Ocean to Gorillas (Accommodated) (26 Days)

Tour Code 19OTG26A. Accommodated Overland
26 days from
$4'126 USD
USDwas 4585 USD
Plus 780 USD mandatory supplements.
Plus 1000 USD mandatory Adventure Pass
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Group Size: Average 16 Maximum 24. Age Group: 18-39

From the beach to the forest - explore awesome East Africa

This accommodated adventure tour will give you an amazing insight into East Africa. Starting on the tropical island of Zanzibar, via the roaming wildlife of the Serengeti plains and Ngorongoro crater, through the Great Rift Valley and Lake Nakuru, across the Equator to the endangered mountain Gorillas & Chimpanzees of Uganda. This tour will provide you with the magic of Africa and leave you wanting to travel further south on this amazing continent.

This tour includes Gorilla and Chimp Trekking. This is paid for at the time of booking - please see supplements for pricing. This tour is also available as a camping tour - see tour styles for more info.

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Day 1. Dar es Salaam to Stone Town, Zanzibar Highlights. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Accommodation. Safari Lodge, Zanzibar.

Our tour begins with a ferry crossing onto the beautiful island of Zanzibar. This unique Island was the base of the great 19th century explorers such as John Hanning Speke, Richard Burton and David Livingstone and once was a major trading centre of spices. Our time on the island over the next 4 nights is not structured and your time is at leisure. Perhaps the best way to see Stone Town is on foot: visit mosques and palaces to appreciate the ancient Arab architecture and explore the bazaars for trinkets, clothes and wooden carvings.

Spices are grown in plantations nearby and you can take a day tour to visit this en route to the Northern Beaches.

Day 2. Stone Town to Kendwa Beach Accommodation. Sunset Bungalows Kendwa.

After sampling some of the Islands exotic fruits at breakfast, we transfer to the Northern Beaches and Kendwa and if you wish, join in on an optional spice tour en route. We have 3 nights here to relax on the sunkissed beaches to enjoy the many optional activities on offer: scuba diving, snorkelling, Dhow sailing boat cruises or simply sample the local cuisine that is served in the resorts that dot the waters edge.

Day 3. Kendwa Beach Highlights. Zanzibar, Northern Beaches, Tanzania. Accommodation. Sunset Bungalows Kendwa.

Enjoy today at leisure to explore this tropical haven. The beach is a great place to catch up with the locals who will pass by selling their wares, offering henna tattoos and inexpensive massages. Round the day off with a sunset dhow cruise or chilling to the tunes from the nearby beach bars.

Day 4. Kendwa Beach Accommodation. Sunset Bungalows Kendwa.

Today is a free day. Enjoy swimming in the warm Indian ocean, eating exotic foods and mingling with the locals. Take an optional diving trip to the rich colourful reefs or grab a snorkel and goggles to explore these from above.

Day 5. Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam Highlights. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Accommodation. Kipepeo Beach Village, Dar es Salaam.

After an early morning swim and breakfast, we transfer back to Stone Town to do any last-minute shopping. Bidding farewell to Zanzibar, we take the ferry back to the African mainland and onwards to our accommodation on the coast for the evening.

Day 6. Dar es Salaam to Marangu Highlights. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Accommodation. Marangu Hotel.

Leaving the coast and the bustling city of Dar es Salaam we make our way north past the picturesque Usambara and the Pare Mountains to Marangu, situated at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro. If the weather is clear we may gain a glimpse of the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain (5895m).

Day 7. Marangu to Arusha Highlights. Maasai Village Walk, Arusha, Tanzania. Accommodation. Meserani Snake Park.

This morning we turn west and make our way to Arusha, a city exactly midway between Cairo and Cape Town. This is Tanzania’s ‘safari capital’, a city of some 2 million people all nestling in the shadow of the brooding Mt Meru (4556 m).

Our accommodation is outside the city at the edge of the Maasai Plains and based on a reptile farm. It's here we take a walk to the local Maasai villages and visit a local Maasai museum.

Day 8. Arusha to Serengeti National Park Highlights. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Accommodation. Serengeti Camp.

This morning we meet our local guides and transfer to smaller more ‘game park friendly’ vehicles and drive west across the Great Rift Valley, passing through Mto Wa Mbo (‘mosquito creek’). Entering the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, we drive around the ‘Crater’s rim and down onto the Serengeti plains. Home to an enormous variety of grazing animals, predators, and birdlife we game drive to our designated (but unfenced) campsite for the evening under canvas for an unforgettable experience.

The Serengeti is well known as one of Africa's premier game parks. At over 14,000kmsq, the Serengeti offers a vast number of habitats to resident wildlife including the massive plains on which the fresh grazing attracts the massive herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle.

Day 9. Ngorongoro Crater Accommodation. Simba Camp, Ngorongoro Crater.

