(Arusha, Ngorongoro, Serengeti)
Because once you reach the summit and see the astounding beauty of the land laid out below you, you’ll want to immerse yourself in it.
Blending the thrill of climbing Africa's highest Peak with the spectacle of Tanzania's finest game parks, this trip is ideal for adventurers who want the best of both worlds. Your days will be spent ascending alpine deserts and glacial valleys and roaming vast grassy plains in search of big game. In the evenings, relax in an assortment of accommodations from pup tents on Kilimanjaro to luxury tents in the Serengeti.
You’ll slowly begin to ascend Kilimanjaro from the forest zone into the heath zone, allowing your body to acclimatize. As you make your way to the first camp, you’ll bear witness to events some 60,000 years ago when a large section of the mountain collapsed. Continuing on, ascending into alpine desert, where the only green you’ll see are tussock grasses and curious moss balls, you’ll enjoy splendid views of Mawenzi peak. Depart just before midnight for the final summit bid so you reach the top just as morning breaks over the landscape. When your feet touch the ground again, head for Ngorongoro Crater, home to over 20,000 mammals including cheetahs, jackals, leopards, and some of the only black rhinos left in the world. Set out accompanied by an experienced tracker-guide into the seamlessly never-ending expanses of the Serengeti in search of the Big 5, as well as some 500 species of birds. This African adventure promises to inspire memories that will last a lifetime.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Your guide will drive you from Mt. Kilimanjaro to Arusha. The drive will take approximately 1 hour.
While you are in the care of Kensington Tours, your safety and security are our number one priority. As such, in the unlikely event of serious illness or injury, all Kensington Tours clients are covered by “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance covers the cost of the evacuation flight back to Nairobi for treatment. This insurance policy however DOES NOT cover the cost of any medical treatment received. We highly recommend travel insurance for full coverage.
Every excursion team is equipped with a fully operational safety kit. The kit includes a portable altitude chamber (on crater ascents), first aid kids, pulse oximeters, oxygen with regulator & mask, neck brace, mobile phone, satelite phone (on shira & crater), water filter, stethascope, portable stretcher, guest & crew AMS monitoring sheets.Excursion guides and crews are specifically trained and instructed to ensure, wherever possible, that our guests can walk off the mountain, unaided, themselves. They are also trained extensively on monitoring systems and also management of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), and more advanced forms of mountain sickness such as HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema).
In the morning you are picked up at 8am from your hotel and drive to Machame gate to collect your permits. There is then an hour drive to the Umbwe gate where after checking in you set off up through the forest zone. This first day of hiking is not overly difficult but certainly steepens towards the latter end of the day. In the late afternoon you arrive in the first camp for dinner and overnight.
The second day ascends from the forest zone into the heath zone and there are some very steep sections here. Taking it easy is essential to allow your body to acclimatise. A picnic lunch is taken on route and then in the afternoon you arrive into Barranco camp in time to relax for a while before dinner. The views of the Barranco wall and western breach pertain to events some 60,000 years ago when this whole part of the mountain collapsed.
Today is a walk-high sleep-low day. You ascend into alpine desert and for those that are feeling strong you can even head up to Lava Tower before descending to the Barranco Camp. Lunch is taken as a picnic lunch on route. This is long day but pays dividends later on - great acclimatisation day!
Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and at times strong winds rip over this camp and yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the evening.
Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of game to reach the summit and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru peak, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down and your goal today is to reach Mweka Camp before dusk.
After breakfast you descend once again through montane forest and around mid day after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to your accommodation.
Your guide will drive you from Arusha to the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater. On the way you'll have a game drive in Manyara before continuing on to your lodge near Ngorongoro. This drive will take 4-5hrs or more depending on how long you spend on your game drive in Manyara.
Just inside the Ngorongoro conservation area, a majestic waterfall beckons travelers to enjoy a light hike through the forest highlands. Along the way, experience the ‘elephant caves’: cave-like structures created by elephants digging up the earth to ingest the vitamin-rich soil. This soil also attracts other large animals like Buffalo, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, and Baboons.
You are provided with a personalized, experienced tracker-guide and private transportation today whilst exploring around the Ngorongoro National Park grounds.
