African Wildlife Safari and Optional Kilimanjaro Ascent CME

15 Days
From $8,550

African Wildlife Safari and Optional Kilimanjaro Ascent CME

This Continuing Medicine Education Class and adventure trip starts with the opportunity to climb the majestic peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which towers above the plains of Africa, and claim one of the world’s “seven summits” — a lifelong dream of most every trekker.

We then move on to explore some of the world’s most scenic and remarkable wildlife paradises: an african safari to the famed Serengeti, the incomparable Ngorongoro Crater, and wildlife-rich Tarangire National Park in Africa.

Some of the incredible wildlife species that we commonly see on this trip are prides of lions, leopard, cheetah, elephants, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, wildebeest, cape buffalo, gazelle, impalas, wild dogs, warthogs, baboons, incredible birdlife, and dozens of other species! Our local guides are experts at finding the wildlife and teaching natural history.

The indigenous people in this region — the Maasai — are colorful, warm, friendly, noble people who live in close harmony with the land. We will enjoy opportunities for genuine cultural interactions local Maasai people!

The Wilderness and Travel Medicine Classes take place each evening at the wonderful lodges where we stay during the wildlife safari.


Accreditation 16 Hours AMA PRA Category 1 Credits


  • Altitude Illness
  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Heat Illness
  • Snakebites
  • Travelers Illnesses
  • Marine Envenomations
  • Trauma Management
  • Wilderness Orthopedics
  • Water Disinfection
  • Swiftwater Safety and Rescue
  • Basic Wilderness Survival
  • Wilderness Medical Kits
  • Wound Management
  • Patient Assessment
  • Wilderness Dermatology
  • Wilderness Pediatrics

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Center for Emergency Medical Education and Wilderness and Travel Medicine. The Center for Emergency Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Center for Emergency Medical Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 16 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Day 1
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, purchase your tourist visa (US $100 cash) and go through customs before collecting your luggage. You will be met in the arrivals hall by a Bio Bio Expeditions representative, who will escort you to the Arusha Serena Hotel. You will love this start to your stay in Africa! (1,500 meters / 4,920 feet.)

Day 2
Many people wisely choose to take the opportunity to rest from the long journey as well as mentally and physically prepare for your Kilimanjaro ascent. However, you do have the choice of visiting the town of Arusha, which is culturally interesting and offers great shopping opportunities. Or, you may choose to do an introductory game drive to the nearby Arusha National Park. (This game drive is not included in your trip price.) If you opt for the game drive, you will be picked up in a comfortable safari vehicle and driven one hour to the Arusha National Park. This is a beautiful, lush, relatively small park at the base of Mt. Meru with incredible views of Kilimanjaro. You will enjoy the forested foothills and the open, grassy calderas, which offer perfect viewing of cape buffalo and other herd animals, such as elephant, zebra, giraffe, impala, sable, waterbuck, bushbuck, and warthog. The forest is also a favorite habitat of blue monkeys, baboons, and Colobus monkeys. Overnight at the Arusha Serena Hotel. (1,500 meters / 4,920 feet.)

Day 3
Today we begin our climb! Day packs and poles ready!

Day 1 of trekking – the gate to Shira 1 Camp: After a hearty breakfast, we drive approximately 2 hours up to the town of Londorossi where we check into Kilimanjaro National Park. It’s a short drive on a steep track through farmland and plantations up to Morum Gate. We climb steadily through shrub forest and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3,350 meters / 10,990 feet). The views across the surrounding plains open up as we climb to our first camp in the center of the Shira Plateau. Shira 1 Camp has great views and fewer crowds than the first night of the other routes. The porters will greet us at camp with tea and cookies, tents will be set up and we’ll celebrate our first night on the flanks of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We carry own bathroom tent, which is much nicer than the public facilities on the mountain. Breakfasts and dinners are served in our roomy dining tent (Mountain Hardware Space Station) and our dining chairs all have back support to provide the most comfort possible. Our porters will also provide hot water in washbasins so you can freshen up before meals and at bedtime! (Camp at 3,610 meters / 11,843 feet) 4-5 hours of hiking.

Day 4
Day 2 of trekking – Shira 1 Camp to Shira Camp: This is a gradual day to help acclimatization and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau.  Make way for the porters and they pass by with our camp in pieces on their backs. After you arrive at Shira Camp, there’s an option to take a short walk to see the caves that used to serve as shelter for porters. The sun will soon set behind the rugged mountain ridge of the Shira Plateau casting a purple hue over the valley. (Camp at 3,840 meters / 12,598 feet.) 5-6 hours hiking.

Day 5
Day 3 of trekking – Shira Camp to Barranco Camp: We ascend out of Shira Camp at a nice slow pace, as this is the highest we’ve been yet. Kibo is in front of us throughout the hike. After a lunch stop, we detour up a steep slope to the impressive Lava Tower, a tall, black volcanic mass of rock. Some choose to scramble to the top, being rewarded with beautiful views. Or, you may opt to rest and relax! On the steep hillside above us we can see the Western Breach trail which goes directly to the Kibo Glacier. After admiring the Lava Tower, we descend down to a cold glacial stream, refill our water bottles and continue on and around the mountain. At this point, we continue to circumnavigate Kilimanjaro and view this beautiful mountain from many different angles. After hiking across a sparse lava field, we descend to the beautiful Barranco Camp. There is another cold stream flowing through this scenic valley with the impressive Barranco Wall on the opposite side. (Camp at 3,950 meters / 12,959 feet.) 6-8 hours hiking.

Day 6
Day 4 of trekking – Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp: Wake up to hot tea & breakfast and immediately make our assault on the steep Barranco Wall, fondly called “the Breakfast Climb” as it is our first challenge of the day. We will see Kibo from a new angle and have a nice, fairly short walk through high desert terrain and over several ridges to the Karanga River Valley Camp. We camp beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. This is a “short” day of hiking so one may choose to do a hike up to the scree field and then “ski” back down or just rest in camp with a good book. (Camp at 4,200 meters / 13,780 feet.) 4-6 hours hiking.

