Serengeti & Kilimanjaro

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Serengeti & Kilimanjaro

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Description

Travel to Africa and experience some of Kenya and Tanzania’s most famous natural wonders on this active trip for those with a passion for the outdoors. The vast Serengeti plains evoke a sense of wonder and deep respect for the animal kingdom, while the imposing peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro inspire awe and rouse a spirit of adventure. Safari through the savanna in search of stealthy predators and try to spot other game in the gigantic Ngorongoro Crater. Rise to the challenge and conquer Africa’s highest peak on a difficult trek to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. This is a trip that will reward those with an appetite for excitement and an appreciation for nature – get ready for thrills, challenges and discovery on this amazing trip!

Trip Name
Serengeti & Kilimanjaro
Last Updated
2019-10-20
Days
15
Capacity
22
Highlights
  • Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth, with two early-morning and two late-afternoon game drives through this spectacular wildlife arena
  • Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open-roof 4WD for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros
  • We include an acclimatisation day at Horombo Hut to give you the best chance of reaching the summit.
  • Travelling with experienced guides, the best of the mountain, and porters, you'll be in good hands, with one guide for every two passengers.
  • Rest up in comfort by night sleeping in mountain huts along the way.
  • Hike Kilimanjaro's climactic last stretch by lamplight and give yourself as much chance as possible to watch a sunrise over icefields from behind Africa’s highest peak.
  • We’re an official partner with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Hike easier knowing that while our porters are taking care of you, there’s someone looking out for them.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA: Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders. DRIVE TIMES: The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

