Tanzania: Kili to Crater
Hike Kilimanjaro, picnic in the Ngorongoro Crater, wildlife-spot in the Serengeti and meet local Maasai tribes
Tanzania: Kili to Crater
About your trip
Superlatives come thick and fast in Tanzania – and, sure enough, on this 10-day adventure you’ll see the country revealed at its biggest, brightest, boldest best.
Always wanted to trek Kilimanjaro? No problem – you’ll take on Africa’s highest peak, right from the off, with an accessible-to-all day hike. Heard rumours the Ngorongoro Crater is the place to spot Big 5 wildlife? Naturally, the world’s largest caldera also comes in reach. How about those Serengeti plains? Step right this way to witness the world’s greatest wildebeest migration, as it moves back and forth from the Mara.
But, as always, it’s the above-and-beyond experiences that really set this trip apart. Hanging out with Maasai locals. Surprise dinners in star-lit spots, sundowner stops and smart safari-camp stays. Plus down time in Zanzibar to soak up Stone Town and cruise the Spice Island’s coast. Ready to go wild? Join the stampede…
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Max 14 travelers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- 2 internal flights
- Private minibus & safari Jeeps
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- Stays in lodges and tented camps
- We offset the carbon emissions per person on this trip
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
- 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- Arrival and departure airport transfers
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 JAMBO, TANZANIA
Your adventure begins with one of the country’s most iconic sights, Mount Kilimanjaro, looming beyond your airplane window. After being whisked away by private transfer to your lodge, you’ll witness the snow-dusted peak once again from the hotel before tomorrow’s day hike on Africa’s highest mountain. But this first day is all about downtime – relaxing in the hotel’s pool, spa or simply tuning into birdsong in the garden. Come evening, gather with your fellow Flashpackers for a welcome drink and dinner, ahead of your East African adventure.
Day 02 DAY HIKE ON KILIMANJARO
Rested and restored, it’s time to tick off a bucket-list moment – a challenging 3.5-hour trek on Mount Kilimanjaro, following an undulating section of the scenic Shira Route. Driving to your starting point at Morum Point, keep your eyes open for arboreal Colobus monkeys, high up in their happy place. From here, you’ll hike to Shira 1 Camp, climbing through wild shrubland, ascending to a height of 3,500 metres and glimpsing views of Kibo Peak on the way, the highest of the three volcanoes that make up Kilimanjaro. Once you’ve reached camp – and celebrated your epic hike – you’ll feast on a picnic lunch, before heading to your next stay in Arusha.
Day 03 INTO THE SERENGETI
You’re up early to seize the day. And what a day it will be. A short morning flight from Arusha airport will take you into the heart of the Serengeti National Park, one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, teeming with two million wildebeest and hundreds of associated animals during the Great Wildebeest Migration. After landing on the park’s airstrip, you’ll transfer (read: take a mini game drive) to your scenic camp for the next two nights. En route, there’s every chance you’ll witness passing wildlife, going about its daily business, so keep your eyes peeled. Once at camp, you’ll stop for lunch under canvas, before heading out for an afternoon game drive. Dinner is back at base, under star-lit night skies.
Day 04 GAME DRIVES & A SURPRISE
Today is a full immersion into the Serengeti with morning *and* afternoon game drives. Roaming on four wheels, the anticipation will be palpable. Prides of lions, herds of elephants and towers of giraffes all call the Seregenti home. Depending on the season, you might bear witness to the Great Migration when millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles rotate between the Serengeti and Maasai Mara in search of fresh grazing. Lunch at camp divides the day before your afternoon safari. But psst: there’s one more treat in store – a surprise dinner. *You have the option to begin Day 4 with a sunrise hot air balloon over the Serengeti for an additional cost.
Day 05 MAASAI LOCALS & THE NGORONGORO CRATER
This morning takes you out of Serengeti and into the Ngorongoro Crater. But in true Flash Pack style, the journey will be studded with adventure. First, you’ll visit a Massai boma (village), where you’ll chat with the tribe as they go about their lives, tending to livestock, thatching a roof or dancing in ebullient style. Then it’s time to dip into the vast Ngorongoro Crater, formed over 2.5 million years ago, stretching 20km across and 610m deep – and regarded as one of the best places in Africa for wildlife viewing. You’ll have a picnic lunch inside the crater and digest with a nature walk around Hippo Pool – known for its noisy namesakes. After lunch, it’s back on four wheels for an afternoon game drive, followed by a short drive to your next lodge. Come evening, you’ll debrief over dinner and drinks at the end of a memorable day.
Day 06 Maasai tribal market
After breakfast, you’ll visit the farming community of Mto wa Mbu, on the edge of Lake Manyara National Park. Ablaze with color, curios and 120 Massai tribes, this cultural hotspot is a fine way to experience the buzz of the weekly food and craft market and mingle with the locals. You’ll take a walk through the banana and rice plantation to see people going about their daily activities and have the chance to sample some local banana beer – a unique flavor. In the afternoon, you’ll put on your walking shoes for a 2.5 hour hike in the Ngorongoro forest, aiming for the Elephant Caves – loved by the animals for their calcium-rich walls. You may even spot some in residence. Finish your day with dinner back at the lodge.