Day 7
Day 5 of trekking: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp: After climbing out of the Karanga Valley, the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Camp, our highest camp yet, at 15,980 feet. From this dry camp (there are no nearby streams) we will be making our ascent to the top. We plan to arrive early in order to adequately rest before our 11:30 pm wake-up call. (Camp at 4,600 meters / 15,091 feet.) 3-4 hours hiking.

Day 8
3,360 feet up, 9,172 feet down…3.12 miles up, 7.5 miles down!
Day 6 of trekking: Barafu Camp to summit and back down to Mweka Camp: Rise and shine at 11:30 pm! Dressed in our warmest gear and with plenty of water (4 liters each), snacks, and headlamps we meet in the dining tent for some tea and cookies. We begin climbing by starlight using our headlamps, the local guides always reminding us to go “polee-polee” (slowly-slowly). This portion of the climb is, as you might imagine, the most demanding. This is the marathon day! The steepest section arrives just before Stella Point. We ascend to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers. The last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and ski poles or a walking stick is useful for balance. From here another hour leads to Uhuru Peak, (Freedom Peak) at 5,895 meters / 19,340 feet, the highest point on the continent of Africa. After watching the sunrise and snapping plenty of photos, we descend back down to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch. We then continue down the Mweka trail (used for descent only) through the giant heather zone to arrive near sunset at the Millennium Camp. This is a festive yet dusty camp on the edge of the rainforest where you might want to have a little extra money handy to purchase beers and/or sodas. (Camp at 13,000 feet.) 11-15 hours hiking.

Day 9
Day 7 of trekking: Mweka Camp to Mweka Village: Four to five hour hike down the Mweka trail through the rainforest. Arrive in the village of Mweka where there are plenty of wood curios, batiks, T-shirts, and souvenirs for sale. We have a delicious hot lunch in the village then get on the bus for an hour and a half-long drive back to the Arusha Serena Hotel, which will be a welcome, clean sanctuary. After showers and rest, a delightful feast awaits us as we celebrate our accomplishment!

Day 10
We are picked up in comfortable safari Landcruisers with removable roofs and drive west two hours to Tarangire National Park. This park draws large herds from across the Maasai during the dry season as thousands of animals migrate from the dry Maasai steppe to the Tarangire River in search of water. Lions and other predators follow the herds and can be found throughout the park. The park is roughly 2600 sq km. We have lunch at the entrance to the park and then have an afternoon game drive, ending up at the southeastern edge of the park. We check into the beautifully laid out Kikoti Lodge and tented bungalows.

The lodge is located on a ridge with one of Tanzania’s most spectacular panoramic views. While relaxing on the deck you can observe a variety of animals passing below and gaze across the vast plains to the escarpment on the far end, which is the natural extension of the western edge of the Great Rift Valley. Accommodations are opulent large tents set on raised thatched platforms complete with beds, a desk, sitting chairs, electricity, bathrooms, hot showers and a private veranda looking west.

Day 11
We enjoy a morning game drive through Tarangire National Park then depart for Ngorongoro National Park. The dramatic landscape of the Ngorongoro Highlands is the perfect complement to the flatness of the Serengeti, which we will visit next. Populated by Maasai tribes, this area of grasslands, volcanoes and forests makes utterly superb terrain for walking or driving safaris. We then make our way to either the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or the Ngorongoro Farm House.

Day 12
Watch the vibrant sunrise from your veranda then enjoy a delicious breakfast before an exciting day exploring Ngorongoro Crater. The main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera. The steep sides of the crater mean that it has become a natural enclosure for a wide variety of wildlife, including most of the species found in East Africa. Often described as one of the wonders of the world, it was declared a WORLD HERITAGE SITE in 1978. Access to the crater is strictly monitored with only three roads (two of them one-way,) to the crater floor. It is estimated that there are up to 25,000 large mammals in the 100 square miles of the crater floor so you always see many animals on a game drive. The animal population consists of mainly grazers but carnivores include a population of about 100 lions and 400 hyenas. Open grassland covers most of the crater floor and this supports large concentrations of wildebeest and zebra. Buffalo, Thompson’s and Grantís gazelle, eland, hartebeest and warthog are also common. Elephants are mainly found in the swamp and there is a population of about 25 black rhino. There are many birds, including flamingo, on Lake Magadi. You will have the opportunity to get up close to the wildlife in our comfortable vehicles. After a full day of safari we return to the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or the Ngorongoro Farm House.

Day 13
Early morning transfer by vehicle to the Serengeti National Park. Here we will begin with a game drive in the park to view the magnificent array of animals. The Serengeti is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania’s protected wildlife parks. It protects and contains the greatest number of terrestrial wildlife on earth and hosts one of the last great migratory systems. To the Maasai, the Serengeti is known as “Siringitu – the place where the land moves on forever.” It is one of the most ancient landscapes in the world and you will enjoy a thrilling adventure exploring the park. We overnight in the stunning Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge which is set high on the saddle of a tree-clad ridge commanding panoramic views over the endlessly rolling reaches and volcanic reefs of the Serengeti. The Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is the ultimate fusion of traditional African architecture and world-class style. Drawing its inspiration from the circular ‘Rondavel’ dwellings and winding paths of a traditional Maasai village, the Lodge features thickly-thatched, stone-built rooms, spaciously set amongst groves of indigenous trees that are cooled by sparkling streams and papyrus-fringed ponds. The circular bar, its roof supported by massive carven figures of warriors, maidens and elders, looks out over the sky-blue, infinity swimming pool towards the miles of lion-gold savannah that lie below.

