Machame Route, wildlife and specialized bird watching

Machame Route, wildlife and specialized bird watching from Wildkingdomsafaris and Cultural Tours

By: Wildkingdomsafaris and Cultural Tours  04/12/2009
Keywords: hotel, vacation accommodation, Bed and Breakfast

   Itinerary: Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp Elevation (m): 1,490m to 2,980m Elevation (ft): 4,890ft to 9,780ft Distance: 18km Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Montane Forest Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 50-minute drive from Moshi or a one and half hours drive from Arusha to the Machame Village (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where your guides and porters prepare and pack your equipment and supplies. You will receive a lunch pack, and you can also buy mineral water in the village. If the road is very muddy, it may be impossible to drive from the village to the Machame Gate, and in this case, it will take you an hour to complete the muddy 3 km walk to the gate. After registering at the park office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest immediately. Heavy rains on this side of the mountain often transform the trail into a soggy, slippery experience, so good footgear, trekking poles, and gaiters are useful. Yo will enjoy a welcome lunch stop halfway up and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Your porters will arrive at camp before you and will erect your tent before you arrive. In the evening, the porters boil drinking and washing water while the cook poepares your dinner. Night temperatures can drop to freezing at the Machame Camp. Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp Elevation (m): 2,980m to 3,840m Elevation (ft): 9,780ft to 12,600ft Distance: 9km Walking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Moorland You rise early at Machame camp, and after breakfast, climb for an hour to the top of the forest, then for 2 hours through a gentle moorland. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau where you will be able to see Kilimanjaro's great Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. Sometimes, the walls of the Western Breach are draped with extensive ice curtains. You are now west of Kibo on the opposite side of the mountain from the Marangu Route. After a short hike west, you reach the shira campsite. The porters will boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will be colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing. Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp Elevation (m): 3,840m to 4,630m to 3,950m Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 15,190ft to 12,960ft Distance: 15 km Walking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Semi-desert After breakfast, you will walk up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro's looming mass. After several hours, you walk thorough a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower, also called the "Shark's Tooth." at 4,630 m/15,190ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro's earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, the sure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. Although you end the day at almost the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. OPTIONAL DAY (7-day trek): Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp Elevation (m): 3950m to 4200m Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 13,800ft Distance: 7km Hiking Time: 4 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. There is water at this camp. Then, on Day 5 you will hike from the Karanga Valley Camp to the Barafu Camp, summit on Day 6, and finish your descent on Day 7. Day 4: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp Elevation (m): 3,950m to 4,550m Elevation (ft): 12,960ft to 14,930ft Distance: 13km Hiking Time: 8 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert After spending a night under the imposing Great Barranco Wall, you climb this awesome obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. For now, all eyes are still on the summit, so turn left and hike up the ridge for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries, and to prevent freezing, consider carrying your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed by 7 PM, and try to get a few hours of precious sleep. Day 5: Summit Day! "Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp" Elevation (m): 4,550m to 5,895m (and down to 3,100m) Elevation (ft): 14,930ft to 19,340ft (and down to 10,170ft) Distance: 7km up / 23km down Hiking Time: 6 - 8 hours up / 7 - 8 hours down Habitat: Stone scree, seasonal snow and ice-capped summit You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) "You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down". This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer! Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi/Arusha Elevation (m): 3,100m to 1,980m to 890m Elevation (ft): 10,170ft to 6500ft to 2,920ft Distance: 15 km Hiking Time: 3 - 4 hours Habitat: Forest After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi/Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a hotel.  