- The Great Rift Valley including Elsamere of “Born Free” fame
- Lake Naivasha – home to over 400 different species of bird and a sizeable hippo population
- Game drives and a cultural village visit in the Masai Mara NP
- See hundreds of species of birds in the Lake Nakuru National Park plus black & white rhino
- Picturesque Eldama Ravine & the unique Naiberi River Camp
- Bujagali Falls and the source of the Nile
- Kibale Rainforest primate visit
- Cruise among hippos on The Kazinga Chanel
- Witness mountain gorillas in their natural habitat
Day 1: Kampala
Arrive into Entebbe airport where you will be met and transferred to Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The rest of the day is at leisure so you can relax after your flight. This evening you can dine at the hotel restaurant or go into the city. You might also like to experience the night life of Kampala.
Day 2: Fort Portal (BLD)
Leaving Kampala in the morning we drive west to Fort Portal. This laidback town is located in the heartland of lush tea-growing plantations.
Day 3: Fort Portal (BLD)
The Kibale Forest is 766 sq km and largely comprises of rainforest where 60 mammal and 335 bird species reside, as well as many different insects and plants. There are 13 primate species of which the chimpanzees are a star attraction. Today you will be driven deep in to the forest to meet your guides who will escort you through the park to look for these fascinating primates in their natural habitat. Sometimes high up in trees, sometimes on the ground playing, wherever you find a chimpanzee community you will be left in awe of their strong family ties and their amazing agility. The rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel or explore the town & its surrounds.
Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park (BLD)
Uganda is often dubbed ‘the Pearl of Africa’. Your destination is Queen Elizabeth NP which is especially scenic with two lakes connected by a channel and overlooked by a high peninsula. Arrive after lunch and take an afternoon boat cruise on The Kazinga Channel. It is well worth the trip to see the thousands of hippo, the abundant bird life, and busy fishing village. This evening dine in the lodge’s scenic restaurant.
Day 5: Kigali (BL)
Leaving Queen Elizabeth NP in the morning, you will drive through to Rwanda crossing the border at Gatuna. Once in Rwanda you will drive to the capital city of Kigali. The hotel has a popular restaurant for you to dine this evening.
Day 6: Ruhengeri (BLD)
A sobering few hours will be spent at the Genocide Museum in the morning followed by a visit to the carving and curio markets. In the afternoon you will have a drive through stunning scenery and steep-terraced farmland to Ruhengeri where you are based for the next two days. Your hotel has a lively rooftop bar and is only 5 minutes’ walk from the centre of town.
Day 7: Ruhengeri (BLD)
Free day to explore the town and surrounding areas. Perhaps take a hike into The Volcanoes National Park to visit Dian Fossey’s graveside, a canoe trip down the Mukungwa River through rural Rwanda, or a visit to The Gorilla Museum set up by The Dian Fossey Fund.
Day 8: Kisoro (BLD)
A short drive this morning back into Uganda through the border at Cyanika. You have a free afternoon to walk around town and prepare your gear for the gorilla trek the following day. Dian Fossey often referred to The Travellers Rest Hotel as her second home. It’s situated just outside of Kisoro town centre and offers a quiet setting with an amazing view of the Virunga volcanoes.
Day 9: Gorilla Trekking Day (BLD)
You will be picked up early in the morning and taken to the Bwindi Impenetrable rain forest park entrance. From here you will be split into groups of 8 with a guide and park rangers then begin the hike to see the awesome mountain gorillas. Expect to trek between 1 – 5 hours through thick forest with overhanging vines, moss covered trees, and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate. Depending on where the gorillas are, you may have to go off the track and climb steeply through thick bush. After all the effort of your climb your heart will be in your throat when you finally come across a family of gorillas.
There are around 900 mountain gorillas in the world and nothing could be more of a privilege than to spend an hour watching them as they go about their daily routine of feeding, playing, cleaning, and resting in their own territory. An unforgettable experience! After the trek you will be taken to Lake Bunyonyi where you will meet up with the Truck.