Day 14
Another spectacular day of safari in the Serengeti. Africa exceeds your expectations and your days of safari in the parks of Tanzania will be the experience of a lifetime! Overnight at the Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge and enjoy a festive celebratory dinner to bid farewell to an amazing adventure and new friends!

Day 15
After breakfast, we fly back to Arusha to avoid the 8 hour-long drive. Day-use hotel rooms will be available for showering and resting before your flight home. If there is time, we will visit the local hospital and you will be given a chance to interact and observe the practices of Tanzanian doctors and nurses. A trip to a local market or cultural center for last minute shopping will also be available. You may choose to spend one more night in Arusha. (Not included in the trip price.) Please let us know what you decide to do after purchasing your airline tickets.

*For extended travel in Africa, ask about our National Parks or Zanzibar Extensions.


Arusha Serena Hotel

Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort & Spa is located on the shores of Lake Duluti, 20 kilometres from Arusha, Tanzania and 60 kilometres from Kilimanjaro International Airport. As the gateway to the Tanzanian Northern Safari Circuit, the hotel is convenient to both Arusha and Mount Meru National Parks and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The vibrant safari town of Arusha is the bustling starting and ending point for safaris and cultural tours into Serengeti National Park. While known as the gateway to Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit, it is also home to a colourful array of street markets, museums, craft shops, Makonde carving workshops, street cafes, restaurants and bars.


Kikoti Lodge

Kikoti means “meeting place” in the Maasai language. Kikoti is a meeting place of people, cultures and wildlife. A lone bush elephant stately lumbers through the camp, watched by buffalo, drinking at the water hole, passing through on the migration route. A Maasai warrior, armed with bow and arrows, escorts you to your room in the evening, looking out across the Simanjiro plains as the African sun sets over the horizon, the air alive with noise and life.

Situated in the heart of the Maasai plains, just 6km from Tarangire National Park, Kikoti is a place where visitors come as guests and leave as friends. A place where your safari dreams can come true.

Kikoti’s rooms are beautiful raised luxury bandas, with spectacular views of the hills, looking down into the national park. In total, there are 8 double rooms and 10 twin rooms, built from natural materials in tune with their environment, with a design that echoes safari tents from years past.

Simple and elegant, the rooms are decorated in warm caramel and creams, with stylish en-suite bathrooms. Water is tanked in on a weekly basis as there is no natural supply by the camp but hot water is available and the lights run from solar power.

There are touches of local craftsmanship everywhere, the woven rugs, the bed frames made from snot apple wood and African ebony, found outside Tarangire National Park and the thatched roofs, recalling the safari tents of years past. The beds are wonderfully comfortable, perfect to sink into after a long day’s safari. Alternatively, you can sit out on your private verandah, in one of the wicker chairs and watch the world pass by. Wildebeest, water buffalo, hyenas and zebra have been known to wander underneath the rooms, providing a close up wildlife experience.



Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Regularly voted one of the best hotels in the world, this unique lodge clings to the rim of the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, the largest and most perfect volcanic crater on Earth. Long and low, the lodge is built from local river stone and camouflaged with indigenous vines. Designed to blend completely into the landscape, it is entirely invisible from the floor of the Crater 600 metres below.

Known as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ the Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s best-known wildlife arenas. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers a unique biosphere, which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. Deep within the Crater, enclosed by towering walls, some 25,000 large mammals wander the plains, lakes and forests of ‘the land that time forgot’, dominated by enormous bull elephants, rhinos and lions.

Hugging the contours of the jagged Crater rim, the lodge takes its inspiration from the so-called ‘Cradle of Mankind’, the prehistoric site of Olduvai Gorge, which lies close by. Linked by arched stone passages and timbered decks, its walls are decorated with stylized prehistoric cave paintings and lit by flaring torches. At the stone heart of the lodge burns a glowing fire, which is kept constantly alight. Decorated with cave paintings, the rooms are strung around the Crater rim. Each has its own rock- enclosed balcony, and all enjoy completely uninterrupted views of the volcanic amphitheatre far below.

Ngorongoro Farm House

A small and exclusive lodge facing the Oldeani Volcano, only 5 kms. from the Ngorongoro Lolduare gate, was built to offer our clients an original experience reminiscent of the atmosphere of the old days.

Ngorongoro Farm House was inaugurated on February the 20th 2003, and is offering 40 huge cottages with ample space inside, built on the style of an old colonial farm and rustically decorated with local materials and full of details of good taste, with the purpose of offering our clients an imaginary journey to the life of the days gone.

Ngorongoro Farm House is a perfect stopover within any safari in the Northern Circuit of Tanzania and a privileged place to visit the Crater or enjoy a bunch of activities: Like a walking safari to the adjacent forest leading to the Oldeani Volcano or an excursion to the nearby Lake Eyasi in the Rift Valley, still inhabited by a tribe of hunter-gatherers, the Hadzabe, a relic of ancient times who still follow a style of life similar to the humans who inhabited the Earth before the discovery of agriculture.


Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Set high on the saddle of a tree-clad ridge, commanding panoramic views across the Serengeti, this lodge is the ultimate fusion of traditional African architecture and world-class style. Winner of numerous awards from the world travel press, it is perhaps the finest venue the Serengeti has to offer.

Centrally located adjacent to the famous Western Corridor and Grumeti River, the lodge has been designed to blend completely into the living landscape. A series of traditional domed ‘rondavels’ are widely spaced throughout the grounds, which are cooled by groves of acacia trees and watered by sparkling streams. On the very edge of the ridge is a ‘vanishing horizon’ pool, which looks out over the ‘endless plains’ after which the Serengeti is named.

Situated close to the world-famous 2-million-year-old paleolithic site of Ol Duvai, ‘birthplace of mankind’, the lodge has been styled to offer a showcase of cultural performance, heritage and traditional art, which is best illustrated by the lavish Makonde carvings which decorate both the rooms and the stunning domed dining room.

