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The Northern Circuit: Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing & Camping Safari
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The Northern Circuit: Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing & Camping Safari

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 11 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 16 people
Destination(s): Tanzania  
Specialty Categories: Wildlife Viewing   Mountain/Rock Climbing  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2538 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 4084 US Dollar (USD)

The Northern Circuit is the most frequented by tourists for two reasons:
- Most of the destinations are fairly close to each other and many of Tanzania's most famous sites, such as Ngorongoro Crater, The Serengeti and Mount Kilimanjaro are all part of this Circuit.
- Due to the fact that all the parks, towns and attractions are within easy reach of one another, one can tour this entire Circuit by a vehicle with only a couple of hours in-between destinations.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, (KIA) meet and greet by our Driver Guide and drive to Arusha at Kigongoni Lodge for dinner and overnight. KIA is about 45km, approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour drive to Arusha.

Day 2: Start trekking on Marangu route. Depart early after breakfast and drive to Marangu gate 1,980m (5,905 Ft). After checking in at the gate, thereafter an introduction to your porters from Chief Guide and then start an acclimatization/trekking, walk through the fascinating rain forest to the Mandara Hut at 2,750m (9,021 ft). Dinner and overnight at Mandara hut.

Day 3: Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut. Depart Mandara hut 2,750m (9,021 ft) to Horombo 3,780 (12,400 ft), Km/miles of walking 7km (4.43 Miles), Time taken 5 to 6 hours, and continue the ascent up enjoying the spectacular mountain vegetation, ascend through rolling alpine meadows containing giant Heather trees. Along this leisurely trail you can enjoy the flora and views of Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. A packed lunch is served on the way and arriving at Horombo Hut (3,780m ASL) in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut.

Day 4: Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut. After breakfast depart Horombo 3,780m (12,285 ft) to Kibo 4,700m (15,420 ft), Km/Miles of walking 12 Km (7.50 miles), Time taken 5 to 6 hours, After a good night's rest you will hike further up crossing the cactus-like ground cover and the "last water" stream and moves onto the lunar landscape on the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi, your porters will fill up here as there is no water beyond this point. Continue the trek arriving at Kibo hut (4,700m) in the early evening. Dinner and overnight at Kibo hut.

Day 5: Kibo Hut to the Summit and down to Horombo hut. Wake up early at (23h00) Kibo 4,700m (15,420 ft) and start the hike of the main peak-Uhuru 5,895m (19,340 ft) back to Horombo 3780 (12,285 ft), Km/miles of walking 10 km (6 miles), Time taken 14 to 16 hrs. This is the highlight of your trip! It is advisable to start the hike of the summit early as the scream slope up the Gillman’s point (alt.5680m), will still be frozen, which will make the walking safer and less strenuous. Walk for a further 2 hours from Gillman’s point to arrive at Uhuru peak at 0600hrs. After taking photos with the sunrise, descend further down to Kibo hut where you will have some breakfast and later descend further to Horombo hut for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Horombo to Marangu gate. After breakfast depart Horombo hut 3,780m (12,285 ft) to Marangu gate 1800m (5,850 ft), Km/miles of walking 4 km (2.5 miles) Ascend and 14 Km descend (8.75 miles), Time taken 5 to 7 Hrs. Another half day's leisurely walk and then you will meet with our Driver Guide at Marangu gate and drive to your hotel for dinner and overnight at Kigongoni Lodge. The overall height difference between Marangu Gate, National Park entrance and the summit of Uhuru peak is 4,100 meters (13,450 ft) and the distance is 32 km (20 miles). Each way in all a good 64 km (40 miles) trek with the bonus of an ascent of one of the world’s finest 5,000 meter peaks.

The Marangu Route is the oldest and most popular route on Kilimanjaro. It’s also the easiest, with series of bunkhouses along this way. The route goes south east side of the mountain and approaches the summit of KIBO via the Crater Rim at Gillman’s point. The overall altitude gain is 3,926m covering an estimated distance of 66 km.

