Travel to Africa and experience the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro & Zanzibar

Travel to Africa and experience some of Kenya and Tanzania's most famous natural wonders on this Active trip for those with a passion for the outdoors. The vast Serengeti plains evoke a sense of wonder and deep respect for the animal kingdom, while the imposing peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro inspire awe and rouse a spirit of adventure. Safari through the savanna in search of stealthy predators and try to spot other game in the gigantic Ngorongoro Crater. Rise to the challenge and conquer Africa's highest peak on a difficult trek to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Cap it all of on the shore of the Zanzibar coast.


Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Stone Town, Tanzania
Countries
Kenya, Tanzania
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Code
YGOZC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

Why we love this trip

  • Shop for local wares and interact with townsfolk at the Mwigobero Market on the edge of Lake Victoria

  • Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth, with two early-morning and two late-afternoon game drives through this spectacular wildlife arena

  • Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open-roof 4X4 for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros

  • Taking the Marangu route to climb the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro allows you to stay in the comfort of huts

  • Travelling with experienced guides and porters, you'll be in good hands, with one guide for every two passengers

  • End your trip on the northern beaches of Zanzibar, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await

  • We are an official partner of IMEC’s Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP). This means all of our climbs have been assessed and scored based on a number of criteria, all of which are designed to ensure the proper treatment of porters on the Mountain. Read more here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/theme/walking/kilimanjaro-trek

Is this trip right for you?

  • Camping in the Serengeti National Park with no barriers between you and the animals is amazing, but it's important to heed the safety advice of your leader. You'll be briefed on arrival.

  • Our purpose-built overland vehicles allow for excellent game viewing, equipped with large sliding windows. They have no air-conditioning, however, so they can get dusty and hot at times.

  • The going can be slow over the long distances and often bumpy roads. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land!

  • A portion of this trip involves participatory camping, so team spirit is key. You'll be expected to help out with camp setup, food preparation and cleaning

  • You'll need a good level of fitness for this trip. The distances may not be long, but the altitude makes it much harder than your average uphill hike. The going will be slow as your body adjusts.

  • Tried and tested all-purpose hiking equipment is required. Temperatures at night can get very low when you're above 3,500 metres, so warm clothing and a sleeping bag are essential. You can hire this equipment if need be.

  • Your safety comes first. Our experienced guides will monitor each passenger for any signs of acute mountain sickness. If you show any signs, you'll descend immediately with a guide.

  • Hiking for several days without a shower can be tough – be prepared for some dust and dirt. A mask, wet wipes and face washer will be very handy.

  • The huts along this route sleep between 4 and 12 passengers and will be mixed-gender.

  • Some passengers on this trip will have been travelling together prior to the start of your trip.

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting. If you arrive early, perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.

Notes: Petty theft is common in Nairobi. As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or floors when in bars or restaurants. Without being paranoid, appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Also, make scans of important travel documents and email them to yourself – this will save you hours of paperwork if anything does happen.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - National Museum - USD10
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD30
  • Nairobi - Giraffe Center - USD12
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Board your safari truck and travel west (approximately 8–9 hours). Today’s destination is near the hilltop town of Kisii, which will be the last chance to stock up on supplies before heading into Tanzania. Crossing the incredibly scenic Great Rift Valley on your way to the tea-growing highlands is a fantastic introduction to the landscapes of Kenya. You will pass through the ancient homeland of the Maasai. Keep a look out for these tall, graceful tribesmen dressed in distinctive scarlet robes as they tend to their prized herds of cattle. The roads on the way are pretty rough, but there will be chances to stop and stretch your legs, including a picnic lunch in the town of Narok. You will be accommodated in either very simple shared rooms (with bedding provided) or in a camp which will be set up for the night. There is no WiFi available at the camp.