As for wildlife, the Serengeti National Park offers not only all the members of ‘The Big Five’ (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), but also the annual ‘migration’ of over one million wildebeest and their attendant cast of predators.

*Note: depending on availability we may choose a different hotel of similar type and equal quality.

Departure Dates:

October 6th – 20th

September 21st – October 5th

Trip Length: 15 Days
Trip Price:

Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari: $8,550*

Safari only: $5,550*

*per person, based on double occupancy.  Park fees not included – $850 Kilimanjaro & Safari; $420 Safari Only

Optional CME credits: 16 Hours AMA PRA Category 1 Credits – $789

Kilimanjaro Climb & Safari: $8,750*

Safari only: $5,750*

*per person, based on double occupancy.  Park fees not included – $850 Kilimanjaro & Safari; $420 Safari Only

Optional CME credits: 16 Hours AMA PRA Category 1 Credits – $789


U.S. citizens are required to have a passport that is valid for 6 months after your travel dates begin.You do not have to apply for a visa ahead of time for Tanzania. You can get your visa at your point of entry. The cost is U.S. $100.00 (cash).


Packing for Kilimanjaro is not an easy task. All types of weather will be encountered and a wide range of temperatures. For example, temperatures at the base of the mountain in the towns of Moshi or Arusha may be as warm as 85°f / 30°c degrees and temperatures on the summit may be as low as 14°f / -10°c! Also, it is not uncommon to see afternoon rains and even snow!

You should dress with the layering system in mind. We suggest polypropylene underwear and then adding other synthetic layers in the cool parts of the day. No cotton! Having warm / rain gear in your daypack is essential.

Luggage to bring: You should bring a soft duffle bag, one other piece of luggage and a daypack. The soft duffle will be taken on the climb and carried by the porters. No wheels, internal frames, etc will make it easier for the porters to lash multiple bags together. The other bag with your safari gear will be left in Arusha at the hotel. When you return from the climb you can switch out bags/gear. After the climb, the Moivaro can do laundry for a fee and should be able to get it back to you by the next morning.

While hiking your porter will only be carrying 30 pounds of gear not including the tent. Keep this in mind when deciding what to bring and make sure you are able to carry any weight above 30 pounds.

We provide 4 season expedition tents but there is the option to bring your own tent if you would like. Please let us know if you would like to do this, so we can make arrangements.


  • Pants- 2 pair light colored
  • Long sleeve shirts – 2 light or tan colored. You want to stay covered up as much as possible to protect against mosquitoes
  • 1 sweater/fleece for early morning and late afternoon game drives
  • Walking shoes – comfortable
  • Swimming suit – some of the lodges have pools
  • Hat- wide brimmed for sun protection
  • Binoculars and wildlife guides
  • Pants and button down shirt or dress/skirt for dinner
  • Camera with zoom lens – Guests have been very happy with a 300-millimeter lens! *Lots of film or a large memory card(s) and extra batteries


  • 6 pair of warm socks. – Wool or synthetic. Having a fresh pair of socks for each day is always a nice luxury
  • 1 pair of hiking shorts
  • 3 or 4 t-shirts – REI makes a very nice synthetic t-shirt
  • Underwear – REI also sells men’s and women’s briefs that have no cotton in them. They are all synthetic material which dries quickly, wicks moisture away from your body and, if it does get wet, will continue to keep you warm
  • 1 pair of long underwear
  • 1 pair of wind proof and waterproof pants
  • 1 pair of fleece pants
  • 2 long sleeve polypropylene shirts
  • 1 warm fleece sweater
  • 1 down jacket or vest
  • 1 waterproof shell with a hood to protect yourself from the wind and or rain. Gortex is a breathable good option!
  • 1 pair of warm gloves or mittens. Down mittens with fleece liners are recommended
  • 1 headlamp – Important for the summit night of hiking. We suggest the new LED lamps, either Petzl or Black Diamond and *extra batteries
  • Trekking poles are a must – We do have a supply of older ski type poles in Africa but you may prefer your own
  • 1 pair of gators – On both the first and last day of the trek we sometime encounter deep mud! Also some people like gators for keeping the rocks out of their shoes
  • Hiking Boots – Please bring boots adequate for the below freezing temperatures, possible rain and high winds we may encounter on our summit day. Ideally, this means well-insulated and warm hiking boots that are waterproof (thus providing good wind protection as well). Please be sure you have ample room for thick socks and the possibility of your feet swelling up a little at high altitudes. Constriction is the biggest culprit of a cold foot– either by way of too tight fitting of a boot or too many sock/ foot warmers in your boot. “Medium weight” hiking boots may suffice as long as you have plenty of wiggle room for very warm socks and foot warmer packs. Please test out your boots before the trip to be sure they will be adequate for summit day. Boots with good ankle support is very important.
  • Sun hat and warm hat for cold days
  • Sunscreen or zinc
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • Gatorade, rehydration salts, your own supply of energy bars/gel
  • Purell, handy wipes
  • Ear Plugs – for camping / sleeping
  • Face mask, goggles, bandana, or dust mask. A balaclava can be useful for warmth on summit day
  • Water bottles and a CamelBak. You should have a 4-liter capacity! A CamelBak is great for the trip except on summit day. Even if your bladder and hose are insulated, there’s a chance that the water inside the hose can freeze. Please have additional water bottles. Also, you can fill your water bottles with hot water at night and use them as a bed warmer.
  • 2 insulated water bottle carriers (to prevent your water from freezing on summit day.) that can hook onto your belt or daypack waist strap. You will not want to take off your pack to get a drink of water on summit day. Outdoor Research makes one that works well and is sold at REI.
  • H20 iodine tablets
  • Cough Drops, Kleenex, Mole skin (for blisters)
  • Altimeter watches are always fun to have but not a necessity! (Make sure if you buy one that records heights up to 20,000 feet. Some only go to 14,000 feet)
  • Short wave radios work on the mountain if listening to Voice of America or the BBC world report is interesting to you
  • 1 paperback book – There is plenty of time to read and relax so bring along a good book! And don’t forget your journal and pens!
  • Sleeping bag – Most people prefer a 0 degree bag
  • Sleeping pad – Very important for insulation!
  • Toe warmers, Foot-powder
  • Daypack with approximately 2400 cubic inches of storage for all the gear you want accessible during the day including water, rain gear, warm clothes, snacks, sunscreen, camera, etc.
  • Duct tape
  • 3 Heavy duty trash bags to protect your gear from possible rain
  • Passport (it’s a good idea to have a photocopy of your passport and airline tickets kept in a separate area than the originals)
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination card



