Start and end in Nairobi! With the Explorer tour 18-day Mountain Gorillas to the Mara Camping, you have a 18 days tour package taking you through Nairobi, Kenya and 8 other destinations in Africa. 18-day Mountain Gorillas to the Mara Camping includes accommodation, an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
We depart Nairobi early and descend into the Great Rift Valley, stopping at a lookout point to take in the magnificent views. This afternoon we explore the Lake Nakuru National Park, a delightful introduction to East Africa’s wildlife diversity.
Our local guide takes us into the park to explore and seek out the resident wildlife such as black and white rhino, lion, giraffe and many more. Keep your eyes peeled for leopard and the rare colobus monkeys which are both highlights of Lake Nakuru NP.
From Nakuru we continue northwest and climb in altitude towards the town of Eldoret en-route to the Ugandan frontier. We cross from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere at the equator today, enjoying some time here and learning a little about its significance great photo op, before moving onwards to Eldoret. We camp outside of town in a unique campsite created on hilly forested tribal land, once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe.
We cross into Uganda Winston Churchills Pearl of Africa a country with beautiful natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures and friendly people. Our first night we camp at the capital Kampala, an attractive hilly city, bustling with roadside traders, markets and busy matatu mini-bus taxi stands.
From Kampala we travel west toward Queen Elizabeth National Park – crossing the Equator again – through fertile green terraced hillsides, lush banana plantations, steep mountains and tangled forests. We camp a short distance from the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here you will have the opportunity to relax and unwind, take a walk in the surrounding areas and mingle with the local community.
Heading out early we make our way to the Kyamburu Gorge where trek on foot to find chimpanzees. We hope to spot them either in the branches of the trees above, or on the ground below – moving along as they forage and interact with each other.
Chimp trekking permits are issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people at a time, per group. Depending on our group size, this means that we may trek on the afternoon of day 4, the morning and afternoon of day 5 and possibly on the morning of day 6.
We leave the picturesque hills of the national park and make our way to the lush and stunning Lake Bunyonyi Place of many little birds. With a depth of nearly 900m in parts, this lake is the second deepest lake in Africa. With twenty-nine islands that can be visited by local boats, the lake is a great place to unwind, relax and explore on the days that we don’t trek to see the mountain gorillas.
Over the next two days the group will be split, with one group trekking to the mountain gorillas while the others stay at Lake Bunyonyi to enjoy the many activities on offer.
The next days are spent heading out to the Bwindi or Magahinga National Parks to seek out the magnificent mountain gorillas in their natural forest habitat. Your permit allows you one trek and gorilla viewing time limited to one hour. However because the authorities maintain strict limits on the number of visitors allowed to view the gorillas each day we may spend several days in the area while all passengers in our group complete the trek and viewing.
If not trekking, today is free to explore the surrounding area, discover the islands by boat on Lake Bunyonyi or relax back at camp catching up on some well deserved rest and relaxation.
After the excitement of gorilla trekking and relaxing at the lake, we make our way back across the Equator stopping for a photo if we have not done so previously through lush pasture lands and the northern reaches of Lake Victoria Africas largest lake to Kampala where we will overnight. If time allows, go out to enjoy the nightlife, try the local cuisines and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans.
Leaving Kampala we drive the short distance to the town of Jinja on the banks of Lake Victoria the Nile. Our camp is situated on the grassy banks overlooking the Nile River. It is here that we have the option enjoy river rafting, mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and even bungee jumping. There is also the opportunity to get involved with volunteering at a local school project, a locally run program aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area.
Enjoy a free day in this magical place, or take part in one of the many optional activities on offer. Adrenaline lovers can head to the world class rapids and try rafting – an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of whitewater. Those seeking a more relaxing day can visit the local community, or simply just relax at camp.
Leaving Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border into Kenya and onwards to Eldoret – where we will camp for the evening.
This morning we cross the Equator and make our way south to Nairobi and to our base just outside the city. Tonight we have the opportunity to explore the citys nightlife.
Today you are free to explore the city and surrounding area. Popular excursions include catching a taxi into town to check out the shopping, markets, bars and restaurants Visit the National Museum of Kenya chow down at Carnivore a bbq meat eaters paradise go on safari at Nairobi National Park Visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre or check out the Karen Blixen Museum in the nearby town of Karen – alternatively simply relax and enjoy some downtime.
We depart the city early and make our way across the Great Rift Valley to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, enjoying the vast vistas en-route. We travel in small specialized safari vehicles that enable us to have a more intimate view of wildlife and we spend two nights camping on the edge of the Reserve with time to explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives.
Rising early we head out into the Maasai Mara Reserve in search of the abundant wildlife. We drive along the winding dirt tracks and around the hills with views over the African savanna and seek out not only the Big 5, but also wildebeest, gazelle and zebra that migrate into the reserve each year. We stop for a lunch before returning to our tented camp in the late afternoon.
From the Mara we make our way back across the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi, where our tour ends on arrival in the city.