Mountain Gorillas to the Mara

Tour Code 17MGM18. Camping Overland
18 days from
$1'729 USD
USDwas 2035 USD
Plus 690 USD mandatory supplements.
Plus 600 USD mandatory Adventure Pass
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Suitable for Ages: 18 to 39. Group Size: Average 16, maximum 24

Immerse yourself in Kenya and Uganda's highlights on this epic adventure...

18 Days of incredible landscapes, beautiful sunsets, starry nights and arguably the best wildlife encounters in the world. Between game driving in Lake Nakuru and Maasai Mara to the Chimpanzee & Gorilla trekking in the Ugandan wilderness, you'll be sure to leave this tour with more photographs and memories than imaginable.

This tour includes Gorilla and Chimp Trekking. This is paid at the time of booking - please see supplements for pricing.

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Day 1. Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park Highlights. Great Rift Valley. Lake Nakuru, Kenya.

We depart Nairobi early and descend into the ‘Great Rift Valley’, stopping at a lookout point to take in the magnificent views. Our overnight stop is Lake Nakuru National Park, a delightful introduction to East Africa’s wildlife diversity. This afternoon, making use of local guides and smaller safari vehicles for a more intimate experience, we embark on a game drive.

Day 2. Lake Nakuru to Eldoret Highlights. Equator.

From Nakuru we continue northwest and climb in altitude towards the town of Eldoret en route to the Ugandan frontier. We cross from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere today over the Equator, enjoying some time here learning a little about its significance and taking photos before moving onwards to Eldoret. We camp outside of town in a unique campsite created on hilly forest tribal land, once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe.

Day 3. Eldoret to Kampala Highlights. Kampala, Uganda.

We cross into Uganda, Winston Churchill’s ‘Pearl of Africa’, a country with beautiful natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures – and friendly people. Our first night we camp at the capital Kampala, an attractive hilly city, bustling with roadside traders, markets and busy matatu (mini-bus taxi) stands.

Day 4. Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park

From Kampala, we travel west towards Queen Elizabeth National Park, crossing the Equator again, through fertile green terraced hillsides, lush banana plantations, steep mountains and tangled forests. We camp a short distance from the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here you will have the opportunity to relax and unwind, take a walk in the surrounding areas and mingle with the local community.

Day 5. Queen Elizabeth National Park Highlights. Chimpanzee Trek, Kyamburu Gorge, Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

Chimp trekking permits are issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people at a time, per group. Depending on our group size, this means that we may trek on the afternoon of day 4, morning of day 5 and afternoon of day 5 or morning of day 6.

Day 6. Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyonyi Highlights. Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda.

We leave the picturesque hills of the national park and make our way to the lush and stunning Lake Bunyonyi (‘Place of many little birds’). With a depth of nearly 900m in parts, this lake is the second deepest lake in Africa. With twenty-nine islands that can be visited by local boats, the lake is a great place to unwind, relax and explore on the days that we don’t trek to see the mountain gorillas.

Over the next two days the group will be split, with one group trekking to the mountain gorillas while the others stay at Lake Bunyonyi to enjoy the many activities on offer.

Day 7-8. Lake Bunyonyi Highlights. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Mountain gorillas.

Your permit allows you one trek and gorilla viewing (time limited to one hour). However because the authorities maintain strict limits on the number of visitors allowed to view the gorillas each day we may spend several days in the area while all passengers in our group complete the trek and viewing.

If not trekking, today is free to explore the surrounding area, discover the Islands by boat on Lake Bunyonyi or relax back at camp catching up on some well deserved rest and relaxation.

Day 9. Lake Bunyonyi to Kampala

From Lake Bunyonyi we make our way back across the Equator (stopping for a photo if we have not done so previously) through lush pasture lands and the northern reaches of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) to Kampala where we will overnight. If time allows, go out to enjoy the nightlife, try the local cuisines and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans.

Day 10. Kampala to Jinja

Leaving Kampala we drive the short distance to the town of Jinja on the banks of Lake Victoria and the Nile. Our camp is situated on the grassy banks overlooking the Nile River. It is here that we usually have the option to try river rafting, mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and even bungee jumping. There is also the opportunity to make some difference to local children at a local school project, locally run volunteer programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area.

Day 11-12. Jinja Highlights. Jinja, Uganda.

Enjoy a free day in this magical place or take part in one of the many optional activities on offer. Adrenaline lovers can head to the world class rapids and try rafting - an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of ‘whitewater’. Those seeking a more relaxing day can visit the local community or simply just relax at camp.

Day 13. Jinja to Eldoret

Leaving Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border into Kenya and onwards to Eldoret, where we will camp for the evening.

Day 14. Eldoret to Nairobi

This morning we cross the Equator and make our way south to Nairobi and to our base just outside the city.

Tonight we have the opportunity to explore the city's nightlife.

