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Gorillas & Masai Mara - Camping Reverse

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Our Price From 9,133 Per Person
Exclusive Savings 704 Per Person
 Trip Length
15 Days
 Trip Starts
Kigali
 Trip Finishes
Nairobi
15 Day Gorillas & Masai Mara - Camping Reverse Itinerary (Exodus)
Countries Explored: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda
Trip Style
Wildlife
Departures
Budget
Affordable
Max. Group Size
18
Pace
Easy / Leisurely
Guide Level
Fully Guided
Trip Code
WYUR

Overview

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Exodus 15 Day Gorillas & Masai Mara - Camping Reverse. The Masai Mara, a vast grassland teeming with animals, has an astonishing amount of wildlife, including lions, cheetahs and, at certain times of the year, the wildebeest migration. Lake Nakuru National Park has an incredible variety of birds plus a healthy population of white and black rhinos while Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to hippos, elephants, buffalo, leopards and elusive tree-climbing lions plus a huge variety of birds.

Murchison Falls is one of the most impressive national...read more parks in Africa, renowned for scenic beauty, spectacular falls and abundant wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, Ugandan kobs (antelope), leopards, and more than 450 bird species. But the trip highlight is undoubtedly an hour with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. This close-up encounter is arguably the most sensational wildlife experience of them all.

Itinerary

The adventure begins in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

This evening's welcome briefing is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers. Stay: Beauséjour Hotel (or similar).

Rwanda is a country widely remembered for the genocide of 1994, in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed. There is a moving museum in Kigali that covers this period, which we visit this morning. After lunch, we cross the border into Uganda and drive towards Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the home of wild mountain gorillas. Stay: Casa Gorilla Lodge & Campsite (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

You will probably remember today for the rest of your life as we spend a full hour in the company of a family of mountain gorillas! Owing to the terrain and need to explore to find the gorillas, our trek doesn't follow a path; instead, our guides cut a route through the undergrowth.

After a safety briefing, we are assigned to a gorilla family group and begin our trek. Expect a minimum of three hours of walking on irregular terrain; steep ascents and descents over muddy slopes are the norm. Strong footwear is essential and we recommend hiring a local porter to help you carry your bag/camera equipment and provide a steady, supportive hand (porters are arranged and paid for locally on the day). Seeing wild mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is an experience you will never forget. An adult male can weigh up to 430lb (195kg), a female up to 220lb (100kg), and a male can reach 5ft 7in (1. 7m) tall.

They are almost exclusively vegetarian and quite destructive eaters, which makes them unpopular with the farmers lower down the mountain as they have been known to wreck a whole field of crops just to eat one plant. For this reason, and poaching, the gorillas are very carefully protected. Gorillas are gentle creatures and are not known to attack unless very severely provoked.

The family groups we trek to see are habituated to human presence but to prevent over familiarisation our time with them is limited to one hour. If the permits for gorilla families close to where we stay are unavailable, there may be more permits for other areas of the park, although this will mean a longer drive to the start of the trek. Stay: Casa Gorilla Lodge & Campsite (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

Today, we drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). The park, the most popular and accessible savannah reserve in Uganda, resides in a fertile, equatorial area and has beautiful scenery. It is primarily associated with grassy savannah plains, but also includes leafy rainforests, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result, it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including 95 recorded mammal species and more than 610 bird species. Stay: Irungu Forest Campsite (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

We explore QENP on a game drive this morning, searching for elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards, hyenas, jackals, topis, kobs, bush bucks and various others.

In the afternoon, there is an optional boat trip of about two hours along the Kazinga Channel to view one of the largest concentrations of hippos in the world (reported to be about 30,000) and other game with excellent birding. The game drive continues in the afternoon for those who do not join the boat trip. Stay: Irungu Forest Campsite (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

We have a long drive today covering about 280mi (450km) from QENP to Budongo. The drive goes north along the eastern length of the Rwenzori Mountains, where we can see the glaciated peaks, weather permitting. We pass through tea and sugarcane plantations, stopping for lunch en route, and expect to arrive in Budongo in the late afternoon. Stay: Red Chili Murchison (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

We depart early this morning for Budongo Forest, home to the largest number of chimpanzees in Uganda, to trek in search of chimps and other wildlife. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. While trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, we are surrounded by bird song and hope to see velvet and colobus monkeys, wild pigs and, of course, chimpanzees. Once a chimp family is found, we have an hour with these fascinating creatures, to watch them interact and play with each other.

