This 24 day overland tour journeys from Nairobi to Kigali through Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda
Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
Welcome to Nairobi! If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier to give yourself the time to see some of the highlights in the city - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.
There will be a group meeting today at our joining hotel at 10:00am - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.
After the group meeting, we will be met by our 6-person 4x4 jeeps that will take us on our 2-night excursion to the Maasai Mara. We will load the jeeps with our personal gear (but we will not need our camping equipment) and then head off to Maasai Mara, leaving our truck behind.
We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location in Nairobi), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 3 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.
On arrival, we will have the chance for a short evening game drive in the Maasai Mara National Park before heading to our campsite. The Maasai Mara is an incredibly scenic area and is one of the world's greatest places for wildlife spotting which is absolutely teeming with giraffe, buffalo, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other big game!
On both nights at the Maasai Mara, we will stay in a basic campground on the outskirts of the National Park. The campsite has set-tents and bedding, but is self-catered (we will use our kitchen equipment brought from the truck).
Today we will go out for the full day game driving in the National Park before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a sunset balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your trip to avoid disappointment.
Tonight we will stay at the same campsite on the outskirts of the Maasai Mara.
The following day we will have a final game drive in the Maasai Mara in the early morning, before heading to Nairobi and our campsite, arriving at about 4:00pm or 5:00pm. This is where we will meet our overland truck and start using the truck's camping equipment.
In Nairobi we will stay in a well equipped campsite.
Today we will head through the hills of central Kenya through the area's beautiful scenery and tea plantations, to arrive at the small village of Naro Moru at the base of Mount Kenya.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
On the following day we will have a free day in Naro Moru to take optional walks around the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, explore the nearby Mau Mau caves, or take an optional game drive in the nearby Sweetwaters National Reserve.
In Naro Moru we will stay at a well equipped campsite.
Today we will travel to the Samburu region near to the small town of Archer's Post, where we will visit a Samburu village. Here we will be shown around the village and their homes, play with the children and learn all about the way of life here for the Samburu people!
We will camp in the village in the heart of the community tonight, where there are no toilet or washing facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Today we will get up early and enter the Samburu National Reserve, where we will head out for the entire day for game drives in the truck (breaking for a long lunch during the heat of the day).
Samburu is a stunning National Reserve and is a great opportunity to spot big game such as cheetah, leopards, lions, and buffalo. The Reserve is also home to other animals rarely seen in the National Parks further south, such as Grevy's zebras, Somali ostriches and gerenuk ('giraffe-necked antelopes').
Tonight we will wild camp in a camping area in the National Reserve - facilities are very basic, but the area is a 5-10 minute walk from Samburu Lodge.
Please note that during very wet conditions we may need to use locally chartered 4x4 jeeps rather than our truck to get a good game drive in - in this instance we may make this option available at extra cost.
Today we will make our way to Nakuru, our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru National Park. If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.
In Nakuru we will stay at a beautiful and well equipped campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of town.Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours
The following morning we head into Nakuru National Park for an included half-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos.
Border Information: Exit Kenya at Malaba, enter Uganda at Malaba.
Today we have a full day's drive across the border into Uganda as we travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa!
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
On the following day we will have a free day to get involved in the many optional adventure activities available here, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and boat trips on the White Nile!
In Jinja we will stay at a well equipped campsite.
Today we make our way to Kampala and have plenty of time to explore this bustling African city. There are many optional activities on offer here this afternoon.
Estimated drive time - 2-3 hours
Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Kampala, you will most likely enter Uganda at Entebbe International Airport.
Welcome to Kampala! If you would like to explore Kampala fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier to give yourself the time to see some of the highlights in the city - possible activities include visiting the Uganda Museum, the Cathedral and the Kasubi Tombs. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kampala before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kampala.
There will be a group meeting today at our joining hotel at 18:00 - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.
This morning we will make our way into the stunning Lake Mburo National Park. This drive will take us across the equator - a prime moment for some photos! The afternoon will include a boat trip on the beautiful Lake Mburo.
We will stay in an incredibile campsite close to the lake where you may be lucky enough to see hippos leaving the water in the evening.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
This morning we travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Lake Edward and Lake George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the campsite.
After lunch we will take an included boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife as well as its healthy population of hippos. During our time in the park we also hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.
The next morning we are up early to go on a full day game drive making our way into the depths of the park. We will experience areas of the National Park that are impossible to reach without a full days excursion!
Here we will go on what is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip - trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest habitat.
This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than 8 people per day can visit any one habituated family, and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid; however, the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk at least 4 hours - uphill and downhill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself! Once you find them, you will stay with the gorillas for one unforgettable hour!
When visiting the gorillas you will be assigned a trekking group and time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day.
In Bwindi we will stay in a campsite that occasinally has some very special visitors, the incredible mountain gorillas!
Please note that the gorilla permits are paid for in full by the trip kitty - however, we have to purchase the permits in advance on the customers' behalf, so a higher deposit is charged on the trip price to protect us from losing this money in the event of cancellation - please see the notes at the end for further detail.
Border Information: Exit Uganda at Cyahafi, enter Rwanda at Kidaho.
Leaving Uganda behind, we cross the border into the stunning country of Rwanda.
Today we will drive the short distance to Ruhengeri (also known as Musanze), the gateway to the Volcanoes National Park, where we will spend the next 1night. Today we will have time for optional activities such as visiting the Golden Monkeys.
Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.
In Ruhengeri we will stay in dorms at a local church mission, or camp in their grounds.
Today we head to the lakeside town of Kibuye. We will have the option to do many activities this afternoon in the rural town.
Estimated drive time - 3-4 hours
Tonight we will stay in an eco-camp overlooking the water.
This morning we wil head to Nyungwe National Park where we will stay for 2 nights as we have so much to fit in! We start with a visit to a local tea plantation before camping in the National Park itself.
The following morning we have chimps to hunt for and a breath taking canopy walkway trail to keep us busy for the day!
Estimated drive time - 2-3 hours
Today we arrive in our final city of this trip, Kigali. After a long drive in the morning we will visit the moving and very thought provoking Genocide Museum in the afternoon.
Estimated drive time: 5-6 hours.
In Kigali we will stay in a comfortable campsite for the night.
Border information: If you are finishing in Kigali, you will most likely exit Rwanda at Kigali International Airport.
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kigali. Please note, there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking an extra night of accommodation in order to fully explore the area.
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Trip Name: Gorillas and the Wilds of Rwanda & Tanzania
Duration: 24 Days
From Price: $4,710
Supplier Tour ID: ANG2/207899
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