Campsite below Kilimanjaro summit

Kilimanjaro's snowy dome

Our Shira Plateau Route is the most beautiful and least traveled on the mountain.

Photo by Andy Freeberg

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Kilimanjaro Climb (Shira Route) and Serengeti Safari

Africa’s Highest Mountain, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti

Kilimanjaro Climb (Shira Route) and Serengeti Safari route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $8695  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Arusha, Tanzania
Depart: Arusha, Tanzania
Lodging: 8 nights mountain camps, 6 nights private camps, 1 night lodge
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Physically demanding 9-day trek to 19,340 feet, difficult terrain including scree (loose rock) and snow, extreme altitudes, 4WD gameviewing


  • A fantastic combination: climb Kilimanjaro, then join a thrilling wildlife safari—or choose just the climb
  • Maximum altitude acclimatization, uncrowded trails, no retracing of steps
  • Sunrise on the summit of Africa, unique alpine flora, camp by massive glaciers on Kili’s crater rim
  • Terrific wildlife safari amid lions, elephants, zebra, and more in Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti
  • Top guides on the mountain, trained for safety

The trip of a lifetime for me! It was life changing and outstanding in every way. I not only made the summit but also fell in love with Africa and her people.Midge S.—Jerome, AZ

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Kilimanjaro!, Jean DeKraker and Martin & Christine Brandt

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

We’re offering a special early sign-up discount of $500 per person on all 2016 Kilimanjaro Climb & Serengeti Safari departures. This discount applies to the first six sign-ups on each departure. Call or email us for all the details!

The snows of Kilimanjaro soar like an apparition over East Africa’s shimmering plains, and in Hemingway’s words, they are “as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun.” We’ve perfected the climb to these celebrated snows via the Shira-Western Breach Route, an incredibly beautiful trail on Kili’s remote southwest flanks. A full seven days on the ascent provide us with maximum acclimatization, shorter hiking days, and the greatest chance of summit success. Our Kili guides are legendary—the best in the business—and they make the climb an unforgettable experience. You can do just the Kilimanjaro climb, but we recommend our magnificent safari in the Ngorongoro and Serengeti as your post-climb reward!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Mount Meru / Kilimanjaro Climb

From Arusha, head to our private camp at 6,200 feet on Mt. Meru, one of Africa’s most stunning volcanoes. A hike through cedar forests offers a great jump-start on acclimatization.

Days 3-11
Kilimanjaro / Shira-Western Breach Route / Summit Day

Meet your crew at the foot of Kilimanjaro and climb through magical forests to the rim of the Shira Plateau, an immense crater with glorious views of Kili’s glaciated southern face. Our trail ascends gradually through Kili’s alpine desert zone to the Crater Camp at 18,500 feet, an extraordinary spot by the Furtwangler Glacier. From here, your summit climb is short and dramatic (just 840 feet!), bringing you to Uhuru Peak (19,340’). On a clear day, the sunrise views are surreal, with the vast African plains spread out at your feet. Descend via the Mweka Route, and by late afternoon on Day 11, you’re back at our lodge for a well-deserved victory celebration with your fellow trekkers.

Days 12-16
Ngorongoro Crater / Serengeti National Park / Serengeti Safari

Our 4WD safari brings you to dramatic Ngorongoro Crater, with its dense population of lions, then out to the famed savannas of Serengeti National Park. In this renowned wildlife paradise, our own private Hemingway-style safari camps offer great access to a rich variety of environments for a fantastic safari in complete privacy, far from the lodges. Depart on Day 16 via Arusha.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 7, our most strenuous rating. A trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s great adventures, and every climb of this mountain is a true expedition. Despite the fact that the Kilimanjaro climb doesn’t require climbing equipment or technical skills, it is extremely challenging and considered a real physical test. All trip members must be in excellent shape—both physically and mentally!

