Feel the exhilaration as you reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro then relax and enjoy a safari through the Serengeti National Park, visiting Ngorongoro Crater, Oldupai Gorge and Lake Manyara National Park … and so much more!
With a focus on acclimatisation, trek to the snow covered summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, soaring 5895m above the plains of East Africa.
But note that this trip is not all mountain walking. Why go to Africa and not see the wildlife?
Before your Kili trek there is an optional trek to the summit of Mt Meru, and after Kili you have the option of enjoying the best wild game viewing areas in Africa, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Select from 3 trip options
- Trek and Safari – Mt Meru, Mt Kilimanjaro and Wildlife Safari – 20 days from Arusha
- Trek Only – Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro – 14 days from Arusha
- Wildlife – Safari Only – 6 days from Arusha
|TRIP LEADERS||Ray Baker, Megan Davidson, Dan Tones, Gareth Ward and Ian Arnold|
|TRIP HIGHLIGHTS||Mt Meru trek, Mt Kilimanjaro trek, Tarangiri National Park, Serengetti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Oldupai Gorge, Lake Manyara National Park|
- Trek and Safari (20 days)
- Dates – 28 December 2017 – 16 January 2018
- Cost – $9880
- Plus local payment US $250
- Trek Only (14 days)
- Dates – 28 December 2017 – 10 January 2018
- Cost – $5890
- Plus local payment US $150
- Wildlife Safari Only (6 days)
- Dates – 11 – 16 January 2018
- Cost – $3990
- Plus local payment US $100
|Day 1||Arrive in Arusha. Met and transferred to Ilboru Safari Lodge.|
|Day 2||Free day in Arusha. Optional visit to School of St.Jude. Pre trek briefing in afternoon.||B|
|Day 3||(Trek Day 1) Commence our MT MERU acclimatising trek through lush forest and grasslands to Miriakamba Hut (2514m).||BLD|
|Day 4||(Trek Day 2) Trek higher to Saddle Hut (3570m).||BLD|
|Day 5||(Trek Day 3) Today we trek to the summit at 4566 metres and back down to Miriakamba Hut (2514m).||BLD|
|Day 6||(Trek Day 4) Trek to the park entrance drive back to ARUSHA and rest up at Ilboru Safari Lodge.||BL|
|Day 7||(Trek Day 1) An early drive from Arusha to our starting point for our KILIMANJARO ASCENT. We ascend via the Machame Route and descend via the Mweka Route. Tonight we camp at Machame Hut (3000m).||BLD|
|Day 8||(Trek Day 2) The vegetation and panoramas change as we ascend to our next camp at Shira Camp (3840m).||BLD|
|Day 9||(Trek Day 3) The trail continues through increasingly large boulders and rocky slopes to our next high camp at Barranco (3950m).||BLD|
|Day 10||(Trek Day 4) We trek a short day to the only water before the summit at Koranga campsite (4100m).||BLD|
|Day 11||(Trek Day 5). Our slow acclimatising ascent places us tonight at Barafu Hut (4600m) from where we will launch our summit bid tomorrow.||BLD|
|Day 12||(Trek Day 6) Up very early for our trek to the summit. We head off by torch light and arrive at the crater rim at Stella Point (5700m). We continue clockwise around the crater rim for 1-2 hours to arrive at the highest point at UHURU (5896m). After we soak in the atmosphere of be ing on the highest point in Africa we start our descent via the Mweke Route to Mweke Hut (3100m).||BLD|
|Day 13||This morning it is an easy descent to the park entrance and then back to the Ilboru Safari Lodge in ARUSHA.||BL|
|Day 14||Rest day in ARUSHA. There is plenty to see and do in Arusha. Souvenir shopping is superb.||B|
|Day 15||(Safari Day 1) Fly from Arusha to the Serengeti. Met by our guides and commence a full day game drive. Overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge.||BLD|
|Day 16||(Safari Day 2) Full day game drive in the Serengeti. Overnight Serengeti Sopa Lodge.||BLD|
|Day 17||(Safari Day 3) Morning game drive en route to Ngorongoro Crater. Overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.||BLD|
|Day 18||(Safari Day 4) Game drive on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater. Afternoon drive to Tarangire National Park. Overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge.||BLD|
|Day 19||(Safari Day 5) Morning game drive in Tarangire. A fternoon drive to Arusha. Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge||BL|
|Day 20||The tour ends in Arusha. Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport.||B|
|Meals included as indicated: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner|
Kilimanjaro Trek and Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Arusha,Tanzania
Meet in Arusha, the commencement point for both the Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro ascents. This thriving town sits in lush countryside at the foot of Mt Meru (4556m). The town’s market is alive with colour, its stalls piled high with fresh fruit and vegetables. The craft shops offer a range of superb ebony makonde carvings, malachite jewellery and bright local fabrics.
