Mt. Kilimanjaro – The Serengeti – Ngorongoro – Tarangire – Zanzibar
From the roof Top of Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro, you will head to the bush and you will get a chance to visit the Northern Tanzania National Parks and as well a few days at the beach to cool down at the Palm fringed Island of Zanzibar…
Welcome to Arusha
Upon arrival in Arusha, you will be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Relax, take a stroll, enjoy the sights and sounds. Get plenty of rest – tomorrow will be huge! Dinner and over night Karama Lodge.
The Marangu Route ascends Kilimanjaro from the Eastern side of the mountain closest to Moshi town. Affectionately known as the ‘Coca Cola Route’, it is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could be, because the Marangu Route tends to be the least expensive route, but also because it is possible to do the Marangu Route in only 6 days.
Hut accommodation is one of the main features of this route, offering the relative luxury of being able to sleep in huts along the entire route. Mineral water, soft drinks, chocolates and beers are also sold at all the camps on this route. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals.
The Northern National Parks are a true African experience, and one of Tanzania’s main attractions. Here you’ll witness the Great Serengeti Migrations, when millions of wildebeest, gazelles and zebra roam the plains in search of food. The entire Tanzanian ecosystem is on display here: birds, reptiles, mammals, and the mighty Savanna Acacia trees. The parks stretch across a varied landscape, from wooded hills in the north to the southern grassy plains.
Day 1: Marangu Route Mount Kilimanjaro Course
Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m)
Hiking time: 5h – Distance: Approximately 12kms – Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. (An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.)
Your first night stop, Mandara hut, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Day 2: Marangu Route Mt Kilimanjaro Path/Climb
Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6h – Distance: Approximately 15kms – Habitat: Moorland
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater.
On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours from here you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.
Day 3: Marangu Route Mt Kilimanjaro Track/Passage
Horombo hut (3720m) – Acclimatisation day
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.
Day 4: Marangu Route Mt Kilimanjaro Trail/Way
Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6h – Distance: Approximately 15kms – Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m.
Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Horombo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible. Rest well for next day you will be making a summit attempt.
Day 5: Marangu Route Mt Kilimanjaro Direction/Hike
(Summit Attempt) Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to get to Horombo
Distance: Approximately 6kms ascent, 21kms descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Day 6: Marangu Route Mt Kilimanjaro Road/Trek
Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m) – Hiking time: 6h – Distance: Approximately 27kms
Celebrating the successful summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Arusha for a long overdue hot shower and swimming, dinner and celebrations at Karama Lodge!
Day 7: Serengeti National Park Serengeti Central
Another early start, but trust us: it’s worth it. The Serengeti is a home to a staggering 1.6 million animals have been recorded moving through the park. We will do game drive until 1pm, when we break for lunch. After eating, there’s time for a little rest (perhaps a quick nap), then we’re back out on the plain looking for more big game. We follow the trail of the migrating wildebeest through the afternoon, then venture back to the campsite or hotel for dinner and over night.
Day 8: Serengeti National Park Southern Areas – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
After breakfast we head back to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a vast UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in a 260km-wide volcano crater. Archaeology buffs and anyone interested in history have the option to stop at Odulpai Gorge, where some of the earliest known human remains have been found. The site was occupied by our genetic ancestors some two million years ago, and continues to offer clues about the origin of homo sapien. We can also pass by the Maasai boma for a taste of real African culture and traditional living. After lunch, we keep exploring the Ngorongoro crater, venturing right up to the rim for Dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Tarangire
After breakfast, we take a packed lunch and head back to the crater. We detour through a traditional Maasai village, where you can get acquainted with the locals, watch some traditional dancing, and see what life is really like on the African plains. From there we descend to the crater floor in search of more big game. The Ngorongoro crater is rich in Tanzanian wildlife, and November to December is the best time to see it. The short rainy season is over and the animals come out in big numbers to enjoy the fresh water and green grass. We eat our packed lunches on the crater floor, at one of several picnic sites near Lerai Forest or Hippo Pool. If we’re lucky, we’ll spot the rare Black Rhinoceros. In the late afternoon we venture back up out of the crater and head onward to Tarangire National Park, where we spend the night.
Day 10: Tarangire National Park to Zanzibar
We save the best for last. After breakfast, we embark on our final game drive through the Tarangire National Park. African elephants – the world’s biggest mammals – are very common in this area. The park is also dotted with the iconic Baobab, shrub-like trees that can grow up to 30m tall. After a full day of exploring Tarangire, Later in the afternoon, we head to Arusha for a flight to Zanzibar.
ZANZIBAR – (The Spice Island)
Day 11 – 14:
Free leisure days at the beach and you can walk around on your own at slow pace, you will really enjoy the walk (at Nungwi area and kendwa rocks area), it’s worth it.
In Zanzibar there is a lot of activities that you can do, e.g. In Stone town Spice and prison Island tour. The full day tour will take you to the most scenic parts of the Old Town. This culturally rich town got it’s name from the use of coral stone as the main construction ingredient. Being the oldest town in East Africa, the historical roots and influences can be felt at every turn of the tour. Starting from the House of Wonders which is one of the prominent landmarks of Stone Town, you can proceed on to the Palace Museum which was a Sultan’s residence. The Arab Fort, the Dr Livingstone House, Fred Mercury’s home and the pub and Hamamni Persian baths are just a few of the many attractions in this relic of a town. You will have free time in the afternoon for you to explore further on your own or to relax, In the evening, depart from the hotel for a sunset cruise along Stone Town waterfront. Stop at Forodhani gardens for a glance at the evening life.
You will be picked up from your hotel and you will head to the Airport to catch back home.
• Local flight Arusha – Zanzibar – Zanzibar – Airport of departure
• Accommodation and meals as stipulated on above itinerary – All meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner
• Ground transportation with an English speaking driver/guide or naturalist guide
• Game drives or sightseeing as detailed on the itinerary – where indicated
• Park or reserve entry fees – where applicable
• Pick up from airport of arrival and drop off to the airport of departure
• Full board accommodation while on safari
• Transport based on excellent 4X4 Vehicle (Landcruiser) with open roof for game viewing
• Driver’s salary and allowances and park fees for vehicle and driver
• Local tourist taxes
• All camping equipment – sleeping bag, mattress, tents and COOK and all kitchen utensils
Not included services
• International flights
• Airport customs entry Visas (currently US$ 50 per person)
• Items of personal nature such as alcoholic drinks
• Alcoholic beverages
• Tips to the driver guide