Destination: Mbarika Mountains & Kilombero River
Essence of the trip:
Far from the regular tourist trail, step off the radar and embark on an epic adventure through the heart of Tanzania’s Mbarika Mountains. Scarcely explored since the mid 1850’s, when Dr. Livingstone first set foot in this remote province, you will have the unique opportunity to live and learn from Masai trackers who have managed to survive in this remote yet remarkable landscape for thousands of years. These true masters of the land will teach you ancient Masai tracking techniques and travel with you as you journey through unchartered territory and along wild rivers. This world first expedition will see you follow a new route that has only been travelled by the Masai. This will give you the rare experience of venturing into the true unknown.
This trip will give you:
- The chance to be the first to follow in the footsteps of Dr. David Livingstone as you trek through remote mountains and navigate uncharted rivers.
- The rare opportunity to learn first-hand, ancient Masai tracking techniques and lessons in sourcing food from your local Masai guide and African survival expert who has unrivalled knowledge of the culture and indigenous wildlife of the area.
- Time to navigate the Kilombero River on handmade bamboo rafts, drifting past ancient Masai settlements and coming face to face with the areas fascinating wildlife.
Begin your epic expedition in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, an area stretching across the country’s remote southeastern corner. After full kit preparation and briefing, make your way along the snaking Luklula River as you trek towards the looming outline of the Mbarika Mountains. Covering an area of over 3,000 square kilometres, the Mbarika range is one of the most remote and unspoiled areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the following 12 days, you will wild camp and carve your way through the bush as you cross remote valleys, rivers, and scale rugged mountain ridges.
Each day you will cover between 15 and 25km whilst your Masai guides share with you their ancient knowledge of the land and the fine art of tracking. Learn how to make fire and gather food using only what nature provides. Your objective on this leg of the expedition is to reach the highest point of the Mbarikas, known as Mlima Ya Anton – named in memory of Anton Turner. The summit’s granite monolith makes this an extraordinary place studded with sheer cliffs, steep valleys and spectacular views over the range in every direction. After climbing up its jagged back, you will wild camp on the very pinnacle ensuring you can enjoy the sunrise on your remarkable surroundings. Next your expedition heads towards the Matisi River. You will camp on its secluded banks and spend time fishing and swimming in its waters – keeping an eye out for crocodiles and quietly watching the animals that come down to the river to drink. During the evenings you can share stories with your Masai guides around the fire, gaining a profound insight into what life is like for them in this isolated part of the world.
Within two days you will reach Kilosa Kwa Mpepo, close to the Kilombero River. Here you can gain a fleeting glimpse of civilization as you restock supplies before embarking on the final leg of this pioneering expedition. When you reach the Kilombero, you and your Masai trackers will construct your own bamboo rafts, which will be your sole method of transport for the next part of your journey. Armed with paddles, you will negotiate your way down the river, tackling rapids and keeping a wary eye out for hippo and crocodiles.
Take in the immense and isolated beauty of your surroundings as you and your rafts finally reach Ifakara; a small rural town deep in the Morogoro region of south central Tanzania. This is your final destination in what can only be described as a truly epic adventure; one that has taken you into the depths of a land and its people that in days gone by you could only read about in Richard Burton’s or David Livingstone’s diaries. It’s a unique and demanding journey; one that few other people have ever experienced.
Duration: 12 days
Best Time To Travel: July – Oct
Flights: Epic Tomato can organise international flights from anywhere in the world to this destination and offers both scheduled and private charter services.
Flight prices are not included here but we can organise or advise on these as part of our service, wherever in the world you are departing from.
Price: From £15, 745pp
Price Includes: The price stated is based on 4 people travelling and covers extensive trip planning and consultation, expedition set-up and all in-country logistics.
The latter will include a world-class head guide who is a specialist in the chosen environment, an extensive local guiding support team, all on-trip training and technical equipment, all domestic travel including any flights required as part of your expedition and your accommodation. Most meals and drinks will also be included, but specific details will be provided on quotation.