Explore one of the most recognized wildlife conservation areas in Tanzania today. Depart your camp or lodge in a privately driven vehicle, along with a local expert guide, for approximately a 20 to 30 minute drive towards the Ngorongoro Park Gate. It will then take you another 20 minutes to reach the crater rim itself. The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera. This geological masterpiece was formed as a result of an extremely large volcanic explosion which caused the volcano to collapse in on itself, thus creating a crater. The crater is roughly 20 kilometers wide and some 2000 feet deep, making the trip from crater floor to rim around 45 minutes by 4x4. The extremely fertile crater floor is the reason why there is such a highly concentrated amount of wildlife here. Over 20000 mammals call the crater home, including some of the only remaining black rhinos in the world. The crater floor also boasts one of the highest carnivore densities in the world including large prides of lions, packs of hyenas and solitary predators like cheetahs and jackals. A keen eye and expertly recommended search patterns from your guide may help you spot some of the less common species like leopards, servals, and bat-eared foxes.
Your guide will pick you up from the Ngorongoro Conservation area and drive you to the famous plains of the Serengeti. On this drive you have the option of stopping at Olduvlai Gorge, the Serengeti welcome centre and lookout point, or stop for lunch at a picnic spot. After entering Serengeti Park you will have the chance to enjoy game viewing as you drive through the park to your next accommodation. This drive takes 5 to 6 hours depending on the number of stops you make and how much game viewing you enjoy along the way. Expect longer trip times during the rainy seasons.
The massive Olduvai Gorge or Oldupai Gorge is often referred to as “The Cradle of Mankind.” Beginning in the eastern Serengeti plains, the gorge is roughly some 48 kilometers long. Resulting from millions of years of natural erosion, this gorge boasts a steep-sided ravine that cuts and stretches its way through the Great Rift Valley along eastern Africa. The gorge is named after a commonly used plant by the Masai people with the scientific name of Sansevieria-Ehrenbergii, or Oldupai for short.
Get ready for an afternoon to remember as you set out accompanied by an experienced tracker-guide into the seamlessly never-ending expanses of the Serengeti. The park is world renowned for its healthy stock of resident wildlife species, in particular the African Big 5 which or course includes buffalos, elephants, rhinoceros, leopards and lions. Although with sightings considered a rarity, very few black rhinoceros still live within the confines of the park grounds. The Serengeti is also home to the largest population of lions and giraffes in all of Africa. Heavy concentrations of topi, gazelle, waterbuck and Coke’s hartebeest provide an ample food source for local carnivores including cheetah, hyenas and African wild dog. The park is also home to some 500+ species of birds, ranging in size and weights some of these bird including ostrich, crowned crane, marabou stork and secretary bird are the most sought after photogenic birds on the planet.
This morning’s African adventure begins with an exploratory game drive through Tanzania’s oldest and most recognized National Park, the Serengeti. This location offers the most expansive game viewing in Tanzania. From predators to prey, great herds of grazing herbivores to tactically cunning packs of carnivores, life on the plains of the Serengeti can best be defined as a complete “circle of life.” A photographic dream unfolds before your eyes as giraffes and elephants feast on tasty shrubbery, whilst impalas, gazelles and buffalos dance carefully through the plains as to not become the latest meal for on-looking lions, cheetahs and hyenas.
Spend the day taking in the spectacle of the famous wildebeest migration. This annual migration through the Serengeti and Masai Mara is one of the safari highlights of Africa. The wildebeest migration moves in a basic clockwise direction throughout the year in the Serengeti eco-system and moves north into the Masai Mara in Kenya from June/July through to Sep/October. Sightings cannot be guaranteed as the herds move according to the availability of food sources and migration movements can be erratic. The herds are accompanied by zebras and Thomson's gazelles and are stealthily hunted by local predators such as leopards, lions and hyenas.
If time allows, your expert guide will squeeze in one more game drive before dropping you off at the airstrip. It will be your last chance to see the park's diverse range of animals.
21Take your flight from Serengeti to Arusha today. The flight will do more than one stop on the way. The flight duration is approximately 2 hours.
Luggage restriction applicable to this flight: 15kg (32 lb) per person, for both carry-on and checked luggage. Your checked luggage needs to be soft-sided - no wheels / no spine, a duffel bag is recommended. A small purse/backpack, is recommended as a carry-on, to keep your camera, passport, hat, sunblock or other items you need within easy reach.
