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.
Day 7: Kilimanjaro - Arusha
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.
Accommodation: The Arusha Hotel
Day 8: Arusha - Manyara - Ngorongoro
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.
Accommodation: Plantation Lodge
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.
Day 9: Ngorongoro
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 20 to 30 minutes towards the Ngorongoro Crater. To explore the extremes of the crater you’ll have to travel along one of three possible routes. The first route travels from the top of the rim to the crater floor, the second route travels from the crater floor to the top of the crater rim, and the third routing travels both ways. 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.
Accommodation: Plantation Lodge
Day 10: Ngorongoro - Serengeti
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 year 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.
Accommodation: Mbalageti Camp
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.
Day 11: Serengeti
This morning’s African adventure begins with an exploratory game drive through Tanzania’s oldest and most recognized National Parks, 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 carnivores, life on the plains of the Serengeti can best be defined as a complete “circle of life.” A photographic dream will unfold 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 Serengeti eco-system and move north into Masai Mara, Kenya from June/July through to Sep/October. Sightings cannot be guaranteed as the herds move according to availability of food source and migration movements can be erratic. The herds are accompanied by zebra and Thomson's gazelle and are stealthily hunted by local predators such as leopard, lion and hyena.
Accommodation: Mbalageti Camp
Day 12: Serengeti - Arusha
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.
Stop for lunch at the Arusha Hotel in this tourism capital of Tanzania. Shop the local souvenir market.
Includes opportunity to visit 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.