Maundi Crater, a dormant and compact depression, emerged as a result of the volcanic activity on Mount Kilimanjaro. Situated close to the Mandara huts campsite on the mountain’s slopes, Maundi Crater boasts minimal plant cover due to the poor volcanic soil preventing plant growth within its confines. Nevertheless, sparse vegetation can be observed in the lower reaches of the crater.
Location of Maundi Crater
Maundi Crater is found in close proximity to the Mandara Huts Campsite. Maundi is situated approximately one kilometer away from the huts. The Crater lies within the rainforest zone of Mount Kilimanjaro.
How to get to Maundi Crater
To reach Maundi Crater, the hike begins by departing from the Mandara Huts and it is a hike that is done only by foot. This particular hike is often utilized by climbers as an acclimatization strategy, aimed at reducing the impact of Altitude Sickness on the first day of the climb, or alternatively, as a diversion during the hike to the Horombo Huts on the second day.
The hike to Maundi Crater is a brief endeavor, typically lasting around 15 minutes, although it’s not commonly included in the standard itinerary. To access Maundi Crater, coordination with your Kilimanjaro Trails guide is necessary.
Best time to visit the Maundi Crater
To experience the finest vistas, it’s essential that the rim of Maundi Crater remains clear of precipitation. Therefore, the optimal periods for visiting Maundi Crater are during the warm and dry months, specifically from January through early March, as well as spanning June to October.
During these windows of clear weather, your sight extends all the way to Kenya due to the proximity of the rim to the northern borders of both Tanzania and Kenya.
Activities at the Maundi Crater
Maundi Crater presents a range of activities for visitors. Utilizing the Marangu Route, the crater becomes an excellent hiking destination, providing breathtaking vistas of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro along with an aerial perspective of the slopes beneath. Moreover, the Maundi Crater hike serves as a valuable acclimatization practice for trekkers following the Marangu Route, particularly on the Day 1 of the Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route Hike. Fast hikers who reach the first campsite at the earliest usually have the option of hiking to Maundi Crater as a way of acclimatizing.
One Day Hike to the Maundi Crater
Your one-day hiking adventure to Maundi Crater via the Marangu Route starts with a drive from Moshi town or Arusha town to Marangu Gate (the headquarters of the Kilimanjaro National Park) on the eastern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. The drive lasts approximately three hours from Arusha but only 45 minutes to an hour from Moshi town and hotels within Moshi’s vicinity.
Upon arrival at the Marangu Gate, you will complete the necessary registration at the park office before setting off on your hike.
Traverse through the lush rainforest, gradually ascending to the higher forest boundary. Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy lunch along the route. The hike to Mandara Huts Camp, your destination, typically takes 3 to 4 hours. Enjoy sightings of wildlife, including black and white colobus monkeys that frequent the campsite, various bird species, and towering trees on the hiking trail. It’s common to encounter fellow hikers at this point.
Following a brief passage through the rainforest, your path will lead to Maundi Crater, which lies about 15 minutes away from this junction.
Capture a few photographs of this breathtaking scene before descending towards the Marangu gate.
After enjoying great views from Maundi Crater you will start your descent back to the Marangu Gate where a waiting vehicle will take you back to Moshi or Arusha town with lots of nice memories.
You can visit Maundi Crater and enjoy the stunning views while doing our affordable 6 days Kilimanjaro Hike via Marangu Route.