9-Day Western Approach Route & 5-Day Safari
from $8,880 adult
9 day trek5 day safari
Please call us to add international flights from most major U.S. cities.
Business class flights available.
Depart North America / Arrive Arusha, Tanzania
A Thomson staff member will greet you at the airport and escort you to your scenic lodge, just a short drive away.
Overnight: KIA Lodge (2930’)
Acclimatization Day at Ndarakwai Ranch
After breakfast and a trek briefing with your guide, depart for a private conservation area. Spend the day admiring soaring views of open savannah, lush forests, and rolling hills. Catch your first glimpses of local wildlife on leisurely hikes through the grounds as you acclimatize to the higher altitude.
Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch (4,200’)
Begin Trek to Forest Camp
Accompanied by expert porters, fully outfitted in all-weather uniforms, you'll make your way to your first mountain camp, located in the rainforest. On the way, see rare black and white Colobus monkeys swing from the canopy … hear vibrant birdcalls among the treetops … marvel at exotic flowers under your feet. Once at camp, enjoy a hot dinner with your fellow trekkers.
Overnight: Forest Camp (9,281’)
Hours trekking: 3-4
Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp
Out of the rainforest and into the heath, where you’ll journey through tall grass, fragrant heather, and volcanic rock draped in bearded lichen. Trek across the Shira Plateau, catching your first views of the summit from above the clouds.
Overnight: Shira 1 Camp (11,499’)
Hours trekking: 5-6
Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp
Enjoy an acclimatization day with little altitude gain as you explore the 12,500-foot Shira Plateau, one of the highest plateaus in the world. Look to the west for breathtaking views of Mt. Meru and Mt. Longido.
Overnight: Shira 2 Camp (12,795’)
Hours trekking: 3-4
Shira 2 to Lava Tower Camp
Pole, pole (slowly, slowly). That’s how you’ll move today as you delve deep into the alpine desert. Vegetation thins and colossal boulders reign near our camp, which is set amidst this striking, lunar-like landscape. Test your ardor this afternoon by climbing to the top of Lava Tower.
Overnight: Lava Tower Camp (15,213’)
Hours trekking: 4-6
Lava Tower to Karanga Camp
This morning you’ll descend into the Great Barranco Valley. Hike in this spectacular world of gleaming glaciers, towering cliffs, and sloping valleys. After lunch, scramble up the steep Barranco Wall, enjoying gorgeous views of the glaciers of Kibo, the first of Mt. Kili’s volcanic cones.
Overnight: Karanga Camp (13,231’)
Hours trekking: 6-7
Karanga to Barafu Camp
Onward and upward you go. Temperatures decline and landscapes grow sparse as you hike a steady incline to Barafu Camp. Located on an exposed ridge, this dramatic camp is the staging point from which you traverse into the arctic summit zone tomorrow morning.
Overnight: Barafu Camp (15,331’)
Hours trekking: 5-6
Barafu to Crater Camp
Just as dawn breaks, you set out for your next camp—located in a vast crater atop Kilimanjaro. Climbing roughly 3,000 feet today, you’ll have countless opportunities to marvel at Mawenzi, Kili’s second volcanic cone. At Stella Point, descend to your camp or make an afternoon summit before overnighting in the crater’s soft sands.
Overnight: Crater Camp (18,802’)
Hours trekking: 9-10
Crater Camp to Summit / Mweka Millennium Camp
After breakfast, trek the last 600 feet to Uhuru Peak—the highest point in Africa. Take time to celebrate with your fellow trekkers, and snap once-in-a-lifetime photos before descending to your final camp.
Overnight: Mweka Millennium Camp (12,500’)
Hours trekking: 1-2 to summit / 4-7 to Mweka Millennium Camp
Complete Trek / Arusha
Enjoy your final day of trekking through thick forests to the park gate, where you’ll bid farewell to your guides and porters. Transfer to your lodge to take a well-earned shower and rest before continuing on your safari.
Overnight: Mount Meru Hotel
Hours trekking: 4-6
After a safari briefing, drive towards the Great Rift Valley into the verdant Ngorongoro Highlands, arriving at the stunning Gibb's Farm in time for a delicious gourmet lunch. The next morning, you will rise early and enjoy a full day of wildlife viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater. Here you'll be amazed as you witness some of the highest concentrations of animals in East Africa, including lion, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, rhino, elephant, flamingo, and a myriad of other species.
