East Africa Gorilla & Safari Experience

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Overview

Some of Africa’s greatest wildlife viewing comes together for 16 days of outstanding adventure in the wild. Trek into the Rwandan jungle for the rare opportunity to watch a gorilla family in its element, head out in search of playful chimpanzees in Uganda, and get immersed in the natural realm of elephants and rhinos in Kenya. Watching the world pass you by has never felt more freeing or profound.

Itinerary

Day 1: Kigali

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

If you arrive early, take some time to explore the city, known for its pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Kigali also has some interesting and historic sites outside of the city. If you want more time to explore, we recommend booking a pre-night.

Day 2: Kigali/Volcanoes National Park

Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial and pay your respects to the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, learning about this somber chapter of the country’s past. Later, embark on a community walk in the vibrant Nyamirambo township and enjoy a local lunch at the G Adventures–supported Nyamirambo Women’s Centre. Travel to northern Rwanda in the afternoon and settle into our lodge, located at the edge of Volcanoes National Park and offering stunning views of the soaring peaks.

Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains can be found here. The volcanoes and highlands of the park are covered in lush rainforest and bamboo (a favourite snack of the gorillas). While the most famous resident is the mountain gorilla, there’s plenty of other wildlife roaming around: buffaloes, bushbucks, golden monkeys, hyenas, numerous bird species, and some elephants call this place home.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Volcanoes National Park

Set out on a trek in lush, jungle-covered hills with a park ranger to track a unique and endangered species—the golden monkey. Observe these playful, curious creatures in their natural habitat; then visit the Karisoke Research Center, founded by National Geographic Grantee Dian Fossey. Meet with a resident researcher to learn about ongoing efforts to protect endangered mountain gorillas, and deepen your understanding of these gentle giants at a talk by one of the park’s head wardens.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Volcanoes National Park

Embark on an unforgettable trek through the jungle alongside a park ranger to search for mountain gorillas. When we come across a group of gorillas, witness their fascinating social dynamics up close. Note that these treks can vary in length and difficulty depending on the location of the gorillas. Return to our lodge for lunch, followed by a visit to a local village to catch a glimpse of daily rural life.

Approximately 800 mountain gorillas exist globally in the wild today. They are found in Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda. In DRC and Rwanda, gorillas live in similar ecosystems/areas. The gorilla species found in these three areas are called highland gorillas.

In Rwanda there are ten habituated gorilla families that are open to visits – the visit to a gorilla family is done once per day, with a maximum 8 trekkers per group and the duration of a visit is limited to one (1) hour with the gorilla family. The time spent with them is limited due to conservation considerations and to minimize impact on the day-to-day life of the gorilla family you are visiting. It is important to be well prepared for the trek — you never know if your total trek will be short or long. The total duration of a trek can vary and be anything between 4 and 9 hrs in length depending on the location of the gorillas, which are constantly moving. You will mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trail.

Touching the gorillas is not allowed (although in some cases they may touch you). Making loud noises or sudden movements is also not allowed. You should attempt to keep a distance of 7m from the gorillas, however the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close, in which case you should try to slowly move away. At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers.

Please note that porters are available at approx. $10USD per person. The porters are all hired from local villages and not only can carry your day pack, but assist you with a welcome hand over difficult spots. Regardless of your fitness level, we highly recommend hiring a porter as some tracks can be very muddy and elevation can affect even the most fit person. It also provides employment and supports the local community.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Volcanoes National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, cross into Uganda on a 4x4. Arrive at our lodge near Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the largest and most popular parks in Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Explore the verdant Kalinzu Forest Reserve with a ranger, looking for the chimpanzee families that call this protected area home. Learn about the habits and social activities of these endangered primates—our closest relatives in the animal world—and gain insights into current efforts to protect them. This afternoon, visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for a safari through rolling savanna and shrubland, keeping your eyes peeled for buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and hyenas.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Head out on a morning safari through the park, dotted with acacia trees and covered in swathes of rainforest. Spot hyenes, warthogs, antelope, and, with luck, some of the African “big five.” Then float down the Kazinga Channel on a boat safari. This natural channel connects two of the park’s lakes and draws large numbers of wild creatures to its shores, including hippos, crocodiles, and a plethora of birds.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park/Entebbe

After breakfast, head to Entebbe, stopping en route at the equator; Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where you can cross this imaginary geographical line on land. Observe how water swirls in opposite directions on either side of the equator and have lunch at the G Adventures–supported AidChild Equation Café & Gallery. Later, visit a drum-making workshop and enjoy a musical performance.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Entebbe/Nairobi

Catch a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi and transfer to our hotel.

