18-Day Mountain Gorilla To The Mara Accommodated Overland Tour from Nairobi

Day Trips & Excursions, Boulevard Hotel to Returns to original departure point

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Tour description provided by Viator

From gorillas and chimpanzee in Uganda to the 'big 5' in Kenya, this accommodated overland tour takes in all the top experiences the famed Pearl of Africa, and Kenya have to offer. Join us and explore these exciting destinations.
ItineraryDay 1: Nairobi – Lake Nakuru National ParkStop At: Lake Nakuru, Lake Nakuru National Park, Rift Valley ProvinceKenya is East Africa’s most popular safari destination and has a long tradition of tourism and of welcoming visitors. Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, has seen rapid growth in recent years but still has a comparatively small city centre, interesting city markets, numerous craft shops, book shops and plenty of cafes and restaurants. We recommend you arrive at least one day before the tour departure in order to relax, check out the city and overcome any jetlag.We depart Nairobi early and descend into the ‘Great Rift Valley’, an enormous cleft in the Earth’s surface stretching from the Red Sea to Madagascar but with particularly marked escarpments here in Kenya. We stop at a lookout point to take in the magnificent views. Our overnight stop is Lake Nakuru National Park, a relatively small park (by African standards) however prolific in wildlife, situated on the Great Rift Valley floor. The shallow soda lake attracts a huge variety of birdlife – especially flamingos, which may gather in such numbers that (when viewed from above) they form a strikingly pink ‘fringe’ around the lake-shore. However, Lake Nakuru is not simply a bird sanctuary, it is also home to buffalo, lion, rhino (black and white), leopard, warthog, baboon, antelope, and a variety of smaller animals. A delightful introduction to East Africa’s wildlife diversity that we search for in an afternoon game drive making use of local guides and smaller safari vehicles for a more intimate experience.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Punda Milias Camp, Nakuru, KenyaDay 2: Lake Nakuru - EldoretStop At: Naiberi River Campsite & ResortFrom 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. The name ‘Eldoret’ is based on the Maasai word ‘Eldore’ meaning stony river, due to the stony bed of the nearby Sosiani River. The town is the 5th largest in Kenya and is the fastest growing with a population of approx. 194,000. We stay outside of town in a unique area created on hilly forest tribal land, once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Preserved on the site are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of a bygone age.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Naiberi Overland Camp, Eldoret, KenyaDay 3: Eldoret - KampalaStop At: Red Chilli HidewayWe 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 stay at the capital Kampala, an attractive hilly city, bustling with roadside traders, markets and busy matatu (mini-bus taxi) stands. Please note that some group members may be starting their tour in Kampala Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Red Chilli Hideway, Kampala, UgandaDay 4: Kampala – Queen Elizabeth National ParkStop At: Simba Safari CampFrom 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. From the truck we should see herds of Ankole cattle with their incredible long curving horns roaming the roads and paddocks. We stay 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.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Simba Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park area, UgandaDay 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park Stop At: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kasese, Western RegionThis morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take in the magnificent views of the mountains that separate Uganda from central Africa as well as Lake Edwards and Lake George. Queen Elizabeth National park has over 500 species of bird and 100 species of mammals making it one of the most bio diverse national parks in the world and if we are lucky, we may get to spot these animals en route to Kyambura Gorge for the 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, the experience of seeing man’s closest relative in the wild is a memorable one. Chimpanzee Trek permits are issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people per group. Depending on our group size, we may trek on the afternoon of day 4, morning of day 5 and afternoon of day 5 or morning of day 6.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Simba Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park area, UgandaDay 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Lake Bunyonyi Stop At: Bunyonyi Overland ResortWe leave the picturesque hills of the national park and make our way to the lush and stunning Lake Bunyonyi (‘Place of many little birds’). This lake is 27km long, 7km wide and at an elevation of 1950 metres above sea level, it is surrounded by undulating hills between 2200m to 2478m high. With a depth of nearly 900m in parts, this lake is the second deepest lake in Africa (the deepest being Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania). 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. Lake BunyonyiThere are many activities to do here such as hiring canoes to visit some of the lakes’ islands, visit local tribes and villages, visiting the local orphanage, as well as bird watching and nature walks. Alternatively, just relax, catch up on your travel diary or postcards to home, or sorting through your photos of your trip so far.Mountain Gorilla TrekkingThis region of Africa is home to the world’s remaining 700 free-roaming mountain gorillas, many of which inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. [We may travel into neighbouring Rwanda to trek for the gorillas if need be.]On the day of your trek we gather in the early morning to meet our local guide and tracker. Walking in small groups, we trek into the thick rainforest. The trek can be demanding at times - with uneven terrain and hilly rainforest, but the privilege of spending time with a family of these gentle primates makes the effort well worthwhile. To many people the day’s trek and time with the gorillas remains their most exciting wildlife encounter in Africa. The usual procedure, once we have located the gorilla ‘family’, is to squat or sit down and simply observe them for around an hour – the time set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (the national body charged with controlling and maintaining the gorillas in Uganda). Gorillas are sociable creatures, living in groups between 12 and 20 individuals, usually led by an alpha male (the ‘silverback’ - so called because of the silver hair on his back which grows once the male gorillas reach maturity). Most people find that the gorillas are remarkably human-like at close quarters – particularly in the social interaction between family members and in ‘play’ activity in which the young engage. Photography is permitted (although not with a flash and there are restrictions for those who wish to use a video camera.)