Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
Welcome to Nairobi! If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier to give yourself the time to see some of the highlights in the city - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.
There will be a group meeting today at our joining hotel at 10:00am - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.
After the group meeting, we will be met by our 6-person 4x4 jeeps that will take us on our 2-night excursion to the Maasai Mara. We will load the jeeps with our personal gear (but we will not need our camping equipment) and then head off to Maasai Mara, leaving our truck behind.
We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location in Nairobi), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 3 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.
On arrival, we will have the chance for a short evening game drive in the Maasai Mara NP before heading to our campsite. The Maasai Mara is an incredibly scenic area and is one of the world's greatest places for wildlife spotting which is absolutely teeming with giraffe, buffalo, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other big game!
Today we will go out for the full day game driving in the NP before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a sunset balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your trip to avoid disappointment.
Today we will have a final game drive in the Maasai Mara in the early morning, before heading to Nairobi and our campsite, arriving at about 4:00pm or 5:00pm. This is where we will meet our overland truck and start using the truck's camping equipment.
Today we will head through the hills of central Kenya through the area's beautiful scenery and tea plantations, to arrive at the small village of Naro Moru at the base of Mount Kenya.
Today we will have a free day in Naro Moru to take optional walks around the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, explore the nearby Mau Mau caves, or take an optional game drive in the nearby Sweetwaters National Reserve.
Today we will travel to the Samburu region near to the small town of Archer's Post, where we will visit a Samburu village. Here we will be shown around the village and their homes, play with the children and learn all about the way of life here for the Samburu people!
We will camp in the village in the heart of the community tonight, where there are no toilet or washing facilities.
Today we will get up early and enter the Samburu National Reserve, where we will head out for the entire day for game drives in the truck (breaking for a long lunch during the heat of the day).
Samburu is a stunning National Reserve and is a great opportunity to spot big game such as cheetah, leopards, lions, and buffalo. The Reserve is also home to other animals rarely seen in the NPs further south, such as Grevy's zebras, Somali ostriches and gerenuk ('giraffe-necked antelopes').
Please note that during very wet conditions we may need to use locally chartered 4x4 jeeps rather than our truck to get a good game drive in - in this instance we may make this option available at extra cost.
Today we will make our way to Nakuru, our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru NP. If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.
This morning we head into Nakuru NP for an included half-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos.
Border Information: Exit Kenya at Malaba, enter Uganda at Malaba.
Today we have a full day's drive across the border into Uganda as we travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa!
Today we will have a free day to get involved in the many optional adventure activities available here, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and boat trips on the White Nile!
Today we make our way to Kampala and have plenty of time to explore this bustling African city. There are many optional activities on offer here this afternoon.
Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Kampala, you will most likely enter Uganda at Entebbe International Airport.
Welcome to Kampala! If you would like to explore Kampala fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier to give yourself the time to see some of the highlights in the city - possible activities include visiting the Uganda Museum, the Cathedral and the Kasubi Tombs. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kampala before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kampala.
There will be a group meeting today at our joining hotel at 18:00 - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception or will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.
This morning we will make our way into the stunning Lake Mburo NP. This drive will take us across the equator - a prime moment for some photos! The afternoon will include a boat trip on the beautiful Lake Mburo.
We will stay in an incredibile campsite close to the lake where you may be lucky enough to see hippos leaving the water in the evening.
This morning we travel to the Queen Elizabeth NP, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Lake Edward and Lake George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the campsite. After lunch we can go out in the truck to look for some wildlife.
The next morning we are up early to go on a full day game drive making our way to the famous volcanoes and salt mines. We will experience areas of the NP that are impossible to reach without a full days excursion!
Today we prepare for our Gorilla tracking by driving to Bunyoni and getting jeeps up into the hills of Bwindi.
Here we will go on what is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip - trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest habitat.
This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than 8 people per day can visit any one habituated family, and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, it can be pretty strenuous and often humid; however, the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk at least 4 hours - uphill and downhill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself! Once you find them, you will stay with the gorillas for one unforgettable hour!
When visiting the gorillas you will be assigned a tracking group and time on your permit. The group may be split up into different tracking groups during the day.
In Bwindi we will stay in a campsite that occasinally has some very special visitors, the incredible mountain gorillas!
Please note that the gorilla permits are paid for in full by the trip kitty - however, we have to purchase the permits in advance on the customers' behalf, so a higher deposit is charged on the trip price to protect us from losing this money in the event of cancellation - please see the notes at the end for further detail.
Border Information: Exit Uganda at Cyahafi, enter Rwanda at Kidaho.
Leaving Uganda behind, we cross the border into the stunning country of Rwanda.
Today we will drive the short distance to Ruhengeri (also known as Musanze), the gateway to the Volcanoes NP, where we will spend the next 1 night. Today we will have time for optional activities such as visiting the Golden Monkeys.
Today we head to the lakeside town of Kibuye. We will have the option to do many activities this afternoon in the rural town.
This morning we wil head to Nyungwe NP where we will stay for 2 nights as we have so much to fit in! We start with a visit to a local tea plantation before camping in the NP itself.
This morning we have chimps to hunt for and a breath taking canopy walkway trail to keep us busy for the day!
Today we arrive in our final city of this trip, Kigali. After a long drive in the morning we will visit the moving and very thought provoking Genocide Museum in the afternoon.
Border information: If you are finishing in Kigali, you will most likely exit Rwanda at Kigali International Airport.
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kigali. Please note, there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking an extra night of accommodation in order to fully explore the area.