In Arusha we stay at the comfortable, well-appointed Ilboru Safari Lodge.
Day 2: Arusha
Free day in Arusha. There’s an opportunity to visit the remarkable School of St Jude, founded by an Australian lady to provide free education to underprivileged children. There will be a pre-trek briefing in the afternoon.
Day 3: Arusha to Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut (2514m)
Mt. Meru, at 4566m is the 5th highest peak in Africa. Far less visited than Kili, it was formed by volcanic activity and features a classic volcanic cone. It is almost extinct and volcanic activity is extremely rare. The trek to the summit involves exhilarating trekking through grassland and lush forest on lower slopes, to a dramatic walk along the narrow edge of the crater. There are excellent views of surrounding countryside and Mt Kilimanjaro.
Drive to Momella gate at the foot of Mt Meru. The trek winds through the forest towards the crater floor, and then climbs steeply up to Miriakamba Hut. Buffalo may be seen just after Momella gate on the wide, open plain. Further on there is the impressive Fig Tree Arch, streams and waterfalls. Overnight at Miriakamba Hut.
Day 4: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut (3570m)
The trek continues up to Elephant Ridge where lunch is taken and there are spectacular views down into the crater and up to the main cliffs below the summit. From Saddle Hut the peak of Little Meru can be reached in approximately an hour and offers impressive and imposing views of the summit and the sheer cliffs of the crater’s inner walls. Overnight at Saddle Hut.
Day 5: Saddle Hut – Meru Summit (4566m)
Miriakamba Hut (2514m)
Depart Saddle Hut around midnight to reach the summit for sunrise over Kilimanjaro. This exhilarating trek follows the narrow ridge between the sloping outer wall of the crater and the sheer cliffs of the inner wall. Descend to Miriakamba Hut for overnight.
Day 6: Miriakamba Hut – Momella Gate – Arusha
Trek down to the crater floor and then on to Momella gate where your transport will be waiting to take you back to Ilboru Safari Lodge in Arusha.
Day 7: COMMENCE CLIMB OF MT KILIMANJARO
Machame Hut/Camp (3000m)
Kilimanjaro, at 5896m, is the highest peak in Africa and one of the highest volcanoes on earth. There is no need for ropes or technical equipment to reach the summit. This imposing mountain is revered by the local Chagga people and our chosen route on Kili is the Machame/Mweka trail. This is the most scenic trail and passes through Kili’s complete range of landscape and vegetation types. It is also quieter than the usual tourist trail. The Machame route is normally done over 5 nights.
We are doing it over 6 nights to allow for extra acclimatisation.
Drive to Machame village. The trek begins from the gate winding up to the lush tropical forests and out into heather moorland. Overnight at Machame Camp.
Day 8: Shira Cave (3840m)
Trek to Shira Plateau, trek through the fine open moorlands. Overnight at Shira Cave campsite.