While the Tanzanian Shilling is the local currency, you can buy almost everything with dollars. Some hotels even prefer it. You can exchange a bit of US cash to buy supplies and goodies at the local grocery store and for souvenirs from street venders. Traveler’s checks are no longer an efficient way to change money. Exchange rates are high and places to do this are limited. Also, using credit cards or ATMs is not always possible though there are a couple ATMs in Arusha. With this mind, it is nice to carry a fair amount of cash hidden in different areas. Small, crisp, clean bills are useful because many people can’t change the larger bills. We suggest approximately $1000 dollars in cash, a credit card, and your ATM card. You should have $100 of this in new $1 bills. You will use these bills to tip bellboys at hotels, taxi drivers and the like. The rest should be $5s, $10s and $20s.


Tipping is always optional and, of course, is up to you to decide the final amounts. Our suggestion is that you tip 10-15% of your trip’s land costs. For example, if you trip is around $5000, you should have at least $500 cash for tips. Because the Kilimanjaro portion of your trip is more arduous and uses more staff, a larger percentage of this $500 (perhaps $350 to $400) will go to the fine people who help you summit. Because our guides and porters are so outstanding and take such amazing care of everyone, past participants have wanted to tip more than usual. (Just something to keep in mind.) You can give the total tip to your trip leader and he/she will divide it evenly between the porters, guides and cooks. This process will be done once at the end of the climb and again at the end of the safari.

Again, you should be carrying small bills for tips. $20 bills are easy for the trip leader to divvy up between all staff. But you will find that a stack of $5s and $10s will come in handy.

THE TOTAL: While it seems like a lot, having a total of around $1000 cash per person is best. PLEASE HAVE A MONEY BELT YOU WEAR UNDER YOUR CLOTHES. Also, keep in mind that more than half of this sum will be gone at the end of the climb.

Porters Exchange – Bio Bio Expeditions is in the process of setting up a non-profit side of the business which will help ensure that all porters on Kilimanjaro have proper equipment and clothing to protect them from the elements on the mountain. We are requesting that you bring any extra warm clothes or shoes which you are willing to gift to the mountain porters on Kilimanjaro. Please contact Bio Bio Expeditions for more information on the Porters Exchange!



Bio Bio Expeditions suggests you check with your family doctor at least 2 months before your trip to find out the latest requirements for shots when traveling to Africa. Recent information on required vaccinations can be obtained by calling the Centers for Disease Control international travelers hotline at 877.394.8747. You can access their website by directing your browser to You should particularly look into the following vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis A or Immune Globulin (IG)
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow fever
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults


Transmission and Symptoms:
Malaria is a serious disease that is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Symptoms may include fever and flu-like illness, including: chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Malaria may cause anemia and jaundice. Malaria, if not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure, coma, and death. Malaria can often be prevented by using anti-malarial drugs and by using personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites. However, in spite of all protective measures, travelers may still develop malaria. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and should tell the physician their travel history.

Malrone is the drug of choice for Malaria prevention as it has fewer reported side effects than other drugs and, according to various studies, is more effective.

Preventing Insect Bites:
In addition to using drugs to prevent malaria, travelers should protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing clothing that covers most of the body, using bed nets, and applying insect repellent to exposed skin, particularly between dusk and dawn. The most effective repellents contain the active ingredient DEET (N, N-diethyl meta-toluamide). When using DEET, follow these precautions:

  • Always use according to label directions.
  • Use repellent only when outdoors and wash skin after coming indoors.
  • Do not breathe or swallow repellent or get it in the eyes.
  • Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
  • Adults should use DEET at a concentration of 30% to 35%.
  • DEET should not come in contact with rubber or plastic elements for they will melt.
  • For greater protection, clothing can be soaked in or sprayed with permethrin. Permethrin will repel insects for several months. Repellents containing DEET, and Permethrin can be purchased in hardware, camping, and military surplus stores.


Although it takes a little extra caution when drinking fluids in Africa, it is essential to stay well hydrated. We advise that you not drink any of the tap water in most of Africa. Bottled water is fine to drink and can be ordered at most restaurants. When ordering sodas, it is best to request them without ice as the ice can be made from tap water. On the trek, porters will gather water en route and boil it for our consumption. For an extra precaution, you can choice to bring a personal water pump or iodine so you may never have to worry about not having enough water.


Avoid rich food until you acclimatize. If you are wary of getting sick, then play it safe and eat only cooked foods or fresh fruit that you have peeled yourself. The best hotels and restaurants have high standards for hygiene and food preparation. In general, stay cautious, eat what appeals to you and trust your senses.

Digestive Worries

Traveling to Africa is going to be a big change on your body. Despite the many precautions we all take to stay healthy, occasionally one may experience diarrhea. The major problem associated with diarrhea is fluid loss leading to severe dehydration, so it is important to maintain plentiful fluid intake. Avoid caffeine and alcohol because they further dehydrate you. The best drinks are weak tea, mineral water, and caffeine-free soft drinks. Although ideally it is best to let diarrhea run its course, on a trekking trip this is uncomfortable. You may want to bring an over-the-counter diarrhea cure to minimize your discomfort or talk to your doctor about prescribing an antibiotic for traveler’s diarrhea such as Cipro. We also advise that you carry your own supply of toilet paper, as some of the restrooms in Africa may not have TP.


