East Africa Gorilla & Safari Experience

National Geographic Journeys, Kigali to Nairobi
Image by G Adventures

Information from G Adventures

Tour description

Some of Africa’s greatest wildlife viewing comes together for 16 days of outstanding adventure in the wild. Trek into the Rwandan jungle for the rare opportunity to watch a gorilla family in its element, head out in search of playful chimpanzees in Uganda, and get immersed in the natural realm of elephants and rhinos in Kenya. Watching the world pass you by has never felt more freeing or profound.

What's included

  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Community Walk, Kigali Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Mountain Gorilla Conservation Experience, Volcanoes National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Gorilla Lecture, Volcanoes National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kenya Wildlife Service Conservation Talk, Lake Nakuru National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Café Ubuntu and Ubuntu Made, Maai Mahiu Your G for Good Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Local Lunch, Kigali Your G for Good Moment: AidChild Equation Cafe & Gallery, Kayabwe Your G for Good Moment: Café Ubuntu , Maai Mahiu
  • Arrival transfer
  • All national park entrance fees
  • Genocide memorial entrance
  • Guided mountain gorilla trek with permits
  • Golden monkey trek with permits
  • Guided chimpanzee trek with permits
  • Local village walk
  • Safari drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Wildlife boat cruise in Kazinga Channel
  • Visit to the Equator
  • Drum workshop
  • Entrances and wildlife safari drives in Masai Mara National Reserve, and Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Boat trip on Lake Naivasha and wildlife walk on Crescent Island
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Learn about rwanda's somber past at the genocide memorial
  • Look out for gorillas during guided treks
  • Meet with scientists at the karisoke research center
  • Cruise the kazinga channel to view hippos and birds
  • Embark on a wildlife safari drives in masai mara and lake nakuru national park
  • Venture by boat across lake naivasha

Itinerary

Day 1: Kigali Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2: Kigali/Volcanoes National Park Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial and pay your respects to the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, learning about this somber chapter of the country’s past. Later, embark on a community walk in the vibrant Nyamirambo township and enjoy a local lunch at the G Adventures–supported Nyamirambo Women’s Centre. Travel to northern Rwanda in the afternoon and settle into our lodge, located at the edge of Volcanoes National Park and offering stunning views of the soaring peaks.

Day 3: Volcanoes National Park Set out on a trek in lush, jungle-covered hills with a park ranger to track a unique and endangered species—the golden monkey. Observe these playful, curious creatures in their natural habitat; then visit the Karisoke Research Center, founded by National Geographic Grantee Dian Fossey. Meet with a resident researcher to learn about ongoing efforts to protect endangered mountain gorillas, and deepen your understanding of these gentle giants at a talk by one of the park’s head wardens.

Day 4: Volcanoes National Park Embark on an unforgettable trek through the jungle alongside a park ranger to search for mountain gorillas. When we come across a group of gorillas, witness their fascinating social dynamics up close. Note that these treks can vary in length and difficulty depending on the location of the gorillas. Return to our lodge for lunch, followed by a visit to a local village to catch a glimpse of daily rural life.

Day 5: Volcanoes National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park After breakfast, cross into Uganda on a 4x4. Arrive at our lodge near Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the largest and most popular parks in Uganda.

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park Explore the verdant Kalinzu Forest Reserve with a ranger, looking for the chimpanzee families that call this protected area home. Learn about the habits and social activities of these endangered primates—our closest relatives in the animal world—and gain insights into current efforts to protect them. This afternoon, visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for a safari through rolling savanna and shrubland, keeping your eyes peeled for buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and hyenas.

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park Head out on a morning safari through the park, dotted with acacia trees and covered in swathes of rainforest. Spot hyenes, warthogs, antelope, and, with luck, some of the African “big five.” Then float down the Kazinga Channel on a boat safari. This natural channel connects two of the park’s lakes and draws large numbers of wild creatures to its shores, including hippos, crocodiles, and a plethora of birds.

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park/Entebbe After breakfast, head to Entebbe, stopping en route at the equator; Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where you can cross this imaginary geographical line on land. Observe how water swirls in opposite directions on either side of the equator and have lunch at the G Adventures–supported AidChild Equation Café & Gallery. Later, visit a drum-making workshop and enjoy a musical performance.

Day 9: Entebbe/Nairobi Catch a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi and transfer to our hotel.

Day 10: Nairobi/Lake Nakuru National Park Depart early for Lake Nakuru, known for harbouring flocks of pink flamingos and a rich variety of bird species. Arrive at our safari lodge inside Lake Nakuru National Park in time for lunch, and seek out the resident rhinos on a late afternoon wildlife drive.

Day 11: Lake Nakuru National Park Set out on morning and afternoon safaris through the picturesque park, searching for rhinos, buffalo, impalas, lions, and more; and drive along the salty shores of Lake Nakuru to discover a mind-boggling variety of birds. Later, hear from a representative of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)—a government institution dedicated to managing the country’s wildlife—about the issues surrounding poaching and rhino conservation.

Day 12: Lake Nakuru National Park/Lake Naivasha Head south through the Great Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha, a large freshwater lake surrounded by grassy banks and olive trees. Cruise the lake on a boat, watching for hippos, crocodiles, and buffalo; and peer through your binoculars to spot lovebirds, ibis, and the African fish eagle. Step ashore at Crescent Island—a peaceful wildlife sanctuary located in the middle of the lake— and enjoy a guided stroll in search of wildebeest, zebras, and giraffes.

Day 13: Lake Naivasha/Masai Mara Travel to the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve and settle into our comfortable tented camp, located in the heart of the reserve. Head out for an afternoon safari through vast, acacia-dotted plains, driving past throngs of wildebeest, zebra, and giraffes; and keep an eye out for lions, elephants, and the rest of the African “big five.” In the evening, relax at the camp and enjoy scenic views of the rolling plains.

Day 14: Masai Mara Venture out on an early morning safari to track the animals that traversed the savanna during the night. View ungulates like Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi and eland antelopes—as well as their stealthy predators—at one of their most active times of the day. Continue your exploration on a late afternoon safari, discovering the timeless landscapes of Masai Mara.

Day 15: Masai Mara/Nairobi Witness a breathtaking sunrise over the savanna during your final safari in Masai Mara, and head back to Nairobi. Stop en route at Café Ubuntu, a G Adventures–supported project that trains and employs local women and mothers of children with disabilities. Visit the craft centre to meet some of the women who create the wares sold there, then sit down for a delicious farm-to-table lunch.

Day 16: Nairobi Depart at any time.