Planning & Travel

Not sure how much time you need.  We've put together some guidelines to consider depending on how much time you have and what you'd like to do.

If you have one week or less...

flamingos reflected in lake waterIf you only have one week, we hope it's because you're already in Africa. Traveling from the US to Tanzania in 7 days is possible, but it doesn't give you much time. It takes 2 days just to get there and 2 days back. If you have a week, that leaves you with only 3 days on the ground. Unfortunately, you won't be able to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, which requires 5 days minimum for a summit attempt. However, you do have time for a photo safari and you won't miss out on any of the sights.

If you have two weeks...

huts on the marangu trailIn spite of what you may have heard, 2 weeks is enough time to enjoy a wonderful African vacation. For the ultimate adventure, you can combine a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro with a multiple-day safari. The climb is between 5 - 7 days depending on the route you choose. Safaris can be as short as one day, but the ideal is 4 -7 days. Add in a couple of rest days and you have the perfect African adventure.

If you have three weeks...

Now we're talking. Three weeks (or more) is the ideal amount of time to spend in Africa. First, the pace of life is much slower than it is here in the US. Second, you are on vacation, so you should enjoy it. Take a couple of extra days to soak in the culture, do some shopping at the local markets, or just relax. Consider an extended safari package (7+ days) that includes a walking safari to get up close to the animals.  Add a trip to Zanzibar, or just set you up with a few more days in Moshi or Nairobi.

If you have as much time as you want...

You're a lucky, lucky person. If you have a month or six weeks to spend in Tanzania, you might want to do something like:
  • Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  • Do a 7 day safari including a hot air balloon ride in the Serengeti.
  • Add a day or two of walking safari while you're in one of the parks
  • Spend a week scuba diving and relaxing on the beaches of Zanzibar.
  • Head down to Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania.
  • Visit neighboring Kenya.
Wildebeest and Zebra on the svannah


  1. Jim Smith
    March 23, 2011 | Permalink

    Really enjoyed your presentation at REI last night. Very informative. Bought you book. Looking forward to reading it. May e-mail you some questions. My brother and I are planning to climb Mt. K during September 2012. Sounds like a long ways off, but I’m just getting over surgery (shoulder replacement) and I need time to get into shape. Thanks again for your talk.


    PS From your experience, what airlines from SFO have the best schedules to KIA

    • ddorr
      March 23, 2011 | Permalink

      Thanks Jim,

      At this time KLM is the only international carrier to fly in/out of Kilimanjaro (JRO). From SFO you’ll likely change in Amsterdam and then on to JRO. You could find other airlines to fly into South Africa or Nairobi and then transfer in Africa on a local carrier. In my own search KLM ended up being cheaper and just easier.

      Good luck and enjoy your adventure.

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