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Serengeti & Kilimanjaro


Encounter some of Africa’s most iconic natural wonders on a 15-day adventure. Safari across the vast Serengeti savanna and the floors of Ngorongoro Crater in search of the Big Five, then conquer Africa's highest peak on an epic trek to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. This is a trip for active travellers who appreciate the bounty of nature – get ready for thrills, challenges and self discovery on a journey that takes you through the literal highs and lows of Kenya and Tanzania.

15 days, from

$6,192

per person

GROUP SIZE

22 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

5
Trip code: YGOMC
Style: Basix
Theme: Overland

Details

Countries Visited:  Kenya Tanzania, United Republic Of
Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Basic Hotel (1 night), Hotel (3 nights), Mountain hut (5 nights)
Transportation: Overland vehicle , minibus , 4x4 Safari Vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 13 breakfasts
  • 12 lunches
  • 13 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 22

  • Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth, with two early-morning and two late-afternoon game drives through this spectacular wildlife arena

  • Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open-roof 4WD for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros

  • We include an acclimatisation day at Horombo Hut to give you the best chance of reaching the summit.

  • Travelling with experienced guides, the best of the mountain, and porters, you'll be in good hands, with one guide for every two passengers.

  • Rest up in comfort by night sleeping in mountain huts along the way.

  • Hike Kilimanjaro's climactic last stretch by lamplight and give yourself as much chance as possible to watch a sunrise over icefields from behind Africa’s highest peak.

  • We’re an official partner with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Hike easier knowing that while our porters are taking care of you, there’s someone looking out for them.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, and you can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important briefing. If you arrive early, perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya, where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.

Day 2: Kisii

Board your safari vehicle and travel west (approximately 8–9 hours). Today’s destination is near the hilltop town of Kisii, which will be the last chance to stock up on supplies before heading into Tanzania. Crossing the incredibly scenic Great Rift Valley on your way to the tea-growing highlands is a fantastic introduction to the landscapes of Kenya. You will pass through the ancient homeland of the Maasai. Keep a look out for these tall tribesmen dressed in distinctive scarlet robes as they tend to their prized herds of cattle. The roads on the way are pretty rough, but there will be chances to stop and stretch your legs, including a local homestead lunch in the town of Kaprong. The food for the lunch is grown and sourced locally, plus the lunch is a great way to learn from and interact with the women from the local village.

Day 3: Lake Victoria

This morning, stop at Kisii for a visit to understand the work and art of soapstone carving in a local workshop. Travel towards the Kenya–Tanzania border and to the shores of Lake Victoria (approximately 7–8 hours). This is not only Africa's largest lake – it's the largest tropical lake in the world. Its shores are shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Visit an African marketplace and meet some locals or you can simply chill out on the lakeside sand with a cold drink. Make the most of the ATM and local market to stock up for your next three days of adventuring in the wilderness. You will camp on the shores of the lake tonight, at one of its least visited campgrounds, on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma.

Day 4: Serengeti National Park

Travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours). Enter the Serengeti and enjoy a game drive and picnic lunch en route to your campsite. The wide-open plains of the Serengeti see myriad colours during the year – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – but one thing is a constant: this never-ending landscape is home to thousands upon thousands of animals travelling as herds across the plains. This region gets its name from the local Maasai word ‘siringet’, meaning the place where the land moves on forever, and you’ll begin to understand why on your game drive today. Enjoy a picnic lunch, then head to your campsite which is right in the action – located within the park itself! At night, listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep.

Day 5: Serengeti National Park

Start the day nice and early with a game drive at dawn. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. This morning, there’s also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity, you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, where you’ll get some amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the vastness of the plains and the early morning movements of the herds. After landing, dig into a delicious bush breakfast, then return to your camp. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing with your herd – just as the animals do – depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild, returning in time for dinner.

Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater

Enjoy a leisurely game drive and picnic lunch on your way out of the park today. Soak up final views of the animals and landscapes that make the national park such an incredible spot, before entering the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Your destination today is the rim of the crater about 3 hours away. Your campsite overlooks jagged volcanic peaks and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below – you can be sure that there are few campsites in the world with a better view than this!

Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater – Mto wa Mbu

A gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals. Among these are endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent wildlife viewing all year round, and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. Later, join the local community for a guided afternoon stroll around the farming areas, milling machine and local homes before enjoying a traditional meal. Your campsite this evening is located in Mto wa Mbu.

Day 8: Marangu

Bidding farewell to your truck and crew, this morning we make our way back to Arusha where will catch a morning shuttle bus from Arusha to Marangu in the foothills (1300 m/4500 ft) of Mt Kilimanjaro (approximately 4 hours). This section of the trip is unaccompanied by a leader. The shuttle departs from the Impala Hotel at around 9 am once your group drops you off. In the early evening there is a group meeting and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber.

Day 9: Mandara Hut

Stop into one of the offices of the Intrepid Foundation-supported Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Learn how various projects support the people who are helping you tackle Mt Kilimanjaro, making sure these hardworking individuals are fairly compensated and safe while they work. Not only will you gain an appreciation for the work of the folks who make the trek possible, but you’ll also be able to walk easier with the knowledge you’re supporting ethical trekking. Continue to Marangu Gate, the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park (1860 m) and meet your guides and porters. With introductions and assignment of porter loads taken care of, it’s time to embark on the trek of a lifetime.

Day 10: Horombo Hut

Your second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The total distance from Mandara to the Horombo huts is 12 kilometres (approximately 5–7 hours). Today you will see the rainforest give way to open and rolling alpine meadows dotted with giant heather trees. Once out of the forest canopy, the twin snow-tipped peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi lie directly ahead. These are two of the three great cones of Kilimanjaro (the other being Shira). During the day’s walk we will traverse several ravines before reaching the hut, which is set in a rocky valley. There is time to enjoy a wide variety of vegetation and changing landscapes on the way to Horombo Hut (3780 metres). We will spend the next two nights here at the hut.

Day 11: Horombo Hut

After breakfast, walk towards Mawenzi Hut, passing the unusual Zebra Rocks on the way. It’s a steep climb up a grassy slope, but well worth it: the views over the area towards Kibo are second-to-none. Afterwards, return to Horombo for lunch. Spend the afternoon relaxing and acclimatising to the altitude, or ask your guides about short walks in the area. Take advantage of the rest day here and drink plenty of water – the next couple of days will be pretty intense!

Day 12: Kibo Hut / Mawenzi Peak

Today you’ll walk the 10 kilometres or so from Horombo to Kibo Hut (approximately 5–7 hours). As the journey progresses you will notice the landscape gradually becoming more rugged and rocky, and the air noticeably thinner. We will have to soften our pace a little to accommodate these environmental changes. Marvel at giant groundsels and lobelias while you travel across the sparse moorland. Skirt Mawenzi Peak and marvel at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle, reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4740 m), take the opportunity to have an early night in preparation for a very early (or late?) wake-up call.

Day 13: Uhuru Peak / Horombo Hut

Your guides will wake you up at 11 pm and hot tea will be served. Prepare for the last leg of the trek – to the summit. The distance from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is six kilometres (approximately 6–8 hours), and the descent to Horombo will be approximately the same amount of time. The trek begins beneath the stars as you zigzag your way up a large scree slope, guided only by torch light, to reach Gilman's Point (5685 m). With some luck, arrive in time for breathtaking views of the sun rising behind Mawenzi Peak. This is the stretch that most people find the hardest, and you should be prepared for a very cold morning. The dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields of the crater will make the early start worthwhile. For those who still have the energy, it's a further walk (approximately 2 hours) along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5896 m), the highest point in Africa. From here there are amazing views of the crater, ice fields and plains below. After photos and time to catch your breath, descend back to Horombo Hut for a well-earned rest.

Day 14: Marangu

Continue your descent through alpine meadows and rainforest to the park gate. The distance from Horombo to Marangu Gate is 20 kilometres (approximately 5–6 hours). Here your transport awaits and you will return to the hotel for a relaxing shower – a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Over a celebratory meal we can relive and share our experiences of the past five days on the mountain.

Day 15: Marangu

There are no activities or trekking planned for today. A transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally – please speak to your group leader about this at the welcome meeting.