Index this page:
- The Safari – Day by dayl – for thumbnail see OVERVIEW
- The Climb – Day by day – for thumbnail see OVERVIEW
- Educational Experience
- Pre-Trip Briefing
- Climbing Groups
- A Typical Day in the Serengeti
- Temperatures and Vegetation
- A Day with the Children
The Safari – Day by day: July 2 (dinner) – July 8 (breakfast)
Please note – depending on many circumstances this itinerary might need to be modified at the sole discretion of Meet Me At The Top Inc, the Group Leader and/or the head guides.
Arrival: Arrive on or before July 2, 2021 at Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania, be picked up and transported to the Springlands Hotel, Moshi. Meet the team and welcoming dinner follow.
Safari: July 2 (dinner) to July 8 (breakfast) – all meals, accommodation, safari vehicles and guides are included. . .gratuities are extra.
Day 1 (July 3): The Safari drive begins with an early breakfast followed by vehicular transfer to our first game drive in Manyara National Park. . . overnight in the beautiful Highview Hotel near Karatu.
Day 2 : Today takes us into the world renowned Serengetti National Park (3-4 hours). We make a stopover at Olduvai Gorge, the archaeological site located in the eastern Serengeti plains, in which early human fossils were first discovered. The amazing landscape is the result of tectonic forces that created the famous Rift Valley System of Eastern Africa, so many millions of years ago. After a brief rest, lecture and lunch we depart for the Serengeti. Dinner and our overnight stay is in “Wild Camp” (tall tents, beds, mattresses and showers – of course).
Day 3 : Breakfast and full day game viewing in the Serengeti. We will have a picnic lunch and continue to leisurely explore and experience the African veldt and this world heritage site. Here the earth’s largest concentration of wild life still roams free! We are likely to see migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, monkeys, hartebeest, eland, giraffes, buffalos, and hippos who crowd the shrinking lagoons.In the late evening, happy and tired and awed by the day’s experiences we will go back to the Wild Camp for rest, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 : Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater. On the way we will stop into a Masai village and learn how these nomads live in a symbiotic relationship with nature. In the crater we will stand on the collapsed remnants of a mountain much mightier and taller than Mt. Everest. . . just imagine it exploding and collapsing into the topographical feature we see today. Our game drive and exploration of the crater floor will be followed by our second overnight stay at Highview Hotel.
Day 5 : A breakfast precedes our transfer to Tarangire Game Reserves (4 hours). In most seasons our game drive in Tarangire includes seeing some of the 300 elephants who languish in this subtropical paradise – prior to their migration. Tarangiri offers, “… the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared Oryx and peculiar long-necked Gerenuk are regularly observed.” Twice (2) out of 9 outings climatic conditions had caused most animals to migrate away. If this occurs we simply spend more of the morning at Highview and then drive straight back to Moshi and the Springlands Hotel.
The Safari ends tomorrow with breakfast, July 8, 2021. . .Options: Spend a day or more with Heshie and the orphans or fly home (accommodation and meal expenses at your discretion).
July 8, 2021 – Day at Springlands Hotel (between Safari and the start of the climb). Options: explore Moshi, shopping, orphanage, sight seeing or rest!.
Also the latest arrival day for climb-only participants
The Climb – Day by day, July 8 (dinner) to July 16 (breakfast).
Note: All meals, accommodation, transportation, guides, assistant guides and porters are included.
The Machame Route is the most beautiful and probably one of the two easiest summit routes on the mountain. However, it can still not be underestimated. We are climbing to altitude and rarefied air with a low oxygen concentration (at the peak) of about 45% of that at sea level. With our good acclimatization techniques, and a reasonable degree of conditioning and fitness, virtually everyone can adjust and make it to the top. . . Werner’s group success rate exceeds most statistics by more than 50%.
The Machame Route is a beautiful trail up the southwest and south sides of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It leads through a majestic rainforest, across a moor-like plateau and high altitude desert, to the roof of Africa. The route is scenic and ideal for acclimatization; example – Day 3 leads high past the Lava Tower (4,630 m/15,190 ft), and then back down for an overnight at the Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft).
Our great Africa guides, porters and cooks carry virtually all of our equipment, pitch tens and cook meals. The majestic scenery makes this a climb to remember; maybe I should have said, “a trek to remember,” since our adventure IS non technical, and ready for anyone with an adventurous soul and a modicum of spunk.
