8 days / 7 nights Meru-Kilimanjaro Ride
The great "Out of Africa" experience on horseback! Follow in Hemingway’s footsteps over the western game corridor of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Enjoy the diverse scenery and flora and fauna, from the montane forest of Kilimanjaro, through the western savannah, evtl reaching Mt. Meru with Arusha National park. In this corridor African animals roam freely as they may have for thousands of years. This safari covers various terrain and offers breathtaking views, exhilarating canters and close contact with wildlife such as elephant, buffalo, zebra, eland, wildebeest - to name but a few. Enjoy the 24 hour bush-experience, lighted by lanterns, listening to animal voices next to the camp fire… und much more!
Designed for intermediate+ riders!
Day 1: Arrival at Makoa-Farm on the Foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Arrive at 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!
During the afternoon we will introduce you to the horses, and help you choose one to match your size and skill. Then we take you on a ride so you can become familiar with your horse.
Day 2: Arusha National Park
Early breakfast and transfer of riders and horses to Arusha National Park.
Arusha National Park encompasses Mt. Meru which is the 2nd highest mountain in Tanzania and the 3rd highest free-standing mountain in Africa. There are dramatic variations in scenery: open savannah, dense forest and thick bush, impressive craters and many lakes. Furthermore there are 5 distinct vegetation zones which host a wealth of flora and fauna, Arusha Park is home to some of the most impressive big game such as leopard, elephant and buffalo.
We begin our ride and soon we reach the area known as “Little Serengeti” which is open pasture, home to plains game. Afterwards we will continue our way by passing through various glades and forests with breathtaking scenery. Often enough spoor and fresh smell will remind us of the close proximity of the forest inhabitants.
We stop at the Park-Resthouse, the original home of the famous „White Huntress“ Margarete Trappe, and enjoy our meal somewhere near this historic environment. Afterwards we continue towards Mt. Meru and just before sunset should arrive at our mobile camp in the middle of the fantastic setting of this impressive mountain.
The fly camp usually consists only of a basic, yet comfortable tent under a beautiful Acacia tree, with toilet tent and classic hot bush showers next to your tent. The stars are visible from your pillow, and the night noises of Africa are the background to your sleep. Nothing brings the experience of Africa closer…
Day 3: Tracking game in Arusha Park
Waking to the calls of Colobus monkeys we will start early and ride through a “fairytale” forest with tree ferns and moss. What we really hope for though, is the chance for a peaceful meeting with a herd of magnificent African elephants. There are many paths with tracks and spoor, giving away the presence of hidden eyes watching you. Look out for the colourful Hartlaub´s Turaco with deep red wings, their calls echoing far through the forest.
We will reach a well-known landmark of Arusha National Park: The “Fig Tree Arch”, a natural feature created by assorted animals and birds. Brunch is set at a place overlooking plains and lakes with a bird’s eye view ending only at Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Next we will descend to the thundering waterfall at the base of Mt. Meru – where we are guaranteed to meet some buffalo on their way back from their grazing areas. These massive animals can be watched excitingly close whilst they are grazing or resting... lots to do for your cameras!
Back to camp we will change the horses for a vehicle, to visit the Momella lakes a bit further away. The lakes are populated by flamingo and lots of other fowl. Hippos may be seen in close, but safe, distance and there are good chances to watch other game near the water edge, such as buffalo, giraffe and smaller species as antelope and more.
Day 4: Arusha Park and Masailand
A long ride in the morning leads us through dry forest and savannah where we look forward to seeing giraffe, buffalo, antelope and other game. Tanzanian National Parks are not fenced and the animals we encounter might have travelled great distances.
Late morning we will cross the border of Arusha Park. All of a sudden the landscape changes and we are leaving the green meadows and lush acacia forests, which indicate the presence of underground water, behind us.
There will be a short lunch break on the way as we will aim to cover a lot of ground through Masailand, giving a good opportunity for canters. Masai herders appear as colourful dots in the afternoon sun as we pass through a mix of plains and their farmlands.
We will find our camp at a romantic place under yellow-barked acacia and next to a trail quite regularly used by elephant... Enjoy a hot shower and delicious meal and go to sleep with the sounds of the wild.