In the afternoon, we drive to Murchison Falls, where we spend the next two nights. Stay: Red Chili Murchison (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

We have an early morning game drive in Murchison Falls National Park. We transfer by ferry to the north side of the Nile where we embark on our game drive. The area is home to elephants, giraffes, buffalo and Ugandan kobs, plus the predators: lions and leopards. After lunch, we travel by boat up the Nile, passing hippos and crocodiles, searching for elephants and waterbuck that come to the river to drink. The cruise lasts about three hours and we travel upstream to the bottom of the falls, stopping near the Devil's Cauldron, the place where the water bursts through the narrow gorge and creates an outstanding rainbow. Stay: Red Chili Murchison (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

After a short game drive through the park, we leave Murchison Falls and drive to Jinja, a journey of about six hours. Passing through untouched forest and tree plantations, we arrive in Jinja around 3pm, and the rest of the afternoon is free to relax. Stay: Adrift Camp (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

Today is free to choose from a range of optional activities. White-water rafting in Jinja is considered among the best in the world, with a half- or full-day route that varies from quiet pools and forested islands to thunderous rapids and drops. There are several grade V rapids to navigate including Big Brother, Overtime and Silverback. If rafting doesn't appeal, you can visit the source of the White Nile, one of the two major tributaries of the Nile. Stay: Adrift Camp (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

We drive about 155mi (250km) to Eldoret, which should take about eight hours, including a border crossing into Kenya. The border crossing can be slow but we leave plenty of time and you'll no doubt find the experience interesting! Stay: Green Wood Campsite (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

We depart Eldoret in the morning after breakfast and drive to Lake Nakuru National Park, one of the finest small parks in Kenya, where we spend the day on a game drive in the park. The park is widely known for having an impressive population of black and white rhinos, which are relatively easy to spot in the open savannah.

Fever trees line the park and are a well-known spot for leopards to laze in, while one of the most impressive sights is the vast flamingo population. Owing to flooding, the alkaline content of the lake has changed in recent years; as a result, the flamingos no longer tend to be found in such large numbers, but this can change depending on the rainfall. Stay: KWS Campsite (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

Today we travel into the Masai Mara, a vast grassland teeming with life. Here wildebeest, gazelles, topis, zebras and buffalo abound in the rolling savannah, and never far away lay the predators: cheetahs, lions and hyenas. Between mid-August and late October, one of the greatest spectacles on Earth takes place in the Mara: the annual migration of thousands of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras trampling across the long grass. Nothing is guaranteed on safari, but with the help of our brilliant guides you should see and learn a huge amount about the Masai Mara wildlife as we drive through the park this afternoon. Stay: Mountain Rock (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

Enjoy a full-day game drive in the Masai Mara to increase our chances of encountering many of the wildlife species in the reserve. We find a quiet spot inside the park to enjoy lunch by our vehicle, looking out across the plains. There is also an optional hot-air balloon safari at sunrise, which includes champagne and breakfast. Stay: Mountain Rock (or similar) – full-service camping (B/L/D).

We depart after breakfast for Nairobi, travelling up through the Rift Valley escarpment and looking back on classic African views with acacia trees scattering the vast landscape. Our trip ends in the Ugandan capital; we say a fond farewell to each other and begin our return journeys home (B).

Trip Inclusions

  • Spend a precious hour in the company of mountain gorillas
  • Enjoy game drives in the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Visit Murchison Falls National Park
  • Track chimpanzees and other primates in Budongo Forest

  • 13 nights full-service camping and one hotel night
  • Travel by specialist overland vehicle, 4×4 and on foot
  • Some long drives on rough roads and early starts
  • 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 13 dinners
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • One chimp permit and one gorilla permit

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
About Exodus Travels
About Exodus Travels

Enjoy thrilling animal encounters from the isles of the Galapagos to the plains of Africa. Read more

Exodus Trip Leaders
Exodus Trip Leaders

Exodus chooses their Leaders carefully. Professional, dedicated and are passionate about sharing their home countries. Read more

Accommodation with Personality
Accommodation with Personality

Wherever possible, Exodus chooses properties that are locally owned and that reflect the area you are visiting. Read more

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Note
A definite departure means minimum numbers have been reached for this departure to operate. Your Global Journeys Travel Advisor will check the availability of your departure date when you enquire. Additional savings may apply. We guarantee the lowest price in Australia. T&C’s apply.
Note
Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by Exodus. For cruise itineraries, cabin images are sourced from Exodus. These should be treated as indicative only. Cabin inclusions, upholsteries and room layout may differ to the image(s) shown depending on the ship selected and your sailing dates.

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