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.NB: Depending on the availability of the 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.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, UgandaDay 7: Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla Trek dayStop At: Bunyonyi Overland ResortIf not trekking, today is free to explore the surrounding area, discover the Islands by boat on Lake Bunyonyi or catching up on some well-deserved rest and relaxation.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, UgandaDay 8: Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla Trek dayStop At: Bunyonyi Overland ResortToday is a trek day or a day at leisure to enjoy the many optional activities in Lake Bunyonyi. Whether relaxing on the shores of this deep Crater Lake with a good book or heading out to the village and orphanage to gain an insight into the everyday life of Ugandans in this area - you’ll no doubt wish you could stay in this beautiful part of Africa for longer. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, UgandaDay 9: Lake Bunyonyi - KampalaStop At: Red Chilli HidewayFrom 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. Kampala is a hotspot for great food and entertainment. If time allows, go out to enjoy the nightlife, try the local cuisines and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at d Chilli Hideway, Kampala, UgandaDay 10: Kampala - JinjaStop At: Nile River ExplorersLeaving Kampala, we drive the short distance to the town of Jinja on the banks of Lake Victoria and the Nile. It was in 1862 that the British explorer John Hanning Speke recognised Lake Victoria as the ‘source of the Nile’ settling a long running dispute about Africa’s (and the world’s) longest river. From his modest monument on the banks, the Nile begins its 4132-mile course through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.Our accommodation is situated on the grassy banks overlooking the Nile River. It is here that we usually have the option to try river rafting - an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of ‘white-water’. There is also the opportunity to make some difference to local children at a local school project: ‘Softpower’ is a locally run volunteer programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area to which your contribution of a few hours of painting or plastering is always most welcome. Other activities at Jinja include mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and even Nile cruises. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, UgandaDay 11: JinjaStop At: Nile River ExplorersEnjoy 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 ‘white-water’. Those seeking a more relaxing day can visit the local community or simply just relax.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, UgandaDay 12: JinjaStop At: Nile River ExplorersEnjoy a last day on the banks of the Nile exploring 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. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, UgandaDay 13: Jinja – Eldoret Stop At: Naiberi River Campsite & ResortLeaving Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border into Kenya and onwards to Eldoret, where we will stay for the evening. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Naiberi Overland Camp, Eldoret, KenyaDay 14: Eldoret - NairobiStop At: Karen CampThis morning we cross the Equator and make our way south to Nairobi and to our base just outside the city.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at Karen Camp, Karen, NairobiDay 15: NairobiStop At: Karen CampToday you are free to explore the city and surrounding area and our Tour Leader can help you arrange these optional excursions locally. 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’.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • BreakfastAccommodation included: Overnight at Karen Camp, Karen, NairobiDay 16: Nairobi – Maasai Mara Reserve, KenyaStop At: Masai Mara National ReserveWe 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. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Enkalong Tented camp, Masai Mara area, KenyaDay 17: Maasai Mara Reserve, KenyaStop At: Masai Mara National ReserveWe have the day to explore the Reserve in search for wildlife including the ‘Big 5’ – lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard. The sweeping plains, distant horizons, low slung acacia trees, and plentiful wildlife ensure a deeply evocative few days. The ‘Mara’ is crossed every year between July and October by great herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals in their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains to the south (in Tanzania). How long they stay is dependent on rainfall and subsequent grass growth in the rainy season. Predators (such as lion, cheetah, leopard) and scavengers (hyena, vultures) follow the grazing animals and this enormous congregation of wildlife forms a spectacular display of Africa’s natural resource. But the Mara is excellent for game viewing at any time of year and regardless of when you can visit we hope to see some, if not all, of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) and an array of other wildlife. We stop for a lunch before returning to our tented camp for the evening. Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • DinnerAccommodation included: Overnight at Enkalong Tented camp, Masai Mara area, KenyaDay 18: Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya - NairobiStop At: Karen CampFrom the Mara we make our way back across the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi, where our tour ends in the late afternoon.Duration: 1 dayMeals included: • Breakfast • LunchNo accommodation included on this day.

