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Materuni Waterfall Hike & Coffee Tour Near Moshi, Tanzania


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Gina Ramires



Tanzania, known for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture, offers a wealth of natural wonders that are perfect for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. One such gem is the Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour, located near the bustling town of Moshi. This unique experience combines the beauty of a hike to a magnificent waterfall with an insightful journey into the world of coffee production.


Materuni Waterfall, nestled in the lush green slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. The hike to the waterfall not only provides an opportunity to relish the natural beauty of the area, but it also offers a chance to immerse oneself in the local Chagga culture. Along the way, visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sprawling coffee plantations dotting the landscape.


Upon reaching the dramatic 150-meter tall Materuni Waterfall, the sheer power and beauty of the cascading water will leave you in awe. The thundering sound, coupled with the refreshing mist, creates a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience. It is no wonder that Materuni Waterfall is often referred to as the “Niagara Falls of Tanzania.”


But the adventure doesn’t end with the waterfall hike. The tour also includes a visit to the nearby coffee plantations, where visitors get a firsthand look at the coffee cultivation process. Tanzania is renowned for its high-quality Arabica coffee, and the fertile soil and ideal climate of the region contribute to the exceptional flavor and aroma of the coffee beans grown here.


Getting to Materuni Waterfall

Materuni Waterfall is conveniently located just a short distance from Moshi, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors to Tanzania. The journey to the waterfall begins with a scenic drive through lush green countryside, passing picturesque villages and meandering rivers.


If you are staying in Moshi, you can arrange transportation through a tour operator or hire a taxi to take you to the starting point of the hike. The drive itself is a delightful experience, offering glimpses of local life and the stunning natural beauty of the region.


For those coming from further away, the Kilimanjaro International Airport is the most convenient point of entry. From the airport, you can either hire a taxi or arrange transportation through your accommodations to reach Moshi.


Once you arrive in Moshi, there are several options for reaching Materuni Waterfall. Many tour operators offer guided trips to the waterfall, which include transportation, a guide, and sometimes even meals. This is a great option for those who prefer a hassle-free experience and want to make the most of their time in the area.


If you prefer to explore on your own, you can hire a taxi or take a local minibus (dala-dala) from Moshi to Materuni Village. From there, it is a short walk to the starting point of the hike. It is recommended to arrange your return transportation in advance or communicate with your taxi driver to ensure a smooth journey back.


The drive from Moshi to Materuni Village takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on traffic and road conditions. The route offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and glimpses of local life along the way, giving you a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.


It is important to note that the road leading to Materuni Waterfall can be rough and bumpy, especially during the rainy season. It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing and shoes for the hike and be prepared for a bit of adventure on the way.


Hiking to Materuni Waterfall

The hike to Materuni Waterfall is a delightful adventure that takes you through stunning landscapes and offers breathtaking views. The trail starts from Materuni Village, where you will be greeted by friendly locals who are eager to share their culture and traditions.


The hike itself is moderately challenging, suitable for all fitness levels. It usually takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach the waterfall, depending on your pace and the stops you make along the way. The trail meanders through dense forests, crossing small streams and traversing rocky paths, adding to the excitement and sense of exploration.


As you make your way through the forest, your guide will point out various medicinal plants and explain their traditional uses. You might even spot some colorful bird species or small animals along the way, adding to the excitement of the hike.


One of the highlights of the hike is the opportunity to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day. The sight of the majestic peak towering over the landscape is truly awe-inspiring and makes the hike even more memorable.


Upon reaching Materuni Waterfall, you will be rewarded with a spectacular sight that will take your breath away. The 150-meter tall waterfall crashes down into a crystal-clear pool, creating a mesmerizing display of natural beauty. You can take a refreshing dip in the pool if you wish, or simply sit back and admire the sheer power of the cascading water.


Be sure to bring your camera along to capture the stunning scenery and create lasting memories of your time at the waterfall. The sheer beauty of the surroundings makes Materuni Waterfall a popular photography spot, so take the time to find the perfect angle and snap some amazing shots.


After taking in the splendor of Materuni Waterfall, you will make your way back to Materuni Village, retracing your steps along the trail. The return journey offers a different perspective and allows you to appreciate the natural wonders of the area from a new angle.


Overall, the hiking experience to Materuni Waterfall is both invigorating and rewarding. It immerses you in the beauty of nature, allows you to explore the local flora and fauna, and provides a sense of accomplishment as you reach the waterfall. It is an adventure that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.


Exploring the Coffee Plantations

No visit to Materuni would be complete without exploring the coffee plantations that thrive in the region. Tanzania is famous for its high-quality coffee, and Materuni is one of the prime coffee-growing areas in the country.


