Day 1: Arrive and stay at the Protea Aishi
Set on the slopes of the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro, the hotel provides a tranquil haven for mountain climbers, honeymooners and holidaymakers. Excursions around the hotel can be organized.
Day 2: Drive to Lake Manyara, tour and stay overnight at the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
Taking as its muse the glorious bird life of the fabulously soda-encrusted and pink flamingo-fringed…Lake Manyara, the swooping curves of this elegantly evocative lodge defy description. As do the soaring views over the Great Rift Valley, the rose-gold sunsets over the Mto wa Mbu escarpment and the utterly unique tree-climbing Lake Manyara lions.
Day 3: Tour of Ngorongoro Crater, stay overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers, the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Sensitively constructed so as to take nothing from its environment whilst affording endless vistas over the heat-shimmering reaches of the crater below, the cluster of boulder-built structures that make up the lodge hug the crater rim, linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the buttressed roots of ancient, liana-hung trees.
Our climb was an amazing challenge. We hiked for three days to the Kibo Hut base camp, slept for just a few hours, and then began our climb at 11 p.m. We hiked through the night, under the full moon, reaching the summit around 7 a.m. The air was thin and our bodies were exhausted. People on the summit seemed to be delusional from altitude and lack of oxygen. As we walked the last hour on the summit ridge, the light of the full moon faded and the sun rose illuminating the African sky. Hiking above the clouds, on a dormant volcano, looking out on glaciers, we could see the world below us, just a sea of clouds. Mountains have an amazing healing power, which remind us just how small we are in the grander scheme of things. I am thankful to have spent time on this mountain and in this dynamic country.Lindsay Yost