Horse Riding in the West Kilimanjaro Wilderness “Including alternative non-riders itinerary” & Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb via Machame Route
Join us for an unforgettable adventure…
Horseback Safari; You will be thrilled by breathtaking views, exhilarating canters and close contact with wildlife such as elephants, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles - just to name a few.
With the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro rising to your East and Mt. Meru to the West, this safari takes place in one of the most dramatically beautiful settings in East Africa.
Exploring your environment, bush and game area on horseback is the perfect way to experience the real African Bush! It is a wonderful experience and we hope you enjoy it as much as we all do!
Adventure Level: Suitable for experienced riders only
Non Riders: Alternative accompany arranged for mixed groups of riders and non-riders
Mountain Climbing; It is the opportunity to get on the roof top of Africa, 5895m above sea level. Mt.Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa located on the North East of Tanzania, covered by permanent snow. There are several routes to get up to the summit; common routes are MARANGU ROUTE AND MACHAME ROUTE.
Huts are available along Marangu route, on Machame there are no huts instead camping sites with toilet facilities are available.
Machame route most popular and one of the most scenic route on the mountains. All climbers sleep in tents (tents are included) and meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside. It is done over 6 days, so acclimatization is easier, and the success rate is fairly high. With the Machame/South Circuit route, you will circle halfway around the mountain with great views from all angles. This route is approximately 40 km versus 20 km on the Marangu route. Climbers descend down the Mweka trail and stay at the Mweka camp the final night on the mountain.
We recommend you to bring with you gears like; hiking boots, thick hiking socks, windproof/waterproof pants and jacket, heavy gloves, heavy winter jacket, water bottles, gaiters (covers top of boots and bottom of pants), smaller personal backpack, larger backpack for clothes, cold weather sleeping bags, safari style hat protecting face and neck from sun, headlamp style flashlight, camera of course, dried fruit and energy bars, sun block, malaria pills, water purification tablets, inflatable pillows, your regular clothes.
* Kilimanjaro trek is always done within 6 days but you can add some days for acclimatization for US$184 per person per day.
We do not place groups together. This way you are ensured the full attention of our guide, but with the added knowledge of our guides’ experiences. It also means that we can start the tour on the day you prefer.
Day 1: – Arrive, Tanzania
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Meet at the airport with our driver guide and transfer to Makoa Farm where you will spend the night. You will arrive late afternoon on Makoa Farm, our starting point for the safari. The 358-acre coffee and horse farm is nestled into the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. The house and rooms are situated to take in spectacular views of this impressive mountain, Africa’s highest peak.
In the afternoon we will introduce you to the horses and start on a ride so you can become familiar with horses, tack and riding style.
For the non-riders this is time to settle in their rooms or to stretch their legs on a relaxed walk.
Both, ride and walk, follow the boundary of the farm through grass and bush land which is used for grazing horses and cattle. Wild animals also inhabit the area, and unlike on other farms, we welcome them. These include Sykes monkeys, yellow baboons, duikers, bushbucks, reedbucks and bush pigs as well as nocturnal animals like aardvarks, porcupines and jackals.
Day 2: - West Kilimanjaro Wilderness
In the morning we load the horses and drive with them to the point where the wilderness starts… On the plains between Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru we offload the horses and ride to the northwest. The non-riders have their own vehicle and this is already the first game drive for them, they also might spot the rider group on the way.
The landscape changes completely as we head through a mixture of open grassland and thorn bush savannah. Along the way we may encounter the first antelopes, zebra maybe some ostriches and jackals. We will choose an acacia tree for a picnic lunch.
After a small siesta we continue our way to camp. We cross the routes where elephants very often wander towards the areas where they spend the night – maybe we can spot some of them.
Arriving to camp by sunset, there is time to refresh with a hot bush shower before dinner. Our camp chef will impress you with his culinary skills, despite the rustic setting. After dinner, retire to the campfire and marvel at the enormous night sky before falling asleep to the sounds of the African night.
Day 3: - Game viewing from horseback
Today we ride out to search for big game. After early morning tea or coffee, we mount our horses and head out into the reserve. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!
Slowly and carefully we approach the wildlife we find along the way - elephants, lesser kudus, antelopes, gazelles and a lot of other animals. If you feel up to it, you can canter with zebras and wildebeests.
