Legendary Wildlife of Rwanda & Kenya
Pricing is based on departure date 21st Oct 2023
Alternate departure date available for travel in 2023 & 2024, Call us for the availability
Encounter Africa’s legendary wildlife, from the “big five” to endangered primates, on a thrilling adventure into the wilds of eastern Africa. Trek into the Rwandan jungle and come face-to-face with a gorilla group in its element, and head out on safari in world-famous national parks to track elephants, zebras, giraffes, and an array of birds. Along the way, learn about local conservation efforts from scientists in the field, as well as community members doing their part to protect these precious creatures.
KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE CONSERVATION TALK
Gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding poaching and rhino conservation during a discussion by a representative of the Kenya Wildlife Service, now chaired by renowned National Geographic Explorer Richard Leakey.
Masai Mara is Kenya's most famous wildlife reserve, nestled within the enormous Great Rift Valley. Named for the Masai tribe and the Mara River, it is known for its Great Migration of millions of wildebeest, along with zebra and gazelle; one of the most impressive natural events worldwide. There are plenty of other animals to be seen, including lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, ostriches, and many others.
This busy metropolis and capital city has an intoxicating mix of African and Indian culture, which are both well-represented in the local cuisine. Enjoy artsy cafes with a cup of famous Kenyan coffee, and bring your dancing shoes -- Nairobi has a fantastic nightlife. For a taste of history and archaeology, visit the National Museum, home to most of the great prehistoric finds made by the famous Leakey family.
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Mountain Gorilla Conservation Sundowner Experience, Volcanoes National Park
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Akagera National Park - Conservation and Community, Parc National de l’ Akagera
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Kenya Wildlife Service Conservation Talk, Lake Nakuru National Park
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Café Ubuntu and Ubuntu Made, Maai Mahiu
Your G for Good Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Local Lunch, Kigali
All national park entrance fees
Genocide memorial entrance
Mountain gorilla trek with permits
Golden monkey trek with permits
Local village walk
Safari drives in Akagera National Park
Wildlife boat cruise on Lake Ihema
Wildlife safari drives in Masai Mara National Reserve, and Lake Nakuru National Park
Boat trip on Lake Naivasha and wildlife walk on Crescent Island
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Hotel/Lodge (12 nts), comfortable tented camps (2 nts).
Day 1 / Kigali
If you arrive early, take some time to explore the city, known for its pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Kigali also has some interesting and historic sites outside of the city. If you want more time to explore, we recommend booking a pre-night.
Day 2 / Kigali/Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains can be found here. The volcanoes and highlands of the park are covered in lush rainforest and bamboo (a favourite snack of the gorillas). While the most famous resident is the mountain gorilla, there’s plenty of other wildlife roaming around: buffaloes, bushbucks, golden monkeys, hyenas, numerous bird species, and some elephants call this place home.
Day 3 / Volcanoes National Park
Set out on a trek in lush, jungle-covered hills with a park ranger to track a unique and endangered species—the golden monkey. Observe these playful, curious creatures in their natural habitat; then visit the Ellen Degeneres Campus of the Karisoke Research Center, founded by National Geographic Grantee Dian Fossey. Visit the public exhibit and enjoy immersive activities, like a 360-degree theatre and replica of Dian Fossey’s original cabin before meeting with some of the organization’s gorilla experts. Hear their experiences and stories working for the largest gorilla conservation organization in the world, and have the chance to ask them questions.
Day 4 / Volcanoes National Park
Approximately 800 mountain gorillas exist globally in the wild today. They are found in Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda. In DRC and Rwanda, gorillas live in similar ecosystems/areas. The gorilla species found in these three areas are called highland gorillas. In Rwanda there are ten habituated gorilla families that are open to visits – the visit to a gorilla family is done once per day, with a maximum 8 trekkers per group and the duration of a visit is limited to one (1) hour with the gorilla family. The time spent with them is limited due to conservation considerations and to minimize impact on the day-to-day life of the gorilla family you are visiting. It is important to be well prepared for the trek — you never know if your total trek will be short or long. The total duration of a trek can vary and be anything between 4 and 9 hrs in length depending on the location of the gorillas, which are constantly moving. You will mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trail. Touching the gorillas is not allowed (although in some cases they may touch you). Making loud noises or sudden movements is also not allowed. You should attempt to keep a distance of 7m from the gorillas, however the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close, in which case you should try to slowly move away. At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers. Please note that porters are available at approx. $10USD per person. The porters are all hired from local villages and not only can carry your day pack, but assist you with a welcome hand over difficult spots. Regardless of your fitness level, we highly recommend hiring a porter as some tracks can be very muddy and elevation can affect even the most fit person. It also provides employment and supports the local community.
