- Mountain gorilla viewing in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
- Nairobi and its National Park–the world’s only game reserve found within a major city.
- Lewa Downs is famous for black and white rhinos, plus you will have the opportunity to meet the rangers who protect these amazing animals and the chance to go horse riding or go walking through the savannah.
- The famous Masai Mara Game Reserve which is a jewel in Africa’s crown.
- Game viewing in Serengeti National Park, home of the “Big Five.”
- Game drives in the Ngorongoro Crater.
- Experience Maasai culture.
Arrive Entebbe International Airport. After clearing customs and immigration, you will be met by a representative and transferred Serena Lake Victoria.
The resort is styled to replicate the lines of a classically rustic Roman villa, which might just as easily stand amid the sunflowers of the Tuscan Hills as on the shores of Africa’s largest lake.
A gracious terracotta and cream palace, the central citadel is encircled by broad café and cocktail terraces, where cushioned sofas invite relaxation. Above the marble reception, where a Roman fountain plays, white-arched galleries rise to a clear glass atrium, through which shafts of light illuminate the fountained courtyard below.
Beyond the mosaic frescoes of the main restaurant, a clock tower rises above the pool-deck where colonnades of white arches offer the perfect frame for the hazy blue of the lake and the encircling green of the Lweza Hills. Widely spaced amongst the rose gardens, clusters of pastel-painted villas offer a choice of rooms and suites, all with panoramic lake views.
Overnight Lake Victoria Serena Resort
Fly to Bwindi
After an early breakfast, transfer to Entebbe Airport for the scheduled flight to Bwindi.
Upon landing at Kihihi Airstrip, you will be met and transferred to Gorilla Forest Camp (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes).
Deep inside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, on a flat ridge high amongst the trees, is the remote tented camp of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. Bwindi, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is home to over half the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorilla, and this secluded safari camp offers the ideal base for a gorilla tracking adventure. The camp’s unique location is often visited by gorilla families, and guests can enjoy the playful and curious nature of these apes while reveling in a landscape of forest, volcano, waterfalls, mountains, and lakes.
Each of the eight private tents has two queen-sized beds, a private deck, a bathtub looking out into the jungle canopy, and a personal attendant. The mini-spa at camp helps soothe aches and pains after a gorilla trek. Apart from gorilla trekking, guests can walk through tea plantations at a nearby village, have a go at brewing local banana beer, visit the local hospital, and then cap it all off with a dance performance by the Batwa pygmy people.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Bwindi – Gorilla Tracking
After an early breakfast, your guide will escort you to the Uganda Wildlife Authority Park headquarters where you will meet fellow trackers and gorilla guide who will lead you into the forest to find the mountain gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located in southwestern Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kabale Districts. It is situated in a hilly countryside, which, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary, constitutes an important water catchment area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region. This is the richest forest in Uganda, in terms of the number of plant species, as the area is one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa where lowland and montane communities merge. The valley bottoms contain a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs with only a few trees, hence its name – the impenetrable forest. This is one of the richest faunal communities in East Africa.
The trekking may be fairly strenuous – up to six hours or longer is not uncommon – at relatively high altitude. Mountain gorillas are wild animals, and sightings cannot be guaranteed, however the success rate is well over 95%. These massive primates are extremely rare, with only approximately 650 remaining. You will get within meters of the family and be privileged to spend up to one hour amongst them.
Return to the lodge later in the day, and you may have an opportunity for further forest or community walks with the guides, a visit to the Batwa tribe or hospital in Bwindi, or you may choose to relax and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Fly Bwindi / Entebbe / Nairobi
This morning, fly back to Entebbe and connect on a flight to Nairobi. Lunch is under your own arrangements.
Arrive into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. After clearing customs and immigration formalities, you’ll be welcomed by a representative and transferred to The Emakoko.
The Emakoko is a twenty-bed luxury lodge artfully built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River, which borders the Nairobi National Park. Great care has been taken to incorporate the beautiful fig trees which grow on the cliff where the lodge is situated. All rooms look straight over the river and into the Park. The Emakoko is situated on 15 acres of land bordering the National Park. On one side of the plot is the Mbagathi River, and at the top of the plot is the Emakoko River, from which the lodge gets its name. The entrance to the park is an ideal way to escape the Nairobi traffic. A large variety of bird life can be seen around the lodge, from green wood pigeons to two resident eagle owls.