Day 8: Arusha National park The day begins with pre Breakfast birding around the Lodge grounds, sighting fire finches, variable sunbirds, Bulbuls and the other commoner species then back to the lodge for breakfast. After break fast, you will drive to Arusha National park for birding and game viewing. While in the park, you will make a visit to the various crater lakes in the park, catching up with the Maccoa ducks, Egyptian Geese, Hottentots teals, Comb ducks and many unusual waders. The forest surrounding Ngurudoto crater may reward us with Trogons, orange bellied Parrots, Silvery cheeked hornbills and the hurtlurb`s Turaco… you should be encountering your first Mammals here which should include Elephants, Bush Bucks, Hippos and Buffaloes. Return to your Lodge for Dinner and overnight at Ilboru Lodge in Arusha or equivalent. FB   Day 9: Arusha -Tarangire In the morning at 0830hrs pick up from your hotel in Arusha and drive on tarmac road 120km to Tarangire National Park for game drives. Lunch picnic and there after lunch continue with afternoon game viewing in the park to look for Lion, Leopard, Elephant, buffalo, Python, Zebra, Oryx, Impala and more… Over 450 species of birds have been observed. Late in the afternoon the driver will take you for dinner and overnight at, Tarangire river camp or the Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge. FB Day 10: Manyara After Breakfast, drive into Lake Manyara National Park with picnic Lunch. Lake Manyara National Park, has a rich eco- system composed of an under ground water forest, Open savannah and of course the lake it self, all being an excellent habitat for both Big game and birds. We will spend the entire day exploring the park. While in the park we may chance out on the large herds of Elephants, Buffaloes and other plain game. Birds are profuse; including the blue napped mouse birds and many European migrants will be soaring up in the sky. Return to our overnight stop for Dinner and Overnight at the Lake Manyara wildlife Lodge. FB  Day 11: Manyara – Ngorongoro After a leisurely Breakfast, we will have an option of drive down the lake shore for any possibility of waders that we might have missed all through the couple of days in the park, after which we will head to Ngorongoro. Listed by Unesco as a world heritage site, the incomparable Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest "caldera". A caldera is the broad, crater-like basin of a volcano formed by the collapse of the central cone. Dominated by cliffs standing some 600 meters high and presenting a sheer drop down to a wide open space of some 264 square km, the crater is one of the most amazing sights seen anywhere. The Crater is home to 25,000 larger mammals, almost half of them zebra and wildebeest. There are also gazelles, buffalo, eland, hartebeest and wart hog. Such vast numbers attract predators a plenty, mainly lion and hyena but also cheetah and leopard. More than 100 species of birds not found in the Serengeti have been spotted here. Countless flamingos form a pink blanket over the soda lakes. Gazing on the sight below you will be amazed at the wildlife when you actually make your way to the crater floor today - it is like no where else in the world! Late evening ascend the crater for your dinner and Overnight at Rhino Lodge or Serena Lodges FB Day 12: Ngorongoro – Serengeti National Park -Breakfast in Ngorongoro then launch a journey with game drives and lunch enroute to the Great Serengeti National park. After picnic lunch in the park continue with afternoon game viewing in the park a home of lion, leopard, Elephant, Cheetah, Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest, Eland, Wild dog, Gazelles, Crocs and more. Lot of birds include the Eurasia migrants. Dinner and overnight at Serena Lodges. FB Day 13: Serengeti  After breakfast leave with your packed lunch for full game drive on the Serengeti Park acacia Savannah in the central to the east region. Around 12.30pm and 13.00pm break for your picnic lunch; thereafter proceed with tour afternoon game drive. In mid September to October you might see females of wildebeest that mate to a total of 60000 then 8 to 8.5 months later those females that conceived give birth on the same southern plains after a long travel. Evening drive to your lodge for dinner and overnight.   Accommodation: Serengeti Serena Lodge or campsite, Meals: FB   Day 14: Serengeti/ Arusha    Wake up in the morning and proceed with a partial game viewing on your way to Arusha.   Arrive in Arusha around 6:00pm.Dinner and overnight at Ilboru Lodge Day 15: Arusha/KIA    Early in the morning, we will transfer your to the Kilimanjaro airport to catch up with KLM or Ethiopian Airlines.     Note: - This Tour can be modified to add an extra two nights or more on the Serengeti plains. - If there will be need to overnight in Arusha so as to catch up with flights the next day, accommodation arrangements shall be made and clients will pay for the extra.   END OF SERVICES PRICE: USD 3670  per person – Camping accommodation. USD 4820 per person – Lodge accommodation. Price Includes: - Accommodation as stipulated in the Itinerary including service charges and taxes - Airport transfers - Sightseeing as specified in itinerary - Transport on safari in a 4WD vehicle with an open roof - All parks entrance fees - Water 1.5 Lts per day per person - Service of English Speaking driver guide Price Excludes: - International flights - Tips to the driver guide - Thing of personal nature - Sleeping bag if camping - And all not mentioned in the tour itinerary          

Keywords: Africa, Bed and Breakfast, Elephants, Guest Houses, hotel, kilimanjaro, Mountain Trekking, pets, safari, vacation accommodation, Wildkingdomsafaris and Cultural Tours offers tours, Wildlife,

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