Mount Kilimanjaro Climb and African Safari

2006 Summer vacation plan travel writing contest entry #3

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, at 19,000 is one of the great experiences you can have in this life. So a few of us got together and planned a ‘soft adventure’ trip to Africa for July 2006.

My wife said I couldn’t go to Africa unless she came too. I knew the only way she was climbing a mountain was if I carried her ashes to the top, so we created a trip that allowed those who aren’t trying to hold on to their fleeting youth to safari while we climb.

We’re all meeting up in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday July 19. We’re making our own flight arrangements since many are using frequent flyer miles and we’re coming from all over the country.

Once in Nairobi we’ll spend our first night at the Stanley Hotel. Established in 1902, the Stanley is right out of colonial Africa, a real oasis in this bustling town. Rooms run around $200 per night. (We’re working on getting a better price.)

http://www.sarovahotels.com/stanley/index.php

On the morning of the 20th, we meet up with Private Safaris, our ground operator, headquartered in Nairobi, who have been arranging travel in Kenya and Tanzania since 1976.

We then head off to Moshi, Tanzania, at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro to spend the night at the Springfield Hotel. Then we head our separate ways until we meet up again on the 25th. One group will climb, while the trekkers will enjoy luxury accommodations for their Tanzanian adventure.

Itinerary for Climb (with porters – you carry your canteen and camera)

Day 1 Leave Moshi for the Marangu Gate. Complete registration and start trekking. Picnic lunches on the way. Dinner and overnight at Mandara hut. (B/L/D)

Day 2 After breakfast we proceed to the Horombo hut. Picnic lunches along the way. Dinner and overnight at the Horombo hut. (B/L/D)

Day 3 Full day at the Horombo hut to acclimatize yourself to the altitude. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hut. (B/L/D)

Day 4 After breakfast we climb to the Kibo hut with picnic lunches along the way. Dinner at the Kibo hut and after a short rest we attack the summit of Kilimanjaro at 01:00hrs. We’ll spend a couple of hours at the summit then return to Horombo hut for lunch and to spend the night. (B/L/D)

Day 5 After breakfast we return to the Marangu Gate, our hotel, and showers, where we’ll meet up with the rest of our group, who have been enjoying luxury accommodations in Tanzania. (B/L/D)

And here’s what the Trekkers, who don’t want to spend 5 days without a shower, will be doing:

Day 1 Moshi – Tarangire National Parks, Tanzania

Travel from Moshi to Tarangire National Park, known for its huge herds of elephants, up 300 at a time, its tree climbing lions, and its big herds of buffalo. Lunch at the Tarangire Lodge and afternoon at leisure (around the pool?). At 1600hrs you head out on your first African Safari!

Overnight at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge

www.sopalodges.com/tarangire/

(B/L/D)

Day 2 Tarangire National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro is probably Africa’s most famous conservation area and a place you need to see at least once in your lifetime. It’s the largest intact volcano caldera in the world and once stood higher than Kilimanjaro. It’s one of the few places in Africa that you can see all of the ‘big 5’ (lion, water buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino) in the course of morning or evening’s safari.

Overnight at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

www.serenahotels.com/tanzania/ngorongoro/home.htm

(B/L/D)

Day 3 & 4 Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti is unquestionably one of the world’s foremost National Parks. It offers the most complex and least disturbed ecosystem in the world. From acacia covered savannas, to rain forest to vast plains, you’ll have the opportunity to see more than 30 varieties of herbivores and over 500 species of birds on your 2 full days of game drives. Either hot lunches or picnic lunches are provided depending on the movement of the animals.

Overnight at the Serengeti Serena Lodge

www.serenahotels.com/tanzania/serengeti/home.htm

(B/L/D)

Day 5 Serengeti to Moshi

Today you travel back to the Springfield Hotel to meet up with a pretty tired and dirty group of climbers and travel on to Kenya to continue your African Adventure.

Overnight at the Springfield Hotel

(B/L/D)

Day 6 Moshi – Lake Naivasha

Drive through the Great Rift Valley that runs the length of Africa while you travel from Moshi to your next destination, Lake Naivasha. Lake Naivasha was named by the Masai People who live along its shores and is rich in bird life; and it draws a great range of game to its shores. Hippos, herds of giraffe, water buffalo and colobus monkeys are only some of the animals you’ll see.

Overnight at the Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge

www.sopalodges.com/mainmenu.html (B/L/D)

Day 7 & 8 The Masai Mara

Elephants, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, cheetah, leopards, rhinos, monkeys, hyenas are only part of what you’ll experience in the Masai, one of the true wonders of the world. You’ll have the option of taking a hot air balloon ride over the Mara and sipping a champagne breakfast upon landing.

You’ll take 3 game drives from the Lodge, one each morning and one the evening you arrive. In the afternoon relax around the pool and watch the hippos play in the river from either your room or the patio and bar balcony overlooking the beauty of the African riverside.

Overnight: Mara Simba Lodge

www.marasimba.com

(B/L/D)

Day 9 Back to the world

Today we head back to Nairobi to catch our flights home. For those who are leaving the following day, accommodations will be at the Stanley Hotel or equivalent.

Prices:

Kilimanjaro Climb:

USD $746

Single supplement: USD $65

Transport based on 6/vehicle: USD $614*

Tanzania Safari:

Per person sharing: USD $850

Single supplement: USD $179

Transport based on 6/vehicle: USD $1,248*

Kenya Safari:

Per person sharing: USD $332

Single supplement: USD $156

Transport based on 6/vehicle: USD $572*

Included:

All hotels (after we leave Nairobi)

All meals while climbing and on safari

All transportation

Guides

Not included:

Airfare

Hotels in Nairobi

Sleeping bags for those climbing

Tips

* Transportation costs will be equally split among all. We can take a maximum of 6 per vehicle. We will take the cost of all the vehicles per segment and divide it equally among all who participate.

Thanks for the opportunity to submit. It was fun.

Bill Morse

Filed Under: 2006 Summer vacation plan writing contest entries

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  1. nik says:

    hey,

    i am from arusha, tanzania and have been living in Reno Nevada for the past 11yrs. and its been my dream to climb kilimanjaro but i never got a chance to do it because i was to young. but i would love to come if you guys still have room for one more person and if i could just get information on the total cost.

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