If you take prescription medications that you need to bring, be sure to have a plentiful supply and the doctor’s prescription in case something happens to them. Along those lines, it is best to carry medications in your carry-on bag in case of lost luggage. If you wear prescription glasses or contacts, we advise that you bring a spare set.


Electrical current in Africa is 220 volts AC. Weights and measures are Metric.


Although the locals are a warm, friendly, fun-loving people, poverty and therefore thievery, is a problem. Always keep your wits about you and be aware of your surroundings. When with other people, watch out for each other. Large crowds are prime locations for pick-pocketing to occur. Keep your money in a money belt or hidden pouch that you wear around your neck and under your shirt. When purchasing items, do not pull out lots of money. We advise that you leave all valuable jewelry, including fancy watches, at home. Thieves often work in pairs or groups – one tries to distract you (eg: by squirting food or paint on your clothing) and in your ensuing confusion, another one makes off with your belongings.

Fitness Levels

Your upcoming expedition is potentially quite strenuous. Although there will be lots of “downtime” to relax, read, and rest, we will be doing some very physical activities as well. Although we will maintain a slow, easy pace on the climb that will fit with almost anyone, it is nonetheless a strenuous high altitude hike. We recommend that you begin a fitness routine, especially one that includes regular hiking, as soon as you can, to be in top shape. You will enjoy the hike much more if you are in shape and feeling strong. Please read carefully our high altitude training document included in this packet.


We all enjoy that tremendous view from a high summit, but there are risks in going to high altitude and it’s important to understand these risks.

What is High Altitude?

Altitude is defined on the following scale High (8,000 – 12,000 feet [2,438 – 3,658 meters]), Very High (12,000 – 18,000 feet [3,658 – 5,487 meters]), and Extremely High (18,000+ feet [5,500+ meters]). Since few people have been to such altitudes, it is hard to know who may be affected. There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don’t, and some people are more susceptible than others. Most people can go up to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) with minimal effect. If you haven’t been to high altitude before, it’s important to be cautious. If you have been at that altitude before with no problem, you can probably return to that altitude without problems as long as you are properly acclimatized. What causes altitude illnesses?

The concentration of oxygen at sea level is about 21% and the barometric pressure averages 760 mmHg. As altitude increases, the concentration remains the same but the number of oxygen molecules per breath is reduced. At 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) the barometric pressure is only 483 mmHg, so there are roughly 40% fewer oxygen molecules per breath. In order to properly oxygenate the body, your breathing rate (even while at rest) has to increase. This extra ventilation increases the oxygen content in the blood, but not to sea level concentrations. Since the amount of oxygen required for activity is the same, the body must adjust to having less oxygen. In addition, for reasons not entirely understood, high altitude and lower air pressure causes fluid to leak from the capillaries, which can cause fluid build-up in both the lungs and the brain. Continuing to higher altitudes without proper acclimatization can lead to potentially serious, even life-threatening illnesses.


The major cause of altitude illnesses is going too high too fast. Given time, your body can adapt to the decrease in oxygen molecules at a specific altitude. This process is known as acclimatization and generally takes 1-3 days at that altitude. For example, if you hike to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), and spend several days at that altitude, your body acclimatizes to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). If you climb to 12,000 feet (3,658 meters), your body has to acclimatize once again. A number of changes take place in the body to allow it to operate with decreased oxygen:

  • The depth of respiration increases.
  • Pressure in pulmonary arteries is increased, “forcing” blood into portions of the lung, which are normally not used during sea level breathing.
  • The body produces more red blood cells to carry oxygen.
  • The body produces more of a particular enzyme that facilitates the release of oxygen from hemoglobin to the body tissues.

Prevention of altitude illnesses falls into two categories: proper acclimatization and preventive medications. We have chosen a route up the mountain that maximizes acclimatization. There are a few ways you can help your body adjust to altitude:

  • Stay properly hydrated. Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated. Urine output should be copious and clear.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including: barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills. These depressants further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of the symptoms.
  • Eat a high carbohydrate diet (more than 70% of your calories from carbohydrates) while at altitude.

Preventive Medications

Diamox (Acetazolamide) allows you to breathe faster so that you metabolize more oxygen, thereby minimizing the symptoms caused by poor oxygenation. This is especially helpful at night when respiratory drive is decreased. Since it takes a while for Diamox to have an effect, it is advisable to start taking it 24 hours before you go to altitude and continue for at least five days at higher altitude. The recommendation of the Himalayan Rescue Association Medical Clinic is 125 mg. twice a day (morning and night). Possible side effects include tingling of the lips and fingertips, blurring of vision, and alteration of taste which subside when the drug is stopped. Contact your physician for a prescription. Since Diamox is a sulfonamide drug, people who are allergic to sulfa drugs should not take Diamox. Diamox has also been known to cause severe allergic reactions to people with no previous history of Diamox or sulfa allergies. Frank Hubbell of SOLO recommends a trial course of the drug before going to a remote location where a severe allergic reaction could prove difficult to treat.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

AMS is common at high altitudes. At elevations over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), 75% of people will have mild symptoms. The occurrence of AMS is dependent upon the elevation, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility. Many people will experience mild AMS during the acclimatization process. Symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after arrival at altitude and begin to decrease in severity about the third day. The symptoms of Mild AMS are headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise. Symptoms tend to be worse at night and when respiratory drive is decreased. Mild AMS does not interfere with normal activity and symptoms generally subside within 2-4 days as the body acclimatizes. As long as symptoms are mild, and only a nuisance, ascent can continue at a moderate rate. When hiking, it is essential that you communicate any symptoms of illness immediately to your trip leader. Basic treatment of the symptoms of mild AMS include pain medications for headache and Diamox (see above).


