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adventure travel trip to Tanzania
The Rongai route begins just north of the mountain
  • Sep 4-18, 2014
  • Duration 15 days
    Group Size 4-10
    Land Cost $5,725 Details
    Single Supplement $875
    Lodging 1 star-3 stars
    Grade I-III
    Best Time

    Full Moon Kili Summit, Safari & Zanzibar

    Climb Kilimanjaro, safari at Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater, dive Zanzibar!

    Day 1      Arrival and Welcome to Tanzania!

    Welcome to Kilimanjaro! After your plane lands at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your overnight accommodations at the Arumeru River Lodge. Get some well-deserved rest in preparation for the exciting climb to follow.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Arumeru River Lodge (or similar)

    Participate in a pre-climb briefing
    Day 2      Arusha

    This day is for relaxing and acclimatizing before your climb starts. Use this time to organize your climbing gear, meet your fellow climbers, and and start your journal. Should you need to visit Arusha for any last minute items, wish to visit neighboring Usa Village, or a local school, there will be time available to do so. There will be a pre-climb briefing in the early evening.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Arumeru River Lodge (or similar)

    Day 3      First Camp

    Head for Mount Kilimanjaro. After completing the necessary registration formalities at the gate of Marangu National Park, transfer by Land Rover to Rongai. The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (6,400') on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering a pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently, through attractive forest which 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 then begins to thin out, and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (8,500') with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. [3-4 hours walking]

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Settle in at your first camp
    Day 4      Kikelewa Caves

    The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the 'Second Cave' (11,300') with superb views of Kibo and the eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path toward the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant senecios near Kikelewa Caves (11,800') [6-7 hours walking]

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Hike through lush vegetation at lower elevations
    Day 5      Mawenzi Tarn

    A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (14,100'), spectacularly situated directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area to aid to acclimatization. [3-4 hours walking]

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Relax and acclimatize
    Day 6      Kibo Camp

    Cross the lunar desert of the 'Saddle' between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach the Kibo campsite (15,580') at the bottom of the crater wall. Spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent. Prepare for a very early wake-up call for your ascent! [4-5 hours walking]

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Prepare for a moonlit ascent
    Day 7      Gillman's Point/Uhuru Peak/Kibo

    Depart your campsite by flashlight around 1 am for the most challenging, yet rewarding, part of the trek. You will proceed very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman's Point (18,640'). Rest there for a short time and enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three-hour round trip climb to Uhuru Peak (19,340'), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (15,400') is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, you will continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo (12,200'). [11-15 hours walking]

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Camping

    Welcome to the top of Africa
    Day 8      Marangu Gate/Arusha

    A steady descent will take you down through moorland to Mandara Hut (9,000'), the first stopping place on the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (6,000'). [5-6 hours walking]. Enjoy a packed lunch on the way down. Overnight at the Arumeru River Lodge, or similar.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Arumeru River Lodge (or similar)

    The descent is much easier
    Day 9      Lake Manyara / Mto Wa Mbu Village

    After breakfast, we depart for Lake Manyara. En route, you have the option to stop in the market town of Mto Wa Mbu. After lunch, you will spend the afternoon in Lake Manyara National Park. Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, the park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Its groundwater forests, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich both in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds. 
The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands, colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay this park a visit. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world. The area was immortalized in Hemingway’s “Green Hills of Africa” and represents a habitat distinct from other areas you will be visiting.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Maramboi Tented Lodge (or similar)

    Get up close and personal with the wildlife
    Day 10      Ngorongoro Crater

    Depart for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to nearly 25,000 animals, for an exciting half-day game drive. Here you have a very real chance of spotting the big five: lion, elephant, endangered black rhino, buffalo, and leopard, plus countless other African mammal species. You will also visit a Maasai village and learn about their unique culture.  A picnic lunch will give you time to explore the details of this fascinating wildlife amphitheater. Your presence does not alarm or threaten the wildlife, creating an exhilarating proximity to game animals that you rarely encounter elsewhere. Dinner and overnight at the Ngorongoro Farm House, an exclusive lodge located on a 500-acre coffee plantation. Divided into three camps with a total of 40 rooms, this charming lodge has been designed and decorated in the tradition of the first safaris and offers a relaxing vibe of the past, with the cuisine incorporating fresh milk and vegetables from the farm all year round.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Ngorongoro Farm House (or similar)

    Look for the big five at Ngorongoro Crater
    Day 11      Ngorongoro Crater

    Today you will spend another half day in the crater on a drive in this fascinating wildlife amphitheater. The Ngorongoro Crater is actually a caldera formed from a sunken volcano, hosting a unique cross-section of eco-systems, from soda lake to savannah, and home to almost every major species of African mammal.   Later in the afternoon, you will have an optional guided hike along the rim of the crater into the Melaga depression. End the roughly two- to three-hour hike with a stunning view over the Serengeti short grass plains.  Return to the Ngorongoro Farm House.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Ngorongoro Farm House

    Day 12      Zanzibar and Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel

    After breakfast, you will depart Ngorongoro Crater and head for Arusha, where you will have lunch prior your onward flight to the “spice' island of Zanzibar, offering beaches for snorkeling, world-class diving, natural wonders and a rich and storied history.  After clearing local customs in Zanzibar, you will be met and transferred to the Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel, located on the northernmost peninsula of the island overlooking the Indian Ocean. Elegant palms shade the paths that wend their way through whitewashed, palm thatched cottages connecting to the beach. This facility is located along a stretch of unspoiled beach fringed by a wide and thriving coral reef. 
In this natural paradise, the hotel ownership's stated vision is “for nature and the hotel to coexist harmoniously so that guests can enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings without forsaking creature comforts. An eco-sensitive approach has ensured that the delicate balance of land and sea, flora and fauna is preserved for all to enjoy in the years to come.”

    Grounds amenities include a swimming pool, banda and bar, the Peponi Spa, and a fully equipped water sports center offering diving, snorkeling along nearby Mnemba Atoll, water sports, fishing, and a variety of excursions. 

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner daily
    Lodging: Ras Nungwi Beach Club (or similar)

    Relax on lovely Zanzibar
    Day 13 - 14      Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel

    The next several days you have to spend at your leisure, relax or partake of the many available activities offered at or in the vicinity of the resort. All activities are arranged at your own expense. 

    While in Zanzibar, a visit of Stone Town will afford you an opportunity to walk through the market to see and taste some of the fruits available, such as Mabungo and Baobab fruits. Visit “kuku,” the chicken market, and the fish market where many exotic fish are sold. The fish market is best visited in the morning when the catch comes in. The Palace Museum holds fascinating artifacts of the long colonial imperial past. It helps to have a guide to provide interpretation of what you are seeing and the same is true of the many historic buildings. Visit the Darjani market on Creek Road, where the locals go to shop. The Forodhani Gardens, located along the seafront opposite the old Fort in Stone Town, are lovely and you can taste all different kinds of foods at its large outdoor market on an evening stroll. Alternately, 236 Hurumzi has a very good restaurant where you might want to dine.

    You might choose to go snorkeling or diving, visit a spice plantation or go to the Jozani Forest to see the endangered Red Colobus monkeys (an endemic species that only exists in Zanzibar), the Aders' Duiker and the Zanzibar Servaline Genet.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner daily
    Lodging: Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel

    Day 15      Zanzibar/Onward

    Today you end your journey with final goodbyes to Ras Nungwi and Zanzibar island prior to your transfer to Dar es Salaam for your homeward bound flight.  You might consider spending a portion of this day in Stone Town again, as it is on your way out or, if you have not already done so, go on a spice plantation tour.

    Meals: Breakfast

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