Watch bull elephants walk across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater and leopards lounge in the Acacia trees of the Tarangire, embarking on a safari to Tanzania’s famous National Parks where we witness one of the greatest wildlife spectacles found anywhere on earth.
Over the course of four days we watch herds of Africa’s greatest animals amidst the scenery of the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire National Parks. Each evening we return to the comfortable luxuries of our secluded safari lodges, located right along the edges of the parks we visit. Watching the sun set across the African landscape from the porch of our safari lodge is the perfect way to finish our adventure.
THE RMI DIFFERENCE
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Denali and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to lead the best possible trips. We work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader. Our trip preparation before departure takes care of the details for you, from lodging and airport transfers to safari schedules, so that you can focus on preparing for the safari instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.
During our time in Arusha and while on safari we stay at select lodges that are intimate, comfortable, and wonderfully run; they have been hand picked by our guides over the course of the years as their favorites.
Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest experience possible. RMI's experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety.
As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or [email protected].
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- 8 days
- Level 1
*ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19. | PRICE WILL BE DETERMINED BY TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE.
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.
We spend the day relaxing and recovering from the long flights. The Kilimanjaro climbing team returns to the hotel in the afternoon and we celebrate their adventure with dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Usa River. (B, L, D)
Days 4 - 7
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.
RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. Please call (208) 788-2870 or send email to [email protected].
Travel insurance is required for this trip. Depending on the type of policy purchased you can protect against trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, security and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or while traveling. You can purchase travel insurance at any time prior to the trip departure. Should you need to cancel from a program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.
There are several things to note when purchasing trip insurance:
- Cancellation Insurance is included in the standard Trip Insurance policy if you are injured, or have a medical or family emergency prior to or while traveling. Should you need to cancel your program, Trip Insurance will refund you for any non-refundable cancellations fees when cancelling for a covered reason.
- In order to cover your trip with RMI Expeditions you may need to include options such as an “Adventure or Sports” upgrade. Not all travel insurance will cover mountaineering, climbing, skiing or trekking adventures. Some will not cover due to gear used (crampons, ice axe), others will not cover above a certain elevation and/or region of the world. Check your policy carefully to make sure your activity is covered. Both companies listed below offer policies that are geared toward adventure travel.
- Purchasing Travel insurance is also dependent on your state of residence. If one company doesn’t offer coverage for you because you live in Washington, another company might.
Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is travel insurance designed for adventurers, including the best evacuation and rescue services available.
Benefits are tailored for adventurers and include:
- Rescue and evacuation from the point of illness or emergency to your home hospital of choice.
- Trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, sporting goods, baggage loss, emergency dental, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and more.
- Completely integrated one-stop program with a single contact for emergency services to travel assistance and insurance claims.
- 24/7 access to paramedics, nurses and military veterans.
- Security extraction in case of unexpected dangerous and chaotic events.
Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel security risk company. Their team is comprised of special operations veterans, paramedics, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, former intelligence officers, insurance actuaries and global security experts with dozens of years of experience in theaters around the world. The Redpoint network covers the globe, making them uniquely equipped to provide elite rescue travel insurance – in every sense of the word. Whether it’s reimbursing you for a cancelled trip, paying your travel medical bills or evacuating you home in an emergency, Ripcord takes the worry out of your travel.
Travel Advisories / Warnings
Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as entry requirements with the U.S. Department of State.
Travel to Tanzania is relatively straightforward. Most people fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Arusha either directly from Amsterdam or from London with a connecting flight through Nairobi.
The time in Tanzania is ten hours later than in Seattle; seven hours later than New York.
Flights departing Arusha should be booked for 7 p.m. or later on our last day in Africa (Day 14).
A valid passport is required when traveling to Tanzania. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected date of return. U.S. passport holders can stay up to 90 days without special visas.
We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a backup. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.
A Tanzanian visa is required for travel. We recommend that you apply for this visa 3 - 6 months before your trip and use a reputable visa and passort processing agency. Travel Document Systems (TDS) can assist you with securing your visa. You will need to provide them with your current passport that you will use for travel, application form, two passport size photos, etc. Please follow the instructions on their website. Once your passport is returned to you check that the date of your Tanzania Visa covers your complete stay in Tanzania.
You may also register in advance for a Tanzanian Visa by completing the application and sending your passport along with additional materials to the Embassy of Tanzania. Please visit the Tanzania Embassy website for more information.
Once you have entered the Arrivals Building, proceed to the Immigration Counter. Claim your checked bags at the Baggage Claim and then proceed through Customs. Be sure to keep all your bags together. After you clear Customs, your RMI guide will meet you outside.
The provided transportation in Tanzania as stated in the itinerary is via private vehicle.
Immunizations & Travel Medicine
For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.
Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.
- Hygiene: It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using the restroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
- Water: The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe excess moisture from drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
- Food: If it is cooked, boiled or can be peeled, you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.
While the small Mt. Meru Regional Hospital is located in Arusha, no Level 1 trauma care exists in Arusha or Moshi. Kilimanjaro and the safari remain remote locations without established medical facilities. Medical emergencies would require transport to a higher level of care in Nairobi, Kenya.