The lodge itself is a mere 25-minute game drive from all important locations – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wilson Airport, and all the main city attractions. The National Park provides a buffer between civilization and the lodge, and yet everything is still within easy reach. The Emakoko is a family-owned and run lodge.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Fly to Lewa Downs
After breakfast, transfer to Wilson Airport for your flight to Lewa Downs Conservancy. Upon arrival, you will be met by your camp driver/guide and transferred to Sirikoi, your home for the next three nights.
Willie Roberts and his wife Sue set up Sirikoi a few years ago on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Willie knows everything about the bush and is a great raconteur about his time living in the Mara and working on anti-poaching in the 1990s. This is a great camp in which to listen and learn and, being on Lewa, it has fabulous wildlife.
Four beautifully appointed tents, each with Victorian baths, overlook the well-watered lawn which attracts the grazing animals. There are also two standard tents and a secluded two bedroom cottage, situated in a private corner of the camp near the wetlands where elephant and buffalo are regular visitors. In 2010, the three-bedroom Sirikoi House became the lodge’s latest opening.
The swimming pool offers the perfect spot to watch game and birdlife, and the lodge also has a 20-foot hide, which is a great spot for viewing the diverse landscape, having sundowners, and stargazing. Rhino, elephant and Grevy’s zebra can be seen on bush walks, horseback rides, or from safari vehicles.
After lunch, there is time to relax before embarking on a late-afternoon game viewing activity.
Enjoy three full days to explore Lewa Downs Conservancy and enjoy the various activities available, which include day and night game drives and bush walks. Horse riding, camel rides, and cultural visits are subject to availablity at an extra charge.
You will also have the opportunity to visit local conservation projects and the community craft center. For those wishing to relax, there is a swimming pool which seems to flow right over the escarpment.
Lose yourself in the magical atmosphere of Lewa Downs, a privately owned 60,000 acre game reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the foothills of Mt. Kenya. This premier wildlife haven has been the home of the Craig family since 1924. Although only 30 miles north of the equator, you will find several animal species not seen in the southern hemisphere, including reticulated giraffe, the endangered Grevy’s zebra, and blue-skinned Somali ostrich. Black and white rhino thrive here and are now being relocated to other parks in Kenya.
All three of the big cats, up to 200 elephant, greater kudu, and the graceful gerenuk antelope are part of the unique experience that is Lewa. As an activity-based reserve, it is second to none. You can ride on horseback alongside herds of giraffe, zebra, and antelope; take a night game drive; walk with armed rangers; or take a camel ride to a bush breakfast (horse and camel riding a subject to availability and booked on site).
There is also an option for helicopter fishing excursion to Mount Kenya National Park (extra cost).
At 17,058 feet (5,200 metres), Mt Kenya is Africa’s second tallest mountain. The amazing glacier-capped peaks are only 10 miles south of the equator. The mountain was a classic stratovolcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African rift. It is believed that the mountain was at one time taller than Everest! The peaks that remain are the lava plugs of the eroded volcano.
Your helicopter will land you at a spectacular lake – one of the many lakes, rivers and tarns that cover the upper slopes. We will supply a delicious picnic breakfast, and you can spend a few hours fly-fishing for rainbow trout from the lakeshore.
To experience the mountain at its best, visits are scheduled in the early morning, arriving on the mountain at 7.30 am. Thereafter fly back to the camp.
Fly to Maasai Mara
After breakfast, transfer to the airstrip for the scheduled flight to Maasai.
You’ll be welcomed at the airstrip by your Sala’s Camp driver/guide. Enjoy a game drive en route to camp, which may be rewarded with sightings of lion, elephant, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, and a host of plain’s game.
Sala’s Camp overlooks two rivers in the middle of the Maasai Mara. It is a spectacular spot to see the annual wildebeest migration when up to two million wildebeest make their way around the Serengeti ecosystem in search of good grazing. Attended by myriad hungry predators, the sight is one of the natural wonders of the world.
Sala’s Camp is luxurious and exclusive, with just seven classic safari tents lining the rivers. There’s also one larger tent, refurbished in 2013, with its own sitting room and a private deck with sun loungers that can be set up for families or honeymooners. Furnished with locally-made beds made of recovered wood and thick carpets, Sala’s is the ultimate in safari style.
