Gorillas, Masai mara & zanzibar

Gorillas, Masai mara & zanzibar

Duration

11 Days

Tour Type

Multi-Day Tour

Group Size

20 People Max

Languages

English, French, Chinese, German,

Trek to see Mountain Gorillas, enjoy an adventurous wildlife safari and relax on a tropical island

This remarkable East African adventure takes in 3 adorning jewels of the region: Rwanda’s Volcanoe National Park, Kenya’s Masai Mara and the amazing coastline of Zanzibar.

Your trip starts with your gorilla trek up into the Volcanoes National Park, where you will spend your one magical hour with the last of the mountain gorillas.

You then fly on to Kenya for a classic Big 5 safari in the Masai Mara. Game drives, guided walks and authentic cultural experiences are all available for you to enjoy during your Masai Mara safari.

Finally you can unwind and indulge in total relaxation on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar to cap off your holiday in real style.

11 Days /10 Night

On arrival into Kigali's Airport you will be met by your guide/ driver who will drive through the pretty Rwandan countryside to Ruhengeri at the foothills of the Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans). The drive typically takes about 2 hours and you then check-in to your lodge where you can enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Relax and get ready for tomorrow’s gorilla trekking adventure.

Accommodation: Five Volcanoes lodge or similar (Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast)

After breakfast, you will depart for the headquarters of the park, where your guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will then meet your ranger guides for a briefing about the trek and experience in front of you. We then drive you to the trailhead from where you will begin your trek.

You can chose from a number of treks to different gorilla families based on your own preferrences and fitness levels. Your trek can last anywhere from 1 to 8 hours depending on your choice. Your guide will then lead you along generally clear paths up into the forest, in radio communication with the trackers that stay with the group so that they can be located.

Only one group of tourists can visit each family of mountain gorillas each day and once you’ve found them, you’ll have just one precious hour in their company. If you’re a keen photographer, taking your own pictures of mountain gorillas is one of the most magical photo sessions you’ll ever experience. Do bear in mind that the light can be poor in the rainforest and that use of flash is not permitted. You might also need to protect your camera against the possibility of heavy rain.

After your hour with the gorillas you head back to your lodge for lunch and the rest of the day at your leisure. You can also get to engage in optional activities if time permits.

Accommodation: Five Volcanoes lodge or similar (Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast)

Optional activities:

  1. Visiting the  Dian Fossey Grave: Dian Fossey is one of the greatest primatologists of all time. Because of her courage and determination, poaching of animals and particularly mountain gorillas was greatly reduced in the Volcanoes National Park. Without her efforts, mountain gorillas would probably be extinct by now.  She is also credited for introducing new ways of making gorillas comfortable around human presence by imitating their sounds and gaining the acceptance/trust of the dominant male. Today hundreds of visitors go to pay homage to this great conservationist by visiting her grave and former Karisoke Research Center located between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. The guided hike lasts about 3 hours. As one climbs the volcanoes to her former base, they will get to experience what she had to go through, her determination and the passion she had for the gorillas

  2. A boat trip on the Twin Lakes; Ruhondo and Burera: . A boat cruise through the deep waters of these two lakes will reward you with beautiful sights of birds and the vast hilly landscape with waterfalls.  Visiting the lake islands gives you time to mingle with the locals to learn about their rich heritage and culture that defines them and makes them unique.

  3. Iby’iwacu Cultural tour; Also known as the Gorilla Guardians Village, provides experiences beyond wildlife. It gives you a deeper understanding of the Rwandans way of living in terms of culture.

  4. Golden monkey tracking; This is a completely different experience but just as rewarding. These beautiful, lively creatures are on the endangered list, and are fascinating to watch as they leap through the vegetation.

  5. Hiking Mount Bisoke or Karisimbi.

After breakfast this morning you will be driven back to Kigali where you will take a local tour with your guide. You will learn about the recent history of Rwanda and a visit to the Genocide Museum is an important part of your tour. After lunch you are driven to the airport for your onward flight to Nairobi.

You are met on arrival in Nairobi and are driven to your hotel, which is conveniently situated equidistant between the international and domestic airports.

Accommodation: Clarion Hotel or similar (lunch, dinner, breakfast)

This morning you will be driven to the Airport for your scheduled domestic flight to the Masai Mara. Light aircraft flights are also little adventures in their own right and you can even spot wildlife from the air as you fly low over the Masai Mara. On arrival at your nearest Mara airstrip you will be driven to the lodge for check-in. Please note that you can get to the Masai Mara by road as well.

Accommodation: Enkorok Mara Camp or similar (lunch, dinner, breakfast)

You will enjoy game drives in this amazing reserve. This enormous reserve is actually part of the vast Serengeti plains famously known for its spectacular great wildebeest’s migration and is home of the Big Five: Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino. It is also great for either a first safari or for safari aficionados.  Lunch at our Lodge and relax before departing for the afternoon game run.

The Mara Game Reserve-one of the greatest wildernesses of the world. Large mammals are varied, and easy to see. Residents among the Park's are: Masai Giraffe, Buffalo, Eland and thousands of plain game including Impala, Zebra, Topi, both Thomson's and grants Gazelles.

During your stay you will also have the opportunity to engage in these optional activities

  1. A visit to a village of the Masai people to witness the singing and dancing that are part of their daily lives and sacred rituals. A glimpse into their homes and social structure is a poignant experience.

  2. Baloon safari over the mara plains.

Accomodation: Enkorok Mara Camp or similar.  (Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast)

Today you can have your morning safari activity and then you are driven back to the airstrip in time for your scheduled flight, which arrives in Nairobi around midday. Enjoy a spot of lunch and transfer in Nairobi ahead of your direct flight to Zanzibar.

You are met on arrival in Zanzibar and are driven the approx. 1 hour to your beach accommodation where you will stay for the next four nights with breakfast and dinner included.

Accommodation:  Double Tree Resort by Hilton or similar.  (Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast)

Relax and enjoy Zanzibar Island where you can recharge at your leisure time. There are a host of great activities, from PADI diving courses to Jozani Forest day trips, to keep you occupied should you wish to explore further afield. It's also worth talking to a specialist about the smaller neighboring islands, as these maybe more appropriate for you if you're looking to get off the beaten track.

Accommodation:  Double Tree Resort by Hilton or similar.  (Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast)

Today you check-out of your hotel and are driven to Zanzibar Airport where you check-in for your return international flight.

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