Accommodation
  • Cottage (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel towards the Kenya-Tanzania border and to the shores of Lake Victoria (approximately 7–8 hours). This is not only Africa's largest lake – it's the largest tropical lake in the world. Its shores are shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. There are plenty of activities to choose from while you're here. You might like to hire a bicycle and explore the lake's surrounds (you'll need to bring your own helmet if you want to wear one). Or you can visit an African marketplace for a chance to interact with the people of Musoma. You can also simply chill out lakeside with a cold drink. Make the most of the ATM and local market to stock up for your next three days of adventuring in the wilderness. You will camp on the shores of the lake tonight, at one of its least visited campgrounds, on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma. Depending on availability, you might be able to upgrade to a room. No WiFi is available, however.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
Optional Activities
  • Lake Victoria - Guided bike excursion around Musoma - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours) and enjoy a picnic lunch at the entrance to the park. Enter the Serengeti and take a game drive en route to your campsite. The wide open plains of the Serengeti – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Flat and rolling, with long grass and acacia trees, these plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet – 'The place where the land moves on forever'. Your campsite is right in the action, within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. There are no upgrades or WiFi available here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Musoma - Market visit - KES500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Our camp within the Serengeti National Park does not have a fence to separate the camp from the animals. This is quite the experience as animals such as buffalo and hyenas often come close to camp after sundown. On arrival at the camp your leader will give a detailed safety briefing on what is required to ensure the safety of the group.
Start the day with a game drive at dawn. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing, as the animals do, depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild. You'll return in time for dinner. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast, then be returned to your camp.

Notes: The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD546
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a game drive on your way out of the park today. After lunch you will enter the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Your destination today is the rim of the crater (approximately 3 hours). Your campsite overlooks jagged volcanic peaks and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below – you can be sure that there are few campsites in the world with a better view than this! The campsite has flush toilets and hot showers available, but no WiFi or optional upgrades. It can get very cold on the crater rim, particularly during the winter months (June to August) when temperatures drop below zero. Even in the summer months it can be surprisingly chilly at night, so be sure to bring some warm clothes.

