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Quiet nights in NYC

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Everything but summer

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9 Days Rwenzori Trekking

Day 1

Clients flying into Eentebbe Airport early today we will pickup you with our private transfer to Kampala at Serena Hotel or Cassia Lodge where the rest of the day is at leisure. We stay at the Kampala Serena Hotel, which is beautifully situated in Kampala; Kampala Serena Hotel is close to Kibuli Mosque, Makerere University, and Kabaka’s Palace. Also nearby are Namirembe Cathedral and Rubaga Cathedral. And is a perfect place to prepare for your adventure. You will meet your guide in Kampala Serena Hotel this evening for safari pre- briefing and equipment check.

Day 2: Kampala – Rwenzori Mountains

After your morning breakfast, our guide will pick you from hotel of residence depart from Kampala drive Westwards via Mityana-Mubende highway. Stopover to Tanda village, Mubende local market and shop local snacks and then to Nakayima tree which has lived for good historical years and thereafter proceed to Fort Portal for your en-route lunch. Later on proceed through the Mubuku valley up to the village of Ibanda. While you relax in the montane atmosphere of the hotel, meet your guides and start arranging for the next day trekking. Dinner and overnight at Holiday Camp Base. Meal plan: Half-Board.

Day 3: Nyakalengeja-Nyabitaba Hut

After breakfast proceeds to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park head quarter in Nyakalengeja, 1615 m. prepare for the briefing from the officials; hire equipment and porters before you start the experience. The hike starts through the plantations and homes of the Bakonjo, the people of the Rwenzori. Follow the Mubuku River inside the mountain forest up to the first hut, Nyabitaba, 2.652 m which is the arrival point for the day. During the day you might see the black and white Columbus, the blue monkeys, hearing the chimpanzees. Typical is the colorful Rwenzori Turaco. From Nyabitaba, you are facing on the North the Portal Peaks, 4.627 m, and in front Mount Kyniangoma. Dinner and overnight at Nyabitaba Hut. Meal plan: Full-Board

Day 4: Nyabitaba Hut-John Matte Hut.

From the Nyabitaba Hut take the trail that leads westwards to the Kurt Shaffer Bridge, which crosses the Mubuku River just below its confluence with Bujuku River. Here is where the proper “central circuit” starts, and you will take the right side (while you will descend from the left side). The vegetation zone is now the bamboo forest. You reach up to a steep rock which leads to Nyamuleju Hut, the beginning of the groundsel zone. Follow a swampy bog full of extraordinary plants and giant lobelias. The arrival point for the day is John Matte Hut, 3.505 m. For dinner and overnight. From this location you can enjoy for the first time the view of the snow capped peaks of Mount Stanley. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 5: John Matte-Bujuku Hut.

From this point you will cross the Bujuku River and enter the lower “Bigo bog”, a grassy bog and experience how to jump from tussock to tussock. After a rocky climb you reach Bigo Hut and enter the upper “Bigo bog”. From this extraordinary boggy valley you might have good view of the Mount Stanley. Finally you reach Lake Bujuku, then proceeding through a very muddy swampy area until Bujuku Hut, 3.962 m. This is where the alpine zone begins and the grass becomes scarce and smaller. This day hike can take up to 5 hours. The hut is well positioned down the Mount Speke and on the trail to Congo. This hut provides view of Mount Baker and Mount Stanley. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 6: Bujuku Hut-Elena Hut.

After a muddy area, you start a steep climbing through a forest of giant groundsels up to the Groundsel Gully. A branch in the trail leads to Elena Hut, 4.430 m, arrival point for the ones who intend to climb Margherita Peak. If you are only taking the central circuit, then the trail proceeds directly to Kitandara Hut. You walk through Scott Elliot Pass, 4.372 m., the highest point during the central circuit, where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views down the Bujuku valley, of Mount Baker, Mount Luigi di Savoia and Stanley just above. This is a steep, rocky trail which when is wet or icy can be very slippery. Dinner and overnight at Elena Hut. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 7: Elena Hut-Kitandara Hut.

From Elena Hut, ascend the last tract of rock and ice which leads to Margherita Peak on Mount Stanley, 5.109 m. You might take about 3 -4 hours to complete the climbing. You need crampons, ice axe and rope as you walk through what remains of the glacier area of Mount Stanley. The peak was first climbed by Prince Luigi Amedeo the Duke of Abruzzi at 9.30 am on 18 th June 1906. The trail descends down to Upper Kitandara Lake and Lower Kitandara Lake, where is located Kitandara Hut, 4.023 m. arrival point for the day. It can take approximately 3 hours walk. This is the best place for planning the ascent of Mount Luigi di Savoia and Mount Baker. Dinner and overnight at Kitandara Hut. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 8: Kitandara Hut-Guy Yeoman Hut.

