Itinerary Highlights

  • Gorilla tracking in Bwindi
  • Gorilla Habituation Experience!
  • Mabamba Swamp excursion for Shoebill
  • Big Five in Kenya
  • Quintessential African scenery
  • Superb hospitality and expert guiding

What's Included

  • Flights
  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Travel Guide
  • Transfers
16 nights from £8,460 per person

Helen Kennedy

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Many tour companies churn out 'generic' itineraries combining a visit to Mountain gorillas in either Uganda or in Rwanda, with a safari (often-times geared for the mass market), in Kenya. We've carefully re-examined this concept and drawn from our team's in-depth knowledge and field experience, to present this highly recommended sample itinerary for wildlife enthusiasts heading out to Africa for their first visit.

Begin with the stunningly beautiful rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where you visit the endangered Mountain gorillas. Your base will be the superb Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, as this is the best place to be located at for the very special Gorilla Habituation experience.  During your time at Bwindi, you will enjoy your awe-inspiring Gorilla Trek, and then have the opportunity the following day to either do another 'normal' Gorilla tracking excursion a second time, or do the 4-hour Gorilla Habituation Experience during your second full day. Or, if you prefer to focus on the scenery and landscapes of the area, you could choose to enjoy a 2-3hr 'Top of the World' trek, during which you can enjoy stunning vistas of the Virunga volcano chain and seek out birdlife and small forest wildlife.

From Bwindi we fly you back to Entebbe where you stay overnight. There'll be time today to visit Mabamba Swamp, a nearby wetland where you'll be able to seek the dinosaur-like Shoebill, another of Uganda's incredible highlights.

If flight scheudules allow, later that evening you catch your regional flight to Nairobi where you will stay for the night. The following morning, you take a domestic flight into the Masaai Mara for your 4 night Kenya safari based at Governors' Camp occupying the best wildlife viewing location in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Nestled in the riverine forest along the winding banks of the Mara River, its waters teeming with bird-life, hippo and crocodile.  To any prospective wildlife and safari enthusiasts, Masaai Mara needs no introduction: here you can enjoy outstanding game viewing in a quintessential Africa savannah setting, guided game drives (and walks) in the wildlife-rich Mara National Reserve.

You then take a domestic flight back to Nairobi, and catch a connecting regional flight to Zanzibar where you will stay in historic Stone Town for the night. The following day, you enjoy two half-day tours in/around the cobbled winding streets of Stone Town, options incl. Spice Tour, Stone Town Tour, and Prison Island Tour.

Finally, you travel to the Zanzibar Coast where you will spend your final 4 nights relaxing at your beach resort.

Please note: for this particular itinerary, we have selected Governors' Camp, but there is a variety of other options which can be explored, so contact us for alternative quotations, incl. Kichwa Tembo, Kicheche Bush, etc.

