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Kenya Safari Holidays Kenya Holidays Masai Mara Safari Beach Vacations

East Africa: Masai Mara + Gorillas - Accommodated


7YV15Na
15 NIGHTS
FROM £2,995
International flights quoted separately
A "one-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to track the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi. This adventurous fully escorted overland holiday includes the wildlife of the Masai Mara & Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Travel in a rugged 4x4 truck & sleep in simple camps. English speaking guide, activity package, park fees & gorilla permit included. Group size 4 to 18.
Kenya Uganda Overland Tour Track Gorillas Safari Masai Mara Queen Elizabeth National Park Bwindi
• 
Nairobi
• 
Lake Naivasha
• 
Masai Mara Game Reserve
• 
Lake Nakuru
• 
Kampala
• 
Lake Bunyonti
• 
Bwindi Impentrable Forest
• 
Gorilla Tracking
• 
Queen Elizabeth Park
• 
Jinja
• 
Nairobi
• 
Lake Naivasha
• 
Masai Mara Game Reserve
• 
Lake Nakuru
• 
Kampala
• 
Lake Bunyonti
• 
Bwindi Impentrable Forest
• 
Gorilla Tracking
• 
Queen Elizabeth Park
• 
Jinja
Day 1
You will be met at Nairobi Airport and transferred to your accommodation in this bustling city.
 
Check in and relax in your warm and friendly African surroundings.
Day 2
This morning you will be collected from your Nairobi hotel and taken to the departure point for your group adventure tour travelling in a rugged 4x4 overland truck.
 
We leave at 08.00 from Sentrim Boulevard Hotel, Harry Thuku Road in Nairobi and travel 5-hours to the Masai Mara National Park, named after the Masai people and the Mara River, which divides the park.
 
Masai Mara National Park is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual migration of zebra and wildebeest from the adjoining Serengeti National Park. This phenomenon occurs every year from July to October, when game migrates along a circular route from the plains of the Serengeti to the Masai Mara and back again in search of fresh pastures, followed by hungry predators - most notably lions and hyena. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in this magnificent wildlife sanctuary, with optional opportunity to visit a local Masai village.
 
Regardless of lodge meal plans, all your meals are included whilst on tour and will be prepared & served from the overland vehicle - except for specified optional dinners in cities. Alcohol is not included. Accommodation varies and includes lodges, hotels, hostels, chalets, permanent tented camps and traditional huts. Bedding is provided, but you do need to bring your own towel, sleeping bag and headlight. Truck lockers are 30 x 80cm, so please use soft bags that will fit (but there is no weight restriction). Shared ablutions at tented camp. Please be aware that accommodation sometimes has to be substituted for operational reasons.
 
Average group size is 14 people (with minimum of 4 and maximum of 20). On accommodated tours the average age is 40+, with a range from 18 to 55 years although this does vary by tour. If over 65 years, you need a doctors letter that you are sufficiently fit for overland travel. Teens aged 16 to 18 years are on request and must travel with an adult.
Day 3
After an early morning game drive in the Masai Mara, we travel 6-hours to Lake Naivasha, a fresh water lake in the heart of the spectacular Great Rift Valley that is home to hippos and over 400 different bird species.
 
Enjoy a relaxing day on the lakeshore, where you can go hiking or enjoy an optional cycle ride with game viewing & bird watching. Another option is to enjoy high tea at Elsamere, the former home of Joy Adamsson - renowned for her autobiography "Born Free".
Day 4
Today we visit Hell's Gate National Park and travel northwards for 2-hours to Lake Nakuru in the heart of the Great Rift Valley.
 
A soda lake on the floor of the Rift Valley, at certain times of the year Lake Nakuru is home to many flamingos and over 400 different bird species. The lake is also a haven for certain endangered species including the Rothschild giraffe and black and white rhino. On arival enjoy an afternoon game drive.
Day 5
A full day on the road today as we leave Lake Nakuru very early and travel for 16-hours to Uganda, stopping for a photo opportunity at the equator.
 
After completing border formalities we continue to Kampala, the capital of Uganda and its largest city. Here there is the optional opportunity to visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, originally established as an animal orphanage.
Day 6
At leisure to explore the markets of Kampala.
 
Most people take an optional day trip to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island. This charity project was set up to care for orphaned chimpanzees and is doing outstanding work. There is also the option of dining out in Kampala tonight.
Day 7
A full day on the road today as we travel 8-hours to Lake Bunyonyi - meaning "Place of Many Little Birds" and the second deepest lake in the Great Rift Valley.
 
Lake Bunyonyi is a small but attractive lake, with steep sides and abundant birdlife. Ringed by mountains, the lake is best known for its dense otter population and stunning scenery. As the lake  is free of bilharzia, it is safe for swimming.
 
