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The proposed itinerary allows enough time for proper acclimatization and rest days, where the cooks and staff can look after all of your needs, and quell your appetite. The weather is normally quite good and stable for both times of year we offer this trip. There are also several options to extend your stay with other adventures in Africa (Rwenzori), as well as high-end realxation . (photo: Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved). back to top
Arriving in Nairobi-
You will be picked up from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and taken to your hotel, which is situated in an area with perfect contact to the city. We will have a welcome dinner arranged so that the members of the group may get acquainted with one another, as well as having a bit of orientation over how the trip will be operated.
The following day is a rest day for you to spend enjoying the quiet atmosphere of the surrounding areas and explore Nairobi, do some shopping, and try some of the numerous local restaurants.
Kilimanjaro is on the equator with warm temperatures and is very accomplishable for the average person who enjoys hiking. The path we have chosen is off the beaten track, providing ample time to explore the mountain, the variety of foliage, and wildlife. Normally, you never step on snow and there is no climbing, only walking on easy trails. At the base of the mountain, the environment is beautiful and lush jungle, inhabited with wild birds and animals. As you trek up the mountain, the foliage changes and becomes more alpine. Arriving at the summit, you behold an active volcanic crater and small glacier.
Our trek leader, Elselien, trekking up the trail to Umbwe Cave at 2900 metres/10,000 feet (Arnold Coster). Barranco Hut, a pleasant camp spot at 4000 metres/13,000 feet. We sleep in tents most of the time, and a cook prepares our meals. The huts are not as nice as our tents, which are clean and private (Dan Mazur).
After breakfast in Moshi, we will drive about 15km to Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park using the Umbwe Park gate. We will then take the Umbwe Route (remotely used) to Umbwe Cave. The first part of the hike is through an old road followed by a deep tropical rain forest leading to the cave at 2900 metres/10,000 feet. We will then camp at the cave.
From here we hike to "Barranco Hut" situated at 4000 metres/13,000 feet. The route we take leads eastwards down the valley where all the glacial streams converge. It is also filled with plenty of green vegetation and we get to see the famous “Giant Heather”. We will end the day at Barranco and spend the night.
The team walks to Arrow Glacier. The route to western breach continues up the Umbwe Ridge which becomes the western lateral morraine of the Barranco. The Arrow Glacier is situated west of the Little Arrow Glacier at about 4800 metres/15,700 feet. Here we will get to enjoy the fascinating views of the Bridge Wall. Hike from the Arrow Glacier, up the Western Bridge to the Mt. Kilimanjaro Crater. We will camp here for the night as we enjoy the breathtaking sunset. back to top
Our team member posing on the summit of Kilimanjaro (Arnold Coster). Our team on the summit of Kilimanjaro at Stella Point. From left to right: Bill, Frank, Stacy, Preston, Felix, and Isaac (Felix Berg).
The final leg of the trek is an easy and short hike to Uhuru Peak (the highest point of Africa).This gives the most amazing view of the sunrise over the savanna grasslands. We will later walk down to Mweka Hut.
We head back down to Mweka Park Gate using the Mweka Route. The route is not as scenic as Umbwe Route, but it is easier and will lead us to the gate where we will be picked up. We will then drive to the town of Arusha and sleep over there.
Mt. Kenya: Chogoria Route-
The trip commences with an early morning drive past the towns of Thika and Embu. This is a three hour drive that leads to the town of Chogoria and on to Mt. Kenya National Park. Depending on the conditions of the roads, we will drive up as far as possible, leave the cars, and then hike up the mountain. We will spend the first night at “Chogoria Bandas”, which is in the park at 3000 metres/9800 feet.
This being a day on the mountain, we hike gently along an old road to reach the trailhead, which is situated next to a nearby stream with an astonishing little waterfall. We will camp here for the night. back to top
We take the route to "Hall Tarns", crossing a stream leading to the “Thirteen Zigzags” at 3700 metres/12,100 feet. The route goes to the west side of the Nithi Gorge, taking us to "Hall Tarns" at 3400 metres/11,200 feet. From there we drop into the Nithi Gorge, which is possibly the most fascinating area on the whole of Mt. Kenya. We will camp on a romantic, wild, and beautiful spot right next to Lake Michaelson. You can try some fishing if you bring equipment or go for a somewhat cold swim if you are feeling brave. (photo: Felix Berg)
We will hike past some amazing 300 metre/1000 foot rock cliffs off the "Temple Fields", where we meet up with the Summit Circuit Route, heading on up to "Minto’s Hut", located at 4300 metres/14,100 feet. This is an excellent camping place on the plateau overlooking Lake Michaelson (300 metres/1000 feet below). We will stay at the same site and enjoy the spectacular views of the Nithi Gorge, which can be seen by walking to the edges.