What’s included

  • 17x Breakfast
  • 15x Dinner
  • 16x Lunch
  • Accommodation included: 17 nights
  • Fully equipped safari vehicle
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • All road tolls and vehicle taxes
  • All ground transportation
  • 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
  • Entry/Admission - Lake Nakuru
  • Entry/Admission - Naiberi River Campsite & Resort
  • Entry/Admission - Red Chilli Hideway
  • Entry/Admission - Simba Safari Camp
  • Entry/Admission - Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Entry/Admission - Bunyonyi Overland Resort
  • Entry/Admission - Bunyonyi Overland Resort
  • Entry/Admission - Bunyonyi Overland Resort
  • Entry/Admission - Red Chilli Hideway
  • Entry/Admission - Nile River Explorers
  • Entry/Admission - Nile River Explorers
  • Entry/Admission - Nile River Explorers
  • Entry/Admission - Naiberi River Campsite & Resort
  • Entry/Admission - Karen Camp
  • Entry/Admission - Karen Camp
  • Entry/Admission - Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Entry/Admission - Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Entry/Admission - Karen Camp

What’s not included

  • Visas
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Departure taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Optional activities
  • Drinks, tips
  • Items of a personal nature

Itinerary

Day 10: Kampala - Jinja Stop At: Nile River Explorers Leaving Kampala, we drive the short distance to the town of Jinja on the banks of Lake Victoria and the Nile. It was in 1862 that the British explorer John Hanning Speke recognised Lake Victoria as the ‘source of the Nile’ settling a long running dispute about Africa’s (and the world’s) longest river. From his modest monument on the banks, the Nile begins its 4132-mile course through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Our accommodation is situated on the grassy banks overlooking the Nile River. It is here that we usually have the option to try river rafting - an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of ‘white-water’. There is also the opportunity to make some difference to local children at a local school project: ‘Softpower’ is a locally run volunteer programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area to which your contribution of a few hours of painting or plastering is always most welcome. Other activities at Jinja include mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and even Nile cruises. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda
Day 11: Jinja Stop At: Nile River Explorers 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 ‘white-water’. Those seeking a more relaxing day can visit the local community or simply just relax. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda
Day 12: Jinja Stop At: Nile River Explorers Enjoy a last day on the banks of the Nile exploring 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. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda
Day 13: Jinja – Eldoret Stop At: Naiberi River Campsite & Resort Leaving Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border into Kenya and onwards to Eldoret, where we will stay for the evening. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Naiberi Overland Camp, Eldoret, Kenya
Day 14: Eldoret - Nairobi Stop At: Karen Camp This morning we cross the Equator and make our way south to Nairobi and to our base just outside the city. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at Karen Camp, Karen, Nairobi
Day 15: Nairobi Stop At: Karen Camp Today you are free to explore the city and surrounding area and our Tour Leader can help you arrange these optional excursions locally. 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’. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast Accommodation included: Overnight at Karen Camp, Karen, Nairobi
Day 16: Nairobi – Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya Stop At: Masai 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. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Enkalong Tented camp, Masai Mara area, Kenya
