As the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro is a natural wonder defying all science and logic. Located just 200 miles south of the equator, its snowy peak is a breathtaking sight. Rising to over 19,000 feet, climbing this giant is no small feat and only just over half reach the summit. The climb is steady rather than exhausting, but the elevation and elements make it challenging, nonetheless.
Home to 16 of the world’s most carefully protected national parks, Tanzania goes above and beyond to care for its world-renown wildlife. Here we can explore over 16,000 square miles of pristine wilderness teeming with antelope, gazelles, zebras, elephants, giraffes, lions, hippos, and more. Our luxury safari will take us to Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara all in the northern part of Tanzania. During our tours, we will be able to witness all the big five animals--the African elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and Cape Buffalo.
Made famous for its spices, Zanzibar Island offers a unique combination of pristine beaches, cultural highlights, and unique Arabian architecture. Our time in Zanzibar will include tours of Prison Island, the Nakupenda Sand Bank, snorkeling and beach time as well as mangrove swims.
4-star Moshi hotel before and after the climb, tents during the climb. Luxury safari tents and 4-star Zanzibar hotels.
Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340’), the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the roof of Africa, has three distinct volcanic cones, two of which are extinct and one that could erupt again. It lies within the nearly 300 square mile Kilimanjaro National Park, one of the few places on earth that encompasses every ecological life zone—tropical jungle, savannah, desert, montane forests, and alpine. Known for being stunningly scenic, the Machame Route also has the best summit success rate. This route allows you to “climb high, sleep low”, giving your body time to adjust to the changes in altitude over several days. As we ascend, we’ll be climbing through the ecological life zones. This diversity makes it seem like we are in a completely different world from one day to the next.
Fly out of your city of origin with a destination of Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Our Tanzanian, English speaking guide will meet us at the airport and take us by private bus to our hotel in Moshi or Arusha. After checking in we will relax, eat, and rest from the flights. Everyone will sleep two to a room. On day 2 we will tour Arusha, sort and finalize preparations of our gear, and relax in preparation for our climb.
We will cover 38 miles of moderate to strenuous trekking over a 7-day period.
All six mornings on the mountain will begin at 6:30 a.m. with coffee or tea served in your tent. A complete breakfast will be served at 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. and the day will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. except for summit day. Lunch will be served at designated areas on the trail and breakfast and dinner will always be served in camp. The dining tent, our personal tents (2 people per tent), and bathrooms will be set up at each campsite. Porters will carry one mountain duffel of your climbing gear weighing no more than 15 kilograms (33 pounds). This allows you to carry a smaller day pack.
MACHAME GATE (5,900FT) TO MACHAME CAMP (9,800FT)
Elevation Gain: 3,900 feet
Hiking Time: Approximately 6 to 7 hours
1st mountain day—After breakfast, we’ll get picked up from our hotel in Moshi and driven to the starting point at Machame Gate (approximately 45 mins). After registration and gear organization, we will begin our journey to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro using a well-maintained trail through Montane Forest. On the way, we’ll walk through dense rainforest and coﬀee plantations as our guide talks us through some of the local ﬂora and fauna. Here we will also get a very good chance to see Black and White Colobus monkeys, as well as many diﬀerent species of colorful birds. The climb is a steady and gradual incline to Machame Camp which is located on the edge of the rainforest and giant heather zones.
MACHAME CAMP (9,800FT) TO SHIRA CAMP (12,600FT)
Elevation Gain: 2,800 feet
Hiking Time: Approximately 5 to 6 hours
2nd mountain day—We will trek out of the rainforest ascending a slightly steeper gradient through the
moorland vegetation zone. Here we will start to get fantastic views of Kibo, the summit cone of Mt. Kilimanjaro while continuing along a rocky ridge to Shira Plateau. Shira is a collapsed volcanic crater and was the ﬁrst of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanic cones to expire. Once on the plateau, the trail becomes easier as we make our way to Shira Camp. If it’s a clear day, we’ll also get to enjoy superb panoramic views. Shira Camp is very exposed and will feel colder with temperatures dropping below freezing at night.
SHIRA CAMP (12,600FT) TO BARRANCO CAMP (12,650FT) VIA LAVA TOWER
Elevation Gain: 2,300 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,250 feet
Hiking Time: Approximately 6 to 7 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert
3rd mountain day—As we continue our adventure, the route now takes us into semi-desert and rocky landscapes surrounding Lava Tower, a 300-foot-high volcanic rock formation. We’ll then ascend the rocky scree path to Lava Tower for great panoramic views, before a steep descent into the Barranco Valley. We may ﬁnd this trek a little tougher than the previous days as some of us may start to feel the altitude. Although we will ﬁnish today’s climb at almost the same elevation as we started, this is very good for acclimatization and will help prepare our bodies for summit day. Barranco Camp lies below the imposing Barranco Wall in a beautiful, sheltered valley.
BARRANCO CAMP (12,650FT) TO KARANGA CAMP (13,106FT)
Elevation Gain: 456 feet
Hiking Time: Approximately 4 to 5 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert
4th mountain day—This is a shorter day of hiking to allow for acclimatization. We will cross the floor of the great Barranco Valley and begin to ascend the Barranco Wall. This is a great place for team pictures with majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background. From the top of the wall, we will then cross a series of hills and valleys before descending into the Karanga Valley then climbing to Karanga Camp where we will relax for the afternoon before dinner.
