10 days, 9 nights
Min 6-Max 12
MAHO on Earth is going back to Tanzania!
We are extremely excited and proud to announce this fabulous itinerary to Tanzania, a country that is nothing short of amazing! We will take you on a journey where you’ll witness a spectacular landscape of diversity and nature at its finest.
We’ll go on Big 5 game drives in the incredible Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater coinciding with calving season, visit the visually stunning Lake Manyara National Park with its tropical forests of giant figs, large population of hippos, zebras, elephants, giraffes, many bird species and even the tree climbing lions, we’ll explore the mind-blowing soda Lake Natron with pink shimmering of flamingos on guided safari walks, take on a challenging hike to the top of an active volcano, and of course run the 2024 Kilimanjaro 5K, Half Marathon or Marathon!
This is your chance to tick off that bucket list trip, one that you’ll never forget! The wonders of Tanzania await!
Do you feel daunted? Fear not.
This trip is not all about stress and fitness, nor it’s a training camp to run away from chasing lions (!), we promise! Honestly, we have never run a marathon before, and on this trip Maho will attempt to cross finish line of half marathon, and Tom will enjoy the ambience during 5KM fun run. And we will be doing this to fundraise for an NGO caring for children with cancer in Tanzania. What better way to motivate yourself to exercise regularly and get to know Tanzania’s enthusiasm for sports?
JOIN US IN TANZANIA!
So we’ve built this unique itinerary around THE annual sports event in East Africa, which is open for all who dare and care. After the event, we’ll go from one world famous spot to the next and have a blast (see Itinerary tab for details).
Let’s do something good together!
Ready to book? Please read our country specific Essential Information/FAQ page first.
You'll be picked up from Arusha (ARK/JRO) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) and transferred to the town of Moshi, where your fantastic African running, hiking and Big Five safari adventure starts. Moshi is situated on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the views of the mighty 'Kili' on a clear day are simply stunning.
Depending on your arrival time, we might have time for a bit of sightseeing to explore this colorful, bustling town filled with coffee houses and a lively buzz, or you may want to relax by the pool, enjoy a cocktail at the bar and get to know your fellow travellers before we meet for a welcome dinner.
Note: Should you wish to arrive earlier and extend your stay, please get in touch with us.
Today is dedicated to relaxation and preparation for the Kilimanjaro Marathon at your leisure. Relax by poolside or head into Moshi to grab some souvenirs, or join us for a swim in the green Oasis of Chemka Hot Springs.
After a leisurely breakfast, with those who prefer, we'll spend a relaxing day in Chemka Hot Springs surrounded by a beautiful forest. It's about a +- 1.5 hours drive from Moshi, where the last 30 minutes or so is along winding dirt roads past local villages lined with baobab and sugarcane trees. Contrary to its name, the spring is not warm, as it's sourced by the fresh water straight from Mount Kilimanjaro. In some places, the pond can be up to 10 meters deep, but the water is so clear you can see right to the bottom. Little fish enjoy nibbling the dead skin off your feet –bonus spa treatment included! Once done with swimming and playing Tarzan and Jane, swinging on the rope before plunging into the waters below, we'll enjoy local lunch and head back to our hotel in Moshi in the late afternoon. Time and road conditions permitting, we'll drive along the marathon route.
Many places in town serve carb-loading dinner to fuel up along with usual dishes, and we'll reserve a table for our group. After dinner, we will return to our rooms to have a good night's rest before the big day tomorrow.
Today is a special day, as we'll be joining the action under the watchful eyes of Mount Kilimanjaro! Following a quick pre-dawn breakfast, we depart for the start of the Kili Marathon!
Marathon start time: 6:30 a.m
Half marathon: 7:00 a.m
5 km fun run: 7:30 a.m
The course takes you through stunning landscapes, many small farms, villages, parts of town, banana and coffee plantations and patches of forest.
For the 2023 Kilimanjaro International Marathon, the uphill section was done first to profit from cooler morning hours and fresh legs. The altitude gain is manageable, it's a gradual climb and a fast descent after at about 10KM where you head back down the same route. The route is similar to the half marathon, until approximately 19km mark, where the full marathon breaks away and does a loop down through Moshi town. The entire race held between 830m and 1150m altitude on good, tarred roads for the most part.
The 5KM Fun Run takes place through the shady streets of Moshi. The start is from the stadium, but the route differs to the full and half marathons.
A total of 12 water stations will be available along the route and there is usually a large crowd of cheerers.
The race will be over by 12:30 latest (cut off time for full/half marathon runners) but this event is more than a race, it's a festival with around 11,000 participants in total. As the cut-off for the marathon is a generous 6 hours (5.5 hours for half), there will be ample time to enjoy the atmosphere, and maybe a celebratory beer or two after receiving your finisher's medal. With local bands playing, huge crowds of local cheerers, plenty of food and drink stalls, there is no end to partying in town today, but around 1pm we'll transfer to our next accommodation in Arusha for some down time (80km +- 2hrs drive from Moshi). The rest of the day is free at your leisure to relax by the pool or in the beautiful garden of our lodge until we get together for dinner to celebrate an unforgettable race day.
Today after an early breakfast, we will head toward Ngorongoro Conservation Area. But before getting there, we will go on our first game drive in one of the smaller yet stunning parks in Tanzania.
