11 Days Gorillas & Wildlife Safari (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda)
This is a short but very exciting safari, covering three of the most popular East African countries - Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda - using one East African visa. Start from the Masai Mara in search of the Big Four (lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo). Then proceed to Lake Nakuru for a must-see rhino watch. Go to Jinja in Uganda (the source of the Nile River,) Kabale for chimpanzee trekking, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for gorilla trekking, and finally, proceed to Rwanda for your flight back home.
Day 1 : Nairobi to Masai Mara
You will be picked up by our company representative from the airport or your accommodation facility in Nairobi for a scenic drive to Masai Mara National Reserve. You will have a stopover at the spectacular Great Rift Valley viewpoint to stretch your legs and photograph the contrasting landscapes including Mt. Longonot. Proceed driving through the Rift Valley floor to the Mara. Arrive in good time for lunch. Embark on your first game drive this afternoon at 16:00hrs.
One of our favourite places to look for wildlife in Kenya is the Masai Mara NR. That's because the wildlife here is incredible, with big cats (lions, leopards, and cheetahs) and elephants among the highlights. There's a very good chance you'll also see giraffes, buffaloes, wildebeests, zebras, hippos, hyenas, and, of course, impalas. Remember to bring your binoculars, because more than 500 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve. It's a place of beautiful savannah landscapes with lots of acacia trees.
Day 2 : Masai Mara - Masai Mara
This is a full day spent game viewing across the rich tree studded grassland and rolling hills of the famous "Eighth Wonder of the animal World". The Mara is renowned for its great herds of plains game animals like leopards, Cheetahs & Lions. It also has numerous Elephants and virtually every other type of wildlife to be found in Kenya. You will have a full-day game drive in Masai Mara National Reserve.
Your lunch today is picnic lunch boxes in the savannah under a flat-top acacia tree while watching the animals grazing. Continue with the game viewing on-route to your camp, arriving at your late in the afternoon after thoroughly exploring this massive grassland savannah measuring 1,500sq km.
You have an option of booking a balloon ride today which takes off early in the morning. After landing, the crew helps you out of the basket and escorts you to a lovely setting for a bush breakfast. It is a lifetime experience and worth the price.
Day 3 : Masai Mara To Lake Nakuru National Park
After breakfast, drive north through Narok to Njoro road which crosses the beautiful sceneries of the fertile wheat lands of the Mau and the Mau Forest complex (The source of the Mara River). You will arrive at the park in good time for lunch. Check in at your lodge and later depart for an afternoon game drive in the park returning back at sunset.
Lake Nakuru is among Kenya's finest national parks. The Park is gorgeous all year round and boasts rocky escarpments, patches of yellow-barked acacia forest, and a waterfall. It is home to flamingos, both black and white rhinos, lions, leopards, buffaloes, hippos and the endangered Rothschild's giraffes. The southern end of the lake is the best place to see wildlife. The forested area below Rhinos Cliff is a favourite lion-spotting point where lionesses love to sleep in the trees, and leopards frequent the same area. Afterward, return to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 4 : Lake Nakuru To Jinja
Today, after an early breakfast, prepare for a long drive (approximately 5-7hrs) with Parked lunch or choose to eat in a local restaurant. You will leave lake Nakuru behind and drive further west passing Eldoret town where most of the Kenyan runners who dominate marathons worldwide train and live to Malaba border. We meet our Ugandan driver guide at the Malaba Uganda-Kenya border. After the immigration process, you will drive past the rural-urban communities of Eastern Uganda, arriving in Jinja in the late afternoon (Appx2hrs)
Jinja is a metropolitan adventure city in Africa where you will find many buildings that portray ancient Asian art and architecture. Besides, it is where you will find the source of the world’s longest single river - the mighty Nile - where it starts its journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Jinja is also known as the "adventure capital of East Africa" due to many tourist activities and local attractions including white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and many more.
