Planning Safari/Kili Climb

Dec 30th, 2005, 10:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 54
Planning Safari/Kili Climb

I'm planning our trip to Tanzania and would love some advice/assistance on the itinerary and outfitter.

We're planning on going in mid-August and doing a Kili Climb and safari for 4 of us. We're all reasonably fit and excited to climb Kili.

On the advice of our outfitter (and what I've found on some different sites), we're planning on the Shira Plateau/Western Breach route(8 days, summiting from the Crater Camp). Then off on safari, going to Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crate, and the Serengeti, staying predominantly at the Serena Lodges.

Our Itinerary
Day 1 - arrive late - overnight at Mountain Village Serena Lodge.
Day 2 - Kill jet lag, prep for climb - overnight at Mountain Village Serena Lodge.
Day 3 - Day 10 - Climb Kili via Shire/Western Breach route; summit camp is Crater Camp

Day 11 - Depart to Tarangire, game drive - overnight Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Day 12 - Morning in Tarangire, afternoon to Ngorongoro Crater - overnight Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Day 13 - Ngorongoro Crater - overnight Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Day 14 - Olduvai Gorge to Serengeti - overnight Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp
Day 15 - Serengeti - overnight Serengeti Serena Lodge
Day 16 - Serengeti - overnight Serengeti Serena Lodge
Day 17 - Serengeti to Arusha for Departure home

I'm interested in your thoughts on the itinerary - I know we'll miss Lake Manyara, but as it is supposed to be the dry season there and we're pretty rigid on timeframe, something had to give.

For all this, the price is around $5,000 per person. Does that seem reasonable? I've seen information from Roys/other outfitters that have lower prices, but they're quoting using Wildlife/Sopa lodges and the Machame route (can't find many folks willing to do the Western Breach). I'm also interested if there are different lodges that we should be looking at - certain members of our group (I won't name who) are concerned about having a comfy bed and relaxing lodge to come back to at night. But at the same time, we're trying to do this a somewhat decent budget.

The other question I have was game drive length. We've been told that some drives do get limited, based on fuel/mileage. Has anyone heard about this - and who does and does not limit the drives? (I should mention, my wife is a zoologist by training and spent a semester studying in Kenya -- I'm just a avid outdoor person)

Thanks in advance for any advice that you have.
npederse is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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The quote of $5000.00 seem a little higher for the lodges...try to contact Keys hotels, Roy Safaris and Akaro Tours in Moshi all seem to have more reasonable prices for your kind of itinerary
Good luck....
bayo is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Climbhighsleeplow will have good advice on the Kili climb...

Your itinerary is practically identical to what DH and I did August 2005. Except we used the Machame route (didn't summit). The itinerary worked well for us but you could probably get a lower price quote. You could use an operator like Roy's for the safari portion and someone who specializes in Kili climbs for that portion.
schlegal1 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Hello npederse:

I believe that Eben is still in Africa so he may not be able to reply right away.

I have not been on a climb but I have researched the cost for my next trip.

Re the price, what is the split between the climb and the safari? I would expect the safari to price out in the $250-$300 pppn range so for 6 nights that is $1500-$2000. That leaves $3000-$3500 for the climb which for an 8 day climb seems reasonable to me. I would expect a top company for that--one that takes good care of the porters, the client, and the environment.

If you want to look at a very informative site that includes some pricing comparisons, go to

This site is sponsored by Eben's company, kiliwarriors.

Also, as I am sure Eben would mention, make sure your operator is licensed for the climb. Here is the site that lists the licensed operators. [I think this is more of a problem at the low end of pricing.]

BTW, re the safari portion, I think that at that time of year you would want to go to the northern serengeti to maximize seeing the migration-even further north than Mbuzi Mawe. But if you do not go further north you may want to switch to 2 nights at MM and one night at the Serena serengeti (or take a night from the crater) because MM will place you closer. Maybe sandi will comment for you.

bat is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 331
Hi there,

Here's a link to our Kili climb stories and pics for you! It's a brilliant adventure!

My personal story is Totomama climbs Kilimanjaro!

You're taking a good amount of time to do the climb which is great.
luckykat is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Eben's website has great information for anyone considering a Kili climb. He also shows which are approved Kili providers, of which Roy's is one. But prices will vary depending on who the providers are. I must say that the price bat worked out seems rather high... more on the lines of what an A&K would charge. However, your climb is important, so don't go cheap on this.

As to bat's pricing on the lodgings, I think that may be low for August travel. Especially, considering this is a drive safari and besides the room you have your own guide/driver whose costs should be included (room/food), the vehicle, petrol, insurance, etc.

