About The Tour
Enjoy the views of the fascinating Great Rift Valley, traverse the plains of the Masai Mara National Park and come up close and personal to the endangered mountain gorilla.
14Days | 13Nights
Nairobi to Nairobi
13 Breakfast | 14 Lunch | 13 Dinner
Kenya | Uganda
Starting in Africa’s most revered safari destination, Kenya, your journey takes you through the Masai Mara National Park, renowned for the annual Great Migration. Enjoy the views as you drive through the fascinating Great Rift Valley, and take in the amazing sights of Lake Nakuru National Park. The world’s most powerful waterfall will have you mesmerized as you journey by boat on the river Nile through Murchison Falls National Park. Whilst the impressive scenery of mountains and crater lakes never fails to impress, the true Pearl of Africa lies in the lush forests of Bwindi National Park where you will have the opportunity to come up close and personal to the endangered mountain gorilla. From endless open plains, game rich savannas, welcoming tribal cultures, rare encounters with gorillas and chimpanzees – You will be sure to have a memorable African journey. Leaving the capital of Nairobi we travel to the Masai Mara National Park. The rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities. We take in the spectacle of Lake Nakuru National Park – a great place to spot flamingos. We then cross the border into Uganda where you can explore the bustling city of Kampala or visit a Chimpanzee sanctuary. After a visit to the Murchison Falls National Park we’ll head up to Budongo Forest, the biggest Mahogany forest found in East Africa and is home to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. We will meet up with our chimp guide who will take us on our trek through the forest in search of the chimps. Our next stop is at Lake Bunyoni where we prepare for the upcoming Gorilla trekking excursion. The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and visiting them is a great way to ensure their survival as each permit raises money for their conservation.
Gorilla Trekking is part of this tour, however the cost of the Gorilla Trekking Permit is not included in your tour price or this booking. Gorilla permits cost $730 to $830. If you book this tour, a consultant will contact you to confirm the availability of the permit and arrange payment.
Day 1 | Masai Mara National Reserve
We leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara, world renowned for its endless plains of wild animals and spectacular beauty. The visit to the Masai Mara is operated in safari type vehicles and not the Nomad truck. For this reason, you are asked to pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials.
Day 2 | Masai Mara National Reserve
The rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities. Some of the animals that could be found here include elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers, which traverse this reserve. Today we will spend the entire day game driving through the Mara in search of all the animals.
Day 3 | Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning we bid the Mara farewell before heading to Lake Nakuru National Park where we will enjoy an afternoon game drive through the park. Lake Nakuru is home to large flocks of flamingos and pelicans as well as black & white rhino, leopard, lion and numerous buck. Originally created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru was upgraded to National Park status in 1968.
Day 4 | Jinja
This morning we not only cross the border into Uganda, but shortly after setting out this morning we cross the Equator on our way to Jinja. Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and most famous as the point where the Nile (officially the Victoria Nile) flows out of Lake Victoria and begins the 6695 kilometre journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Day 5 | Masindi – Murchison Falls National Park
After a quick stop in the city of Kampala, we head in the direction of The Murchison Falls National Park. Also referred to as the Kabaraga Falls, Murchison Falls is a waterfall found on the course of the great Nile and is located within the Murchison National Park. The park is recognized as one of the best National Parks in Uganda. After settling into our accommodation in Masindi, your guide will brief you on the activities for the following day.
Day 6 | Masindi – Budongo Central Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa and is home to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. It is believed that there are between 600 – 700 chimpanzees in Budongo and this morning we will meet up with our chimp guide who will take us on our trek through the forest in search of the chimps. We will also enjoy a boat cruise in the park. Note: As the Chimp trekking is limited to 12 guests per trek, should there be more than 12 guests on a tour the trekking will be split between the morning and the afternoon. Therefore you may find that you will first do the game drive activity followed by the Chimp trekking or vice versa. Please allow for flexibility.
Day 7 | Lake Kikorongo
This morning we depart Masindi and transfer towards the edges of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Our accommodation for the night is nestled atop a hill overlooking Lake Kikorongo.
Day 8 | Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
Crossing the Equator once more we travel south to the beautiful scenery of Lake Bunyonyi. With eager anticipation we prepare for the upcoming Gorilla trekking excursion and tonight we will receive a briefing on what to expect.
Day 9 | Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only around 650 left. Visiting the gorillas is a great way to support their future on earth as the money spent on permits is used for their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining gorillas rests in the community development work – as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is assured.
As permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are extremely limited we require flexibility in both the tour itinerary and where we actually visit them. The home of the mountain gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Whenever possible we choose to make use of the National Park in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits. Should we not obtain permits to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC.
On your free day in Bunyonyi you will have the opportunity to participate in certain optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike.
Day 10 | Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
Although there are 2 days allocated to Gorilla Trekking you will only spend one day on the trek. The other days are there to provide a large enough window in which to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to trek if there are more than 6 of you on the tour.
Day 11 | Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala
This morning we set off on our return journey to Kampala and make a third crossing of the Equator along our way. Tonight your guide will brief you on the activities available in Jinja so that you can plan your day tomorrow. We overnight in Kampala.
Day 12 | Jinja
A short distance from Kampala, Jinja offers many exciting activities and your guide will assist you to plan for this day. Most activities are focussed around the waters of the Nile and these include rafting, kayaking and a variety of cruises on Africa’s largest river. While those who may be less inclined to water sports can enjoy horse riding or a quadbike adventure on dry land.
Day 13 | Kenya – Eldoret
Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the country’s 5th largest city. The Great Rift Valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region and the altitude at Eldoret is 2100 metres above sea level.
Day 14 | Nairobi
Returning to Nairobi this afternoon we reflect on many memories that we have gathered together and brace ourselves for a return to the busy streets of Nairobi.