On the Summit with Robert G. Allen, friend and mentor
Day 1 (July 9): Moshi (915 m/3,000 ft) to Machame Gate (1,490 m/4,890 ft)
to Machame Camp (2,980 m/9,780 ft) – 18 km/11.2 mi, 5-7 hours
This day starts with a 50-minute drive from Moshi to the Machame Village (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where we meet our guides and porters. After registering at the park office, our steps immediately take us into the rainforest. We enjoy a box lunch halfway up and reach our forest camp in the late afternoon. Our support staff will have already erected our tents and started cooking our evening meal.
Day 2: Machame Camp (2,980 m/9,780 ft) to Shira Camp (3,840 m/12,600 ft) – 9 km/5.6 mi, 4-6 hours
After breakfast we climb for an hour, leave the rainforest behind and enter the gentle moorland. Two hours later the path takes us to our lunch spot and a rocky ridge that leads to the Shira Plateau. At 12,000’ we are now on one of the highest plateaus on earth with wonderful views of Mt. Meru and Mt. Longed. We also see Kilimanjaro’s great Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. A few hours later we reach our Shira campsite.
Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower (4,630 m/15,190 ft) to Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft) – 15 km/8.9 mi, 7 hours
From Shira Camp we hike east up a steepening path to a prominent landmark, the LavaTower. This remnant of Kilimanjaro’s violent, volcanic past is several hundred feet high, is scalable for the sure-footed and a great spot to have lunch. We always dilly-dally here to support our acclimatization. After lunch we flank the Western Breach and BreachWall as we make our way down through colossal boulders and stunning vegetation to our Barranco Camp. Add a hint of mist and you can’t help but think, “fairy land.” This day is riddled with photo opportunities followed by a slightly faster heart beat as we get up close and personal to the breath taking Great Barranco Wall.
Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft) to Karanga (4,026 m/13,277 ft) – 9.5 km/6 mi, 4-5 hours
After spending a night under the imposing Wall, we climb this awesome obstacle. It’s non technical and turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out we have beautiful views of Kilimanjaro, the Heim Glacier and Mt. Meru (cloud cover permitting). Two to three hours later, through mainly alpine desert, we arrive at the Karanga Valley. One more down-and-up and we are at our campsite for lunch.
Day 5: Karanga (4,026 m/13,277 ft) to Barafu (4600m /15,200 ft)- 3.9km/2.5 mi, 4-5 hours (or possibly Kosovo Camp)
From Karanga we climb gently higher, then cross some intervening ridges and valleys to a slope that leads to High Camp, called Barafu. It’s located on a beautiful, rocky ridge. We have lunch, rest a while and then go for our last acclimatization hike prior to our summit push. Before an early supper we will prepare our equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. Thereafter it’s bedtime.
Day 6: To the Summit!
Barafu Camp (4,600 m/15,200 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,341 ft) to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) – 7 km/4.4 mi up, 23 km/14.9 mi down, 8 hours up, 7-8 hours down
This is the day for which we have all been waiting. Our 6-hour summit climb starts sometime before mid-night. This is when the weather is most stable and, once high, we can see and enjoy the sunrise over the African veldt. We climb (actually trek) between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers over rocky ground, easily negotiated, followed by more challenging scree and finally arrive at the crater rim, Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft). Here we rest a bit and then take a gentle trail to Uhuru Peak. We celebrate our accomplishment and savor the knowledge that we have each created a day that we will remember for the rest of our lives. 3-hours later we will be back at Barafu where we will rest a bit, then commence our trek back into the moorland and eventually into the forests and our final night’s camp at Mweka (3,100 m/10,170 ft).
Day 7: Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft0 to Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft) to Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft) – 15 km/ 8.9 mi, 3-4 hours
Today we hike down to the Park Gate where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. We drive back to Moshi for a welcome shower (maybe a beer), a delicious celebration dinner and a longed for comfortable bed.
Day 8: Adventure ends after Breakfast on July 16
Breakfast (included) is followed by your transportation to the airport for your flight home (or, if you wish, spend a day or two with the orphan community and Heshie).
