The crater has the densest known population of lions, numbering 62 in 2001. On the crater rim are leopard, elephant numbering 42 in 1987 but only 29 in 1992, mountain reedbuck, and buffalo (4,000 in 1994).
Day 1: Arrival - Moshi
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, met and assisted. Transfer to Keys Annex Hote for leisure sorting climbing gear in readiness for the next day's trek. Overnight at Keys Annex Hotel on bed and breakfast.
Day 2: Machame Gate (1490m) - Machame camp (2980m
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 18 km's | Habitat: Montane forest
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and you can also buy mineral water in the village. Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite, B,L,D.
Day 3: Machame camp (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 9 km's | Habitat: Moorland You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 840m. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing, B,L,D.
Day 4: Shira (3840m) - Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 15 km's | Habitat: Semi desert The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower , where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely, the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower , the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner, B,L,D.
Day 5: Barranco camp (3950m) - Barafu camp (4550m)
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 13 km's | Habitat: Alpine desert After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut. The last water stop on the route is the Karranga Valley ,as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice" and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep, B,L,D.
Day 6: SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Barafu camp (4550m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m)
Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak | 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka | Distance: About 7 km's ascent - 23 km's descent | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak . The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared, B,L,D.
Day 7: Mweka camp (3100m) - Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 3 hours | Distance: About 15 km's | Habitat: Forest After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You now drive back to Arusha for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at Impala Hotel, B,L.
Day 8: Arusha - Ngorongoro Crater
Distance: 190 km (4 hrs) After breakfast, drive to Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area crossing on the way the small villages of Mto Wam Boo and Karatu. Dinner & overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, B,L,D The main feature of the Ngorongoro Crater Area (NCA) is the Ngorongoro Crater, which is the world's largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera. The Crater, which formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself some two to three million years ago, is 610m deep and the floor is 260km² (102 square miles). Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from fifteen to nineteen thousand feet high. A population of approximately 25,000 large animals, largely ungulates along with, (reputedly), the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa, lives in the crater. These include black rhinoceros, which have declined from about 108 in 1964-66 to between 11-14 in 1995, and hippopotamus which are very uncommon in the area. There also are many other ungulates: wildebeest (7,000 estimated in 1994), zebra (4,000), eland, Grant's and Thomson's gazelles (3,000). The crater has the densest known population of lions, numbering 62 in 2001. On the crater rim are leopard, elephant numbering 42 in 1987 but only 29 in 1992, mountain reedbuck, and buffalo (4,000 in 1994). However, since the 1980s the crater's wildebeest population has fallen by a quarter to about 19,000 and the numbers of eland and Thomson’s gazelle also have declined while buffalos increased greatly, probably due to the long prevention of fire which favors high fibrous grasses over shorter less fibrous types. In summer enormous numbers of Serengeti migrants pass through the plains of the reserve, including 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,000 zebra, and 470,000 gazelles. Waterbuck occur mainly near Lerai Forest; servals occur widely in the crater and on the plains to the west. Common in the reserve are lions, hartebeest, spotted hyenas and jackals. Cheetahs, although common in the reserve, are scarce in the crater itself. Wild dog has recently disappeared from the crater and may have declined elsewhere in the Conservation Area as well.
Day 9: Ngorongoro Crater
Breakfast and departure for a full day of game viewing on the crater floor of one of Africa's true wonders of nature, home of rhino, elephant and lion coexisting with a large variety of antelopes. Picnic lunch. Dinner & overnight at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, B,L,D.
Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater - Arusha - Departure
After breakfast, drive back to Arusha for lunch. Later transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight out, B,L.
Tour Price: US$ 2,295 per person sharing. Single room supplement: US$ 225
The above price is inclusive of:
Guarantee price & guarantee departure upon confirmation
Transfer from/to Kilimanjaro Airport
Transfer to and from the base of the mountain
Machame route trek
Full board accommodation whilst on the trek.
Meal plan as detailed: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
Accommodations in Moshi and Arusha on bed and breakfast
Full accommodation in camps on the mountain as per the itinerary
All park entrance fees to include government taxes
Service of an English speaking professional Mountain guide on the mountain, porters and skilled cook
Treated water on the trek
2 night of full board accommodation in double/twin room on safari at Ngorongoro Crater
Service of an English speaking professional driver/guide
Ground transport on safari in a comfortable 4x4 safari land cruiser
Complementary bottled water on safari
Crater tour services (Game drive and crater fees)
Chemical toilet on the mountain
Group maximum of 12 climbers for personalised service
Laundry, tips, sleeping bags (thermal ones which can withstand upto -10 degrees celcius), beverages/drinks and climbing gears
Emergency Oxygen, available on request at $200 per group (MUST BE REQUESTED IN ADVANCE)
International flights and taxes
Traveler’s insurance and medical evacuation insurance
Passports and visas
Items of a personal nature and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary