Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure
Day 1 Nairobi
Arrive in Nairobi and make your way to the hotel. Attend a pre-departure group meeting with your CEO scheduled for the evening. Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the Visa section in our trip details to make sure which visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain a visa on arrival at the border.
Day 2 Eldoret (1B,1L,1D)
View varied landscapes as you cross over the Mau Mau Escarpment to Eldoret. Continue into Uganda and across the northern shores of Lake Victoria to camp in Kampala, Uganda's vibrant commercial centre. With a population nearing 1,210,000, Kampala is the largest city in Uganda. It is located in the district of Kampala at 3,900 ft (1,189 m) above sea level. As with many African cities, traffic is quite heavy and its geographical size is quite large. We don't spend any time within the city and our campsite is located outside of the city. Please note that these two days are mostly to traverse the large distances between Nairobi and the attractions in Uganda. Day 2 Estimated Travel Time including stops: 9 hrs Day 3 Estimated Travel Time including stops: 12 hrs
Day 3 Kampala (1B,1L,1D)
Rise early to beat morning rush hour in Kampala and traverse the country, finishing in western Uganda. Have a leisurely evening and prepare for your chimpanzee tracking the next morning, on Day 5. Estimated Travel Time: 11 hrs
Day 4 Kalinzu Forest Reserve (1B,1L,1D)
Rise early on Day 5 and enjoy an included chimpanzee tracking excursion through the scenic Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Trek along the ridges and valleys of the Rift Valley escarpment to visit chimpanzees in their natural habitat. The forest trails offer amazing views over the Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward, the Kazinga Channel and the Congo. The Kalinzu Forest Reserve is steeped in mysteries and rich with local legends. Learn about the folklore and uses of the forest from a local guide. Also visit a local tea plantation in the area. We travel 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. Note that the gorilla trek is not particularly easy. The temperatures are high and the incline of the trek is often steep. The terrain includes muddy trails, passing through rivers and other natural obstacles. Once gorillas have been spotted, the guide will venture off-trail, cutting a trail through the jungle. 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 included local mountain guides and optional porters, who you can hire to carry your personal items. 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 accessories. We also suggest dressing in layers as often it's chilly at first until you start trekking and long sleeves and long pants to protect you from Stinging Nettle found in the forests. 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 of several options of activities to choose from such as : fishing. canoeing on the lake, visiting the local community, renting a mountain bike to explore the area, etc. The area of Lake Bunyonyi is extremely peaceful and is a nature lover's paradise. Estimated Travel Time to Lake Bunyonyi: 5 hours Gorilla trek: Expect 4-5 hours of driving roundtrip and a hike between 30 minutes to six hours, depending on your luck spotting the gorillas.
Day 5-7 Gorilla Tracking/Lake Bunyonyi (3B,3L,3D)
Enjoy a final morning at Lake Bunyonyi before an afternoon of travel to Mbrara. Mbarara is situated in the Western region of Uganda, 295 Kilometers southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Mbarara District is one of Uganda’s fastest growing districts something attributed to trade boom that has swept through the region over the last decades. Expect a basic camp tonight, though there are toilet facilities. Approximate Distance: 140 km ?Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs??
Day 8 Mbarara (1B,1L,1D)
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. Bujagali Falls (also spelled Budhagali) was a waterfall near Jinja where the Nile River flows out of Lake Victoria. Some consider it the source of the Nile, but now the once beautiful falls and world-class kayaking spot have become submerged by the recently built Bujagali Dam. Our camp has flush toilets, hot water (usually!) and an on-site bar with food options. The campsite is located at a beautiful spot on the Nile River where you can swim and enjoy a great view of the surroudings. Approximate Distance: 285 km Estimated Travel Time: 7 hrs
Day 9-10 Jinja (2B,2L,2D)
Travel back into Kenya for a night in Eldoret. In the morning, continue to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. The alkaline lake's abundance of algae attracts the large quantity of flamingos, estimated into the millions, that famously line the shore. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. There are two types of flamingo species: the Lesser flamingo can be distinguished by its deep red carmine bill and pink plumage unlike the greater flamingo, which has a bill with a black tip. But flamingos are not the only avian attraction, also present are two large fish-eating birds, pelicans and cormorants. The park is rich in other birdlife, including grebes, white winged black, stilts, avocets, ducks, and in the European winter, the migrant waders. The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide the sanctuary for the black rhino. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park now has more than 25 rhinos, one of the largest concentrations in the country, so the chances of spotting these survivors are better than in other parks. There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again translocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Numerous other mammals can be seen, including zebra, impala, gazelle, waterbuck, lion, warthog, bushbuck, many buffalo, and even at times leopard. Day 11 - Estimated Travel Time with stops including the border: 8 hrs Day 12 - Estimated Travel Time including a game drive: 11 hrs
Day 11 Eldoret (1B,1L,1D)
At the beautiful Lake Naivasha, spend your time enjoying various optional activities, such as a walking safari to view giraffes and antelope on Crescent Island, or a visit to the flamingo-filled Green Crater Lake, or simply viewing birds and wildlife around your camp - spotting ibis, lovebirds, fish eagles, hippo, and the black and white colobus monkey on the banks of this scenic lake. Many animals call the area home; giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps and colobus monkeys call from the treetops while the lake's large hippo population sleep the day away out in the shallows. Our campsite tonight has some basic but great facilities including a bar with games and food. Approximate Distance: 75 km, Estimated Travel Time: 2 hrs
Day 12 Nakuru (1B,1L,1D)
Transfer to Nairobi, where the tour ends upon arrival in the late afternoon. Approximate Distance: 90 km, Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs
Day 13 Lake Naivasha (1B,1L,1D)
Day 14 Nairobi (1B,1L)