Summit the roof of Africa and survey the Serengeti on safari

Experience two of Africa's most famous natural wonders from ground level on this trip, designed for those with a passion for the outdoors. The imposing peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro inspire awe and rouse a spirit of adventure, while the vast plains of the Serengeti evoke a sense of wonder and deep respect for the animal kingdom. Rise to the challenge and conquer Africa's highest peak on a difficult trek to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Safari through the savanna in search of stealthy predators, then spot other game in the gigantic Ngorongoro Crater. This is a journey that will reward those with an appetite for excitement and an appreciation for nature, so get ready for thrills, challenges and discovery.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Marangu, Tanzania
Finish
Nairobi, Kenya
Destinations
Kenya, Tanzania
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience, Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Code
YGOWC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

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

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

  • Kill it on your Kili trek with the best local team, nights spent in huts instead of tents and an extra acclimatisation day at Horombo for the best chance at summiting.

  • Hike Mt Kilimanjaro's climactic last stretch by lamplight and give yourself as much chance as possible to watch a sunrise over icefields from behind Africa’s highest peak.

  • We’re an official partner with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Hike easier knowing that while our porters are taking care of you, someone is looking out for them.

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.

  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the Big Five. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page at intrepidtravel.com/africa/overland.

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

  • Tried and tested all-purpose hiking equipment is required for the Mt Kilimanjaro trek. Temperatures at night can get very low when you're above 3500 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 may become your best friends!

  • The huts along the Marangu route sleep between four and 12 people and will be mixed-gender.

  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. Your hike begins in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Marangu. The hotel is a short walk from the village’s bustling market and some excellent coffee shops. It is also very close to some beautiful waterfalls and ancient Chagga caves. Please make sure you are at the hotel by early evening, as your trip starts with a full briefing and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber. This will take place before dinner, usually around 6 pm. In the event that one of you fellow travellers are late, the meeting may have to be rescheduled for the following morning.
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
  • Dinner
Special Information
This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more important details on this.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you can attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Stop into one of the offices of the Intrepid Foundation-supported Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Learn how various projects support the people who are helping you tackle Mt Kilimanjaro, making sure these hardworking individuals are fairly compensated and safe while they work. Not only will you gain an appreciation for the work of the folks who make the trek possible, but you’ll also be able to walk easier with the knowledge you’re supporting ethical trekking. Continue to Marangu Gate, the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park (1860 m) and meet your guides and porters. With introductions and assignment of porter loads taken care of, it’s time to embark on the trek of a lifetime.
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 (9kg/20lb max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
  • Marangu - Kilimanjaro Porters Assitance Project
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
We provide one guide for every two climbers in our groups. Each person will have a personal porter for the bulk of their gear and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food, though they will likely be ahead of the group most days.
Your second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The total distance from Mandara to the Horombo huts is 12 kilometres (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 (3780 metres). We will spend the next two nights 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
After breakfast, walk towards Mawenzi Hut, passing the unusual Zebra Rocks on the way. It’s a steep climb up a grassy slope, but well worth it: the views over the area towards Kibo are second-to-none. Afterwards, return to Horombo for lunch. Spend the afternoon relaxing and acclimatising to the altitude, or ask your guides about short walks in the area. Take advantage of the rest day here and drink plenty of water – the next couple of days will be pretty intense!
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you’ll 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. We will have to soften our pace a little to accommodate these environmental changes. Marvel at giant groundsels and lobelias while you travel across the sparse moorland. Skirt Mawenzi Peak and marvel at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle, reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4740 m), take the opportunity to have an early night in preparation for a very early (or late?) wake-up call.
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 six kilometres (approximately 6–8 hours), and the descent to Horombo will be approximately the same amount of time. The trek begins beneath the stars as you zigzag your way up a large scree slope, guided only by torch light, to reach Gilman's Point (5685 m). With some luck, 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 (5896 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 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
Today after breakfast you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro (JRO) airport for a short flight to Nairobi. Where possible we will be booking a midday flight with Precision Air/Kenya Airways. On arrival in Nairobi you will be met and transferred to the start point hotel of the second section of your trip. Please note that this section of the trip will be unescorted and the rest of the afternoon is free until group meeting at 6 pm. Here your leader will discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you'll meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - City Experience Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Nairobi - From Farm to Feast In Focus Urban Adventure - USD86
  • Nairobi - Giraffes & Elephants Urban Adventure - USD70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will change at this location.

