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Game Parks & Gorillas 2017-18 (28 Days, Nairobi to Dar es Salaam)

Few animals have sparked the imagination of man as much as the gorilla. Treat yourself to your very own African experience as you embark on this unforgettable adventure from Kenya's Great Rift Valley to the flamingo dotted Lake Nukuru, crossing the equator for game viewing at Queen Elizabeth National Park and a very special wildlife encounter with the magnificent mountain gorillas. Top it all off with a well deserved rest on Zanzibar and you've got yourself one pretty spectacular holiday.

Inclusions

Lake Nakuru National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Maasai village walk
Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater excursion
Not Eligible for Early Payment
Chimpanzee trekking
Mountain gorilla trekking
Maasai Mara National Reserve
27 Breakfasts
27 Lunches
27 Dinners
Tour Provider Topdeck
Number of Days
28
Price From
AUD $3,965
Start Location
Nairobi, Kenya
End Location
Nairobi, Kenya
Age Range
Avg. 39+
Group Size
1 to 48
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
18-39
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
11 Nov 201708 Dec 2017Fully BookedAUD $2,170 
09 Dec 201705 Jan 20184AUD $2,170
06 Jan 201802 Feb 2018Fully BookedAUD $2,170 
03 Mar 201830 Mar 2018Fully BookedAUD $2,170 
31 Mar 201827 Apr 2018Fully BookedAUD $2,170 
ItineraryExpand
Day 1: Nairobi, Kenya to Lake Nakuru National Park
Combat your jet lag by arriving a day before our epic adventure, and then rise early to depart Nairobi for the Great Rift Valley, an enormous cleft in the Earth's surface stretching from the Red Sea to Madagascar (but with particularly marked escarpments here in Kenya). Have your camera at the ready – these views are something to write home about. Later, we stop at our camp near Lake Nakuru National Park, a relatively small park (by African standards) but with an abundant of wildlife thanks to its location on the Great Rift Valley floor. This afternoon will provide a delightful introduction to East Africa's wildlife diversity thanks to an afternoon game drive making use of local guides and smaller safari vehicles for a more intimate experience. Included today: -Great Rift Valley -Lake Nakuru National Park Game Reserve drive Meals: -Lunch -Dinner
Day 2: Lake Nakuru National Park to Eldoret
From Nakuru we continue northwest and climb in altitude towards the town of Eldoret en route to the Ugandan frontier. Brush up on your geology knowledge by learning about the significance of the Equator as we cross it today from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern. Read also: unique photo opportunities. Finally, we reach Eldoret; it’s name based on the Maasai word Eldore meaning stony river, due to the stony bed of the nearby Sosiani River. Once we reach our fabulous campsite, sip on a sun downer around the warmth of an open log fire and marvel at the idyllic setting of waterfalls, streams and wooden bridges. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 3: Eldoret to Kampala, Uganda
We cross into Uganda, described by Winston Churchill as the ‘Pearl of Africa’, a country with beautiful natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures. Travelling through Uganda you will be captivated by its sheer beauty and the friendliness of the people. Our first night we camp in the capital, Kampala, which is an attractive hilly city bustling with roadside traders, markets and busy matatu (minibus taxi) stands. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 4: Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park
From Kampala, we travel west towards Queen Elizabeth National Park, once more over the Equator and through fertile, green-terraced hillsides, lush banana plantations and tangled forests. Keep your eyes peeled for the herds of Ankole cattle, with their incredible long, curved horns, roaming the roads and paddocks. Setting up camp just a short distance from the Queen Elizabeth National Park, you’ll have the chance to kick back and unwind, take a walk in the surrounding areas and mingle with the community, local style. Included today: -Queen Elizabeth National Park chimpanzee trekking on either day 4 or day 5 Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park
This morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take in the magnificent views of the mountains that separate Uganda from central Africa, as well as Lakes Edwards and George. Queen Elizabeth National park has over 500 species of bird and 100 species of mammals, making it one of the most bio-diverse national parks in the world. Nearby, we visit the Kyambura Gorge for an exciting trek to see the chimpanzees. On departing the National Park, we make our way to the stunning Lake Bunyonyi – the perfect place to unwind, relax and explore (on the days that we don't trek to see the mountain gorillas, of course). Included today: -Queen Elizabeth National Park chimpanzee trekking on either day 4 or day 5 Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyoyni
Over the next three days, you and your adventure buddies will be split into two groups. On the first day, one group will trek to witness the amazing mountain gorillas up close, while the others have a free day of chilling out on the lake. Then the next day, the groups swap. On the day of our trek, we gather in the early morning to meet our local guide and tracker. The area that we explore is home to the world's remaining 700 mountain gorillas, many of which inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (please note that occasionally we may need to travel into neighbouring Rwanda to see the gorillas). The trek into the thick rainforest can be demanding at times, with uneven terrain and hilly rainforest, but the privilege of spending time with a family of these gentle primates makes the effort more than well worthwhile. Please note: Depending on the availability of the chimpanzee and gorilla permits, the tour itinerary may vary from the brochure itinerary. From time to time, we may have to trek on different days. If at any time our gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country, i.e Rwanda (instead of Uganda) this may entail extra visa fees, although we shall endeavour to advise you before departure of any significant changes to the tour itinerary. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Island boat trips -Village walk -Traditional dance -Bird watching -Can hire