Rising with the sun we game drive in the morning in search of the many animals roaming the lands: elephants, lions, hyena, wildebeest, leopard, zebra and the prolific birdlife.

We exit the Serengeti and head back to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area pausing for lunch along the way. We drive the outer walls of the crater to our accommodation for the evening overlooking the magnificent crater. At 326 square kilometres in area the Ngorongoro is Africa’s largest intact caldera and a World Heritage Site.

Tonight your accommodation is under canvas.

Day 10. Ngorongoro to Arusha Highlights. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Accommodation. Meserani Snake Park.

We wake early and descend the steep slope into the crater in our safari vehicles for a morning of game driving in this spectacular wildlife haven. All of the major mammals are present except giraffe (which cannot manage the steep slopes leading down to the Crater floor). After our game drive, we stop for some lunch before retracing our footsteps back to Arusha and our accommodation.

Day 11. Arusha to Nairobi, Kenya Accommodation. Karen Camp, Nairobi.

After our last night in Tanzania, we cross the Namanga border post and make our way to Kenya and the capital of Nairobi. Here we enjoy 2 nights in the city allowing time to explore. The most popular excursions include catching a taxi into town to check out the shopping, markets, bars and restaurants; Visit the National Museum of Kenya, Visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre or check out the Karen Blixen Museum in the nearby town of Karen.

Day 12. Nairobi Accommodation. Karen Camp, Nairobi.

Today is free to explore the city and surrounding area and our Tour Leader can help you arrange these optional excursions locally or simply relax and enjoy some ‘downtime’.

Day 13. Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park Highlights. Great Rift Valley. Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Accommodation. Punda Millias.

Leaving the bustling city behind, we descend into the ‘Great Rift Valley’, an enormous cleft in the Earth’s surface stretching from the Red Sea to the Zambezi Valley. Our next stop is at Lake Nakuru National Park, a small park by African standards, however, prolific in wildlife; lion, rhino, buffalo, warthog, antelope, baboon, leopard and antelope and the shallow soda lake attracts a huge variety of birdlife as well, especially flamingos. In the afternoon making use of local guides and smaller safari vehicles, we game drive to seek out the resident wildlife.

Day 14. Lake Nakuru to Eldoret Highlights. Equator. Accommodation. Naiberi Camp.

Today we travel north-west climbing in altitude to the town of Eldoret, crossing from the southern to the northern hemisphere over the Equator. Eldoret is the 5th largest town in Kenya with a population or around 195,000 near the Sosiani River. Our accommodation lies on the hilly slopes formally home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe and is based a short distance from the centre of town.

Day 15. Eldoret to Kampala Highlights. Kampala, Uganda. Accommodation. Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala.

Leaving Eldoret, we travel west to the border of Uganda, Winston Churchill’s ‘Pearl of Africa’, a country with beautiful scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures.

Our first stop is Kampala, Uganda's national and commercial capital bordering Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake.

Day 16. Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park Accommodation. Simba Camp, Uganda.

From Kamala, we cross the Equator again and travel through the lush vegetation, rolling hills dotted with tea plantations and little villages to Queen Elizabeth National Park area. We stay a short distance from the Queen Elizabeth National Park gates and its here you will have the opportunity to relax and unwind, take a walk in the surrounding areas and mingle with the local community.

Day 17. Queen Elizabeth National Park Highlights. Chimpanzee Trek, Kyambura Gorge, Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Accommodation. Simba Camp, Uganda.

This morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park home to over 500 species of bird and 100 species of mammals and if we are lucky, we may get to spot these animals en-route to Kyambura Gorge for our trek to see the chimpanzees. Unlike their larger cousins the mountain gorilla, chimps live mostly in the trees and so our viewing is usually peering high into the forest canopy. However, when they do come down to the forest floor, chimps usually travel on all fours, though they can walk on their legs like humans for as far as a mile. Depending on our group size, we may trek on the afternoon of day 16, the morning or afternoon of day 17 or morning of day 18.

Day 18. Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyonyi Highlights. Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Accommodation. Lake Bunyonyi Camp.

Departing Queen Elizabeth National Park and its picturesque mountains that separate Uganda from central Africa, we make our way to Lake Bunyonyi. This lake is 27 km long, 7km wide and at an elevation of 1950 metres above sea level set in photographic undulating hills between 2200m to 2478m high. With a depth of nearly 900m, this lake is the second deepest lake in Africa (the deepest being Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania).

There are many activities to do here such as hiring canoes to visit some of the lakes islands, visit local tribes and villages, visit the local orphanage, bird watching and nature walks. Alternatively just relax, catch up on your travel diary or postcards to home. These can be enjoyed on the days that we don’t trek to see the mountain gorillas.

Day 19-20. Lake Bunyonyi Highlights. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Mountain gorillas. Accommodation. Lake Bunyonyi Camp.