Indulge in spa services and various optional activities at Gibb's Farm (additional fees apply).
Overnights: Gibb's Farm
Serengeti National Park
Drive west, stopping at Olduvai Gorge to learn more about this historic archeological site. Continue on to the Serengeti where you’ll traverse the vast plains teeming with wildlife. See lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, elephant, rhino, hippo, giraffe, zebra and the famous wildebeest migration. Enjoy your evenings in the bush, in Thomson’s beautiful, remote and exclusive Nyumba Camps.
Join an optional hot air balloon ride to take in sweeping views of the Serengeti from above. (Advanced reservations and additional fees apply).
Overnights: Thomson Serengeti Nyumba
Serengeti National Park to Arusha / Return to North America
Take a scenic flight back to Arusha this morning where you'll enjoy a special farewell lunch and time for souvenir shopping. Relax in a day room before your flight home.
Day Room: Mount Meru Hotel
Interested in a longer safari? View our 7-day safari add-on option.
Extend your discoveries with one of our optional trip extensions. Stroll the colorful streets on the island of Zanzibar … catch intimate glimpses of gorillas in the Virunga Mountains … search for wildlife across uncharted plains in Ruaha National Park … and more.
Single Accommodations: $900
Personal Porter: $380
Optional Hot Air Balloon Excursion: $490
International Flights available from most U.S. cities on Delta/KLM
Ask us about our competitive Business Class fares
Located right outside Arusha, Kia Lodge offers the perfect location near Kilimanjaro’s airport. Your cozy bungalow sits among lush gardens. Sip a cocktail on the veranda as a cool breeze whispers by … take an evening dip in the pool … dry off by a crackling fire pit and admire sunset views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
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.
Thomson Mountain Camps
A comfortably rugged experience on your way to the roof of Africa …
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.
Mount Meru Hotel
The Mount Meru Hotel has been a mainstay of Arusha accommodations since it opened in the 1960's, when Tanzania tourism was still in its infancy. It was recently renovated top to bottom, and the finished product is even better than the original. With reliable modern conveniences, a variety of dining options, a beautiful pool, and a central location, it is one of the best places to start or end your safari or trek.
Fresh food, fresh air, and fresh perspectives abound at Gibb’s Farm. At the end of full days of exploration, relax in your eco-friendly cottage, set amidst the farm’s lush gardens. You can even ask the attentive staff to provide insight into local culture and history.
Thomson Serengeti Nyumbas
These semi-permanent, seasonal camps are strategically plotted across the Serengeti according to wildlife migration patterns. Each location offers comfort in the heart of the wilderness. With spacious tents, cozy bedding, and ensuite bathrooms, you’ll have to take a look outside to be reminded that you’re deep in the bush. And no need to worry—with eco-friendly features like solar lighting, we’re not harming the landscape.
|Depart US||Return US||Adult||Notes|
|May 28||June 14||$8,780||Sold Out|
|June 08||June 25||$8,780||Sold Out|
|June 14||July 01||$8,780||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|June 20||July 07||$8,980||Sold Out|
|June 25||July 12||$8,780||Sold Out|
|July 07||July 24||$8,880||Sold Out|
|July 13||July 30||$8,880||Sold Out|
|July 24||August 10||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|August 05||August 22||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|August 11||August 28||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|August 18||September 04||$8,880||Sold Out|
|September 01||September 18||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|September 10||September 27||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|September 18||October 05||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|September 26||October 13||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|October 02||October 19||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|October 14||October 31||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|October 28||November 14||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|December 15||January 01||$9,180||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|December 23||January 09||$9,180||Reserve Now|
|December 26||January 12||$9,180||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|January 01||January 18||$9,180||Reserve Now|
|January 08||January 25||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|January 16||February 02||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|January 23||February 09||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|February 05||February 22||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|February 13||March 02||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|February 21||March 10||$8,880||Limited Availability||Reserve Now|
|March 06||March 23||$8,880||Reserve Now|
|March 14||March 31||$8,880||Reserve Now|