After your flight, transfer to the hotel. Take some time to explore Nairobi before meeting your group back at the hotel for a second orientation meeting. Here, you will meet your Kenyan CEO for this duration of the tour, and new travellers that may join you for the rest of your journey.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 10: Nairobi/Lake Nakuru National Park

Depart early for Lake Nakuru, known for harbouring flocks of pink flamingos and a rich variety of bird species. Arrive at our safari lodge inside Lake Nakuru National Park in time for lunch, and seek out the resident rhinos on a late afternoon wildlife drive.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Lake Nakuru National Park

Set out on morning and afternoon safaris through the picturesque park, searching for rhinos, buffalo, impalas, lions, and more; and drive along the salty shores of Lake Nakuru to discover a mind-boggling variety of birds. Later, hear from a representative of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)—a government institution dedicated to managing the country’s wildlife—about the issues surrounding poaching and rhino conservation.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Lake Nakuru National Park/Lake Naivasha

Head south through the Great Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha, a large freshwater lake surrounded by grassy banks and olive trees. Cruise the lake on a boat, watching for hippos, crocodiles, and buffalo; and peer through your binoculars to spot lovebirds, ibis, and the African fish eagle. Step ashore at Crescent Island—a peaceful wildlife sanctuary located in the middle of the lake— and enjoy a guided stroll in search of wildebeest, zebras, and giraffes.

The name Naivasha comes from the Maasai “Nai’posha”, which means “rough water”, though Lake Naivasha is generally calm as we watch for hippos, crocodiles, and birdlife. Bring your binoculars and scan for lovebirds, ibis, and fish eagles, watch buffaloes wallow in the swamps and listen to colobus monkeys call from the treetops.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Lake Naivasha/Masai Mara

Travel to the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve and settle into our comfortable tented camp, located in the heart of the reserve. Head out for an afternoon safari through vast, acacia-dotted plains, driving past throngs of wildebeest, zebra, and giraffes; and keep an eye out for lions, elephants, and the rest of the African “big five.” In the evening, relax at the camp and enjoy scenic views of the rolling plains.

After breakfast, we depart for the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve. No trip to Kenya would be complete without a visit here. In the afternoon, we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our safari camp, our base for our time here. Then we’ll make our way into the reserve for an afternoon wildlife safari drive, with excellent chances of seeing the "big five": buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Masai Mara

Venture out on an early morning safari to track the animals that traversed the savanna during the night. View ungulates like Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi and eland antelopes—as well as their stealthy predators—at one of their most active times of the day. Continue your exploration on a late afternoon safari, discovering the timeless landscapes of Masai Mara.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Masai Mara/Nairobi

Witness a breathtaking sunrise over the savanna during your final safari in Masai Mara, and head back to Nairobi. Stop en route at Café Ubuntu, a G Adventures–supported project that trains and employs local women and mothers of children with disabilities. Visit the craft centre to meet some of the women who create the wares sold there, then sit down for a delicious farm-to-table lunch.

Rise early for a final morning wildlife safari drive, enjoying the African sun as it rises over the savannah of the Mara plains. Return to Nairobi in the late afternoon and opt to join the CEO in a farewell dinner.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Nairobi

Depart at any time.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 1: Kigali

Arrive at any time and transfer to the hotel.

If you arrive early, take some time to explore the city, known for its pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Kigali also has some interesting and historic sites outside of the city. If you want more time to explore, we recommend booking a pre-night.

Day 2: Kigali/Volcanoes National Park

Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial and learn about the somber history of Rwanda. Later, embark on a community walk in the Nyamirambo township and enjoy a local lunch at the G Adventures-supported Nyamirambo Women's Centre. Travel to northern Rwanda in the afternoon to the lodge, located just outside the national park. The lodge provides stunning volcano views.

Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains can be found here. The volcanoes and highlands of the park are covered in lush rainforest and bamboo (a favourite snack of the gorillas). While the most famous resident is the mountain gorilla, there’s plenty of other wildlife roaming around: buffaloes, bushbucks, golden monkeys, hyenas, numerous bird species, and some elephants call this place home.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Volcanoes National Park

Enjoy a trek into the national park with a ranger/guide to view a unique and endangered species — the golden monkey. Watch these playful and lively creatures in their natural habitat. After, visit the Karisoke Research Center, which was founded by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967. Meet with a resident researcher and enjoy a tour to learn about their ongoing work in the protection of mountain gorillas. In the evening, expand your understanding of gorillas through an in-depth lecture from one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Volcanoes National Park

Depart early and transfer to the national park to meet the park ranger/guide for orientation. Embark on a gorilla trek, which can vary in length and difficulty, depending on the location of the gorilla family that's being visited. Spend an hour observing these beautiful and endangered creatures. After, return to the lodge for lunch then visit a local village to catch a glimpse of daily rural life.