Notes: You will notice some Maasai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater offering a cultural experience. Intrepid recommends avoiding these villages, as they can impact negatively on the Maasai culture and travellers' perceptions of it by selling an artificial experience.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
A gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals. Among these are endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round, and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. You'll drive out of the crater and head to Mto Wa Mbu for a look around town and craft market before continuing to your campsite (approximately 5–6 hours). A small village community that's off the tourist trail, Mto Wa Mbu is a fascinating snapshot of small-town African life. Your campsite is in Meserani, on the outskirts of Arusha, and has flush toilets and showers. Upgrades to rooms are possible, depending on availability, but there is no WiFi.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Market Visit
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive fee
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Bidding farewell to your truck and crew, this morning we make our way back to Arusha where will catch an afternoon shuttle bus from Arusha to Marangu in the foothills (1,300 m/4,500 ft) of Mt Kilimanjaro (approx 4 hours). This section of the trip is unaccompanied by a leader.The shuttle departs from the Impala hotel at 2pm which will give you some time to relax or explore Arusha town. In the early evening there is a full briefing and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber. This will take place before dinner. Your insurance details and next of kin information will also be collected.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Sleeping Bag and walking pole hire ( must be requested at time of booking )
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Trek Briefing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet your new fellow travellers.
Today you will hike from Kibo Hotel to Mandara Hut, a distance of 8 kilometres (approximately 3–5 hours). First you will meet your guides and porters after breakfast. Each person will have a personal porter, and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. It takes about 15 minutes to get to Marangu Gate at the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park (1,860 m). We will register as a group, which can take some time, depending on how busy it is. From here it is a long but easy walk through dense rainforest to the first mountain hut. In the forest you will find many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkeys. We'll walk through giant heather on our way to Mandara Hut (2,725 m) where we will stop for the night. From here you might choose to take an optional walk to the nearby Maundi Crater. If the skies are clear, take in excellent views of the nearby town of Moshi far below.
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Porterage of 1 bag (15kg max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Your second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The total distance from Mandara to Horombo Huts is 12 km (approximately 5–7 hours). Today you will see the rainforest give way to open and rolling alpine meadows dotted with giant heather trees. Once out of the forest canopy, the twin snow-tipped peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi lie directly ahead. These are two of the three great cones of Kilimanjaro (the other being Shira). During the day's walk we will traverse several ravines before reaching the hut, which is set in a rocky valley. There is time to enjoy a wide variety of vegetation and changing landscapes on the way to Horombo Hut (3,780 m). We will spend the night here at the hut.
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today we walk the 10 kilometres or so from Horombo to Kibo Hut (approximately 5–7 hours). As the journey progresses, you will notice the landscape gradually becoming more rugged and rocky, and the air noticeably thinner. To adhere to this, we will adjust our walking speed and pace ourselves. Marvel at giant groundsels and lobelias while you travel across the sparse moorland. Skirting Mawenzi Peak, arrive at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle. Reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4,740 m), take the opportunity to have an early night. 
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Your guides will wake you up at 11 pm and hot tea will be served. Prepare for the last leg of the trek – to the summit. The distance from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is 6 km (approximately 6–8 hours), and the descent to Horombo will be approximately the same amount of time. The trek begins beneath the stars as we zigzag our way up a large scree slope, guided only by torch light, to reach Gilman's Point (5,685 m). With some luck, we'll arrive in time for breathtaking views of the sun rising behind Mawenzi Peak. This is the stretch that most people find the hardest, and you should be prepared for a very cold morning. The dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields of the crater will make the early start worthwhile. For those who still have the energy, it's a further walk (approximately 2 hours) along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From here there are amazing views of the crater, ice fields and plains below. After photos and time to catch your breath, descend back to Horombo Hut for a well-earned rest.
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Continue your descent through alpine meadows and rainforest to the park gate. The distance from Horombo to Marangu Gate is 20 kilometres (approximately 5–6 hours). Here your transport awaits and you will return to the Kibo Hotel for a relaxing shower – a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Over a celebratory meal we can relive and share our experiences of the past five days on the mountain.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you will be picked up for a private transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport before catching an included flight to Zanzibar. On arrival you will transferred to your Stone Town hotel. Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar has a colourful history – everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast evokes what the island must have been like in Livingstone's day. The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town. The best way to see this exotic port town is on foot, exploring the markets, shops, mosques, palaces and courtyards. When the sun is setting, perhaps enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront, and a seafood curry at a local restaurant. Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to WiFi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Stone Town Tour - Dharajani Market, Joseph's Cathederal, Palace Museum, Forodhani Food Market - USD20
  • Zanzibar - Prison Island Tour - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet your new fellow travellers. Please note the Zanzibar portion of your itinerary may have more passengers than the maximum group size of 22 as we have a crossover of trips starting and finishing in Zanzibar.
Check out of your Stone Town hotel and drive to the spice plantations. Here you will receive a guided tour, during which you can learn all about the history of this town's renowned spice trade. You will also have the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger. Sample some teas made with these spices too. After lunch you will head to the northern beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free time in this beautiful archipelago today. There are many ways you can spend your day – perhaps talk to your leader for any recommendations they might have. Snorkelling in search of exotic fish is an excellent option. You might also like to feast on a sumptuous lunch of grilled local seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Zanzibar - Dhow Trip - USD60
  • Zanzibar - Snorkelling - USD60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After checking out this morning, you will make your way back to Stone Town, arriving at the Safari Lodge before 10am. Your trip comes to an end here. Ferries depart Zanzibar for Dar es Salaam daily at 7.30 am, 9.30 am, 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm. It's important to allow enough time to get back to the mainland if you need to catch your departing flight from Dar es Salaam. Speak to your leader about the best way to do this.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you wish to stay on in Zanzibar, post trip accommodation can be pre-booked at the Northern Beaches beach resort or in Stone Town.

Meals

16 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, minibus, 4x4 Safari Vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Cottage (1 night), Hotel (4 nights), Mountain hut (4 nights), Bungalow (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Market Visit
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive fee
  • Complimentary Sleeping Bag and walking pole hire ( must be requested at time of booking )
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Trek Briefing
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Porterage of 1 bag (15kg max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This is a combination trip. Therefore the composition of your trip may change in Marangu.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. The supplement does not apply to nights 9-12.
3. The cabins on the climb will be 4-12 person share.
4. A Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.
5. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude.

Essential trip information

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