Day 5 : Jinja
Today is a free day to explore this beautiful city located at the source of the Nile River. It is known for the many adventure activities in the river, like white-water rafting or kayaking. Alternatively, go on a boat cruise to the source of the Nile or grab your binoculars and walk along the river for bird watching. All the adventures are available; however, advance booking is necessary for the preparation of the provider, and also to avoid disappointment.
Day 6 : Jinja To Kibale
Today, we transfer through Kampala city, the capital of "The Pearl of Africa", to the western side to see our wild cousins, the chimpanzees. The drive will take approximately 6 to 8 hours, depending on the attractions on the road. We will make a stopover for a local buffet lunch in Fort Portal, East Africa’s tourism city, to have a taste of Ugandan cuisine (there is also an option for continental dishes). Arriving in the late afternoon, we will check in and relax at the lodge in preparation for the next day's chimpanzee experience.
Day 7 : Kibale To Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today, we wake up early in the morning at about 05h45 to get ready for the chimpanzee experience which starts at 06:00hrs. We dress in long pants and hiking boots, and take our rain gear, insect repellents, and not forgetting our cameras, to keep the memories alive. After finding our closest cousins in terms of DNA, we will stay with them for 4 hours while trailing them and enjoying their lifestyle. We then return to the lodge and prepare to leave.
Depending on our fitness levels, we may opt to do a 2-hour community walk before proceeding to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the "Medley of Wonders". The drive takes between 3 and 4 hours.
Day 8 : Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today, we start at 06h00 to go for a game drive to look for different wildlife in the jungles of the national park. We keep our fingers crossed as we expect to see various animals, birds, and reptiles - including but not limited to - lions, leopards, savannah elephants, Cape buffaloes, bee-eaters, egrets, ox-peckers, vultures, snakes, and tortoises, etc..
After lunch, we drive to the jetty and take a boat cruise to explore the aquatic life on the world’s longest water channel, the Kazinga Channel. On the 2-hour boat ride, we can expect to see various species like crocodiles, hippos, monitor lizards, different waterbirds, etc.
After the activity, we drive back to the lodge as you do a simple game drive along the channel track or opt to do a drive through the craters for a great view of the plains, craters, and the water bodies.
Day 9 : Queen Elizabeth to Kisoro
After breakfast, we drive southwards to Kisoro town. This is one of the most pleasing towns in Uganda. Actually, there is a story about the origin of its name. It came from the way they greeted each other while pecking or kissing as the name sounded like “kiss all”. It is cool here, and you need a jacket to balance your body temperature. If we arrive in good time, you can do activities like the coffee tour, the Batwa village dance, or just relax in your hotel garden listening to your favourite music and preparing for the gorilla trekking tomorrow.
Day 10 : Kisoro
After breakfast, we drive to the Ntebeko Visitors Information Center for the briefing about trekking gorillas in the small but rewarding national park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
After the briefing, you will start on the trek to see the greatest apes on this planet – the endangered mountain gorillas! The total trek time may take between 3 hours to a maximum of 8 hours. Even if it gets strenuous to find the apes, it is very rewarding. Return to your lodge later in the afternoon to relax and spend the rest of the day writing in your journal about the trip while listening to your music.
Day 11 : Kisoro, Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda
Today, after a leisurely breakfast or brunch at your hotel in Kisoro, it’s time to make the journey across Rwanda to Kigali, the "land of a thousand hills". The drive will take between 3 and 4 hours. You will arrive in the afternoon and have the option of visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial. It is free, but you are obliged to donate any amount for the sustenance of the memorial. With no further activities planned, you can opt to take a city tour if you have a late departure.
It's a pity that it has to end, but this is where your safari will draw to a close. We're sure that you will return home with many exciting and happy memories, and we hope that you will recommend this safari to your family and friends or that you will join us again on a safari in the future.
Please note: Do not book your international flights out of Kigali until after 15:00hrs.