Day 7: Lake Bunyoyni
If you’re not on today’s trek, take advantage of your free time by the lake with an abundance of boredom-killer activities. Hire cans and swing by some of the islands, wander the local tribes and villages, visit the local orphanage, and channel your inner explorer with a nature walk. Alternatively, kick your feet up at camp and catch up on the diary or postcards back home. Included today: -Gorilla trekking on either day 7 or day 8 Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Island boat trips -Village walk -Traditional dance -Bird watching -Can hire
Day 8: Lake Bunyoyni
For those with a free day, spend your time swanning around the campsite, can the lake’s peaceful waters or discover why the stunning area is known as the ‘place of many birds’ with a spot of bird watching. Today’s on your watch, so spend it as you see fit. Included today: -Gorilla trekking on either day 7 or day 8 Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Island boat trips -Village walk -Traditional dance -Bird watching -Can hire
Day 9: Lake Bunyoyni to Kampala
Leaving Lake Bunyonyi, we make our way back across the Equator, through lush pasture lands and the northern reaches of Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, to Kampala. A hotspot for great food and entertainment, Kampala is the perfect place for our overnight stay. Take the night to enjoy the hospitality of the local Ugandans, before resting your head and getting in some much-needed zzz’s. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 23: Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater to Bagamoyo
This morning we cruise through the local Maasai villages and enjoy an insight into the everyday life and traditions of this colourful culture, before heading to the Bagamoyo area. Founded at the end of the 18th century, Bagamoyo was the original capital of German East Africa and was one of the most important trading ports along the East African coast. If we’re lucky with the weather, we might even be treated to the view of a magnificent snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, on our way. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 24: Bagamoyo to Dar es Salaam
Leaving our camp at Bagamoyo we make our way south to Dar es Salaam and the Indian Ocean. ‘Dar’ is Tanzania’s main port and is a hub of commerce and industry. It is a hot, humid and bustling seaport city of high rises, colourful markets and Arab influenced architecture on the coast accessing one of the most important sea routes in the world. To the majority of travellers, this city is the port of call to the more exotic and relaxed island of Zanzibar and other islands. We set up camp on the beach just outside of the city, take in the balmy Indian Ocean sea breeze, and prepare for our own trip to Zanzibar. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 25: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar
Wonderfully exotic and perfectly placed, Zanzibar boasts idyllic, palm-fringed beaches, romantic winding alleys and lush tropical forests. The base of the great 19th century explorers such as John Hanning Speke, Richard Burton and David Livingstone, Zanzibar was once was a major trading centre of spices – not surprising, really, when you wander the streets and detect the intoxicating scent of spices in the air. Our time on the island is completely footloose and fancy-free, so spend your days as you wish. Please note: As we leave the truck on the mainland, basic safari lodge/hotel accommodation and breakfast on Zanzibar is included. However, lunches and dinners are your own to arrange. We usually divide our nights here between accommodation in Stone Town and accommodation on one of the northern beaches, but there are no set activities – the time is entirely yours to do as you please. Included today: -Ferry to Zanzibar Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Visit for former slave market site -Arabic Fort -Palace Museum
Day 26: Zanzibar
If it's white sand, sparkling ocean and hot sun you're after, head to the northern beaches and enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best. Feeling adventurous? Try a spot of snorkelling and diving. For those wanting to stay on dry land, indulge in some sumptuous seafood or simply relax beneath a coconut palm with a cocktail and a good book. #Bliss. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Scuba diving -Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkelling safari -Massage
Day 10: Kampala to Jinja
After we farewell the capital, we venture a short distance to Jinja where our camp on the grassy banks of the River Nile awaits. It was in 1862 that the British explorer John Hanning Speke recognised Lake Victoria as the ‘source of the Nile’, settling a long running dispute about Africa’s (and the world’s) longest river. From this modest monument, the Nile begins its 6,610km journey through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Bungee jumping -Quad biking -White water rafting -Community school project -Nile cruise -Nile stand up paddleboarding -Kayaking -Fishing trips -Mountain biking
Day 12: Jinja
When you’ve had your fill of heart-racing activities, roll up your sleeves and take the opportunity to make a difference for children at a local school project. 'Softpower' is a locally-run volunteer programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area. Your contribution of a few hours of painting or plastering is always most welcome (and serves as a great mood booster, too). Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Bungee jumping -Quad biking -White water rafting -Community school project -Nile cruise -Nile stand up paddleboarding -Kayaking -Fishing trips -Mountain biking
Day 11: Jinja
Since our camp in Jinja overlooks a dramatic set of rapids (known as Bujagali Falls), it’s no surprise the region is somewhat of an adrenaline playground. Thrill seekers will revel in the chance to try optional white water rafting, but if you lack that daredevil streak, mountain biking, quad biking and village walks are also on offer. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Bungee jumping -Quad biking -White water rafting -Community school project -Nile cruise -Nile stand up paddleboarding -Kayaking -Fishing trips -Mountain biking
Day 22: Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