Day 07 DOWNTIME IN ZANZIBAR
It’s time to head back to Arusha, where your journey began – but this time you’ll be heading off on a different kind of adventure. First up, you’ll stop off at Arusha Coffee Lodge, where social enterprise Shanga employs people with disabilities to create jewelry, glassware and homewares from recycled materials. It’s a great opportunity to see local crafters in action, pick up some handmade gifts and learn about traditional techniques. Enjoy lunch at the lodge, before boarding an afternoon flight to the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. Touching down in Stone Town*, you’ll spend the evening at leisure, visiting a night market with fellow Flashpackers or sinking drinks on the hotel’s roof terrace. *If you’d rather be based by the beach on Zanzibar, check out our Wild Tanzania trip.
Day 08 SLOW ISLAND LIVING
After a week of bucket-list sights, today you can explore things at your own pace from your base in Stone Town, a 19th-century coastal trading town and Unesco World Heritage Site. Choose to explore this Swahili city, sink into a poolside lounger – or take up the option of a full-day snorkeling and dolphin-watching tour (for an additional cost). For this, you’ll be met by your guide and boat captain, before heading to Mnemba Island reef and marine reserve – home to blue-spotted rays, triggerfish and octopi. Your captain will navigate towards the best locations for dolphins, too, en route to a flavorful barbecue lunch. The evening is yours to meander around the ornate alleys and intricately carved doorways of Stone Town.
Day 09 BEACHES & A SUNSET CRUISE
Once a thriving port for the spice trade, Stone Town is now the historical center of the capital, Zanzibar City. Today, history enthusiasts can book an optional guided walking tour (at additional cost) to learn about the history of the Sultanate and exotic spice routes. Don’t forget to ask for tips on the best places to try Zanzibarian dishes for lunch, too. For those who would rather rest, make use of the hotel’s facilities or ask your Pack Leader to arrange a taxi to guidebook-gracing Nungwi Beach on the other side of the island. This evening’s included sundowner cruise is a chance to celebrate the trip with your fellow Flashpackers, before a final farewell dinner.
Day 10 FAREWELL, ZANZIBAR (& TANZANIA)
It’s time to bid a fond farewell to your time in this mighty African nation. Thankfully, you’ll be taking home vivid memories, wildlife-rich tales and joyful new friendships long after the sun has set on this trip of a lifetime. If you’re already feeling the holiday blues, don’t worry. There’s always another Flash Pack adventure…
Our Favorite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Osinon Camp, Serengeti
You’ll stay at this central Serengeti base for two nights, shaded by acacia trees and visited by the area’s wildlife. Rooms are tented, walkways are lantern-lit, and group-gathering spots include a fireplace and private lounge.
Kudu Lodge, Ngorongoro
A bar, pool and even a spa – you’ll feel immediately at home in the retreat in reach of the Ngorongoro Crater. Bungalow-style rooms have muslin-draped beds and 11-acre gardens chime with the sound of African birdlife. Time for a massage?
Maru Maru, Zanzibar
Your characterful base in Stone Town sets you up to explore the Spice Isle’s main hub. There are coral-y beaches and markets in reach, plus a roof terrace and small pool for raising a glass to the day’s adventures.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly into Arusha Airport (ARK) OR Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and fly out of Zanzibar – Abeid Amani Karume Airport International Airport (ZNZ).
- What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
Before 3 pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 5 pm onwards starting at the hotel.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
We’d suggest booking a flight from 12pm onwards in order to leave plenty of travel time. The hotel is close to the airport but the recommendation is that you arrive at the airport three hours before your flight.
- Do you include airport transfers?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
A group departure transfer is provided after breakfast on the day of departure, from your hotel to Zanzibar’s airport. If you require a separate transfer, please consult with your Pack Leader who can arrange a taxi for you.
- Do I need a visa?
You will need a visa to enter Tanzania, which you can apply for in advance on the Tanzanian Government website: https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/.
It is possible to get a tourist visa for a single entry on arrival (multiple entry visas are not granted on arrival) at the main ports of entry to Tanzania.
If you are a US national, you must apply for a multiple entry visa in advance as you are not entitled to enter with a single entry visa.
We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.
- What are the Covid-19 requirements for visiting Tanzania?
Due to the changeable nature of Covid-19 entry requirements, we strongly advise Flashpackers to consult the travel advice issued by your local consular services well in advance of your departure date. Some countries do still require travelers to comply with pre-arrival testing and/or vaccination requirements. Links to the key consular services can be found on our Safety page.
- What other vaccinations and medication will I need?
We recommend checking with your local travel clinic six to eight weeks before your trip to see if any medications or vaccinations are required.
- Are tips included?
Tips are not included in this adventure. Your Pack Leader can advise on suitable amounts to tip local activity guides or services where appropriate, and we will provide a suggested tipping budget closer to your departure date. Please note that all tipping is optional and will depend on what you feel comfortable with.
- How much should I budget per day for extras?
Approximately between 10 – 20 USD per day.
- Do I need to book the hot air balloon safari in advance?
On Day 4, there is the option to take part in a sunrise hot air balloon safari. The cost for this is 600 USD.
If you would like to sign up for this, please contact our sales teams before departure so they can add it to your booking.
By making a reservation with us, we can ensure that you secure a spot. While it may be possible to book on-site at a different rate, we cannot guarantee availability.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
The most challenging activity is the scenic hike on Mount Kilimanjaro, which takes around 3.5 hours to complete. The trail from Morum Point to Shira 1 Camp undulates up and down valleys and requires a good level of fitness.
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions.
- Will the itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS
We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.
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