There are dangers inherent in any expedition to high altitude—in this case, 19,340 feet, with an overnight at 18,500 feet. These dangers include everything from rock falls to the possibility of a serious fall, accident, or sickness without access to a means of rapid evacuation, adequate medical supplies, or adequate medical attention once provided. Although we carry oxygen and Gamow bags on every climb, it is important that all participants understand that the climb is very challenging. Our Trip Leaders and crew are experienced veterans of the mountain, but it takes cooperation and flexibility from each participant to ensure a successful ascent.

The hiking times we quote in this itinerary are approximate times for a fit person in good weather conditions. Normally, some trip members hike faster than others. Our climbing groups are accompanied by highly experienced Kilimanjaro mountain guides in addition to the Wilderness Travel Trip Leader so that we can divide into smaller groups, each hiking at their own pace and each with its own guide. It is impossible to predict how you will do at altitude, but if at any time on the ascent you find yourself stopping because you are out of breath, you are hiking too fast and you should slow down to a pace you can maintain. You should attempt a climb of Kilimanjaro in full realization that you or other people in your group may not be able to make it to the summit. We have enough guides and porters along to escort you down if this should happen. Those who have chosen not to proceed higher have still found the experience of hiking on Kilimanjaro very worthwhile.

On the Kilimanjaro climb, porters carry the group gear and you carry a daypack for your wind/rain jacket, water bottle, and camera (depending on your equipment, this can weigh approximately 10 pounds). The camp crew sets up camp each day and we are served dinner in a dining tent with tables and chairs. We use American-made mountaineering tents rated by the manufacturer as 3-person tents but we use them for only two people, ensuring a fair amount of space for sleeping. Fires are not allowed on the mountain so there are no hot showers available at camps (hot showers are available at all of our safari camps). Our food is cooked with the use of propane.  While there are certainly limits as to what can be done in such a setting, our past trip members have remarked on the high quality and variety of the food served on the mountain.

Getting in Shape for the Climb:
Begin training at least five or six months before departure. Start gradually by doing hikes, running, using a stairmaster, or riding bikes. The object is to improve your overall level of fitness and aerobic capacity and get your legs and lungs in shape for the nearly 80 kilometers of trails you will be hiking on Kili. We descend 13,000 feet in two days, a feat that is extremely tough on the body, especially the knees. This is where strengthening up those quads really pays off. As the time for departure approaches, try to climb a high peak near you. Past trip members have hiked up Mt. Whitney, Mt. Shasta, or the volcanoes in Hawaii. If you do not have high mountains nearby, then try to increase the length and intensity of your training regime. A backpacking trip can give you an excellent idea of what this trip is like and is great for conditioning and aerobic capacity. Backpacking also gives you experience in organizing and testing your equipment and in proper walking technique. Most importantly, take care of yourself and exercise regularly to improve your aerobic capacity, but do not overexert yourself before departure.

Environmental Concerns on Kili:
From our Kilimanjaro camps, we try to carry out every item of trash that we cannot burn easily. Toilet paper, which is put in a can beside the chemical toilet, is burned by the crew before leaving each camp and some small easily burnable items can be given to them to burn at the same time. For pit stops on the trail, carry toilet paper back to camp in a plastic bag. Please keep your own trash in a trash bag and pack it in your porter duffel for removal from the mountain. Take chemical or toxic trash (such as dead batteries) back to the US with you so they can be disposed of properly.

On Safari: About Our Private Camps:
Our Private Wilderness Travel Mobile Tented Camps offer the most authentic experience of Africa possible: the classic wilderness safari in complete privacy, well away from lodges. These camps also have the least amount of impact on the fragile environment because they are set up for us before we arrive and taken down when we leave. In our Private Mobile Tented Camps we sleep in spacious, walk-in canvas tents furnished with two single beds (or one queen bed), sheets, duvets, pillows, sisal matting on the floor, and a small bedside table. Interior lighting is provided by solar-powered lights. Each tent features an attached bathroom with a toilet/shower (bucket type, with hot water). At the front of the tent is an attached shaded “veranda” with two chairs, a small table, two wash basins, and hurricane lamps. A large rain fly is suspended over each tent unit to provide protection from the rain and sun.