Itinerary

Fly from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Entebbe, the leafy suburb of Uganda's capital. Upon arrival, you clear customs and immigration, obtain your visa and collect your luggage. You are met by your private professional English-speaking driver-guide and private 4WD vehicle and transferred to the Papyrus Guesthouse near the airport where you will stay overnight with breakfast included.
After an early breakfast, you are met and transferred back to Entebbe Airport (EBB) in time to catch your domestic scheduled flight to Kisoro (approx. 07:00 - 08:10). (NB. A strict baggage allowance of 15kgs per person in a soft bag, including hand luggage, is applicable on the local flights. The carriage of excess baggage is not guaranteed). On arrival at Kisoro, you are met and transferred to the scenic Nkuringo, on the fringes of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (an approx. 1½hr drive). En-route, you have the opportunity of visit the stunningly rural Lake Mutanda, which houses stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes, and enjoy lunch at the scenic Chameleon Hill Lodge. Situated in the shadow of the Virunga Mountains, the lake and its surrounding diverse lakeside forests, wetlands and farmland habitats boast some of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife. You move through the communities and local farms and notice that the pace around here is somewhat slower. Your guide will enlighten you further regarding the ethnic groups of people and aspects of rural life. Overnight at the wonderful Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge where you will stay for 3-Nights in 1x Double Private Cottage on a Full-Board Basis. The rest of the day is yours spent enjoying the vistas and gentle walks around the local area.
Today, you enjoy your awe-inspiring trek to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (viewing time with the gorillas, 1hr max). After signing in and a thorough briefing, you join a team of experienced ranger guides into the national park to start your mountain gorilla adventure. The guides are extremely experienced, and use their knowledge of the gorillas' habits and information from the previous day to locate the group's whereabouts. This therefore means that the time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as a 3hr trip back to camp (hopefully including 1hr with the gorillas), to a 9hr return trip (hopefully including 1hr with the gorillas). Once the gorillas are located, the group will be allowed a maximum of 1hr with them. This is one of the world's truly memorable experiences – a once-in-a-lifetime awe-inspiring moment. You don’t have to be an athlete to complete a gorilla trek, but you do have to be prepared to track on fairly steep, rough and uneven terrain for a long period of time. That said, the rangers and porters always go at the speed of the slowest walker, and you will enjoy many drink/food breaks. The rest of the day is yours to relax at leisure.
There are three wonderful alternatives for today: a) You could make a second Gorilla tracking excursion in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Nkuringo) OR: b) You could enjoy your once in a lifetime Gorilla Habituation Experience: this entails 06:45 to Rushaga, 23km away. Here you track the Rushaga Gorilla group. Once you reach the gorillas, you have the opportunity of spending up to 4 hrs with them. This activity can take unto 10hrs of trekking, and it is important to note that this group of Gorillas is in the Habituation stage, and still wild (Note: a maximum. of 4 guests is allowed for this activity so permits are very limited and subject to availability - if it is of interest, please book as long in advance as is possible to avoid disappointment). OR: c) Enjoy a 2-3hr 'Top of the World' trek, which is a very scenic rainforest walk in the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi, during which you can enjoy stunning vistas of the Virunga volcano chain and seek out birdlife and small forest wildlife.
After a leisurely breakfast, you will be transferred back to Kisoro Airstrip for your flight to Entebbe (approx. 08:25 - 11:25). (NB. A strict baggage allowance of 15kgs per person in a soft bag, including hand luggage, is applicable on the local flights. The carriage of excess baggage is not guaranteed). Here, you will be welcomed and, with a packed lunch in hand, you enjoy an excursion to Mabamba Swamp, a nearby papyrus wetland where people come from around the world to seek the incredible Shoebill. (This pair of Shoebill was photographed by Rainbow Tours client Dr Paul Rathbone). After your exciting activity, you will be transferred back to Entebbe Airport in time to catch your Kenya Airways international flight to Nairobi Airport (approx. 20:50 - 22:00). Upon arrival, you are welcomed by our representatives and transferred to your hotel where you will stay for the night.
After a relaxing breakfast, you are transferred to Nairobi Wilson Airport (WIL) in time to catch your domestic flight into the Musiara Airstrip in the Masai Mara National Reserve. (NB. A strict baggage allowance of 15kgs per person in a soft bag, including hand luggage, is applicable on the local flights. The carriage of excess baggage is not guaranteed). On arrival, you are met and transferred to Main Governors Camp, right in the heart of the Mara National Reserve, enjoying a game drive en-route, where you will stay for 4-Nights in 1x Luxury Tent on a Full-Board Basis.
You have a full day to enjoy three shared game drives per day in the Mara National Reserve and surrounding areas with chances of spotting resident big cats including lion, cheetah and leopard, as well as Grant’s gazelle, topi, eland, impala and large herds of buffalo. Excursions to local Masai villages (manyattas), and local schools and other community and conservation projects are included (entrance fees and tips excluded). Walking safaris, bush meals, balloon flights, and Masai dancers can be arranged at an extra cost (subject to availiabity).
You have a full day to enjoy three shared game drives per day in the Mara National Reserve and surrounding areas. Excursions to local Masai villages (manyattas), and local schools and other community and conservation projects are included (entrance fees and tips excluded). Walking safaris, bush meals, balloon flights, and Masai dancers can be arranged at an extra cost (subject to availiabity).
You have a full day to enjoy three shared game drives per day in the Mara National Reserve and surrounding areas. Excursions to local Masai villages (manyattas), and local schools and other community and conservation projects are included (entrance fees and tips excluded). Walking safaris, bush meals, balloon flights, and Masai dancers can be arranged at an extra cost (subject to availiabity).
This morning, you enjoy your final shared game drive in the Masai Mara National Reserve. After breakfast, you are met and enjoy a shared transfer back to the Musiara Airstrip, game driving en-route, in time to catch your light aircraft flight back to Nairobi Wilson Airport (approx. 10:45 - 12:00). (NB. lunch on this day is not included but can be purchased at the airport). Upon arrival, you move through the transfers section of the airport and check-in for your next light aircraft flight to Zanzibar Airport (ZNZ) (approx. 14:00 - 15:30). (NB. A strict baggage allowance of 15kgs per person in a soft bag, including hand luggage, is applicable on the local flights. The carriage of excess baggage is not guaranteed). Upon arrival, you are met by our representatives and transferred to your hotel in Stone Town where you will stay for the night (approx. 30min drive) (NB. dinner has not been included in the cost on this day).
Today, you are met by your Gallery Tours representative where you enjoy two half-day tours in/around the historic Stone Town, options incl. Spice Tour, Stone Town Tour, and Prison Island Tour (NB. lunch and dinner have not been included in the cost on this day). After an interesting day, you are transferred to your resort on the Zanzibar Coast where you will stay for the next 4 nights (Beachfront Room, Half-Board - Dinner, Bed & Breakfast) (NB. excludes all drinks).
Your days are spent relaxing by the swimming pool and on the beach. You also have the chance to enjoy many of the activities on offer, and at the resort or nearby. Optional Excursions (at an additional cost): Aromatics & Spices Discovery: 3hrs A must for visitors – a fascinating yet passive close up view of Zanzibar’s spice trade, including a visit to an aromatics distillery. Private English-speaking guide, transport and entrance fees. Giant Tortoises (Prison Island): 3-4hrs These amazing ancient creatures are well worth the lovely boat trip across from the old town. There’s a chance to swim & snorkel. Inclusions: Private English-speaking guide, entrance fees and boat hire North Coast Cultural Tour: 6hrs For the culturally inquisitive –visit the dhow builders, a local blacksmith, a fish market, a natural aquarium and a workshop visit. Inclusions: Private English-speaking guide, entrance fees and transport from town Dolphin Spotting: 4hrs We suggest an early start to gain a higher chance of finding these magnificent mammals, with about a 75% success rate of sightings. Inclusions: Private English-speaking guide, entrance fees, boat, transport from tow Red Colobus Monkeys: 3hrs No visit to Zanzibar is complete without a visit to the immensely tropical Jozani Forest. This is the only home in the world for the Red Colobus. Inclusions: Local English speaking guide, entrance fees & transport from town Dhow Sunset Cruise: 2hrs (daily at 5pm) Enjoy sightings of the old city from a different perspective – from the ocean side. Sit back, relax.
Your day is spent relaxing by the swimming pool and on the beach. You also have the chance to enjoy many of the activities on offer, and at the resort or nearby (NB. Optional Excursions, at an additional cost).
Your day is spent relaxing by the swimming pool and on the beach. You also have the chance to enjoy many of the activities on offer, and at the resort or nearby (NB. Optional Excursions, at an additional cost).
After breakfast, you check-out of your room (approx. 10:00am). You are met by a Gallery Tours representative and transferred back to Zanzibar Airport (ZNZ) in time to catch your international flight back home (NB. lunch & dinner have not been included in the cost on this day).
On your early morning arrival in Doha, connect with the Qatar flight to London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports).