Day 7: After breakfast drive to Lake Manyara National Park or Tarangire National Park for morning game drive with lunch boxes. Dinner and overnight at Octagon Safari Lodge or Campsite.
Lake Manyara National Park: It is 130km/80miles west of Arusha, approximately 2:30hrs drive from Arusha. Its size is 330 sq km (127 sq miles) of which up to 200 sq km (77 miles) is lake, when water levels are high. Acacia woodland shelters the park's famous tree-climbing lions, lying languidly among the branches in the heat of the day. The park's dazzling variety of birds,(more than 400 species have been recorded) includes thousands of red-billed quelea flitting over the water, pelicans, carmonants and the pink streak of thousands flamingos. Manyara is the perfect location for mountain biking and abseiling, but this will be conducted outside the park's borders. Lake Manyara National Park has one of the highest mammal biomass in the world. Elephant with a density of six per square kilometer, and buffalo with a density of 18 per square kilometer, comprises the bulk of this biomass. The ground water forest is another attraction as well as a series of hot water sulphur springs, and temperature can reach 70 Degree centigrade enough to boil an egg. Other varieties of wild animals can be seen also; i.e: hippo, blue monkey, bushbuch, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, dik-dik, etc.
Day 8: After breakfast drive to Serengeti National Park with picnic lunches along the way and stop at Olduvai Gorge, where local Guide will give a brief explanation about the Gorge. Thereafter game drive en-route to Serengeti. Dinner and overnight at Lobo Wildlife Lodge or Campsite. 

Olduvai Gorge: The earliest signs of mankind are at Laetoli, where hominid footprints are preserved in volcanic rock 3.6 million years old. Excavations, mainly by the Archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey, yielded four different kinds of hominids showing a gradual increase in brain size and in the complexity of their stone tools. The first scull of Zinjanthropus commonly known as ‘Nutcracker man’, who lived about 1.75 million years ago, was found here.

Day 9: After breakfast, full day game drive in Serengeti National Park. You will be having hot lunch or picnic boxes. Dinner and overnight at Lobo Wildlife Lodge or Campsite.

Serengeti National Park: It's 350km (208 miles), approximately 6hrs-7hrs drive from Arusha. Stretching North to Kenya and bordering lake Victoria to the west. It's size 14,763 sq km (5,700 sq miles). Tanzania's oldest and most popular National Park, also a world Heritage site and recently proclaimed a world wide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for it's annual migration when some six million hooves pound the open plains as more than 200,000 zebras, 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest's trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migrations is quite, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillation game-viewing in Africa; Great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant, giraffe, eland, topi, kongoni, impala, gazelle, lion prides, leopards, cheeters, hyenas, etc. But there is more to Serengeti than large animals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surface of the park's isolated granite kopjes full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species.

Day 10: After breakfast, game drive en route to Ngorongoro Conservation with lunch boxes along the way. Dinner and overnight at Rhino Lodge or Campsite. 

Ngorongoro Crater: Its 190km from Arusha, approximately 3hrs-3:30hrs drive. From Lake Manyara National Park to Ngorongoro Crater is about 60km approximately 40minutes-1hr drive. Ngorongoro is a huge Caldera (collapsed volcano), 304 sq km in size and 600 m deep. The rich pasture and permanent water of the crater floor supports a large resident population of wildlife of up to 25,000 predominantly grazing-animals. These include wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, buffalo, eland, kongoni, warthog, hippo, elephant, waterbuck, reedbuck, bushbuck, baboons, vervet monkey, dik-dik, ackals, lion, leopard, cheeter, serval cats, hyenas, etc; Including some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino. The mixture of forest, canyons, grassland plains, lakes and marshes provide habitats for a wide range of birdlife. The most numerous and recent inhabitants of the Ngorongoro area are the Maasai, who arrived about 200 years ago. Their strong insistence on traditional custom and costume interests many visitors. As today there are approximately 42,000 Maasai pastoralists living in Ngorongoro with their Cattle, goats and sheep. Their presence is the main difference between the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Tanzania’s National Parks, which do not allow human habitation. Cultural ‘bomas’ or Maasai village give visitors the chance to meet Maasai people on their own terms and learn more about this complex and interesting culture.
Day 11: After breakfast, crater tour with lunch boxes. Thereafter drive to Arusha for your evening flight back home. 

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price (Climbing with lodge Safari):
- $ 4,084.00 for one pax in a vehicle
- $ 3,376.00 per person for 2 pax in a vehicle
- $ 3,022.00 per person for 4 pax in a vehicle
- $ 2,904.00 per person for 6 pax in a vehicle.

Price (Climbing with Camping Safari):
- $ 3,898.00 for one pax in a vehicle
- $ 3,082.00 per person for 2 pax in a vehicle
- $ 2,674.00 per person for 4 pax in a vehicle
- $ 2,538.00 per person for 6 pax in a vehicle.

Price Includes:
- Full board accommodation in camping safari
- Camping gears
- Park entry fees
- Camping fees,
- Vehicle 4WD
- Transfers
- Crater fee
- Olduvai Visit
- Shifting sands
- Soft drinks on game drives.

Price Excludes:
- Bar drinks
- Laundry
- International flight
- Gratuities
- Things of personal nature
- Tips at Lodges/Hotels
- Sleeping bags
- Tip for Driver Guide and Cook etc. 

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