Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari
- January 21, 2023 Guide: Casey Grom
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- September 2, 2023
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- September 16, 2023
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- 15 days
- Level 2
*ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19.
Depart U.S.A. Depending on flight times and connections, travel to Arusha, Tanzania typically takes over 24 hours from the U.S. We strongly recommend flying from Amsterdam directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
Upon your evening arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you are met by your RMI Guide and transferred in our private vehicle to our enchanting hotel near the town of Usa River. Overnight in Usa River. (D)
Note: Our transfer times follow the KLM schedule, if you are arriving on another carrier, a private transfer can be arranged for you at an additional cost.
Following the morning team orientation meeting, we spend most of the day organizing and packing all of our gear. We will have some time in the afternoon to relax by the pool and recover from our long flights. Overnight in Usa River. (B, L, D)
MACHAME CAMP • 9,890' | 3,014M
Our day begins with a beautiful drive to Kilimanjaro National Park. The starting point of our trek is the Machame Gate (5,900') where we enter the Park. After registering with the Park Rangers, we begin hiking through the dense forest to the Machame Camp (9,800'), where we spend the first night. Hiking time is approximately 5 - 6 hours. (B, L, D)
GREAT RIFT VALLEY • 12,570' | 3,831M
We continue ascending, headed towards the Shira Plateau at 12,200'. After leaving the forest and traveling through the "Giant Heather" zone, we set up camp on a bench overlooking the Great Rift Valley. If the weather is clear we enjoy spectacular views of the summit of Kilimanjaro. Hiking time is approximately 4 - 6 hours. (B, L, D)
BARRANCO WALL • 13,030' | 3,972M
Our day begins with a traverse of the mountain, taking us underneath the Arrow Glacier and Western Breach Wall. We walk among the giant lobelias and groundsels, vegetation that is unique to the high altitudes of East Africa. Our camp is set at the base of the great Barranco Wall, a steep canyon emerging from Kilimanjaro's southern side (12,800'). Hiking time is approximately 5 - 6 hours. (B, L, D)
KARANGA VALLEY • 13,160' | 4,011M
An early departure after breakfast allows us magnificent views as we traverse beneath the Southern Breach Wall. Our traverse takes place at elevations between 13,000' and 14,500'. Our camp is situated on the edge of the Karanga Valley below the glaciers of Kilimanjaro. Hiking time is approximately 4 - 5 hours. (B, L, D)
BARAFU HUT • 15,200' | 4,633M
The vegetation gradually disappears as we work our way towards high camp. We establish camp at approximately 15,000' near the Barafu hut. After an early dinner and a team meeting to discuss our summit attempt, we retire to our tents in preparation for our summit bid. Hiking time is approximately 3 - 4 hours. (B, L, D)
SUMMIT Day (19,340') • 10,080' | 3,292M
Summit Day on Kilimanjaro! Today we ascend to the Roof of Africa at 19,340'! We will get an early alpine start, planning to arrive at the crater rim by sunrise. We continue hiking along the crater rim, and in one more hour find ourselves standing on the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak. After celebrating on the summit, we start the descent back to high camp. We will pack our camp and continue descending to Mweka Camp, which is located down in the lush forests at 10,000'. Hiking time is approximately 12 - 14 hours. (B, L, D)
After a much needed night's rest the team continues the descent down through the forest, finishing our trek at the Mweka Gate (6,000'). After we load up the gear, our bus takes us back to our hotel to rest and celebrate. Hiking time is approximately 3 - 4 hours. (B, L, D)
Days 11 - 14
For the next four days we explore the wilds of Africa in "pop-top" Land Rovers driven by professional safari guides. The ecosystems we visit are home to herds of wildebeest, zebra, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, cape buffalo, topi and gazelles, as well as their predators like lions, cheetahs and the elusive leopards. Each day we awake to witness the spectacular African sunrise while enjoying a cup of fresh Kenyan tea or coffee, before embarking on our wildlife game drive. During our drives we may witness a lion's kill, follow a cheetah or watch a pack of hyena on the chase. On one of our days we plan to visit a Maasai village. Evenings are spent relaxing, sharing stories, or just listening to sounds of the African night in luxurious tented camps situated in the African bush.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast we leave our hotel and drive to Lake Manyara National Park. This Park, located about 75 miles east of Arusha, sits right at the base of the Eastern Great Rift Escarpment-a truly dramatic setting! Although small compared other game reserves, this 125 square mile Park has a year round water supply that supports numerous animals. The close proximity of a variety of distinct vegetation zones, including a groundwater forest, is a perfect environment for viewing all sorts of animals. In the lush forests, we will see troops of baboons and blue monkeys. While traveling along the shoreline of Lake Manyara, we can see the large number of elephant, hippo and 450 species of birds that call this area home. If we are lucky, we might even be able to spot a tree climbing lion. We have lunch overlooking the Lake before driving to our first safari lodge. (B, L, D)
NGORONGORO CRATER CONSERVATION AREA
Today we head for the Ngorongoro Crater. Often referred to as the "eighth wonder of the world", this is the largest unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world. It is home to more than 30,000 mammals and offers some of the best game viewing opportunities in Tanzania. The reputation it has earned as one of the world's most unique ecosystems and premier game viewing areas is well deserved. We spend all day exploring the unforgettable crater floor before returning to our lodge. (B, L, D)
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Tarangire is home to more elephants per square mile than anywhere else in the world. This Park boasts the highest concentration of wildlife during the dry season of any area in Tanzania outside the Serengeti/Ngorongoro ecosystem. It is well known for it's river valley, wetlands, gently rolling hills, rocky outcrops, acacia woodlands and numerous baobabs (the upside down tree). We enjoy a picnic lunch in the bush before driving to our second safari camp. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we reluctantly leave our stunning safari camp and drive back through Tarangire National Park as we make our way back to Arusha. En route we can stop at a local market to purchase any last minute souvenirs. We check into our hotel for the afternoon, giving us plenty of time to clean up and repack our bags. After an early dinner, we are transferred to the airport for our evening flights. (B, L, D)
Continued flights and arrival to U.S.
Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.