Gorillas & Plains tour

Gorillas & Plains tour

Tour Experience

Two week tour covering the lakes wildlife parks of Kenya and the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in Uganda

Available

All year round

Location

Kenya and Uganda

This two week adventure takes you through the magnificent lakes and wildlife parks of Kenya, across Uganda and the Equator, and up into the jungle for some trekking to visit the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.

Starting in Nairobi we first head out to the famous Masai Mara game reserve where we’ll have several included game drives to view the wildlife in one of Africa's most iconic game reserves. We then head north, stopping for more game viewing at Lake Nakuru, before crossing the border into Uganda where our next stop is Jinja, famous as the point where the River Nile flows out of Lake Victoria. There are optional Nile cruises and great white water rafting available here.

Next we head north towards the Murchison National Park, home of the spectacular Murchison Falls. We'll enjoy another included game drive here, through one of Uganda's best National Parks. Then we take another jungle trek, this time through the Budongo Central Forest Reserve in search of the local chimpanzees. We follow this adventure with a visit to the mountains, stopping at the beautiful Lake Bunyoni which we use as our base for our gorilla trek deep into the Bwindi Impenetrable forest. This experience is a once in a life time opportunity to get up close and personal with man's closest relative.

An optional rhino trekking experience is then available as we head back towards Kenya through the Great Rift Valley and Eldoret, before we arrive back in Nairobi to finish the tour.

Important Note: the itinerary below is written with an optional Activity Package included. This optional payment covers what we consider highly recommended activities on the tour. Separating these activities out is designed to help people with differing budgets. If required, the Activity Package should be pre-purchased prior to your arrival to guarantee availability and to help your guides plan ahead to help the smooth running of the tour. Please contact us for details and prices.

VIEW THE PHOTOS

INCLUDED

  • 13 night's accommodation in hotels/lodges/guesthouses
  • All transport using our 25-seat expedition vehicle
  • All 'included highlights' as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 2 truck crew (driver/guide plus assistant/cook)
  • Local guides for sightseeing tours and activities as per the itinerary
  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 11 dinners

EXCLUDED

  • International Flights
  • Visa fees if required
  • Activity Package and optional activities (see itinerary and tour notes)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Single room supplements (chargeable if a same-sex room share is not available)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guides & drivers
  • Entrance fees and activities not mentioned above
  • Any other items not mentioned above
  • Gorilla permits (allow approx $630)

PACKAGE DETAILS

Itinerary

DAY 1: Masai Mara National Reserve

Those booking the Activity Package will leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara, world renowned for its endless plains of wild animals and spectacular beauty. This afternoon we will enjoy a cultural experience as we visit and interact with Kenya’s native Masaai people.
The visit to the Masai Mara is operated in a minibus and then safari type vehicles and not our main truck. For this reason, you are asked to pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials.
If you do not book the optional Activity Package then you should make your own way to Lake Nakuru to join the tour when we leave in the morning of Day 4. Please contact us for more information.
Route: Nairobi to Masai Mara ±240km
Activity Package – Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion
OVERNIGHT:
Permanent Tents: Masai Mara Camp
MEALS:
Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Gorilla Permit, Extra day in Nairobi – pre-tour, Options available while on tour, Arrival airport transfer in Nairobi, Activity Package – Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion (The optional Activity Package is available for an extra fee, please contact us for details and prices)

DAY 2: Masai Mara National Reserve

The rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities. Some of the other animals that could be found here include elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers, which traverse this reserve. Today we will spend the entire day game driving through the Mara in search of all the animals.
Activity package: Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion
OVERNIGHT:
Permanent Tents: Masai Mara Camp
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Activity Package – Gorillas & Plains

DAY 3: Masai Mara - Lake Nakuru

We rise early and enjoy our final game drive through the Mara before heading to Lake Nakuru National Park, where we will enjoy an afternoon game drive through the park. Lake Nakuru is home to large flocks of Flamingos and pelicans as well as black & white rhino, leopard, lion and numerous buck. Originally created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru was upgraded to National Park status in 1968.
Route: Masai Mara to Lake Nakuru ±220km
Activity package: Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion
OVERNIGHT:
Lake Nakuru Lodge OR Kivu Lodge
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Activity Package – Gorillas & Plains