Day 15. Nairobi

Today you are free to explore the city and surrounding area. Popular excursions include catching a taxi into town to check out the shopping, markets, bars and restaurants; Visit the National Museum of Kenya; chow down at Carnivore – a bbq meat eater’s paradise; go on safari at Nairobi National Park; Visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre or check out the Karen Blixen Museum in the nearby town of Karen. Alternatively the day is yours to simply relax and enjoy some ‘downtime’.

Day 16. Nairobi to Maasai Mara National Reserve

We depart the city early and make our way across the Great Rift Valley to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, enjoying views of the vast vista en route. We travel in small specialized safari vehicles that enable us to have a more intimate view of wildlife. We spend two nights camping on the edge of the Reserve with time to explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives.

Day 17. Maasai Mara National Reserve Highlights. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

We have the day to explore the Reserve in search for wildlife including the ‘big 5’ – lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard. We stop for a lunch before returning to our tented camp for the evening.

Day 18. Maasai Mara to Nairobi

From the Mara we make our way back across the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi, where our tour ends on arrival in the city.

Suggested Pre-Tour Accommodation.

Hotel Boulevard, Nairobi

Conveniently located on Nairobi's Harry Thuku Road and set in manicured gardens, this hotel offers a peaceful oasis in the centre of town. Walking distance to shops and craft markets. Rooms – single, twin, double en suite rooms with balcony and satellite TV. Facilities – restaurant, bar, swimming pool, internet, laundry. Transfers are available from the Airport by pre-arrangement

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Suggested Post-Tour Accommodation.
Hotel Boulevard, Nairobi

Conveniently located on Nairobi's Harry Thuku Road and set in manicured gardens, this hotel offers a peaceful oasis in the centre of town. Walking distance to shops and craft markets. Rooms – single, twin, double en suite rooms with balcony and satellite TV. Facilities – restaurant, bar, swimming pool, internet, laundry. Transfers are available from the Airport by pre-arrangement

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Additional Info

PRE TOUR ACCOMMODATION:
This tour departs Nairobi early on day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive at least the day before departure to overcome any jet-lag and to acclimatise to Africa. We would be happy to book pre-tour accommodation for you – please call or email us (or speak to your agent) with your arrival details and accommodation requirements. However please book early to avoid disappointment and the risk of having to find more expensive (or less convenient) lodgings.

If time allows, we also suggest planning a night or two extra (after your tour) to make the most of this part of Africa. Your Tour Leader can help with post tour accommodation if required and there are a variety of activities and excursions in the Nairobi Area that you can arrange locally. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can pre book your accommodation at the time of booking your tour.

ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS:
These are optional activities that are booked during your holiday and paid directly to the provider while on tour. These options offer a variety of experiences and allow you the freedom to decide what activities you would like to do.

GORILLA & CHIMPANZEE TREK:
Depending on the availability of the chimpanzee and gorilla permits the tour itinerary may vary in day to day running order which is based on the brochure itinerary. From time to time we may have to trek on different days. If at any chance our Gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country, e.g. Rwanda (instead of Uganda) this may entail extra visa fees although we shall endeavour to advise you before departure of any significant changes to the tour itinerary. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to day 6-8 of this tour.

ACCOMMODATION:
We use 2-person dome tents with fly sheets, sewn-in groundsheets, zip-up insect screens and foam mattresses. We mainly use campsites, which usually have reasonable wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool. In Maasai Mara we use multi shared tented camp with en-suite facilities.

TRANSPORT:
24-seater, self-contained, custom-built safari truck with on-board tables, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, i-pod jack, safety features and 70-litre individual lockers, open pop top safari vehicle

GAME PARK VISITS:
In order to maximise the quality of game driving and to comply with local authority rulings, some of our National Park visits and game viewing is carried out using services provided by local African ground handlers. As well as enhancing our experience using local guides and smaller vehicles it also allows us to contribute at a ‘grassroots’ level to local economies from which local people benefit.

Meals
17 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 16 Dinners

Accommodation
15 nights camping in 2-person dome tents, 2 nights pre-erected twin share camp

Includes.
Fully equipped safari vehicle
Camping and cooking equipment
All road tolls and vehicle taxes
All ground transportation
Sleeping mattress
Meals as indicated
Services of two crew

Included Highlights:
The Great Rift Valley
Lake Nakuru NP, Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
Maasai Mara excursion with small vehicle*

*Highlights are included in the Adventure Pass
Excludes.
Visas
Flights
Travel insurance
Departure taxes
Airport transfers
Sleeping bag
Optional activities
Drinks, tips
Items of a personal nature
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Adventure Pass

Every Overland tour has an Adventure Pass which is paid to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour (or pre-paid by arrangement prior to your tour). This is separate and in addition to the Tour Price, and covers selected park entries, activities and excursions along the way where payment goes directly to the supplier to ensure local suppliers benefit directly from the income.

600 USD or 660 USD * (If prepaid)

* This pass is a compulsory add-on for this tour.

The Adventure Pass for this tour includes

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