Please note the luggage limit for this flight is 23 kg of checked in luggage (one piece), and 12 kg for carry on.

Unfortunately, petty theft is common in Nairobi and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will give you advice on this issue at the welcome meeting, but if you are arriving early and plan to explore independently there are a few things to keep in mind. The safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt and you should get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly at night. 
Board your safari vehicle 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 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 local homestead lunch in the town of Kaprong. The food for the lunch is grown and sourced locally, plus the lunch is a great way to learn from and interact with the women from the local village.
Accommodation
  • Basic Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
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 wi-fi available at the camp.
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. The guided bike excursion is a great activity to stretch the legs, learn about the town, visit an African marketplace and meet some locals. Or you can simply chill out on the lakeside sand 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
Optional Activities
  • Musoma - Guided Bike Excursion - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
For today’s bike ride, if you wish to wear a helmet, you’ll need to bring your own as our local provider does not supply them for this leisurely cycle.

Depending on availability, you might be able to upgrade to a room for tonight. No wi-fi is available at your accommodation this evening.
Travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours). Enter the Serengeti and enjoy a game drive and picnic lunch en route to your campsite. The wide-open plains of the Serengeti see myriad colours during the year – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – but one thing is a constant: this never-ending landscape is home to thousands upon thousands of animals travelling as herds across the plains. This region gets its name from the local Maasai word ‘siringet’, meaning the place where the land moves on forever, and you’ll begin to understand why on your game drive today. Enjoy a picnic lunch, then head to your campsite which is right in the action – located within the park itself! At night, listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
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.

Tonight’s camp is basic with limited running water and no upgrades or wi-fi available.
Start the day nice and early 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. This morning, there’s also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity, you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, where you’ll get some amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the vastness of the plains and the early morning movements of the herds. After landing, dig into a delicious bush breakfast, then return to your camp. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing with your herd – just as the animals do – depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild, returning in time for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD599
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
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. Please note if you choose this activity you will miss most of the included game drive with your group.
Enjoy a leisurely game drive and picnic lunch on your way out of the park today. Soak up final views of the animals and landscapes that make the national park such an incredible spot, before entering the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Your destination today is the rim of the crater about 3 hours away. 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!
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
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.

The campsite has flush toilets and hot showers available, but there is no wi-fi 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.
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 wildlife viewing all year round, and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. Later, join the local community for a guided afternoon stroll around the farming areas, milling machine and local homes before enjoying a traditional meal. Your campsite this evening is located in Mto wa Mbu.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & local dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight, there may be the option to upgrade your accommodation (subject to availability).
Set off early this morning, around 7.30 am, heading for the border with Kenya after passing through Arusha to say goodbye to some travellers. You also have the option to travel back to Nairobi if it is more convenient for you (approximately 7–8 hours). On arrival, you'll be dropped at a centrally located hotel, and with no accommodation provided for tonight, you are free to leave at any time. If you would like to extend your stay in Nairobi, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Please note that, if it is more convenient for you, there is the option to finish your journey in Nairobi today rather than Arusha. The group will be travelling through Arusha at approximately 9 am, and you can either be dropped at the Impala Hotel in the centre of town or at Arusha Airport, which offers some onward connections. If flying out of Kilimanjaro airport, you will need to make your own way from Arusha and arrange a transfer at additional cost.

If you wish to arrange an onward connection today, it’s important to book flights departing Arusha after 11 am, or from Nairobi after 8 pm.
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 13 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, Plane, 4x4 Safari Vehicle

Accommodation

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

Included activities

  • 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 (9kg/20lb max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
  • Marangu - Kilimanjaro Porters Assitance Project
  • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & local dinner

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This is a combination trip and the composition of your group will change in Nairobi. You will meet your new leader and group on Day 8 at the welcome meeting.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please see your booking agent for further information. The supplement does not apply to nights 2–5.
3. The cabins on the climb will be 4–12 person share.
4. A passenger self assessment form required for this trip. An Intrepid booking agent will provide this to you.
5. There is a flight from Kilimanjaro to Nairobi on Day 8 of this trip. This section of the trip is unescorted.
6. 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.
7. Please make sure you arrange your flights in order to arrive before 4 pm on Day 1 in order to attend the very important pre-climb briefing and information session that is usually held before dinner.
8. There is the option to finish the trip in Arusha on the final day rather than transferring back to Nairobi. Please do not book flights out of Arusha airport until after 10.30am.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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