An experienced staff prepares delicious meals served under the African sky or in a spacious dining tent (candle-lit for dinner) with chairs and a table. The food is excellent, with three-course dinners including wine and beer. Filtered drinking water is always available. The hearty breakfast spread usually includes eggs, bacon, fruit, cereal, and pancakes. Lunch is usually a picnic. One nice feature of our mobile tented camps is that they operate without noisy generators, a bonus for hearing the fantastic sounds of the African night.

Game Drives & Wild Animals
There’s no taking turns on who gets the window seats in our safari vehicles: every passenger has his or her own window seat in comfortable, five-passenger 4WD Land Rovers or Toyota Land Cruisers (never minibuses!). We enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in 4WD vehicles and also do extensive gameviewing while traveling between parks. All vehicles have roof hatches for easy wildlife viewing and photography. Our 4WD vehicles can go virtually anywhere, an important feature when we’re tracking game, and they add a sense of adventure to your African safari. Our expert drivers and guides have years of experience and are very skilled at locating animals. Your Trip Leader is highly skilled at identification and explanation of animal behavior and the complex interactions of the African ecosystem as well as insights into African tribal cultures.

During drives and game walks, we can at times get quite close to wild animals. Being very quiet improves everybody’s chances of observation. In the interest of safety, your Trip Leader explains limitations on movement while on game drives and walks, in the safari vehicles, and around camp. Incidents with wild animals are extremely rare on safari, but no trip can guarantee immunity from such incidents. Wilderness Travel is not to be held responsible for incidents involving the behavior of wildlife.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Climb & Safari
Aug 18-Sep 2, 2015  Samia Asindamu
Sep 28-Oct 13, 2015  Bonaventure Kivuyo
Dec 22, 2015-Jan 6, 2016  Samia Asindamu
Dec 28, 2015-Jan 12, 2016  Bonaventure Kivuyo
Jan 19-Feb 3, 2016  Bonaventure Kivuyo
Feb 17-Mar 3, 2016
Mar 15-30, 2016  Samia Asindamu
Jul 4-19, 2016
Aug 16-31, 2016
Sep 1-16, 2016
Dec 16-31, 2016
Dec 21, 2016-Jan 5, 2017
Jan 7-22, 2017
Feb 3-18, 2017

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
Climb and Safari
$8695 (12-14 members)
$8995 (9-11 members)
$9295 (4-8 members)
Single supplement: $810
Forced single supplement: $610

Climb only
$5995 (9-14 members)
$6395 (4-8 members)
Single supplement: $500
Forced single supplement: $300

Safari only
$3195 (10-14 members)
$3395 (4-9 members)
Single supplement: $400
Forced single supplement: $300
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Zanzibar Extension: Serena Inn, Breezes or Palms Resort
   from: $1395
Gorilla Tracking In Rwanda's Parc Des Volcans
   from: $1995
Masai Mara National Reserve Extension
   from: $3395
Zanzibar Extension: Mnemba Island
   from: $5295
Mount Meru Extension
   from: $1495

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Park Fees! (a value of $1850 per trip member)
  • Gratuities for climb porters and safari staff (a value of over $300 per trip member)
  • Accommodations, based on double occupancy
  • 2 nights at pre-climb camp in a private luxury camp in beautiful Arusha National Park at 6,500' and extra acclimatization day on the mountain at Lava Tower Camp 15,240'
  • Guaranteed window seating in safari Land Cruisers
  • All meals included
  • Climb porters and safari camp staff
  • All group camping and cooking equipment
  • All land transportation, airport transfers for passengers on group flights, and baggage handling
  • Membership in Knight Support First Air Responder

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, transfers for independent arrival or departure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, and so on).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation arriving to and departing from Arusha, Tanzania. For more detailed information, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule so we can reserve your airport transfers.

