Duration: 4 - 8 Days
Conservation fees apply for national or private reserves or community-based projects and will be on extra charge
Wildlife, beautiful scenery and contact to the Masai and Chagga tribal people… on the Foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro
On horseback the pace is ideal to getting to know the country. Feel like “out of Africa” in the savannah with animals roaming freely – and with Masai herding their livestock in close proximity as they might have done since hundreds of years.
While trekking along the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro you will see much more than you ever would imagine. We take you through enchanting and constantly changing sceneries. Pass lush river valleys and meet tribal people – Chagga farmers populating the slopes of this mountain.
We offer Specials for
- Alternative itineraries for non-riding guests
- Last-Minute bookings
- Honeymooners (within 1 year after the wedding)
- Groups and families
- Waiver of Single Supplement
- Early-Bird rate for bookings with departure dates of more than 9 months.
Arrival at Makoa-Farm
We will meet and pick you up from Kilimanjaro International Airport, transfer to Makoa Farm.
If you arrive early enough, you can meet the horses and begin your stay with an introductory ride, exploring the plantation and getting to know your horse.
The day begins with tea or coffee served on the farmhouse veranda which has a breathtaking view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Then we head out on horseback for a half day exploration of the area.
Farming in Africa may be a little different to what you are used to. Our 358 acre farm consists of coffee and other crops, but also has natural bush and grasslands with a great amount of river frontage. It is bordered along 2 sides by the lovely Makoa river and Kikafu river.
We ride through the plantation and along natural grassland and bush areas. In addition to the expected farm livestock – cattle, pigs, chickens, geese and horses – our farm is also inhabited by a variety of wild creatures, the noisiest ones such as Sykes and Vervet monkeys and yellow baboons being the most obvious.
There is also small, mainly nocturnal game namely duiker, bush pig, jackal, serval, genet and cover cats and aardvark. Slightly larger are the striped hyena and occasionally spotted hyena and leopard. Most of these animals are rather shy and very difficult to spot.
We pause our ride for a walk to the Makoa river waterfall for a wildlife viewing with a difference. A colony of rare mountain fruit bats in a cave below the falls and you may be lucky enough to see one if the shy, very impressive monitor lizards that live nearby. This walk is followed by lunch at the farmhouse.
In the afternoon we will introduce you to the numerous Makoa residents. Makoa is a haven for many domestic and wild animals, some of which were brought to our veterinary clinic when injured or orphaned. Those that cannot be re introduced to the wild due to injuries live with us and play an important role as animal ambassadors giving local children a “hands on” experience of animals for a deeper understanding of animals and conservation.
After breakfast you will transfer to West Kilimanjaro. We will find the horses at the meeting point and start the ride from here. Our journey leads us through a mixture of open savannah with patches of thorn bush and we will encounter our first plains game along the way. Later we will arrive at our mobile camp at “Mgunga” (Kiswahili for the Acacia tree).
Settle into your comfortable spacious tents, equipped with beds and bed linen with en suite wash basin and WC, together with the traditional bush shower which is filled with hot water by the crew every night.
After dinner, adjourn to the campfire and marvel at the enormous night sky before retiring for the night to fall asleep to the sounds of the African night.
Tracking game by horse; meet a Masai tribe
A full day of riding in the West Kilimanjaro Wilderness/Enduimet Wildlife Management Area.
This area is usually populated by elephant, zebra, wildebeest and many other antelope (Thompson and Grant, Impala and the impressively large Eland) with occasionally buffalo too.
Your picnic will have been laid out under a shady tree, providing a panoramic view over rolling grassland and bush, Mt. Meru to one side, Kilimanjaro behind you and the mountains Longido and Namanga to the other side. If we are lucky there might even be an elephant here watching us during our break.
Our private mobile camp might be set in the shade of an ancient African tree with stunning views of Mt. Meru (whether or not we change the camp’s location is largely determined by the movements of game).
