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Highlights

  • • Masai Mara Game Reserve
  • • Lake Nakuru National Park
  • • Kampala
  • • Lake Bunyoni
  • • Great Rift Valley
  • • Lake Naivasha

ITINERARY

Day 1

Nairobi to masai mara

(camping L,D) (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi we climb the escarpment to our first stop, a viewpoint overlooking the spectacular Great Rift Valley.  Descending into the Rift Valley, we enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road.  We pass through the town of Narok, before arriving at our campsite, Acacia Camp. Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Overnight: Campsite

Gorillas and Game Parks

  • Tour Code: NN14
  • Trip Cost: £425.00
  • Local Payment (paid locally): US$400
  • Minimum Passengers: 10
  • Maximum Passengers: 30
Departure Dates:
Sart:
Nairobi
10-Apr-11
24-Apr-11
08-May-11
22-May-11
05-Jun-11
19-Jun-11
03-Jul-11
17-Jul-11
31-Jul-11
14-Aug-11
28-Aug-11
11-Sep-11
25-Sep-11
09-Oct-11
23-Oct-11
06-Nov-11
20-Nov-11
04-Dec-11
18-Dec-11
End:
Dar Es Salaam
23-Apr-11
07-May-11
21-May-11
04-Jun-11
18-Jun-11
02-Jul-11
16-Jul-11
30-Jul-11
13-Aug-11
27-Aug-11
10-Sep-11
24-Sep-11
08-Oct-11
22-Oct-11
05-Nov-11
19-Nov-11
03-Dec-11
17-Dec-11
31-Dec-11
Day 2

Masai mara

(camping B,L,D)

We spend the day driving through nature as it was intended to be - huge plains, rolling hills and an abundance of game matched no where else on earth. We keep an eye open for the Big 5 - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. If travelling between July and October, we may get to witness the impressive herds of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson's gazelle in their Annual Migration. Sitting around the camp fire, watching the sun set is the perfect way to finish a day's game viewing in this "Garden of Eden."

Includes: Masai Mara
Overnight: Campsite
Optional Activities: Masai Village Cultural Visit 

Day 3

Masai mara to kisumu

(camping B,L,D)

Leaving the Masai Mara early in the morning, we pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on our way to Kisumu - Kenya's harbour town on the banks of Africa's largest lake, Lake Victoria.  We replenish our supplies and overnight here.

Overnight: Campsite

Gorillas & Kenyan Wildlife 21 Days £495
Day 4

kisumu to kampala (uganda)

(camping B,L,D)

Today, we cross the border into Uganda where we overnight it the capital city, Kampala.  Uganda is a small country of striking physical beauty.  Its landscapes vary from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snow capped Ruwenzori Mountains in the west and the semi-desert region in the north.  The political instability that has haunted Uganda in the past has actually had the positive effect of leaving the country free of the over commercialism so common in other parts of Africa.  The current administration under President Museveni has devoted considerable effort and funds to return Uganda to its former status as one of Africa's most prosperous and, from a tourist's point of view, one of the most appealing and interesting countries to visit. 

Overnight: Campsite

Day 5 - 8

Kampala to lake bunyoni

(camping B,L,D)

After an early morning departure from Kampala we drive west into the depths of Uganda to our base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni. 
Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, we trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice - currently they are priced at US$500 depending on where we trek. There is a local transport & handling fee of US$65 to US$70 per person (this covers the return transfer and the Wildlife Authority's booking fee). For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda, we will also have to purchase an additional visa to enter either country, as well as renewing our Ugandan visa upon re-entry. Please budget accordingly.
Trekking Procedures: The mountain gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Berengei), of which there are still only about 700 remaining, are one of our closest living relatives.  A visit to these gentle giants in their natural environment is a unique and wonderful experience - one you'll never forget.  The park rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are.  However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. As the gorillas share much of our DNA, anyone with even the slightest cold or transferable illness will not be permitted to trek.  Trekking is also only open to people over 16 years old.
Due to the restrictions on the daily numbers of visitors to these incredible animals, we depart from our base in Bunyoni in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size.  Winding our way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa, we head to the town of Kisoro where we spend the night (Should we be trekking in Rwanda our overnight will be in Ruhengeri). The following morning, after packing our picnic lunch, we are transferred to a ranger's station where the trek commences.  Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family.  Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.  To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour.  You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs.  The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting.  Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point where you will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite.
You needn't feel like you're exploiting these animals.  The tourists trekking them each day play a vital role in their survival.  For years they have been ruthlessly hunted for their hands and heads, which have been sold as ashtrays and lampshades!  In addition, large numbers have been killed whilst trying to stop poachers stealing the babies for sale to zoos, where they have never lived long.  100% of the gorilla permit cost is used to by the parks authorities to finance patrols that are instrumental in protecting the gorillas from poachers and their lethal snares and on promoting these wonderful animals.  

