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14 Day Climb and Safari
per person based on double occupancy
Available Upon Request
Deposit: $1000 Meeting Place: Arusha, Tanzania Gateway City: Arusha, Tanzania Activity Rating: Strenuous Age Range: 16 – 70
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a reasonable goal for an active person who has always dreamed of reaching the highest point on the African continent. We invite you to come to Africa with us and realize your dream!
ROAM has established an alliance with our Tanzanian guides who run our base of operations in Arusha. Our guides are extremely experienced and are delightful human beings. They know every step of the way and will give you the confidence and pace needed to maximize both your enjoyment and effort.
After careful consideration of the pros and cons of each route up the mountain, we have decided on a rather unique approach, which offers several distinct advantages and is definitely the most beautiful route. The Modified Shira Route effectively combines the best of the Shira Route with the most scenic section of the Machame route. This route starts at the Londorossi gate on the northwest edge of the Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park.
The more common route up the mountain, the Marangu-Coca Cola route, only encompasses one section of the mountain and has become quite crowded. The Modified Shira Route may be a little more strenuous and longer than some of the other routes, but the extra hard work will pay off with better acclimatization and less crowded camps. The shorter, “easier” routes have a much lower success rate than our 7 day climb. We have designed our itinerary to include 4 nights above 12,000 feet with two relatively short hiking days in between thus allowing your body to rest and adjust to the altitude.
We will enjoy the beautiful and extraordinarily diverse vegetation that enhances the scenery along this route as we traverse around the mountain, viewing it from many different angles. We would especially like to note that our route allows us to focus not just on the summit, but the journey itself. The ROAM approach to the Kilimanjaro trek is just as much about getting to know the mountain’s many sides and moods as getting to the top. Everyone will reach a summit – whether it is Uhuru Peak, one’s own personal highest point, or just the satisfaction of spending 7 days on one of the most spectacular mountains of the world.
The safari includes the best parks of East Africa with very tasteful, high-end Safari lodges. With highly qualified guides and only 4 people to a Land Rover, you will be sure to see an abundance of wildlife, in style and comfort.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Transfer to Arusha for dinner and overnight at Arumero Lodge
- A day to recover from your long flight. Enjoy walking trails through the coffee plantations or do some souvenir shopping in town
- Enter the gates of Kilimanjaro National Park and begin hiking through the lush rainforest. 4-5 hours hiking
- The day’s trek begins with a steep hike out of camp through a new type of vegetation and volcanic rock. 5-6 hours hiking
- Ascend out of Shira Camp. Kili will be right in front of us throughout the hike. 6-7 hours hiking
- Wake up to hot tea and breakfast and immediately make our assault on the steep Barranco Wall, fondly called “The Breakfast Climb”. 4-6 hours hiking
- After climbing out of the Karanga Valley, the trail ascends a ridge to our highest camp yet, at 15500 feet. 3-4 hours hiking
- Rise and shine at 11:30 pm! Begin climbing by starlight, until we reach Uhuru Peak, (Freedom Peak) at 5895 meters / 19,340 feet, the highest point on the continent of Africa. 11-15 hours hiking
- Hike down the Mweka Trail through the rainforest and arrive in the village of Mweka
- Leave for Tarangire National Park – famous for its high concentration of elephant herds and tree climbing pythons.
- Explore Tarangire National Park
- Drive to Ngorongoro Crater passing Lake Manyara on the way. Have your camera ready for fantastic panoramic views across the volcano-studded floor of the Great Rift Valley.
- Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater and enjoy a full day game drive.
- After breakfast we start our drive back to Arusha, stopping to take photos of Massai villages and a visit to the Reptile Farm. We arrive in time for you to wash up before your flight home.
