Trek to top of Africa’s highest peak with the summiting experts, followed by a classic Tanzanian safari
Here’s your chance to stand on the “roof of Africa” (and one of the legendary “seven summits”—the highest peaks on each continent). Crowned by eternal snows, Kilimanjaro is an overwhelming presence on the African landscape, known to the local people as the “Home of God.” To climb its slopes is a dream of every adventurer—from the white-capped summit, with all of Africa spread out at your feet, the feeling of freedom is intoxicating.
As the first U.S. company to lead commercial treks up Kilimanjaro nearly 40 years ago, we have the expertise to help you reach the summit. Porters carry all the gear (you only carry a daypack), but the steep ascent and high altitude make this a very challenging trek. We take the most direct route, and acclimatize at the highest point compared to our competitors. This, plus a short summiting day (a mere 3 hours of climbing versus the typical 8) and the presence of our top-notch, highly trained mountain guides ensures the best chances of reaching the top (we’re proud to be able to claim a 98% summit success rate!).
Kilimanjaro is actually made up of three volcanoes: Shira, Mawenzi, and the youngest, Kibo, whose crater is capped by equatorial glacial ice and snow. Our itinerary takes you to the top via the little-traveled Great Barranco Valley/Western Breach Route, which combines the mountain’s finest scenery with the spectacular inner crater, where we'll camp in advance of our final summit push. (This route was beautifully showcased in the IMAX© film Kilimanjaro in 2002—but we are the only operator to feature it on our itinerary.) Beginning in the rainforest at 6,400 feet, we climb through six incredible and very different eco zones and past one spellbinding vista after another, making a total altitude gain of nearly 13,000 feet on the way to the “snows of Kilimanjaro”—Uhuru Peak, the summit, at 19,340 feet.
Though the mountain ascent is the main focus of the trip, we couldn’t let you go all the way to Africa without going on a safari. East Africa’s wildlife is legendary, and Tanzania has the “lion’s share.” After the climb, we’ll explore Ngorongoro Crater, one of the world’s largest calderas, whose 100-square-mile floor abounds with wildlife and supports the densest population of large carnivores anywhere, along with elephants, zebras, black rhino and gazelles. Here we'll meet the fascinating Maasai, visit an authentic boma (homestead) and learn about their unique way of life, largely untouched by modernization. Our long relationships with the tribespeople mean these encounters are truly spontaneous and genuine, never staged. We’ll also explore the Serengeti plains, everyone’s vision of the real Africa. Our safaris use mobile tented camps, which allow us to optimize our animal viewing and avoid the crowded lodges. It’s a spectacular way to round out your exclusive climbing adventure—and check off two bucket-list experiences in a single trip.
Summiting Kilimanjaro is a one-of-a-kind adventure, and your experience should be too. We plan each journey with thoughtfulness and care, both for our guests and the local cultures and environment. Before the climb, you'll stay at a deluxe acclimatization camp in Arusha National Park (including meals and activities) rather than a hotel. Our porters are well paid, well trained and well equipped (and their tips are included in the price) and our trip leaders are the best trained on the mountain—they even train the local guides. We pace our trips appropriately and provide the highest client-to-guide and client-to-porter ratio. After all, our goal—as with each and every MTS journey—is to make the most of your time, both on the trek and on safari.
9 days strenuous hiking at high elevation (maximum 19,340'); game viewing by 4-wheel-drive vehicle
- Climb Kilimanjaro with the summiting experts—we have a 98% summiting rate, the highest on the mountain
- Take our exclusive trek along the little-used Great Barranco Valley/Western Breach, the most scenic route on the mountain, made famous by the IMAX film Kilimanjaro
- Get an extra full day to acclimatize at the mountain’s highest-elevation camp at Arrow Glacier
- After the climb, celebrate your efforts with a classic luxury camping safari in the iconic Ngorongoro Crater and the legendary Serengeti plains
- Visit an authentic Maasai boma (homestead), and experience their traditional way of life
Duration: 15 days Start Location: Arusha, Tanzania End Location: Arusha, TanzaniaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha National Park
Meet in Arusha, Tanzania, and transfer to a deluxe private camp in Arusha National Park.
Day 2 : Mount Meru
Hike in the cedar and podocarpus forests on the lower slopes of Mount Meru.
Day 3 : Begin trek on Kilimanjaro
Drive to the trailhead and begin your climb through Kilimanjaro's lush rainforest lowlands. Our route on the mountain for the duration of the climb is a scenic route that encompasses five ecological zones.