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

This region is home to the world’s remaining 700 mountain gorillas, many of which inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. On the day of our trek, we gather in the early morning to meet our local guide and trackers. Walking in small groups of 8, we trek into the thick rainforest and mountains to spend time (1 hour viewing) with a family of these gentle primates.

Day 21. Lake Bunyonyi to Kampala Accommodation. Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala.

We depart scenic Lake Bunyonyi today and retrace our steps back across the Equator to Kampala to overnight. Kampala is a hotspot for great food and entertainment. If time allows, take the night out and try the local cuisines and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans.

Day 22. Kampala to Jinja Highlights. Jinja, Uganda. Accommodation. Nile River Explorer.

Leaving the bustling city behind, we make the short journey to the town of Jinja which is set on the east bank of the River Nile - where the longest river in the World, the Nile starts its 6,670 km journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea.

Our accommodation is nestled overlooking the River. It is here that we have the opportunity 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: ‘Softpower’, a locally run volunteer programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area.

Day 23 - 24. Jinja Accommodation. Nile River Explorer.

Over the next couple of days explore the surrounding community, the town of Jinja and discover the beauty of the river Nile as you relax on its banks or indulge in the many optional activities on offer.

Day 25. Jinja to Eldoret, Kenya Accommodation. Naiberi Camp.

After our refreshing stop at Uganda's Adventure capital, Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border to Kenya’s frontier and onwards to Eldoret and our last night's accommodation based on the hilly slopes outside of the main town's centre.

Day 26. Eldoret to Nairobi

This morning we make our way south to the Capital city ‘Nairobi’ where our tour ends on arrival in the late afternoon.

For those wishing to stay a few days post tour to explore, we offer a post tour accommodation booking service. Chat to us or your agent to make the arrangements for you.

Suggested Pre-Tour Accommodation.

Kipepeo Beach Village, Dar es Salaam

An informal and secure thatched resort set on a golden stretch of beach on the south coast of Dar es Salaam and reached by ferry from the city centre. The relaxed restaurant is well-known for its seafood, and has tables set in the sand and hammocks strung up in the palm trees. Rooms – single, twin, double or family share bandas, some en suite, camping. Facilities – restaurant and bar. The Indian Ocean here is ideal for swimming.

* 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

This tour starts on day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive a few days before this to enjoy all that the Dar es Salaam area has to offer and 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. Accommodation is usually available locally on arrival but you can also pre-book this with Acacia. There is a variety of activities and excursions in the Nairobi area you can arrange locally or with your Tour Leader.

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.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority imposes strict regulations regarding the gorilla trekking permits. One of these is that permits must be booked and paid in advance. In order for us to do this we must collect your permit fee, in addition to your normal deposit, at the time of booking. Like your deposit, the permit fee is not refundable if you cancel your tour. The Gorilla and Chimpanzee permit currently (October 2019) costs From US$780.00 per person. Please ask your agent or Acacia for the equivalent amount in your own currency. On rare occasions, subject to permit availability, we may purchase trekking permits to view the gorillas in neighbouring Rwanda. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to day 19-20 of this tour.

Twin share accommodation with facilities (23 nights) twin share tents with sleeping bag, pillow and mattress (2 nights) some accommodation may have a bar or swimming pool.

24-seater, self-contained, custom-built safari vehicle with on-board tables, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, i-pod jack, safety features and 70-litre individual lockers, 4x4 safari vehicle and fast ferry.

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.

This is a participation tour and your help will be needed in assisting with the various day to day duties, such as shopping, cooking and keeping the Acacia vehicle tidy (usually on a rota basis). But don’t worry it’s not all hard work and it’s a great way to meet the local people and get to know your fellow travellers. Your contribution benefits the success of the tour - most people find the greater their involvement, the greater their enjoyment of the whole trip.

25 Breakfasts, 19 Lunches, 19 Dinners

23 nights twin share accommodation, 2 nights twin-share bush-camping at Serengeti/Ngorongoro (equipment supplied).

Fully equipped safari vehicle
Camping and cooking equipment
All road tolls and vehicle taxes
All ground transportation
Meals as indicated
Accommodation as indicated
Services of two crew
Sleeping mattress ( Serengeti, 1 night, Ngorongoro Crater, 1 night)

Included Highlights:
Zanzibar, Return Ferry & Accommodation
Maasai Village Walk with Resident Guide
Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater Excursion in Purpose Built Vehicles, Game Drives with Resident Guide*
The Great Rift Valley
Lake Nakuru NP, Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*

*Highlights are included in the Adventure Pass
Travel insurance
Departure taxes
Airport transfers
Optional activities
Drinks, tips, items of a personal nature
Meals on Zanzibar (Lunch x4, Dinner x4)
Meals in Nairobi (Lunch x1, Dinner x2)
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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.

1000 USD or 1080 USD * (If prepaid)

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

The Adventure Pass for this tour includes

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