Helen Kennedy

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Pricing Information & Dates

16 nights from £8,460 per person
Itinerary Dates
Pricing

1st Jul 2022 -
30th Sep 2022
£8,460

Helen Kennedy

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Price Includes

  • Return International Flights as per the itinerary
  • All airport taxes and security charges
  • Accommodation and meals as specified
  • Transfers as specified
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • All entrace fees on sightseeing tours as specified
International return flights (economy class) from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) Regional flight from Entebbe to Nairobi (economy class) Domestic return flights from Entebbe to Kisoro All accommodation and meals as indicated All transfers and 4-wheel drive transportation Services of a professional experienced English-speaking driver/guides All game-related excursions and activities as per the itinerary 1 Uganda Gorilla Tracking Permit per person (US$700) National park permits/fees Mineral water

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
Uganda Visa (US$ 50, must be applied for online in advance) and Kenya Visa (US$ 50, apply online or at Nairobi JKIA Airport)*** Second Uganda Gorilla Tracking Permit on Day-4 (additional per person, US$700) 1 Uganda Gorilla Habituation Experience Permit on Day-4 (additional per person cost, US$1,500) Drinks (unless specified above) Any meals not specified Laundry Travel insurance, gratuities Items of personal expenditure (tips, phone calls) ***You might prefer to apply for an 'East Africa Tourist Visa' this costs US$ 100 and it must be applied for online.

Pricing Notes

This itinerary is based on Kichwa Tembo for the Kenya safari section. Contact us if you would prefer for us to quote based on other camps in the Masaai Mara.

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
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