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18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer travelling around Kenya and Uganda allowing you to see the gorillas in the wild.

  • Price Beat Guaranteed
  • 10% early bird discount (6 months or more)

R22,480

+ Optional Gorilla Trekking USD 690

Currency conversions estimated

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  • 18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Tour
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  • 18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Tour
  • 18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Safari
Tour Map
Tour Style Camping
Countries Visited Kenya, Uganda
Starts Nairobi
Ends Nairobi
Group Size Max 24
Age Range 18 - 39 Years
 

 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Tour Overview

Departing from Nairobi
Ends in
Nairobi

This Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer trip is an opportunity to observe rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and explores Kenya's most popular game parks. Trek the gorillas hidden in the lush rain forest of Uganda and spend time observing these magnificent animals. Ending off with two nights game viewing in the Masai Mara Game Reserve , home to the wildebeest migration - this is a memorable African wilderness experience.

  • Price Beat Guaranteed
  • 10% early bird discount (6 months or more)

Highlights

  • The Great Rift Valley
  • Lake Nakuru National Park Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
  • Maasai Mara excursion with small vehicle*
*Highlight is part of the Adventure Activity Package Pass

Included

  • All tour highlights
  • 2 person dome tents
  • Fully equipped safari vehicles
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • Mattresses
  • Service of two crew
  • All road and vehicle taxes
  • All ground transportation
  • Meals as indicated

Excluded

  • Adventure Activity Package Pass and Excursions (optional)
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Departure taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Sleeping bag
  • Optional activities
  • Drinks, tips, items of a personal nature
  • Meals in Nairobi (2 nights on days 14 & 15)

SKU: CAE2522
 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Itinerary

Day 1

Nairobi – Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Kenya, being East Africa’s most popular safari destination, warmly welcomes visitors who have come to witness their beautiful country. The Kenyan capital of Nairobi has grown vastly in recent years, but still maintains a relatively small city centre as well as a city market that has much to offer. It is recommended that you arrive at least a day before departure in order for you to recover from any jetlag as well as to have some time to yourself in which you will be able to relax and have a chance to see the city.

Departing from the gorgeous Nairobi in the morning hours of Day One, we begin our descent into ‘the Great Rift Valley’, a gigantic fissure in the Earth’s surface that stretches from the Red Sea all the way to Madagascar. On the way, we stop at a specific lookout point to drink in the majestic views provided to us by the African landscape.

The overnight stop we take is close to Lake Nakuru National Park, abundant in fauna and flora located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley. The shallow soda lake within the park is home to a wide variety of extraordinary birdlife, specifically flamingos (attracted by the abundance of algae in the lake) that, when gathered in their massive numbers, form a dazzling pink ‘fringe’ around the edges of the water. This resplendent lake also attracts wildlife such as buffalo, lion, black and white rhinoceros, leopard, warthog, baboon, antelope and a large assortment of smaller animals too. We then embark on an afternoon game drive searching for more elusive and diverse wildlife, led by local guides and smaller safari vehicles in order to obtain a more intimate experience with African nature.

Trip Highlights: Lake Nakuru National Park, Great Rift Valley view
Accommodation: Punda Milias Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 190kms
Approximate Driving Time: 4 hours

Nakuru Safari overland - Kenya

Day 2

Lake Nakuru – Eldoret, Kenya

From Nakuru we continue northwest, through the highlands, toward the town of Eldoret which is en route to the Ugandan frontier. During this day’s journey we cross from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere, over the Equator where we spend some time learning about the significance of the crossing and resting for a bit, giving photographers a chance to capture a beautiful portion of their trip. We then head to Eldoret, the town whose name originates from the Maasai word Eldore meaning ‘stony river’ inspired by the stony bed of the nearby Sosiani River. The town is the 5th largest in Kenya with the fastest growing population of approximately 194,000.