If you wish to depart later we still transport you from Moshi to Kilimanjaro International Airport at your convenience. If you extend your stay, we will assist you in making accommodation arrangements at our group rate – Note: after breakfast all meals and accommodation will be at your discretion.
OUR GUARANTEE: Your memories of this place and this mountain will be with you for the rest of your life! Just ask anyone and everyone who has ever had the opportunity to experience it!
You will get a sense of the difference in the agrarian way of African life and that of the cattle loving Masai. You will depart this astounding world asking yourself (just like those of you who were here before and in Nepal with Werner), “How can anyone have so little, and yet, have so much and be so happy?”
In a world as different as Africa, in contrast to our cities and lives of our everyday existence, it is hard not to see ‘life’ from a very different perspective. Dunking yourself into unfamiliar ‘waters,’ especially in the safety of a group and its seasoned leaders, opens portals hitherto closed, and where FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) has the opportunity to either melt away or become insignificant in the grand scheme of creation. In conjunction with the Leadership Development (see Menu bar) transformations do not only become possible, they become highly likely – actually a reality!
Trek Leader(s) and Staff
Our Executive Tour Organizer, Guide, Safari and Climb Leader is Werner Berger (see LEADER on menu bar). The Local Guides are English speaking, experienced, safari and mountain people who love their country and what they do; together we guarantee a safe and enjoyable trip. For the most part, the guides were raised at the foot of Kilimanjaro. Also, our porters form an intricate part of the trek and their amazing carrying capacity allows you to enjoy the journey. We have 3 porters per climber and each carries up to 32 pounds /15kgs of your gear, plus all the food and accommodation requirements. We will have 1 lead guide and 3 assistaint guides per each 8-12 climbers.
You will be carrying your own day-pack with water, snacks and emergency clothing (approx. 10 – 17 lbs). If you let us know ahead of time, we are able to arrange a personal porter at an additional fee.
Pre Trip Briefing
Prior to the climb we conduct a Pre-Climb Briefing. We discuss acclimatization, introduce your trek Leaders and give you an opportunity to ask questions and meet your fellow team members. We also brief you on how to get the most out of your time on this amazing mountain and the educational experiences you will relish.
All Meals are provided during the Safari and the Climb. Our own cooks accompany us on the mountain.
Safari: Includes dinner on July 2 and breakfast on July 8
Climb only: Includes dinner on July 8 and breakfast on the July 16.
You will be on your own for meals and accommodation, prior to and after the above dates. The combined adventure includes all meals and accommodation from July 2 (dinner) June 29 and breakfast on July 16 (breakfast).
In Moshi we stay at the Springlands Hotel. The accommodation is rated 3 star, simple, comfortable and clean and the meals are served buffet style. On the safari, we will be staying at the beautiful Highview Hotel and Serengeti Wild Camp (wonderful bush setting, tall tent accommodation, beds with mattresses, with shower and toilet). All park fees are included. Accommodations are based on two-person occupancy. Upon request, and where available, single occupancy may be arranged for an additional fee of $450 US for safari and $750 safari and climb. In Moshi, the cost of the combined trip includes four (4) nights accommodation – one (1) before the start of the Safari, two (2) after, and one (1) night at the end of the Climb.
A Typical Day in the Serengetti
You will be awakened, likely before day break, ushered to breakfast and then taken on an early morning game drive in search of the African Big Five – Elephant, Lion, Rhinoceros, Leopard and Cape Buffalo. We will see droves of Wildebeest and Zebra, Antelope of all kinds, Giraffe – magically appearing around a bend in the road – Warthogs, Guinea Foul, and Monkeys of many descriptions. In addition we are likely to see Cheetah, Meercats, Hippopotamus and Crocodiles. We might even come across a night kill; possibly abandoned by the lions and the hyenas, and now left to the frantic scraping of the vultures. This is Africa – Africa in the raw, were the symbiotic existence of life tends to shock the western mind. At times we might see something foreign to our expectations and say, “Oh! That’s horrible.” In truth, that’s life!
During the game drive we will enjoy a box lunch, maybe in the shade of an Acacia tree were we might stop and rest for a few hours. Later we will go on a late afternoon game drive followed by dinner. After a pleasant evening around a campfire (when available), with bright stars sparking out of a pitch-black ceiling, and frequent nocturnal sounds of Africa penetrating the darkness, we’ll retire to our beds.
