Travel to Africa and experience the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro

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. This is a trip that will reward those with an appetite for excitement and an appreciation for nature – get ready for thrills, challenges and discovery on this amazing trip to Africa!

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Marangu, Tanzania
Countries
Kenya, Tanzania
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland, Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Code
YKXCC
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

  • Learn about the Great Rift Valley where the annual migration of some two million wildebeest plays out

  • 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

  • Hike with a group of experienced guides and porters with 1 guide for every 2 passengers

  • Spy hiding monkeys and colourful bird species flitting through the rainforest

  • Spend a night camped out on the Shira plateau

  • Marvel at the Hiem, Kersten and Rebmann glaciers

  • Catch a dazzling sunrise on your way to summit Africa's highest mountain peak

  • 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!

  • The first 8 days of your trip is participatory camping trip, 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 the Kili section of 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 may become your best friends!

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
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Bidding farewell to your truck and crew, this morning we make our way back to Arusha where will catch a morning 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 around 9am once your group drops you off. 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
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Trek Briefing
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Complimentary equipment hire (sleeping bag, sleeping mat and walking poles) - must be requested at time of booking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • 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 trip notes for more important information on this.

If you are doing an Intrepid safari in Tanzania in combination with your climb of Kilimanjaro, you can speak with your consultant about the possibility of either finishing your trip in Arusha (if doing the safari first), or starting your safari trip in Arusha (usually Day 2 of the safari). This will save you having to transfer back to Nairobi only to travel the same road (7–8 hours each way) the following day.
We meet our guides and porters after breakfast and sort out all our gear before we set off for our 1-hour transfer by road to the South Western side of Kilimanjaro and the Machame Gate at the entrance to the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for the food, etc. Please read your trip notes on for further information about your guides and porters and a detailed packing list.

We begin our walk around lunch time, starting with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest. In the forest, there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkey can be seen and heard. Beneath the leafy canopy it can be wet and muddy but it is not very cold.

We arrive mid-afternoon at the Machame Huts where we make camp. The huts fell into disrepair some years ago, so with the help of our porters, we set up tents for the night. Enjoy an evening meal prepared by the porters and savour the first night of sleeping outdoors.

From Kibo Hotel to Machame Huts, we ascend to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and walk for 15 km (approximately 6-8 hours).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, tented camps & rescue services (7 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Porterage of 1 bag (15kg max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Our second day on the mountain takes us out of the rainforest and up a steep ridge into moor land. You'll notice the vegetation getting more sparse as we ascend and several distinct species, including the giant groundsel and lobelia, will soon be the only plants dominating the harsh landscape. We camp on the edge of Shira plateau where there are excellent views of the snow-dusted Kibo peaks.

From Machame Camp to Shira Camp, we ascend to 3,840 m (12,600 ft), covering 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is a great day's walk with many ups and downs as we traverse river valleys. The undulating landscape offers a great chance to acclimatise and as we ascend to the more rugged areas of the mountain, there are great views of the Kibo Massif and its magnificent surrounds. Tonight is spent at Barranco Camp.

From Shira Camp to Barranco Camp, we ascend to 3,900 m (12,800 ft) and cover 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is an important acclimatisation day as you are going to be walking for the morning only. Climb the Barranco Wall (not a technical climb) and then follow the Kibo South Circuit. If the weather is clear you can expect to have some magnificent views of Kibo's southern glaciers. Arriving at your camp at around lunchtime you can enjoy great views by the river in the Karanga Valley.

From Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp Camp, we descend to 4,200 m (13,780 ft) and cover 7 km (approximately 4 hours).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
From Karanga you head up to the intersection of the South Circuit and the Mweka route where you’ll start climbing up a ridge to Barrafu Hut. Barrafu is Swahili for ‘ice’ – it can be very cold here at night!
You should arrive at Barrafu around late lunchtime, allowing plenty of time to rest before the final summit attempt.

From Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp, we ascend to 4,600 m (15,100 ft) and cover 3.5 km (approximately 4 hours).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
At around midnight we are woken by our guides and hot tea and biscuits are served to give us energy before the long, difficult ascent up scree, and sometimes snow, to Stella Point (5,780 m). We pass the giant Rebmann Glacier en route and hopefully arrive at Stella Point in time for sunrise and superb views of the crater, the glacier glistening in the morning sun, and maybe even of the world around.

From Stella it is a further 1-hour hike along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From the summit, take in unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below. After photos and back-patting we begin our descent. Back at Barafu Camp, enjoy a well-earned lunch and much thicker air. After lunch, we continue on to Mweka Camp for the night and have a well-deserved rest.

From Barafu Camp to the Uhuru Peak summit, we ascend 1296 m and cover about 4 km (approximately 8 hours). The descent takes approximately 3 hours.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today we continue to descend the mountain, traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to the Mweka park gate. From Mweka Camp to the Mweka gate, we trek for 10 km (approximately 3-4 hours) descending a total of 1,300 m (4,300 ft). Here we have lunch after checking out of the park and then the transport sent to meet us returns us back to the hotel for a relaxing shower - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Relive and share our experiences of the past six days on the mountain with fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip.
Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

15 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, minibus, 4x4 Safari Vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (8 nights), Cottage (1 night), Hotel (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Market Visit
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Trek Briefing
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Complimentary equipment hire (sleeping bag, sleeping mat and walking poles) - must be requested at time of booking
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, tented camps & rescue services (7 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Porterage of 1 bag (15kg max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This is a combination trip therefore the travellers on your trip may change.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip.
3. Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.
4. 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.
5. Sleeping bags can be hired free on the Kilimanjaro section of this trip only. You will be required to provide your own sleeping bag for the Serengeti section of this trip or can hire one at an additional cost.

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.