In between delicious meals, cooked with fresh ingredients over an open campfire, travelers can visit nearby Maasai villages or go for long game drives over the plains. Hot air ballooning over the migration can also be arranged from camp.
You have the full day to enjoy the sights and sounds of Maasai Mara on your early-morning and late-afternoon game viewing drives.
The Maasai Mara plays host to the most spectacular array of wildlife. 1,500 square kilometers (580 square miles) of broad biscuit-colored savannah sprawls as home to huge numbers of birds (almost 600 species) and animals and is adjacent to the enormous expanse of the Serengeti; the two make up the most diverse ecosystem on the continent. The word ‘mara’ comes from the local dialect, Maa, as spoken by the Maasai and means ‘spotted’; certainly the vast grasslands here are dotted by the shadows of small clouds which float across a huge sky above.
Every year this special place witnesses the most incredible animal phenomenon on the planet – the wildebeest migration. The mass of plains game, moving north from the Serengeti in search of fresh pasture and returning south around October, is a heaving line of grunting, snorting life that stretches for miles. At the Mara River they mass together nervously on the banks before plunging onwards. Their pursuit of food overwhelms their fear of the crocodiles that lie in wait for the annual feast.
This incredible spectacle involves the movement of over a million wildebeest and their fellow travelers. Half a million Thomson’s gazelle, half a million zebra, as well as smaller herds of topi and eland, all operate on the principle of safety in numbers. They are followed, inevitably, by predators – primarily lions and hyena.
Overnight Salas Camp
You have another day to enjoy the splendors of the Maasai Mara. There will also be the option to take an early morning balloon safari (at an extra cost).
As the balloon is inflated against the first rays of sunrise, your pilot will go through safety procedures. It’s then time to climb aboard. Once aloft, the balloon floats gently over the plains, giving a bird’s eye view of the game below as the sun creeps slowly over the horizon. Spread beneath you is a panorama of Africa – elephants looking improbably small; giraffe browsing amongst the treetops; antelope grazing; a pair of lionesses stalking a herd of wildebeest; an eagle guarding his eerie; and cheetah glancing up as the shadow of the huge balloon crosses their paths.
After an hour the balloon lands, and nearby breakfast is already being prepared. The smells of bacon, sausages, and eggs drift on the breeze as you begin breakfast with platefuls of exotic Kenyan fruits and homemade pastries and, of course, glasses of bubbly to toast your flight in a tradition initiated by the Montgolfier brothers.
Overnight Salas Camp
Fly to Serengeti via Migori and Tarime
After breakfast, transfer to the airstrip for the scheduled flight to Migori.
You will be met on arrival and transferred by road to Tarime Airstrip for your flight to the Serengeti. Upon arrival in the Serengeti, you will be met by a driver guide and transferred to One Nature Nyarusiga Camp.
One Nature Nyaruswiga, Serengeti is an ultra-luxurious safari camp, perfectly situated at the heart of the Central Serengeti, surrounded by breathtaking views of endless plains and embraced by the majestic Nyaruswiga Hills. This unique destination provides an incredibly rich diversity of resident wildlife and an almost surreal backdrop for the millions of migrating animals that pass through its plains year after year
Overnight One Nature Nyaruswiga
Serengeti National Park
Spend your days exploring the extensive plains of the Serengeti in search of the ‘Big Five’. If you would like to maximize your time game viewing, you can take a picnic lunch into the park and enjoy a meal out in the vast savannah before returning to the lodge later in the day.
One of the world’s last great wildlife refuges, the Serengeti, stretches between the Ngorongoro Highlands and Lake Victoria. The name comes from the Maasai word siringet, meaning “endless plains.” The Serengeti’s 14,763 square kms contain about three million large animals, many of them taking part in seasonal migrations, unparalleled in nature.
Every year, triggered by the rains, 1.3 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle gather to undertake the long trek to new grazing lands. The migration of the herbivores roughly defines the boundaries of Serengeti National Park, which is the central zone of the Serengeti ecosystem – an area that also takes in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maswa Game Reserve in the west.
Overnight One Nature Nyaruswiga
Drive to Ngorongoro
Today you will leave the Serengeti behind you and travel east to the famous Ngorongoro Crater that rises from the plains in the distance. The drive will take approx. 4-5 hours in total as you travel across extensive plains with possible game sightings en-route.
