10-Day Grand Traverse

2015 - 2017

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Circumnavigate Kili On A Road Less Traveled

Spectacular, remote, and exclusive – that’s what you’ll experience when you climb Kilimanjaro with us.  This trek truly defines taking the road less traveled and will bring out your spirit of adventure.  Embark on a journey across the Shira plateau, past the famous Shark’s Tooth rock formation, around the north face of the mountain (where you can see down into Kenya), and along the shores of Mawenzi Tarn, the lake formed from the glacial ice on the mountain, before taking it all in from the top of Africa’s highest peak.

Trip Highlights:

  • Upgraded hotel accommodations before your trek
  • Maximum acclimatization time
  • The least-traveled route on Kilimanjaro
  • Unique views on all sides of the mountain
  • Smaller group size
  • Personal porter and luxury tent upgrade available
  • Featured in Travel & LeisureOutside Magazine, and Amex Centurion

 

 

Grand Traverse Route Map

Days 1-2
Depart North America / Arrive Arusha, Tanzania

After crossing oceans and continents, a staff member will greet you at the airport and escort you to your scenic lodge, located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch (4,200’)

 

Day 3
Acclimatization Day at Ndarakwai Ranch

After breakfast and an informative trek briefing, spend the rest of your acclimatization day exploring the picturesque grounds of Ndarakwai Ranch and spotting local wildlife. In the evening, relax in an open-air lounge.

Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch (4,200’)

 

Day 4
Begin Trek to Shira 1 Camp

This morning, pack your climbing gear into the Land Rovers and head through dense rainforest to the trailhead. Be on the lookout for rare black and white Colobus monkeys swinging in the canopy. After a hearty lunch, begin a moorland trek to your first camp—accompanied by expert porters, fully outfitted in all-weather uniforms. Enjoy sunset views of Kibo, Mt. Kili’s first volcanic cone.

Overnight: Shira 1 Camp (11,499’)
Hours trekking: 1-2


Day 5
Shira 1 to Moir Camp

You will resume your trek this morning, departing the savannah of heather and grasses and making your way into the moorlands. Pass through misty, cloud-covered terrain of volcanic rocks as you move steadily up the mountain.

Overnight: Moir Camp (13,700’)
Hours trekking: 4-5

 

Day 6
Moir to Pofu Camp

Continue to wind your way through the moorlands as you approach the alpine desert. Vegetation will begin to thin out and the landscape will be marked by a vast plateau and strange volcanic plugs. Get a look at one of the larger formations, a lava tower called the Shark’s Tooth.

Overnight: Pofu Camp (13,200’)
Hours trekking: 5-7

 

Day 7
Pofu to Rongai Caves 2 Camp

Winding through a forest of towering Dendrosenecio kilimanjari, proceed upward over expansive ridgelines in the high alpine desert. Enjoy the extraordinary views as you pass massive volcanic formations scattered throughout the fields of scree. You’ll camp above this lunar landscape in a remote location where you may even catch a glimpse of Kenya’s vast badlands.

Overnight: Rongai Caves 2 Camp (11,450 ft.)
Hours trekking: 5-7

 

Day 8
Rongai 2 Caves to Kikelewa Camp

Cross the alpine desert, where you will find little more than a few tufts of grass, some everlastings, and bright yellow daisy-like flowers alongside the trail. The air will feel cooler, but the equatorial sun is still intense, so keep applying your sunscreen! You’ll explore the volcanic towers, rocky overhangs, and large boulder formations as you acclimatize.

Overnight: Kikelewa Caves Camp (11,850 ft.)
Hours trekking: 3-5

 

Day 9
Kikelewa to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

After breakfast, trek to your next camp. Located next to a placid lake at the foot of Mawenzi—Kilimanjaro’s second highest volcanic cone—this alcove offers spectacular views of the summit’s cathedral-like spires.

Overnight: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (14,210’)
Hours trekking: 4-6

 

Day 10
Mawenzi Tarn to Outward Bound Camp

Today you’ll trek across the Saddle—the stark landscape between Mawenzi and Kibo. Feel the temperature drop as you near the foot of Kibo, where your next camp awaits. Rest up in preparation for tomorrow’s thrilling summit bid.

