Uganda & Kenya: Gorillas in the mist
July 30 - August 10, 2023 | US$ 5,090 + US$ 700 gorilla permit
US$ 5,090 + US$ 700 gorilla permit, per person sharing (international airfare not included)
Often referred to as “Africa’s hidden gem”, Uganda is the country that hosts the most Mountain Gorillas in the world, and we will have the incredible opportunity to trek through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to spend time with them! Then we’ll board a plane over the Great Rift Valley to the world famous Maasai Mara to photograph the ‘Big 5’, before flying to Lake Naivasha to experience a walking safari among the giraffe, and a boat safari among the hippos. Volunteer at the Strong Tower Children’s Home, before returning to Nairobi to visit the baby elephant orphanage and the giraffe centre.
July 30, 2023
Depart Toronto in the afternoon, and fly to Europe. Change planes in Europe.
Fly from Europe to Entebbe (EBB) Uganda. Upon arrival in Entebbe, Ryan will meet you at the airport, and will transfer you in two 4×4 Landcruisers to the nearby Airport Entebbe Guesthouse for the night.
After a delicious breakfast and trip briefing, you will board the 2 Landcruisers and drive (5 hours) to the equator for lunch. Learn about the Coriolis effect and get some photos, before continuing on to Lake Mburo National Park. This is a great place to see zebra, giraffe, and all the plains game. Dinner and overnight at the eco-award winning Rwakobo Rock Lodge.
Sleep in a little bit, and enjoy an organically grown breakfast while overlooking the park. Then drive (4 hours) from Lake Mburo to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. After checking in, we will go for a short acclimatization trek through the hills to get used to the altitude. Dinner will be served in the Rushaga Gorilla Camp in the heart of the forest.
For those interested in Gorilla Trekking (US$ 700 permit fee), you will have breakfast in the lodge, and then drive to the park headquarters to meet you porters (carry your gear), your rangers (guide you) and learn how to interact with the 600 pound primates in close proximity. The day ‘usually’ involves 3-4 hours of trekking through the tropical rainforest (mud, hills, forest) in search of the gorillas, followed by at least 1 hour in close proximity to the Gorillas. A truly incredible experience. For those not desiring to go gorilla trekking, my guide (Morris) will meet you at the lodge and take you on a walk through the nearby villages to meet the local residents of Bwindi Forest. This alternative walk can be as long or as short as you wish.
After breakfast, drive to the Kisoro airstrip for a charter flight (included) back to Entebbe airport. We will have approximately one hour in the airport before our 12:00pm flight from Entebbe directly to our safari camp in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Upon arrival at 3:00pm, our drivers will collect us in open-sided safari vehicles and transfer us to the Sentinel Mara Tented Camp for a short rest. Then we will head out on our first game drive in search of the Big 5!
We will spend our days photographing lions, cheetah, leopards, elephants, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, hippos ….and even warthogs. This is also the prime time of year to see the wildebeest migrations, and the potential river-crossings, which are often very close to our private tented camp – Sentinel Mara Camp. While here we can choose between bush breakfasts, picnic lunches out on the savannah, and visits to local Maasai cultural villages. For those interested in a hot air balloon over the savannah, this can be arranged the night before (weather dependent)
Enjoy a final morning game drive in the park, and then we will board our private charter plane to Nairobi for lunch. Then we will drive through the Great Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha for an afternoon boat cruise amongst the hippos on the lake, and a walking safari with the large herbivores. Our next two nights will be spent at the incredible Chui Lodge. After dinner, we can do a night game in the private wildlife reserve in search of the resident leopards that make this lodge famous.
Get up early for a walking safari among the herbivores, a boat cruise among the hippos and prolific bird life, and game drives in the private conservancy. Here we can visit a large-scale flower farm, swim in the lodge pool, or go for a run with a local guide through the conservancy’s wildlife. Again, there will be a chance for another night game drive in a different part of the conservancy if anyone desires.
Enjoy a final morning game drive, and then drive back to Nairobi, stopping at the Strong Tower Orphanage on the way for chance to plant some trees, play soccer, and provide some food stuff donations for these incredible children. Continue on to Nairobi, and check in to the Acacia Tree Lodge (very near to the elephant orphanage and giraffe centre) for dinner and the night.
After breakfast on the verandah, your driver will take you to the elephant orphanage (11am), lunch at Boho Eatery (pay for what you order), the giraffe centre (2:30pm) and the Kazuri Bead Cooperative (3:30pm). Return to Acacia lodge for your ‘last supper’ together before transferring to the nearby NBO airport for your flight back to Europe.
Transfer planes in Europe, and fly back to Toronto, with some incredible memories and photographs from a true trip of a lifetime!
US$ 5,090 price per person (includes 3 domestic flights in Uganda and Kenya)
US$ 700 optional gorilla permit (for those desiring to go gorilla trekking)
Included for this safari:
- Deluxe accommodations
- all meals
- alcoholic beverages at Chui Lodge and Sentinel Mara Camp
- exclusive transport in 4×4 Landcruisers with ‘pop-up’ roof and guaranteed window seat
- services of exceptional English-speaking guides
- knowledgeable of the local region and culture
- long-range radio communication (and access to mobile phone) for the duration of the trip
- complimentary bottled drinking water
- daily safari briefings
- all park entry fees
- conservation fees
- entrance fees
- airport transfers
- and departure taxes
- guided safari walks
- school/orphanage visits
- giraffe centre entrance
- elephant orphanage entrance
- bead factor entrance
- and cultural excursions as per the itinerary
- all gratuities for porters
- and room stewards
- leadership in ethical
- socially responsible practices
- 3 domestic chartered flights as mentioned in the itinerary
- complete pre-departure information including packing lists
- trip itinerary
- and flight details.
- International airfare
- travel/medical/cancellation/interruption insurance
- single supplement (if you would like your own room)
- passport fees
- and Tourist Entry Visas
- gratuities for drivers and any optional excursions
- soft drinks
- bar beverages
- and items of a personal nature.