Approximate Distance: 431 km Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs The journey begins early in the morning (6am) as we travel west towards Lake Edward to this famous park, with Uganda's largest wildlife populations. Here, enjoy a short nature hike around the area of our camp, and on Day 2, embark on both morning and afternoon game drives, with hopes of catching glimpses of buffalo, hippo, elephant, lion, and the elusive leopard. For a different perspective, you may also opt for a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. The 1,978 sq. km Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.
Approximate Distance: 201 km Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs We travel south through gorgeous countryside to Lake Bunyonyi, our base for several days in the area. Our time in this lush, magical, mountainous region of Uganda is spent between enjoying the area of Lake Bunyonyi and many activities that it has to offer, and an unforgettable guided trek deep into the forest-sloped volcanoes for a wild encounter of a family of mountain gorillas (Gorilla Permits Included). Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home to approximately half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the world's most endangered ape. One of Africa's major highlights, a close encounter with these amazing animals is simply breathtaking. Ugandan authorities are fiercely protective of this natural treasure and currently permit only a maximum of 8 people per day to visit a given gorilla family. As such, the group will be split into different sub-groups for the trek, and depending on the amount of travellers there are total, different sub-groups may do their trek on different days. In the morning of your trek, you will drive in smaller vehicles to park office and meet with your local mountain guides and porters, who can carry your personal items and assist you during the trek. The guides will brief you on the etiquette of gorilla trekking, after which, you set off into the forest. The trek can take from one to six hours and can exceed altitudes of 2500m. The terrain is rough and at times muddy and slippery. It is very important to bring along plenty of water. It can rain in a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is essential along with protective bags for your camera and film. Approximately 98% of the gorilla treks are successful but there is no guarantee that you will see the gorillas as they are constantly on the move. For the rest of your time in the area, you will have the chance to go swimming, fishing, or canoeing on the lake; visit the local community; or rent a mountain bike to explore the area, among other activities offered by the camp where we stay. The area of Lake Bunyonyi is extremely peaceful and is a nature lover's paradise.
Approximate Distance: 230 km Estimated Travel Time: 5.30 hrs A scenic journey takes us to Lake Mburo National park, to continue our nature and wildlife encounters in one of Uganda's most precious locations. After arriving to the park and having lunch, we continue for a game drive passing through the acacia woodland in search of the diverse resident wildlife. If time allows, you can even go for a nature walk or take a boat trip on one of the lakes, with hopes of spotting hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of waterbirds. We finish the day camping on the shores of the lake listening to the sounds of the African wilderness. Lake Mburo National Park is a nature lover's paradise, as the park consists of open plains, forested woodland, and five lakes. It is the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope and has about 68 different species of mammals. The common ones are zebra, impala, buffalo, topi, not to leave out the rare sightings of roan antelope, as well as sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. Leopard, hyenas and jackals are all predators of this region. The lake is rich with a diversity of animal and plant species which can only be viewed clearly if you take a boat trip. The crocodiles, hippopotamuses and birds like Pelicans, Black crake, Heron, cormorant, fish eagle, you may also sight the rare Shoebill Stork and all these will furnish your visit with pride.
Approximate Distance: 283 km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs Head south to the shores of Lake Victoria and renowned as the “Source of the Nile”, Jinja is fast becoming the thrill-seeker's capital of Africa. Spend a full day rafting or kayaking down the Nile River, mountain biking in the Mabira Forest, volunteering with a local project, or just enjoying the relaxed vibe of Jinja. Jinja, the second largest commercial centre in Uganda, was established in 1901. Lying in the south east of Uganda, 87 km north east of Kampala, it is located on the shores of Lake Victoria near to the source of the White Nile. The city is the chief town of Jinja District, and is considered the capital of the Kingdom of Busoga. The resident population of Jinja is approximately 106,000 with the majority being Bantu in origin. Lusoga and Luganda are the main local languages. North of Jinja is Bujagali Falls, which is located downriver from Owen Falls Dam. Bujagali Falls is a world-class spot for kayaking and white water rafting, and also a popular weekend picnic area for local Ugandans. However, the falls are under threat from the construction of a proposed new 250 MW hydroelectric facility.
