Kilimanjaro trek and Safari December 2006

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Mount Kilimanjaro is one of those mystical mountains with lots of history, that begs to be climbed by anyone with an interest in the highest mountain peaks in the world. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, right at the Equator, with a number of spectacular glaciers.

The mountain is 19,340 feet (5,895 meters) high. Scientist are predicting that all of the snow will have disappeared from the mountain by 2020. This is one of the reasons why I am climbing the mountain this year, so I can still enjoy the beautiful ice fields around the crater at the top of the mountain.

There are several routes you can take to the top. The most popular route is the Marangu route, also known as the "Coca Cola" route. The biggest benefit of the route is the fact that you stay in huts all the way up the mountain, which have mineral water, beer, and Coke available for sale. About 90% of people who climb Kilimanjaro use this route. The second most popular route is the Machame Route, also called the "Whiskey Route". This route has spectacular views of the mountain, and is one of the most scenic outings on the mountain. Overnight stays on this route are in tents, which gives it a more traditional trek feel.

Below is a brief outline of the climb:

Dec 5: Arrive Kilimanjaro airport, meet and transfer to hotel

Dec 6: Drive to Arusha National Park for game drive with a picnic lunch.

Dec 7 : Hit the mountain to Machame gate, after registration process start the hike to Machame Camp, a 6 mile hike from 5,900 to 9,900ft, (5~6hrs)

Dec 8: Shira, a 5 mile hike to 12,600ft, (5~6hrs)

Dec 9: Baranco, a 6 mile hike to 12,850ft via Lava Tower (5~7hrs)

Dec 10: Karanga Valley, a short but steep hike up the Baranco Wall (a 900-foot barrier of volcanic rock) to 13,300ft (2~3hrs)

Dec 11: Barafu, another short hike to 14,910ft (2~3hrs)

Dec 12: Summit, a midnight start to the top at 19,340ft (6~7hrs), then descend to Mweka 10,010ft (5~7hrs)

Dec 13: Mweka gate an easy hike down to the park entrance(3~4hrs), and transfer to the hotel in Arusha

December 14 is a rest day in Arusha.

After climbing Kilimanjaro, Teresa and I will do a 5-day safari through the popular game parks of Tanzania.

Dec 15: Teresa will join me in Arusha, from where we start the safari.

Dec 16: Arusha/Lake Manyara Leave Arusha for Lake Manyara, game drive in Lake Manyara. The park is famous for its tree-climbing lions.

Dec 17: Lake Manyara/ Serengeti: After breakfast, we drive to Serengeti. Afternoon game drive in Serengeti, in search of large predators and the gentle herbivores on which they feed.

Dec 18: Serengeti: More game drives in Serengeti

Dec 19: Serengeti / Ngorongoro After breakfast, we will have another game drive in Serengeti, then drive to overnight in Ngorongoro, with optional visit of Masai Village, and optional visit to Olduvai Gorge

Dec 20: Ngorongoro / Arusha Descend into Ngorongoro crater for morning and afternoon game drive* in the crater exploring the short-grass plains of the crater floor. This extinct volcano embraces 100sq miles alive with lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, and many more games, then drive to Arusha to our hotel.

Dec 21: Arusha/Zanzibar Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for our morning flight to Zanzibar.

Dec 22-23: Zanzibar - 2 days of relaxation on this spectacular Island, before our return trip to the U.S.

Dec 24: Take an evening flight to Dar Airport then connect with our international flight

Dec 25: Arrive in Amsterdam to visit my sister

Dec 26: Amsterdam

Dec 27: Depart Amsterdam for U.S, and arrive in U.S on the same day.