Gorillas and big five safari in Uganda and Tanzania - Bwindi, Serengeti and Tarangire National Park.

1/5

From $5800

11
days

DAY 1 - Fly to Kigali, Rwanda

 

Destination: Kigali

 

Meals included:            D

 

You depart From Europe today for your overnight flight to Kigali, Rwanda.

 

 

DAY 2 Arrive Kigali, Rwanda

 

Destination: Kigali

 

Accommodations: Urban by City Blue or similar

 

Evening: Upon arrival in Kigali, Rwanda this evening, our representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel—a transfer of about 30 minutes.

When you arrive at the hotel, you will check in and receive your room assignment. Depending on what hotel we stay at, we’ll likely be located in Kigali’s business district, just steps away from Kigali City Tower in the center of the city. Typical hotel amenities include a restaurant, bar, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center; rooms are likely to feature air conditioning, satellite TV, wireless Internet, and private bath with hair dryer.

 

Dinner: On your own after check in. Perhaps you'll enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.

 

DAY 3 Explore Kigali • Visit Genocide Memorial • Bwindi National Park

 

 

Destination: Bwindi National Park

 

Meals included:            B, D

 

Accommodations: Ichumbi Gorilla safari Lodge or similar

 

Activity Note: The visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial includes many graphic images and may be disturbing to some travelers.

 

Breakfast: Served buffet-style at the hotel beginning at 8am, with a variety of fresh breads, pastries, and hot and cold selections.

 

Morning: Around 9am, we’ll depart our hotel for a morning of discoveries in the gleaming Rwandan capital of Kigali. Nestled along picturesque hilltops and pulsing with African charm, Kigali is not only situated in Rwanda’s geographical center, but was also at the center of the horrific events of 1994, when close to a million ethnic Tutsis (and moderate Hutus) were systematically murdered by their Hutu neighbours over the course of 100 unspeakably brutal days. President Paul Kagame is largely credited with Rwanda’s remarkable transformation from a genocidal battlefield into a thriving, peaceful nation once more.

 

To learn more about Rwanda’s tragic past, we’ll begin our day at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which was conceived both as a tribute to the victims of the Rwandan genocide and to ensure that this history is never repeated. Built over a mass burial ground for a quarter million victims, this moving memorial features various exhibit halls that trace the events of the 100-day genocide, reveal the colonial history of Rwanda and factors leading up to the slaughter, and highlight other instances of 20th-century genocides around the world that speak to mankind’s capacity for cruelty.

 

Lunch: On your own around noon at a local restaurant.

 

Afternoon: Around 1pm, we'll set of for Bwindi Nat Park, from Rwanda and travel northwest for approximately 3 hrs. You have a brief stop at the border to clear with customs and then continue your lodge. Depending on which hotel we stay at, we’ll likely be minutes from the main gate of Bwindi National Park Park. Lodge amenities may include a restaurant and bar. Rooms should include a replace and private bath with shower. You’ll have time to settle in before dinner.

 

Dinner: Around 7pm, in the restaurant of our lodge/Hotel.

 

Evening: You are free to explore the lodge’s facilities, which may include a relaxing bar, or take in the scenic views of the nearby volcanic mountain peaks in the evening light.

 

 

DAY 4 Mountain gorilla trek

 

Destination: Ruhengeri

 

Meals included:            B, L, D

 

Accommodations: Ichumbi Gorilla safari Lodge or similar

 

Activity Note: Today’s mountain gorilla trek typically involves two to four hours of walking through thick brush over steep, rugged terrain at elevations ranging from 7,000 to 9,000 feet —and can include exposure to stinging nettles and re ants. As overexposure to humans is harmful to mountain gorillas, contact is limited to one hour—and there is the possibility that they may become agitated and retreat back into the bush in less than our allotted time. Any travelers showing signs of obvious illness may be refused entrance by park authorities.

 

Breakfast: Served buffet-style at the lodge, beginning at 6am.

 

Morning: At about 7:30am, we take a drive of about 30 minutes to the National Park headquarters at to meet your guides for the day. After completing our park formalities, we are embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breath-taking experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 1000 living today. You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to 3 hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. It is important to bring good hiking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. Depending on the length of our trek, groups will return to our lodge by about 1pm.

 

Lunch: Around 1:30pm at our lodge.

 

 

Afternoon: The remainder of the afternoon is free to reflect on our mountain gorilla encounter.

 

Dinner: Around 6:30pm, in the restaurant of our lodge.

 

 

Evening: You are free to relax from the day’s activities at the bar, or retire early to rest up for tomorrow.

 

 

DAY 5 Batwa Community visit • Local cultural interaction • Fly to Arusha, Tanzania

 

 

Meals included: B, L,D

 

Breakfast: Served buffet-style at the hotel beginning at 8am, with American options available.

