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Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

Tanzania, Africa

Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

Hiking
·
Start: Nairobi
·
End: Marangu

Travel to Africa and experience the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro

Activity
Hiking
LocationTanzania, Africa
Duration16 days
Start / EndNairobi / Marangu
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Tanzania, Africa

Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

Hiking·
16 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Nairobi
·
End: Marangu

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...

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Itinerary

Day 1Nairobi
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 2Kisii
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 Kericho. 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 3Lake 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 4Serengeti 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 5Serengeti 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 6Ngorongoro 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 7Ngorongoro 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.
Day 8Marangu
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 9am 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 9Machame Camp
We meet our guides and porters after breakfast and sort out all our gear before we set off for our 1-hour transfer by road to the South Western side of Kilimanjaro and the Machame Gate at the entrance to the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for the food, etc. Please read your trip notes on for further information about your guides and porters and a detailed packing list. We begin our walk around lunch time, starting with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest. In the forest, there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkey can be seen and heard. Beneath the leafy canopy it can be wet and muddy but it is not very cold. We arrive mid-afternoon at the Machame Huts where we make camp. The huts fell into disrepair some years ago, so with the help of our porters, we set up tents for the night. Enjoy an evening meal prepared by the porters and savour the first night of sleeping outdoors. From Kibo Hotel to Machame Huts, we ascend to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and walk for 15 km (approximately 6-8 hours).
Day 10Shira Camp
Our second day on the mountain takes us out of the rainforest and up a steep ridge into moor land. You'll notice the vegetation getting more sparse as we ascend and several distinct species, including the giant groundsel and lobelia, will soon be the only plants dominating the harsh landscape. We camp on the edge of Shira plateau where there are excellent views of the snow-dusted Kibo peaks. From Machame Camp to Shira Camp, we ascend to 3,840 m (12,600 ft), covering 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Day 11Barranco Camp
Today is a great day's walk with many ups and downs as we traverse river valleys. The undulating landscape offers a great chance to acclimatise and as we 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. From Shira Camp to Barranco Camp, we ascend to 3,900 m (12,800 ft) and cover 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Day 12Karanga Valley
Today is an important acclimatisation day as you are going to be walking for the morning only. 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. Arriving at your camp at around lunchtime you can enjoy great views by the river in the Karanga Valley. From Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp Camp, we descend to 4,200 m (13,780 ft) and cover 7 km (approximately 4 hours).
Day 13Barafu Camp / Uhuru Peak
From Karanga you head up to the intersection of the South Circuit and the Mweka route where you’ll start climbing up a ridge to Barrafu Hut. Barrafu is Swahili for ‘ice’ – it can be very cold here at night! You should arrive at Barrafu around late lunchtime, allowing plenty of time to rest before the final summit attempt. From Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp, we ascend to 4,600 m (15,100 ft) and cover 3.5 km (approximately 4 hours).
Day 14Uhuru Peak / Millennium camp or Mweka camp
At around midnight we are woken by our guides and hot tea and biscuits are served to give us energy before the long, difficult ascent up scree, and sometimes snow, to Stella Point (5,780 m). We 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, and maybe even of the world around. From Stella it is a further 1-hour hike along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), 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 we begin our descent. Back at Barafu Camp, enjoy a well-earned lunch and much thicker air. After lunch, we continue on to Mweka Camp for the night and have a well-deserved rest. From Barafu Camp to the Uhuru Peak summit, we ascend 1296 m and cover about 4 km (approximately 8 hours). The descent takes approximately 3 hours.
Day 15Marangu
Today we continue to descend the mountain, traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to the Mweka park gate. From Mweka Camp to the Mweka gate, we trek for 10 km (approximately 3-4 hours) descending a total of 1,300 m (4,300 ft). Here we have lunch after checking out of the park and then the transport sent to meet us returns us back to the hotel for a relaxing shower - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Relive and share our experiences of the past six days on the mountain with fellow travellers.
Day 16Marangu
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip. Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting.

More info

Last modified (date)

26 Nov 2018

Trip title

Safari to Kilimanjaro - Machame Route

Trip code

YKXCC

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

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... Read more

Style

Basix

Themes

Overland,Walking & Trekking,Wildlife

Transport

Overland vehicle,minibus,4x4 Safari Vehicle

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

Although no mountaineering experience is required a good level of physical fitness is necessary. You must be comfortable walking 6-8 hours uphill a day. This is certainly a strenuous climb so the better prepared you are, the more you should enjoy it. Plenty of time is available each day to get between the huts on the mountain so you do not need to rush and you are in fact far better off going slo... Read more

Joining point

Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites

Joining point description

The Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites is simple but clean and comfortable. All rooms have ensuites with hot water, TV's, and WiFi is available. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, bar & restaurant.

Finish point

Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort

Finish point description

The Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort is located approximated 80kms from Kilimanjaro International Airport. It is situated close Kilimanjaro National Park at Marangu Gate. The hotel is surrounded by coffee and banana plantations, waterfalls and gardens. Facilities include a swimming pool, gym, massage corner and a large tropical gardens as well as a superb bar, restaurant and a sun deck. Guest room fa... Read more

Finish point instructions

A private departure transfer is available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Please speak to your booking agent for more information. If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please ensure you have provided Intrepid with your arrival flight details at least 15 days before the departure of your Intrepid trip. The Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort is located roughly 80kms west of Kilimanjaro Mountain ... Read more

Group leader

On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver who will usually be Kenyan. Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may dri... Read more

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more

Visas

PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with... Read more

Why we love it

Shop for local wares and interact with townsfolk at the Mwigobero Market on the edge of Lake Victoria

Is this trip right for you

Camping in the Serengeti National Park with no barriers between you and the animals is amazing, but it's important to heed the safety advice of your leader. You'll be briefed on arrival. Our purpose-built overland vehicles allow for excellent game viewing, equipped with large sliding windows. They have no air-conditioning, however, so they can get dusty and hot at times. The going can be slow ov... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your cook prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping. Your cook will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on gr... Read more

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you kno... Read more

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoul... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

Accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied. The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels. In Africa it's not usually practical to camp when staying in towns and cities so we use hotel acc... Read more

Transport notes

Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Our fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. Your vehicle type may differ from those listed above. It is also important to note that our overland vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air. Each seat will have access to a power socket to c... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes th... Read more

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (3 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (8 nights),Cottage (1 night),Hotel (3 nights)
16days
€4,765per person
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Feb 2
Nairobi
Feb 17
Marangu
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Nairobi
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Marangu
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Nairobi
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Marangu
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Marangu
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