Lake Bunyoni

For those of us awaiting our day of gorilla trekking, the choice is yours, visit a local village or church, hike in the surrounding hills, canoe, go on a bird watching walk, visit the local markets of Kabale or just spend the days relaxing or swimming in this tranquil lake.

Overnight: Campsite

Day 9

lake bunyoni to Kampala

(camping B,L,D)

After marvelling at the experience of our gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, we begin our drive back to Kampala.  We cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic "one foot in each hemisphere" photo opportunity.  We overnight in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its night life! 

Overnight: Campsite

 
Gorillas & Kenyan Wildlife 21 Days £495
Day 10

Kampala to Jinja

(camping B,L,D)

Today we have the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or transferring to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or volunteering at a community project.  Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river, or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area.

Overnight: Campsite
Optional Activities: Visit Softpower Community Project, White Water Rafting on The Nile, Quad Bike Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Gorillas & Kenyan Wildlife 21 Days £495
Day 11

Jinja to Nakuru (Kenya)

(camping B,L,D)

Today we head back to Kenya, stopping for lunch and supplies en route.  We overnight in Nakuru, Kenya's 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province.

Overnight: Campsite

Day 12

Nakuru & lake nakuru national park

(camping B,L,D)

This morning we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park - famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake's edge.  The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it's low, the lake almost turns pink.  A truly spectacular sight!  The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen.  We spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. 

Overnight: Campsite.

Day 13

nakuru to Lake Naivasha

(camping B,L,D)

Moving south-east, we head to Lake Naivasha, home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. Time permitting; we spend the afternoon enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy and George Adamson of "Born Free" fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell's Gate National Park.

Overnight: Campsite
Optional Activities: Boat rides, Crescent Island Game Sanctuary, Hells Gate National Park

 
Gorillas & Kenyan Wildlife 21 Days £495
Day 14

lake naivasha to nairobi

( B,)

After breakfast, we head back to Nairobi.  On arrival we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime

Tour ends


Optional Gorilla Trek

The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice - currently they are priced between US$375 and US$500 depending on where we trek. There is a local transport fee of US$20 to US$25 per person. For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda, we will also have to purchase an additional visa to enter either country, as well as renewing our Ugandan visa upon re-entry. Please budget accordingly.

Trekking Procedures: The park rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting can not be guaranteed. In the unlikely event of these creatures managing to completely elude us, the authorities usually allow us a second opportunity to trek them. However, this is purely at their discretion and subject to the availability of permits, and they will not confirm this in writing. We have had a high success rate of procuring gorilla permits and then of actually seeing these beautiful animals.

As the gorillas share much of our DNA, anyone with even the slightest cold or transferable illness will not be permitted to trek. Trekking is also only open to people over 16 years old.

We depart from our camp in the early morning and after border formalities are transferred to a ranger's station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family.

Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour.

You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point.

You needn't feel like you're exploiting these animals. The ever-growing number of tourists trekking them each day play a vital role in their survival. For years they have been ruthlessly hunted for their hands and heads, which have been sold as ashtrays and lampshades! In addition, large numbers have been killed whilst trying to stop poachers stealing the babies for sale to zoos, where they have never lived long.

Special Interest

100% of the gorilla permit cost is used to by the parks authorities to finance patrols that are instrumental in protecting the gorillas from poachers and their lethal snares and on promoting these wonderful animals.

Transport

Vehicle - we use custom-built Safari trucks. These are designed for the African roads and good for game viewing. There are some long days of travelling but the vehicles have a comfortable cruising speed. The emphasis of the trip is "getting out and doing things".

Local Payment

A local payment is required on this safari and this will be collected by the tour leader on departure. This covers a portion of the local operational costs including entrance and park fees. This ensures that a major portion of your tour price goes directly into the country you are visiting, benefiting local communities and contributing to the conservation of the area. A large part of this tours local payment is used for the National Park entrance fees.

Participation

An essential part of your OzBus African Safari is participation - from putting up your tent (while camping) or packing away in the morning to helping with meal preparation and cleaning up - it's all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your tour leaders will do all the meal preparation but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun!


What's Included

  • Masai Mara
  • Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Fully equipped expedition truck/vehicle
  • All cooking and camping equipment
  • Meals
  • Game park fees and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Trip leader, driver and safari cook unless stated otherwise

What's Not Included

  • International flights
  • Sleeping bag and mat on camping trips
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions which are detailed on the trip page
  • Restaurant meals and drinks

1. Upon booking, to confirm your place you will need to pay a non refundable 10% deposit or £100 whichever is the greatest amount.
2. Outstanding balance will be due no later than 8 weeks before departure.