 

 

Morning: We’ll depart our hotel around 9am and transfer to the park to visit these indigenous natives the Batwa. The Batwa are Uganda’s marginalized people and are view with derision by most of the Ugandan Nationals. The Batwa have lived their lives to current generations by hunting and gathering in the forest. The visit to the Batwa invariably involves songs and a dance demonstration, and once the music begins you can’t help but notice that they project a genuine pride in themselves.

 

Lunch: Around 12:30pm at our hotel.

 

Afternoon: Around 2pm, we'll check out of our hotel and drive for three hours to the airport in Kigali.

 

Dinner: On your own at the airport starting at around 5pm.

 

Evening: Around 7:30pm, we'll fly to Kilimanjaro to join our Tanzanian Safari:

 

 

DAY 6 - Overland to Tarangire National Park • Game-viewing drive • Local interaction

 

Destination: Tarangire

Meals included: B L D

Accommodations: Tourist inn Arusha Hotel or similar

 

Activity Note: Our transfer through Tarangire National Park in 4x4 open-air safari vehicles will be mostly on paved roads, though some of the drive will be over bumpy, dusty ground. You may want to bring a scarf along to protect your face. In general, when dressing for your safari adventure, keep in mind that neutral earth tones (browns, tans, greys, or greens) are usually best—blue or black clothing should be avoided in certain areas as they attract tsetse flies. And while temperatures vary greatly depending on the time of year, the air is usually cool on early morning game-viewing drives, so you may wish to dress in layers to stay warm. Each day, we’ll split into three groups, each one led by our Trip Experience Leader or a driver-guide, and we’ll rotate cars and seats daily so everyone experiences different views and different company.

 

Breakfast: Served buffet-style at our lodge beginning at 7:30am, featuring local and American options.

 

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll meet our expert, naturalist driver-guides—who will be with us for the duration of our adventure—and board our safari vehicles around 8:30am. Then, we'll depart for Tarangire, Tanzania's third-largest national park—a drive of about 2.5 hours. Our vehicles will always be conveniently stocked with bottled water. Our Trip Experience Leader and driver-guides all have extensive knowledge of the behavior of the various animal species that inhabit their homeland. Along the way, we’ll also make every effort to stop to meet some of the local residents living in the area.

 

As we continue the journey west toward our camp, we'll take in the scenery (and may see some wildlife en route) before we reach the main park gate. With nine distinct vegetation zones ranging from grassland to woodland, from deep gully vegetation to scattered rocky hilltops, Tarangire offers a diverse geological landscape, as well as diverse wildlife—including the largest recorded concentration of breeding bird species in the world. Baobab trees dot the landscape, and the valley of the Tarangire River dominates the entire scene.

 

Lunch: We will enjoy a picnic lunch around 12:30pm in Tarangire National Park, which we packed back at our Arusha lodge. You'll have a variety of food to choose from, including chicken or vegetable sandwiches, beef or vegetable samosas, eggs, peanuts, fruit, and juice.

 

Afternoon: At around 1:30pm, we’ll continue on toward our camp, viewing wildlife and stopping for prime photo opportunities along the way. We’ll arrive around 4pm, when we will check in and get our room assignments. We stay for two nights at a permanent tented camp in the midst of the wilderness. Each walk-in tent features a private bath and veranda. The tents, lounge, and dining areas in the thatched-roof main building are located on raised wooden decks, and you can access wireless Internet in the common areas.

 

Upon check-in, you have the freedom to spend the afternoon as you choose, whether you’d like to take a dip in the pool overlooking Lake Burunge, relax in the lounge area with a book, or take a nap before dinner.

 

Dinner: At the camp around 7pm, consisting of a hot appetizer, main course with side dish, and dessert.

 

Evening: You are free to remain in the lounge area to discuss the day’s activities or share pictures of the animals you saw with fellow group members.

 

DAY 7 - Game viewing in Tarangire National Park

Destination: Tarangire

Meals included: B L D

Accommodations: Lake Burunge Camp or similar

 

Activity Note: Our game-viewing drives through Tarangire National Park will be over bumpy, dusty ground in 4x4 safari vehicles.

 

Breakfast: Served buffet-style at our camp beginning at 6am, and featuring local and American options.

 

Morning: We depart our camp around 7:30am and transfer by safari vehicle on a 15-minute ride to Tarangire National Park for our morning game-viewing drive. The variety of wildlife here is excellent, from lion, cheetah, zebra, and Cape buffalo to a wealth of birdlife. Elephants are plentiful here, traveling in large herds that are not often seen elsewhere in Africa. After several hours of game viewing, we will depart the park around 11:30am and return to the camp.

