Climb Only and Safari Only Options
For those climbers with limited time, we offer a Climb-Only option for this trip at a reduced price. Contact our office for details. For those climbers that are interested in family members joining them on the safari after the climb, or for those individuals interested in experiencing the fantastic game parks of Africa without the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro, we offer a Safari-Only option on each of our departures. Contact our office for details and pricing.
My initial thought was that the cost of this trip was significantly higher than competing companies and I wondered what the "value" was in a premium trip. I now know the value is about on-going safety of clients on the mountain, a high degree of luxury on the safari (especially needed after the mountain experience) and the fact that logistically, I had every assurance all details were looked after. I loved giving over decision making to Ben and the support team! So if you get pushback on pricing, I would talk about "the client's investment and the quality" in this adventure. That lower price doesn't necessarily give you the best quality experience. Loved the cybercasts > my family and friends were especially thrilled to hear our voices from across the planet, which instilled a degree of comfort and reassurance for those at home." - Margaret I.
Alpine Ascents Kilimanjaro Safari Locations
Following our climb we begin a four-day safari to the spectacular game parks of Tanzania. Throughout the safari, we lodge in luxurious hotels and travel by Land Cruiser across the Great Rift Valley, following wildebeests, lions and other indigenous wildlife.
The Ngorongoro Crater
The largest intact crater in the world and second largest extinct crater in the world, the area has a spectacular concentration of wildlife. Ngorongoro was an active volcano some eight million years ago whose cone collapsed, leaving a Crater. The Crater rim is wooded with mountain forest vegetation. It is oval in shape and 20 km in diameter. It is blooming in acres of flowers like blue, pink and white lupines, candle white lilies, blue hyacinth and many more. The view from the crater rim is breathtaking and descending deep into the belly of the crater will encounter almost every animal species found in east Africa
-Located in Northern Tanzania, west of The Rift Valley, which runs from the Red Sea to Lake Nyasa in southern Tanzania.
-The crater is oval in shape, 100 Sq. Miles in area, 2,000 feet deep and is 2,286 Meters above Sea level.
-The lodges/hotels are situated on the Rim of the Crater.
The Tarangire River and National Park
South of Lake Manyara, Tarangire is a huge wildlife retreat during the dry season This park is scattered with Baobab trees alternating with open acacia woodland open bush, plains swamps and rivers and stands palm trees. Big game and birds are abundant and we usually sight animals such as kongoni, wildebeest and zebra. With any luck, safarists will also see rhino and leopard amongst a variety of gazelle, giraffe, elephant and impala. It also has extremely rich and varied bird-life.
Serengeti National Park
Tanzania's signature park, covers nearly 15,000 square miles and spans into Kenya where it connects to the Masai Mara reserve. The word Serengeti conjures images of wild African game in all its glory. The abundance of animals running at will, creates an overwhelming experience and fulfills the dream of life before the "great white hunters". The sheer mass of animals is both staggering and long remembered. UNESCO has declared Serengeti National Park as one of the WORLD HERITAGE SITES. The Serengeti is one of the most unique wilderness areas of the world, fantastic in its natural beauty and unequalled in it's scientific value. This park is a vast expanse of land with a large concentration of plains animals. It also contains a wide variety of bird-life inhabiting a diversity of habitat and vegetation. One of the most unique remarkable scenes is the annual migration of wildebeest, zebras, giraffe, gazelle, buffalo and other plains animals. As the herds move to new grazing ground, they are followed by predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals and hunting dogs waiting for weak prey while vultures soar overhead waiting for their share of the kill.
Size: 14,763 Sq. Km. - as big as Northern Ireland or Connecticut - USA. Serengeti is the most popular wildlife sanctuary in the world. Serengeti's low vegetation means that game viewing is relatively easy. It varies from grass plains in the south, Savannah with scattered acacia trees in the center, hilly wooded grassland in the north, to extensive woodland and black clay plains to the west. There are many small rivers, lakes and swamps and "kopjes" scattered about. Animals live in absolute freedom on endless plains.
The Serengeti Migration
The endless plains of east Africa are the setting for the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle - the 1.5 million animal ungulate (wildebeest) migration. From the vast Serengeti plains to Masai Mara (Kenya). Over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators, migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain ripened grass.
There is no real beginning or end to a wildebeest's journey. Its life is an endless pilgrimage, a constant search for food and water. The only beginning is at the moment of birth. An estimated 400,000 wildebeest calves are born during a six week period early each year - usually between late January and mid-March. This spectacle takes place in Serengeti National Park / Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Even discounting the migration, the Serengeti is superb. But the migration puts the park in a league of its own. It is, quite simply, the greatest wildlife show on Earth. Two million animals at times, mostly wildebeest and zebras, moving around an ecosystem 25,000 sq. km. in area, almost as big as the state of Massachusetts. But a lot wilder.
At its most spectacular the Serengeti migration is one of the few experiences that really justify the word “awesome”, but to see it you have to know where and when to go, and it isn’t as predictable as some people might think, though over a period it does follow a fairly regular pattern.
There is no beginning or end to the migration but we’ll imagine it all starts with the onset of the “rainy season” (don’t be put off by this expression as the “green season”, as it is now often called, is a lovely time of year and usually nowhere near as wet or dismal as it sounds). The rains tend to begin around mid-November, when the big herds start to file into the south-eastern short-grass plains, around Naabi Hill, Lake Ndutu, the Gol Kopjes, Oldupai Gorge and all other parts of the short-grass plains.
Between late January and mid-March the wildebeest calving season takes place. At its peak about 80% of the pregnant females give birth within three weeks, collectively producing something like 8,000 babies each day. The large predators, of course, are on hand to take advantage of this glut.
Between mid-May and the month’s end, as the plains dry out, the whole menagerie, as if at the wave of a magic wand, streams off in columns which are sometimes 40 km. long, heading via the Moru Kopjes for the Western Corridor. On the way, the wildebeest rut takes place, for a period of about three weeks, from around mid-June to early July. Dr. Richard Estes, the greatest authority on the Serengeti wildebeest, has described the event as “unbelievably spectacular”. It is certainly chaotic, as something like 250,000 males strive to mate with as many of the 750,000-or-so females as they can.
Between June and August the migrating animals drink from and eventually cross the Grumeti River, but for many it will be their last drink or their last river crossing, for here in the Grumeti are crocodiles that grow to over five meters in length and weigh more than three-quarters of a ton. They have jaws so thick and powerful that they can crush a wildebeest's head like a melon, and tear the body into bloody rags.
The great majority of wildebeest survive, to cross the Ikoma Controlled Area outside the park then pass through the Serengeti’s Northern Extension, crossing the next challenging river, the Mara, in July or August. Most but not all of the wildebeest and zebras also cross the Kenyan border a little way beyond, to remain in the Maasai Mara Reserve until about mid-October, when they begin the return journey. The route back takes them down the eastern boundary of the Northern Extension, in and out of the park, and eventually back to the short-grass plains. The 1000 km. trek – for those which make it - is complete.