Day 17: Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya Stop At: Masai Mara National Reserve We have the day to explore the Reserve in search for wildlife including the ‘Big 5’ – lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard. The sweeping plains, distant horizons, low slung acacia trees, and plentiful wildlife ensure a deeply evocative few days. The ‘Mara’ is crossed every year between July and October by great herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals in their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains to the south (in Tanzania). How long they stay is dependent on rainfall and subsequent grass growth in the rainy season. Predators (such as lion, cheetah, leopard) and scavengers (hyena, vultures) follow the grazing animals and this enormous congregation of wildlife forms a spectacular display of Africa’s natural resource. But the Mara is excellent for game viewing at any time of year and regardless of when you can visit we hope to see some, if not all, of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) and an array of other wildlife. We stop for a lunch before returning to our tented camp for the evening. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Enkalong Tented camp, Masai Mara area, Kenya
Day 18: Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya - Nairobi Stop At: Karen Camp From the Mara we make our way back across the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi, where our tour ends in the late afternoon. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch No accommodation included on this day.
Day 1: Nairobi – Lake Nakuru National Park Stop At: Lake Nakuru, Lake Nakuru National Park, Rift Valley Province Kenya is East Africa’s most popular safari destination and has a long tradition of tourism and of welcoming visitors. Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, has seen rapid growth in recent years but still has a comparatively small city centre, interesting city markets, numerous craft shops, book shops and plenty of cafes and restaurants. We recommend you arrive at least one day before the tour departure in order to relax, check out the city and overcome any jetlag. We depart Nairobi early and descend into the ‘Great Rift Valley’, an enormous cleft in the Earth’s surface stretching from the Red Sea to Madagascar but with particularly marked escarpments here in Kenya. We stop at a lookout point to take in the magnificent views. Our overnight stop is Lake Nakuru National Park, a relatively small park (by African standards) however prolific in wildlife, situated on the Great Rift Valley floor. The shallow soda lake attracts a huge variety of birdlife – especially flamingos, which may gather in such numbers that (when viewed from above) they form a strikingly pink ‘fringe’ around the lake-shore. However, Lake Nakuru is not simply a bird sanctuary, it is also home to buffalo, lion, rhino (black and white), leopard, warthog, baboon, antelope, and a variety of smaller animals. A delightful introduction to East Africa’s wildlife diversity that we search for in an afternoon game drive making use of local guides and smaller safari vehicles for a more intimate experience. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Punda Milias Camp, Nakuru, Kenya
Day 2: Lake Nakuru - Eldoret Stop At: Naiberi River Campsite & Resort 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. The name ‘Eldoret’ is based on the Maasai word ‘Eldore’ meaning stony river, due to the stony bed of the nearby Sosiani River. The town is the 5th largest in Kenya and is the fastest growing with a population of approx. 194,000. We stay outside of town in a unique area created on hilly forest tribal land, once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Preserved on the site are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of a bygone age. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Naiberi Overland Camp, Eldoret, Kenya
Day 3: Eldoret - Kampala Stop At: Red Chilli Hideway 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 stay at the capital Kampala, an attractive hilly city, bustling with roadside traders, markets and busy matatu (mini-bus taxi) stands. Please note that some group members may be starting their tour in Kampala Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Red Chilli Hideway, Kampala, Uganda
Day 4: Kampala – Queen Elizabeth National Park Stop At: Simba Safari Camp 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. From the truck we should see herds of Ankole cattle with their incredible long curving horns roaming the roads and paddocks. We stay 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. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Simba Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park area, Uganda
