- Trip Summary
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
This tour is a combination of mountain climbing and a wildlife safari. You will ascend to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro via the macramé route, referred to as the ‘Whiskey Route’. This route is suited for the more adventurous hikers, as it rewards you with better views than the Marangu Route. While ascending, you will also be able to view the ‘Big Five’ areas of Tanzania.
The duration of this life altering adventure will be11 days which will be divided into: 6 days mountain climbing followed by 5 days wildlife safari. The wildlife safari will start at Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and then continue to the stunning Lake Manyara National Park.
FROM MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME CAMPElevation (m): 1,490m to 2,980m; (ft): 4,890ft to 9,780ft
Distance: 18 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Early AM briefing
Drive either for 50 minutes from Moshi to Machame Village or drive 1.5 hours from Arusha to Machame Village (1,490 m/4,890 ft). Here your guides and porters will prepare and ready our climbing equipment with your supplies. Lunch will be in form of a lunch pack. As there are often heavy rain downpours, it could force you not to drive from the village to the Machame Gate but to walk the muddy 3 km way to the gate.
After the climbers register at the gate, you will begin your ascent immediately, as well as enter a thick rain forest. The moisture from the frequent downpours have transformed the trail into a soggy and a slippery experience. Strong, solid footgear, trekking poles and gaiters are useful.
Lunch you will have halfway up and you will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon.
Your porters will arrive at camp before you. They will erect your tent and in the evening the porters boil drinking and washing water while the cook prepares your dinner. The night temperatures can drop to freezing at the Machame Camp.
MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMPElevation (m): 2,980m to 3,840m; (ft): 9,780ft to 12,600ft
Walking Time: 4-6 hours
Climb for approximately 1 hour, to reach the top of the forest then ascend gradually for another 2 hours through moorland.
Ascend up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau. Here you should be able to see Kilimanjaro’s western breach with the stunning glaciers. Occasionally the walls of the western breach are draped with extensive ice curtains.
Now you are positioned west of Kibo, which is on the opposite side of the mountain taken via the Marangu Route.
After a short hike west, you reach the Shira campsite.
The porters will boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner.
The night at this exposed camp will be colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing.
SHIRA CAMP TO LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMPElevation (m): 3,840m to 4,630m to 3,950m; (ft): 12,600ft to 15,190ft to 12,960ft
Distance: 15 km
Walking Time: 5-7 hours
Breakfast - After breakfast, you will walk up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward kilimanjaro’s looming mass. After several hours, you walk through a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower, also called the “Shark’s Tooth.” at 4,630 m/15,190ft. For extra achievement, the sure-footed can also scatter to the top of that tower.
Close to Lava Tower, descend for about 2 hours to below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft.
There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls.
Dinner will be close to the Barranco Wall, providing you with a memorable sunset
On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. Although you end the day at almost the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
BARRANCO CAMP TO BARAFU CAMPElevation (m): 3,950m to 4,550m; (ft): 12,960ft to 14,930ft
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After spending a night under the imposing Great Barranco Wall, you climb this awesome obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. For now, all eyes are still on the summit, so turn left and hike up the ridge for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu in the Swahili language means ice. The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near to the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries, and to prevent your water from freezing, you should consider carrying it in a thermal flask. Go to bed by 7 PM, and try to get a few hours of precious sleep.
SUMMIT DAY! “BARAFU CAMP TO UHURU PEAK TO MWEKA CAMP”Elevation (m): 4,550m to 5,895m (and down to 3,100m);
Elevation (ft): 14,930ft to 19,340ft (and down to 10,170ft)
Distance: 7km up / 23km down
Hiking Time: 6 – 8 hours up / 7 – 8 hours down
Habitat: Stone scree, seasonal snow and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) “You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down”. This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!
MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE TO MOSHI/ARUSHAElevation (m): 3,100m to 1,980m to 890m
Elevation (ft): 10,170ft to 6500ft to 2,920ft
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 3 – 4 hours
After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km distance. A one hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi/Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a hotel.
ARUSHA – TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARKBreakfast
At 0830hrs pick up from your hotel in Arusha and drive on tarmac road 120km to Tarangire National Park for game drives.
Lunch picnic and after lunch continue with afternoon game viewing in the park to look for Lion, Leopard, Elephant, buffalo, Python, Zebra, Oryx, Impala and more
Over 450 species of birds have been observed.
Late in the afternoon the driver will take you to Tarangire.
Dinner at Tarangire.
Overnight in Tarangire.
TARANGIRE – NGORONGORO CRATER06h30 Early breakfast
Drive 180km to Ngorongoro with a packed lunch.
Descend into the Crater, to the crater floor for both morning and afternoon game drives.
All of the BIG FIVE, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino live in this wonderful caldera, others include Zebra, Hippo, Wildebeest, Hyena and many more.
Birds includes flamingos and the Soda lake Geese, Storks, Vultures and more
Lunch will be served at a picnic site in the Crater at Ngoitoktok swamp or a Hippo pool.
After lunch proceed with game viewing
16h45 ascend the Crater and drive to Ngorongoro
Dinner at Ngorongoro
Overnight in Ngorongoro.
NGORONGORO – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARKBreakfast
Enjoy game drives en-route to the Great Serengeti National park.
Picnic lunch in the park
After lunch continue with afternoon game viewing in the park. Amongst all the other animals, you should be spotting lion, leopard, Elephant, Cheetah, Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest, Eland, Wild dog, Gazelles, Crocodile and many more. Enough birds for any bird-lover.
Dinner at the Serengeti
Overnight at the Serengeti.
SERENGETI – LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARKEarly morning game drives in the Serengeti. Back to your lodge or Camp for breakfast 08h45 breakfast, check out and drive 220 km to Manyara via Olduvai Gorge, either via Olduvai Gorge or straight to Manyara (your choice)
Lunch you have on your way
In the early evening, if you still have enough energy, either have a short walk or simply relax around the pool or around the Camp.
Dinner at Manyara
Overnight at Manyara.
LAKE MANYARA – ARUSHABreakfast
Morning game drives in Lake Manyara National Park
Lunch - 12h45 leave park and head back to your camp/lodge for a hot cooked lunch.
Return drive to Arusha
- Transport on 4WD vehicle with the pop-up roof, which enable you to spot wildlife easier
- Three meals a day on Safari
- Park entrance fees
- Driver’s allowances
- Service of an English speaking professional Driver/guide
- Camping fees, Mattresses (If Camping)
- Crater fees
- Food, cook and all kitchen utensils (If Camping)
- Mineral water 1.5lt per person per day
- Transport to and from mountain gates.
- All parks entry fees.
- All camping fees.
- Rescue fees.
- Guide and porters fees.
- Guide and porters salaries.
- All accommodations on the mountain based on three meals a day.
- Activities as per itinerary above
- International flights to or from your country of origin
- The first night on your arrival and last night after safari can be requested with us at an additional charge
- Airport transfers can be requested with us at an additional charge
- Personal insurance
- Sleeping bag (if camping)
- Olduvai Gorge fees
- Alcoholic drinks
- Serengeti Balloon (can be requested with us at an additional charge )
- All Mountain Gear (can be arranged to hire at an additional charge)
- Flying doctor’s insurance, we can arrange on request.
- Gratuities to the driver/guide
- Excluded are also any items for personal use.