Kilimanjaro: that is Africa taken to the top. And that is where all of us want to get, to the very top, to the rim of the crater of this ancient extinct volcano. 5895 m above sea level, the highest point on the Black Continent. But first, we hike through the dense rain forest. We climb higher and higher, to the upland moors, where heath and senecios grow, and far beyond the vegetation line, until we reach the barren rocks of the summit region. And we always have the bright snow of the summit in front of our eyes. Finally – we have made it! We are at the top. Happy. The sun rises over the Kilimanjaro, high above Africa, in the middle of this landscape of bizarre ice formations. This is the climax! But our journey is far from over. The safari in off-road vehicles awaits us. We wish Kilimanjaro – Trekking on the roof of Africa to explore the Ngorongoro Crater and the Tarangire National Park, home to countless wild animals: Gazelles and leopards, elephants, zebras and ostriches. And, at the very end, we relax on Zanzibar. The fine sandy beach, the palm trees and the crystal-clear turquoise water: magnificent! We daydream and reminisce on the images of our adventures.
Day 1: Flight into Kilimanjaro Airport
We fly to Tanzania, directly at the foot of the gigantic Kilimanjaro. (Charter flight from Zurich is available)
Day 2: Kilimanjaro Airport – Marangu
We land at Kilimanjaro Airport early in the morning. We have arrived in the heart of Africa, and to our big target, Kilimanjaro, which towers majestically in front of us. We take the bus and arrive in Marangu after about an hour. The road is lined by sisal and banana plantations, and time and again, we can get a glimpse of the majestic Kilimanjaro. We arrive at our hotel in Marangu in the course of the morning. After lunch, we go for a small hike through the colourful landscape and prepare ourselves for the trekking.
Day 3: Marangu, 1,600 m – Mandara Hut, 2,750 m
The trekking begins! The guides and the porters are already waiting for us and will safely accompany us to the summit. The first stage today takes us through the jungle at the foot of the Kilimanjaro. The trail goes right through the wilderness. In the tree tops, we hear monkeys scream and spot countless colourful birds. We reach the first hut after only about three hours.
Day 4: Mandara Hut – Horombo Hut, 3,718 m
Today, we leave the rain forest. The appearance of the landscape changes abruptly, we reach the open hill slopes. Now, our trail is lined by broom trees and heath shrubs. The trail meanders through the high steppe grass, ascending higher and higher. Finally, we have a clear view! And our eyes move up to the Kilimanjaro. When we are received at the Horombo Hut, five hours’ hike are behind us.
Day 5: Horombo Hut
This day should help us acclimatise to the altitude that awaits us in the last two stages. This means no big efforts today! We hike leisurely up to a height of about 4,400 m and enjoy the view over the steppe. We spend another night at the Horombo Hut. We are surrounded by a magnificent landscape.
Day 6: Horombo Hut – Kibo Hut, 4,703 m
Initially, our trail leads us past strange sceneries. But then we leave the last water hole and the lush vegetation behind us. We encounter a volcanic landscape without vegetation. The mountain formations are breathtaking! In front of us, Mount Kilimanjaro with its blinding white glaciers, behind us the bizarre jagged rocks of the Mawenzi. We have now reached an altitude of more than 4,000 m and therefore cross the lava rock desert at a leisurely speed. After about five hours, we arrive at the Kibo Hut.
Day 7: Kibo Hut – Uhuru Peak – Horombo Hut
The great day has come! There on top of the white peak, Where our thoughts and our eyes have been for days, that’s where we want to go today! It is still dark when we depart. Very soon, we reach the Hans Meyer Cave. The trail becomes steeper and now leads across volcanic ash and through lava rocks. We climb slowly, taking one step after the other. No one speaks. Everybody is deep in their own thoughts. Just before daybreak, we reach Gilman’s Point, which means we have already climbed to an altitude of 5,715 m. A stunning scenery awaits us. In the east, the sky changes its colour, the fiery red sun rises from the dusk and, with its rays, casts a spell over this volcanic landscape. Not even 200 m in altitude difference more. Crossing the crater rim, we climb up to Uhuru Peak, 5,895 m above sea level. Yes, it’s true! We are at the top! The strains of the past few days, they are part of it, but they are behind us. We are at the top and we are happy. Now we can see this fairytale African panorama with our own eyes. We have plenty of time during the long descent to Horombo Hut. We dream, absorbed in our thoughts.
Day 8: Horombo Hut – Marangu
Already around noon, we arrive back at Marangu. Our great trekking is over! Today we celebrate. The songs of the Chaga people set the mood for the evening. Jointly with the guides and porters, our loyal companions, we celebrate the porter feast. We enjoy our summit success.
Day 9: Marangu – Ngorongoro Crater
A good night’s sleep and the sumptuous breakfast have done us good. Change of scenery! The safari vehicles take us from Arusha to Ngorongoro Crater. It is also called the Eighth World Wonder. And when we stand at the 2,500 m high crater rim and our eyes wander over the gigantic crater ground, we know why. We spend the night at the safari camp that was set up exclusively for Aktivferien guests. A safari night has its own special charm: umbrella acacias, a crackling campfire, the strange sounds of the African bush.
Day 10: Safari in the Ngorongoro Crater
We have time to observe the unique wildlife in the crater. What diversity! The short flight distance of the animals is surprising. Giraffes and elephants, lions and antelopes and wildebeest – they all feel safe so that we can watch their natural behaviour. Naturally, these are paradise-like conditions for photographers. In the afternoon, we take a short drive to Tarangire Park. We spend the night at Tarangire Safari Camp.
Day 11: Safari in Tarangire National Park
Once again, we go animal watching in our off-road vehicles. Very soon, we marvel at the giant baobab trees, these gigantic water reservoirs, and hope for a bit of luck because in certain periods of the year, this park is home to the largest elephant herds of the entire continent! Our last evening here in the African bush begins. We tell each other about our experiences around a campfire, absorbed in our thoughts. This is the last night in the camp.
Day 12: Tarangire Park – Arusha – Zanzibar
Today, we get up early. We once again enjoy the atmosphere of the savannah and listen, for the last time, to the awakening wildlife. After breakfast, we are up to a change of scenery! We return to Arusha and fly to Zanzibar. The Indian Ocean still invites us to wonderful refreshment. Overnight stay at the hotel Zanzibar.
Day 13 – 14: Zanzibar
What an adventure is behind us! The peak of the Kilimanjaro, the wildlife on the safaris! We are full of all these experiences. It is good that we now have the opportunity to digest all this. We spend the last few days of our trip in Zanzibar. The waters of the Indian Ocean are crystal-clear, you have the endless vastness of the sea in front of you. It invites you to swim and snorkel. You relax after the intensive trip, enjoying the magnificent sandy beach. During these last two days, you will also explore Zanzibar. Zanzibar is renowned for the labyrinthine old town Stone Town with the old Dhau harbour, the sultan palaces and the famous spice markets. Many exotic fruits and vegetables grow on the island: cloves and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, cocoa and vanilla, mango, pineapple and papaya. The diversity of colours is enormous. Overnight stay at the hotel Zanzibar.
Day 15: Zanzibar – Dar es Salaam – Flight Home
Everyone spends the morning at leisure. In the afternoon, we take the return flight to Dar es Salaam and from there back to Home.
Day 16: Arrival Home
Even the most beautiful trip comes to an end.