From Lake Kitandara you climb to Fresh field Pass, 4.282 m, a long flat of high alpine mossy glades, before descending the circuit among rocky and boggy areas. The panorama is dominated by the glaciers of Mount Stanley and Mount Baker. A rocky trail leads to Akendahi, Bujongolo and Kabamba rock shelters, where starts Kabamba valley before reaching Guy Yeoman Hut, 3.261 m. This can take up to 5 hours. The hut enjoys a good panoramic location, nearby the river Mubuku and with views of Mount Baker. Dinner and overnight at Guy Yeoman. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 9: Guy Yeoman Hut-Nyakalengeja

From Guy Yeoman final descent to Nyakalengeja, almost 7 hours walk. Otherwise, you can decide to spend another night in Nyabitaba Hut. The trekking follows the Mubuku and Kichuchu rivers, with all the plants of the heather zone before reaching the bamboo forest. Kabamba falls are seen on the way. From Nyabitaba Hut starts the short trekking to see Lake Mahoma. As you arrive down in Nyakalengeja we shall transfer you back to the hotel in Ibanda or, according to the time, in Fort Portal. Dinner and overnight at Holiday Camp Base.
Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 10: Rwenzori-Kampala.

After breakfast, embark our safari van and drive back to Kampala with lunch en-route. You can take a night in Kampala and then tomorrow transfer to the Entebbe International Airport and board your flight back home.

Price?

Inquire prices for Rwenzori Trekking Itinerary” we will send you two price options based on Lodges and Tented Camps classes for your best selection.

Best Route Kilimanjaro

Whether it is your first time trekking or whether you have climbed dozens of peaks, we have the top Kilimanjaro routes for you. For an unrivaled experience on Mount Kilimanjaro, select the route that best suits you, and maximizes your comfort, enjoyment, and chance of success. We will take you every step of the way, until the summit of 5,895 meters, or 19,340 feet. What are the best routes to climb Kilimanjaro?

We prefer the quieter, lesser traveled camping routes of Rongai, Shira, Lemosho  and the new Northern Circuit. We believe these are the best routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. However, we do offer climbs on all major routes on the mountain.

We recommend taking longer duration climbs such as the Shira 10 day, Lemosho 10 day or Northern Circuit 11 day as these routes will give you the highest chance in successfully summiting. In addition to the additional time spent acclimatizing, the added days shorten the daily hiking distances reserving more of your energy for the summit hike.

We offer group climbs on set departure dates on Rongai 8 days, Machame 9 days, Shira 10 days, Lemosho 10 days and Northern Circuit  11 days. Private climbs can be arranged on the abovelisted routes, plus Rongai 9 days and Machame 8 days, on any dates.

Rongai Route: The Rongai route begins at the remote, northern side of Kilimanjaro, near the Kenyan border. We hike through a true wilderness area towards the jagged Mawenzi Peak, then cross a barren desert saddle, before climbing up Kibo’s eastern crater wall. The Rongai route is a more gradual ascent, and is therefore preferred by those with little or no backpacking experience. However, the route is equally enjoyable for even the most hardened trekkers. Rongai is a good choice for people who are looking for a quick hike with more gentle slopes. The Rongai route can be done in an 8 or 9 day trip. Rongai Route 8 Day – 6 days on the mountain. Group or Private.
Rongai Route 9 Day – 7 days on the mountain. Private only.
Machame Route: The Machame Route known as the “Whiskey” route, begins at Machame Gate, located in the southern base of mountain, within its green, abundant rainforest. We climb to the Shira Plateau, then traverse the mountain beneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Icefield, before summiting from Barafu Hut. Machame is the most popular route on the mountain, and campsites will be shared with numerous other groups. Machame is a good choice for people who want to enjoy a scenic hike on a challenging route in the shortest amount of time. The Machame route is an 8 or 9 day trip. Machame Route 8 Day – 6 days on the mountain. Private only.
Machame Route 9 Day – 7 days on the mountain. Group or Private.

Shira Route: The Shira approaches Kilimanjaro from the west. A 4×4 vehicle transports us through a rich, lush rainforest until we arrive at the ridge of the Shira Plateau, where our expedition begins. We trek across an alpine plateau and traverse the great Southern Icefield, before summiting from Barafu Hut. The Shira route is ideal for those with backpacking experience and those seeking a more challenging adventure. The Shira route is a 10 day trip. Highly recommended. Shira Route 10 Day – 8 days on the mountain. Group or Private.