At night, we reside outside of the town in an exclusive campsite complete with a bar/restaurant area located in a modern day cave accompanied by river streams, waterfalls and wooden bridges. Here, we can put our feet up for the evening and enjoy a sundowner whilst soaking in the warmth emanating from the central open log fire.

Trip Highlights: Equator crossing
Accommodation: Naiberi Overland Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 150kms
Approximate Driving Time: 3.5 hours

Day 3

Eldoret – Kampala, Uganda

Today we make the cross into Uganda – a country that is a rich painting brought to life. With its breathtaking natural scenery and vibrant collection of tribes and cultures, it’s no wonder it was termed by Winston Churchill as the ‘Pearl of Africa’. The locals are warm and friendly people and the landscape is overwhelmingly beautiful.

Our first night is spent camping in Uganda’s attractive and hilly capital, Kampala. Here you will find bustling roadside traders, quaint local markets and busy matutu (mini-bus taxi) stands.

Trip Highlights: Kampala
Accommodation: Red Chilli Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 400kms
Approximate Driving Time: 7.5 hours

Day 4

Kampala – Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Leaving Kampala, we begin our travels toward Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we once again cross the Equator. Along this journey you can expect to see lush green hillsides, flourishing banana plantations, steep mountains and dense forests along with herds of Ankole cattle boasting astonishingly long and curving horns that roam the roads and paddocks freely.

The area in which we camp is a short distance away from the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you will have some leisure time to use at your disposal, perhaps taking a walk in the surrounding areas or mingling with the local community.

Trip Highlights: Equator crossing
Accommodation: Simba Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/- 240ms
Approximate Driving Time: 5 hours

Day 5

Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

In the morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park where we take in awe-inspiring views of the mountains that separate Uganda from Central Africa as well as Lake Edwards and Lake George. The Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts over 500 bird species and 100 mammal species, making it one of the most biodiverse national parks in the world.

Close to the park, we visit the Kyambura Gorge to begin our trek to seek out the chimpanzees. Unlike their bigger cousins, the mountain gorilla, chimps live predominantly in the trees. Nevertheless, the experience of seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat remains an incredible one. We spend another night at the Simba Camp before making our way to Lake Bunyonyi.

Trekking permits will be issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people per group.

Trip Highlights: Queen Elizabeth National Park entrance and game drive
Accommodation: Simba Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - 8

Queen Elizabeth National Park – Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla trek day, Uganda

Our next destination is Lake Bunyonyi (‘Place of many little birds’). This lake is 900 metres deep and is the second deepest lake in Africa. When we are not trekking to see the mountain gorillas, there are 29 islands that can be explored by boat where you can spend the time at your leisure. You will be split into groups over the next three days, while each group takes turn in trekking to see the gorillas, and the remainder explore Lake Bunyonyi.

Lake Bunyonyi

Here you will have time to hire canoes to row on the lakes, visit some of the local tribes, or spend some time with the children in the orphanages. There is also plenty of bird watching and walks that you can go on. Or you can relax at the camp and read or journal.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Only 700 gorillas remain in this region of Africa, mostly within the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. (Occasionally we will travel to Rwanda to sport the gorillas.)

On the day of the trek, the group gathers in the early morning to be introduced to our local guide and tracker. Following this, we walk in small groups, trekking through the lush rainforest. This journey can be physically demanding at times due to uneven terrain and the hilly forest itself, but the privilege of spending quality time with a family of these gentle and peaceful primates definitely makes the effort well worthwhile. Even to people who live permanently in the continent, this trek and encounter with the gorillas has proven to be one of the most exciting wildlife experiences in Africa.

The usual protocol once our group has located a gorilla family is to sit down and simply observe the magnificent creatures for about an hour, which is the time set strictly by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Gorillas are rather sociable, living in groups of between 12 and 20, each usually led by the alpha male – the ‘silverback’, named so due to the silver hair on his back that begins to grow once the male gorilla attains maturity. You will find that the gorillas and their tendencies are remarkably human-like, especially in the social interaction that takes place between the gorilla family members and their play time, in which their children are encouraged to engage. Photographers may take as many photographs as they like, but are under strict instructions not to use any flashes. There are also certain restrictions to those who wish to videotape their experience, too.