Day 10: Lake Bunyoyni (BLD)
The Lake is reputed to be one of the deepest in Africa and is fantastic for swimming in. The surrounding hills are the home of the Bakiga people who are cultivators by tradition. Spend the morning visiting a local school then back to the truck for lunch followed by a leisurely afternoon boat cruise around the islands.
Day 11: Jinja (BLD)
It is a reasonably long drive through to Jinja where you will spend the night on the shores of the Nile River close to the source of the Nile. The luxuriant vegetation covering the river banks and the diversity of bird life attracted by the multitude of fish complete a stunning vista. Enjoy a cold drink in the camp bar overlooking the Nile River.
Day 12: Jinja (BD)
Today is free to do what you like. Mountain or quad biking, horse riding, village walks, birding, and fishing on the Nile are just some of the options available for you to participate in here.
Day 13: Kenyan Highlands (BLD)
Today you cross into Kenya where you will stay up in the Kenyan highlands just outside of Eldoret. The river camp is a laid-back resort with a pool shady gardens and a very vibrant bar with unique furnishings.
Day 14: Nakuru (BLD)
This morning travel down through the very picturesque Eldama Ravine to Nakuru located in the Rift Valley. Today’s accommodation is in lovely cottages on a working farm with beautiful gardens and excellent facilities. You can spend the afternoon on a farm walk and/or visit the Kenana Knitters Project.
Day 15: Lake Nakuru (BLD)
Today is spent game driving at Lake Nakuru National Park. This compact park is packed with wildlife. The soda lake has over 400 species of birdlife including pink flamingos – an ornithologist’s paradise. It is also home to both the black and white rhino and where some scenes from the movie “Out of Africa” were filmed.
Day 16: Lake Naivasha (BLD)
This afternoon arrive at Lake Naivasha and take a boat ride on the lake viewing hippos, fish, eagles, and lots of birdlife before arriving at Elsamere, the former home of the late Joy & George Adamson. Joy became world famous for her pioneering conservation work and relationship with the lioness Elsa as told in her bestselling book and subsequent film “Born Free”. After a video presentation on the life of the Adamsons enjoy a delicious afternoon tea in the gardens.
Day 17: Masai Mara (BLD)
Today we drive into the Masai Mara stopping along the way for lunch. As you get closer to the park you will see herds of goats & cows wandering in a cloud of dust through the vast plains, dutifully watched by their Maasai owners. Enter the main gate by mid-afternoon and drive through to Sekenani Camp. Each tent is situated on a raised platform with ensuite bathroom complete with a full length bathtub!
Day 18: Masai Mara (BLD)
The day will be spent game driving around the park through vast herds of zebra, wildebeest, and antelope. Hopefully you will also spot some of The Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino). The Masai Mara is quite simply one of the greatest wildlife attractions in the world and at this time of year you should see the migration, which is spectacular. You will stop at the Mara River for a short guided walk to see what animals might be around the river at the time. In the afternoon you will visit a Maasai village to meet the locals and learn about some of their age-old customs and the way they live their semi-nomadic lifestyle.
Day 19: Nairobi (BL)
Today you journey through the Rift Valley and up the escarpment where a stop will be made for photo opportunities before continuing on to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Our last night of safari is in the suburb of Karen, named after Karen Blixen – author of the popular book “Out of Africa”. Your last night will be spent over a meal with time to take stock of your adventure.
Day 20: Nairobi departure
You will be transferred to Nairobi airport today for your onward flight. If you have a later flight you may have time for an optional visit to the nearby elephant orphanage at the David Sheldrik Wildlife Trust.
- 19 nights’ accommodation as indicated
- Meals as indicated
- Sightseeing as indicated
- Services of experienced driver/guide plus camp/cook assistant
- Fully equipped safari vehicle with camping / cooking equipment
- All road tolls vehicle taxes National Park entry fees
- Airport transfers on Days 1 & 20 between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm only
Images courtesy of Innovative Travel