Trek through lush jungle in search of mountain gorillas. Experience the beauty of Uganda, visit Kenya’s Great Rift Valley Lakes and spot game on the plains of the Masai Mara on this popular 15 day overland safari.
This Kenya Safari & Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour kicks off with a get-together this evening in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. At the meeting, you are introduced to your travel companions and find out more about the safari adventures ahead. If you arrive early in the day then take some time to explore and do optional activities in and around Nairobi, before meeting up with your fellow travelers and tour guide.
Nairobi – Masai Mara. Heading west from Nairobi on day 2, we reach possibly Kenya’s most famous natural attraction – the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Kenyan section of the wildly beautiful Serengeti Plains teems with wildlife.
The highlight of the Mara is no doubt the annual wildebeest migration, when millions of these beasts plus zebra and Thomson’s gazelle stray north from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania in search of lush grass on the savannah plains. Elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe and a multitude of hooved herbivores also inhabit the reserve. A game drive through the Mara on day 3 gives us the chance to spot the Big Five. During our stay we can also opt to visit a local Masai tribe.
Masai Mara – Eldoret. Leaving the Masai Mara early on day 4, we head out of Masai Land and pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on our way to Eldoret – our stop for the night.
Eldoret – Kampala (Uganda). This morning we cross the border into Uganda, a small country of striking beauty, with landscapes varying from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snow-capped Ruwenzori Mountains in the west and the semi-desert region in the north. We reach Kampala, the capital city, where we stop for the night.
Kampala – Lake Bunyoni. After an early morning departure from Kampala we drive west into the depths of Uganda to our base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, which is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, we trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda
We depart from our base in Bunyoni in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size. We wind our way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa en-route to the National Park. Dependant on where permits are available, we may spend a night in Kisoro en route. The following morning, after packing our picnic lunch, we are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family.
Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point where you will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite.
Lake Bunyoni – Kampala. After marvelling at the experience of our gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, we begin our drive back to Kampala. We cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. We overnight in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its night life!
Kampala – Jinja. Today we have the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or heading to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or visiting a volunteer and community project. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river, or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area.
Jinja – Lake Nakuru (Kenya). Departing early, we head back to Kenya and spend the night outside Nakuru at a lovely campsite on a local farm. Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to a veritable array of wildlife. The park supports a population of black rhino, lion, leopard, zebra, antelope and giraffe not to mention millions of pink flamingos. The lake itself is a shallow soda lake. The following morning we begin our exploration of the national park and after our game drive, we head back to camp.
Lake Nakuru – Lake Naivasha. Lake Naivasha, is home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. We spend the day enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.
Saturday. Naivasha – Nairobi. After breakfast today, we head back to Nairobi.