Day 10 - Approximate Distance: 281 km; Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs Day 11 - Approximate Distance: 310 km; Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs Cross over into Kenya and continue through the Rift Valley and on towards Nairobi. The name Nairobi is derived from the Masai word for cool waters, which the Masai people gave to a water hole known as Ewaso Nyirobi. In modern times, the sprawling, cosmopolitan city of Nairobi combines the first-world glamour of reflecting-glass skyscraper buildings with abject developing-world poverty. It originated in 1899 from a handful of shacks that marked the end of the railhead during the building of the Uganda railway. Due to big game hunting bringing tourists from Britain, the city expanded dramatically in the early 1900’s. A large number of British nationals settled in the area, prompting more growth and this angered both the Masai and Kikuyu people, as they were losing hunting ground due to the expansion of the city limits. The friction increased and, eventually led to the Mau Mau uprising, which saw Jomo Kenyatta, the future president jailed. Kenya was granted independence from Britain in 1963, with Nairobi as the capital. Apart from being Kenya’s capital and the main centre of government and commerce, Nairobi is the most significant city in East Africa and an important player on the pan-African stage. It is the diplomatic base for many counties in Africa, with its broad spectrum of international embassies and headquarters for the United Nations, multi-national companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and press correspondents. It’s also the center of the growing safari business of East Africa.
Approximate Distance: 286 km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs (depending on border crossing) The journey begins early in the morning (8am) as we travel south from Nairobi through the Masai lands into Tanzania, to our camp outside of the town of Arusha. Spend some time exploring the town and its bustling markets, before settling down at our campsite for the night. Arusha, also known as Tanzania’s “safari capital”, is undoubtedly the most important center in northen Tanzania. With many protected national parks, reserves, and mountains nearby (on a clear day, you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance), Arusha is a modern town, and with its markets, services, and fine location, it is a great base for your safari trip. Arusha officially became a city on the 1st of July 2006. The primary industry of the region is agriculture with large vegetable producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. The city and its environs are also spotted with large coffee plantations, adding to the area’s charm. Though in recent years, due to the coffee crisis, many local farmers have been badly hit, and now subsistence farming is the most common source of livelihood. Arusha, who owes its name from the local Wa-arusha people who resided here for hundreds of years, is historically and politically significant city within East Africa. In 1961 the official documents ceding independence to Tanzania were signed by the United Kingdom in Arusha. Six years later the Arusha Declaration of Self Reliance in Tanzania was signed. On the 4th of August 1993 the Arusha Accords were signed by representatives of competing factions in the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda. After the Rwandan genocide, the UN Security Council decided by its Resolution 955 of 8 November 1994 that Arusha should host the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The establishment of the tribunal with its employees has influenced the local economy of Arusha.
Approximate Distance: 320 km Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (including game drive into Serengeti) After breakfast, we begin our 2 night/3 day excursion to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, two of Africa’s premier wildlife areas. Changing to specialized 4WD 7-seater safari vehicles, we are met by experienced safari driver/guides, who will ensure us wonderful wildlife encounters. Our safari vehicles each have sliding windows and a large pop-up roof, perfect for game viewing. They are smaller than our overland truck, and will allow us to maneuver easily through the wildlife areas. As the vehicles are smaller than our overland truck, our group will split up among several vehicles,. The Serengeti is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The area where you will be staying and game viewing is in the central Serengeti 'Seronera' area, which lies in the southeast of the National Park. Because of the sheer size of the National Park other areas will not be accessible during your stay. As we drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and on to the Serengeti National Park, en route you will begin to experience the sheer vastness of this territory, and you will marvel at the multitude of animal and bird life while cruising through this acacia-spotted savannah. The next day, we continue your search for the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino - while taking in the vastness of the Serengeti plains with a game drives through out the day.