But unless you can get as far north into the Serengeti in August - Klein's (which is expensive and booked) or the seasonal camps, i.e., Sayari, also expensive and likely fully booked, the other option would be Migration Camp. This too will be high, but less than Klein's. And, from anywhere this far north, you'll require a flight back to Arusha.

I'd cut the itinerary at the Ngorongoro Crater and head back to Arusha and onto the Masai Mara where all the action is. You can catch a 1:45pm flight to Nairobi; connect to 3pm flight to the Mara and have a 3-day stay here.

Apparently, though, if you already have your flight tickets, these seem to be departing from JRO on KLM. If you choose to end in the Mara, KLM has a flight out from Nairobi.

$5,000 for 17-days averages less than $300/nt (whether the climb or safari) - pretty good, I must say for high-season.

Just suggestions to get the most out of your safari.
Jan 5th, 2006, 07:21 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,790
hi sandi-for the climb I was looking at the prices on Eben's website for the 7/8 day western breach climbs. Only one company was below $3000.
bat is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Hi npederse,

Not to scare you off, but without knowing your mountain climbing experience be aware that the Western Breach is a serious scrambling route, with a lot of loose rock. Three people were killed by rockfall yesterday. Here is one news article on the accident:,00.html

If you are experienced in USA Class 3 or higher climbing then just take this under advisement.

Here is my trip report on the Machame route if you are interested:

Good luck on your trip. It's a fantastic experience!
Nelson is online now  
Jan 5th, 2006, 08:28 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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According to the news article you posted, the climbers who died were in their tents when they were hit--so there is no correlation between fitness level and their deaths. Not sure if that is what you intended to convey but that is the way I understood your post.
bat is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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No, not fitness level, just an understanding of the risks involved on the selected route. Fitness level is less important than acclimitization on Kili.
Nelson is online now  
Jan 5th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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nelson, thanks for the clarification.
bat is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Just wanted to mention my husband and 18 year old son just did the climb with the Kiliwarriors in December and said it was TERRIFIC. The guides and porters were great and make the climb fun too.

icygreg is offline  
Jan 5th, 2006, 10:31 PM
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I just got e-mail from Tusker regarding my Western Breach trek for next June. Looks like they're going to avoid the area where the rock fall occurred and go up through an alternate route for the time being. According to Tusker, the park authorities are re-evaluating the Western Breach route for safety.

Tusker is going re-evaluate conditions in April and let clients know what they intend.
lifelist is offline  
Jan 6th, 2006, 06:50 AM
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Thanks everyone for the great advice. I plan on talking to Roy's and Good Earth, as it looks like they've had good responses on this board

Re: the Western Breach - I read the article about the rockfall; my thought was that everything we do has risks, but that shouldn't stop us from doing them.

npederse is offline  
Jan 7th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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according to, the WB option has been closed until further notice. I was planning the Lemosho/WB/Crater Camp route as well in August.
Jan 8th, 2006, 02:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Wow! That budget is a bit far exagerated, I and my hubby did the climb, 7 days Machame route and 7 days Safari TarangireX1 Lake Manyara X1, NgorongoroX2 and SerengetiX2 and paid $4000.00 person. We stayed at the Serena Lodges all through.

I think you reseach more. $1000.00 in savings will be alot of money.

I used MISC travel last August and they were really great, organisation wise and professionaly. check on them for a quote!

The tiny Giraffe
pygmygiraffe is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Today's news about this week's tragic accident says the climbers were on the move when the rockfall happened, not in their tents as originally reported.
Nelson is online now  
Jan 13th, 2006, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I've had February Western Breach approach trek scheduled for several months. Considering the rockslide near Arrow Glacier camp our outfitter has rerouted us to the South Summit Circuit. I believe the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities are requiring all outfitters to use an alternate route until further notice.
DJ_19563 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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I have seen pygmy giraffe tout miscc before and some are of the opinion is just a shill for them. Please be careful.
stakerk is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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I just did Kilimanjaro (and made it to the top) and was to go via the Western Breach with Tusker when the tragic news arrived - 3 dead trekkers - injured porters.
Tusker re-routed us (but did not do a good job of communicating with our families state-side) and we went through much of the W Breach route (absent the breach) and had a spectacular trip from Lemosho to Shira through Barranco wall and Lava Tower to Karanga Valley, Barafu, sleeping the crater and summitting Uhuru at the decent hour of dawn.

VERY good guide, professional operation, decent food and the toughest thing I have ever done physically and emotionally (and I have done a lot).

I will be glad to provide advice or observations for anyone interested but I give Tusker very high marks for the trek.

rnirschel is offline  

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