On the final day of the excursion, we descend down the steep dirt road of the Ngorongoro Crater for a morning of game driving (and wildlife spotting!). After our game drive we ascend to our campsite on the rim for a final view over the Ngorongoro Crater, pack up our camp and enjoy a bite to eat before retracing our steps to our campsite at Arusha. Included today: -Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner Optional activities: -Serengeti Balloon Flight
Day 13: Jinja to Eldoret, Kenya
After our excitement-filled break in Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border of Kenya and on towards Eldoret, where we will set up camp for the evening. Tonight, share a few laughs with your new travel comrades and reminisce on your gorilla encounter stories around the campfire. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 21: Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
Rise and shine! This morning we head out on a game-drive beyond the plains, and then ascend the outer wall of the Ngorongoro Crater, post-lunch. The night is spent camping on the rim of the crater (read: pack your warmest jacket), which at 326 square kilometres, is Africa’s largest intact caldera. If the view from the rim at 2,400 metres above sea level is spectacular, you can be sure the crater floor some 600 metres below, is equally spectacular. Included today: -Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 14: Eldoret to Nairobi
This morning we cross the Equator and make our way back to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The city has seen rapid growth in recent years but has a comparatively small centre, making it ideal for exploring the markets, craft and book shops, and cafes and restaurants on foot. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch
Day 19: Nairobi to Arusha, Tanzania
After crossing the border into Tanzania at the busy Namanga frontier we arrive at our destination, Arusha, in the late afternoon. Situated midway between Cape Town and Cairo, this is very much Tanzania’s ‘safari capital’ as well as a bustling city of colourful markets, shops, vehicles and people, all nestling in the shadow of the brooding Mt Meru. After exploring the markets, we head to our camp just outside Arusha on the open plains to the west of the city, where we prepare for our two-night, three-day included excursion to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Included today: -Masai Village walk Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 18: Maasai Mara National Reserve to Nairobi
Leaving the incredible natural wonderland of the Masai Mara behind us, we make tracks and head back to the chaotic Kenyan city of Nairobi where we stay overnight. Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 17: Maasai Mara National Reserve
Start the day right with an eye-opening morning game drive, where we'll be on the constant look out for the famous Big Five. Think: elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions and leopards. In between our morning and afternoon game drives we have plenty of time to relax and soak up the top-notch panoramic views that this outstanding area of natural beauty brings to the table. Note to self: pack camera. Included today: -Masai Mara National Reserve excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 16: Nairobi to Maasai Mara National Reserve
Travelling in small, specialised safari vehicles, we make our way across the Great Rift Valley to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, enjoying views of the vast vista en route. Prepare for two nights of camping on the edge of the reserve, with plenty of time to explore the park and meet the locals on morning and afternoon game drives. The 'Mara' is crossed every year between July and October by great herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals in their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains to the south (in Tanzania). During our stay, we hope to see some, if not all, of Africa's Big Five (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) and an array of other wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled! Included today: -Masai Mara National Reserve excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 15: Nairobi
Hit the pavement and explore Nairobi’s endless shopping, markets, bars, restaurants and unique café culture. If you’re still stuck for ideas, your Trip Leader will be more than willing to help you arrange optional local excursions in and around the city including a visit to the National Museum of Kenya, a safari at Nairobi National Park, or an afternoon at the Karen Blixen Museum in the nearby town of Karen. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Giraffe Centre -Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage -Karen Blixen Museum
Day 27: Zanzibar
Don your comfiest walking attire and set out to explore Stone Town on foot. Get lost in the labyrinth of laneways at the bazaars, and marvel at the array of ancient maritime trinkets, vibrant fabrics and ornate wooden carvings. Be sure to pay a visit to the city’s mosques, palaces, courtyards and alleyways for a living history lesson of this fascinating island. Meals: -Breakfast Optional activities: -Spice tour -Scuba diving -Mnemba Island -Dhow snorkelling safari -Massage
Day 20: Arusha to Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
This morning we’ll change up our vehicles for a more game park-friendly option and drive west across the Great Rift Valley, passing through Mto Wa Mbo ('mosquito creek'), before entering the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. Passing into the park, we’ll drive around the crater rim and down onto the Serengeti plains, which is home to an enormous variety of grazing animals, predators, and birdlife. Flatter and larger than the Maasai Mara, the Serengeti certainly lives up to its namesake: ‘the place where the land moves on forever'. We drive to our designated (but unfenced) campsite for the evening where lion and hyena roam nearby, making for an unforgettable experience. Included today: -Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater excursion Meals: -Breakfast -Lunch -Dinner
Day 28: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam
It’s our final day in paradise! Soak up your tears with a bountiful breakfast, before making the most of your incredible surrounds with a splash in the turquoise water. Time to send your last few Snapchats before ferrying back to Dar es Salaam where our trip comes to a close. *Sniff. Included today: -Ferry to Dar Es Salaam Meals: -Breakfast