Tanzania

Mountain bike adventure around and to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (19630ft.)

Kilimanjaro to the extreme! For acclimatization you ride around the highest mountain in Africa. You might spot giraffe, zebra and other free roaming game whilst riding through the Massai and Chagga territory. Reaching the peak by mountain bike is a tough challenge due to the trail conditions and altitude. – Individual and group travel

The trail around Africa‘s tallest mountain and highest volcano is 230 miles long and involves 16000ft of climbing. It takes us through solitary rainforests, fertile fields of crop and through wild, dry acacia rich savannah, which is the home of the Masai. The tracks around the cloud shrouded, snow-capped roof of Africa are mainly dusty, sometimes rocky, with a few asphalt roads. We spend a night in a Masai cultural village to get to know their customs, songs and dishes. On a safari in Arusha National Park see some of Africa´s amazing wildlife. Two packages are available: with a local mountain bike guide only, you carry your own luggage during the rides or, a comfort option where a backup vehicle is always around so distances can be shortened to individual needs.
A dream for many; riding onto Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Within 60 miles you climb and drop 13000 ft. To reach Uhuru Peak 19340 ft of this huge ‘hill’ is a tough challenge by bike.
It is planned to ride from Kilema Gate to Kilema Camp with one night in a tent then to Horombo Hut and there joining the Marangu Route – the only one offering accommodation in huts. Reaching the top and ride past a few ice shelfs to Uhuru Peak is tough due to the altitude but a feat one can certainly be proud of. The 12000 ft descent over a day and a half is one of the longest in the world.

Itinerary:

mi = miles; hg = height gain in feet

Day 1 Arrival Kilimanjaro, transfer to Hotel

After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport you are welcomed by your tour guide. Transfer to your first accommodation the Key´s Hotel. (D)

Day 2 Bike Tour around Moshi

This day is for your acclimatization. After adjusting the bikes your guide will ride with you along the lower slopes of the volcano and around town. (12-25 mi., hg +1000-3000ft. gravel/tar). Distances and climbs can be adjusted. (B,D)

Day 3 Bike Tour Moshi – Lake Chala

The route is on uneven paths, mainly over farmland of the Chagga people. A long climb leads to Marangu, one of the gateway points to Kilimanjaro. Banana and coffee plantations change with little villages. The kids have a ball and come running to the road calling “Mzungu”. Towards the end an 8 mile downhill takes us back into savannah country to a beautiful lodge at Lake Chala, offering swimming, birding and game viewing on foot. (B,L,D) (44 mi., hg +3600 ft., gravel tracks/tar)

Day 4 Bike Tour Lake Chala – Rongai

We are heading further north anti-clockwise around the volcano. In the higher regions we see good farming practice of water and soil saving agriculture of the locals. We ride close to the Kenyan border climbing gently to higher altitude. The last 6 miles are on tar and steep. In the afternoon we arrive at our cozy chalets. This is one of the starting points leading onto the mountain. If you want to get a taste of what it’s like you can go for a walk. (B,L,D) (40 mi., hg +3300 ft., tracks/tar)

Day 5 Bike tour Rongai – Olpopongi Masai Village

Cross the northern ridge of Kilimanjaro to the highest point of the tour at 6300 ft. Our tires will reach their limit, because nobody can escape the large acacia thorns. During the last miles we might spot some game. At Masai cultural village of Olpopongi we will sleep in typical rondavels. (B,L,D) (62 mi., hg +3300 ft., gravel tracks)

Day 6 Bike tour Olopopongi – Mukuru

In the morning we will ride between Mt. Kili. and Mt. Meru. During the hilly and dusty ride we might spot elephants, zebra, antelope, and buffalo. Stay at the charming Mukuru Camp. In the late afternoon we will head for Arusha National Park in a 4×4. Giraffe, zebra, buffalo and elephant are the large animals, monkeys and countless birds are the little animals in the park. (B,L,D) (28 mi., hg +1000 ft., gravel tracks)

Day 7 Bike tour Mukuru – Moshi

Through acacia and shrub landscape we head back to Mt. Kilimanjaro. A steep climb brings us back into Chagga territory. Banana and coffee plantations are accompanied by little settlements. We will descend for lovely Weru Weru River Lodge. In the evening we can celebrate the circumnavigation of Africa`s highest mountain with some cold Kilimanjaro beer. (B,L,D) (56 mi., hg +4500 ft., gravel tracks/tar)

Day 8 Relaxing and preparation day

Enjoy the day of by chilling by the pool or join the guide for a walk through Moshi.

