(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.
The Arusha Hotel is nestled in the most beautifully landscaped gardens in Arusha. With rolling lawns, abundant trees, a large variety of exotic plants and stunning iridescent birdlife, the gardens of The Arusha Hotel provide an oasis from the bustling town. The 86 rooms and suites offer gorgeous mountain or garden views. Overlooking the gardens, the Parachichi Restaurant, meaning ‘avocado’ in Swahili, is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner and with the sublime climate, the outdoor terrace offers a tranquil setting. Relax with a cocktail at Bustani Bar or The Hatari Bar, situated next to the swimming pool. Enjoy swimming or sun-bathing at the large and inviting swimming pool, or relax in the open-air Jacuzzi. There is also a fitness centre available to guests that features a variety of machines and weights.
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.
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 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. Thris drive will take 4-5hrs or more depending on how long you spend on your game drive in Manyara.
Stop in and visit the Manyara region, which is best known for its baboon population. This area also has many herbivores such as hippos, impalas, elephants, wildebeests, buffalo, warthogs and giraffes. Some lucky visitors have even spotted the rare tree climbing lion here. The giant fig trees and mahogany trees are seen in the groundwater forest immediately around the park gates, which draw nourishment from the underground springs that replenished continuously from crater highlands directly above the Manyara basin. Afterward, continue on to your next destination.
The Plantation Lodge is located a short drive from the Ngorongoro Crater. It is a haven of shades and hues, as green, violet, ivory and rust mingle to frame the tranquil setting. With 16 delicately arranged rooms and suites, one will be thoroughly delighted by the magical aura of the Plantation Lodge. Relax at dinner, where you will be served the most succulent of fruits and vegetables, produced right there in the garden. Keeping with the times, dining is a more elegant scenario, where one is served in courses. Step into the swimming pool, go for a walk, or head out to one of the nearby farms for a window into this wonderful region.
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. As a result of millions of years of natural erosion, this gorge boasts a steep-sided ravine which 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 health 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.
Mbalageti Serengeti features 24 luxury tented chalets on the slopes of the rising Mwamweni hill and 14 lodge style standard rooms. Each tent is equipped with all the utilities of home, such as an en-suite bathroom and a veranda with a stunning view. Dining takes place both in the bush, privately or with small groups, or in the dining tent, where local and continental cuisine forge new roots. English tea is served in the gardens with pastries daily. Activities range from spending some alone time in the loft reading books or a relaxing float in the tranquility pool, with the Serengeti plains as the backdrop.
This morning’s African adventure begins with an exploratory game drive through Tanzania’s oldest and most recognized National Park, the Serengeti. This dynamic location offers the most expansive game viewing in Tanzania, and considered by many as the best for game viewing location in all of Africa. 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.
Take your flight from Serengeti to Arusha today. The flight will do more than one stop on the way. The flight duration is approximately 2hrs.
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.
Depart from Kilimanjaro international airport - end of itinerary.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Irene Saurwein ,
April 21, 2014
"I thought that both Raymond and Mike were outstanding guides. Our trip was wonderful. The only point I want to make that the food at the Farm House was not very good. Pretty disappointed. Our stay at the Serena in both locations was great. Overall great trip that we will never forget."
Francis Quinn ,
April 21, 2014
"The Mbugani Camps were nice but the beer was warm and they don't have ice. The owner was a great guy. Enjoyed Mara West. The staff and food were great. The second evening the loud mouth owner conducted a business meeting on the front porch disrupting a peaceful cocktail hour. It was totally inappropriate since he was very loud and discussed his business dealings with Kensington with others. They also need an ice machine. They ran out every night. Albert is probably the best guide I have ever had. Very knowlegeable. Mike was great too. Fabulous trip. You guys did a great job. We had a wonderful time."
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"Our party of 4 believe that we were given incorrect information regarding the type of suitcase that we should purchase for this trip. We were advised to buy a suitcase that was soft sided and no wheels. We arrived in Africa to see many others going on Safari with suitcases that had wheels. It was difficult for us to manouever our bags. I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We learned a great deal from Wasari . Our tour guide in the Mara was just ok . It would have been great to have the tour guide that we had in Serengeti for the complete trip. We understood that he could have crossed over from Tanzania into Kenya to get us . There was one flight within the country that we felt we may have been better off driving. We all believed that our Sales consultant could have spent more time with us on the phone going over the itinerary and guiding us through some of the decisions that we were making. For example Lake Manyara was not really necessary and perhaps we could have used that extra day in Zanzibar . These are some of the decisions that we felt our consultant could have assisted us with . 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!"
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
Frank Manna ,
April 21, 2014
"Our guided transfers were exceptionally accommodating even though our flights were considerably delayed. The Annavillanas Jungle Lodge was spectacular for location, accommodations and food. The Rio Carnival experience was unique and unforgettable and our seats were wonderful. Loved the location of our hotel in Rio.......right on the street of Copacabana Beach.......fantastic. The only negative during our entire trip was the routing of the airline flights. Was there no way to avoid the flight from Rio to Manaus and then Manaus to Rio for our flight home. We seem to have travelled 2000 miles to the same starting location. Next time I would appreciate a more thorough exploration of all possible routes that would be more expedient and less strenuous for the travelers. I realize that there are limitations but I rely on Kensington to assist me in making the best decision for my wife and me."
Michael Melvin Marsh ,
April 21, 2014
"The trip was very special and i credit Sunita Singh for helping to make it such. We worked on the itinerary for three months and she was very helpful, knowledgeable and present."
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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