DAY 4: Lake Nakuru - Jinja

Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and more famous as the point where the Nile (officially the Victoria Nile) flows out of Lake Victoria and begins the 6,695km journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Note: If you have not booked the Activity Package then you will need to get to Lake Nakuru and be ready to leave there with the group this morning.
Optional activities: Nile Cruises, Nile River Rafting Half Day
OVERNIGHT:
Eden Rock Resort
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Options available while on tour

DAY 5: Kampala - Masindi - Murchison Falls National Park

After meeting your guides in Kampala you are off to to the Murchison Falls NP. The Murchison Falls, also referred to as the Kabaraga Falls, is a waterfall found on the course of the great Nile and are located within the Murchison National Park. The park is recognized as one of the best National Parks in Uganda. After settling into our accommodation, your guide will brief you on the activities for the following day.
Optional activities: Murchison Falls Boat Cruise Incl. Park Fees
OVERNIGHT:
Kabalega Resort Hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Options available while on tour

DAY 6: Masindi - Budongo Central Forest Reserve

Budongo Forest is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa and is home to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. It is believed that there are between 600 & 700 chimpanzees in Budongo and this morning we will meet up with our chimp guide who will take us on our trek through the forest in search of the chimps. In 2017 we will also enjoy a game drive through the park in search of the great diversity of wild animals.
Note: As the Chimp trekking is limited to 12 guests per trek, should there be more than 12 guests on a tour the trekking will be split between the morning and the afternoon. Therefore you may find that you will first do the game drive activity followed by the Chimp trekking or vice versa. Please allow for flexibility.
Activity package: Chimpanzee Trekking
OVERNIGHT:
Kabalega Resort Hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Options available while on tour, Activity Package – Gorillas & Plains

DAY 7: Kampala

This morning is set aside to participate in any activities, should we not have been able to participate in them in the previous days. It then onto Kampala where you will have the afternoon free to take in the atmosphere of this bustling city.
Optional activities: Dinner out – Kampala
Activity Package: Ziwa Rhino Walk
OVERNIGHT:
Sky Hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast
EXTRAS:
Options available while on tour

DAY 8: Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)

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. We make use of this beautiful spot to relax the night before the final drive to the gorillas.
Optional activities: Canoe Rental – Lake Bunyoni
OVERNIGHT:
Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Gorilla Permit, Options available while on tour

DAY 9: Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)

The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only around 650 left. Visiting the gorillas is a great way to support their future on earth as the money spent on permits is used for their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining gorillas rests in the community development work – as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is assured. As permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are extremely limited we require flexibility in both the tour itinerary and where we actually visit them. The home of the mountain gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Whenever possible we choose to make use of the National Park in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits. Should we not obtain permits to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC. On your free day in Bunyoni you will have the opportunity to participate in certain optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike.
OVERNIGHT:
Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Gorilla Permit

DAY 10: Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)

Although there are 2 days allocated to Gorilla Trekking you will only spend one day on the trek. The other days are there to provide a large enough window in which to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to trek if there are more than 6 of you on the tour. Today we will enjoy a visit to the Nyombi Village, a Pygmy village which is reached by motor boat from Bunyonyi Resort. We will have the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Pygmies and how they live.
Activity Package: Pygmy Village Visit
OVERNIGHT:
Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
EXTRAS:
Gorilla Permit, Activity Package – Gorillas & Plains

DAY 11: Lake Bunyonyi - Kampala

Today we say farewell to the Gorillas and make the long journey back to Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
Optional activity: Dinner out – Kampala
OVERNIGHT:
Sky Hotel
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch
EXTRAS:
Options available while on tour

DAY 12: Jinja

We depart Kampala early to arrive at Jinja just before lunch. This afternoon you will have time to relax and enjoy the various activities available here including swimming, quad biking, kayaking and rafting.
OVERNIGHT:
Eden Rock Resort
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: Kenya - Eldoret

Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the countries 5th largest city. The Great Rift Valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region and the altitude at Eldoret is 2100 metres above sea level.
OVERNIGHT:
Naiberi River Camp
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: Nairobi

Returning to our final destination Nairobi, the largest city in the East Africa region, there is an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details.
Note – Your tour will come to an end once you arrive into Nairobi. We recommend that you book at least 1 more night post-tour rather than flying out this evening incase of any delays. We can help you in organising extra nights if required.
Optional activities: Dinner out – Nairobi
OVERNIGHT:
N/A
MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch
EXTRAS:
Extra day in Nairobi – post-tour, Options available while on tour, Departure airport transfer in Nairobi

DURATION

14 Days

Price

A$2034

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