- Experienced professional guides
- All transfers outlined in the itinerary
- All lodging as described
- All meals as outlined in the itinerary
- 4 season expedition tents
- Park fees and necessary permits
What to Expect on the Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. The itinerary is subject to change as it is dependent on weather, National Park notices, and participant’s ability. The following is an example of what your trip might be like:
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), purchase your tourist visa ($100 cash) and go through customs before collecting your luggage. You will be met at the arrival hall by a ROAM staffer who will escort you to the Arumeru Lodge. The lodge lays 7km from the center of Arusha and sits on a 40 acre coffee plantation complete with beautifully laid gardens and walk ways. From the main building there is an incredible view of Mt Meru, the second tallest mountain of Tanzania. The restaurant and bar are under a classic African thatch roof that is tastefully complemented by a peaceful setting for the swimming pool, just a short walk across the manicured lawn in the center of the property. The rooms are quaint cottages, each with its own veranda and private bath. You will love this start to your stay in Africa! Elevation – 1,500 meters / 4920 feet. (D)
Many people wisely choose to take the opportunity to rest from the long journey as well as mentally and physically prepare for your Kilimanjaro ascent. However, you do have the choice of visiting the town of Arusha, which is culturally interesting and offers shopping opportunities. Or, you may choose to do an introductory game drive to the nearby Arusha National Park. (This game drive is not included in your trip price.) If you opt for the game drive, you will be picked up in a comfortable safari vehicle and drive one hour to the Arusha National Park. This is a beautiful, lush, relatively small park at the base of Mt. Meru with incredible views of Kilimanjaro. You will enjoy the forested foothills and the open, grassy calderas, which offer perfect viewing of cape buffalo and other herd animals, such as elephant, zebra, giraffe, impala, sable, waterbuck, bushbuck, and warthog. The forest is also a favorite habitat of blue monkeys, baboons, and Colobus monkeys. Return to Arumeru Lodge. Elevation – 1,500 meters / 4,920 feet. (B,D)
Day Three: Today we begin our climb! Day packs and poles ready!
Day 1 of trekking – The gate to Shira 1 Camp: After a hearty breakfast, we drive approximately 2 hours up to the town of Londorossi where we check into Kilimanjaro National Park. It is a short drive on a steep track through farmland and plantations up to Morum Gate. We climb steadily through shrub forest and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3,350 meters / 10,990 feet). The views across the surrounding plains open up as we climb to our first camp in the center of the Shira Plateau. Shira 1 Camp has great views and fewer crowds than the first night of the other routes. The porters will greet us at camp with tea and cookies, tents will be set up and we will celebrate our first night on the flanks of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We carry our own bathroom tent, which is much nicer than the public facilities on the mountain. Breakfasts and dinners are served in our roomy dining tent (Mountain Hardware Space Station) and our dining chairs all have back support to provide the most comfort possible. Our porters will also provide hot water in washbasins so you can freshen up before meals and at bedtime! (Camp at 3,610 meters / 11,843 feet) 4-5 hours of hiking. (B,L,D)
Day 2 of trekking – Shira 1 Camp to Shira Camp: This is a gradual day to help acclimatization and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. Make way for the porters and they pass by with our camp in pieces on their backs. After you arrive at Shira Camp, there’s an option to take a short walk to see the caves that used to serve as shelter for porters. The sun will soon set behind the rugged mountain ridge of the Shira Plateau casting a purple hue over the valley. (Camp at 3,840 meters / 12,598 feet.) 5-6 hours hiking. (B,L,D)
Day 3 of trekking – Shira Camp to Barranco Camp: We ascend out of Shira Camp at a nice slow pace, as this is the highest we’ve been yet. Kibo is in front of us throughout the hike. After a lunch stop, we detour up a steep slope to the impressive Lava Tower, a tall, black volcanic mass of rock. Some choose to scramble to the top, being rewarded with beautiful views. Or, you may opt to rest and relax! On the steep hillside above us we can see the Western Breach trail which goes directly to the Kibo Glacier. After admiring the Lava Tower, we descend down to a cold glacial stream, refill our water bottles and continue on and around the mountain. At this point, we continue to circumnavigate Kilimanjaro and view this beautiful mountain from many different angles. After hiking across a sparse lava field, we descend to the beautiful Barranco Camp. There is another cold stream flowing through this scenic valley with the impressive Barranco Wall on the opposite side. (Camp at 3,950 meters / 12,959 feet.) 6-8 hours hiking. (B,L,D)