During your visit, you will have the opportunity to learn about the coffee cultivation process, from planting the coffee trees to harvesting the ripe cherries. Your knowledgeable guide will explain the intricate details of coffee farming and provide insights into the techniques used by the local Chagga community.


As you stroll through the lush coffee plantations, you will witness the dedication and expertise required to grow coffee beans of the highest quality. You will see rows upon rows of coffee trees, their leaves shimmering in the sunlight, creating a serene and picturesque landscape.


Your guide will demonstrate how to carefully select and pick only the ripe coffee cherries, which are crucial for producing the best flavor. You might even have the chance to try your hand at picking the cherries yourself, getting a true taste of the labor-intensive process.


The tour will also provide insights into the traditional methods of processing the coffee beans. You will see how the cherries are pulped to remove the outer skin and then fermented to enhance the flavors. The beans are then dried under the African sun, resulting in the characteristic taste and aroma that Tanzanian coffee is known for.


While walking through the coffee plantations, you will have the opportunity to engage with the friendly and welcoming local farmers. They will share stories about their heritage and the role coffee plays in their daily lives. This interaction offers a unique cultural experience, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of the Chagga community and their connection to the land.


Throughout the tour, you will learn about the sustainable practices employed by the farmers to ensure the preservation of the environment and the quality of the coffee. The Chagga people have a deep respect for nature and have adopted organic farming methods that prioritize the well-being of their land and the surrounding ecosystem.


By the end of the tour, you will not only have gained a newfound appreciation for the art of coffee cultivation, but you will also have a greater understanding of the social and cultural significance of coffee in Tanzanian society.


Exploring the coffee plantations in Materuni offers a unique and enriching experience that combines education, nature, and cultural immersion. It is an opportunity to savor the rich flavors of Tanzania while fostering a deeper connection with the land and its people.


Coffee Roasting and Tasting

After exploring the coffee plantations and learning about the cultivation process, the next exciting step of the Materuni Coffee Tour is the coffee roasting and tasting session. This is where you will witness the transformation of green coffee beans into the delicious aromatic brew that we all love.


At the designated coffee roasting area, your knowledgeable guide will demonstrate the traditional roasting method used by the local Chagga community. The beans are carefully placed in a heated pan or drum and roasted to perfection. As the beans heat up, the air is filled with a warm, captivating aroma that adds to the anticipation of the tasting experience.


You will have the chance to actively participate in the roasting process, stirring the beans to ensure even heat distribution and prevent burning. This hands-on experience allows you to truly engage with the coffee-making process and appreciate the craftsmanship involved.


Once the beans have been roasted to the desired level, they are promptly cooled to preserve their flavor and prevent over-roasting. The guide will explain the different roast levels, from light to dark, and how they affect the taste and characteristics of the brewed coffee.


After the cooling process, it’s time for the most exciting part – the tasting! You will be treated to a freshly brewed cup of the locally grown and roasted coffee. The guide will expertly prepare the coffee using traditional methods, ensuring that the flavors are fully extracted and the coffee is brewed to perfection.


As you take your first sip, you’ll be captivated by the rich and complex flavors that dance on your palate. Each sip reveals a symphony of notes, from earthy undertones to vibrant fruity flavors. The full-bodied coffee is a testament to the expertise and care that goes into every step of the coffee-making process.


During the tasting, your guide will educate you on the different tasting profiles and the characteristics of the Tanzanian coffee. They will share tips on how to appreciate the aroma, identify the various flavor notes, and even give insights into the art of coffee cupping – a method used by professionals to evaluate and grade the quality of coffee.


This immersive coffee roasting and tasting experience allows you to not only indulge in a delectable cup of coffee but also gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship and artistry involved in creating the perfect brew. It is an opportunity to savor the fruits of the labor that you have witnessed in the coffee plantations, and to truly understand the passion and dedication that goes into every cup of Tanzanian coffee.


Interacting with the Local Chagga Community

One of the highlights of the Materuni Coffee Tour is the opportunity to interact with the warm and welcoming local Chagga community. The Chagga people are indigenous to the Kilimanjaro region and have a rich cultural heritage that they are proud to share with visitors.


As you embark on the tour, you will have the chance to engage with the local community members and learn about their way of life. The Chagga people are known for their hospitable nature, and they will gladly welcome you into their homes and offer you a glimpse into their traditions and customs.


You may have the chance to visit a traditional Chagga house, constructed using locally sourced materials such as banana leaves, wood, and mud. Inside, you will see how the spaces are carefully arranged to serve different purposes, from cooking and sleeping areas to communal spaces for gathering and storytelling.


The locals will eagerly share stories about their history, beliefs, and cultural practices. They may showcase traditional dances, music, or even invite you to participate in traditional Chagga rituals or ceremonies. This firsthand experience allows you to immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural heritage of the Chagga people and foster a deeper connection with the local community.


