Day 1: Meeting in Arusha, by your hotel, in the evening. Night by your hotel. If you choose to fly directly to Arusha-Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), our price includes the free shuttle from airport to hotel on the evening of Day 1.
Day 2: Arusha - Serengeti. Breakfast by your hotel. You leave the hotel in a private Land-Rover, and after 6 hours driving on roads and dirt tracks, you reach Serengeti. During this transfer, first encounters with wild animals. Installation in your camping place (the Tanzanian team is always very happy if you give a hand to place the tents). By mid-afternoon, first safari in Serengeti National Park. Overnight in the tent.
Day 3: Serengeti National Park. Classified as one of the main sites of the World Heritage by the UNESCO, Serengeti is the largest National Park of Tanzania (5700 square miles), the oldest (created in 1951), and with good reason the most famous of Eastern Africa. His name comes from Masaï dialect, meaning "endless plains". Serengeti savannahs, forests and immense plains, crisscrossed by many rivers with very fertile banks, accommodate the largest herds of herbivores of our planet: 1,5 million gnus, 400000 zebras, 200000 Thomson gazelles, which yearly migrations to water holes, followed by their predators, offer one of the most impressive scene of the world. Serengeti also accommodate immense herds of buffaloes, elephants and giraffes, bubals, imapalas and Grant gazelles, hippos. Predators, drawn by these millions of herbivores, find there a perfect hunting land: lions (about ,000 in the park), leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, and smaller predators like servals, are the lords of savannah and acacias woods. The safari you make there in special sun roofs Land-Rovers, one of the most beautiful one can make in Africa, brings you as close as possible of the animals, deep in steppes and savannas. Whole day safari. Overnight in the tent.
Day 4: Serengeti National Park - N'Gorongoro. Morning safari in Serengeti National Park, transfer to N'Gorongoro crater, optional visit of a Masaï village. In the morning, last safari in Serengeti National Park. Picnic, and then transfer (2 hours and a half drive) to N'Gorongoro conservation area (N'Gorongoro crater). The Tanzanian team will propose you to visit a authentic Masaï village with dances and songs (price around 15 USD per person to be paid to the village chief), or to relax by your tent. Overnight in the tent.
Day 5: N'Gorongoro crater. Classified as one of the main sites of the World Heritage by the UNESCO, with a surface of 60 square miles and edges rising between 1000 and 2000 feet above the crater, N'Gorongoro crater, paradise for keen photographers, is a real Noah's ark. Its vast plains, strewn with volcanic domes, small craters and tropical forests, accommodate the main animal species of Eastern Africa - lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, cheetahs, zebras, gazelles, gnus, hyenas, jackals - in all about 30000 animals according to the Park Rangers counting. Whole day safari. Overnight in the tent.
Day 6: Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara Safari. After breakfast, transfer in your private Land-Rover to Lake Manyara National Park (2 hours journey). Before picnic, you move into your camping place. In the beginning of the afternoon, you enter the Park for a half a day Safari. Manyara National Park is a real ornithological paradise. During your Safari in special sun roofs Land-Rovers, you can observe pink flamingos and many species of lakeside birds, but also the surprising spectacle of lionesses sleeping high in the trees, not far from blue monkeys. The varied vegetation of the Park - swamps strewn with reeds, Rift's valley steppes and hills covered with thorn bushes, clearings and their acacias - also accommodate many giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, zebras and hippos, these are opportunities for very impressive encounters during the Safari. In the end of the afternoon, back to the camping site. Overnight in the tent.
Day 7: Tarangire National Park - Arusha. In the early morning, short transfer (one hour drive) to Tarangire National Park. Half a day Safari in special sun roofs Land-Rovers. Tarangire National Park is considered as a arid haven for migrants, with more than 3000 elephants living in the Park with buffaloes, hartebeests, wildbeests, plain zebras, gazelles, elands, oryxes during the dry season, from June to November, coming down to drink by the banks of Tarangire river. All these animals drift out of the Park from November to June, unlike giraffes, Kirk's dik-diks, warthogs, kudus, impalas, waterbucks, who are resident all year long just like 450 species of birds, including 49 raptor species. Tarangire National Park is also famous for the beauty of its baobabs trees. By mid-afternoon, transfer (2 hours drive) to Arusha. Overnight in the tent.
Day 8: First day of ascent of Kilimanjaro: Machame Gate (6000 feet asl) - Machame Hut (9858 feet). Transfer in private minibus from Arusha to Machame Gate (one hour drive). The road goes through small hamlets with fields of coffee, bananas, camphor and figs. By Kilimanjaro National Park Gate of Machame, the porters choose their loads, while your guide manages the administrative tasks: gathering of USD for the park entry fees to be paid to the Park Rangers' office, setting of the group Ascent Permit. When all the Tanzanian team is ready, when each porter has his load for the week, you start climbing up to Machame Hut camping place, following the footpath through the luxuriant vegetation of the rain forest: giant ferns, climbing plants and Usneas round up the trees of Podocarpus and Juniperus (African cedar). The Rain forest houses antelopes and leopards, hidden in the vegetation, many blue monkeys and squirrels, and remarkable birds as Turacos. After walking up 5 hours on a very easy pace (climbing 800 to 900 feet per hour), you reach the camping site of Machame hut, close to the little metallic shelter which houses two Park Rangers. Night in your tent. Duration of walking is 5 hours. Difference of level is 3858 feet up.