Day 5 / Volcanoes National Park/Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park offers a remarkable conservation story and is home to the Big Five, zebras, giraffes, elephants and hundreds of bird species. Running directly along the boarder with Tanzania, the park covers 1,122 km2 (433 sq mi) and offers a variety of landscapes including highlands, savannah plains, swamps, wetlands and lakes.
Day 6 / Akagera National Park
Wake before sunrise for an early morning safari drive in search of the “big five.” Keep an eye out for lions, buffalo, hyenas, and antelopes grazing freely here. Return to the lodge for lunch and some free time to relax or take a dip in the pool. In the afternoon, glide along Lake Ihema by boat, watching for hippos and crocodiles. Spot more wildlife, such as elephants and buffalo, as they gather at the lakeshore to drink water. Keep an eye out for a variety of birds including herons, shoebill storks, fish eagles, and kingfishers.
Day 7 / Akagera National Park to Kigali
Head out with a packed breakfast for our final safari drive in the early hours when animals are most active. Look for giraffes, gazelles, impalas, baboons, Butchel’s zebras, leopards, and lions. Later that morning, depart through the northern edge of the park and travel overland back to Kigali for our last evening.
Day 8 / Kigali/Nairobi
After your flight, transfer to the hotel. Take some time to explore Nairobi before meeting your group back at the hotel for a second orientation meeting. Here, you will meet your Kenyan CEO for this duration of the tour, and new travellers that may join you for the rest of your journey.
Day 9 / Nairobi/Lake Nakuru National Park
Depart early for Lake Nakuru, known for harbouring flocks of pink flamingos and a rich variety of bird species. Arrive at our safari lodge inside Lake Nakuru National Park in time for lunch, and seek out the resident rhinos on a late afternoon wildlife drive.
Day 10 / Lake Nakuru National Park
Set out on morning and afternoon safaris through the picturesque park, searching for rhinos, buffalo, impalas, lions, and more; and drive along the salty shores of Lake Nakuru to discover a mind-boggling variety of birds. Later, hear from a representative of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)—a government institution dedicated to managing the country’s wildlife—about the issues surrounding poaching and rhino conservation.
Day 11 / Lake Nakuru National Park/Lake Naivasha
The name Naivasha comes from the Maasai “Nai’posha”, which means “rough water”, though Lake Naivasha is generally calm as we watch for hippos, crocodiles, and birdlife. Bring your binoculars and scan for lovebirds, ibis, and fish eagles, watch buffaloes wallow in the swamps and listen to colobus monkeys call from the treetops.
Day 12 / Lake Naivasha/Masai Mara
After breakfast, we depart for the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve. No trip to Kenya would be complete without a visit here. In the afternoon, we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our safari camp, our base for our time here. Then we’ll make our way into the reserve for an afternoon wildlife safari drive, with excellent chances of seeing the "big five": buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino.
Day 13 / Masai Mara
Venture out on an early morning safari to track the animals that traversed the savanna during the night. View ungulates like Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi and eland antelopes—as well as their stealthy predators—at one of their most active times of the day. Continue your exploration on a late afternoon safari, discovering the timeless landscapes of Masai Mara.
Day 14 / Masai Mara/Nairobi
Rise early for a final morning wildlife safari drive, enjoying the African sun as it rises over the savannah of the Mara plains. Return to Nairobi in the late afternoon and opt to join the CEO in a farewell dinner.
Day 15 / Nairobi
Depart at any time.
Terms & Conditions
Prices listed are per person in Great British Pound, based on twin occupancy, rates for single occupancy may differ, Rates offered are including all discounts unless otherwise stated. All bookings are subject to availability. Other travel periods may be available. Some block out dates may apply. Rates may alter depending upon the dates requested and surcharges if applicable. Final booking confirmation only provided once payment has been processed. Contact our travel team for more details. Our Holiday Centre reserves the right to withdraw this promotion without notice at any time. Flights are not included. Pricing correct as at 31st May 2023