At the base of the Rift Valley Escarpment is a small park, Lake Manyara National Park, roughly 2 hours drive away from Arusha. Unlike the savanna dominated parks, its ground water forests boats a superior change of the scenery and a large variety of habitats. We will have the chance to move out of our vehicle and stretch our legs on boardwalks for a close encounter with animals dotting the lake shore.
We will have a picnic lunch in the park, where we will spend the most of the day before heading to our lodge in the late afternoon.
We'll spend the night in a lodge only a few hundred meters away from the Ngorongoro crater rim in a great location facing the dense forest. Wildlife frequently visit the lodge. Last time we were lucky to see elephants next to our room's private deck! Dinner will be taken at the lodge, buffet style.
A safari in African bush means waking up by sunrise, and today is no exception. We'll raise with the sun and right after breakfast, we will set off to drive down into Ngorongoro Crater floor for a game drive like no other.
A visit to Tanzania is not complete without experiencing the incredible beauty of the Ngorongoro Crater. The volcanic landscape is rich and fertile and attracts thousands of grazing animals and their predators. We'll visit the crater floor in search of Big 5 and abundant wildlife for 4-5 hours. We'll have a picnic lunch at an appropriate spot inside the crater before proceeding further to Serengeti National Park in search of the calving wildebeest migration in central or southern Serengeti, where the game viewing begins long before entering this world class reserve!
Overnight in a permanent tented camp with proper beds in Serengeti (ensuite).
Today is all about animals. We'll spend full day from sunrise to sunset on game drives in Serengeti to see the enormous herds of the Great Migration.
January to March is calving season in Serengeti, so we’ll make sure to see baby animals. There's also lots of predator action to be observed around these herds.
For those who wish, there is the option of taking a dawn Hot Air Balloon Ride (approx.. 600$ USD pp, can be booked at the venue) over the endless plains. It's an expensive activity but we think well worth it. What better way to start your game viewing day!
We'll either check in to our new tented camp before sunset or return to the same camp for overnight. The camps will be selected based on the migration route which has become unpredictable due to climate change, but all accommodation will come with proper beds and ensuite bathroom.
We enjoy another full day on game drives while we cover further parts of the Serengeti plains, the world's best game park. The Serengeti is home to the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard), and our safari guide will be doing his best to ensure you see all of these magnificent animals.
We'll check in to our new permanent tented camp or wildlife lodge before sunset, where dinner will be served.
After a yummy breakfast, we'll set off toward Lake Natron in game drive mode exiting Serengeti from Klein's Gate in the north.
Over half the world’s lesser flamingos are born in the lake, and you are likely to see clouds of
shimmering pink as the flamingos settle and stalk on the still waters. We'll explore this stunning terrain of salt marshes and freshwater wetlands with its unique flora, leading to sparkling waterfalls.
The lake is framed by the incredible Ol Doinyo Lengai (Mountain of God
in the language of Maasai people), an active volcano that carves out incredible statues made of cooled lava.
With those who dare, tonight we'll attempt the climb up Ol Doinyo Lengai (it's a challenging and super steep hike with 1700 m elevation gain over 5km!) accompanied by our Maasai guides. As it's too hot in the day, the hike starts midnight and takes around 10-12 hours to complete.
Those who are not keen on the volcano hike can opt to do the Great Rift Valley day hike next morning instead, and spend the evening watching the sun set pink and gold over this incredible landscape. Dinner will be served as the first stars appear.
Please note: Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano hike comes at an additional cost of approx. $80 USD per person payable to the village attendants. The conditions may not be always favorable to climb the volcano, and given it's a seriously tough hike, we keep it as an optional activity. Other activities (bird watching, rift valley hike, waterfalls, sundowner walks etc.) around Lake Natron is included in the tour price.
Today those who skipped the volcano climb may opt to do a fantastic hike to the Rift Valley (approx. 6 hours, 10km), or may simply choose to lie in and join the afternoon activity.
All group members will return to the camp for lunch. After some rest, we go on a guided walking safari walk by the lake shore led my a local Maasai guide, swim in natural pools and observe countless birds and other animals.
Today one last early rise is on agenda for a guided sunrise safari walk at the southern end of Lake Natron, or simply have a little lie-in if you wish. After breakfast we head back to Arusha (ARK) or Kilimanjaro Airport (KIA) for your connecting flight* or optional extension. We promise, you'd want to stay put forever in this mighty African nation. If you have to bid farewell today though, you’ll be taking home joyful memories, one-of-a-kind tales and new friendships.
*It's not recommended to book any international flights departing before 7pm tonight. For those joining Zanzibar extension, we'll catch the flight at 4:30 pm in Arusha.
Please read our country specific Essential Information/FAQ page for further details before booking.
Please note that the itinerary is subject to minor changes due to circumstances beyond our control. This is Africa, but whatever happens, we'll always do our best to ensure you have an amazing experience!
Remember, you can extend your adventure by joining our "Best of Zanzibar" tour at the end of your safari holiday, which is planned to run smoothly with our mainland program.
If you are up for a challenge, you can optionally book the Mount Meru 4D/3N hiking package prior to start of this safari package (will take place if minimum of 4 pax opt-in).
* All thumbnail images used in the itinerary section above (except for Serengeti and Ngorongoro), and Lake Natron images in the gallery are taken from promotional sites.