Day 5: Heading North
Rise to an African sunrise for an early breakfast. We mount our horses and head out further north. Our ride today starts crossing perfect terrain for long canters through bush and grasslands. Kori bustards and secretary birds are often seen here stalking their prey. Slowly and carefully we approach the wildlife we find along the way - lesser kudus, antelopes, gazelles and a lot of other animals. If you feel up to it, you can canter with zebra and wildebeests. This is a safari the way it was meant to be!
This is now Enduimet Wildlife Management Area, the wildlife corridor connecting Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Park.
Late afternoon we reach Mgunga Camp; you will be welcomed with a cold Gin&Tonic at the end of the day. Our private fly camp is set in the shade of an ancient African tree, with stunning views of Mt. Meru, now in the far distance. Relax with a cool drink and take in the rich colours of the African sunset. Your dinner is prepared on nothing more than a wood fire, served under the stars, weather depending there might be a mess tent. Our camp chef will impress you with her 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 6: Another day in the savannah
Wake up with the sun and start for a long morning ride of game spotting along small hills.
The route of this day and whether we will change camp will be mostly dictated by the game movements. You are in the heart of the West-Kilimanjaro wilderness and many animals use this corridor on their routes between Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru and Amboseli. In the right seasons we may find herds of elephant, buffalo, elands and other game, and may also expect to spot lesser kudu, waterbuck, many other antelopes and smaller species like warthog.
Predators are frequently heard although quite secret during the day, with some luck we might encounter such game as striped and spotted hyena, cheetah and leopard.
Day 7: Heading towards Mt Kilimanjaro
Today we will leave the West Kilimanjaro wilderness. We will ride through a mixture of open grassland and thorn bush savannah and explore the riverine forests , favourite routes of animals when they wander between Kilimanjaro forest and the savannah.
Later on the fantastic scenery of the montane forests of the Kilimanjaro National Park to the East appears - a lush world of exotic scenery. We turn East and ride along the forest. The route provides fantastic scenery with endless forest on the left and at the same time Enduimet in the West. The terrain varies and so will our pace, from slow riding so as to spot the shy black and white Colobus monkeys to great canters.
We will leave the horses on a farm next to Kilimanjaro forest and drive back to Makoa-Farm. Enjoy the view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in its lush environment and watch the bush babies visiting you while you sit on the veranda with a sunset drink.
Day 8: Makoa-Farm and Departure
After a relaxed breakfast there may be enough time to have look around our farm and learn more about our educational projects.
This is a farm environment, attached to a veterinary clinic and an uncountable number of animals, pet and tame wild ones, which have often arrived because they became orphaned, injured or have unwillingly lost their habitat and found themselves stuck between human population. Those who will not be able to fend for themselves, often due to injuries, get a new home at Makoa-Farm and are ambassadors in education. On a weekly basis various Tanzanian school children come to see, smell and touch the animals - for most of them an eye-opening experience which encourages them to become passionate about their environment. All the animals are very friendly and welcome a pat or scratch behind the ear!
Or, if are you still up for an adventure and would like to learn more about life around Mt. Kilimanjaro you might decide for one, or even two more days’ riding while circumventing this impressive mountain. On this route you will ride through Chagga villages, small holding farmland, banana and coffee plantations and cross scenic valleys.
This is a day which offers wonderful insights into Chagga lifestyle and culture. The Chagga tribe populates the Slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and successfully farmed long before any explorers reached this spot.
The ride goes along with lots of chatting with the local population who take a real interest in our horses and guests. Depending on how much time you have available* we might load the horses somewhere en route or ride all the way back to Makoa-Farm.
Later transfer for Kilimanjaro International Airport and departure.
* A part of the route can be done on your last day of the regular safari, no additional costs involved. For the whole ride back to Makoa-Farm you would need to add one day extra. Please contact us for detailed information on additional days with detailed route and costs.
Rate 2015: ...please click here...
Included: 8 days/7 nights, 2 nights accommodation at Makoa-Farm, 5 nights fly-camp, all meals, snacks, tea, coffee and beverages, horses incl. tack, transfers to and from Makoa Farm from Kilimanjaro International Airport or Moshi, luggage transfers where necessary, English & German speaking guide.
Not included: Tips and gratuities, laundry and phone calls, other items of a personal nature. Entry fees, wildlife fees and camping fees to national and private reserves, Wildlife Management Areas and National Parks (stated as a separate figure)
Alternative itineraries are available for non-riding family members or friends. Options include trips by jeep, on foot or mountain bike to reach the same destinations as the riders and meet for a picnic