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Custom Safari Ideas
July 3rd - July 15, 2012
13 Days / 12 Nights ~ 9 Days on the Mountain
(+5 day optional safari extention)
This is one of the most popular itineraries for its beauty, 9 total days on the mountain (for maximum acclimatization), and the excitement of spending an overnight at 18,800 feet inside the crater on Kilimanjaro. The route takes us from the west across the Shira Plateau with an ascent to the base of the Lava Tower, which you will be able to climb for magnificent 360-degree vistas. From the Lava Tower there are two approaches to the crater and summit. Groups will have to discuss and decide upon their choice during their climb preparations in Mbahe. One approach is from the southwest through the Western Breach, the classic route to the crater with a challenging rock scramble done in the early morning. The other is a longer and less steep approach from Barafu, farther east and offering the opportunity of summiting twice. After the overnight camp in the soft sand of the crater, we have a sunrise climb to Uhuru Peak before descending toward the southeast and incredible views of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro’s remnant volcanic cone.ITINERARY:
DAY 1: ARRIVAL/MBAHE FARM HOUSE
Your trip leader will pick you up upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and bring you to Mbahe Village, located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, approximately 2 hours from the airport. Accommodations are in SENE’s (Summit Expeditions & Nomadic Experience) private cottages at Simon Mtuy’s Mbahe Village Farm.
DAY 2: MBAHE FARM HOUSE (6,000')
You have the morning to rest and relax. Enjoy delicious “homebrew” coffee, grown and roasted on the farm and meals made with fruits and vegetables from the garden. Your trip leader will provide a climb orientation and equipment check. This is also a day to take a guided tour around Mbahe Village, the Mtuy family farm, and to swim in the river and waterfall funning through Simon’s land. B.L.D.
DAY 3: SIMBA FARM (5,800')
In the morning we depart on the 3-hour drive to Simba Farm in West Kilimanjaro. Simba is an old colonial farm presently owned by the Bruinsma family, good friends of Simon who have farmed in Tanzania for over 25 years. The farm produces market vegetables and barley and wheat for local beer companies. The setting offers breathtaking views of the African savanna and Mount Meru to the west. Above the farm is the lush mountain forest, where we will hike for 2 to 3 hours to a gorge where colobus monkeys can be seen. We all gather together for dinner to discuss final details and anticipate the state of the climb tomorrow. B.L.D.
DAY 4: LONDOROSSI GATE (6,890') TO BIG TREE CAMP (8,700') 3.8 MILES
After breakfast we will drive to Londorossi Gate, where you will meet your other guides and mountain crew and enter the Kilimanjaro National Park. From the trailhead we walk for a few hours uphill through the thick and undisturbed montane forest to our camp for the night. Many beautiful flowers are seen en route and with luck we will observe colobus monkeys and possibly signs of elephant. In the night, you may hear the tree hyrax. B.L.D.
DAY 5: BIG TREE CAMP (8,700’) TO SHIRA 1 CAMP (11,420’), 4.7 MILES
Today we reach the west side of the Shira Plateau in a hiking time of 6 hours. Taking our time walking through the forest allows us to observe its animal and bird life. The day’s hike takes us from the montane forest, through a transition zone, and into the heath zone, where old lava flows are visible. Your guides will point out unique environmental differences that characterize each zone. After a picnic lunch, we reach the edge of the Plateau and eventually our camp that offers a dramatic view of Kilimanjaro and its permanent glaciers. B.L.D.
DAY 6: SHIRA 1 CAMP (11,420’) TO SHIRA 2 CAMP (12,750’), 5.3 MILES
Today is an easy paced acclimatization day of 4 to 5 hours hiking. Camp is set higher on the Shira Plateau with more expansive views of Kilimanjaro. There is a conditioning hike in the afternoon where you can examine the clusters of giant lobelias and scenecios that grow at this elevation. B.L.D.
Day 7: SHIRA 2 CAMP (12,750’) TO LAVA TOWER CAMP (15,230’), 4.3 MILES
Today is another important day for acclimatization as we hike for 5 hours to an elevation above 15,000 feet. We will pass through the alpine moorland zone where plants are extremely hardy and consist of lichens, grasses, and heather, to reach Kilimanjaro’s alpine desert zone. After an early afternoon rest we have a special 2-hour adventure climb up the Lava Tower. This rock scramble will prepare you for the climbs ahead. B.L.D.
DAYS 8-10: WESTERN BREACH APPROACH
DAY 8: LAVA TOWER CAMP (15,230')
Today we will spend a second night at Lava Tower to adjust to the high desert environment and to acclimatize. We enjoy day hikes to higher elevations and marvel at the fabulous views up and down the mountain. As with every day on the mountain, the guides twice daily measure your vital signs, including oxygen saturation, to assess your acclimatization to the extreme altitude. B.L.D.
DAY 9: LAVA TOWER CAMP (15,230') TO ARROW GLACIER CAMP (15,980'), 1.7 MILES
We climb higher up the mountain from the west, moving pole pole (meaning “slowly” in Kiswahili) to let our bodies rest from the exertion and to acclimate to the thin air. Total hiking time is only about 2 hours. With clear weather you will have a close-up view of the Western Breach, through which we will ascent to the crater tomorrow. . B.L.D.