KARANGA CAMP (13,106FT) TO BARAFU CAMP (15,100FT)
Elevation Gain: 1,994 feet
Hiking Time: Approximately 3 to 4 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert
5th mountain day—We will leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects to the famous Mweka Trail. We will then continue along a rocky ridge for approximately 2 hours before reaching Barafu Camp, with more stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit from various angles. This is the time to get mentally prepared for an early morning summit push.
BARAFU CAMP (15,100FT) TO UHURU PEAK (19,340FT) THEN DESCENDING TO MILLENNIUM CAMP (12,700FT)
Elevation Gain: 4,200 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,400 feet
Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours to Uhuru Peak; 2 to 3 hours to Millennium Camp
Habitat: Arctic conditions
6th mountain day--This is where the adventure gets truly Badass! Around midnight, we will venture into the night and begin our ﬁnal ascent to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. We will head northwest through the heavy stone scree following multiple switchbacks between the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers until we reach Stella Point (18,851ft). This section is probably the most challenging part of the route. After a short rest at Stella Point, we will hike along the crater rim for another hour before reaching our ultimate goal – Uhuru Peak! Congratulations! We have now made it to the “Roof of Africa”.
Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long we will be able to spend there before starting our descent back at Barafu Camp. After a short rest, we’ll gather the rest of our gear and descend to the Millennium Camp (12,600ft) where we’ll enjoy dinner and a well-earned sleep!
MILLENNIUM (12,600FT) TO MWEKA GATE (6,496FT)
Elevation Loss: 6,104 feet
Hiking time: Approximately 4 to 6 hours
7th mountain day—After a final breakfast on the mountain we will begin the easiest part of our adventure on Mount Kilimanjaro via scenic path through the forest to Mweka Gate. We will then drive back to our hotel to enjoy a shower, rest, and celebratory team dinner!
Today we will enjoy a leisurely breakfast before an 8:00 a.m. departure by private safari truck to Tarangire National Park. The park is almost 3000 square kilometers and is best known for its huge numbers of elephants and baobab trees. The name of the park comes from the Tarangire river which crosses through the park. Tarangire is especially spectacular during the dry season (June-November) as wildlife concentrations rival that of the Serengeti. With its varied habitats and permanent water source, the park is home to over 2,000 elephants and 5,000 bird species. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the park, dinner, and a restful night's sleep at the Maramboi tented camp.
TARANGIRE NP-SERENGETI NP
After breakfast, we will have about a 3-hour drive to Serengeti National Park where we will have a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon game drive in the wild heart of the Serengeti. The park is the world's largest great wildlife refuge as it contains an estimated three million large animals most of which take part in a seasonal migration that is one of nature's most magnificent wonders. The area covers 14,763 square kilometers and the name Serengeti comes from the Maasai meaning endless plains. We will have dinner and spend the night at the Makoma tented camp.
After breakfast, we will enjoy a full day in Central Serengeti. The Central Serengeti offers superb game viewing all year round due to its abundance of wildlife. Specifically, the Seronera river valley in the Central Serengeti is a 'must see' on every safari especially during the dry season (June-November) since animals are more concentrated in the immediate area due to the lack of water on the plains. Resident herbivores include impala, buffalo, hippo, warthog, topi, hartebeest, and giraffe, and resident carnivores include lions and leopards. Our dinner and overnight will be at the Kubu tented camp.
SERENGETI NP-NGORONGORO NP
Today we will travel to the Ngorongoro conservation area. After morning breakfast, we will start our game drive in the Serengeti en route to the Ngorongoro crater. We will also stop at a Maasai village to watch traditional dances and learn more about their unique culture. We will reach the Ngorongoro in the evening ready for dinner and a good night's sleep at Ngorongoro Rhino lodge.
After an early breakfast we will drive down the steep and narrow road that takes us into the crater. The slopes are forested but soon the landscape changes to savannah. Here the wildlife is just breathtaking and with a little luck, we will observe the Big Five – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard – in just a few hours. We may also see warthogs, wildebeests, zebras, hippos, and some of the more than 500 bird species of the area. After a morning dedicated to game viewing and a picnic lunch, we will leave the crater in the early afternoon to drive back to Moshi, where we will arrive in the early evening for dinner and an overnight at the African Tulip hotel.
TRAVEL TO ZANZIBAR
Today we will travel by plane to Zanzibar. Once there we will go to Stone Town to the Z Hotel Zanzibar and get checked in for three nights. Depending on our arrival time, we will have the balance of the day to explore Stone Town.
PRISON ISLAND AND NAKUPENDA SAND BANK
After breakfast, we will be picked up for our Prison Island and Nakupenda sand bank day trip. Nakupenda (translation I LOVE YOU) is the name of an amazing sandbank located just off Stone Town. On this amazing day, we will see Prison Island’s giant tortoises, and have the opportunity for snorkeling amidst a stunning array of colored corals and tropical fish, sunbathing, relaxing, and enjoying a seafood lunch. We will have plenty of time to relax or discover marine life around the sandbank before riding our motorboat back to Stone Town.
ZANZIBAR SAFARI BLUE
After breakfast, we will experience one of the best sea adventures in Zanzibar. We will sail on a traditional dhow, snorkel, swim, and relax on white sandy beaches. With our Safari Blue guide, we will explore the mangrove lagoon hidden on Kwale island. Swimming in the protected mangrove forest at high tide is an unforgettable experience. After our full day of adventure, we will enjoy a final celebratory dinner on the final night of our trip.
After breakfast, we will depart the Z Hotel for the airport to catch international flights home.
• Meals before and after the climb
• Travel insurance
• Personal purchases such as souvenirs
• Tips (Suggested amount 10-20% of trip cost)
• Visa fees