AVT 2.4 KILI CLIMB (MACHAME ROUTE) AND SAFARI – 14 DAYS
This trip itinerary allows you to experience two of the most outstanding experiences Tanzania has to offer — climbing to the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and a photo safari to several of our outstanding national parks, which includes several days of “game drives” to observe and photograph our magnificent wildlife.
For our Mt. Kili climb we are taking the Machame Route, or as it is often called, the “Whiskey Route.” This is a scenically beautiful trail, longer and much gentler than Umbwe or Rongai. Our itinerary provides valuable acclimatization by having extra, but shorter walking days during the trek to the 19,340 foot summit and return. Then we visit the spectacular and understandably popular destinations of the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Lake Manyara National Parks. During the safari portion of your trip, you have the option of including one or two cultural discoveries, where you can find out about the way of life of the people living there. Many tourists pass through these areas leaving only a cloud of dust, but with the unique Africa VIP Travel connections we get to see, firsthand, some of the local culture by visiting tribal villages. There is a modest additional charge for each visit, which goes directly to the villages. Our goal is to broaden your experience of this part of Africa, and ensure more of the benefits of tourism reach the locals directly.
Day 1 – Arrival/Ilboru Safari Lodge
Upon your arrival at the Kilimanjaro Airport you will be met by a driver/guide and transferred to the Ilboru Safari Lodge, just north of nearby Arusha for the night. The lodge is located at a higher altitude than Arusha city, in order to begin your acclimatization before ascending to the higher altitudes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge.
Day 2 – Arusha National Park
Visit Arusha National Park to view wild animals found in typical safaris including African buffalo, wildebeests, dik-diks, giraffes, and various primates. Return to the lodge for a late lunch and relaxation. Before dinner meet with your guide to receive a briefing of your trek plans, and review the packing of your gear. Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge.
Day 3 – Kili trekking
From Arusha drive to the Machame Park gate, then a gentle climb up through the original montane forest carpeted with unique “busy lizzie” flowers, begonias and ferms. Your first camp will be amongst the giant heather at 3,000m/10,000ft at Machame Camp. The ascent will be 1,200m/3,600 ft and 5-6 hours of walking. Overnight at Machame Camp.
Day 4 – Kili trekking
Emerge from the giant heather zone and hike through fine open moorland to camp by the Shira Cave at 3,840m/12,650ft. Herds of eland up here (& occasional lion!) Also, there are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera which can be viewed during a half-hour optional walk in the afternoon. The ascent will be 840m/2,500ft and 4-5 hours walking. Overnight at Shira Camp.
Day 5 – Kili trekking
From Shira climb towards the main peak, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high-altitude desert to volcanic rocks and boulders. Skirting around its base and under the imposing Western Breach, descend into the sheltered Barranco Valley to the mid–way camp at 3,950m/12,900ft. This will be 5-7 hours walking and only 110m total ascent – after having climbed higher and dropping down lower to sleep and assist acclimatization. Overnight at Barranco Camp.
Day 6 – Kili trekking
Climb the steep Barranco Wall, which includes some sections of very easy scrambling, and then drop down again to the Karanga Valley at 3,800m/12,700ft. This is a short walking day, 3-4 hours, with an optional acclimatization hike in afternoon up onto the scree below the glaciers. Overnight at Karanga Camp.
Day 7 – Kili trekking
Up to Barafu Camp, perched high on a rocky bluff at 4,750m/ 15,200ft. Fantastic views across to Mawenzi peak and a bit less to climb tomorrow morning! This is another short walking day, about 4 hours, 950m, with less exertion and a good rest in the afternoon before the hard summit day. Overnight at Barafu Camp.
Day 8 – Kili trekking/summit
Around midnight, enjoy breakfast and start to climb the steep frozen scree. This is unavoidable on any route, but we aim to reach Stella Point on the crater rim by sunrise, and another 40 minutes takes you to the highest point on the continent, 5,895m/19,340ft — usually in warm sunshine. Your ascent has been 1,300m/4,000ft over the seven hours trek to the summit. Enjoy standing at the highest point on the African Continent before descending 2-3 hours back to Barafu Camp for lunch. After lunch, continue trek descent 1,700m/ 5,000ft over 3-5 hours to the Mweka Camp at 3,000m/10,000ft. This is a long, hard day, but you will feel absolutely ecstatic when you have finished! Enjoy dinner and a good night’s rest. Overnight at Mweka Camp.
Day 9 – Kili trekking
A morning descent of 4-5 hours through the forest brings us to Mweka Gate where you collect your well-earned certificate and meet our vehicle. We return to the Hotel in Arusha for a hot shower and overnight, getting ready for safari the next day. Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge.
Day 10 – Leave Arusha/arrive in Serengeti
After breakfast and a briefing about safari, leave for the Serengeti, having lunch on the way. Begin game drive as we arrive in the Serengeti, finally arriving at our luxury wilderness mobile tent camp. You will find the Serengeti to be endless rolling grasslands criss-crossed with shallow forested valleys, a virtual playground to millions of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and a number of larger predators, making this one of the world’s most famous wildlife vistas. We will enjoy dinner and overnight at our luxury wilderness mobile tent camp.
Day 11 – Serengeti game drive
Enjoy a full day game drive and lunch in Serengeti National Park, with dinner and overnight at our luxury wilderness mobile tent
Day 12 – Oldupai Gorge
Drive to Ngorongoro for lunch (approx. 4hr) via Oldupai Gorge, where what is believed to be the first human skull was discovered, and visit a historic museum . Arrive at the Lodge for an afternoon at leisure, perhaps taking a dip in the pool, with dinner and overnight at Bougainvillea Safari Lodge.
Day 13 – Ngorongoro Crater
We descend into the crater for a full day tour, including a picnic lunch. You will find that Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is a collapsed volcano, has created an incredible natural amphitheater that teems with all of the African big game. That evening we enjoy our dinner and overnight at Bougainvillea Safari Lodge.
Day 14 – Arusha/Departure
Drive to Arusha for lunch and shopping and use of a day-room and early dinner at the Ilboru Safari Lodge before being transported to the airport for your flight home, or continue your African experience with a trip extension from one of the available options.
Optional extensions include: photo safari to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and Serengeti National Parks; walking safari; chimpanzee tracking; Zanzibar adventure
General information for trekkers
Accommodations, as detailed, in comfortable and roomy hotels/lodges or tents when camping
Camping equipment, except sleeping bags and insulation mats, while Kili trekking, and we can arrange to have these items rented
Services of guides, cooks and porters
All national park entrance and camp site fees
All food — breakfasts, (packed) lunches, and dinners
High altitude emergency equipment (Garmow Bag, oxygen and pulse oximeter) during the climb
Private portable flushing and chemical toilet while trekking
Katadyn Combi Microfilter, to filter drinking water while trekking
Flying doctors evacuation service
Travel and personal accident insurance
Visa, passport, vaccinations, medicines
Expenditure for alcoholic drinks and soda at lodges/hotels
Souvenirs and personal items
Optional excursions/activities not detailed in itinerary
Any additional services requested