DAY 10: ARROW GLACIER CAMP (15,230') TO CRATER CAMP (18,800'), 1.6 MILES
We will rise well before sunrise, eat a hearty breakfast, and begin our ascent of the Western Breach by 5:00 a.m. The climb is a steep and invigorating challenge but with several days on the mountain behind you, you will be physically and mentally sharp for the climb. The trail has sections of scree and sections requiring scrambling over boulders. As you reach the lip of the crater, your elation will be second only to that when summiting Uhuru Peak tomorrow. The wide crater floor is a magnificent arctic moonscape; our camp is set in soft sand near the indigo streaked Furtwangler Glacier. B.L.D.
DAYS 8-10: BARAFU APPROACH
DAY 8: LAVA TOWER CAMP (15,230') TO KARANGA VALLEY CAMP (13,250'), 5.9 MILES
After an initial descent from Lava Tower camp we climb the Great Barranco Wall – not too steep but still an exhilarating challenge, which our guides make safe and accessible for everyone by ascending pole pole. You will be able to see the breathtaking Heim Glacier from the top of the Wall. Descend into the Karanga Valley and then climb again to our camp on the ridge above the Valley, where you will enjoy a well-deserved rest and your daily afternoon tea and snacks. B.L.D.
DAY 9: KARANGA VALLEY CAMP (13,250') TO BARAFU CAMP (15,360'), 2.4 MILES
As we begin hiking today the trail turns steadily uphill. Temperatures are noticeably colder and the landscape more sparse as we work out way to Barafu Camp. Barafu means “ice” in Kiswahili. Hiking time is 4 to 5 hours. We will rest and acclimatize here to prepare for our climb into the arctic zone and up to the crater the following morning.
DAY 10: BARAFU CAMP (15,360') TO CRATER CAMP (18,800'), 1.6 MILES
Today we slowly wind our way up from Barafus to the rim of the crater by the afternoon. Hiking this section during the day gives us magnificent views of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak at 16,890 feet. From the rim we will descend across the arctic moons cape of the wide crater floor to the Crater Camp, set in soft sand near the indigo streaked Furtwangler Glacier. B.L.D.
Day 11: CRATER CAMP (18,800’) TO UHURU PEAK (19,340’) TO MILLENNIUM CAMP (12,530’), 6.0 MILES
After an early breakfast we make the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, reaching the 19,340-foot summit of Kilimanjaro by 8 a.m. At this early hour, before the clouds close in, you will have spectacular views of Africa in all directions. After a stay of 20 to 30 minutes with tea, snacks and plenty of photos, we descend 2 to 3 hours to Barafu Camp for lunch, rest and to take off extra layers. Continuing downhill 3 to 4 hours to the edge of the Mweka Forest, we reach the final night’s camp, 7,000 feet below the summit! Eat, share your experiences of the climb, and sleep soundly. Congratulations, you touched the Roof of Africa! B.L.D
DAY 12: MILLENNIUM CAMP (12,530') TO MWEKA GATE (5,380'), 7.7 MILES; MBAHE FARM HOUSE
Our last day is another descent of 7,000 feet with 4 to 5 hours of hiking to the trailhead at Mweka Gate. The trail is steep in places and within the forest may be slippery if wet. At the gate, we will temporarily say goodbye to our mountain crew and enjoy a hearty picnic lunch. The trip leaders will take you back to Mbahe Village Farm for a hot shower and a celebration dinner with the whole team. B.L.D.
Day 13: MBAHE FARM HOUSE/DEPARTURE
Today is a rest and relaxation day at the farm. Optional activities include light hiking, swimming, exploring the village and local school, visiting with the neighbors, drumming, tasting homemade banana beer, or shopping in Moshi Town. For those returning home you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport to catch your flight. Those heading out on safari or to Zanzibar will prepare to the continuation of your exciting African adventure. B. L.
DAY 14: LAKE MANYARA, NGORONGORO CONSERVATIONS AREA,
Overnight: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge BLD
Day 15-17: NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA, OLDUVAI GORGE, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Overnights Simiyu Exclusive Mobile Camp BLD
Day 18: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK, ARUSHA, KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Overnight Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge (day room) BLD
Lemosho/Shira Crater Route (per person, double occupancy)
U.S.$4,185* (single supplement U.S. $450)
Optional 5 day safari: US $2,590* (double occupancy)
*Price and dates subject to change until confirmed by a deposit
- All Accommodations
- All meals as indicated (B.L.D.)
- Services of trip leader, climbing guids, and mountain crew
- Kilimanjaro National Park entrance, camping, and rescue fees
- All camping and dining equipment (excluding sleeping bag and pad)
- Gamow bag (portable hyperbaric chamber) and supplemental oxygen on all climbs
- Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport and to/from park entrance/exit gates, including optional trip to Moshi Town
- Guided Mbahe Village tour
RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Tips and gratuities to leaders, guides, crew or other staff; additional accommodations and meals made necessary by airline schedule changes, inability to complete the climb or other factors; pre-trip expenses such as immunizations, travel insurance, passports and visas; international airfare; airport departure taxes; and any expenses of a personal nature such a souvenirs and laundry services.must be paid in US dollars cash. Tanzania issues visas at the point of entry: US$135 per person. Multiple entry visa (valid for 3 years). pment and hand luggage. Any excess luggage can be stored at Lusaka Airport.