Day 9: Machame Hut - Shira Hut (12500 feet). After one hour walking, the footpath leaves the Rain Forest, and zigzags on small rocky brows, offering nice views on Mount Meru. You walk through altitude moors, which house small rodents, as hyraxes. The flora is beautiful: giant groundsels, heathers, lobelias (these plants originate from the prehistoric ages, and may reach a height of 30 feet). Shira Hut camping site welcomes you, on a altitude plateau. From the camp, you can see Kilimanjaro summit and its glaciers. Night in your tent. Duration of walking is 4 hours. Difference of level is 2642 feet up.
Day 10: Shira Hut - Barranco Hut (12960 feet). During the night, the temperature slightly goes down under 32 Fahrenheit degrees, and it is a pleasure to walk up on the sunny footpath: you see high altitude plants as orpins, alchemils and immortelles, and maybe a few elks (antelopes with spiral horns). Kibo dominates the altitude plateaux which are 14470 feet above sea level at their highest point, a little pass reached in two hours walking from Shira hut. From this pass, you may go down directly to the next camping place, near Barranco hut, but we recommend you to follow the track going up to the beautiful Lawa Tower (14,825 feet above sea level). Descent down to Barranco hut camping site, placed in the bottom part of Gran Barranco Canyon, which collects the major part of the water of the South Side of Kilimanjaro. Night in your tent. Duration of walking is 5 hours and a half. Difference of level is 2325 feet up and 1865 feet down.
Day 11: Barranco Hut - Barafu Hut (15090 feet). Shortly after leaving the camp, the footpath climbs up on "Barranco wall", zigzagging in slopes where porters show an extraordinary sense of balance, with their load placed on their head, impassive despite the narrowness of the path. After this ascent, you follow the "Kibo South Circuit", which offers nice outlooks on Heim and Kersten glaciers, till Karanga valley, the last water point until tomorrow afternoon. Porters fill up the jerry cans for cooking and drinking, while you are having your picnic. After lunch, the footpath, quite steep for a while, gently goes up for two hours and a half till the rocky brow which houses Barafu camp. Located at the base of Stella ridge, Barafu is a windy site, and the outdoor temperature may sink down to 16 Fahrenheit degrees during the night. After placing the tents and eating a little snack, dinner is served very early in order to let you sleep 5 hours before the night start to climb Kilimanjaro. You ask the cook to fill your Thermos flasks, in order to have a hot drink for the ascent, which will begin at 0:30 a.m. this night. Short night in your tent. Duration of walking is 5 hours and a half. Difference of level is 2730 feet up and 600 feet down.
Day 12: Barafu Hut - Kilimanjaro summit - Barafu Hut - Mweka Hut (10138 feet). A long stage in altitude with 6 hours and a half of ascent, and 5 hours from the summit down to Mweka Hut camp site. At midnight, you wake up, have a hot tea, and leave the camp around 0:30 a.m. The head torches light a few rocky crests where the footpath zigzags easily, then the track goes up on a stable slope made of volcanic ashes and stones. Rebmann and Drecken glaciers twinkle with moonlight, your guides walk slowly, summit is still far above you. Around the height 18000 feet, the slope steepens till Stella Point (18701 feet) where Stella ridge and footpath join the summit crests, on the side of the crater. From there, walking one hour by dawn light, you reach Uhuru Peak, the highest point of Kilimanjaro: on your left stand the seracs of the South glaciers, sculpted by the equatorial sunlight, on your right, the crater touched by the first rays of the sun. A last climb, and here you are, on Uhuru Peak (19340 feet above sea level) highest summit of Africa. The sun shining brings milder temperatures, and you spend half a hour on the summit, before to go down easily back to Barafu hut, as, from Stella point till Barafu hut, you will walk down on volcanic screes which absorb perfectly your steps, 200 yards on the left side of the footpath used to climb at night. At Barafu, snacks are served, and you have one hour to take a siesta, before going down peacefully on a good footpath, in the mildness of the afternoon, till Mweka hut camping site, where dinner is served early to allow you to sleep minimum 10 hours after this unforgettable day. Overnight in the tent.
Day 13: Mweka Hut - Mweka Gate (4790 feet). Mweka Hut is just at the top limit of the rain forest. After breakfast, a ceremony takes place: you give the tips to the members of the Tanzanian team, who sing the "Kilimanjaro song", and everybody shake hands. In 2 hours and a half, following the new and easy footpath built by the Park Rangers in 2002, you go down to Mweka Gate, where your private minibus is waiting for you. The park rangers deliver you your diploma which attests that you have climbed Uhuru Peak. You leave there your porters, and go back to Arusha in the minibus with your guides and cooks. In Arusha, you move into your hotel, and relax in the afternoon after a hot shower. Overnight in the tent. Duration of walking is 2 hours and a half. Difference of level is 5348 feet down.
Day 14: Arusha. It is good to wake up late this morning after all these adventures on Kilimanjaro slopes. Breakfast at the hotel, spare time to visit Arusha. Separation in the afternoon. If you fly in the evening from Arusha-Kilimanjaro airport (JRO), our price includes the free shuttle from hotel to airport on the afternoon of Day 8 (shuttle leaving hotel by 5:30 p.m. in order to catch KLM Royal Dutch Airlines evening flight going to Daar Es Salaam and Amsterdam).
Note: Your Mountain Guide will do everything possible to make the ascent of Kilimanjaro being a success. But, in high altitude, exceptional risks may exist: storms, fog. Your Mountain Guide, responsible for your life, may change the program for your safety.
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Africa Tanzania Nature & Wildlife National Parks Hiking & Trekking
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