Arusha, Tanzania
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:

Kilimanjaro Airport, Arusha, Tanzania (airport code JRO)
Suggested arrival time: between 7:00 and 10:00 pm

Arusha, Tanzania
Date: Day 16

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Kilimanjaro Airport, Arusha, Tanzania (airport code JRO)
Suggested departure time: after 7:00 pm

Mount Meru Seasonal Camp

Mount Meru Seasonal Camp

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Mount Meru, Tanzania

Mount Meru Camp, set at nearly 6,500 feet in the ancient montane forest on the slopes of Mount Meru, is a fantastic off-the-beaten-track hideaway ...
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Camping on the Mountain

Camping on the Mountain

Days 3 to 10 (8 nights), Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Most trip members are pleasantly surprised by the comforts of our Kili mountain camps, considering we’re on a high altitude expedition! We use ...
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Moivaro Lodge

Moivaro Lodge

Day 11 (1 night), Mount Meru, Tanzania

Located in a pleasant and quiet setting on a coffee plantation just outside Arusha town, this simple lodge features 42 thatched cottages nestled in ...
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Ngorongoro Seasonal Camp

Ngorongoro Seasonal Camp

Days 12 to 13 (2 nights), Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Tucked away from the main tourist trails in the Ngorongoro Highlands lies our Seasonal Camp, set in a magnificent location in the heart of Masai ...
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Serengeti Mobile Safari Camps

Serengeti Mobile Safari Camps

Days 14 to 15 (2 nights), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Our mobile safari camps are moved around during the year to be positioned in the perfect spot for watching wildlife at any time of year. They are ...
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Kia Lodge

Kia Lodge (Day Room)

Day 16, Arusha, Tanzania

A short drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Kia is a very convenient place for a day room. You can relax at this lodge for several hours ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Samia Asindamu

Departure Dates: August 18-September 2, 2015, December 22, 2015-January 6, 2016, March 15-30, 2016

Samia Asindamu, born and raised on the southwest slopes of Kilimanjaro, lives in Arusha, Tanzania, with his family. A professional mountain guide since 1993, Samia is a veteran of many Kili climbs—he has summited more than 120 times and on all Kili’s routes. His training includes ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Bonaventure Kivuyo

Departure Dates: September 28-October 13, 2015, December 28, 2015-January 12, 2016, January 19-February 3, 2016

Bonaventure Kivuyo was born into a farming family on the slopes of Mt. Meru. A 1988 graduate of Arusha Technical College, he has been leading on Kilimanjaro since 1997 and has been to the summit of Kili over 100 times. He has completed National Outdoor Leadership School mountaineering training ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


wildebeests migration serengeti masai mara kenya tanzania

Masai Mara National Reserve Extension

Spectacular Gameviewing in One of Africa’s Legendary Reserves

Cultural Adventures, Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 2


mountain gorillas silverback rwanda parc des volcans

Gorilla Tracking In Rwanda's Parc Des Volcans

One of the World’s Most Thrilling Wildlife Experiences

Hiking / Trekking, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 4


Mount Meru Extension

Climb the 10th Highest Mountain in Africa

Hiking / Trekking
4 days  -  Level 7

mnemba island zanzibar

Zanzibar Extension: Mnemba Island

Snorkeling and Diving in a Magnificent Aquatic World

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking, Snorkeling
4 days  -  Level 2

zanzibar tanzania indian ocean beach

Zanzibar Extension: Serena Inn, Breezes or Palms Resort

Tropical Island Beauty and Indian Ocean Snorkeling

Cultural Adventures, Sea Kayaking, Snorkeling
4 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