Your permit allows for one trek and gorilla viewing with your time limited to one hour. However, because the authorities maintain strict limits on the amount of visitors permitted to view the animals each day, we may spend several days in the area so as to allow for all members of the tour to complete their trek and viewing.

PLEASE NOTE: Depending on the availability of the chimpanzee and gorilla permits, the tour itinerary may vary in day to day running order which is based on the brochure itinerary. From time to time, keep in mind that we may have to trek on different days. If, by any chance, our Gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country such as Rwanda, this may entail extra visa fees (although we shall endeavour to advise you before departure of any significant changes to the tour itinerary. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to days 5-8 of this tour.

For those not trekking, the day is free to explore the surroundings or unwind at camp by catching up on some well deserved rest and relaxation. On the last day in Lake Bunyonyi you could participate in a day of trekking or you could take part in the many optional activities on offer here.

Trip Highlights: Gorilla Trek, Lake Bunyonyi
Accommodation: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Gorilla Trek area, camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast x3, Lunch x3, Dinner x3
Distance Covered: +/-240kms
Approximate Driving Time: 5 hours, Trekking for gorillas or rest days
Optional Activities: Island boat trips US$25 – US80, village walk US5, Traditional dance US$30, Bird watching US$5, Canoe hire US$5

Lake Bunyonyi

Day 9

Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala, Uganda

Saying goodbye to Lake Bunyonyi, we make our way back across the Equator, stopping for photograph opportunities if we did not have any en route to Queen Elizabeth National Park . We pass lush pastures and the northern reaches of Lake Victoria, which is the largest lake in Africa, all en route to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, where we will be spending the night. Kampala is known for its great food and entertainment and, if time allows, you are welcome to take the night out and try the local cuisine as well as enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the locals.

Trip Highlights: Equator crossing, Kampala
Accommodation: Red Chilli Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/-550kms
Approximate Driving Time: 10 hours

Day 10 - 12

Kampala – Jinja, Uganda

We leave the capital, driving a short distance to Jinja, situated on the fresh, grassy banks of the longest river in the world, the River Nile. British explorer John Hanning Speke first recognised Lake Victoria as ‘the source of the Nile’ in 1862, settling a long running debate about Africa’s (and the world’s) longest river. From Lake Victoria, the Nile begins its 4132 mile course through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt, leading to the Mediterranean Sea.

Our campsite is on the banks overlooking the Nile River. Here, we will have the opportunity to try our hands at the art of rafting. This is definitely an exhilarating day for any adventure-seeker who loves the thrill of white water. In the Jinja area, you will also have the chance to roll up your sleeves and make a difference at a local children’s school project – Softpower. This project is a locally run voluntary programme that aims at constructing and improving schools in the Jinja area. Any contributions from you, even just a few hours of painting or plastering, is always welcomed and appreciated. Other activities that you can take part in during your stay in Jinja include mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and for the adrenaline junkies, even bungee jumping!

The following day is free to explore this beautiful place or participate in the many optional activities on offer. For those seeking a more relaxed day, taking time to visit the local community or spend your time relaxing at the camp. Spend the day on the banks of the Nile discovering the community, the town of Jinja and the stunning views of the river or participate in the variety of activities on offer here.

Trip Highlights: Jinja, Source of the Nile, optional activities
Accommodation: Nile River Explorers – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Distance Covered: +/-80kms
Approximate Driving Time: 1.5 hours
Optional Activities: Bungee Jumping US$110, Quad biking US$80, White water rafting US135, Community School Project US$40, Nile Cruise From US$25, Nile sup from US$20, Kayak from US$20, Fishing trips from US$60, Mountain biking from US$30

Day 13

Jinja – Eldoret, Kenya

Following our refreshing stop at Jinja, we head back across the border to the frontier of Kenya and onwards to the town in which we will be camping for the night – Eldoret. The evening is dedicated to celebration with your fellow adventurers where everyone is encouraged to share their favourite experiences and stories around the campfire.