Lemosho Route: The Lemosho route is regarded as one of the prettiest routes on Kilimanjaro. We begin from the west, trekking in the fertile rainforest until we reach the wildflowers of the heath ecosystem. Approaching from the west, we cross one of most beautiful areas on Kilimanjaro, the Shira Plateau, before traversing the mountain along the southern circuit. The main difference between Lemosho and Shira is that we begin the Lemosho hike in the rainforest whereas Shira bypasses the rainforest with a vehicle and begins on the plateau. The Lemosho route is a 10 day trip. Highly recommended.Lemosho Route 10 Day – 8 days on the mountain. Group or Private.

Northern Circuit: The Northern Circuit Route is the most amazing journey on Kilimanjaro. Starting from the west, this is the only route that travels north around Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It traverses nearly the entire mountain before the summit push. This is absolutely the most scenic path available and has almost no traffic on its northern face. This is a relatively new route. Become one of the first to enjoy the Northern Circuit’s tranquility and stunning panoramic scenery. The Northern Circuit is an 11 day trip. Highly recommended.Northern Circuit 11 Day – 9 days on the mountain. Group or Private.

We have a variety of group climbs scheduled weekly throughout the year, with the exception of during the rainy season. These group climbs have a maximum capacity of 12-15 people.

We can also organize a private climb for you. No other parties or persons are added to these climbs. The persons in your party are the only ones on the climb.

Best Time Climb Kilimanjaro

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?
One of the most common questions we get asked by prospective Kilimanjaro trekkers is when is the best time to go? Let’s be frank, you are probably going to spend the guts of a year of your life training, saving and preparing for this challenge so you want to be sure that you are travelling at the right time of year to give yourself the best possible experience. Being Irish, we are well accustomed to bad weather ruining our plans so we are very savvy when it comes to booking our holidays! Strangely enough, weather on Mount Kilimanjaro is not unlike our weather at home – very unpredictable! The sun can be splitting the trees one minute (or rocks depending on what day on the itinerary it is!) and then the rain can come pouring down the next. Weather patterns on the mountain are notoriously erratic and difficult to predict.

Rain Rain Go Away
What we do have control over is avoiding the times of year when we know it will be bad trekking weather. Statistically the wettest months on Kilimanjaro are March April & May – the long rains seasons and November & December – the short rains season. We don’t offer treks on Kilimanjaro during any of these months. If you are completely undecided we recommend January or February as that’s when the weather is worst in Ireland! Technically the mountain can be climbed all year round but by excluding the wettest months from our schedule we are giving our participants a better chance of enjoyable and safe trekking conditions. As we all know, trekking in the lashing rain is tedious and can dampen the team spirit. The primary issue is safety, and the risks associated with trekking increase significantly when the weather is poor. The effects of rain, mud, snow, wind, ice and cold can be very strenuous on the body. Not surprisingly, your chances of a successful summit increase significantly with nice weather.

Temperatures
January and February are the warmest months and June and July are the coolest months. The Irish Summer months are generally the coldest times to climb the mountain but temperatures will be quite cool anyway because of the altitude so this isn’t usually a deciding factor for people. Throughout the climb, temperatures vary considerably with the altitude and time of day. On day one at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 27°C to 32°C. From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones. At the summit, the night time temperatures can fall to as low as -26°C.

Traffic
Obviously Mpenda Safari’s are not alone in choosing not to climb the mountain in the wettest months, therefore some traffic on the mountain on all our climbs is inevitable. If you want to climb the highest mountain in Africa then the fact that you will meet some other groups on the mountain is just something you will have to accept. However, we have a few tricks up our sleeve to avoid some of the crowding. We avoid the full moon trekking dates as they are very popular. We also try to start all of our treks on an ‘off’ day of departure usually mid-week, while most climbers start their treks on a weekend day.

Top Tip: If you are looking to climb a high altitude peak that isn’t as popular as Kilimanjaro then check out our Stok Kangri climb.

Group Size
The maximum group size on a Mpenda Safari’s Kilimanjaro expedition is 20 pax. As September and October are by far our busiest months for our Kilimanjaro expeditions there is likely to be between 15 and 20 people in a group on these dates. If you would prefer a smaller group size then consider joining our January or February departures as group sizes are often smaller, approx. 10-15 pax.