The trip of a lifetime for me! It was life changing and outstanding in every way. I not only made the summit but also fell in love with Africa and her people. Midge S., Jerome, AZ Wilderness Travel's route up Kilimanjaro was far better, more interesting than the major highways used by most trekkers. We were the only group at many campsites and felt like we were the only people on that magnificent mountain. Trenholm W., Charleston, SC A class organization. Other groups we encountered on the mountain were not even in the same ballpark. The Trip Leaders, porters, and all ancillary support staff were fantastic. Stephen G., South Londonderry, VT I loved, loved, loved the trip—if I could do the Kilimanjaro climb every year, I would. It was an extraordinary experience. Julie O., Alexandria, VA Fabulous—could not have expected more and cannot thing of any way the trip could be improved. I felt very well taken care of, comfortable, and loved every minute of it! Sarabeth D., Vienna, VA I was very impressed. Everything was smooth. Amazing food on the mountain! Michele R., Steamboat Springs, CO Wonderful trip, very smooth despite the logistical challenges. Amazing, really! I felt well taken care of. Fred G., San Antonio, TX A first-class trip, smooth from start to finish. Paul S., Boulder, CO We were very impressed by the quality of the crew on the Kili climb. All were friendly, supportive, and encouraging, and clearly better organized than other groups we saw on the mountain. Our camp cooks were amazing. Cappy N., Lebanon, NH I had a fabulous trip—truly the trip of a lifetime. I cannot thank you enough for the well-thought-out itinerary and acclimatization plan. Sandra B., Sacramento, CA Fantastic travel experience with a caring staff, comfortable accommodations, and delicious food considering the logistical challenges on Kilimanjaro. Camp food was varied and beautifully presented. Porter service was always with a smile. Virginia Y., Leesburg, VA The Kilimanjaro trip was one of the best trips I've ever done. Both my husband and I loved the trip and our guides were excellent! Michelle W., Johannesburg, South Africa We had an amazing time on this trip. It was extremely well planned, and we didn't have to worry about anything! Amanda & Lance L., Denver, CO
You did a wonderful job of planning the trip, and my climbing partners and I felt wonderfully cared-for—pampered really—by so many details such as hot water and coffee at the tents upon wake-up, tea time every day (which included wine except when we were climbing), hot eucalyptus-scented washcloths and cool fruit juice awaiting us when we returned from hot, dusty days on the Serengeti. Phyllis L., Middletown, CT Amazing, fantastic, great, awesome. I totally loved it. Tomas H., Dublin, CA There are no words to describe this adventure. This is the best trip so far! Lynn G., Orange, CT I cannot say enough incredible things about the logistics, trip quality, support team, leadership. The emphasis on cleanliness at camps was highly appreciated and the food was always excellent and plentiful. Martin B., North Wales, PA This trip was everything I've ever wanted and then some! The food was phenomenal and the accommodations (even the tents) were extraordinary. I had an amazing experience and can't wait to go on another Wilderness Travel trip. Martha M., Granger, IN It was an amazing trip, with awesome porters and guides who created a fun atmosphere. Turkey dinner on Christmas Day with Christmas crackers! How fun was that! On the summit we were on the top of the world, thanks to our guides and porters. Carrie S., Redmond, WA I felt very well cared for in every way. This was a challenging trip, but it was so well planned and well executed that success was assured. Thank you for designing a trip that made it possible for me to complete this climb with such high spirits and all happy memories! Candace S., Palo Alto, CA Our guide and the assistants were outstanding, encouraging us and providing helpful information for the entire itinerary. We could not have summited without them! Rani C., Austin, TX This was an awesome trip. It is a challenging hike but the staff does a great job at making the summit attainable—I wouldn't go with anyone else! Steve F., Manakin Sabot, VA The Kilimanjaro climb was the experience of a lifetime. WT does such a fantastic job. It was so well organized and I always felt safe and secure. Karen G., Orinda, CA Trip of a lifetime. We are so pleased that we selected Wilderness Travel. Robert S., Moraga, CA

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Kilimanjaro!, Jean DeKraker and Martin & Christine Brandt