 

Lunch: At the camp around 1pm, featuring a soup or a salad, and hot main course.

 

Afternoon: Enjoy approximately two hours of free time beginning at 2pm. Around 4pm, you have the freedom to join an optional nature walk in the Lake Burunge area with your Trip Experience Leader and a local Maasai guide. On this walk, your guide will point out various plant species and their use in Maasai medicine.

 

Dinner: At the camp around 7pm, consisting of a hot appetizer, main course with side dish, and dessert.

 

Evening: You are free to remain in the lounge area to discuss the day’s activities with fellow group members, or retire to your tent to rest before tomorrow’s discoveries.

 

DAY 8 - A Day in the Life of a Maasai village in Tarangire • Ngorongoro Highlands • Coffee plantation tour

Destination: Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Meals included: B L D

Accommodations: Farm House Valley Lodge or similar

 

Activity Note: Today’s A Day in the Life experience features about 2 hours of walking and is dependent on weather, so may occur on Day 12 instead. This afternoon’s tour of the coffee plantation involves almost 1.5 hours of walking.

 

Breakfast: Served buffet-style at the lodge beginning at 6:30am, with American options available.

 

Morning: We'll check out of the lodge first thing this morning. Then, around 7:15am, we’ll depart by safari vehicle for an hour-long drive to experience A Day in the Life of a Maasai village, where we’ll meet with the Maasai and witness some of their long-standing traditions. Take this chance to truly get to know their culture as we are welcomed into their village to get a sense of daily life.

 

You may want to sit down with the Maasai women and learn how to create the intricate beadwork they’ve become well-known for. The tedious technique—and the ease with which they string the beads together—is a testament to this tradition's importance. Or, join the Maasai men as they tend to their livestock, and perhaps help them move their cattle to and from the grazing field.

 

We'll also have the opportunity to try on the vibrantly-colored, traditional Maasai dress, and join in on a dance celebration. You'll hear chanting, rhythmic drumming, and shared laughter—there’s nothing quite like dancing to break the ice across cultures. As you partake, notice how the Maasai women bob their necks, causing their beaded jewelry to do a dance of their own. And, watch as the Maasai men show off their famous jumping.

 

Then, we’ll participate in an intimate Q&A session with the village elders. This is a great opportunity to truly get to know the tribespeople, asking questions about family dynamics, tribal medicine and healing techniques, their thoughts about technology, and more.

 

After bidding the Maasai villagers farewell, we'll hop on our safari vehicles once more around 10:30am. Shortly after noon, we'll arrive at our lodge. Check in time may vary, but we will get our room assignments shortly before or after lunch. Our lodge is located just outside of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Karatu. Each guest room includes views of Oldeani volcano within the Rift Valley, as well as en suite bathrooms and large beds with mosquito nets. Other lodge amenities include a lounge area and swimming pool. You’ll have access to wireless Internet in the main lounge area.

 

Lunch: Served buffet-style at the lodge around 1pm, featuring cold salads, soups, and hot dish options.

 

Afternoon: Enjoy a 2.5-hour tour of the lodge's 500-acre coffee plantation at around 4:30pm. Led by a local guide, our tour will take us through the coffee-making process, from bean harvest to drying and roasting, and will conclude with a tasting of the various blends.

 

Dinner: At the lodge around 6:30pm, consisting of a hot appetizer, main course with side dish, and dessert.

 

Evening: After dinner, you have the freedom to spend the evening as you wish, whether you’d like to enjoy a beverage at the bar area, or retire to your room to relax before we head to the Serengeti in the morning.

 

DAY 9 - Travel to Serengeti camp

Destination: Serengeti National Park

Meals included: B L D

Accommodations: Seengeti Private Tented Camp or similar

 

Activity Note: Parts of our transfer to Serengeti National Park will be over very bumpy, dusty ground in 4x4 safari vehicles. Our total transfer time will be approximately 7.5 hours, with game-viewing opportunities, and chances to stop at the main entrance gate and “happy houses”—or bathrooms—along the way. Our Serengeti camp includes bucket showers and flush toilets in each tent.

 

Breakfast: Served at the main dining area beginning at 6:30am, and featuring local and American options.

 

Morning: We transfer to Serengeti National Park by safari vehicle, departing at around 8am and enjoying game-viewing en route. As we make our way into the Serengeti, be sure to take in your surroundings as you find yourself in the midst of such vast, serene, natural beauty. On either side of the road into the park, wildebeest and zebra often dot the terrain, a speckled tapestry stretching farther than the human eye can even see.

 

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch at approximately noon on our way to Serengeti National Park. You'll have various foods to choose from, including sandwiches, fresh salad, homemade cookies, fruit, eggs, and nuts.

