A TYPICAL TREK & SAFARI ITINERARY
A typical trip itinerary with the Kilimanjaro Experts
Because a trek up Africa’s Highest Mountain is probably not something they’ve done before, so it can be quite difficult for our climbers to imagine what their trip is going to look like.
With this in mind, the following is a ‘typical’ itinerary for an ‘average climber’. Of course, there is no such thing as a typical itinerary, just as there is no such thing as an average climber.
There are so many variables with every itinerary. You may not want a safari, for example; or, if you do, you may prefer to take it before the trek rather than afterwards. You may not be flying in to Tanzania but crossing overland from Kenya or elsewhere. You may or may not want a ‘free day’ before your trek to recover from your flight.
And so on and so on.
But hopefully the following schedule will give you some idea of what your trip will look like – with variations – if you book your climb with us.
And of course your own itinerary will be built to suit you, and as a result may or may not look like the example given here.
We have assumed that this person has booked an eight-day climb on the Alternative Lemosho Route, as that is our most popular trek, and that they have a safari booked for after the trek – as again, this is what the majority of our climbers request.
Itinerary: 8-day Alternative Lemosho Route trek followed by a five-day safari
Day 1: Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport.
After clearing customs and passport control, you will walk out of the airport, to be met by a crowd of taxi drivers and representatives of various agencies. Our driver will be holding up an A4 piece of paper with your name clearly printed on it. Just make yourself known to him and he will take your luggage from you and lead you to his car.
It is approximately 45 minutes from the airport to Arusha, though this travel time can be shorter/longer depending on which hotel in Arusha (or just outside of it) you have chosen.
At the hotel you will be taken to reception. Having checked in, you then have the rest of the day/evening to relax.
Your accommodation, and the transfer from the airport, are both included as part of the standard trek package (though you may have to pay a little extra if you have chosen an upgrade on the standard hotel).
Day 2: Free day; pre-trek briefing in evening.
It is advisable, particularly if you are flying in from North/South America, Australia/New Zealand, or the Far East, to give yourself.a full day to rest, relax and recover fully from your flight. It also gives you more time to prepare properly for the expedition ahead. You can spend this day relaxing by the pool, going on a half-day tour of Arusha with one of our guides, or even take a safari to Arusha National Park (which is a very good idea if you haven’t booked a post-trek safari). There are actually several different national parks that you can visit on a day-trip from Arusha, but Arusha National Park is perhaps the best for a pre-trek safari as it is close to Arusha and makes for a relaxing, easy introduction to Tanzania).
In the evening you will be met by your guide for the trek. He will brief you on your expedition, and check that your clothing and equipment will be suitable for the climb. He should also bring any clothing or equipment that you have chosen to hire from us, to make sure that it fits. This may also be the first time that he checks the oxygen saturation in your blood using a simple gadget known as a pulse oximeter. He can then use this reading as a ‘baseline’ by which the readings he takes on Kilimanjaro will be judged.
Note that if your hotel is out of the city, or if the other trekkers on your climb are spread out over several different hotels, the guide may have to brief you in the morning, during the drive to the mountain. We will try to warn you in advance if this is likely to occur.
Your accommodation, and the briefing, are both included as part of the standard trek package (though, again, you may have to pay a little extra if you have chosen an upgrade on the standard hotel). This is the second and final ‘free’ night’s accommodation. Note that the accommodation is booked on a B&B basis, so you will be responsible for finding and buying your own lunch and dinner (though the hotels do all have their own restaurants). The guide book that we give you has a guide to Arusha, including reviews of the city’s restaurants.
Day 3-10: Alternative Lemosho Route trek, 8 days.
The itinerary for the trek itself is dealt with separately and depends, of course, on which route you actually take. But note that, whatever route you chose, you are scheduled to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro on the morning of the penultimate day. So in this example, for an eight-day trek, you will reach the summit on the morning of the seventh day of the trek (and the ninth day of the whole trip).
Note that park fees, wages, food, camping equipment and transport to/from the mountain at the start/end of your trek, are all included as part of your trek package. The only thing that isn’t is the tips.
Day 10: Last day of trek. Return to Arusha for night in a hotel.
All being well, you will finish your trek and arrive at the exit gate of Kilimanjaro National Park at about lunchtime. Having collected your certificate as proof of a successful climb, you’ll then be taken to Moshi for a celebratory lunch with the entire crew. This is where tips are distributed. You’ll then be taken back to your hotel (or to a different one, if you’ve decided to stay somewhere different after your trek) for a well-earned shower and, perhaps, a celebratory dinner with your fellow trekkers before you all go your separate ways the next morning.
If you’ve booked a safari for the next day, your driver will visit you this evening for a quick briefing about the safari.
If you have already spent two nights in Arusha, then you will have to pay for this third night’s accommodation – it is not part of your trek package.
(Note, too, that if you are pressed for time, it is possible to fly out from Kilimanjaro Airport this evening (and there are several airlines with evening flights). If you need to do this, we will take you straight from the lunch in Moshi to the airport. We can secure you a day room at a hotel convenient for the airport, so you can have a shower before catching your flight – though note these are a lot more expensive than they should be! If you have any bags left behind at the hotel in Arusha, we can bring them to you at the airport so you’ll be reunited with them before your flight.)
Day 11-15: Four-day safari, Northern Circuit.
Again, the details of this safari will vary from person to person. Some will want a five-day safari so they can spend some time in the Serengeti and maybe even go on a balloon safari. Others will be happy with just a simple day tour to one of the more convenient parks such as Manyara or Tarangire.
Day 15: End of safari. Return to hotel.
At the end of your safari, we will again return you to you hotel in Arusha. Once again, if you have a flight out this evening, we can take you straight to the airport after your safari (taking you via the hotel if necessary so you can pick up any luggage you left at the hotel, and perhaps have some dinner if you have the time). Alternatively, you can spend one more night at your hotel (again, this will be at your expense).
Day 16: Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for flight home.
The driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport in good time to check in for your flight (this usually means you’ll be collected from your hotel approximately three hours prior to the departure of your flight).