Be prepared!
Yes there are several different reports on what to expect weather-wise which can be confusing but that just shows you how unpredictable it can be. By avoiding the months that are known to be the wettest then we are lessening the chances of our groups getting rained on for a week! However that doesn’t mean that that won’t happen in June or October or any of the months we do run trips in. It’s all about being prepared, which we put a strong emphasis on. We hold training weekends for all our Kilimanjaro expeditions where participants can meet each other, an experienced expedition leader and expedition doctor and we will go through all elements of the challenge ahead in great detail. These training weekends have proved invaluable in the success of our expeditions. Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s great height, the mountain creates its own weather. It is extremely variable and impossible to predict per maggiori. Therefore, regardless of when you climb, you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights. The most important thing for whenever you choose to go is to bring everything on the advised gear list. That way you will be prepared for all conditions.

Do it sooner rather than later!
What makes Mount Kilimanjaro unique is that despite being so close to the equator, it is capped with ice. The glaciers have existed here for more than 11,000 years. They used to be more than 100 metres deep and 2,000 metres from the mountain top. However, due to global warming and long term climactic cycles, the ice has been disappearing rapidly. Some scientists estimate that Mount Kilimanjaro’s ice cap will be completely gone by 2050. So if you are contemplating the climb, do yourself a favour and do it sooner rather than later. The glaciers are something you do not want to miss.

Ready to book?
We run expeditions to Kilimanjaro in January, February, July, August, September and October. So basically any of our scheduled departures are good times to go, you can see all of the dates available on our Kilimanjaro page or email us on info@mpendasafari.com for more information.

Tanzania Cultural Tour 7 Days

Day 1- Arusha – Lake Manyara

We arrive in time for lunch at the lodge and enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara National Park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park) at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of African animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos, attracted by the algae in the lake.

Day 2 – Lake Manyara – Lake Eyasi

After breakfast we will drive to the shores of Lake Eyasi. We arrive in time for lunch at the Tindiga Tented lodge.
Lake Eyasi is a very scenic soda lake found on the southern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This less visited lake lies at the base of the Eyasi escarpment on the western rift valley wall. This afternoon you will be introduced to the extraordinary people who belong to an indigenous tribe known as the ‘Hadzabe’ (hunter-gatherer bushmen). The tribe inhabits the shores of Lake Eyasi as do the Nilotic-speaking Datoga tribe. You will visit these tribes, which will include a visit to their homesteads, learn about their way of life, animal tracking, medicinal plants, and much more. Some wildlife and a wide range of bird species can be viewed during walks around the lake, which can be arranged.
Return for dinner and overnight at Tindiga Tented Lodge.

Day 3 – Lake Eyasi – Ngorongoro

Early morning we depart to the village for local hunting experience with Hadzabe and Datonga tribes. This is not a mere performance. The bushmen rely on these techniques to survive and you’ll need to be very attentive and at times quiet, while they demonstrate their use of locally made poisons in incapacitating the poor creatures on which they depend for survival.
Enjoy dinner and overnight at the Ngorongoro Sopa lodge.

Day 4 – Ngorongoro – Serengeti

After breakfast at the lodge, we will descend over 600 meters into the crater to view wildlife for a half day’s tour. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro Crater supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park, is it’s dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard We will visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the south western corner, which is one of the main features of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here.

We return to the lodge to enjoy lunch and then we the head towards the Serengeti National Park with a stopover at Olduvai Gorge, boasting with history dating back to the dawn of time. It was here, that the anthropologists Drs. Lois and Mary Leakey discovered the skulls of the famous ‘Nutcracker Man” and ‘Handy Man’, both very significant links in the chain of human evolution. Leaving the highlands behind, we descend into the heart of wild Africa – the Serengeti National Park – with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. We do a late game drive en route to the lodge.
Enjoy dinner and overnight at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

Day 5 – Serengeti

Day 5 will offer you an ideal opportunity to do an optional but unforgettable Hot Air Balloon flight, followed by a delightful champagne breakfast (available at a supplementary cost, but can be booked in advance). After breakfast we head to the south-eastern side of the park, visiting the Barafu Kopjes and the Ngare Nanyuki River area, for our morning and afternoon game drives. Apart from the lion prides you find in the area, the Barafu Kopjes is the place to visit for possible cheetah sightings. The Ngare Nanyuki River area is also well known for being packed with game.
Enjoy dinner and overnight at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

Day 6 – Serengeti – Lake Manyara

Early morning game drive and return to the lodge for a late breakfast. After breakfast will we head for the Lake Manyara National Park. We will visit and enjoy lunch at Gibbs farm en route (a small lodge, surrounded by coffee farms, on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater.
We enjoy dinner and overnight at the Kirurumu Tented lodge.

Day 7 – Lake Manyara – Arusha

After breakfast we will visit the local Market and villages around the Karatu, experience life in the local village setting, meeting local people, learning about their culture, agriculture and history of the area.
We return the lodge for lunch and then transfer back to Arusha town where we will end our African safari adventure.

