DAY 1 – KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – MOSHI
Your first night is to be spent at Lodge in Moshi-Kilimanjaro. If you have chosen to be picked-up by us from Kilimanjaro International Airport, your Adansonia safari driver will be waiting to meet and welcome you and take you to your lodge in Arusha to relax after your flight.
DAY 2 – MOSHI – MACHAME GATE – MACHAME CAMP
After an early breakfast (07.00), we leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Machame Gate for around 10.00, passing en-route the house of the village chief. We arrive ready for registration and the start of our trek. Excitement builds as the porters load up equipment and you meet the trekking team who will accompany you up the mountain. The Machame-Mweka Route (normally just referred to as the Machame Route) approaches from the mountain’s south-western side. Your first day of walking, starting at an altitude of 1800 metres, will end at a height of over 3000 metres, cover a distance of 11 km and take around 4.5 to 5 hours of actual walking time. The beginning of today’s walk is characterised by a wide track that winds its way up through dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss. As the route becomes steeper and narrower, so the vegetation changes and the appearance of flowers such as impatiens kilimanjari and impatiens pseudoviola introduce some bright colours to the scenery. The cloud forest trees can reach over 25 metres in height. A picnic lunch is enjoyed around 13.00, water bottles can be refilled and then our walk continues.
The emblematic giant heathers appear as you reach heathland and the forest thins out. You get your first glimpse of Kibo peak. Machame Camp is reached at around 17.00. You will be surprised by the richness of the birdlife here. Dinner is served at 19.30.
DAY 3 – MACHAME CAMP – SHIRA CAVE
You will soon become used to the early, 07.00 breakfast and today we aim to leave the camp at 08.30. We have a further 800 metres of ascent, finishing the day at 3800 metres, and although the overall distance is short (5km) we will spend around 4.5 to 5 hours actually walking. Our path today is dusty, narrow and steep. The vegetation is initially made up of forests of heather but soon we will encounter the first of the giant groundsels. The climb before our midday picnic lunch is steep, but there are then great views to the south and to Kibo, all to savour as you eat. With today’s early start and the short distance, we should be at the camp by 14.00, by which time we will have met the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. Once
at the camp, you will have plenty of time to admire sights such as the so-called Shira Cathedral, Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before your dinner at 18.00.
DAY 4 – SHIRA CAVE – BARRANCO CAMP
Today’s trek is longer than yesterday’s, though our overall gain in height is modest. Starting at 3800 metres, by the time we reach camp this afternoon we will only be 140 metres higher, though in between our start and finish we climb up to the base of the famous Lava Tower at 4627 metres, before descending again to our camp. The benefits for the purposes of acclimatization today are enormous, as you climb high and then descend again for the overnight stop. The overall distance of around 10km means that we will actually be walking for around 6.5 to 7 hours, excluding breaks. Once again, our day will begin with breakfast at 07.00 and departure at 08.30, when we begin our trek across the stony landscape of Shira Plateau. The vegetation is sparse at first, with just a few
hardy lichens to admire. You climb towards the Lava Tower and your picnic lunch is taken at 13.00. After passing the highpoint of the day by the Lava Tower, we descend down to the Barranco Camp. Once at camp, which we expect to reach by 16.00, you should take time to admire the views of the southern face of Kibo as well as the Heim Glacier. Dinner tonight is served at 19.00
DAY 5 – BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP
Today we breakfast slightly later (07.30) and our walk is short, being only 4km but still taking between 3.5 and 4 hours of walking time. Our departure time today will be 08.30 and we will enjoy a hot lunch at 13.00 at Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before dinner at 18.00. Our altitude gain today is only 160 metres. At the beginning, we encounter the hardest part of today’s stage as we have to scramble up the near-vertical face of the Barranco Wall (also commonly referred to as the ‘Breakfast Wall’ as you tackle it right after your breakfast!). At the top of this climb, you will be rewarded with views of the Heim Glacier. After this, the rest of
today’s walk becomes a bit easier as we first descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp.
DAY 6 – KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP
Another short day -in terms of distance – begins with our breakfast at the camp at 07.30 and another 08.30 departure. Today we will ascend about 500 metres in a distance of around 5km and walking time once again is between 3.5 and 4 hours. We will be aiming to arrive the Barafu Camp by 13.00, when we will be rewarded with a hot lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 17.30, giving you time to get to bed early. After leaving Karanga, today’s stage climbs steadily, passing through barren, rocky landscape, with the Decken and Kersten glaciers visible away to your left. At the top of the climb, the landscape remains bleak as you descend into a valley and you get your first sight of another glacier, Rebmann. At the end of this valley is today’s goal, the Barafu Camp, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk.
DAY 7 – BARAFU CAMP – UHURU (SUMMIT) – MWEKA CAMP
Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro! Our schedule for our ‘Summit Day’ is of course very different. Rising at 23.00, we take our tea and biscuits (23.30) before a midnight departure. The day starts with the long, tough climb from Barafu at 4600 metres to Stella Point at 5745 metres; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From there it is another 150 metres of ascent and 45 minutes’ walk to the summit. Our goal is to reach the summit by around 07.00 then celebrate reaching the top, take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-alifetime experience. After the summit, we return to Barafu, where we rest for a couple of hours, take a hot lunch and then leave again at 13.30 to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 metres) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive at 17.00 and take our dinner at 19.00. (In total, we cover around 17km today with about 13 hours of walking.)