The non-riders will have their own armed ranger and go on extended game walks where they will spot all sorts of game. Lunch is for the whole group back in camp.
This is a safari the way it was meant to be!
Day 4: - Back to Makoa-Farm
Our last day in the savannah. Keep an eye out for elephants near camp as it is not unusual to have elephants watching us during breakfast if they not already visited us for dinner. Today we will explore the area of ‘Tembo bridge’ and seek out herds of elephants in between the euphorbia forest.
Later we continue our way southeast passing the plains between Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
See herd animals watching the horses with interest, have a canter with zebra and eland, then we stop en route for a picnic lunch.
The non-riders will drive by 4xvehicle to the picnic point and later on be transferred with the riders back to Makoa-Farm.
Later afternoon we meet the vehicle and transport the horses back to Makoa Farm. Enjoy the view of Mt. Kilimanjaro while sitting on the veranda with a sunset drink. Spend another night at Makoa for a more relaxed pace before starting to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro via Machame route.
A few pointers for riding:
Daily riding time is 4 – 6 hours.
Avoid wearing white or bright colored clothing. Most suitable are bush colors which make you invisible for the animals.
Do wear a hat, sunscreen, glasses etc. It is your choice whether to wear a hard hat or not while riding on the ranch. Please note that we do not provide hard hats.
Please ensure that hats, glasses, binoculars and cameras are well secured to you.
Every ride will be accompanied by a guide and usually a back-up rider.
We carry a radio, GPS and first aid kit on every ride.
Please ensure that you have given your insurance details, policy number, company name and emergency telephone numbers to us before you go riding.
You will be required to sign a disclaimer before the ride.
Weight limit for the riders is strictly 95 kg. Our horses will not carry riders heavier than this.
Day 5: - Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Elevation (m): 1830m to 3100m
Elevation (ft): 6000ft to 10,200ft
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Drive from Makoa Farm to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.
Day 6: - Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Elevation (m): 3100m to 3840m
Elevation (ft): 10,200ft to 12,600ft
Walking Time: 4-6 hours
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.
Day 7: - Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation (m): 3840m to 4630m to 3860m
Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 12,700ft
Distance: 15 km
Walking Time: 5-7 hours
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth." Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 4,876 meters. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 3,860 meters. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 8: - Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation (m): 3860m to 4600m
Elevation (ft): 12,700ft to 15,100ft
Hiking Time: 8 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley (lunch at 4200m), and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
Day 9: - Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
Elevation (m): 4600m to 5895m (and down to 3100m)
Elevation (ft): 15,100ft to 19,300ft (and down to 10,200ft)
Distance: 7km ascent / 23km descent
Hiking Time:6- 8 hours ascent / 7-8 hours descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point (5685m), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting).From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all they way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.
Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 10: - Mweka Camp to Moshi
Elevation (m): 3100m to 1830m
Elevation (ft): 10,200ft to 6000ft
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. 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).
From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you to the Hotel in Moshi for dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Journey Home
This day you will be transferred from the hotel in Moshi town to Kilimanjaro International Airport to connect with your homebound flight.
You can extend the itinerary by doing wildlife safari to Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park or to the Beach Holiday in the Spice Island of Zanzibar OR if you will not like to climb the Mountain but you only like horseback safari and some other activities just feel the enquiry form below and let us know so that we can send you a modified itinerary to suit your needs.
- Accommodation full board, 2 nights at Makoa-Farm, 2 nights fly-camp in the bush, 5 nights on the mountain and 1 night at a hotel in Moshi town, drinking water, tea, coffee and snacks, wine for dinner at Makoa and fly camp only
- All transfers from Kilimanjaro Airport, Makoa-Farm to safari and back to Makoa-Farm and from Moshi back to Kilimanjaro Airport.
- All activities and horse riding, horse including all equipment
- English speaking guides
- Transport to and from mountain gates.
- All parks entry fees.
- All camping fees.
- Rescue fees.
- Guide and porters fees.
- Guide and porters salaries.
- Cook and all kitchen utensils
- National and International flights to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Alcoholic drinks and tips, personal expenses (e.g. phone calls)
- Sleeping bags but we can provide for hire on request
- All Mountain Gears (we can arrange hire of this)
- And all not mentioned on the itinerary above
All our tours are tailor made to suit our client’s needs, so should you require any changes or inclusions please complete the enquiry form below for more information