Tanzania Country Facts
The United Republic of Tanzania lies in East Africa at the edge of the Indian Ocean. The spice island of Zanzibar is separated from the mainland by a 22-mile channel. The country's name derives from the names of the two initial states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which unified in April 1964 to become Tanzania.
The population of Tanzania is nearly 45 million persons, consisting of numerous tribal and ethnic groups. 44% of the population is age 15 or younger.
The official language of Tanzania is Swahili, but English is widely spoken or understood and is the principal language of commerce.
Tanzania has a spectacular landscape including islands, coastal plains, the inland plateau and the highlands. The Great Rift Valley that runs from north east of Africa through central Tanzania adds scenic beauty to the country. The country has the largest concentration of wild animals and is home to numerous famous national parks and game reserves.
TANZANIA PLASTIC BAG BAN
As of June 1, 2019, all plastic bags, regardless of their thickness are prohibited to bring to Tanzania. Visitors to Tanzania are advised to avoid carrying plastic shopping bags, storage bags, or garbage bags in their suitcase and hand luggage to Tanzania.
Plastic bags known as "ziploc bags" that are specifically used to carry toiletries are permitted as they are expected to remain in the permanent possession of visitors and are not expected to be disposed in the country.
Tanzania enjoys a warm equatorial climate. Though Kilimanjaro is relatively dry and can be climbed year round, the main climbing seasons are during the months of January-February and June-September. These dates take advantage of both the best weather on Kilimanjaro as well as prime game-viewing. The weather is usually sunny and warm at the lower elevations, but can be quite cool in the evenings. It is not uncommon to experience cooler temperatures while on safari.
The two rainy seasons on Kilimanjaro are during the months of April-June and October-December. During the rainy season temperatures are colder and the trails turn muddy. The game viewing areas are also affected during this period as muddy roads may force closures of certain areas.
Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing and shoes are suggested. Showing expensive cameras, watches, jewelry, etc. is considered unseemly and may attract unwanted attention.
On occasion, you will be approached by children for some little gift. Some ask directly for money. These children can be quite persistent. To keep from being hassled, a polite but firm “No, thank you” is generally sufficient.
It is expected that you engage in some degree of bargaining for market or street purchases. This is fun, and should be taken lightly.
Ask for permission before photographing individuals, particularly indigenous people. Most of the locals will gladly pose for a photo in exchange for a small gift. If in doubt, either ask or refrain. Don't photograph any government or military property or persons; this includes the airport.
Since the electricity in Africa is not the same as in the United States, voltage converters and plug adapters are required in order to use U.S. appliances.
The official currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling (TSh). Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.
U.S. Dollars are accepted nearly everywhere. It is best to use crisp, clean bills printed in 2006 or later. We suggest bringing $500 total for personal spending money including restaurant meals, drinks, pocket money, and the Support Staff Tip Pool.
We recommend that you have some small denominations of cash with you for your arrival at the airport, shopping at local markets, paying for drinks, visiting a Maasai Village, etc. You should change to TSh only as much money as you think you may spend (i.e., carry cash of small denominations) as local currencies cannot be removed from the country or reconverted.
Cash machines, by far the best way to get cash in country, are readily available in Arusha and on safari.
Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets in any area which caters to tourists.
Here are some tipping guidelines for your trip.
Support Staff Tip Pool: We recommend that each climber contribute $100 to the Tip Pool. This is collected at the beginning of the trip and will cover group tips for all our support and mountain staff throughout the program. Tips are expected and considered part of their wage. We follow the tipping requirements as outlined by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program (KPAP).
Our guides work hard to ensure your well-being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program. If you would rather not bring the guide gratuity with you on the trip, you can send a check or call the RMI office to pay with a credit card upon your return.
There are a number of books on travel health including: Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa and Latin America by Dirk Schroeder. Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Fodor's and Frommers are all good travel guides. Information and updates can be found on the website for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, which provides medical information for travelers as well as the consular information.
Alexander Stewart, Kilimanjaro: A Complete Trekker's Guide (A Cicerone Guide). Cicerone Press, 2004.
This is a beautifully illustrated, useful and packable guide.
GameReserve.com offers detailed and comprehensive information on Africa's top game parks.
What You’ll Need
A list of required personal equipment accompanies every RMI program, and the thought process behind each item is much greater than simply “preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.” The list for your program takes into account factors such as: seasonality, route conditions, weather, elevation and more. As such, this list is framed within the broadest of contexts and is dynamic by its very nature. Therefore, certain variables (additions and/or subtractions) are inherent within such an all-encompassing list. We make every effort to recommend only top of the line clothing and technical gear and it is never our intention for you to buy or rent unnecessary gear.
The Guide Pick is an example of the listed item, giving you an idea of the material and specifications of the item. This exact item does not need to be purchased or used; however, any item you choose must have similar characteristics and performance abilities to the Guide Pick.