Day 1 - Nairobi
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. 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. Notes: Petty theft is common in Nairobi. As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or floors when in bars or restaurants. Without being paranoid, appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Also, make scans of important travel documents and email them to yourself – this will save you hours of paperwork if anything does happen.
Day 2 - Kisii
Board your safari truck 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. You will be accommodated in either very simple shared rooms (with bedding provided) or in a camp which will be set up for the night. There is no WiFi available at the camp.
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 (you'll need to bring your own helmet if you want to wear one). 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. Depending on availability, you might be able to upgrade to a room. No WiFi is available tonight.
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 take a game drive en route to your campsite. The wide open plains of the Serengeti – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Flat and rolling, with long grass and acacia trees, these plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet – 'The place where the land moves on forever'. Enjoy a picnic lunch on your way to camp within the awesome surrounds of the National Park. Your campsite is right in the action, within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. The camp is basic with limited running water and no upgrades or WiFi available.
Day 5 - Serengeti National Park
Start the day 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. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing, as the animals do, depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild. You'll return in time for dinner. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast, then be returned to your camp. Notes: The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
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! The campsite has flush toilets and hot showers available, but no WiFi or optional upgrades. It can get very cold on the crater rim, particularly during the winter months (June to August) when temperatures drop below zero. Even in the summer months it can be surprisingly chilly at night, so be sure to bring some warm clothes. Notes: You will notice some Maasai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater offering a cultural experience. Intrepid recommends avoiding these villages, as they can impact negatively on the Maasai culture and travellers' perceptions of it by selling an artificial experience.
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 game viewing all year round, and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. Later, join the local community for an 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 with upgrades possible (subject to availability).
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 (1,300 m/4,500 ft) of Mt Kilimanjaro (approx 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. This will take place before dinner. Your insurance details and next of kin information will also be collected.
Day 9 - Mandara Hut
Today you will hike from Kibo Hotel to Mandara Hut, a distance of 8 kilometres (approximately 3–5 hours). First you will meet your guides and porters after breakfast. Each person will have a personal porter, and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. It takes about 15 minutes to get to Marangu Gate at the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park (1,860 m). We will register as a group, which can take some time, depending on how busy it is. From here it is a long but easy walk through dense rainforest to the first mountain hut. In the forest you will find many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkeys. We'll walk through giant heather on our way to Mandara Hut (2,725 m) where we will stop for the night. From here you might choose to take an optional walk to the nearby Maundi Crater. If the skies are clear, take in excellent views of the nearby town of Moshi far below.
Day 10 - Horombo Hut
Your second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The total distance from Mandara to Horombo Huts is 12 km (approximately 5–7 hours). Today you will see the rainforest give way to open and rolling alpine meadows dotted with giant heather trees. Once out of the forest canopy, the twin snow-tipped peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi lie directly ahead. These are two of the three great cones of Kilimanjaro (the other being Shira). During the day's walk we will traverse several ravines before reaching the hut, which is set in a rocky valley. There is time to enjoy a wide variety of vegetation and changing landscapes on the way to Horombo Hut (3,780 m). We will spend the next 2 nights here at the hut.
Day 11 - Horombo Hut
After breakfast, walk towards Mawenzi Hut, passing the unusual Zebra Rocks on the way. It’s a steep climb up a grassy slope, but well worth it: the views over the area towards Kibo are second-to-none. Afterwards, return to Horombo for lunch. Spend the afternoon relaxing and acclimatising to the altitude, or ask your guides about short walks in the area. Take advantage of the rest day here and drink plenty of water – the next couple of days will be pretty intense!
Day 12 - Kibo Hut / Uhuru Peak
Today we walk the 10 kilometres or so from Horombo to Kibo Hut (approximately 5–7 hours). As the journey progresses, you will notice the landscape gradually becoming more rugged and rocky, and the air noticeably thinner. To adhere to this, we will adjust our walking speed and pace ourselves. Marvel at giant groundsels and lobelias while you travel across the sparse moorland. Skirting Mawenzi Peak, arrive at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle. Reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4,740 m), take the opportunity to have an early night.
Day 13 - Uhuru Peak / Horombo Hut
Your guides will wake you up at 11 pm and hot tea will be served. Prepare for the last leg of the trek – to the summit. The distance from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is 6 km (approximately 6–8 hours), and the descent to Horombo will be approximately the same amount of time. The trek begins beneath the stars as we zigzag our way up a large scree slope, guided only by torch light, to reach Gilman's Point (5,685 m). With some luck, we'll arrive in time for breathtaking views of the sun rising behind Mawenzi Peak. This is the stretch that most people find the hardest, and you should be prepared for a very cold morning. The dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields of the crater will make the early start worthwhile. For those who still have the energy, it's a further walk (approximately 2 hours) along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From here there are amazing views of the crater, ice fields and plains below. After photos and time to catch your breath, descend back to Horombo Hut for a well-earned rest.
Day 14 - Marangu
Continue your descent through alpine meadows and rainforest to the park gate. The distance from Horombo to Marangu Gate is 20 kilometres (approximately 5–6 hours). Here your transport awaits and you will return to the hotel for a relaxing shower – a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Over a celebratory meal we can relive and share our experiences of the past five days on the mountain.
Day 15 - Marangu
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip. A transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader about this at the welcome meeting.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
09-11-201923-11-2019AUD $ 5,283-
07-12-201921-12-2019AUD $ 6,515-
14-12-201928-12-2019AUD $ 6,515-
28-12-201911-01-2020AUD $ 6,600-
18-01-202001-02-2020AUD $ 6,195-
25-01-202008-02-2020AUD $ 6,075-
08-02-202022-02-2020AUD $ 6,075-
09-05-202023-05-2020AUD $ 6,075-
06-06-202020-06-2020AUD $ 6,075-
13-06-202027-06-2020AUD $ 6,075-
20-06-202004-07-2020AUD $ 6,320-
27-06-202011-07-2020AUD $ 6,320-
04-07-202018-07-2020AUD $ 6,320-
18-07-202001-08-2020AUD $ 6,560-
25-07-202008-08-2020AUD $ 6,560-
08-08-202022-08-2020AUD $ 6,560-
22-08-202005-09-2020AUD $ 6,560-
29-08-202012-09-2020AUD $ 6,560-
05-09-202019-09-2020AUD $ 6,560-
12-09-202026-09-2020AUD $ 6,560-
19-09-202003-10-2020AUD $ 6,320-
26-09-202010-10-2020AUD $ 6,320-
03-10-202017-10-2020AUD $ 6,320-
10-10-202024-10-2020AUD $ 6,320-
17-10-202031-10-2020AUD $ 6,320-
07-11-202021-11-2020AUD $ 6,075-
05-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 6,075-
12-12-202026-12-2020AUD $ 6,075-

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (3 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights),Basic Hotel (1 night),Hotel (3 nights),Mountain hut (4 nights)

Transport

Overland vehicle,minibus,4x4 Safari Vehicle

Map