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Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route


Overview

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Sat, Jan 02, 2021
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Experience some of Kenya and Tanzania's most famous natural wonders on this Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid. This 16-day adventure will see you tackling the most challenging and scenic way to the roof of Africa on a trek along the Machame route to summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Once you descend, embark on an overland journey across the Serengeti plains and enjoy multiple game drives to seek out Africa's iconic animals. Descend to the floor of the gigantic Ngorongoro Crater in pursuit of elephants, lions, and elusive rhino. This tour is non-stop active action that's perfect for independent travellers who love a challenge.

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
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. The guided bike excursion is a great activity to stretch the legs, learn about the town, 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 metres / 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 full briefing and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber.

Day 9: Machame Camp
Meet your guides and porters after breakfast and take the opportunity to organise your gear before setting off on a 1-hour transfer by road to the Machame Gate – the south western entrance to the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. On the way, stop into one of the clothes lending offices of Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Projects and learn how their program, supported by the Intrepid Foundation, is assisting porters. Begin your hike around lunch time, starting with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest, where many species of brightly coloured birds can be seen. Set up camp at Machame in the mid-afternoon ready for your first night on Kilimanjaro. The huts fell into disrepair some years ago, so with the help of the porters you will set up tents for the night. Enjoy an evening meal prepared by the porters and savour the first night of sleeping outdoors.

Day 10: Shira Camp
Your second day on the mountain takes you out of the rainforest and up a steep ridge into moor land. Watch as the vegetation grows sparser as you ascend along the path to the Shira Plateau – soon, several distinct species, including the giant groundsel and lobelia, will be the only plants dominating the harsh landscape. Spend the night camping on the edge of the plateau and be treated to a golden sunset over the snow-dusted peaks of Kibo.

Day 11: Barranco Camp
Enjoy a fantastic walk as you continue through the rolling landscape and deep river valleys. The undulating landscape offers a great chance to acclimatise and as you ascend to the more rugged areas of the mountain, there are great views of the Kibo Massif and its magnificent surrounds. Tonight is spent at Barranco Camp.

Day 12: Karanga Valley
Today is an important acclimatisation day as you’re only going to be walking during the morning. First, climb the Barranco Wall (not a technical climb) and then follow the Kibo South Circuit. If the weather is clear, you can expect to have some magnificent views of Kibo's southern glaciers. Arrive at your camp around lunchtime and rest your legs as you enjoy great views by the river in the Karanga Valley.

Day 13: Barafu Camp / Uhuru Peak
From Karanga, head up to the intersection of the South Circuit and the Mweka route where you’ll start climbing up a ridge to Barafu Hut. Barafu is Swahili for ‘ice’ – it can be very cold here at night! You should arrive at Barafu around late lunchtime, allowing plenty of time to rest before the final summit attempt very early tomorrow morning.

Day 14: Uhuru Peak / Millennium Camp or Mweka Camp
At around midnight you’ll be woken by the guides with some hot tea and biscuits to give you energy before the long, difficult ascent up scree, and sometimes snow, to Stella Point (5780 metres). Pass the giant Rebmann Glacier en route and hopefully arrive at Stella Point in time for sunrise and superb views of the crater, the glacier glistening in the morning sun. From Stella it’s a further 1-hour hike along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5896 metres), the highest point in Africa. From the summit, take in unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below. After photos and back-patting, begin your descent. Back at Barafu Camp, enjoy a well-earned lunch and much thicker air! After lunch, continue on to Mweka Camp for the night and have a well-deserved rest.

Day 15: Marangu
Today you’ll continue to descend the mountain, traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to the Mweka park gate. From Mweka Camp to the Mweka gate, trek for 10 kilometres (approximately 3–4 hours) descending a total of 1300 metres (4300 feet). Enjoy some lunch after checking out of the park and then transport back to the hotel for a relaxing shower – a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Tonight, gather with your trekking companions for a meal, sharing your experiences of the past six days on the mountain.

Day 16: Marangu
With no activities or trekking planned for today, you are free to depart at any time. Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally – please speak to your leader at your welcome meeting if you wish to organise this.

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Inclusions

  • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & local dinner
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Trek Briefing
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Complimentary equipment hire (sleeping bag and walking poles) - must be requested at time of booking
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, tented camps with toilet tent & rescue services (7 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Porterage of 1 bag (9kg/20lb max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
  • Moshi - Kilimanjaro Porters Assitance Project

Meals
15 Breakfast(s) Included
13 Lunch(es) Included
14 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Basix

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Accommodations

Camping (with facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (8 nights), Cottage (1 night), Hotel (3 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.8

Ratings based off 120 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 6 reviews with comments only

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.


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