Trip Highlights: Eldoret- Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Accommodation: Naiberi Overland Stop – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance Covered: +/-300kms
Approximate Driving Time: 6 hours

Day 14 - 15

Eldoret – Nairobi, Kenya

Today we cross the Equator once more and begin to make our way South, towards our base just outside of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The next day is a relaxing day where you are free to explore the city and surrounding areas. Our tour leader will be able to help arrange local optional excursions for you.

Trip Highlights: Equator, Nairobi, optional excursions
Accommodation: Karen Camp – Camping in twin share tents with shared facilities
Meals included: Breakfast x2, Lunch
Distance Covered: +/-250kms
Approximate Driving Time: 4 hours
Optional Activities: Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage US$105, Giraffe Centre US$10, Karen Blixen Museum US$20

Day 16 - 18

Nairobi – Masai Mara Reserve, Kenya – Nairobi, Kenya

Departing the city early in the morning, we travel back across the Great Rift Valley, this time to the Masai Mara National Reserve, enjoying the splendid views on the way. We travel in small, specialized vehicles, enabling us to have much more intimate wildlife views. Two nights will be spent camping on the edge of the Reserve, giving you time to explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives. The magnificent continent of Africa is represented extremely well by the vast, sweeping plains, the low hanging acacia trees, the abundant fauna and flora and the awe-inspiring view of the horizon.

The ‘Mara’ is crossed each year between the months of July and October by massive herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals during their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains toward the southern Tanzania. The length of the animals’ stay is dependent on rainfall and subsequent grass growth throughout the rainy season. Predators, such as lion, cheetah and leopard as well as scavengers, such as hyena and vultures, shadow the grazing animals in wait. This enormously spectacular congregation of wildlife forms a fantastic display of Africa’s natural resources and inhabitants. This being said, however, the Mara is still excellent for game viewing at most any time of year and, regardless of when you can visit, we aim to see as many of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ as possible (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) as well as an array of other wildlife. It is from the Mara that we return to Nairobi where we will usually camp overnight.

We travel back to Nairobi where our tours comes to an end.

Trip Highlights: Great Rift Valley, Masai Mara Game Reserve, game drives, red robed Masai warriors
Accommodation: Masai Mara – Chronicle Tented Camp, Nairobi – Indaba Camp
Meals included: Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 2
Distance Covered: +/-300kms
Approximate Driving Time: 5 hours (first day), Full days including game drives (second day), 5 hours (third day)

 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Activities

Included in Adventure Activity Package Pass:

  • Lake Nakuru National Park Excursion*
  • Maasai Mara Excursion
*Highlight is part of the Adventure Activity Package Pass


Other Activities

Uganda Lake Bunyoni

  • Boating on the lake (islands) $25-80
  • Village Walk/Nature walk $5
  • Traditional dance $30
  • Bird Watching $5
  • Canoe Hire $5
Jinja
  • Bungy Jumping $110
  • Quad Biking $80
  • Nile sup From $20
  • Fishing Trips From $60
  • White Water Rafting $125
  • Community Schools Project $40
  • Kayak From $20
  • Mountain biking From $30
Subject to change

 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Dates

Tour datesEnquire
 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Highlights

Highlights

  • The Great Rift Valley
  • Lake Nakuru National Park Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
  • Maasai Mara excursion with small vehicle*
*Highlight is part of the Adventure Activity Package Pass

 

18 Day Masai Mara and Gorillas Explorer Overland Price

R22,480

+ Optional Gorilla Trekking USD 690





R22,480

+ Activity Package (Compulsory) USD 600

+ Gorilla Trekking Permit (Optional) USD 690

Currency conversions estimated

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