Written by Jenna Davis
A true Kilimanjaro safari is about breaking boundaries, driving off the beaten path and exploring not just by land, but wherever that trusted wetsuit or our charter planes can take you. It’s an adventure that forces you to forget about your 100-hour work week and your hard-earned Hugo Boss suit.
Kilimanjaro might be the world’s highest free standing mountain, but it’s also in a region filled with amazing adventures that will leave you full of adrenaline.
Between visiting local villages around Arusha, embarking on a game drive in Tarangire National Park, experiencing the Great Migration in the Serengeti or walking along the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater – the options for your Kilimanjaro safari are endless.
Here are 5 unique Kilimanjaro safaris you won’t want to miss out on during your next African adventure.
Let’s start with the obvious. Climbing up 5,895 meters on the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro lets you push your limits while enjoying thrilling panoramic views of the surrounding wild. What you might not know is that, if you’re a fit enough climber, you may actually be able to muster enough energy during your summit of Kilimanjaro to have a look around. In your research of Kilimanjaro you’re bound to find the classic pictures of smug looking climbers having conquered the summit, but what doesn’t get enough coverage is the sightings of buffalo, birds and other wildlife as you hike up this age old challenge of a mountain. You need endurance and strength to make the climb, but the trick of the expedition is to build your momentum and save the exertion for the finish line. There are 7 trekking routes up Mount Kilimanjaro. For the lionhearted travellers who want to take on a challenge, the Northern Circuit pushes you into the wild, gets you out of the crowds and allows you to breath in nothing but fresh air and freedom.
There’s a reason the National Parks of Kilimanjaro make the headlines in the National papers. They offer the wildlife highlights of East Africa, re-awakening your senses to the wild. Walk the edge of the crater in Ngorongoro Crater National Park, unleash your wild side and brave the big 5 game in Serengeti National Park, unwind and spot millions of flamingo taking off in the rainy season at Lake Manyara National Park or camp out in Tarangire National Park and listen to lions groan nearby.
Mount Kilimanjaro rises up from the grounds of lush terrain and farmland. While you’re likely to spot buffalo, elephants, leopards and monkeys from up above, why not take things to the next level and encounter the wildlife on mountain bike below? The farmland terrain is perfect for mountain bike safaris and you’ll also get killer views of Mount Kilimanjaro above you.
If you’re anything like us, you know that the details are where it’s at. While the big 5 are the poster boys of Kilimanjaro safaris, bird safaris are the hidden treasure in the Kilimanjaro region. One of the most spectacular places for bird safaris is in the Longido Game Controlled Area, where there are more than 300 different species of birds to spot.
I know, you get it, there are loads of ways to tick off the Kilimanjaro safaris offered throughout the region, by bike, by foot and by 4×4 Land Cruisers. There is, however, one more way to see the peaks and valleys of the area – by sky. Whether you prefer to speed things up with a chartered scenic flight, or drift along in a hot air balloon, if you’re looking for a fresh experience, sky safaris are for you.
So, now that you’ve got the rundown of Kilimanjaro Safaris, are you ready?