Day 8
Rise early today to travel 2.5-hours to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park - home to half the world's population of critically endangered mountain gorillas, and also a sanctuary for colobus monkeys and chimpanzees.
 
This dense equatorial rainforest is accessible only on foot and features one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, including 120 species of mammals, 350 bird species including hornbills and turacos, 220 butterfly species, 27 frog species as well as chameleons, geckos and many other endangered species. It also boasts over 1,000 different floral species.
 
At your specified gate rangers will allocate you to a small group of up to 8 people - with each gorilla family graded as a short, medium or long hike, based on their location the previous day. We recommend you ask your guide to request the appropriate category for you, although this cannot be guaranteed as the gorillas may have moved significantly overnight.
 
After a briefing, you will then track a family of endangered Mountain Gorillas, accompanied by two guides - one at the front and one at the back. The group will walk at the speed of the slowest member, so it is important to proceed at your own pace and enjoy the experience. We strongly recommend hiring a local porter at a cost of around $15 per person, as not only is this an important source of local employment, but they will carry your backpacks and give you a hand up (or a push) where necessary. Expect to walk 1 to 4-hours each way in steep, sometimes muddy and dense tropical jungle conditions to view a family of these enormous primates and observe their behavior up close - a rare privilege indeed.
 
You must take a copy of your passport with you today, as this will be required to trek. You must be over the age of 15 years to track gorillas and be sufficiently fit to walk for the period indicated. Ensure you arrange a packed lunch with your lodge and carry sufficient water in your backpack (at least 2 litres). You should wear long trousers, long sleeved top, long socks (tucked into your trousers to keep out biting ants), proper walking boots and gardening gloves to protect your hands from nettles and undergrowth. Start off wearing a light fleece, as it is cold in the forest in the morning and pack proper rain gear, including a rain jacket and waterproof trousers, as it can rain at any time. A walking stick to help with the steep ascents will be provided if you don’t have your own.
 
You cannot be sick or have any infectious disease and no eating or drinking is permitted in the vicinity of the gorillas. Only one hour is allowed with the gorillas and you have to keep a distance of at least 7 metres. No flash photography is allowed and no touching the gorillas (although they may decide to touch you)!
Day 9
At leisure to relax on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi - giving us flexibility to change the date of our gorilla tracking in need.
 
Optional Pygmy Village vist.
Day 10
Leaving Lake Bunyonyi, we travel 5-hours to Queen Elizabeth National Park - an enormous wildlife sanctuary that extends from Lake Edward in the southwest to Lake George in the northeast, with the Kazinga Channel connecting these two great lakes.
 
Many game species can be found in this wetland park, as well as the elusive giant forest hog and the legendary tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha Sector.
 
At sunset there is the option of a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. Thanks to the abundant wildlife, including huge herds of elephants, buffalo & hundreds of hippos that cool off on the shores, this cruise will be a highlight. The channel is also a magnet for waterbirds, with great flocks of pelicans and others birds on the shore and a great place to see the fish eagle.
Day 11
Rise early when game viewing conditions are at their best, for a 4x4 game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park - the most visited national park in Uganda and home to 11% of all the species in the world. It has 95 different species of mammal including lions, hippo, elephants, leopards and chimpanzees, as well as over 660 different bird species.
 
We head to the mating ground of the Uganda Kobs, where we search for lion, elephant, buffalo and other wild animals in their natural habitat, before returning to our accommodation.
 
In the afternoon there is the option to go Chimpanzee Trekking at Lake George.
 
Note: Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in Uganda.
Day 12
A full day on the road today as we travel 8-hours from Queen Elizabeth Park to Jinja - the second largest city in Uganda, situated at the source of the River Nile.
 
At Jinja, the River Nile flows out of Lake Victoria and begins its epic 4,150 miles (6,700 km) journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 13
At leisure to relax in the city of Jinja on the shores of Lake Victoria.
 
Your optional activity today is thrilling and adrenalin-filled White Water Rafting down the River Nile!
Day 14
Today we leave Jinja and, after completing customs formalities, re-enter Kenya and travel 7-hours to Eldoret.
 
The Great Rift Valley is the dominant geographical feature of this region as we arrive in Eldoret, the country’s 5th largest city situated at 7,000 ft (2,100 m) above sea level and home to many famous Kenyan long-distance runners.
Day 15
Today we travel 6-hours from Eldoret to Nairobi, the largest city in East Africa region, with drop off at your hotel at the end of our overland adventure.
 
In the evening there is an optional meal out to swap stories and exchange contact details.
Day 16
Transfer to Nairobi Airport for your flight home.
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