Day 9: Barranco Camp (3950m)
A long trek to Barranco. This camp lies in a sheltered area below the spectacular cliffs of the Breach Wall. The Breach Wall, the dome of Uhuru and the edge of the Heim Glacier dominate the head of the valley. Overnight at Barranco Camp.
Day 10: Koranga camp (4000m)
Today is an integral part of our acclimatising programme. By only moving camp a little higher we greatly increase our chances of a successful summit bid. Here is our last water point.
Day 11: Barafu Camp (4600m)
In the morning trek to Barafu. Huge glaciers and cliffs can be seen which mark this part of the mountain. Overnight Barafu Camp.
Day 12 Mweka Hut (3100m)
At midnight the trek begins up to the final steep, scree section to reach Stella Point. Walk steadily up the ridge and around the crater to reach Uhuru peak at 5895m. From the summit the trek descends to overnight at Mweka Hut.
Day 13: Arusha
Covering the last section of the mountain, the trek continues down through the forests to the gate where our vehicle will be waiting to transport you back to Arusha. Overnight in Arusha at Ilboru Safari Lodge.
Day 14: Arusha
A rest day in Arusha today. Catch up on some washing and spend time exploring the local markets for some excellent souvenirs.
Day 15: ON SAFARI – Serengeti National Park
Transfer to Arusha Airport and fly to the Serengeti National Park. Meet with your driver guide at Seronera Air Strip then spend the full day game driving in Serengeti National Park. At 14,763sq kms the Serengeti is the largest of all the parks in Tanzania, famous for both its migratory and resident animal population. We spend two days exploring the vast grassy plains, rocky outcrops and sparsely wooded river valleys of this incomparable park where lion, cheetah, leopard, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, gazelle, elephant, and Cape Buffalo can be seen. In general, you search for the animals in the early morning and late afternoon, while you follow the animal’s example and rest during the heat of the day. Stay overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge.
Day 16: Serengeti National Park
Full day game driving in the Serengeti. Stay overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge
Day 17: Ngorongoro Crater
Morning game drive in the Serengeti or an optional balloon flight which includes a champagne breakfast (*this costs extra and must be pre-booked well in advance. Contact the Back Track office for details). In the afternoon drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Stay overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge overlooking the Crater. From the crater rim there are magnificent views down into the caldera.
Day 18: Tarangire National Park
Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater for a game drive. This 100 square mile natural amphitheatre is host to an astonishing array of wildlife. You may be lucky enough to see rhino, elephant and lion, as well as large herds of zebra and wildebeest. There is excellent game viewing with 30,000 resident animals and the photographic opportunities are unrivalled. This is one of the best places to see the endangered Black Rhino. A picnic lunch will be taken in the crater. Afternoon exit the crater and drive to Tarangire National Park. Stay overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge.
Day 19: Arusha
Game drive in Tarangire. Tarangire is the sixth largest national park and covers an area of approximately 2,850 sq kms. Tarangire is famous for its huge number of elephants, baobab trees and tree climbing African pythons. Depart fromTarangire after lunch and drive back to Arusha. Stay overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge.
Day 20: Your adventure ends in Arusha.
You will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Please a read below comments from Back Track trekkers who have travelled with Back Track Adventures in Africa on our Kilimanjaro Safari:
All in all great trip – physically and mentally challenging. Spectacular safari as well!