While interacting with the Chagga community, you will also have the opportunity to learn about their sustainable farming practices and their deep respect for the land. The Chagga people have a strong connection to nature and place great importance on preserving the environment for future generations. They employ organic farming methods and have a deep understanding of the delicate balance between human activities and nature.


Sharing a meal with the Chagga community is another highlight of the tour. You will have the chance to savor traditional Chagga cuisine, which is rich in flavors and influenced by the local produce. From hearty stews to deliciously roasted meats, the Chagga cuisine offers a taste of authentic Tanzanian flavors.


Through these interactions, you will not only gain insights into the Chagga culture but also establish meaningful connections with the local community. The warm smiles, laughter, and shared moments will create lasting memories and leave a positive impact on both you and the Chagga people.


By supporting the Materuni Coffee Tour and interacting with the local community, you are contributing to the sustainable development of the area. The tour provides income and economic opportunities for the Chagga people, helping to preserve their cultural heritage and way of life.


Interacting with the local Chagga community is a truly enriching experience that adds depth and meaning to your visit to Materuni. It allows you to forge connections and gain a deeper understanding of the people, culture, and traditions that make this region so special.


Other Activities in Materuni Village

While the Materuni Coffee Tour is the main attraction in the village, there are also other activities that you can enjoy to further enhance your experience in Materuni. These activities allow you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and cultural richness of the area.


One such activity is a visit to the nearby Materuni Primary School. This gives you the opportunity to interact with the local students and teachers, gaining insights into the education system in rural Tanzania. You can engage in educational activities or even participate in volunteering initiatives to support the school and its students.


If you’re interested in learning more about the flora and fauna of the region, a nature walk through the Materuni Village is a must-do activity. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you will explore the diverse ecosystem, spotting unique plant species and possibly encountering some of the local wildlife.


For the adventurous souls, Materuni offers thrilling opportunities for cycling and hiking expeditions. Whether you prefer a leisurely bike ride through the scenic countryside or an adrenaline-filled trek up the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, there are options to suit different fitness levels and interests.


If you want to delve deeper into the cultural heritage of the Chagga people, you can participate in traditional arts and crafts workshops. Learn to weave baskets, create intricate beadwork, or try your hand at carving wooden sculptures under the guidance of local artisans.


To immerse yourself in the daily life of the Chagga community, you can partake in a cooking class where you will learn to prepare traditional Chagga dishes. From gathering fresh ingredients to mastering the techniques and flavors, this culinary experience offers a glimpse into the local culinary traditions.


Another activity worth considering is a visit to a local market in Materuni or the nearby town of Moshi. This allows you to witness the vibrant atmosphere and engage in the bustling trade that shapes the local economy. You can browse through colorful stalls, interact with the friendly vendors, and even take home some unique souvenirs.


It’s important to note that some of these additional activities may require separate arrangements and additional fees. It is advisable to consult with your tour operator or guide to discuss your interests and preferences to ensure a tailored and memorable experience.


Engaging in these diverse activities allows you to make the most of your time in Materuni Village. Each experience offers a different perspective and adds layers of understanding to the culture, nature, and community that make this corner of Tanzania truly special.



A visit to Materuni Village near Moshi, Tanzania, offers an unforgettable experience that combines the beauty of nature, the richness of culture, and the delicious flavors of locally grown coffee. The Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour is a perfect blend of adventure, education, and immersion into the local community.


The hike to Materuni Waterfall allows you to witness the awe-inspiring power and beauty of the cascading waterfall while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The journey through the coffee plantations provides insights into the meticulous process of coffee cultivation, from picking the ripe cherries to the traditional roasting methods.


Interacting with the local Chagga community offers a unique opportunity to experience their warm hospitality, learn about their traditions, and gain a deeper appreciation for their sustainable farming practices. Engaging in other activities such as a visit to the Materuni Primary School, nature walks, cycling expeditions, arts and crafts workshops, or sampling local cuisine further enriches your understanding of the area and its people.


Materuni Village is not just a destination, but a place where connections are forged, memories are made, and a positive impact is left on the local community. By supporting responsible tourism initiatives like the Materuni Coffee Tour, you contribute to the preservation of the cultural heritage and sustainable development of the area.


Whether you’re an avid hiker, a coffee enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply someone seeking an authentic and immersive experience, Materuni Village has something to offer. It is a place where nature’s beauty and cultural vibrancy come together, leaving you with everlasting memories and a deeper understanding of Tanzania’s rich heritage.


So pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a journey to Materuni Village, where adventure, coffee, and the warm embrace of the Chagga community await. Discover the magic of this hidden gem and let your senses be captivated by the wonders of nature and the flavors of Tanzanian coffee.