10 Kilimanjaro Tours You Don’t Want to Miss
Famous for being home to the highest point of Africa, Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania is quite frankly fantastic. From the aesthetic Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands singular and distinct against the backdrop of the grasslands, to its pristine lakes and deeply invigorating African wildlife safaris, the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania has become one of the focal points of tourism in Africa.
Given its growing popularity and largely unexplored areas, we decided to look into some of the best things that this region has to offer. As a result, we have compiled the following list of top 10 Kilimanjaro tours that you do not want to miss out on when visiting this treasure trove of nature.
1. Kilimanjaro Hiking Trip Tours
The only way to do justice to the highest mountain in Africa is by climbing it. Although it stands tall with a height of 5,895 meters, you do not have to be an active mountaineer to give yourself the pleasure of conqueror Mount Kilimanjaro. As long as you can walk for extended periods time and are generally healthy, there are many hiking tours and trips available which you can book to go hiking up this magnificent volcano in Tanzania.
The diversity of landscapes that hiking to the top of this dormant volcano will afford you is something that you definitely do not want to miss out on, especially not if you are in Tanzania anyway. The hike will begin from plain grasslands and your surroundings will gradually change from just grass to a full-fledged rain forest before easing into meadows of alpine trees followed by rugged moorlands. Once you have crossed the moorlands, you will find yourself surrounded by upland desert before you finally see the snow and ice covering the top of this breathtaking volcano.
There are a wide range of different hiking trips and tours that you can choose for yourself depending on the level of challenge you are willing to take on. The primary difference between different types of hiking trips is the route that each take to reach the top of the volcano. This in turn determines the number of days it takes to go all the way up and then come back down.
The most feasible route to take is the Machame route which was also previously known as the “Whiskey” route. The reason this route is so famous is that it only takes the climbers through all the distinct landscapes of the mountain, but also does so in an extremely comfortable manner which increases the success rate of summiting the peak. Hiking trips via this route usually run for seven days, which allows for generous exploration of the surroundings and also significantly reduces sickness caused by rapidly rising altitude.
Another hiking route that you can look into is the Lemosho route, which requires at least 8 days of trekking. This route initially starts off differently from the western base of the mountain and traverses across the Shira Plateau before becoming the same as the Machame route. Lemosho route is also a relatively newer route, commissioned especially after the popularity of Kilimanjaro amongst the tourists. Other variations of hiking routes include the 9-day long Northern Circuit route, the Marangu route with its hut accommodations, and the Umbwe route amongst others.
The point is, if you truly want to experience the full breadth of Kilimanjaro’s beauty, then you need to go on a hiking tour to the top of this volcano.
2. Kilimanjaro Bike Park Safari Tours
Cycling or biking is an enjoyable sport no matter where in the world. But biking on a mountain is something different, and the thrill of exploring the whereabouts the volcano while surrounded by its rugged landscape is something you will not find everywhere.
Whether you are a causal cyclist, or someone determined to go on as many adventures as possible, you must not miss out Kilimanjaro Bike Park Safari in Moshi. Biking tour through many different villages of Kilimanjaro is quite refreshing. As you will make your way towards dry and open areas away from the lush greenery of the volcano on a bike, you will also get a chance to witness the wildlife of Tanzania first-hand. Encounters with zebras and giraffes along the trails are also quite common, which gives you yet another reason to book a bike park tour of Kilimanjaro for yourself.
3. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Tours
Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania is one of the best regions to explore if you want an authentic African safari experience with the scenic beauty of the volcano in the background. Although the area surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro is largely made up of arid grasslands, the volcano itself is covered with thick forests, making it home to many endangered species of mammals.
The best way to get up close and personal with all the special mammals of the region is to go on an extensive tour of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park since the wildlife of this region can be quite elusive. Located near the city of Moshi, Mount Kilimanjaro National Park is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Easily accessible by both plane and road, the national park covers an expansive area of nearly 650 square kilometers and is rich with unique flora and fauna of the region.