Overnight: Outward Bound Camp (15,450’)
Hours trekking: 5-7

 

Day 11
Outward Bound to Summit / Crater Camp

Wake before dawn to begin your focused trek to the summit, reaching Uhuru Peak in the early afternoon hours. Enjoy free time to celebrate your success and snap stunning photos. After a short descent to Crater Camp, set in soft sands near the retreating vertical ice walls of the Furtwangler Glacier, or take an optional trek to the Ash Pit.

Overnight: Crater Camp (18,802’)
Hours trekking: 7-10 to Summit / 1-2 to Crater Camp

 

Day 12
Crater to Mweka Millennium Camp

Enjoy a morning hike to Reusch Crater where you can marvel at its vast inverted cone of ash known as the Ash Pit, or summit for a second time as the sun rises. Then, make a steep descent to Barafu Camp, arriving in time for lunch. Journey on through moorlands and forests to reach your last camp on Kilimanjaro.

Overnight: Mweka Millennium Camp (12,500’)
Hours trekking: 6-8

 

Days 13-14
Complete Trek / Return to North America

Conclude your trek through dense rainforest, celebrating with a farewell lunch at the gate. Say goodbye to your guides and porters who are now dear friends, then transfer to a day room in Arusha for a hot shower and refreshing nap before your evening flight home.

Day room: Rivertrees Country Inn
Hours trekking: 4-6

Looking to continue your adventure in Tanzania? Add a 5- or 7-day safari extension, starting from Arusha (details below) or add on one of our exciting, trip extensions to exotic Zanzibar, chimpanzee colonies in Mahale, one of Tanzania’s many stunning national parks, and more.

Add a Safari

Learn more about our 5-Day Wildlife Highlights Safari extension.

Learn more about our 7-Day Classic Safari extension.

Ndarakwai Ranch

A trekker’s haven and private conservation refuge, Ndarakwai Ranch offers more than 11,000 acres of open savannah. Hike among giant fig trees, view local wildlife, and sleep under the stars in thatched-roof tents. Ensuite bathrooms with showers and a dining tent offer a comfortable wilderness experience.

Kilimanjaro Luxury Camp

All Grand Traverse treks include Thomson’s new, Solar-Lit, Walk-In Height Sleeping Tents, complete with a sturdy mountaineering bed and plush mattress. Private toilet tents, solar-lit dining tents with tables and chairs, and hot basins of water are all provided daily. After full trekking days, savor hot meals prepared by the camp’s chef, expertly trained in hygienic food preparation. In the afternoons, piping tea and hearty snacks will be waiting for you. And there’s nothing quite like starting each day with a breath of crisp mountain air.

Rivertrees Country Inn

Reminiscent of its legacy as a former German colonial farm and coffee estate, Rivertrees Country Inn blends simple elegance and modern convenience. Wake up in your farmhouse-style room to the sound of the rushing Usa River, and enjoy a hearty breakfast in an open-air, thatched-roof dining area.

Season 2015 - 2016

Return from Trek
Depart North America Trek Only + 5-Day Safari + 7-Day Safari Notes
  • 2015
    • Jun 19
      Jul 02
      $7,890
      Jul 07
      $11,180
      Jul 09
      $12,180
      SOLD OUT
    • Jul 08
      Jul 21
      $7,890
      Jul 26
      $11,180
      Jul 28
      $12,180
    • Jul 15
      Jul 28
      $7,890
      Aug 02
      $11,180
      Aug 04
      $12,180
      SOLD OUT
    • Aug 01
      Aug 14
      $7,890
      Aug 19
      $11,180
      Aug 21
      $12,180
    • Aug 15
      Aug 28
      $7,890
      Sep 02
      $11,180
      Sep 04
      $12,180
      LIMITED AVAILABILITY
    • Sep 03
      Sep 16
      $7,890
      Sep 21
      $11,180
      Sep 23
      $12,180
      LIMITED AVAILABILITY
    • Sep 19
      Oct 02
      $7,890
      Oct 07
      $11,180
      Oct 09
      $12,180
      SOLD OUT
    • Oct 03
      Oct 16
      $7,890
      Oct 21
      $11,180
      Oct 23
      $12,180
      LIMITED AVAILABILITY
    • Dec 20
      Jan 02
      $7,890
      Jan 07
      $11,180
      Jan 09
      $12,180
  • 2016
    • Jan 07
      Jan 20
      $7,890
      Jan 25
      $11,180
      Jan 27
      $12,180
    • Jan 22
      Feb 04
      $7,890
      Feb 09
      $11,180
      Feb 11
      $12,180
    • Feb 03
      Feb 16
      $7,890
      Feb 21
      $11,180
      Feb 23
      $12,180
    • Feb 10
      Feb 23
      $7,890
      Feb 28
      $11,180
      Mar 01
      $12,180
    • Mar 04
      Mar 17
      $7,890
      Mar 22
      $11,180
      Mar 24
      $12,180
    • Feb 25
      Mar 09
      $7,890
      Mar 14
      $11,180
      Mar 16
      $12,180
    • Mar 15
      Mar 28
      $7,890
      Apr 02
      $11,180
      Apr 04
      $12,180
      LIMITED AVAILABILITY