DAY 8 – MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – ARUSHA
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00 and at 08.00 you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’ Departure is at 09.00 and you descend down to Mweka Gate at an altitude of 1640 metres, where you will be served a hot lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to return you back to Planet Lodge in Arusha, where you can choose to relax – or celebrate!
DAY 9 – ARUSHA TO LAKE MANYARA
Today, your safari really begins as we start early from your Arusha hotel for our pleasant drive westwards to Lake Manyara National Park. First of all, we enjoy this morning with an introduction to northern Tanzanian culture, taking a visit to fascinating Mto wa Mbu village. Incredibly, this ‘village’ is actually home to over eighteen thousand inhabitants, drawn from 120 different tribes. Today is a superb opportunity to find out about their everyday lives, visiting their farms, huts, artisan shops and the local market, with your expert driver-guide taking good care of you and sharing his detailed knowledge of tribal culture. We enjoy lunch in the village, before exploring the stunning landscape of the park, looking for wildlife on the plains, in the acacia woodlands and by the shores of the shallow alkaline lake. Lake Manyara is rightly famous for its tree-climbing lions, but they’re far from the only highlight: by the end of an exhilarating afternoon, you could easily have spotted elephant, hippo, wildebeest, buffalo and giraffe, plus many other species. Pink-hued flamingos, one of 400 bird species recorded here, provide a splash of colour. At the end of the afternoon, it’s back
to your lodge for some relaxation and a delicious dinner.
DAY 10 – LAKE MANYARA TO SERENGETI
After breakfast, we collect our lunch boxes and leave Lake Manyara National Park. Our journey takes us west and north, our exciting destination being a name familiar to everyone – the Serengeti! Along the way, the sheer scale of the territory and the raw beauty of the landscapes reveal themselves and your driver-guide will help you to spot animals and birds. This is just a preview of things to come, for the Serengeti is home to what is possibly the world’s greatest gathering of wildlife. After enjoying a picnic lunch, you’ll be eager to pursue some more great wildlife-spotting opportunities in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set in the grasslands, savannahs, woods and mountain scenery, which creature will show itself next? These ‘endless plains’ are home to elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, hippo and crocodile…the adventure has truly begun. At the end of the afternoon, exhausted and exhilarated, it’s back to your chosen accommodation for dinner and to talk about the many fantastic experiences you’ve had today.
DAY 11- SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Waking up in the Serengeti is something really special. Sights, sounds and smells of Africa are all around us, and ahead is a full day of adventure in the world’s most famous national park. After breakfast, we start today with the morning section of our game drive in Serengeti National Park, marvelling at the stunning scenery, ever changing light and always entertaining wildlife, all explained to you by your expert driver-guide. After our picnic lunch, we set off again, searching for wildlife in this awe-inspiring park. Serengeti’s wonders evolve subtly as the day progresses. The myriad animals and birds are the ‘stars of the show’ and Nature’s dramas can
unfold at any time. Of course, the animals don’t work to any schedule, so we may find lion or leopard, elephant and zebra, cheetah and antelope at any time on our drives. At the end of the afternoon, we return to the comfort of the lodge for dinner and some much needed rest. Note : For those who have booked the Balloon Safari for today, you will be picked up from the lodge at 05.00 hours for a 06.00 hours departure. After your 90 minute aerial adventure, bush breakfast and champagne, your driver will pick you up for your full-day game drive.
DAY 12 – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK TO NGORONGORO
The exciting sounds of Africa will rouse you from your sleep. We make the most of the day with a 08:00 start, heading off on our morning game-drive. Later, the adventure will continue when we travel up to Ngorongoro, another African icon. It’s almost impossible to spend too much time in Serengeti and with more than 1.6 million herbivores – plus thousands of predators – there’s always something new and interesting to see. The changing seasons and natural light simply add to the diversity. This morning your driver-guide will help you spot some more of the many species at Serengeti, teaching you about their fascinating habits and habitats. After a pleasant picnic lunch, it’s time to drive eastwards to visit another spectacular setting for Tanzania’s wildlife, the famous Ngorongoro Crater. On arrival, settle in at the lodge while a tasty, hot dinner is prepared for you. Tomorrow, the wonders of the crater await us.
DAY 13 – NGORONGORO CRATER TO AIRPORT
Today may be ‘departure day’, but there will be plenty of time to enjoy another true spectacle, before your thoughts turn to home. Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as a wonder of the world and your early morning game drive shows you why. First, there’s the volcanic caldera (the world’s largest), full of grassland, forest and swamp, a setting of jaw-dropping beauty. Secondly, the permanent water of the crater floor supports a resident population of more than 25,000 large mammals. Here you’ll find many of the reasons you chose to come on safari: elephant, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, wallowing hippo, waterbuck, baboons… even the rare black rhino finds shelter here. Sharing this awesome space with the animals are the Maasai, grazing their cattle in an area which has been a separate conservation area since 1956 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. This harmonious cohabitation of man and beast makes Ngorongoro unique in Tanzania and your driver guide will be pleased to explain this incredible co-existence to you. After your morning game drive, we have our picnic lunch in the crater before we return to the airport for your flight Home