Trek & Safari inclusions
|Back Track Adventures trek leader from Australia||Transfer from Arusha to Kilimanjaro Airport (if travelling on group flights) on Day 20.|
|Pre-departure Kilimanjaro Information Guide including fitness advice and clothing and equipment tips||Sleeping bag|
|A sensible itinerary to assist acclimatisation to high altitude||Camping equipment including twin share tents|
|Arrival transfer in Arusha (if travelling on group flights)||Services of a cook, porters and guides on Meru & Kilimanjaro|
|Welcome group dinner in Arusha||Services of an armed ranger on Meru|
|Twin share, bed & breakfast safari lodge style accommodation in Arusha||Services of a safari vehicle and Driver/Guide while on safari|
|Park entrance fees & camping fees||All meals shown on the itinerary (20 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 15 dinners)|
|All ground transportation by comfortable vehicle|
Back Track Adventures take a serious approach to acclimatisation when attempting to summit Mt Kilimanjaro. Our sensible approach ensures a very high summit rate. Only about 60% of trekkers who attempt to reach the 5,895m summit of Kilimanjaro succeed. Approximately 1,000 trekkers per year are evacuated from the mountain with altitude sickness (or Acute Mountain Sickness AMS). Altitude sickness is caused when a trekker ascends too rapidly to high altitude thus not allowing sufficient time to acclimatise to the lack of oxygen in the high, thin air. The best way to acclimatise is to have a slow rate of ascent over a number of days while on Kilimanjaro, or preferably, an acclimatisation trek beforehand on a nearby mountain such as Mt Meru or Mt Kenya. It’s also helpful to choose a route on Kilimanjaro that allows an extra night to be spent on the ascent. This is possible on the Machame Route where you can insert an intermediate camp at Karangu, between Barranco and Barafu Camps. This route also allows the trekker to follow an important maxim of acclimatisation – ‘walk high and sleep low’. This can be done by ascending from Shira Camp at 3,850m to Lava Rock at 4,600m before descending to Barranco Camp at 3,950m.
Other ways to assist acclimatisation are:
- Walk slowly. On ‘Kili’ you’ll often hear the expression, ‘pole pole’, which means slowly, slowly. Walk only as fast as you can comfortably breathe and never allow your-self to become breathless. Your experienced guide will set a slow, comfortable pace. Stick with him and don’t race off ahead.
- Stay well hydrated. The thin, dry will cause you to lose fluid by respiration. Dehydration is to be avoided at all costs as it can worsen the effect of altitude sickness. Start the day well hydrated and continue to drink throughout the day. Purchase a water bladder with a tube and mouthpiece so you won’t have to stop to drink.
- Eat well. It’s important to maintain a high energy level and food fuels energy. Eat well at meals and carry snacks during the day. Loss of energy is a contributor to altitude sickness.
- Stay warm. Shivering with cold will use energy that you’ll need when trekking. Have multiple thermal layers of clothing and a wind and water proof outer layer.
- Don’t overload your pack. A heavy pack will drain your energy. Your porter is there to carry the heavy load. You need only carry to minimum amount of gear to get through the day.
- Consider taking Diamox. Diamox (generic name acetazolamide) is a prescription drug for the prevention and treatment of altitude sickness. The medication works by acidifying the blood, which causes an increase in respiration which assists acclimatisation. Diamox does not disguise symptoms of altitude sickness, it prevents it. Taking a 250mg dose of Diamox every twelve hours before and during rapid ascent to altitude should result in fewer, less severe symptoms of altitude sickness. The side effects of Diamox include pins and needles in the hands and feet and increased urination. It is a personal choice of the trekker whether or not to take Diamox as a preventative measure against altitude sickness. Back Track Adventures neither advocates nor discourages the use of Diamox.
Our Safari Style
On this adventure you will be accompanied by a Back Track trek leader from Australia. In Africa your team will be joined by our African trekking and safari crews made up of experienced guides, cooks and drivers. You will be camping on the Kilimanjaro trek and the wildlife safari and sleeping in comfortable mountain huts on the Mt. Meru trek. In Arusha, we stay in comfortable lodge accommodation. This holiday is in 2 parts.
During the first part, the treks on Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro, all camp duties are performed by our staff.
On the second part, the wildlife safari, you will be in the capable hands of our safari guides. As a team member you will need a sound level of fitness in order to enjoy this trip.
The trek up Meru and Kilimanjaro involves long hours, steep trails and extremes of heat and cold. A high degree of stamina is required. No prior experience is necessary but this will be suited to people who are comfortable in the outdoors and prepared to do some fitness training before departure.