RMI Guides concur on the potential necessity of every item, thus every item on the list is required at gear check. However, guides may also have suggestions derived from their experience, some of which will vary from a given list. The guides’ recommendation whether to bring along or leave behind certain item(s) comes during the gear check, when the team first meets. Occasionally this recommendation comes at the expense of having previously purchased an item. If a guide presents the option of leaving behind certain item(s) on the list of required equipment, it is for a reason. Their recommendation may be related to the weather, route conditions, freezing level, perceived strength of the party, or desired pack weight.
Ultimately, there will never be a consensus for a “perfect” equipment list for an ascent. It does not exist because of the multitude of variables faced by climbers throughout the climb. Please follow this equipment list closely so that you will arrive for the gear check with all the required items. Keep in mind the list is not black and white, fine tuning will occur once you meet with your guide. Have a great climb!
- Most of the required equipment is available for purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering when they use code RMI2021 at checkout. This offer excludes sale items, rentals, meal packages, and Feathered Friends.
Pack & Travel
DAY PACK (OPTIONAL)
A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on or while sightseeing. This will not be used on the trek. If you have some other preferred way to carry a few miscellaneous items, then there is no need to bring this day pack.
Regular sunglasses will suffice on this program; glacier glasses are not required.
We recommend bringing a selection of comfortable clothing to wear while traveling as well as pre- and post-trip.
Valid for six months beyond your return date.
COPY OF PASSPORT
The first two pages of your passport.
COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY
2 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS
Purchase travel insurance.
Purchase airplane tickets.
We require that all climbers and guides be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to join our programs. You will need to upload a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Card into your RMI Account before you can be confirmed on the program.
We also require climbers read, sign, and agree to RMI's COVID-19 Operating Procedures and complete two Health Screenings (one 14 days before your program date and one upon arrival) in order to participate in the program.
Deposit Payments: A non-refundable deposit payment of $1,500 per person secures your reservation.
- Deposit payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, American Express*, e-check/ACH, or check from a U.S. bank.
Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 120 days before the start of your program.
- Balance payments may only be made via e-check/ACH, check from a U.S. bank or wire transfer.**
- **Wire transfers must cover all fees charged by your bank. The amount of the incoming wire to our bank must equal the balance payment amount.
- A payment reminder is emailed approximately three weeks before your payment due date. If your balance payment is not received 120 days before the start of your program, your reservation will be canceled, and all program fees forfeited.
- Payment in full is required when registering for a program within 120 days of the departure date.
*There is a 3% surcharge on all credit/debit card transactions. Credit/debit cards are not accepted for payments of $10,000 or more.
$1,000 of the $1,500 per person deposit is non-refundable. Written notification is required for all cancellations.
Once RMI receives written notification of cancellation, the following apply:
- If you cancel 90 or more days before the start of your program, the program fees will be refunded less $1,000 per person.
- If you cancel less than 90 days before the start of your program, no refunds will be issued.
Due to the time-sensitive nature of these programs, and the amount of preparation time required for this program, we strictly adhere to our policy and cannot make exceptions for any reason.
We require that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.
- RMI Leadership
- Hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary, based on double occupancy*
- All park entrance fees
- Safari arrangements as indicated in the itinerary
- All group transportation in country
- International airfare
- Travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
- Passport and visa fees
- Excess baggage fees & Departure taxes
- RT-PCR or Antigen test required for return to United States
- Meals not included in the itinerary
- Bottled water and personal drinks
- Support Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $100 per person)
- Customary guide gratuities
- Additional room charges including laundry service and other personal expenses
- Hotel accommodations not indicated in the itinerary
- Any expenses from COVID-19 or COVID-19 testing that causes delays or quarantine requirements such as additional lodging, food, transfers, border issues, delayed test results, etc.
- Medical, hospitalization and evacuation costs (by any means)
* Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance.
Managing risk is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them.
Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity.
Zero Tolerance Harassment Policy
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) does not tolerate harassment or mistreatment of our participants or employees. Inappropriate conduct under this policy may include conduct that creates a disrespectful, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for a participant or employee. Engaging in such conduct is a violation of this policy.
RMI may consider conduct to be in violation of the policy even if it falls short of unlawful harassment under applicable law. When determining whether conduct violates this policy, we will consider whether a reasonable person could conclude that the conduct created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or demeaning environment.
Violation of this policy may result in removal from a program, as well as refusal to provide services indefinitely. We place the utmost value on the safety of our participants and employees. Please report any incidents to RMI management.
Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions
In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines:
- Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
- Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
- Ages 18 & above: No restrictions
An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.
Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.
A minor climber must be accompanied by their parent/legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either climber must descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.
Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.
RMI's program schedule and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, currency fluctuations, changes in outfitting costs, government instability, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including but not limited to increases in program fees, changes to program schedule or itinerary, and changes to guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.
We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).
If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.
RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.
The Participant is responsible for any costs due to COVID-19, including but not limited to, any testing fees to enter another country, tests required to return to the US, and/or costs associated with medical care and/or quarantine such as hotel accommodations, meals, separate transportation, etc.
The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.
RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.