Day 4 of trekking – Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp: Wake up to hot tea and breakfast and immediately make our assault on the steep Barranco Wall, fondly called “the Breakfast Climb” as it is our first challenge of the day. We will see Kibo from a new angle and have a nice, fairly short walk through high desert terrain and over several ridges to the Karanga River Valley Camp. We camp beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. This is a “short” day of hiking so one may choose to do a hike up to the scree field and then “ski” back down or just rest in camp with a good book. (Camp at 4,200 meters / 13,780 feet.) 4-6 hours hiking. (B,L,D)
Day 5 of trekking: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp: After climbing out of the Karanga Valley, the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Camp, our highest camp yet, at 15,980 feet. From this dry camp (there are no nearby streams) we will be making our ascent to the top. We plan to arrive early in order to adequately rest before our 11:30 pm wake-up call. (Camp at 4,600 meters / 15,091 feet.) 3-4 hours hiking. (B,L,D)
Day Eight: 3,360 feet up, 9,172 feet down…3.12 miles up, 7.5 miles down!
Day 6 of trekking: Barafu Camp to summit and back down to Mweka Camp: Rise and shine at 11:30 pm! Dressed in our warmest gear and with plenty of water (4 liters each), snacks, and headlamps we meet in the dining tent for some tea and cookies. We begin climbing by starlight using our headlamps, the local guides always reminding us to go “polee-polee” (slowly-slowly). This portion of the climb is, as you might imagine, the most demanding. This is the marathon day! The steepest section arrives just before Stella Point. We ascend to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers. The last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and ski poles or a walking stick is useful for balance. From here another hour leads to Uhuru Peak, (Freedom Peak) at 5,895 meters / 19,340 feet, the highest point on the continent of Africa. After watching the sunrise and snapping plenty of photos, we descend back down to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch. We then continue down the Mweka trail (used for descent only) through the giant heather zone to arrive near sunset at the Mweka Camp. This is a festive yet dusty camp on the edge of the rainforest where you might want to have a little extra money handy to purchase beers and/or sodas. (Camp at 3,100 meters / 10,170 feet.) 11-15 hours hiking. (B,L,D)
Day 7 of trekking: Mweka Camp to Mweka Village: Four to five hour hike down the Mweka trail through the rainforest. Arrive in the village of Mweka where there are plenty of wood curios, batiks, T-shirts, and souvenirs for sale. We have a delicious hot lunch in the village then get on the bus for an hour-long drive back to the Moivaro Lodge, which will be a welcome, clean sanctuary. After showers and rest, a delightful feast awaits us as we celebrate our accomplishment! (B,L,D)
Tarangire National Park
After breakfast the driver guide will drive from the hotel to Tarangire National Park. The third largest National Park in Tanzania, its a scenic sanctuary for an usually large elephant population. Majestic baobab trees dwarf the animals that feed beneath them. Animals concentrate along the Tarangire River in high numbers as it’s the only permanent water supply in the area. There is a great diversity of wildlife including Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, and up six thousand elephant. Half day game drives in the park and overnight at Maramboi Tented Camp
Tarangire to Serengeti National Park full day game drive
You will have breakfast at the lodge before we embark on an early morning game drive in the park. The migration consisting of almost 2 million animals, is on the move all year around. You will be able to see this impressive phenomenon. Naturally it attracts a mass of predators and you may be able to see band of lioness gather for a hunt. You will return to your lodge for sumptuous lunch and gather strength for an afternoon game drive and overnight at Serengeti Tortils tented Camp http://www.tortiliscamps.com/index.html
Full day in Serengeti migration routine
Early morning game drive to see nocturnal predators returning from hunting and animals waking up in early morning light in the morning. After breakfast continue game drive, on your way to Naabi Hill Gate and towards Ngorongoro conservation area. Continue with game drive in Crater and overnight at Ngorongoro Ang`ata Tented Camp
After breakfast you will descent into the crater for a wonderful game drive (with picnic lunch) within Ngorongoro Crater on world Heritage site holding a permanent population of more than 30,000 animals. As only very few of those migrate in and out of crater with its 2000 ft, high walls, you can expect to see lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, flamingos, jackals, rhinos, antelopes, many birds and other species. The crater is also home of the rare black rhino almost extinct in Tanzania. With a bit of luck you will see the “Big Five” during the game drive and late back to overnight at http://www.moivaro.com/lodges/tanzania/migunga-tented-camp
If your flight will be early morning on this day we will transfer to Arusha and will overnight in a nice lodge out of town at Moivaro Lodge, Arusha
(B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D = Dinner / Beverages are not included with meals at the hotels.)