Seeing all five of the “Big 5” is the challenge. In the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater we will see plenty of wildlife up close. We might see hundreds of birds (including flamingo) and more mammals than you can count. The challenge will be the spotting of the elusive Rhino. What a memorable place!
Tarangire Park is famous for its elephants, birds and migrating wildebeest. The permanent Tarangire River keeps many sections lush and green in contrast to the sun drenched veldt. . .in the past the animal sightings have ranged from spectacular to, shall we say, “less so!” – in fact, twice (2) in the 9 trips they were gone.
Temperatures and Vegetation
“The Serengeti climate is usually warm and dry with mean temperatures varying between 60 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15/25 degrees Celsius). The temperatures tend to be moderate year round, with cool nights. The cycle of the rains causes the clockwise migration of the animals along most of the 400 miles (600 Km) of the Rift Valley of this vast tectonically and volcanically formed landscape. In places you will be mesmerized by the forms sculpted by the abration of endless winds, rain and sun.”
The size of the group will determine the number of climbing groups we will create. Each group will have one Tanzanian leader, 3-4 assistant leaders, and 3 porters per climber (carrying your gear, food and tenting equipment).
The Safari has been planned to precede the Climb since it lends itself to a great opportunity for acclimatization, especially for those living below 5000ft (1524m)….the more time we spend at altitude the more the body adapts and the lower the risk of contracting AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) – my teams have NEVER had an AMS incidents!!! On the summit of Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft/5895m) the oxygen level is about 45% of that at sea level. To deal with this deficiency, the body needs time to adapt, hence the time in the Serengetti and 6 nights/7 days on the mountain. Again, with Werner’s high altitude experience, and our competent guides, our team has never had any altitude issues.
The Serengeti is about 5000ft in elevation, and the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater is 8000 ft/2438m. On the return from the safari we will spend about 1 hour on the rim allowing the rarified air to condition our bodies prior to approaching the mountain.
On the climb you will hear your guides frequently yell, “Polle, polle”, which means “Slowly, slowly” in Swahili. This, plus the ‘rest step,’and ‘climbers’ breathing (both of which Werner will teach you) are the absolute keys to success.
If you have any known heart, lung or blood disorders you must consult your doctor before traveling. Our itinerary has been designed to prevent AMS, and it is important to know, altitude effects people differently. We will have supplemental oxygen on the climb and reserve the right to send any climber down, if we in our estimation believe there might be any danger to her/his health….in registering for the climb, you unequivocally agree to this stipulation.
 Explanation: With proper trip planning, guidance and slow climbing the chemistry in our bodies can changed and adapt to the rarified air. A speedy ascent does not allow this.
A Day With The Children
The Mt. Kilimanjaro Orphanage is a 5 minute walk from our resort hotel. While the climbers are on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Heshie spends her days supporting the orphans, here, as well as in a location 3 hours drive away. Not only is she welcomed by all because of her gifts (over 2000 brand new clothing items, months of school supplies, supplements and medical supplies), but also for her love, compassion and coaching. I am surprised to see 4 to 16 year olds eagerly learning to stitch, and all ages thirsting for her coaching on how self awareness, self appreciation, relationship building, how to be a friend, pursuing a dream and reaping and playing in a world of abundance is each and everyone’s birthright. She teaches, “You are magnificent and all powerful and can fashion your life in a win/win manner according to your own dreams and wishes.” I can’t stand back without thinking, “How many kids in our western world could be benefitting from her teachings of character development, attitude and living, with respect in a world of abundance?”
After we come off the mountain a number of climbers accompany Heshie to the local orphanage. We are all struck by the exuberance and love with which the kids, running, greet us. Many of the climbers have brought their own gifts. The hours that followed are filled with laughter, play and more love than seems possible. Heshie has laid the ground work and the climbers revel in the joys of the moment. . .a sharp contrast to the demands of climbing a high altitude peak. The correlations that stands out are the close knit relationships, the team work and the learning opportunities presented by both encounters. How in heavens name can we ever behave as if we do not have any personal responsibilities in our lives and that, ultimately, we are not responsible to each other. Our kids, regardless of race, color, religion or any other differentiating factor are our future; and we better all start acting accordingly, before humanity becomes even more fractured and isolated and ultimately blows the beautiful creation we all live in, into smithereens.