Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari

Nairobi to Kigali

       

Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari

Safari Quick Facts

Safari Price: £ 1,949 Email: Bookings & Enquiries Email

Safari Starts: Nairobi

Safari Ends: Kigali Number of Days: 15
Countries visited: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda
Click here for Departure Dates Vehicles, Guides & Equipment Booking Code: AYU

Safari Price Includes:

9 nights full service camping
(with 2 nights in tented camp)
5 nights hotel/chalet.
Nairobi to Kigali itinerary: all breakfasts, 14 lunches and 13 dinners included.
Kigali to Nairobi itinerary: all breakfasts, 14 lunches and 12 dinners included.

Safari Price Excludes:

All optional excursions
Visas
Meals / Drinks unless otherwise stated in the itinerary.

Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari

We start with a journey through the Great Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha and the prolific Masai Mara for an exceptional two days of game viewing. Our next stop is Lake Nakuru, home to an incredible variety of birds and wildlife including the endangered white and black rhinos, elusive leopard and in season, a million flamingos. Crossing into Uganda, there is the option of an exhilarating day's rafting on the Nile at Jinja and a visit to see chimpanzees on Ngamba Island before heading into Rwanda for the highlight of the trip - the opportunity to see the gorillas. This close-up encounter is arguably the most sensational wildlife experience of them all and is a wonderful end to a remarkable trip.

Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Lake Naivasha    

After meeting the group flights, we head northwest out of Nairobi, eventually dropping down the escarpment of the Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha. In the afternoon there is an option to visit Elsamere, the former home of Joy Adamson, now a conservation center where you can enjoy afternoon teas on the lawn and watch the Colobus monkeys.


Day 2: Masai Mara    

In the morning we drive into the Masai Mara using 4WD vehicles for two incredible days in one of the most famous ecosystems in the world. In and around the reserve, plains game including wildebeest, gazelle, topi, zebra and buffalo abound, and never far away are the predators; cheetah, lion and hyena. Nothing is guaranteed on safari but we hope to see the three-foot-tall Secretary bird stalking snakes and rodents through the grass, impala jousting furiously or vultures homing in on carcasses. On both nights we stay in a permanent camp in the Masai Mara.


Day 3: Masai Mara    

See day 2 for Itinerary


Day 4: Naivasha    

After a morning game drive, we return to Naivasha.


Day 5: Nakuru National Park    

In the morning we drive to Lake Nakuru National Park (45 mins), a small park that is home to an amazing variety of animals. We game drive around the dazzling soda lake, sometime home to thousands of flamingos. We will see a variety of animals, maybe even the elusive leopard and rhino, of which there is a healthy population here. There is a stunning view from the top of the hills above the lake, and here we may see the Rock hyrax; this tiny creature is the elephant's nearest relative! We camp in the park.


Day 6: Kembu Farm    

This morning we enjoy another game drive in the park. Following a quick shop in Nakuru town, we drive to our scenic campsite, close to the town of Eldoret, a distance of about 130km. Eldoret, although a large city, the fourth largest in Kenya, is generally a peaceful farming community and we will spend the evening in a campsite just outside the town.


Day 7: Uganda    

Today there is a long drive of about 250km across the border into Uganda. The border crossing can be slow but we leave plenty of time, and it can be an interesting experience. Once over the border we drive to Jinja, were the Victoria Nile meets Lake Victoria and we camp beside the Nile.


Day 8: Uganda    

A free day to enjoy several optional activities. The rafting here is amongst the best in the world with several grade five rapids providing an exhilarating experience. We also see some typical village life along the river. Alternatively there is the opportunity to visit Bujagali Falls and the Source of the White Nile, an excellent village walk, a vibrant community project known as Soft Power which supports education, quad biking or even bungy jumping!


Day 9: Ngamba Island    

We continue to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Reserve on Lake Victoria, where orphaned chimpanzees have been relocated under the management of a group of dedicated conservationists, including the Jane Goodall Institute.
Ngamba Island is part of the Koome group of islands located on Lake Victoria 23km south of Entebbe, Uganda. It consists of approximately 100 acres, 98 of which are forested and separated from the visitor’s area by an electric fence. Ngamba Island was officially opened to visitors in October 1999 and is currently home to 45 orphaned chimpanzees, many of which have been confiscated and brought to the island since its opening. As well as viewing the chimps, we can canoe or simply relax.


Day 10: Lake Bunyoni    

The scenery changes as we head south into hilly country. There are very few towns as most people live in rugos - family compounds. We follow the main road southwest to a scenic camp at Lake Bunyoni. We have a day to relax here, enjoy the impressive landscape and excellent bird life.


Day 11: Lake Bunyoni    

See day 10 for Itinerary


Day 12: Virunga National Park    

Today we head to Ruhengeri and Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda as this is the best place to see the gorillas. Our plan is for each member of the group to visit the gorillas once. It may not be possible for the group to all visit the gorillas on the same day as there are only 30 permits available per day.
Owing to the very nature of the terrain and the need to explore in order to find the gorillas, there are no paths to follow in Virunga and our guides will occasionally need to cut a way through the undergrowth. At times there are some steep ascents and descents over muddy slopes, so strong footwear is essential. You must expect a minimum of three hours walking to find the gorillas.
Despite the challenging terrain, the jungle scenery makes the walking very interesting, and to be close to the gorillas in their natural habitat is an experience you will never forget. An adult male can weigh up to 195kg, a female up to 100kg, and a male can reach 1.7m in height. The gorillas are almost exclusively vegetarian and are quite destructive eaters, which makes them unpopular with the farmers lower down the mountain slopes, as they have been known to wreck a whole field of crops just to eat one plant. For this reason, and also because of poaching, the gorillas are very carefully protected. We can venture to within three metres of the gorilla families with reasonable safety as, in spite of their reputation, they are gentle creatures and are not known to attack unless very severely provoked. Also, we do not venture any closer because the gorillas are very susceptible to human disease - please note that anyone with a cold or any similar ailment may not be allowed near to gorillas.
Please note that Exodus do have a Code of Conduct for visiting the gorillas. For more details, please see Trip Notes. On the days that you will not be visiting the gorillas, we can arrange optional walks into the surrounding villages.


Day 13: Virunga National Park    

See day 12 for Itinerary


Day 14: Kigali    

We drive to Rwanda's small and attractive capital, Kigali. Rwanda is a country widely remembered for the genocide of 1994 in which over a million people were killed. There is a moving and disturbing museum that commemorates this time in their history. However, Rwanda is trying to look forward as well as back and Exodus clients can help bring money into the area by spending time in the market here and sampling the local restaurants.


Day 15: Kigali    

End Kigali.


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Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari Departure Dates

2010 Safari Departures

Jan Departures

Feb Departures

Mar Departures

Apr Departures

May Departures

Jun Departures

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18 June 2010

Jul Departures

Aug Departures

Sept Departures

Oct Departures

Nov Departures

Dec Departures

16 July 2010

27 August 2010

4 September 2010
10 September 2010

15 October 2010
29 October 2010

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