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13 DAYS KILIMANJARO CLIMBING + BIG FIVE ADVENTURE

The Roof of Africa and The Big Five combined. This 12 night combination includes a 7 day Machame route Kilimanjaro Trek and a safari into The Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, spending time camping under the African stars with morning and afternoon game drives.


Tour Program

Day 1: Nairobi - Moshi

Collection from Nairobi and transfer to Moshi in Tanzania. Pre-trek briefing and equipment check and overnight in Moshi bed & breakfast. Alternatively collection from Kilimanjaro Airport or in Arusha.

Day 2. Machame Gate - Machame Hut

After breakfast at your hotel we drive for 45 minutes from Moshi to the Machame gate at 1,490m, where guides and porters prepare and pack your supplies and equipment. The climb starts from Machame Gate (1,800m.) Shortly after the gate the path follows a ridge through dense montane forest. This is the richest forested area on the mountain, and also the zone from where 96% of the water on Kilimanjaro originates. On sunny days, and especially in the dry season, this section is very lush and beautiful. It can also be a very muddy experience, particularly if it has rained recently! We have lunch at Halfway Clearing, a small opening in the trees, and continue climbing steadily. The gradient becomes gentler as the forest slowly merges into giant heather close to the next camp near the ruins of Machame Hut (3,000m.). We may get our first closer look at the glaciated dome of Kibo if the evening clouds permit. [6-8 hours walking].

Day 3. Shira Plateau

A shorter day that begins by climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic Rock. There are excellent views of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau from here and it is a good rest point too! The trail continues less steeply to reach the Shira Plateau (3840m). We camp near Shira Hut (3,840m.) which has some of the most stunning views on Kilimanjaro. We are close to the huge volcanic cone of Kibo, the spectacular rock formations of Shira Plateau, and look across to Mt. Meru floating on the clouds. [4-6 hours walking].

Day 4. Barranco Valley

A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550m.) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco Valley (3,900m.), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. [5-7 hours walking].

Day 5. Barafu Camp - Karanga Valley

A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the southern ice fields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to Karanga Camp (4,100m.), the last water point on the approach to Barafu, in a narrow valley. After lunch at Karanga we head down through the Karanga Valley. [4 hours walking].

Day 6. Barafu Campsite

A short but steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views, we then climb steadily to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600m.). Barafu is the Swahili word for ice. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before an early night. [3 hours walking]

Day 7. Mawenzi - Uhuru Peak

We will start our ascent by torchlight at about 1a.m. so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735m.) in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,100m.) at the edge of Mweka Forest. [11-15 hours walking].

Day 8. Mweka Gate - Moshi

A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650m) [4-6 hours walking]. From the gate we transfer back to our accommodation in Moshi for a well earned hot shower and cold drink. Overnight in Moshi Bed & Breakfast.

Day 9. Arusha / Mto wa Mbu

After breakfast, you will transfer through to camp in Arusha or Mto Wa Mbu in preparation for your safari, including evening meal and overnight camping.

Day 10. Ngorongoro / Serengeti National Park

This morning after breakfast, we transfer through Ngorongoro Conservation Area. With a picnic lunch, we enjoy afternoon game drives with every chance to see The Big Five and more. Evening meal and overnight camping will be in the Serengeti National Park.

Day 11. Ngorongoro Crater

Another early start with breakfast and then morning game drives in the Serengeti when the temperatures are lower and the animals tend to be at their most active. After a picnic lunch we continue towards Ngorongoro with evening meal and overnight camping above the Crater.

Day 12. Ngorongoro Crater / Arusha

After breakfast, we descend down into the Ngorongoro Crater for morning game drives in what is nicknamed The Noah's Ark of Africa. After our picnic lunch we transfer back to Arusha by late afternoon, with camping and evening meal in Arusha.

Day 13. JRO / Nairobi

Today you will be transferred for your onward arrangements to Nairobi or Kilimanjaro airport.

Barafu Camp
Shira Plateau
Barranco Valley
Mawenzi Peak, Kilimanjaro
Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro

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