In the late afternoon there is the option to visit home of a Masai family. Meet the cheerful women and children and take the opportunity to learn about their daily life. By the time we return to camp it will be dark and there is a good chance we might meet some nocturnal animals on our way back.
Tracking game and Kilimanjaro forest
Wake up with the birds to begin another day of game viewing. Today we will explore the euphorbia forests, a favourite area for elephant and very shy antelope that browse and doze there during the day.
After lunch we head east and ride along the edge of Kilimanjaro National Park. The montane forest of the park provides dense cover for the animals – a lush world of exotic scenery. There is the opportunity for great canters as well as the slow riding required to spot the shy black and white Colobus monkeys. The forest is populated by a wide range of ,mostly secretive, animals which is evidenced by the multitude of tracks and signs can be seen along this route.
We will arrive at our mobile camp, on the boundary of this beautiful forest in the late afternoon just in time for a sundowner drink, followed by a hot shower and a delicious meal.
Eucalytus forest; meet the Chagga tribe while circumventing Mt. Kilimajaro
Despite the raucous calls of the Colobus monkeys and birdsong waking you early, today we have a later, more relaxed breakfast to give the sun the chance to burn off the dew. Our next trek is too steep and slippery if the grass is wet.
Late morning we mount our horses again and ride south, further circumventing this impressive mountain. We leave the Kilimanjaro forest and head into the mainly eucalyptus forest run by the Tanzanian Forestry Department.
This day offers a wonderful insight into the Chagga lifestyle and culture and soon the first villages and smallholder farms appear. The Chagga tribe populated the slopes of Kilimanjaro and successfully farmed here, long before any explorers reached this area.
In the afternoon we will arrive at our camp overlooking a small private forest reserve on a flower and coffee farm. We will exchange horses for the 4×4 again to explore a swamp a little further away. This is another beautiful place to enjoy a sunset drink as the loud chattering of innumerable birds returning to the swamp to roost for the night.
If you are interested to learn where the flowers for your flower arrangements at home come from, now is your chance. The farm manager will take you on a guided tour around this beautiful farm.
After breakfast we continue on our way through villages, small holdings, banana and coffee plantations interspersed with beautiful valleys.
If the path proves too slippery or stony we will dismount to lead the horses through these river valleys. This is accompanied by lots of chatting with the Chagga people who take a keen interest in our horses and guests.
Later in the day we will pay a visit to Tom, the 180yr old giant Aldabran tortoise. Tom is the mascot for the farm where he lives and could tell many stories, if only he could talk. Instead he will demand his extra banana ration.
From there our safari continues for another hour, partly through coffee plantations offering the possibility of good canters. We will pass over the old Kikafu Bridge as soon cross another river bringing us back to Makoa Farm. Hopefully you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in it’s lush environment and later watch bush babies visiting you while sitting on the veranda with your sunset drink.
Makoa-Farm and Departure
Depending on your departure time there are various activities to choose from:
Maybe a morning ride around the farm to neighbouring flower plantations or a nearby river?
Or, you might enjoy spending your day with our rescued wild animals whilst learning about the conservation work of Kilimanjaro Animal Centre For Rescue, Education And Wildlife (C.R.E.W.) Join part of the daily routine of our enrichment and training programme to encourage the natural behaviour of our rescued wild animals. Meet the Serval Cat, Sykes monkey, Vervet monkey, Long Crested Eagle, Vereaux Eagle Owl, Side- striped Jackal, Secretary Bird, Grey’s Duiker, Bush pig, Warthog, Pelican, Marabou Stork and more! Due to rescue as release each visit may be different.
For the more adventurous there is the monkey nature trail walk, river waterfall hike or a visit to the Mountain Fruit Bat cave.
Alternatively you may want to simply relax, put your feet up and watch the many colours of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This is often the time for planning the next safari! It is also time to say goodbye to new friends and horses.
Later you will transfer to the airport or start your ongoing safari.