize that this is the place. Materuni waterfalls are also visible from the entry gate around the plantages, where you are starting to hike.
Now a little bit about the hike. You need good shoes, flip flops are not the option here. The soil is quite muddy since it is a plantages and locals need a lot of water to get corps from them.
It is also good to know that the hike can get quite difficult. Mainly because of the mud there is a lot of slippery places. On the other hand, it is not like you would fall off the cliff if you fall. You only fall to plantages and will be probably dirty, but that is the worse that can happen. Somehow getting back is a little bit easier, so don’t worry about it. Generally, this hike is for everyone, just pay attention to where you are going.
The hike is about 2 km long and there are a lot of locals. Most of them just want to say hi and maybe ask you for some money. If you give them money, you can get some fruit. I got three really big avocados this way. But it is not necessary to do something like that if you don’t feel that way.
After two kilometers we finally get to Materuni waterfalls.
First time in Africa? Here is what to expect from Tanzania!
Materuni waterfall is about 100 meters tall. The water it has is coming from Kilimanjaro glacier and because of it, it is very cold. But either way, it is entirely possible to come and swim here. Because there is a little cave behind the waterfall, you can directly jump into the waterfall. To do that, you would need to come here during the dry season, when the stream of water isn’t too strong.
Generally, it is probably better to come during the dry season. First of all the water stream isn’t too strong, but it is also a lot warmer, so swimming is generally more pleasant. I didn’t have the guts to swim since it was so cold, but I did saw a couple of people doing it and they were not the happiest about the temperature.
One thing you need to know is the fact, that there are no facilities. Meaning that if you need to go to the toilet, you will probably need to find a proper bush to hide. That also means that you will need to get a food and water bottle with you if you are going on a tour. Otherwise, you will need to get it yourself.
Visiting Materuni village
So once you are visiting the Materuni waterfall, you are most likely to also visit Materuni village. It is just a little village with Chagga people. That is one of many tribes in Tanzania and like any other tribe, they have their unique traditions. In this case, Chagga people are mainly farmers and they are more than happy to show you their plantages. If you are coming here on a tour, they will probably book a tour for you that is made very professionally. Most of the tours here are also supporting the cultural heritage of local people.
Coffee tour in Materuni
Here is a difference. In case you decided to come here solo, you will probably meet some locals on your way to the waterfall that will offer you to see their plantages for a very reasonable price – something around 10 thousand TZS. A lot of people are planting here avocados, bananas, and other exotic plants and they will be happy to tell you how they plant them and grow them. Basically all about them. You might also hear about local coffee plantages since Tanzania is also producing a lot of coffee.
If you go on a tour, this part will be already sorted out for you. You will come to a place where they plant a coffee like a pro and will tell you all about just the coffee plants. You will also try to put it in the ground by your self. Later on, the coffee master will tell you about the plants, how much they are producing, and how are they making the famous drink from it.
That all includes you doing the coffee with a lot of kids and the coffee master singing song about the coffee. Pretty cool. At the end of all of this, they will ask you if you want to buy the coffee or give them donations. I did it even though I’m not drinking coffee. All in all, it didn’t cost all too much. And I’m more than happy to support the locals.
Like it? Pin it for later!