Very early in the morning the trekking group will hike up to Point Lenana at 4950 metres/16,200 feet (the highest hiking point on the mountain and 3rd highest summit). Arriving at the point at sunrise, we will walk back down, stopping at "Austrian Hut" for breakfast. We will later walk to “Shipton’s Hut” for the night.
The trekkers will hike around the main peaks of the mountain, past the Two Tarns. Going over the Hausburgs Col, through the Hausburg Valley, we will arrive at "Mackinder's Hut". This spot provides a magnificent view of the rock faces of the mountain.
Hiking up toward Tarn Hill on Mt Kenya during our January expedition (Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved). Peter Horsey, top Kenyan climber on the Mackinder's boulders (Dan Mazur). Our team member Peterson enjoying the view of Teleki Tarn (Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved).
Taking another rest day on the mountain, you may explore the Teleki Valley, which offers plenty of beautiful hikes along it's ridges and hills.
We will hike down the mountain using the Naro Moru track which provides the easiest way to the northern sides of the central peaks. It is the quickest descent of the mountain with a good view over the plains surrounding Mt. Kenya. We will end up at the Park Gate Headquarters in time for pick up and drive to some basic and comfortable shelter at th base of the mountain or maybe even back to Nairobi. back to top
Mt. Kenya: Optional Rock Climb of Nelion-
For our January optional rock climb, we will attempt Nelion Peak on Mt Kenya (second highest peak on the mountain). From Minto's Hut, our group will break from the trekkers for a few days before rejoining the rest of the team. Climbers will go to "Austrian Hut" the day the trekkers go to Point Lenana. The next day, the rock climbers will begin their climb of Nelion via the southeast ridge standard route.
The route begins in a small ampitheatre at 4800 metres/15,700 feet, above the Lewis Glacier, straight across from the Austrian Hut. The first few pitches lead to an uneven ledge where we rope up. From here we ascend to the base of Mackinder's Chimney. Climbing to the right of the chimney up a crack, we get to One O'Clock Gully (photo right: Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved).
We go up the gully and on for several pitches to Baillie's Bivy, a small metal hut sitting on Nelion's South Ridge. We cross the South Ridge onto rock ledges above the Upper Darwin Glacier. From here we ascend the notch between Mackinder's Gendarme and the upper South Ridge to a broad, flat, white-covered ledge. There is a chimney here that leads to the final pitch to the summit of Nelion (5189 metres/17,000 feet), which is fairly moderate. Howell Hut sits upon the summit and is a good place to bivy for climbers crossing the Gate of the Mists to the summit of Batian.
Returning to Shipton's Hut that night, we meet up with the rest of the team before heading out the next day. back to top
Mt. Kenya: Sirimon/Chogoria Route-
Upon leaving Nairobi, we will have an early morning drive (2 hours) to Lake Naivasha, where large amounts of flamingo reside, next to which, Hell’s Gate National Park is situated. We will wander around the volcano formations of the park, which has hot springs and gentle wildlife. There are 200 metre/650 foot high cliffs, which offer opportunities for rock climbing practice for Mt. Kenya for those who may be interested (photo right: Dan Mazur).
After some early morning hiking or climbing we will drive to Nainjuki at the base of Mt. Kenya; the starting point for hiking the Sirimon route up the mountain. We will camp overnight near Old Moses (3000 metres/10,000 feet).
The next day we follow a slightly rising traverse, crossing Ontulili Stream to reach Mackinder's Valley. After about a four hour hike we reach our campsite near the Liki North Hut (3900 metres/12,800 feet).
Felix, one of our great Africa leaders, and team member Sylvia, practicing on a boulder before our ascent of Mt. Kenya (Arnold Coster).
We continue up Mackinder's Valley, leaving the stone formation of Tereri and Sendeyo on our left. After we pass Shipton’s caves we reach the Shipton Hut and our campsite (4100 metres/13,400 feet) at the base of the northern slopes of Mount Kenya’s main peaks Bation (5199 metres/17,050 feet) and Nelion (5189 metres/17,000 feet).