You will find a charming atmosphere together with every comfort: an ideal spot to enjoy the impressive flora and fauna of East Africa. Moivaro Lodge is situated right in the heart of beautiful, natural scenery and yet is only 7 km from the town of Arusha.
Moivaro Lodge ensures that you are looked after in a unique, friendly and peaceful environment, helping you to prepare for your safaris and cosseting you on your return in the evening. Relax and enjoy the beautiful vista of Mount Meru from the comfortable veranda, or perhaps to laze at the pool nestling in the midst of tropical trees and coffee plants.
NEAR TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Kikoti is a luxury, tented camp that recaptures the time-honored splendor of the traditional safari camp of yesteryear, when comfort was defined by superior service and campfire hospitality. Each of the ten large tents has sewn-in floors and plumbed en-suite facilities and have been laid out in the traditional safari manner with wooden beds, fresh linen and a verandah from which to admire the views of the Silale wetlands in the valley below. Kikoti’s proximity to Tarangire National Park allows a range of activities that include nature walks, foot safaris and extended bush trekking with rangers, all exhilarating ways to get back to the primeval state of nature, uncovering the dens, feeding habits and waterholes of the African wildlife and learning more about the symbiotic intricacies of the eco-system that surrounds you. The Maasais invite you into their homesteads for an insight into the customs and lifestyle of this fascinating ethnic group or to join in the traditional dancing around the campfire lit in the kraal area. A community conservation fee is paid to the local villages for every passenger bednight and is used to develop community-chosen development projects such as schools, water boreholes, roads and dispensaries.
Kikoti’s rooms are beautiful raised luxury bandas, with spectacular views of the hills, looking down into the national park. In total, there are 8 double rooms and 10 twin rooms, built from natural materials in tune with their environment, with a design that echoes safari tents from years past.
Simple and elegant, the rooms are decorated in warm caramel and creams, with stylish en-suite bathrooms. Water is tanked in on a weekly basis as there is no natural supply by the camp but hot water is available and the lights run from solar power.
There are touches of local craftsmanship everywhere, the woven rugs, the bed frames made from snot apple wood and African ebony, found outside Tarangire National Park and the thatched roofs, recalling the safari tents of years past. The beds are wonderfully comfortable, perfect to sink into after a long day’s safari. Alternatively, you can sit out on your private verandah, in one of the wicker chairs and watch the world pass by. Wildebeest, water buffalo, hyenas and zebra have been known to wander underneath the rooms, providing a close up wildlife experience.
NEAR NGORONGORO CRATER
Known as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ the Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s best-known wildlife arenas. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers a unique biosphere, which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. Deep within the Crater, enclosed by towering walls, some 25,000 large mammals wander the plains, lakes and forests of ‘the land that time forgot’, dominated by enormous bull elephants, rhinos and lions.