Set high on the slopes of the Olmoti Volcano, The Highlands looks out over the Gol Mountains, the Empakaai Crater, and all the way to the Serengeti. This unique location promises glorious isolation where one can privately relish in Tanzania’s exquisite wilderness. Due to its exceptional position, the lodge offers a range of extra special, extraordinary adventures: hiking the ancient Maasai trails near Olmoti and descending into the Empakaai Crater on foot.
At the Highlands you are truly getting a taste of Tanzania’s unspoilt wonders. The eight rooms emanate a charming originality; eco-conscious, dome-shaped tents which set themselves apart from the more traditional safari camp. The tents each have their own fireplace to keep you warm when the temperature drops in the evening. The floor-to-ceiling windows ensure you get the best of the spilling views all around you. From here you’ll witness Africa’s blazing sunrises and its sky-painting sunsets.
Overnight The Highlands
Crater tour & Maasai village visit
Your game drive today will be like no other as you visit one of the most dramatic safari destinations in Africa, the Ngorongoro Crater. Descend to the crater floor in search of the Big Five with the forest-covered crater walls surrounding you, creating stunning backdrops for all of your wildlife photographs. Travel through the Lerai Forest looking for leopard and onto the plains where the wildebeest and zebra graze whilst cheetah and lion lay and watch. Elephants pass your vehicle whilst further afield rhino wander and hippos hide in the pools. A picnic lunch is provided so you can maximize your day in the crater and visit to Maasai Village.
Ngorongoro Crater is a deep, volcanic crater and the largest unbroken caldera in the world. About 20 kilometers (12 miles) across, 600 meters (1,969 feet) deep and 300 square kilometers (186 square miles) in area, the Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtaking natural wonder. Within the crater rim, large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby while sleeping lions laze in the sun. At dawn, the endangered black rhino returns to the thick cover of the crater forests after grazing on dew-laden grass in the morning mist. Just outside the crater’s ridge, tall Maasai herd their cattle and goats over green pastures living alongside the wildlife as they have for centuries.
Overnight The Highlands
Hike to the Empakai Crater
Your day starts with a 1-hour-30-minute drive north east of Ngorongoro Crater passing Maasai villages, Olmoti Crater and onto the Embulbul Depression, where you might see zebra, gazelle, wildebeest, and ostrich before reaching the forested slopes of Empakai Crater. As there are no roads within the crater, a ranger will guide you down the inner slope of the crater wall through the forest where buffalo’s, bushbuck, blue monkeys, sunbirds, and turacos hide.
Once you reach the lake that covers almost half of the crater floor, you may see waterbuck and eland before commencing your return journey back up the forested crater walls. Hiking is at over 3000m and, depending on fitness levels, takes approximately three hours. While the walk can be strenuous at times, the effort is well rewarded with beautiful views and the chance to walk in Tanzania’s unspoiled wilderness.
Overnight The Highlands
Fly Manyara / Kilimanjaro / Nairobi and depart
After breakfast, transfer to the airstrip for the scheduled flight to Kilimanjaro.
Arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport where you will met by a representative and assisted to connect to the scheduled flight to Nairobi.
On arrival at Wilson Airport, you will be met and transferred to Ole-Sereni Hotel where a dayroom is reserved for you until 6:00 pm.
Located just off Mombasa Road, Ole-Sereni is the only hotel bordering a National Game Park. The title of the hotel is taken from the Maasai name for the area meaning ‘place of tranquility.’ Ole-Sereni captures the essence of Nairobi, which is the only city in the world that boasts a natural game park within its precincts. The hotel offers its guests views of animals in their natural surroundings at the waterhole in the park from the restaurants, bar, swimming pool and other parts of the hotel.
Ole-Sereni is strategically positioned close to the airport and the city center, offering world-class facilities and personalized services. Ole-Sereni Hotel offers guest 134 exquisitely furnished, air-conditioned rooms and suites spread over three floors. Guests will have the opportunity to relax and unwind at the rooftop heated swimming pool that overlooks the park, the gymnasium, and sports lounge. The spa offers massage treatments, a sauna, steam facility, and salon to pamper yourself at the end of your journey.
• Meals as noted
• Flights internal to the itinerary
• Game drives and activities as noted
• Ground transfers
• Additional international flights
• Travel insurance
• Personal expenses
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