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Visit the Masi Mara & Mountain Gorillas TOP017_2

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  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Rates
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Visit the Masai Mara & Uganda’s Mountain Gorillas

This adventure is an absolute dream for wildlife and nature lovers. Spend 14 days travelling overland through Kenya and Uganda visiting some of the most diverse and fantastic natural spots in each country. From Masai Mara National Park to the Chimpanzees on Lake George, to the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda, this expedition allows you to immerse yourself in nature and discover incredible African wildlife.

Highlights

  • Visit Nairobi, the largest city in the East Africa region
  • Learn about the Mountain Gorilla and spot them in their natural habitat
  • Explore Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara National Parks
  • Chimp trek through Budongo Central Forest Reserve
  • Overnight camping at Lake Bunyonyi
  • Motor boat to Nyombi Village, a Pygmy village in Uganda

In Masai Mara National Park you’ll find vast plains teeming with wild animals. From your safari vehicle you’ll have the chance to spot cheetah, wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, leopard, elephant, gazelle, and black rhino. Be sure to stay alert for the crocodiles lurking around the watering holes. Two full days are spent exploring this stunning park before moving on to Lake Nakuru National Park where you’ll see magnificent bird species, including flamingos.

Back in your adventure truck you’ll head to Uganda to explore Jinja, the country’s second largest city and the starting point of the Nile River. In Murchison Falls National Park you’ll visit the Kabaraga Falls, a truly spectacular set of falls along the course of the Nile. The largest chimpanzee population in Uganda can be found in Budongo Central Forest Reserve and you’ll connect with a local guide there who will take you on a trek through the reserve to see these fascinating animals.

The real highlight of this adventure is the chance to learn about and see the mountain gorilla, a unique opportunity that only a limited number get to experience each year. The most accurate count puts the total Mountain Gorilla population at around 650 – making them an endangered species.   By visiting them, you support conservation efforts that help to ensure their survival. Their natural habitat covers an area that includes Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and education efforts within the local communities are some of the most important in terms of ensuring future survival of the gorillas.

This adventure comes with a ton of optional activities all of which get you connected with nature. Enquire today to learn more about the Masai Mara and Gorillas adventure.

Itinerary

Day 01: Masai Mara National Reserve

We leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara, world renowned for it’s endless plains of wild animals and spectacular beauty. The visit to the Masai Mara is operated in safari type vehicles and not the adventure truck. For this reason, you are asked to pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, sleeping bag, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials.
Distance: ±240km
Activity Package:
Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion

Day 02: 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.

Day 03: 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.
Distance: ±220km

Day 04: 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 6695 kilometre journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Distance: ±85km
Optional Activities:
Nile Cruises
Rafting Half Day

Day 05: 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:
Boat Cruise Including Park Fees

Day 06: 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. 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:
Chimp Trekking Murchison Falls
Included Activities:
Game Drive at Murchison National Park

Day 07: 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’s then onto Kampala where you will have the afternoon free to take in the atmosphere of this bustling city.
Optional Activities:
Dinner Out Kampala

Day 08: 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.
Distance: ±420km
Optional Activities:
Canoeing rental

Day 09: 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.
Distance: ±125 km (in safari or smaller vehicles)

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

Day 11: Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala

Today we say farewell to the Gorillas and make the long journey back to Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
Optional Activities:
Dinner Out Kampala

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.
Distance: ±265km

Day 13: Kenya – Eldoret

Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the country’s 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.
Distance: ±290km

Day 14: Nairobi

Returning to our final destination Nairobi, the largest city in the East Africa region, there’s an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details.
Distance: ±305km
Optional Activities:
Dinner at Local Restaurant

More Details

Activity Package

Listed below are activities and highlights that form part of an “Activity Package”.  On this particular tour, it is compulsory that this package is purchased as it includes essential activities that can not be excluded from the itinerary.  The Activity Package has been written into the itinerary of the tour so please keep this in mind when booking your tour.

  • Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion
  • Kenyan Park Highlights Excursion
  • Chimp Trekking Murchison Falls
  • Pygmy Village Visit

Vehicle

Adventure Truck / Safari Vehicle

Climate

The African sun is very strong. Please use a factor 30 sunscreen and wear a hat. You should drink at least 3 litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. It can also get very cold during winter months on this route. Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information.

Insurance (Compulsory)

All clients require adequate Medical Travel Insurance. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Medical Insurance is not provided.

Currency and Banking

As your tour may pass through multiple countries, we have prepared information on the use of local and foreign currencies, ATMs and Credit Cards for each country.

Health

Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.

Vaccinations

A Yellow Fever Certificate is required for visiting certain areas in Morocco that are affected by Yellow Fever. Please see the Pre-Departure Information booklet for detailed information on vaccinations in Africa. A Yellow Fever Certificate might be required for this tour depending on your nationality.

Visas

As visa requirements vary considerably from country to country and nationality to nationality, please contact the various embassies or a visa service agent in your home country to re-check your visa requirements at least 4 weeks prior to travelling. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and that the trip operator will not be held responsible for guests being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas.

Malaria

Malaria prophylactics are required throughout this route.

Dates

  • 14 June – 27 June 2017
  • 24 June – 7 July 2017
  • 5 July – 18 July 2017
  • 15 July – 28 July 2017
  • 26 July – 8 August 2017
  • 5 August – 18 August 2017
  • 16 August – 29 August 2017
  • 26 August – 8 September 2017
  • 6 September – 19 September 2017
  • 16 September – 29 September 2017
  • 27 September – 10 October 2017
  • 7 October – 20 October 2017
  • 18 October – 31 October 2017
  • 28 October – 10 November 2017
  • 8 November – 21 November 2017
  • 18 November – 1 December 2017
  • 28 November -12 December 2017
  • 9 December – 22 December 2017
  • 20 December 2017  – 2 January 2018
  • 30 December 2017 – 12 January 2018

Price

Price from approximately 963 GBP including the Activity Package but excluding the Gorilla Permit (see below)

You will be charged in South African Rand so the final price depends on the exchange rate. Make an enquiry for confirmed prices and availability.

Gorilla Permit: 630 USD – 730 USD
The cost of a permit to visit the Gorillas is currently as above. Please check actual amount with us closer to departure.
You will be pre-invoiced for this non-refundable amount.

What is included

Meals as indicated on the itinerary (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the tour operator truck), accommodation, guides and transport. We also include some of the highlights.

What is not included

All items of a personal nature, entrance fees, alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities.

Operator

This 100% African owned and managed operator really does have its finger on the pulse of the continent. Specialising in overlanding adventures through South and East Africa, they use well equiped expedition trucks to enable travellers to explore places of spectacular beauty, unique wildlife, interesting cultures and inspirational adventures.

Chose camping or accommodated options and expect friendship, fun and adventure plus the security that group travel brings.

 

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