5 Days Gorilla Safari Uganda Rwanda

Clients flying into Eentebbe Airport early today we will pickup you with our private transfer to Kampala at Serena Hotel or Cassia Lodge where the rest of the day is at leisure. We stay at the Kampala Serena Hotel, which is beautifully situated in Kampala; Kampala Serena Hotel is close to Kibuli Mosque, Makerere University, and Kabaka’s Palace. Also nearby are Namirembe Cathedral and Rubaga Cathedral. And is a perfect place to prepare for your adventure. You will meet your guide in Kampala Serena Hotel this evening for safari pre- briefing and equipment check. This tour experience will expose you to the nature of pearl of Africa and leaves awesome life time memories after knocking you into the thousand hills while trailing into the home of endangered mountain gorillas. The safari begins from urban settings to village setting, this tropical rainforest with variety of primate species. From this forest you will track the shy mountain gorilla families while from the other trails you can go for bird watching, nature walk characterized by a number of birds including Blue Turaco, Black casques horn bills, Black and White Horn bills, Yellow Backed Weavers, Wagtails, Cuckoos, Woodland Kingfishers, Flycatchers, Manikins, this adventure knocks into the beauty of thousand hills and enjoy the lots provided like Volcanoes gorilla tracking, visit Dian Fossey, Lake Kivu boat ride and much more thousand hills offers.

Day 1: Entebbe/Kampala – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today after your breakfast from your hotel of residence, meet our professional driver-guide and exchange greetings. Thereafter proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in South Western Uganda. Stop over at the Uganda Equator for an informative talks, photo shooting and snacks. Then proceed to Igongo cultural center or Agip motel or Regency hotel in Mbarara town for en-route lunch and then proceed through rural countryside of Uganda. En-route view of the beautiful scenery like the triangular peaks of the Virunga volcanoes of Rwanda and the Congo and terraced farming to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park home to half of the endangered mountain gorilla. Diner and overnight at Gorilla forest camp, Kitandara Camp, Clouds mountain lodge, Gorilla safari lodge, Mahogany springs, Buhoma Camp, Bwindi view. Meal plan: Half-Board.

Day 2: Gorilla tracking Expedition

Early morning cup of coffee, then prepare for the briefing about rules and regulations about gorilla tracking experience from the Uganda wildlife officials. Thereafter enter into the jungle to search the shy mountain gorillas and enjoy their life style in their real home. When meet the gorillas, sit around these great apes for a whole hour gazing into their big round eyes. For one to enjoy this experience fitness is the order of the day as well as walking shoes, packed food and mineral water, insect repellent, cameras, rain gears, sun screen and hut. The gorilla tracking experience takes half or whole day depending on the movement of these primates. After this experience you will have informative imaginable-memories of life time. Take a guided walk on the Munyaga River trail, which is an ideal short walk. This trail leads to three delightful crystal clear waterfalls, and there is a profusion of tree ferns, epithytic ferns, orchids and Bwindis’ colorful array of butterflies. Here you may also see birds and primates from the forest edge. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 3: Bwindi National Park-Volcanoes Des-National Park

After breakfast visit local communities, return to lodge for Lunch then trail to Rwanda. Relax around the Lodge, or simply take in the panoramic sunset over the volcanoes. Dinner and Overnight at Volcanoes safari lodge, Sabyinyo lodge, Gorilla Nest Lodge or Kinigi guest house. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 4: Volcanoes Des-National Park

After early morning breakfast, you will enter the Gorilla sanctuary of Parc National des Volcans, the rain tropical forest covering the hills surrounding Virunga Volcanoes. The tracking is a demanding but rewarding experience. Remember to carry with you enough water and the packed lunch, sun screen, walkable shoes, rain gears, insect repellent, camera and hut. The time spent in the forest depends on the movements of the Gorillas in their natural environments. After the activity, you will return back to the Cam. If you have the energy this afternoon, you will visit the golden monkeys or drive to Gisenyi, visit Ross Carr’s orphanage and Lake Kivu or climb the Visoke/Muhavura volcanoes, or trek to Dian Fossey’s grave, or visit the local school, community projects or walk to Lake Bulera. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight. Meal plan: Full-Board.

Day 5: Rwanda-Uganda.

After breakfast, we embark our safari van and depart to Kampala with en-route lunch arriving in the late evening and go to Entebbe airport and board your flight back home. Or take Kigali city tour and evening board your home flight from Kanombe international airport. End of service, Meal plan: Half-Board.

Price- ?

Inquire prices for Gorilla Safari Itinerary” we will send you two price options based on Lodges and Tented Camps classes for your best selection.