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Gorilla Wildlife and Plains - Adventure Trip

2 ½ weeks: Nairobi to Arusha (OVC-GWP)

Visiting Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

On this expedition we transcend the Rift Valley, viewing African wildlife; trek to see Mountain Gorillas, white water raft the Nile and safari in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater.

From Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, we head north ascending the Great Rift Valley enjoying the spectacular views as we pass the amazing Rift Valley Lakes.

Without doubt the main highlight of this tour is to trek in search of the Mountain Gorillas. Trekking in the dense rain forest to view these creatures in their natural environment has to be one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet. Two days of our tour are allocated for the Gorilla trek on the slopes of the famous Virunga Mountain Range. When in the Virunga region we will spend a night camped on the shores of Lake Bunyoni (Africa’s deepest Lake) where we can hire dug out canoes to take a sunset cruise on the lake.

A visit to Uganda would not be complete without viewing and experiencing the mighty River Nile, Africa’s largest river. We camp on the banks at Bugugali Falls and enjoy a day rafting the source of the Nile. This is optional but well within everyone’s capability and is a thrill seeking day out. There are also opportunities to do guided village walks along the river, giving introductions to hut building, farming, and making banana wine.
We cross back into Southern Hemisphere and journey to Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru with its rhino, giraffe, buffalo, lion and leopard will be your first view of the wildlife for which East Africa is famed.
We continue to Tanzania and to the town of Arusha our base for our safari in 4x4 Landrovers to visit the world famous Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. Both are the natural habitats of the famous east african wildlife. The game safari is 3 days and it is usual to see lion, elephant, rhino, giraffe, and cheetah possibly leopard but not forgetting tens of thousands of wildebeest and other migratory animals.


Day 1-2

Our journey starts in Nairobi the capital of Kenya. After our pre departure meeting and lunch on day 1 we head north ascending the Great Rift Valley enjoying the spectacular views as we pass the amazing Rift Valley Lakes of Lake Naivasha, Lake Elementeita and Lake Nakuru. Our first night will be spent at a working African farm estate that has developed a campsite called Kembu. Nestled on the Mau escarpment the camp has an open plan bar a log fire, magnificent views of the Aberdare Mountains. The next morning we are given fresh milk and bread from the farmhouse and start our day's safari to Lake Nakuru at 6am. Lake Nakuru National Park is where on this tour that we experience for the first time the wildlife for which East Africa is famed. The park is home to a veritable colony of wildlife and supports a large population of Rhino, as well as Giraffe, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and not forgetting Flamingo’s. The afternoon of Day 2 we journey towards Lake Baringo a fresh water lake nestled in thorn scrub country, it is an oasis for bird wildlife as well as Crocodile and Hippo. We will camp here in the acacia shaded garden of Roberts Camp for the night.

Day 3

The next morning at sunrise there is an option to take a boat journey onto Lake Baringo for some bird spotting, in fact some of the local fish eagles swoop down to the boat in anticipation of food. Later that day we continue north upto Eldana Ravine, the drive and scenery are spectacular. By mid afternoon we continue towards the border

Day 4 - 5

On day 4 we cross into Uganda and after stops in Jinja and Kampala we find ourselves camped at Fraba Backpackers in Entebee on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is from here on day 5 we have the option to take a boat journey onto Lake Victoria and visit Chimpanzee Island (as seen on TV) where a Chimp sanctuary has been developed for orphaned Chimps. Day 5 is a great day out not to be missed and your fee goes to helping the Chimps

Day 6

From Entebbe and or Kampala we journey west past the towns of Masaka and Mbarara, and also pass Lake Mburo. Along the road side we will see large herds of the famous Long Horned Ugandan cattle some with horns 2 metres in width. The countryside is green and lush. This day we will arrive at Kabale and take a short detour to camp on the shores of Lake Bunyoni (one of Africa’s deepest Lakes). At Lake Bunyoni Overland Camp the atmosphere is peaceful and tranquil with lawned areas sweeping down to the lakeside, on which you can pitch your tent. In the morning (of Day 7)the Lake is dead calm and you can hire a dug out canoe to take a morning cruise. The edges of the lake have prolific bird wildlife

Day 7

See's us travel to the town of Kisoro. We arrive at the town of Kisoro in Western Uganda and it is here that we base ourselves for trekking to view the Mountain Gorillas. Transport and permits will be organised for Day 8 to trek in either Rwanda, Uganda or DRC, depending on budget. For those not trekking then short walks around some local lakes can be arranged with local guides.