 

Afternoon: We'll get back in our safari vehicle around 1pm and arrive at tented camp at around 3:30pm. Each tent is outfitted with camp beds, complete with linens, blankets, pillows, and en suite facilities with hot water. You have your own veranda with two director’s chairs and a wash basin for hand-washing clothes. Each day, the lodge staff will fill the bucket shower with warm water, and an on/off lever allows you to control when the water is fed through from the bucket to the shower head. At the camp, which is exclusive to our group, there is also a communal dining tent with tables and chairs. Staying in the heart of the legendary Serengeti means you'll spend your days spotting big game, and spend your nights listening to the sounds of the wilderness as you drift off to sleep.

 

Between around 3:30pm and 6pm, enjoy a few hours of free time to explore the camp, or take some time to settle in before dinner.

 

Dinner: At the main dining tent at around 6:30pm, where you can choose from a selection of hot menu items.

 

Evening: You are free to remain in the main dining tent area or around the campfire to discuss the day’s wildlife with fellow group members, or retire to your tent to rest before tomorrow’s day of discoveries..

 

DAY 10 - Explore Serengeti National Park

Destination: Serengeti National Park

Meals included: B L D

Accommodations:  Tented Camp or similar

 

Activity Note: Our game-viewing drives through the Serengeti will be over bumpy, dusty ground in 4x4 safari vehicles.

 

Breakfast: Served at the main dining tent beginning at 6:30am, and featuring local and American options.

 

Morning: Today, we depart around 7:15am for our morning game-viewing drive. We’ll set out to explore the vast expanse of the Serengeti, where the wildlife sightings are typically at their peak in the early mornings and late afternoons, when the temperature cools. The multitude and diversity of wildlife species in this huge protected area are unrivaled anywhere on the planet. Serengeti, in fact, is the Maasai word that means “endless plain.” We’ll return to camp in between game-viewing drives at around 1pm.

 

Lunch: Lunch is served at the main dining tent, featuring hot and cold options.

 

Afternoon: At around 3:30pm, we’ll head out on our afternoon game-viewing drive. Our guides will again help us identify the more elusive animal species, such as bat-eared fox and golden jackal, as well as rare birds like the purple grenadier and the red-cheeked cordon bleu. See if you can spot the odd-looking Secretary bird or the elegant grey crowned crane.

 

Dinner: At the main dining tent at around 7pm, where you can choose from a selection of hot menu items. Bottled water, soft drinks, beer, or wine are included.

 

Evening: You are free to remain in the main dining tent area or around the campfire to discuss the day’s activities with fellow group members. Or, turn in early to prepare for tomorrow's game-viewing.

 

DAY 11 - Drive to Arusha • Return to Europe

 

Breakfast: Served buffet-style at the lodge beginning at 7:30am, with American options available.

 

Morning: We'll depart at around 8am by safari vehicle for Arusha, where we’ll have day rooms, stopping along the way for lunch.

 

Lunch: At a hotel en route to Arusha around 12pm, featuring a soup or a salad, a hot main course, plus wine, beer, and soft drinks.

 

Afternoon: Around 1pm, we'll drive for approximately 40 minutes before arriving at our lodge in Arusha. Upon arrival, enjoy the opportunity to shop for local crafts before we check in around 2pm. You will have a day room available for the remainder of this afternoon. After time at leisure, we'll transfer to the airport at around 5:45pm for our overnight flight back home.

 

End of the Adventure

 

PRICE INCLUDES:

Transport in a 4WD safari vehicle exclusive to you

English speaking driver guide

Accommodation and meals as stated in the program

All guide fees

One Gorilla tracking permit per person

One Golden Monkey Permit Per person

Complementary bottled mineral water

Gift Hamper

 

DON'T FORGET:

Pairs of Sunglasses, Prescription Glasses, Sunscreen, Closed Toe Shoes, Light Weight Scarf, Binoculars, Camera, A note on cell phones: Insect Repellant,  Hat, 10-Jacket or Coat

OUR TIPS:

Africa is home to dozens  national parks, game reserves and other safari destinations. Each one of them has something to different to offer, whether  large mammals dominated by the Big Five, the opportunity to trekk gorillas or chimpanzees, or more subtle pleasures such as looking for rare birds or colourful butterflies. But for first-time visitors wondering exactly where to go, the highlights below stand out as perhaps the ten best places to visit in Africa.

                   KAWIRA SAFARIS
 || BEST OF TANZANIA & RWANDA ITINERARY ||
 

► Guaranteed departure from Arusha or Kigali with a minimum of two travelers.

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► Dates and itinerary are customizable.

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► This itinerary also available as a Group Safari with set departure dates, limited to 12 travelers

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KAWIRA SAFARIS LTD

KK 718 St, KIGALI

+250787976905/+250787665114

info@kawirasafaris.net

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