Moderate AMS includes severe headache that is not relieved by medication, nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, and decreased coordination (ataxia). Normal activity is difficult, although the person may still be able to walk on their own. At this stage, only advanced medications or descent can reverse the problem. Descending even a few hundred feet may help, and definite improvement will be seen in descents of 1,000-2,000 feet (305-610 meters). Twenty-four hours at the lower altitude will result in significant improvements. The person should remain at lower altitude until symptoms have subsided (up to 3 days). The best test for moderate AMS is to have the person “walk a straight line” heel to toe. Just like a sobriety test, a person with ataxia will be unable to walk a straight line. This is a clear indication that immediate descent is required. It is important that the people descend before the ataxia reaches the point where they cannot walk on their own, which would necessitate an evacuation.


Severe AMS presents as an increase in the severity of the aforementioned symptoms, including shortness of breath at rest, inability to walk, decreasing mental status, and fluid buildup in the lungs. Severe AMS requires immediate descent to lower altitudes (2,000 – 4,000 feet [610-1,220 meters]).

There are two other severe forms of altitude illness, High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Both of these happen less frequently, especially to those who are properly acclimatized. When they do occur, it is usually with people going too high too fast or going very high and staying there. The lack of oxygen results in leakage of fluid through the capillary walls into either the lungs or the brain. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) results from fluid buildup in the lungs. The fluid in the lungs prevents effective oxygen exchange. As the condition becomes more severe, the level of oxygen in the bloodstream decreases, and this can lead to cyanosis, impaired cerebral function, and death. Symptoms include shortness of breath even at rest, “tightness in the chest,” marked fatigue, a feeling of impending suffocation at night, weakness, and a persistent productive cough bringing up white, watery, or frothy fluid. Confusion, and irrational behavior are signs that insufficient oxygen is reaching the brain. In cases of HAPE, immediate descent is a necessary life-saving measure (2,000 – 4,000 feet [610-1,220 meters]). Anyone suffering from HAPE must be evacuated to a medical facility for proper follow-up treatment.

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) is the result of swelling of brain tissue from fluid leakage. Symptoms can include headache, loss of coordination (ataxia), weakness, and decreasing levels of consciousness including, disorientation, loss of memory, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, and coma. It generally occurs after a week or more at high altitude. Severe instances can lead to death if not treated quickly. Immediate descent is a necessary life-saving measure (2,000 – 4,000 feet [610-1,220 meters]). Anyone suffering from HACE must be evacuated to a medical facility for proper follow-up treatment.


Tanzania Facts

Situated in East Africa, just south of the equator, mainland Tanzania lies between the area of the great lakes; Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi – with the Indian Ocean to the east. It has land borders with Uganda and Kenya to the north, Mozambique and Malawi to the south, Zambia to the southwest and Zaire, Burundi and Rwanda to the west.

The country lies at an altitude of over 1,000ft, apart from a coastal strip varying in width from 10 to 40 miles. The greater part of the country is made up of plateau averaging 3,000 to 4,500ft in height. Mountains are grouped in various sections with the Pare and Usambara ranges to the northeast and the Livingstone Mountains in the southwest. Kilimanjaro (19,340ft), in the north, is the highest mountain in Africa.

On the borders are three large lakes; Victoria, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world, Tanganyika, second only to Lake Baikal as the deepest in the world; and Lake Malawi. Even though three great African rivers, the Nile, the Zaire and the Zambezi, have their origins in Tanzania, the country has few permanent rivers. During half the year, the central plateau has no running water, but in the rainy season flooding presents a problem.

Full country name: United Republic of Tanzania
Area: 945,090 sq km (364,879 sq mi)
Population: 31,270,820, 33 per sq. km, 56% growth
Life Expectancy: 45 Infant Mortality: 85 per thousands
Doctors per person: 4 Illiteracy: 26.4%
Currency: Tanzania Shilling (TSh)
Capital city: Dodoma (in transition from Dar es Salaam)
People: 99% native African (over 100 tribes), 1% Asian, European and Arabic
Languages: Swahili, English, indigenous
Religion: 40% Christian, 33% Muslim, 20% indigenous beliefs
Government: Republic (multi-party state)
President: Benjamin William Mkapa
Colonized by: British Independence: 1961
GDP: US$7 billion
GDP per head: US$220
Inflation: 40%
Major industries: Tobacco, sugar, sisal, diamond & gold mining, oil refining, cement, tourism
Major trading partners: India, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Rwanda, the Netherlands, South Africa, Kenya, U.K., Saudi Arabia, China
Time: GMT+3 Dial Code: 255

Geography and Climate

Coastline: 1,424km Geo Coordinates: 35 00E, 6 00S
Health Risks: Malaria exists all year throughout the country below 1800 meters, Rabies
Rivers: Rufiji, Pangani, Ruvu Lakes: Lake Victoria
Highest Pts: Mt. Kilimanjaro
Climate: Varies from Tropical along coast to Temperate in highlands
Rain Season: October – November and April – May

Kilimanjaro Facts

Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa whose formation started 750,000 years ago. In 1973 the mountain was reclassified a national park, having been declared a Game Reserve in the 1910s by the German colonial government and then a Forest Reserve in 1921. Mount Kilimanjaro is the crown of Tanzania. Rising abruptly from the open planes, capped by snow and frequently fringed by clouds, it is one of Africa’s classic images. The diameter of its base is 40 miles. Kilimanjaro is a dormant, but not extinct volcano. Ominous rumbles can some times be heard and gases emerge from the fume holes in the crater. Although just 3 degree’s south of the Equator, the peaks of both Kibo and Mawenzi have permanent caps of snow and ice. During their time on the mountain, climbers pass from a tropical to arctic environment in just a few days. The various trails first pass through lush rain forest before reaching heather and open moorland where giant lobelia and huge, cactus-like groundsel grow. Above this moorland is the almost lunar landscape of an alpine desert, which stretches between the two peaks of Kibo, the flat-topped dome at the centre and Mawenzi, a group of jagged points and pinnacles on the eastern side. Inhospitable as this ‘moonscape’ may seem, animals such as herds of elands thrive there.