Stop for lunch at the Arusha Hotel in this tourism capital of Tanzania. Shop the local souvenir market.
Time permitting, visit a local handicrafts market to stock up on souvenirs.
Airport transfer between your Arusha hotel and Kilimanjaro International airport with private vehicle and english speaking driver.
Mount Meru Hotel is situated at the foothills of Mount Meru in the city of Arusha, Tanzania. The Mount Meru Hotel lies on 9 acres of lush landscape, surrounded by some of Africa’s most breath-taking vistas, rich with a diverse array of wildlife, etched against the fertile slopes of this beautiful mountain. The Mount Meru Hotel, its management and staff members have made every endeavour to ensure that your stay is a rejuvenating and refreshing experience of African hospitality and look forward to meeting you in person. Tanzanian warmth and kindness is renowned all over the world and the opportunity to prove this fact much more than mere legend is an exhilarating opportunity to all at this pinnacle of splendor, the Mount Meru Hotel.
An overnight camp area will be set up in a clearing on the trail. Clients must provide their own sleeping bag, however clients will be provided with: Client Tent: a lightweight 2-person "pup" tent used for 2 people (unless specifically booked for single occupancy), as well as a foam pad for sleeping. Tent is 52" high, 92" front to back, 82" across. Floor area: 48 sq. ft.Mess Tent: communal lightweight mess tent, lightweight table and stools.Cooks will be on site to provide meals.
The Ngorongoro Farm House is a small and exclusive lodge facing the Oldeani Volcano, only 5 kilometers from the Ngorongoro Lolduare gate. This unique property was built to offer visitors an original experience reminiscent of the atmosphere of the old days. Inaugurated in 2003, this lodge offers various rooms, cottages, and suites, all rustically designed and decorated using local materials and furnishings, all for the purpose of providing each guest an imaginary journey to the life of the days gone. Meals are served in the main building or on occasion around the pool and feature ample selections of locally inspired dishes or popular western fares. Guests at this lodge can cool off in the pool or enjoy tension soothing massages after game drives.
Enhance your safari adventure in the comfort and serenity of Mbugani Camps, located in the famed Serengeti National Park. Whether you've experienced the wonder of the Serengeti before, or you are embarking on the voyage of your dreams, Mbugani Camps provides you with the perfect balance of natural surroundings and the comforts of home. Enjoy the luxury of soft furnishings, private baths, front porches, freshly-made meals with local foods, drinks at sundown and stories by the campfire after a day of sightseeing and exploring with local guides. Or, just spend the day relaxing at camp.
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
Nathan Nerland ,
December 15, 2014
"Kensington Tours is always our only guided company we use because every staff has been amazing along the way and they accommodate everything we request, and more."
December 12, 2014
"Our week-long tour in Morocco went without a hitch in the company of a great driver and knowledgeable guide who were always prompt, courteous, helpful, and very nice. Kensington Tours' picks for our overnight accommodations were excellent, as well as the excursions planned for us. We're grateful to our conscientious agent, Lily, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome in Morocco. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands whenever we travel with Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"Our trip was a perfect 10 - exceeding all expectations! Starting with Christine Willner's attentiveness to our wish list and balancing it to our budget, every leg and element of our journey took place without so much as a hiccup. We were blown away by the quality of our tours, accommodations and guides. Thank you for giving us a great experience and wonderful memories!"
Rebecca Warren ,
August 02, 2014
"My 26 year old daughter recently traveled alone to Madagascar using Kensington tours. I was a little concerned about her safety and wanted to make sure that she would be well taken care of. Kensington was great from start to finish. Our travel agent, Marc Sisson, put together the tour in very short order with very little notice, had no problem doing it for just one person, and gave me a sense of security that my daughter would be well cared for. She did the Anjajavy 5 Day Beach extension. The tour guide who picked her up at the airport in the capitol city was outstanding -- very knowledgeable and helpful. The Anjajavy hotel was extraordinary. Her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. She kayaked, swam in the ocean and saw lemurs feeding. She got to practice her French with the outstanding hotel manager and otherwise was able to just relax and unwind. She described the experience as "visiting Eden." I highly recommend Kensington. I contacted a number of tour/travel agencies and none of them compared to Kensington. "
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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