Some of the animals that you should keep an eye out include black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, malachite songbirds, hornbills, moorland chat, white neck ravens, bush babies, and four-striped grass mouse. Zebras and giraffes are Safari essentials, so you definitely come across them too!
4. Kilimanjaro Waterfalls Tours
Only a short distance away from the Moshi town lies the Materuni Village, home to the Chagga tribe. Touring the village is one of the best things you can do while exploring Kilimanjaro region as this is where some of the most beautiful waterfalls of the region are situated.
There are many guided tours available which will take you to the waterfalls while also explaining the culture and traditions of the tribal village on the way. The most popular way of touring the waterfalls begins with short hike and a walk around the waterfalls, followed by a hearty Chagga lunch and tasting of a locally-made banana beer. The entire trip lasts for about 6 hours and ends with a very special visit to the local coffee plantation where you get to witness the entire process which goes into cultivating and roasting the coffee beans. You can even participate in the coffee-making process and grind your own coffee beans for a warm boost of energizing coffee.
This tour of the waterparks in the tribal village of Materuni with an added bonus of witnessing the coffee-making process is something you will not want to miss out on, especially if you are looking for more hands-on cultural experience. The exciting chance of swimming in the waterfall pool is just one another reason of booking a tour of yourself and your travel partners. This is an experience we are sure we wouldn’t want to miss out on.
5. Ngorongoro Day Tours
The Ngorongro Conservation Area is a very special place that you must tour while visiting Kilimanjaro region. Also a World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro is named after Ngorongoro Crater and is the only conservation area in all of Tanzania where human settlement and subsistence farming is prohibited. All these restrictions are put in place to protect the flora and fauna of the region, something which you must not leave the Kilimanjaro region without exploring.
Nicknamed “Africa’s Garden of Eden”, a day tour of Ngorongoro Conservation Area will allow you to see all the mighty animals of the jungles such as lions, baboons, leopards, and elephants in flesh. A typical tour of Ngorongoro starts from Arusha and ends with the daylight hours. In this fast-tracked tour of the Ngorongoro Conservation Tour, you will get to see everything traditionally associated with African safaris. Definitely not something that you should miss, this tour will leave with a lot of spectacular pictures of the grasslands and memories that you will not soon forget.
6. Kikuletwa Hot Springs Tours
Located about an hour and a half drive away from the city of Moshi, the Kikuletwa Hot Springs are relaxing pools of warm water that you must visit if you are looking for a bit of natural rejuvenation. They also go by the name of “Chemka Hot Springs” and are considered one of the most serene places in Tanzania.
The journey to the hot springs is very interesting itself. On your way to the pools, you will the sugar cane plantations, river beds that have run dry, and lines of grassland trees such as acacia and baobab trees.
The hot springs themselves are crystal blue and turquoise so even before you descend into the water, you will feel the stress and tension leave your body. Set in the middle of long-winded roots of palm and fig trees, the aesthetically pleasing setting of the hot springs is sometimes also visited by the blue monkeys. There are plenty of fish that swim in the refreshing water of these springs too, so do not be surprised by the tingling sensation you feel in your toes while bathing.
Although the Chemka Hot Springs feel like a secluded area of paradise itself, there are quite a few food and beverage stalls you can nourishment from. Basic structures of bathrooms and changing rooms are also erected by the pools, so you don’t have to worry about cleanliness too.
7. Lake Manyara National Park Tours
Lake Manyara National Park tour is something we highly recommend to all wildlife enthusiasts to undertake. Lake Manyara is one of the lesser known sites in Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania but that does not mean that you should miss out on this unique placed safari destination.