Kilimanjaro History

Mount Kilimanjaro lies on the border of Tanzania and Kenya, just south of the Equator. To the west lies the Great African Rift Valley, created by tremendous tectonic forces that also gave birth to a string of other volcanoes. One of these, Mount Kenya, was originally much higher than Kilimanjaro. The three summits of Mount Kilimanjaro, Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi are all of very recent origin. Shira and Mawenzi both have suffered considerable erosion and only jagged peaks remain. Kibo, the central, youngest and highest peak has survived as an almost perfect cone.

Although East Africa and nearby Olduvai Gorge is thought to be the cradle of mankind it is unlikely that early man would have been attracted to the steep and cold slopes of Kilimanjaro at a time when it was probably very active and dangerous. A Wachagga legend talks of Mawenzi receiving fire for its pipe from his younger brother Kibo. The Wachagga who live on the fertile volcanic soils around the base of the mountain probably only came to the area about 300 years ago thus this legend suggests very recent activity. Another of their legends talks of demons and evil spirits living on the mountain and guarding immense treasures. Stories are told of a king who decided to go to the top; few of his party survived and those who did had damaged arms and legs.

Arab and Chinese traders and historians make mention of a giant mountain lying inland from Mombasa or Zanzibar but few early traders ventured into the interior of the continent. Slave traders passed below it and sometimes raided the villages of the Wachagga but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that a more serious interest was taken in the mountain and attempts were made to scale it. In 1848 Johann Rebmann, a missionary from Germany, saw Mount Kilimanjaro while crossing the plains of Tsavo. His guide talked of “baridi” – cold, and of tales how a group of porters were sent up the mountain to bring back the silver or other treasures from the summit. They came back only with water. Rebmann’s report stimulated great interest in Germany and in the following years several expeditions were organized, first by Baron von Decken then later by Dr. Hans Meyer who finally stood on the highest point on the 5th of October 1889. Mount Kilimanjaro now attracts many thousands of walkers each year. On the 1st of January 2000 over 1000 people reached the summit to see the sun rise over a new Millennium.




Add a review

4 reviews for African Wildlife Safari and Optional Kilimanjaro Ascent CME

  1. Please comment on your overall impression of the trip. Did it meet your expectations?
    It exceeded expectations!
    What did you think about the quality and the knowledge of your guide staff?
    Off the charts- fantastic!
    Please share with us any improvements you would suggest for future trips.
    During the Safari portion of the tour, include lectures from local Tanzanians about the history of the Ngorongoro conservation area. It’s an area with a rich history and lots to learn
    Would you consider traveling with Bio Bio Expeditions again? If so, which trips interest you most?
    Yes. Inca trail. Torres de
    If you were to tell a friend or colleague about your overall experience on this trip, what would you say?
    The experience on the mountain was outstanding and the guides, porters and cooks were incredible. Food was amazing. Festo Mtui, our head guide and his team provided exceptional service!!
    Your comments about the trip are extremely valuable to us, and others who are considering this adventure. Please select “yes” if you consent to us using your positive comments on our website or trip information. Thank you!

  2. Please comment on your overall impression of the trip. Did it meet your expectations?
    Overall exceeded my expectations 🙂
    What did you think about the quality and the knowledge of your guide staff?
    Off the charts- fantastic!
    Please share with us any improvements you would suggest for future trips.
    It would be nice to have an email 1-2 weeks sent out pre-trip with group participants names. This would help with name recognition and recall once we actually meet in person.
    Would you consider traveling with Bio Bio Expeditions again? If so, which trips interest you most?
    If you were to tell a friend or colleague about your overall experience on this trip, what would you say?
    Bio Bio did an amazing job coordinating, organizing and working with our group. Tilo was AMAZING! All of our guides from the Mtn to safari were great! The food, hotel arrangements and activities were all fantastic!
    Your comments about the trip are extremely valuable to us, and others who are considering this adventure. Please select “yes” if you consent to us using your positive comments on our website or trip information. Thank you!

  3. As far as the Safari and the CME course, I had the time of my life! Rachel is a superb guide with a superb personality and a Halo of Sainthood all around her. She made a difference on our trip!!!! All the accommodations exceeded my expectations. The food was excellent. The people, local and traveling companions were amazing. Thanks Bio Bio for a trip of a lifetime!

  4. I have just recently returned from the Kilimanjaro/safari trip. I wanted to take a few minutes to acknowledge the exemplary work of our lead guides on this adventure: Brett and Katy Venable. This truly was the “trip of a lifetime” and this was due, in large part, to the contributions of Brett and Katy. Their expertise, confidence, and all around wonderful personalities were an integral part of my (and everyone’s) experience. In my humble opinion, they did an outstanding job and represent Bio Bio in the finest fashion. Thank you for an amazing trip and please pass on my gratitude to Brett and Katy for the excellent job they did.

Extensions available:

  • Safari Extensions

    Africa is a long way to travel, and to maximize your time and your experience, we recommend the following Safari Extensions.

    3 Days + from $1,625 per person, depending on lodging
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    Relax on the most beautiful white sand beaches imaginable on the exotic spice island of Zanzibar in Africa.

    Enjoy a pampered stay in comfortable beach hotels and relax on this ancient island steeped in timeless cultural mystique.

    5 Days from $2,100 per person, based on double occupancy