Makao Farm 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 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 natural grass and bush land. In addition to the expected 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 velvet 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 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.
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 where 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 an important 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 : Dayride into Masailand
This horseback trail leads through farmland and bush deep into Masasiland. We pass a historical bridge and move far down inside 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 enchanting area to explore.
After a small break or some exploring of the riverbanks on foot we make our way further through bush- and farmland, passing flower and coffee plantations.
Day 4 : Excursion to the Hot Springs
Wake up early in the morning for an early morning ride. The ride leads you through Makoa-Farm and you have a good chance to meet some of the wildlife that 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 for a refreshing plunge into the spring, followed by an afternoon for leisure.
Late afternoon we drive back to Makoa-Farm, arriving there just after sunset.
Day 5 : Kilimanjaro-Flight, Masaimarket and Masailand
This morning we suggest a flight around Mt. 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 Mt. 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 Masai 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 Masailand. 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 Masaisteppe. 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, 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 an 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 Mt. 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.
With a moderate pace it will take you about 2 1/2 hours to get to the picnic spot where you meet the riders. After a well-earned picnic and the visit of Tom you will be transferred back to Makoa-Farm by 4xdrive vehicle.
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 interesting farming methods.
For those being more sportive we highly recommend a walk along our 12 km water channel that provides water for our coffee plantation. On the way there will be a visit of a Chagga homestead which will give you good insights into Chagga-lifestyle. Later you will pass by waterfalls, walk through scenic river valleys, banana and coffee plantations to reach a romantic spot on the river’s edge for lunch picnic. You will drive back to Makoa-Farm by vehicle.After a well-earned rest we start for another ride towards the Weru-Weru River.
Alternatively a sunset ride on the Makoa-Farm. If the weather permits, you will have an extraordinary view on Mt. Kilimanjaro to the north and the Maasai Steppe to the south to end your memorable day with us.
If this is the day of your departure then transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
The packaage 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, 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.