Winding through Kilimanjaro's remote wilds over 10 days, the Grand Traverse ventures over an exclusive path that gradually winds up the mountain's northern reaches. Trekkers will have outstanding views of the famed wildlife-filled plains that span Tanzania and Kenya and more time to explore the mountain's towers, caves, and glaciers. A gradual terrain also allows for maximum acclimatization and the best opportunity for a successful summit.
"The Grand Traverse is the ULTIMATE way to experience Kilimanjaro," exclaims Katie Cordes, Thomson's Kilimanjaro manager. "You will be awed by the breathtaking viewsalong this remote and exclusive route, with more time to acclimatize and to enjoy the mountain's diverse wilderness and habitats."
Beginning at Londorossi Gate, the Traverse takes the wild, scenic route up Kilimanjaro, as it crosses the Shira Plateau and then coils around the mountain's remote north face. You can explore Kilimanjaro's little-known wonders, such as a volcanic tower called the Shark's Tooth as well as its mysterious grottos and caves. As a stunning climax, you will trek to the summit in the afternoon when few if any other groups stand atop Uhuru Peak.
Overnighting in Thomson's unparalleled mountain camps, you'll even experience one adventurous night inside Kilimanjaro's dormant volcanic crater. You will enjoy upgraded accommodations at the eco-friendly Ndarakwai Ranch before your trek and Gibb's Farm near the Ngorongoro Crater during the recommended wildlife safari extension.
While "slowly, slowly" is the motto for climbing Kilimanjaro, trekkers need to act fast to join the Grand Traverse. With limited departures scheduled in 2010-11, trip dates are rapidly filling up.
"Some nights you will feel like you are the only ones on Kilimanjaro," said Cordes. "It is the most spectacular way to experience Africa's greatest mountain."
Grand Traverse Departure Dates
2010: July 14, September 17, and September 21
2011: January 19 and February 5