Approximately 800 mountain gorillas exist globally in the wild today. They are found in Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda. In DRC and Rwanda, gorillas live in similar ecosystems/areas. The gorilla species found in these three areas are called highland gorillas.

In Rwanda there are ten habituated gorilla families that are open to visits – the visit to a gorilla family is done once per day, with a maximum 8 trekkers per group and the duration of a visit is limited to one (1) hour with the gorilla family. The time spent with them is limited due to conservation considerations and to minimize impact on the day-to-day life of the gorilla family you are visiting. It is important to be well prepared for the trek — you never know if your total trek will be short or long. The total duration of a trek can vary and be anything between 4 and 9 hrs in length depending on the location of the gorillas, which are constantly moving. You will mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trail.

Touching the gorillas is not allowed (although in some cases they may touch you). Making loud noises or sudden movements is also not allowed. You should attempt to keep a distance of 7m from the gorillas, however the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close, in which case you should try to slowly move away. At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers.

Please note that porters are available at approx. $10USD per person. The porters are all hired from local villages and not only can carry your day pack, but assist you with a welcome hand over difficult spots. Regardless of your fitness level, we highly recommend hiring a porter as some tracks can be very muddy and elevation can affect even the most fit person. It also provides employment and supports the local community.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Volcanoes National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, cross into Uganda, arriving at the Queen Elizabeth National Park area in the late afternoon.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Explore the lush Kalinzu Forest Reserve with a ranger on a trek in search of chimpanzees who call this protected area home. This afternoon drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a wildlife drive with possible sightings of buffalo, elephants, giant forest hogs, hyenas, leopards, lions, and warthogs.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Embark on a morning wildlife safari drive for more wildlife viewing inside the park. In the afternoon, take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel to view birds, hippos, and, with a bit of luck, elephants or big cats.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park/Entebbe

After breakfast, head to Entebbe with a stop at the Equator for lunch at the G Adventures-supported AidChild Equation Cafe & Gallery, and a visit to a royal drum maker's workshop.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Entebbe/Nairobi

Catch a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi and transfer to our hotel.

After your flight, transfer to the hotel. Take some time to explore Nairobi before meeting your group back at the hotel for a second orientation meeting. Here, you will meet your Kenyan CEO for this duration of the tour, and new travellers that may join you for the rest of your journey.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 10: Nairobi/Lake Nakuru National Park

Drive to Lake Nakuru National Park. Arrive at our our safari lodge inside the park for lunch. Enjoy a late afternoon wildlife safari drive, paying special attention to the rare rhinos who make this area their home.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Lake Nakuru National Park

Head out on morning and afternoon safari drives in the park, over lunch you have time to relax at the lodge and enjoy the beautiful pool and gardens. Gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding poaching and rhino conservation during a lecture by an accredited speaker from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Lake Nakuru National Park/Lake Naivasha

Head south through the Great Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha, where we embark on boat cruise on the lake, visiting the Crescent Island wildlife sanctuary.

The name Naivasha comes from the Maasai “Nai’posha”, which means “rough water”, though Lake Naivasha is generally calm as we watch for hippos, crocodiles, and birdlife. Bring your binoculars and scan for lovebirds, ibis, and fish eagles, watch buffaloes wallow in the swamps and listen to colobus monkeys call from the treetops.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Lake Naivasha/Masai Mara

Travel to our comfortable tented camp located in the heart of the reserve. Enjoy a wildlife safari drive this evening, then settle back at the camp and enjoy views overlooking the plains of the reserve.

After breakfast, we depart for the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve. With its vast open plains and flat-topped acacia trees, no visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit here. In the afternoon, we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our safari camp, our base for our time here. Then we’ll make our way into the reserve for an afternoon wildlife safari drive, with excellent chances of seeing the "big five": buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Masai Mara

Enjoy an early morning wildlife safari drive. The day continues with more wildlife viewing as you cross the rolling hills of the African savannah. Also enjoy a late afternoon/evening safari.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Masai Mara/Nairobi

After a morning wildlife safari drive, we start heading back to Kenya's capital. En route, stop in at a G Adventures for Good-supported project, Ubuntu Café — an initiative that trains and creates local jobs for women. Visit the craft centre, meet some of the Mamas in the program, then sit down to a delicious farm-to-table lunch.

Rise early for a final morning wildlife safari drive, enjoying the African sun as it rises over the savannah of the Mara plains. Return to Nairobi in the late afternoon and opt to join the CEO in a farewell dinner.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Nairobi

Depart at any time.

Includes: Breakfast

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