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The Best of Kenya & Tanzania 2015

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Itinerary : Nairobi Serengeti National Park

Trip Extensions

Post-trip: Arusha National Park

Cap your east African adventure with a trek through Arusha National Park—an unspoiled gem of Tanzania's northern country. You'll witness a range of fascinating landscapes—from the fertile slopes of Mount Meru, where our camp is set high above the rolling plains, to pristine waterfalls and expansive forest glades. While large game, such as rhino and lion are absent here, you'll experience rare opportunities to see some species up close, like the black-and-white colobus monkey. You'll also have a unique opportunity to traverse a section of famed Mount Kilimanjaro—the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

It's Included:
Airfare from Seronera to Arusha
All park fees
Bottled water while on game-viewing drives
Accommodations for 1 night in Arusha and 3 nights in Arusha National Park
13 meals—4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 5 dinners
8 small group activities, including 6 game-viewing opportunities
Services of expert driver-guides and camp staff
Porterage for 1 bag per traveler
  • After breakfast, we head to a small airstrip in the Serengeti for a brief flight to Arusha (please refer to Day 18 of The Best of Kenya & Tanzania). Then, we are met and transferred to our hotel for the day. After lunch at our hotel, we set out to explore Arusha on a walking tour.

    Situated at the foothill of Mount Meru in Northern Tanzania, Arusha is a multicultural hub with residents of African, Arab, European, and Indian descent, who call this area home. Due to its proximity to some of the region's noted national parks, including Arusha National Park, Arusha is considered a gateway to the safari experience in Tanzania. While here, you'll discover Arusha's importance to the history of the country as well as its role in modern-day international diplomacy.

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    This morning, we depart for our hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. We'll take the Lemosoho route, driving up to the Shira plateau to begin our hike across what is considered to be the most scenic trail on Africa's highest mountain. The newest of several main routes up Mount Kilimanjaro, the Lemosho route is known for its remoteness and beauty as well as its high success rate. We'll pause to enjoy a packed lunch before returning to our vehicle and setting out for Arusha National Park. As we pass through the wooded savannah on a game-viewing drive en route to our tented camp, we'll likely spot buffalo and giraffe, which are common to this area or perhaps herds of grazing zebra or leaping dik-dik. We ascend Mount Meru to reach our camp, which is perched amid an ancient montane forest past a giant fig tree arch in the heart of the park.

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    After breakfast, we set out to explore Arusha National Park on foot, following animal trails through the forest. Keep your eyes open for the agile black-and-while colobus monkey, whose calls you may have heard echoing through the leafy canopy earlier this morning. This park is the only place where these amazingly acrobatic creatures are easily seen. As we hike through the montane forest, we may also see blue monkeys and colorful birds, such as turacos and trogons. We'll pause during our walk to
    enjoy an elegantly placed lunch in the bush, in full view of crystalline waterfalls.

    Later this afternoon, we'll take a game-viewing drive down toward the lowland forest, followed by a short game-viewing walk. Then, we drive back up to camp to relax with sundowners in view of Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Following dinner at camp this evening, we'll attend a briefing about our activities for tomorrow.

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    This morning, after breakfast at camp, we trek down Mount Meru to explore the plains—stopping to enjoy the view and taking a rest in the bush whenever we need to. We enjoy a picnic lunch en route as we continue our venture through the plains. We'll witness a host of species as—including herds of giraffe, warthog, and zebra—on our walk through the plains. At the end of our trail, we'll make the drive back up to camp to enjoy dinner around a campfire, perhaps while sharing stories about sights of the day.

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    This morning, we drive up the mountain to explore Mount Meru Crater. We'll walk through low-lying vegetation, observing a variety of floral species along the way. As we venture through a flat plain towards the ash cone in the crater, we'll witness a place covered in thousands of pumice stones. Perhaps, you'll even discover the surrealistic feeling of effortlessly lifting up one of these huge stones, which may weigh only a few pounds. During our trek, we'll also marvel at incredible views of Mount Meru's summit and waterfalls. After lunch, we'll drive back to camp in time for an early dinner. Then, we'll say goodbye to our camp hosts and head for Kilimanjaro International Airport for our flight back to the U.S.