Kilimanjaro looks on as you discover an area of Tanzania far off the beaten path. Experience the African landscape from horseback. We ride through wilderness and farmland, enjoying stunning scenery with opportunities for viewing Kilimanjaro up close.
For non-riding family members or friends, we offer alternative itineraries. Options include trips by jeep, on foot or mountain bike to reach the same destinations as the riders and meet for a picnic.
Day 1: Arrive Makoa Farm
Arrive at Makoa Farm, nestled on the southern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. If you arrive early enough, you can meet the horses, choose one for your safari and begin a preliminary ride, exploring the plantation and getting to know your horse.
Farming in Africa may be a little different from what you are used to. We ride through the coffee plantation and along the natural grass and bush land. In addition to the normal farm animals like cattle, horses, pigs, chicken and geese, the area is also inhabited by a variety of wild creatures, most obvious the noisy ones such as Sykes monkeys, yellow baboons, and vervet monkeys.
Day 2: Makoa-Farm – Experience
The day begins with tea or coffee served on the farmhouse veranda with a breathtaking view of Kilimanjaro. Then we head out on horseback for a half day’s exploration of the area. The 358-acre farm consists of coffee, crops and also natural bush and grasslands. In addition to traditional farm animals, we share the farm with many others: There is small, mostly late game like a duiker, bush pig, jackal, serval, genet and civet cat, aardvark, even striped and occasionally spotted hyena and leopard. However, these animals are rather shy and tough to spot. During the day, you have a good chance of seeing Sykes or Vervet monkeys, savannah baboons and a seemingly endless variety of birds.
In the distance, we will see small homesteads of the local Chagga people and later we will stop at a scenic spot for some refreshments. From here you can choose to descend on foot to a waterfall and caves that are home to a big colony of mountain fruit bats. Although you might think they should be sleeping, they seem to enjoy frolicking in the spray of the waterfall. If you are lucky, we may also catch sight of Freddie, the two-meter long monitor lizard.
Lunch will be taken at the farmhouse.
In the afternoon we will introduce you to the numerous Makoa-residents: Makoa is heaven for many domesticated and wild animals, some of which were brought to our veterinary clinic when injured or orphaned.
Those who could not be re-introduced into the wild, due to injuries, live with us and play a major role of animal ambassadors to enable local children a “hands-on”-experience on animals for a deeper understanding of nature and conservation.
See how animals interact with each other and humans, take the chance to accompany bush pigs or banded mongooses on a walk, observe the perfect beauty of a 3-legged serval cat or feed our wild bush babies in the evening.
Most of the animals are very close to humans, and they believe that all the visitors are here to give them a scratch behind their ears…
Day 3: Day ride into Maasai land
This horseback trail leads through farmland and bush deep into Maasai land. We pass a historical bridge and move far down in a fertile valley. Our crew prepared a delicious lunch at a scenic point.
Later on, we return on another way to the farm, crossing the steep gorge of the Kikafu River. When we reach the Kikafu River Gorge, we’ll dismount and lead the horses into this exciting area to explore.
After a small break or some exploring of the river banks on foot we make our way further through bush- and farmland, passing flower and coffee plantations.
Day 4: Excursions to the Hot Springs
Wake up early in the morning for an early morning ride. The trip leads you through Makoa Farm, and you have a good chance to meet some of the wildlife which shares the farm with us.
We come back for breakfast and depart by 4xvehicle to the Hot Springs to see more of this unusual ecosystem. We retrace the footsteps of Dr. Livingstone on a guided walking tour through numerous springs and small streams. Keep alert for exotic birds, different types of monkeys, and for crocodiles! We return to the Springs for lunch and a refreshing plunge into the spring, followed by an afternoon of leisure.
Late afternoon we drive back to Makoa-Farm, arriving there just after sunset.
Day 5: Kilimanjaro-Flight, Maasai market and Maasai land
This morning we suggest a flight around Mount Kilimanjaro inside 4-seater Cessna (This is not included in the rate, booking on extra charge). Depending on the weather this might be arranged for another day. Enjoy a fabulous view of the glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro and see from here which places you will visit during the next days.
We will be back for breakfast and afterwards you have the chance to visit a local Maasai market. You will be surprised what items Masai trade in and what they will take home, often multiple day-journeys away, carried on their donkeys back.
After lunch, we depart for another ride towards the Maasai land. We will find another place to reach the deep Kikafu river gorge, and anyone who wants to join the horses for refreshing splashes or a plunge in the water is welcome. On our way back for sure, you will experience one more of the unforgettable sunsets of Africa.
Day 6: Day trip north-east through lush plantations
Chagga villages and small coffee farms, passing through scenic river valleys to reach a beautiful spot on a flower farm with an incredible view over the Maasai steppe. Our picnic lunch will be prepared under old trees.
The non-riders will be transferred by vehicle to this spot and have a look around the flower farm until the riders arrive for lunch. They also may choose to do a long hike to reach the flower farm; in this case, they will be accompanied by a local guide.
Later in the afternoon, we will make our way back, taking a slightly different route. What will not change is the permanent good mood of all local people we meet.
Day 7: Coffee Plantation and Giant Tortoise
Day trip on horseback over a historic bridge to the Kibo-Kikafu-Coffee Plantation, where we pay a visit to Tom, the 170-year-old giant tortoise. During lunch, we enjoy a breathtaking view of the plains.
After a break, we saddle our horses again and ride back home to the farm. The day ends with sunset on horseback and, weather permitting, the breathtaking scenery of Mount Kilimanjaro in the evening sun.
For non-riders we will offer an exciting hike, crossing the deep gorge of the Kikafu River. Be prepared to get wet feet and there is always lots of enjoyment during the river crossing as there is no bridge! Your guide will show you many plants on the way which are used to produce local medicines.
Day 8 Experience Makoa-Farm and surroundings
In the morning a hike through the smallholder farms of the Chagga tribal people. See people’s daily life, admire their permanent good mood and learn about their fascinating farming methods.