Day 8

Without doubt for some the main highlight of this tour is to trek in search of the Mountain Gorillas, however it is entirely optional. Trekking in the dense rain forest to view these creatures in their natural environment has to be one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet. Day 8 of our tour is allocated for the Gorilla trek. Our prefered National Park for Gorilla trekking is that of Parc National de Volcanos in Rwanda. However Djomba is the most popular with our clients. The permits are cheaper and the Gorilla groups much larger, a better visit is had at Djomba in the DRC.The day of the trek starts early as we are transported to the park gates in small pick-ups, once the de-brief is over we find ourselves accompanied by 2 guides, 2 trackers, 2 slashers (to clear the vegetation) and several armed security guards. Each party is made up of 8 trekkers and the park rules are that you can only spend 1 hour in close contact with the Gorillas, however it usually takes several hours to pick up the trail of the previous nights nest before we find ourselves sat within a few feet of these creatures. We return late to Bunyoni Overland camp

Day 9

This day we will either return to Lake Bunyoni or continue across Uganda for a night camped in the bush or an extra night at Bugagali Falls on the River Nile. The decision will depend locally on conditions and the success of the trekking of the Gorillas the day previous. This is a safety day

Day 10-11

Next we head back across Uganda to a camp at Bugugali Falls on the banks of the River Nile, Africa’s largest river. A visit to Uganda would not be complete without experiencing this mighty river and the best way to do this is by rafting its source. This is optional but well within everyone’s capability and is a thrill seeking day out. However for those not rafting there are opportunities to do guided village walks along the river, giving introductions to hut building, Matoko! making and Banana Wine brewing. We have now incorporated a voluntary day whereby you can help in local community projects, activities include, teaching class, joinery, painiting and building work. Clients agree this is one of the hidden highlights of this tour and most rewarding

Day 15

We depart Nairobi after lunch and straightaway Africa unfolds in front of us as soon as we leave the campground. It’s the classic scene of savannah grasslands with thorn acacia trees and masaai herdsman grazing their cattle. On route to the Tanzanian border we pass several small Maasai villages and we may even be lucky and see some wildlife, but only Giraffe, Zebra and Gazelle. At the border town of Namanga formalities are straightforward but beware of the elderly Maasai women wishing to adorn you with Maasai jewellery of beads and trinkets. Our days destination is the Masai Camp Arusha.

Day 12

Leaving the friends we make in the local community, we then journey to the border town of Malaba and cross back into Kenya. Our destination is the town of Eldoret high in the Rift Valley. The night is fresh camped at Naiberi River Camp. A log fire and hot shower awaits us after our days drive

Days 13 -14

We cross back into Southern Hemisphere and visit Nakuru town for some souvenir shopping. This night will camp at Fish Eagle Inn on the shore of Lake Naivasha. Closeby is Elsamere (the home of Joy Adamson) and Hells Gate National Park. For those keen enough an early morning mountain bike ride can be organised in to Hells Gate National Park, remember the animals have “right of way”.Finally we arrive back in Nairobi at noon on day 14 this evening we will dine as a group at a restaurant

Day 16

The days in Africa start early and for us it is no different. We will strike camp after a cooked breakfastIn the town of Arusha there is time to change money and meander the curio market for some Makondi carvings. Arusha is also the gateway to the Serngeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.

Days 17-19

The next day our mode of transport changes as we pack our equipment into our specialist safari 4WD vehicles. They will collect us at 7am for the start of our 3-day safari to the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Serengeti will be our first safari playground. The Savannah plains of the Serengeti are home to the famous wildebeest and zebra migration and more than 3 million large mammals living in total freedom. As well as the ubiquitous wildebeest, zebra and herds of gazelle, there will be the predators-lion, cheetah and hyena. The game viewing is the worlds best and you will find in no time at all you have shot a couple of roles of film. Our first night will be camped actually in the park at one of the designated campgrounds with the sounds of hyena and Lion present at night. The best time for game viewing is early morning and our experienced guides will want to be on the road early to get the best chances of seeing perhaps, leopard, lion or cheetah, hopefully on a kill. Covering the park in the morning and enjoying a picnic at lunchtime, we move onto the Ngorongoro crater later that afternoon. We again camp inside the park this time high on the crater rim, which allows us to enjoy great views down into the Crater in the evening and morning. This day is dedicated to the mighty Ngorongoro Crater. The crater itself measures some 20 kilometres in diameter, and its walls are 600 metres high, it’s a vast and steep unbroken volcanic crater ring. The crater floor is packed with wildlife and is the safe haven to nearly every species of African animal, this natural amphitheatre with a permanent water and pasture source offers a chance to view an incredible concentration of East African mammals, in particular the endangered Black Rhino. We spend the majority of the day in the conservation area before returning to Arusha before sunset


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