Cross Country Ride : 8 days
Day 1 : Arrival at Makoa Farm
Arrive at Makoa Farm, nestled into the southern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. If you arrive early enough, you can meet the horses, choose one for your safari and begin an introductory ride, exploring the farm and getting to know your horse. For the non-riders this is time to settle in their rooms or to stretch their legs on a relaxed walk.
Farming in Africa may be a little different from what you are used to. On the 358-acre farm, we grow coffee, maize and vegetables, but a significant amount of land is left as natural grass and bush land. In addition to the expected farm animals like cattle, horses, pigs, chickens and geese, the area is also inhabited by a variety of wild creatures such as Sykes monkeys, yellow baboons, duiker, bushbuck, reedbuck and bush pig.
This evening after dinner you will have a ride briefing to discuss the next day’s safari.
Day 2 : Makoa Farm/ Kukuletwa Hot Springs
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 nocturnal game like 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 very difficult to spot. During the day you have a good chance of seeing Sykes or Velvet monkeys, savannah baboons and a seemingly endless variety of birds. After an early morning wake up call followed by breakfast, we start our horseback riding safari, making the most of the cool morning hours. A picnic lunch is served along the way.
For the non-riders we suggest a bike-trip with mountain bikes. They will use mostly rough roads and tracks on their own convenient pace, the route is different from the one of the riders and they will be accompanied by their own experienced guide. They will meet the riders for the picnic lunch before they continue to match the distance to the Hot Springs.
We reach Kukuletwa Hot Springs in the afternoon. This is an amazing place where a river literally bubbles out of the ground, under the roots of a giant fig tree. The local name for them translates to “Water that boils”, which perhaps explains how they became known as “hot” springs, even though the water is perfectly refreshing.
A dip in the springs will wash the dust away and afterwards there is time for relaxing in the shade of huge, ancient fig trees.
The Kukuletwa Hot Springs have a history with foreigners going back to around end of 1800. Early explorers were impressed with the incredible bio-diversity of the area which included innumerable numbers of big game. Later the area became a popular hunting ground for wealthy Europeans. During the past few decades much of the game has migrated further south to the Maasai Steppe and the Blue Mountains. However the area is still a haven to animals such as lesser kudu, gazelle, crocodile, baboon, Sykes and Vervet monkeys, banded mongooses, and the shy nocturnal animals like porcupine, aardvark, striped hyens, cerval, genet and civet cats. The variety of colourful birds is also impressive. Possibly the best thing about this place is that it remains largely unknown to most tourists so we usually have it to ourselves!
Later, a sumptuous bush meal is served under the stars. Tonight you sleep surrounded by the unforgettable sounds of the African bush!
Day 3 : Kukuletwa Hot Springs
Awake to the gentle cooing of the African dove, and to a cup of steaming tea or coffee served in your tent. Then we head out on horseback for an early-morning ride to explore an area further downstream around the Sanya River. The terrain here is perfect for invigorating long canters.
The non-riders can take a long sleep or join the riders on a bike-ride as the route allows them to use the same track. Or, they may take their own route towards the Blue Mountains, maybe visit a Masai village on the way.
After a late breakfast we take a guided walking tour of this unusual ecosystem, comprised of numerous springs and small streams.
As we retrace the footsteps of Dr. Livingstone, keep alert for different types of monkeys, a wide variety of birds, perfectly camouflaged reptiles up to crocodiles! We return to camp for lunch and for a refreshing plunge into the spring, followed by an afternoon for leisure.
Enjoy the warm colours of sunset, with Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru silhouetted in the distance.
Day 4 : Return to Makoa-Farm
After a hearty breakfast we turn our horses back towards Makoa-Farm. We will take another route, passing through areas shaded by indigenous palm trees and riverine forest. The riders and non-riders will meet at a rivercrossing as a picnic lunch is served on a scenic place next to the Kikafu River. In case the water levels for crossing the Kikafu River are too high it might be necessary circumventing it. The horses enjoy splashing in the river and anyone interested may join them.
You will reach Makoa Farm in the late afternoon.
Refreshments are served on the veranda. With luck Kilimanjaro will emerge from the cloud to bask in the evening light.
Day 5 : Experience Makoa-Farm and surroundings
After breakfast we hike through Chagga villages and small farms, passing through scenic river valleys to reach a romantic spot on the river’s edge for light refreshments. You will see people’s daily life and learn about their farming methods.
In the afternoon start for another ride towards the Weru-Weru River, passing tobacco and smallholder farms. Or, for those who prefer the afternoon is for leisure. On very hot days we can suggest to try some ‘tube-rafting’ in the river. Gliding down the river is very relaxing and offers you excellent sights on the gorges lush vegetation and birdlife.
Day 6 : Day trip north-east through lush plantations.
Chagga villages and small coffee farms, passing through scenic river valleys and a flower farm. We arrive on a beautiful coffee plantation with fantastic views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and over the Masaisteppe. Our 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, 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 : Day trip to Kibo-Kikafu-Coffee Estate
Where we pay a visit to Tom, the 150 year old giant tortoise. During our lunch at the farmhouse of the estate you get some more insider information and impressions about life in Tanzania. The ride back home through lush banana and coffee plantations as well as long fields offers possibilities for nice canters. The day ends with sunset on horseback and, weather permitting, the breathtaking scenery of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the evening sun.
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 Mt. Kilimanjaro in the evening sun.
For non-riders 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.
With a moderate pace it will take you about 2 1/2 hours to get to the picnic spot where you meet the riders again. After a well-earned picnic and the visit of Tom you will be transferred back to Makoa-Farm by 4xdrive vehicle.
Day 8 : Ride and departure
After an early morning tea or coffee see the day wake up from horseback. Take your last round through our coffee farm where you hopefully will spot some of the game which is on its way back to the places where they dosing spend their day.
After breakfast depart for your on- or homegoing journey.
The package is inclusive of:
Horse and all equipment, English speaking guide, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks during the day, luggage transfers where necessary, full board accommodation at the farm or in dome tents away from Makoa
transfers to and from Makoa Farm.
The package is exclusive of :
Personal expenses, tips, gratuities for safari guide and camp staff, airport departure tax, travel insurance, Visa and Passport fees.