Day 9: Bike tour Kilema Gate (5900 ft) – Kilema Camp (8700 ft)

Transfer to Kilema Gate (approx. 1 hour) where you will start your adventure. The path is narrow with lots of roots and rocks and often one needs to push the bike. It will be quite warm still so a short sleeve bike jersey and pants are recommended. There is a packed lunch, which will be given out before tour start. You will receive a packed lunch every day, which is freshly prepared by our cook. Our initial night on the mountains will be spent in a tent at Kilema Camp. An excellent dinner can be expected each evening. Vegetarian meals can also be cooked if we are informed in advance. Distance and altitude meters can be increased by starting before Kilema Gate. (Riding distance: 8 miles; altitude difference: +2800 ft) (B, L, D)

Day 10: Bike tour Kilema Camp (8700 ft) – Horombo hut (11100 ft)

Today the total height gain will be around 2400ft and the distance covered is around 4 mi. It will be significantly cooler than the previous day. It is advised that you pack in a light jacket. The trail goes through alpine moors where you can see massive Erica and Seneca. There is plenty of time, so a ride/walk to nearby Mawenzi Peak is worth a while. An additional day can be spent here to improve acclimatization (Riding distance: 4 miles; altitude difference: +2400 ft) (B, L, D)

Day 11: Bike tour Horombo hut (11100 ft) – Kibo hut (14100 ft)

The landscape gradually changes as we reach the high-alpine zone. The landscape is spars, rocky and shares a resemblance with Mars. It is always possible to turn around and make your way back down accompanied by a mountain guide. Whoever feels capable will continue to climb the 6 mi heights of 14100 ft to the Kibo hut. The Kibo hut is the base for the summit. Depending on the level of fitness, we will begin the night ascension at midnight or around 01:00 am (Riding distance: 6 miles; altitude difference: +3000 ft) (B, L, D)

Day 12: Peak ascension Kibo hut (14100 ft) – Uhuru Peak – Horombo hut (11100 ft)

During the lengthy ascent to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro we will cover an altitude of 5240 ft., the descent to Horombo hut will be another 8240 ft. This is a strenuous climb compared to the previous days. Headlamps will be needed if the night is cloudy, however the route is visible enough if the moonlight illuminates it. One can find up to 5 inches of snow and temperatures around -4 °F. We will reach the crater’s edge at Gilmans Point at dawn or sunrise where Africa is lying at your feet. After spending half an hour to an hour’s time on the highest peak of the continent, the fun begins! Riding down some 12000 ft. first via an ashy slope, later on harder but rocky surface one gets back to lower altitude. The descending trail is identical to the ascending trail. The path is stable, and one can reach the Kibo hut without great difficulty. The porter will be anticipating our arrival at the hut, where lunch will be prepared. After a one hour nap or rest, we’ll tackle the descent to the Horombo hut. The total distance for the day is 14 miles. (Riding distance up 4 miles, down 10 miles; Altitude difference: +5240 ft, -8240 ft for descent) (B, L, D)

Day 13: Bike tour Horombo hut (11100 ft) – Kilema Gate (5900 ft)

The descent to Kilema Gate leads through the rainforest again and leaves us with a wistful mood, as we have to say goodbye to this majestic natural wonder, which we have been exploring for the past 4 days. Outside the gate we ride down a gravel road back into civilization. The vehicle will await us at the tar road and transfer us to the hotel. In the evening we will celebrate, as we reminisce about our 19340 ft. Mount Kili climb. The tour guide will hand out certificates and bids us farewell with “Kwa heri ya kuonana. Safari njema!” (Riding distance 16 miles; Altitude Difference: 6660 ft,) (B, L, D)

Day 14: Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport and home journey

Up until the time of transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport you can use the time to go for one last souvenir shopping trip. Departure by plane or do a safari extension in nearby Lake Manyara or Ngorongoro Crater. (B)

Accommodation subject to availability

Services

Included in price:
• English speaking bike guide
• 5 nights in hotel, 2 nights in chalet, 2 nights in lodge, 3 nights in mountain hut, 1 night in camp. In Olpopongi, , in camp and mountain huts guests share communal ablution facilities.
• 13 x breakfast, 10 x lunch, 13 x dinner, drinks (coffee, tea)
• Porters to carry up to 12kg luggage, participants only carry a light day rucksack
• National park fees
• All entrance fees for sightseeing program
• Transfers to and from Kilimanjaro airport and Kilimanjaro National Park

Not included:
• Flights to and from Tanzania
• Visa fees for Tanzania (approx. 50 USD on arrival)
• Tips
• Drinks
• Meals not mentioned above
• In comfort package (Surcharge US$ 120.00 from 6 participants upwards) permanent back-up as well as transport of bikes
MTB hire bike, 27 Speed front Suspension Scott bikes available

Hints

Travel Information:
Despite its height (2550 – 6350 ft.) the area around Kilimanjaro is still a malaria risk area. A prophylaxis is recommended. The tours are in the months of the dry season. The cool temperatures of the night (59°F) can rise up to 85 – 95 °F during the afternoon.
To be able to reach heights of 19340 ft., the body need to be properly trained, and needs to adjust itself to these conditions. If one travels the highest summit of the continent with too much haste, they might not make it to Uhuru Peak. Temperatures on top can get down as far as -4 °F.

Categorization
Level of fitness  
Grading of accommodation  

Group size

4 - 10 Participants
Terms & Conditions
Dates and rates
Booking code: MTBKI+MTBPEAK
29.09.19 - 12.10.19 USD 3595 book

Discount

  • 3% discount on bookings made 6 months prior to departure subject to minimum group size
  • 5% discount on all land packages for returning guests subject to minimum group size
Extra services
Surcharge back-up vehicle from 6 participants USD 120
Bike hire MTB Hardtail 27/30 speed USD 320
Single room surcharge USD 320

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