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 and Serengeti Safari

The Ultimate Route Up Kili, Plus the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

Kilimanjaro Climb and Serengeti Safari route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4095  
Length: 18 days
Arrive: Arusha, Tanzania
Depart: Arusha, Tanzania
Lodging: 8 nights mountain camps, 6 nights private camps, 3 nights lodges
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 safari
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Highlights

  • A fantastic combination: climb Kilimanjaro then join a thrilling wildlife safari—or choose just one
  • The best route up Kili, with maximum altitude acclimatization and uncrowded trails
  • Sunrise on the summit of Africa, unique alpine flora, camp by massive glaciers at 18,500 feet on Kili’s crater rim
  • Terrific wildlife viewing amid lions, elephants, zebra, and more in Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park


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.

References

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’ve perfected the climb to the celebrated “snows of Kilimanjaro” via the Lemosho-Shira-Western Breach Route, an incredibly beautiful, uncrowded trail on Kili’s remote southwest flanks. With seven days on the ascent for maximum acclimatization, our route also gives you the greatest chance of summit success. Our legendary Kili guides make the climb an unforgettable experience. Climb Kili, then head out on our magnificent Serengeti safari 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, we head to our private camp at 6,000 feet on Mt. Meru, one of Africa’s most stunning volcanoes. Our hike through cedar forests offers great acclimatization.

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

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

Days 12-18
Ngorongoro Crater / Serengeti National Park / Serengeti Safari

Our 4WD safari brings us first to dramatic Ngorongoro Crater, 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 mosaic of wildlife habitats for a fantastic safari in complete privacy, far from the lodges. We end our safari with a stay at Gibb’s Farm and depart via Arusha on Day 18.

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

Climb & Safari
2014
Jun 11-28, 2014
Jul 8-25, 2014
Aug 12-29, 2014
Sep 9-26, 2014
Dec 16, 2014-Jan 2, 2015
Dec 22, 2014-Jan 8, 2015
2015
Jan 13-30, 2015
Feb 11-28, 2015
Mar 10-27, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014

Kilimanjaro Climb (Days 1-12):
$4995 (11-14 members)
$5395 (7-10 members)
$5695 (4-6 members)
Single supplement: $595
Forced single supplement: $395
Park fees: $1267

Serengeti Safari (Days 11-18):
$4095 (10-14 members)
$4495 (4-9 members)
Single supplement: $750
Forced single supplement: $450
Park fees: $620

Combined Trip Discount: $1250 per person more on pricing

Extension Costs
Zanzibar Extension: Serena Inn, Breezes or Palms Resort
   from: $1495
Gorilla Tracking In Rwanda's Parc Des Volcans
   from: $1995
Masai Mara National Reserve Extension
   from: $3795
Zanzibar Extension: Mnemba Island
   from: $5095
Mount Meru Extension
   from: $1295

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations, based on double occupancy
  • Guaranteed window seating in safari Land Cruisers
  • All meals included
  • 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, park entrance fees, transfers for independent arrival or departure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, 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).

Trip Payment Schedule

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

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Mount Meru Seasonal Camp

Mount Meru Seasonal Camp

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Mount Meru, 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 , 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, 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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Mbuzi Mawe (June to October Departures)

Mbuzi Mawe (June to October Departures)

Day 16 (1 night), Western Serengeti, Tanzania

A small and deluxe tented camp in the nothern Serengeti, Mbuzi Mawe offers large tented rooms with four-poster beds, ceiling fans, a private ...
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Ndutu Safari Lodge (December to March Departures)

Ndutu Safari Lodge (December to March Departures)

Day 16 (1 night), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

This beautiful little lodge with an informal feeling and wonderful open-air dining room and bar. Thirty-two simple stone cottages face Lake Ndutu ...
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Gibb’s Farm

Gibb’s Farm

Day 17 (1 night), Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

This is quite a special place adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The main facilities are situated in the old colonial farmhouse built by ...
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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.

Optional Extensions

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

Kenya

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

Rwanda

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

Tanzania

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

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Kilimanjaro!, Jean DeKraker and Martin & Christine Brandt