DAY 1: ARRIVE IN TANZANIA.
Arrive anytime at Kilimanjaro International Airport there will be a private transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Marangu at Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort, where the rest of the day is at leisure.
Dinner and overnight at Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort: Half board.
DAY 2 : RONGAI ONE (2,600 M); 3-4 HOURS WALKING.
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Marangu National Park gate, we transfer by Landrover to Rongai. The climb begins from Nale Moru (1,950 m) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp, Rongai One, is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600 m) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
DAY 3: KIKELEWA CAMPSITE (3,600 M); 6-7 HOURS WALKING.
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450 m) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern icefields on the crater rim. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Kikelewa campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant senecios near Kikelewa Caves (3,600 m).
DAY 4: MAWENZI TARN (4,330 M); 3-4 HOURS WALKING.
A short but steep climb is rewarded by superb all round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation. [3-4 hours walking]
DAY 5: KIBO CAMPSITE (4,700 M); 5-6 HOURS WALKING.
We cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4,700 m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night.
DAY 6: HOROMBO HUT (3.720); 11-15 HOURS WALKING.
We will start the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. We plod very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685 m) we will rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (4,700 m) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, we continue the descent to reach Horombo Camp (3,720 m).
DAY 7: MARANGU GATE (1,830 M); 5-6 HOURS WALKING.
A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. We then continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1,830 m).
The returning transfer will be waiting at Marangu Gate to Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort.
Dinner and overnight stay at The African Tulip: Fall board.
DAY 8: LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Today we drive to Lake Manyara National Park for a full day of game drives. This is one of Tanzania’s smaller parks but still offers a rewarding and diverse safari experience. The lakeshore at Manyara teems with birdlife, and while you are looking for the birds, you might spot one of the elusive tree-climbing lions. There are a surprising number of other large mammals and the striking cliffs on the Rift escarpment form a dramatic backdrop. Late afternoon we make a short journey from the park to our Luxury lodge at Karatu.
Dinner and overnight at Eileen’s Trees Inn: Fall board.
DAY 9: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
we head towards the Serengeti National Park. En route there is an opportunity to visit Olduvai Gorge.
It is within this steep sided ravine that Louis and Mary Leakey made some of the world’s most important archaeological discoveries in the 1950s.
Here in a small museum we are able to see evidence of our ancestors that have been dated back 2.5 million years. After lunch we drive into the Serengeti itself and the rest of the afternoon is spent game viewing in the vast plains that are broken only by stands of acacia trees and the occasional kopje. In December, January and February we will normally meet the migration with large herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle. There are always plenty of resident animals, such as giraffe, buffalo, and elephant, and many large predators such as lion, cheetah, and leopard.
We return to our special tented camp for the night at Serengeti.
Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Wild Camp: Fall board.
DAY 10: NGORONGORO HIGHLAND MASAI EXPERIENCE TOUR
We start the day with an early morning game drive before heading to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Ngorongoro is a special place in that it is a Conservation Area, not a National Park; this means that the whole area is managed for both the animals and the local Masai people who graze their cattle alongside the indigenous wildlife. During the drive in Ngorongoro we have a chance to glimpse something of the Masai way of life.
After stopping at the entrance gate, where there is a chance to learn more about this fascinating volcanic landscape, we will drive around the rim of the Crater itself, and from here we can look down and see the herd of wildebeest and buffalos.
Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Wild Tented Camp: Fall board.
DAY 11: NGORONGORO CRATER
The Ngorongoro Crater provides great game-viewing all year-round. The wildlife here makes up a permanent population because grazing and water supplies are plentiful throughout the seasons.
Finally we descend into the crater. The crater walls provide a natural sanctuary for the animals, which means there is plenty to see: lions, elephants, buffalo, rhino and leopard (if you are lucky).
The only animal you won’t see in here is a giraffe, whose long legs are unable to cope with the steeps sides of the crater.
In the afternoon we travel just outside of Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Arusha.
Dinner and overnight at The African Tulip: Half board.
DAY 12: DEPARTING DAY.
There will be a private transfer arranged to drop off at the airport for your International flight.