Lake Manyara National Park is built over a relatively smaller area of 330 square kilometers, a lot of which is also submerged in water. The water of the lake is one of the reasons why tour of Lake Manyara will be different from other safaris you will go on. It’s perhaps only on this tour that you will come across the spectacular range of birds that Kilimanjoro region of Tanzania has to offer. From pelicans to flamingos, watching these creatures soaring by the river will be a heart-warming experience.
Apart from watching the birds, there is also a very high chance that you will come across many elephants, baboons, hippopotamuses, and even lions who love to climb tress while on a tour of Lake Manyara National Park.
8. Serengeti Safari Tours
If the idea of Safari excites you and just visiting one conservation area is not enough to fulfill your wanderlust, then you should head over to the plains of Serengeti and book yourself a Serengeti Safari Tour too. Although the experience of watching African wildlife in its natural habitat is the same when on an Ngorongoro day tour, the landscape of Serengeti is considerably more beautiful.
Serengeti is one of the most well-known wildlife reserves on the African continent, and you can witness this wildlife first-hand by visiting the Serengeti National Park. You can also head over to the Serengeti Wildlife Research Center to learn more about the conservation practices that make the area what it is. You can go on a traditional safari through the golden plains of Serengeti on four wheeler or you can choose to hop on a hot-air balloon and witness the area while floating in the air. However you choose to explore this area, just make sure that you do not miss out on this one of the most incredible Kilimanjaro tours.
9. Sunset Tours at Moshi
Especially recommended for couples visiting Tanzania as their honeymoon destination, the sunset tour at Moshi is a romantic experience that will stay for you quite a while after the end of your vacations. Given the expansive landscape and the climate-friendly lifestyle of the local people, the sunsets in Kilimanjaro region are phenomenal. If you are visiting this part of Tanzania, then you must not miss out on the aesthetic color palette that its sky has to offer.
The two most popular spots for this sunset tour include a countryside location on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and another one just beyond the railway station which affords a grand view of Mount Kilimanjaro itself. The view that each of these sunset spots offer at the precise time of sundown are incredibly powerful, and also offer an excellent opportunity for photographers and instgrammers.
Once you have participated in all the adventurous activities, this sunset tour is the perfect way of ending a long day. Because of how soulful and magnificent the dying sun can make Mount Kilimanjaro look, we recommend that you do not miss out on this singular most beautiful experience in Tanzania.
10. Maasai Boma Tours
There is a lot that can be said about cultural immersion, but one thing that stands true about this is that there is no better way to have an immersive experience than to actually try and interact with the people that inhabit the area. If an authentic African experience is what you are looking for, then you must not leave Kilimanjaro without touring one of the Masaai villages.
One example of a Masaai Boma (enclosure) is Mto wa Mbu village which stands out because of its diverse tribal groups. With the permission of the villagers, and the expert guidance of your host, there is a lot that you can learn about the culture and lifestyle of these local inhabitants by simply spending a day in the village. Interact with the villagers, visit their local market, enjoy the traditional Masaai dance, and leave with some valuable handicrafts and many, many memories.
Any visit or exploration of Kilimanjaro area will be incomplete if you do not visit at least one Masaai Boma before leaving. Therefore, interacting with the locals is an experience that we highly recommend you do not miss out on. Some of the villages that you can visit while on your tour of Kilimanjaro include the Seneto Boma, Kiloki Senyati Boma, and Loonguku Boma amongst many others. Visiting these will afford you great understanding of the lifestyle of people that populate this beautiful area, and leave you deeply touched by their hospitality and communal way of life. In conclusion, it is safe to say that Kilimanjaro is worth your time, not just because it’s home to the “Roof of Africa” but also because it has a lot to offer culturally as well.
From its changing landscapes with rising altitudes, its uniquely beautiful colobus monkeys, relaxing Chemki springs, and rejuvenating safaris, we think that a comprehensive checklist of important tours is the only way of making sure that you are taking full advantage of what Kilimanjaro has to offer. After all, we don’t want to miss out on thrilling adventures and breathtaking wildlife that this place has to offer, do we?