Season 2016 - 2017

Return from Trek
Depart North America Trek Only + 3-Day Safari + 5-Day Safari Notes
  • 2016
    • Jun 23
      Jul 06
      $7,890
      Jul 09
      $10,680
      Jul 11
      $11,640
      Save $500
    • Jul 08
      Jul 21
      $7,890
      Jul 24
      $10,680
      Jul 26
      $11,640
      Save $500
    • Aug 12
      Aug 25
      $7,890
      Aug 28
      $10,680
      Aug 30
      $11,640
      Save $500
    • Sep 15
      Sep 28
      $7,890
      Oct 01
      $10,680
      Oct 03
      $11,640
      Save $500
    • Oct 01
      Oct 14
      $7,890
      Oct 17
      $10,680
      Oct 19
      $11,640
      Save $500
    • Dec 26
      Jan 08
      $7,890
      Jan 11
      $10,680
      Jan 13
      $11,640
      Save $500
  • 2017
    • Jan 06
      Jan 19
      $7,890
      Jan 22
      $10,680
      Jan 24
      $11,640
      Save $500
    • Feb 01
      Feb 14
      $7,890
      Feb 17
      $10,680
      Feb 19
      $11,640
      Save $500
    • Mar 01
      Mar 14
      $7,890
      Mar 17
      $10,680
      Mar 19
      $11,640
      Save $500

Per Person Double Occupancy Land Packages:

May 2015-March 2017

Grand Traverse Route Trek: $7890
5-Day Wildlife Safari Extension: $3290
7-Day Classic Wildlife Safari Extension: $4490

Single Accommodations:
– Grand Traverse Route Trek: $1050
– 5 or 7-Day Wildlife Safari Extension: $550

Upgrades:
– Personal Porter: $550
– Serengeti Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Safari: $540

* Includes extra acclimatization day, additional 25 miles on remote terrain, exclusive daytime summit, upgraded hotel accommodations, group size of nine, and walk-in height tent with mountaineering bed.

 

 

Please call us to discuss our competitive Business Class fares. 

This vacation was the best that I’ve ever had.

Thanks goes out to Thomson Safaris and all its personnel that made this a trip of a lifetime. Everyone I encountered was friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable. My expectations were met and then exceeded, and the quality of service was top rated.  Kilimanjaro was the ultimate physical and mental test to challenge myself with.  Being exposed […]

” Our health and safety was of paramount importance to all members of your company which was very comforting.”

We could not believe the efficiency and thoughtfulness of each and every member of your firm.  Our health and safety was of paramount importance to all members of your company which was very comforting. Everything worked like clockwork throughout the trip and we were blown away by the accommodations at Ndarakwai Camp and Gibbs Farm! […]

We truly enjoyed the trip of a lifetime with Thomson Safaris.

Our head guide, Gabriel, was very professional and thorough. We immediately knew we were in good, competent hands. We also has an amazing crew of 23 unbelievable and hard working men who were there to support us and help us get to the top of this mountain. Gabriel was our head guide and his assistant […]

The most incredible experience of my life!!

Any chance hiking that mountain can be my life’s work?! The guides and staff were incredible and went the extra mile every chance they could. I love those guys. Without a doubt, Thomson Safaris’ Grand Traverse expedition on Mt. Kilimanjaro was the most incredible experience of my life!!

Thomson took excellent care of each traveler.

Having traveled to Kilimanjaro on two occasions, I would not recommend any company other than Thomson Safaris. Thomson took excellent care of each traveler throughout each part of the trip. We had great information ahead of time, we had amazing support as we climbed and if evacuation is needed – you want Thomson taking care of you!

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