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park Stop At: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kasese, Western Region This morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take in the magnificent views of the mountains that separate Uganda from central Africa as well as Lake Edwards and Lake George. Queen Elizabeth National park has over 500 species of bird and 100 species of mammals making it one of the most bio diverse national parks in the world and if we are lucky, we may get to spot these animals en route to Kyambura Gorge for the 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, the experience of seeing man’s closest relative in the wild is a memorable one. Chimpanzee Trek permits are issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people per group. Depending on our group size, we may trek on the afternoon of day 4, morning of day 5 and afternoon of day 5 or morning of day 6. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Simba Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park area, Uganda
Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Lake Bunyonyi Stop At: Bunyonyi Overland Resort 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’). This lake is 27km long, 7km wide and at an elevation of 1950 metres above sea level, it is surrounded by undulating hills between 2200m to 2478m high. With a depth of nearly 900m in parts, this lake is the second deepest lake in Africa (the deepest being Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania). 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. Lake Bunyonyi There are many activities to do here such as hiring canoes to visit some of the lakes’ islands, visit local tribes and villages, visiting the local orphanage, as well as bird watching and nature walks. Alternatively, just relax, catch up on your travel diary or postcards to home, or sorting through your photos of your trip so far. Mountain Gorilla Trekking This region of Africa is home to the world’s remaining 700 free-roaming mountain gorillas, many of which inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. [We may travel into neighbouring Rwanda to trek for the gorillas if need be.] On the day of your trek we gather in the early morning to meet our local guide and tracker. Walking in small groups, we trek into the thick rainforest. The trek can be demanding at times - with uneven terrain and hilly rainforest, but the privilege of spending time with a family of these gentle primates makes the effort well worthwhile. To many people the day’s trek and time with the gorillas remains their most exciting wildlife encounter in Africa. The usual procedure, once we have located the gorilla ‘family’, is to squat or sit down and simply observe them for around an hour – the time set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (the national body charged with controlling and maintaining the gorillas in Uganda). Gorillas are sociable creatures, living in groups between 12 and 20 individuals, usually led by an alpha male (the ‘silverback’ - so called because of the silver hair on his back which grows once the male gorillas reach maturity). Most people find that the gorillas are remarkably human-like at close quarters – particularly in the social interaction between family members and in ‘play’ activity in which the young engage. Photography is permitted (although not with a flash and there are restrictions for those who wish to use a video camera.) 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. NB: Depending on the availability of the 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. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Uganda
Day 7: Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla Trek day Stop At: Bunyonyi Overland Resort If not trekking, today is free to explore the surrounding area, discover the Islands by boat on Lake Bunyonyi or catching up on some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Uganda
Day 8: Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla Trek day Stop At: Bunyonyi Overland Resort Today is a trek day or a day at leisure to enjoy the many optional activities in Lake Bunyonyi. Whether relaxing on the shores of this deep Crater Lake with a good book or heading out to the village and orphanage to gain an insight into the everyday life of Ugandans in this area - you’ll no doubt wish you could stay in this beautiful part of Africa for longer. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Uganda
Day 9: Lake Bunyonyi - Kampala Stop At: Red Chilli Hideway 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. Kampala is a hotspot for great food and entertainment. If time allows, go out to enjoy the nightlife, try the local cuisines and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans. Duration: 1 day Meals included: • Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner Accommodation included: Overnight at d Chilli Hideway, Kampala, Uganda
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