We will take a nice rest day at Shipton’s Camp, where you can take optional small hikes to the surrounding hills, go visit "Icey Mike" (a famous elephant's skeleton) or practice your climbing skills on the nearby cliffs.
After our free day, we will hike around the main peaks of the mountain past Two Tarns. Going over the Hausburgs Col into the Hausburg Valley, we pass through Arthur's Seat and end up at Mackinder's Hut in the Teleki Valley. We will have a magnificent view of the rock faces of the mountain from here.
Very early in the morning the trekking group will hike up to Point Lenana at 4950 metres/16,200 feet (the highest hiking point on the mountain and 3rd highest summit). Arriving at the point at sunrise, we will walk back down, stopping at "Austrian Hut" for breakfast. We will later walk to “Minto’s Hut” in the Chogoria Valley for the night.
The next day we will hike down the mountain using the Chogoria track which provides magnificent views of the Nithi Gorge with the 300 metre/1000 foot vertical cliff called "The Temple" with Lake Michaelson below, as well as some waterfalls and other lakes at Hall Tarns at 3600 metres/11,800 feet. We end up at Chogoria Bandas, where we will drive to a nearby lodge and stay overnight. back to top
Mt. Kenya: Optional Rock Climb of Batian-
For our August optional rock climb, we will attempt Batian Peak on Mt Kenya (highest peak on the mountain). From Shipton Hut, our group will break from the trekkers for a few days before rejoining the rest of the team to begin their climb of Batian via the northeast standard route,'
The climbing begins after a short traverse up to the gully between Krapf Rognon and the main peak. A circle with a cross is chipped into rock at the start of the route.
A short climb brings us to a couloir that we follow up for several pitches to a right-facing corner on easy slabs. From here we ascend to a series of easy, grassy ledges below a wall. Traversing up to a steep chimney, we climb to a large hanging amphitheatre that looks down on both the north and east sides of the mountain. We will bivouc here for the night.
After packing up camp in the morning, we traverse up a gully to Firmin's Tower. Moving between and up several cracks, we attain the top of the tower. Climbing over to another wall, we go up into another smaller amphitheatre, before moving up to reach the West Ridge. Traversing left, we reach Shipton's Notch and continue up and over several ledges to reach the summit of Batian (5199 metres/17,050 feet), the second highest peak in Africa.
Returning to Minto's Hut that night, we meet up with the rest of the team before heading out the next day. back to top
Amboseli National Park is located at the Kenyan-Tanzanian border. We will drive down to Namanga after leaving Mt Kenya and then over to the park, famous for elephants, hippos, giraffes, rhinos, wildebeasts, zebras, gazelles and hundreds of exotic animals and birds. There are wonderful views of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, rising above the savannah grasslands. Appreciate the increasingly hard to find sights and sounds of the unspoiled African bush, away from other tourists. In the evening, we will camp under Acacia trees in a special campground in the center of the park guarded by Masai-warrior park-wardens.
Not only is this a rejuvenating rest between our two treks, but a rare opportunity to see stunning grasslands abundant with wildlife in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
We will have another early morning big game safari drive through the park and in the afternoon go back to Namanga and on to Tanzania. We will drive to Moshi (a town at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro) where will have dinner and spend the night in a hotel (photo right: Bill Weber). back to top
Ngorongoro Lake Myanyara Safari-
After breakfast we depart to Serengeti, stopping on the way at Olduvai Gorge, the archaeological site made famous by Louis and Mary Leaky, also known as, "The Cradle of Humankind". Lunch and afternoon game drive in Serengeti untill 6:30 p.m., dinner, and overnight at Seronera camp site or Sope/Serena Lodge.
Full day game drive in Serengeti until 2:30 p.m. Then we will drive to Ngorongoro for dinner with a stay overnight at Simba Campsite or Sopa/Serena Lodge.
Breakfast and departure for a full day game drive discovering the beauty and abundance of wildlife permanently residing on the crater floor until 3:00 p.m. and then drive to respective destinations.
We finally drive back to Kenya (Nairobi) crossing over the border at Namanga. In Nairobi we will spend the night at the hotel and have a final dinner celebration together. Team members depart to their respective destinations the next day. back to top
Thank You for joining our Kilimanjaro, Kenya, & Safari Trek.