About the Region
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa whose formation started 750,000 years ago. In 1973 the mountain was reclassified a national park, having been declared a Game Reserve in the 1910s by the German colonial government and then a Forest Reserve in 1921. Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Tanzania. Rising abruptly from the open planes, capped by snow and frequently fringed by clouds, it is one of Africa’s classic images. The diameter of its base is 40 miles. Kilimanjaro is a dormant, but not extinct volcano. Ominous rumbles can some times be heard and gases emerge from the fume holes in the crater. Although just 3 degree’s south of the Equator, the peaks of both Kibo and Mawenzi have permanent caps of snow and ice. During their time on the mountain, climbers pass from a tropical to arctic environment in just a few days. The various trails first pass through lush rain forest before reaching heather and open moorland where giant lobelia and huge, cactus-like groundsel grow. Above this moorland is the almost lunar landscape of an alpine desert, which stretches between the two peaks of Kibo, the flat-topped dome at the center and Mawenzi, a group of jagged points and pinnacles on the eastern side. Inhospitable as this ‘moonscape’ may seem, animals such as herds of elands thrive there.
Mount Kilimanjaro lies on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, just south of the equator. To the west lies the Great African Rift Valley, created by tremendous tectonic forces that also gave birth to a string of other volcanoes. One of these, Mount Kenya, was originally much higher than Kilimanjaro. The three summits of Mount Kilimanjaro, Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi are all of very recent origin. Shira and Mawenzi both have suffered considerable erosion and only jagged peaks remain. Kibo, the central, youngest and highest peak has survived as an almost perfect cone.
Although East Africa and nearby Olduvai Gorge is thought to be the cradle of mankind it is unlikely that early man would have been attracted to the steep and cold slopes of Kilimanjaro at a time when it was probably very active and dangerous. A Wachagga legend talks of Mawenzi receiving fire for its pipe from his younger brother Kibo. The Wachagga who live on the fertile volcanic soils around the base of the mountain probably only came to the area about 300 years ago thus this legend suggests very recent activity. Another of their legends talks of demons and evil spirits living on the mountain and guarding immense treasures. Stories are told of a king who decided to go to the top; few of his party survived and those who did had damaged arms and legs.
Arab and Chinese traders and historians make mention of a giant mountain lying inland from Mombasa or Zanzibar but few early traders ventured into the interior of the continent. Slave traders passed below it and sometimes raided the villages of the Wachagga but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that a more serious interest was taken in the mountain and attempts were made to scale it. In 1848 Johann Rebmann, a missionary from Germany, saw Mount Kilimanjaro while crossing the plains of Tsavo. His guide talked of “baridi” – cold, and of tales how a group of porters were sent up the mountain to bring back the silver or other treasures from the summit. They came back only with water. Rebmann’s report stimulated great interest in Germany and in the following years several expeditions were organized, first by Baron von Decken then later by Dr. Hans Meyer who finally stood on the highest point on the 5th of October 1889. Mount Kilimanjaro now attracts many thousands of walkers each year. On the 1st of January 2000 over 1000 people reached the summit to see the sun rise over a new Millennium.
Often described as one of the wonders of the world, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978. The worlds largest intact volcanic caldera, it is a natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s densest animal populations. Grasslands, swamps, lakes, rivers, mountains and wildlife are all there. The approach road winds up and up through the densely forested outer slopes to Heroes Point where there is a spectacular viewpoint over the 260 square km crater floor lying 600 m below. The Gol Mountains are at the far rim, Lake Magadi in the center with Seneto springs to the left. Gorigor swamp lies to the right and Lerai Forest in the foreground. Access to the crater is strictly monitored, with only three roads (two of them, one-way,) to the crater floor. The authorities rigidly forbid tourists from entering the crater before 07.00 and they must leave before 18.00.It is estimated that there are up to 25,000 large mammals in the 100 square miles of the crater floor so you always see many animals on a game drive. They are mainly grazers but carnivores include a population of about 100 lions and approx. 400 hyenas. Open grassland covers most of the crater floor and this supports large concentrations of wildebeest and zebra.