Rift Safari
Traveling along the Rift Valley: West Kilimanjaro

View of Mount Meru from West Kilimanjaro

West Kilimanjaro lies close to the Tanzania/Kenya border and as a matter of fact it is an extension of the kenyan Amboseli National Park.

The landscape is dominated by the majestic Kilimanjaro Mountain but in sharp contrast with the lush green rainforest covering the lower slopes of the Volcano it tends to be arid and covered with grassland and patch of acacia woodland.  It is a Masai land and home to some of the hugest elephants of East Africa, although it cannot be considered a prime area for game viewing.

Resident game in West Kilimanjaro includes elephants, zebra, giraffe, eland, antelope, gerenuk, ostrich, bat-eared fox, jackal and hyena, lesser kudu, serval cats, honey badger.
Migratory game includes again elephants and then wildebeest and zebra who moves out from Tarangire and Manyara during green season reaching West Kilimanjaro via Natron and via the Masai Steppe south of Arusha and move in again during the converse dry season.
Lions have exceptionally been sighted in west Kilimanjaro along with Cheetahs and striped hyenas. Certainly not the case to schedule a safari into this area to sight any of them.

Gentle game drives will complement your stay but the main reasons to come to West Kilimanjaro are the possibility to enjoy daily trekking along the Kilimanjaro Shira plateau route, to interact with the Masai people inhabiting the area, to have walking safari and to spot the mountain summit typically at sunrise and at dusk since for the rest of the day it tends to the closed up by clouds arising by the rainforest so not visible if you just come in a daily game drive from Arusha.

The number of visitors into this area is low which is another good incentive.

Accommodation in West Kilimanjaro


Kilimanjaro is one of the most important peaks of Africa for climbers, however there are several people wishing to visit the outskirts of this mountain without embarking on a real climb, in order to admire its snow capped peak or to spend a day walking on the moors.

After breakfast you will leave the camp by car, reach the park entrance gate where you will pick up a ranger guide and continue driving through the rainforest until you will get to the Shira plateau. Hiking will start here. You can choose among several paths and hike up to 5 hours in the moore. On a clear day you can enjoy great views on the summit of Kilimanjaro as well as on the Masai steppe below.

View Of Kilimanjaro summit from Shira Plateau

After breakfast you will depart on foot from the camp escorted by a local masai guide for 2 up to 4 hours walking. This activity is about learning to recognize footprints, spot various species of birds, have a closer look at the flora and learn how herbs are traditionally used in medicine. Should you meet elephants along the way, the guide will no doubt re-route you. The purpose of walking safaris is never to closely approach wildlife.

Interesting link: the west Kilimajaro elephant p

The Masai people in West Kilimajaro are not accustomed to tourists as those ones of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, they are happy and willing to show you how they live without rush and as a result the intrinsic value of your visit will be enhanced. .In our view this visit should not be intended as a way to access the knowledge of a tribe [obviously an impossible mission without spending years on the spot] but as an experience pointing to our lifestyles and revealing aspects of ourselves that we ignored.
Masai children back from school