Day 4 : Shira Camp
Climb above the Shira Plateau, through the rarely visited Barranco Valley, with its rare and unusual plants and along the glaciated slopes of Kilimanjaro's south face to a camp at 15,300'. We include a layover day at a high camp near the Arrow Glacier for acclimatization, giving you the best chance of making it to the summit.
Day 5 : Barranco Camp
Trek eastward toward the Kibo Massif, diverting at Lava Tower to descend and camp in the Barranco Valley.
Day 6 : Arrow Glacier Camp
Leave the Machame Route and continue our push toward the summit on the Western Breach route, camping at Arrow Glacier (15,300') at the base of the Great Western Breach itself.
Day 7 : Arrow Glacier Camp
Layover day to acclimatize at Arrow Glacier, with short hike along a portion of the Western Breach ascent route.
Day 8 : Crater Camp
Ascend the Great Western Breach, a 2,500-foot ascent into Kilimanjaro's inner crater. Camp at 18,300' amidst a radical scene of towering glaciers rising from the harsh rock landscape.
Day 9 : Summit day!
Rise with the sun for our push to the summit and surreal views of the African plains nearly three miles below you. Descend to a camp at 10,200'.
Day 10 : End trek – “Climb Only” participants depart
End trek and drive to Arusha.
Day 11 : Ngorongoro Crater Highlands
Enjoy the pleasures of safari life as you view the plentiful wildlife of Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, among the "must-see" spots of Africa. Take part in daily Maasai life, including a visit to a boma (homestead) and participation in an Ol Pul (meat feast) festival.
Day 12 : Ngorongoro Crater
Explore the wildlife paradise of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we'll likely spot lions, hyenas, elephants, hippos, and a host of other African game (perhaps even one of the world's few remaining black rhinos!)
Day 13 : Oldupai Gorge – Serengeti
Travel from the Ngorongoro Highlands to the vast plains of the Serengeti, stopping at Oldupai Gorge en route.
Day 14 : In the Serengeti
Explore the Serengeti, endeavoring to catch sight of the great herds of the legendary Serengeti migration.
Day 15 : Arusha – Depart
Drive to Arusha and depart for home, or join one of our extensions in East Africa.
DATES: Best time to go: January - March, June - December Departures: Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 4, 2015 Jan 17 - 31, 2015 Feb 14 - 28, 2015 Mar 14 - 28, 2015 Jun 20, 2015 - Jul 4, 2015 Jul 12 - 26, 2015 Aug 22, 2015 - Sep 5, 2015 Sep 19, 2015 - Oct 3, 2015 Dec 25, 2015 - Jan 8, 2016
You will find a charming atmosphere together with every comfort: an ideal spot to enjoy the impressive flora and fauna of East Africa. Moivaro Lodge is situated right in the heart of beautiful, natural scenery and yet is only 7 km from the town of Arusha.
At Moivaro Lodge the staff will ensure that you are looked after in a unique, friendly and peaceful environment, helping you to prepare for your safaris and cosseting you on your return in the evening. Relax and enjoy the beautiful vista of Mount Meru from the comfortable veranda, or perhaps to laze at the pool nestling in the midst of tropical trees and coffee plants.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way. Some of our top Kilimanjaro guides include:
Elias Msemo is a keen outdoorsman who fell in love with the natural beauty of Tanzania at an early age. In addition to being an accomplished climber, he is also a graduate of wildlife studies at the College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania. Upon his graduation, he decided to pursue a career as a mountain guide and has now led countless climbs up Kilimanjaro. Elias currently resides in Arusha with his family and is very much looking forward to hosting you in Tanzania.
Samia was born and raised on the south west slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. He now lives in Arusha with his wife and three children. Samia is extensively trained in mountaineering with over 15 years of experience, summiting Mt Kilimanjaro over 200 times via all routes. In 1999, he won the first prize in the Mt Kilimanjaro race- 18 hours running from the trail head at Lemosho at 7,500ft to the summit at 19,340ft and down to the Mweka gate at 5,600ft . Samia has taken various Wilderness First Responder courses and two NOLS-sponsored (National Outdoor Leadership School) Advanced Mountaineering courses conducted on Mount Kenya, which included instruction in rock climbing, ice climbing, advanced navigation skills, and crisis management. Since 2000, he has been participating in a program teaching first aid skills to Tanzania National Parks Rangers and other companies’ guides.