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Experience the best of both worlds in this hiking and wildlife safari in Tanzania by Gamily Tours. This safari will take you from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Meru, and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
During this safari, you will be staying in the following accommodations while during your hike, you will be staying in tents:
Arrive anytime at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Gamily Tours will arrange a private transfer to Arusha Safari Lodge, where the rest of the day is at leisure. You will stay at Arusha Safari Lodge, which is beautifully located on the slope of Mt. Meru and is a perfect place to prepare for your adventure.
You will gather in the hotel for a pre-safari briefing and an equipment check. You will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance. Dinner and overnight at Arusha Safari Lodge.
Depart from Arusha Safari Lodge to Lake Manyara National Park. Although small in size, this park is one of the most diverse reserves in the country. Lake Manyara covers two thirds of the park. At the backdrop is the wall of the Great Rift Valley, before which lies the ground water forest, areas of open grassland near the lake foreshore, and the soda lake.
You will enjoy a picnic lunch in this area, which consists of open grassy areas, hot springs, dense woodlands, and steep mountainsides. Lake Manyara National Park is a birding paradise that has more than 350 species of bird. The park is also famed for its unique and elusive tree-climbing lions. Overnight at Nsya Lodge.
We proceed to Olduvai Gorge, known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’. It was here, in the Great Rift Valley, that the remains of early hominids dating back two million years were uncovered. Afterwards, you visit the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the world - Serengeti National Park.
The word ‘Serengeti’ means ‘endless plains’, which describes the park’s 5,600 square mile boundary. Yet for its sprawling area, the Serengeti does not disappoint when it comes to rich game-viewing. Annually, from May to December, millions of animals embark on a migration which brings them from central Serengeti to Kenya’s Maasai Mara and back again in an incredible spectacle.
Even during the ‘down-time’, vast herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle roam here along with groups of elephant, giraffe, and buffalo. As the lions, leopard, cheetah, hyenas, and jackals stalk their meals, you will enjoy a picnic lunch in this open arena. Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Wild Tented Lodge.
Depart from Serengeti for an encore game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater. At the top of the crater, the views of the caldera and the scattered animals below are breathtaking. You will venture onto the crater floor for an up close at the residents of this World Heritage Site, and enjoy a picnic lunch here.
The Ngorongoro Crater provides great game-viewing all year-round. The wildlife here makes up a permanent population because grazing and water supplies are plentiful throughout the seasons. You will have your final dinner and around evening drive back to Arusha. Dinner and overnight at Arusha Safari Lodge.
After an early morning breakfast in Arusha (1400 meters), you will be picked up from your hotel and brought to the Momela Gate in Arusha National Park. At this time, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA).
You will then begin your ascent in Arusha National Park. The first day of hiking is similar to a walking safari; you should expect to see giraffes, zebras, antelope, buffalo, and potentially elephants near the trail. Due to the high possibility of spotting wildlife, an armed ranger, hired through the national park, is required to join the team for the duration of the hike.
As you continue hiking, you will pass the Ngarenanyuki River and a beautiful waterfall at the base of Mt. Meru. Upon arriving to Miriakamba Hut (2500 meters), your chef will prepare a hot dinner and washing water for you. Enjoy the beautiful sunset and overnight.
After breakfast, you will start ascending up the steep trail along the ridge of the saddle. You may see various wildlife along the way! The trail has views of Mt. Meru Crater and the Ash Tray. When you arrive at camp, you have the option of hiking Little Mt. Meru (3820 meters) with your guide to further acclimate.
You will be served an early dinner, so you can receive ample rest before your midnight summit attempt. Get to sleep by 7 p.m.
Your guide will wake you at 12:30 a.m. for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt at 1:30 a.m. The trail starts off on a steep grade to Rhino Point (3800 meters) to Cobra Point (4350 meters). The last hour of the hike, you will scramble on a rocky ridge between the crater and inner cliffs of Meru.
You will reach the summit of Meru (4565 meterse) at sunrise with spectacular views of Mt. Meru Ash Tray and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Enjoy your views then descend to Momela Gate.
After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (about one hour), register, and commence the climb. Walk through the rainforest to the Mandara encampment. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colobus monkeys.
You will leave the glades of the rain-forest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo encampment. Views of Mawenzi and the summit of Kibo are amazing. Look for giant lobelias and groundsels. You may begin to feel the effects of the altitude.
Ascending, you will now pass the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heathland but then disappears into “moonscape”. Dinner, rest, and prepare for summit climb.
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 a.m.), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s point located on the crater rim. Continuing, you will now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family.
From here you will descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment. The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers.
This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
After breakfast, a steady descent takes you down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the national park gate at Marangu.
At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will be waiting for you at Marangu gate to drive you back to your hotel Moshi (about one hour).
Your driver will pick you at your hotel to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) for drop off and it will be the end of the tour.
This safari will take you from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Meru, and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Mout Meru is the best for acclimatization prior to Mount Kilimanjaro climbing. The mountain is the third highest peak in Africa and is the second highest mountain in Tanzania at 4,568 meters. The mountain is located within Arusha National Park, Tanzania’s gem. This prime location gives trekkers the chance to spot some of wildlife that inhabits the area.
Ascend is quite steep, the route to the summit passes over streams, through parkland, montane forest, a giant heather zone, and moorland. The summit is reached by a narrow, barren ridge, which provides stunning views of the Ash Cone lying several thousand feet below in the crater.
Marangu Route is also known as the “Coca Cola” or “Females Tourist” route. It is the easiest and shortest route to the summit. This is also the only route with the comforts of sleeping huts at every camp site with solar lights and comfortable beds. The huts are communal, and the bunks have a sponge mattress and pillow.
All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a jovial and energetic atmosphere.
This route is usually done in five days but can be done in six days for better acclimatization. The extra day can be spent resting at Horombo or climbing the small peak of Mawenzi.
During this safari, you will be provided with meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Gamily Tours will pick you up from the airport.
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