Day 1-3: Sanctuary Olonana, Masai Mara, Kenya
On arrival at JKIA and after clearing customs you will be met by a Sanctuary Retreats representative who will transfer you to Wilson Airport for your connection to the Masai Mara, one of Africa's greatest parks. Your Sanctuary Olonana guide will meet you at the airstrip. Drive to the camp (about 15 minutes) with game viewing en route, you may be rewarded with sightings of elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a host of other plains' game.
The tents at Olonana are very spacious and have floor to ceiling mosquito netting, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, flush lavatories, solar lighting and large, river view verandahs. The main dining room and veranda commands a dramatic stretch of the Mara River providing the perfect setting for breakfast, afternoon tea and after dinner star gazing.
Relax by the pool or revitalize at our mini-spa which offers a range of treatments from facials to body massages. In the afternoon there is time to relax before enjoying one of the many activities offered at Sanctuary Olonana. Take a game viewing drive to experience the phenomenal wildlife or visit the adjacent Maasai village to learn about the local Maasai culture and get a feel for the Maasai pastoralist heritage.
Mid-afternoon high tea will be served before your next activity. During your stay there are a variety of activities that can be booked on request such as a balloon safari. Float gently over the plains with a bird's eye view of the game below as the sun rises slowly over the horizon. After around one hour the balloon lands and nearby a full breakfast is served in the middle of the bush with glasses of bubbly to toast your flight! The Mara is a fabulous place for seeing big cats and all of the big five, a variety of plains game and over 300 bird species. The plains offer a rich variety of food for the dominant predators: lion; leopard; hyena and cheetah. Elephants browse amongst the large herds of wildebeest and topi, eland and buffalo, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle. In the Mara River, hippos submerge to snort and grumble while crocodiles sunbathe, mouths agape, on the riverbanks. From around July to October, there's the greatest show on Earth - the wildebeest migration.
As the afternoon activity comes to an end, drive to a specially chosen vantage point overlooking the Mara plains. Enjoy drinks as you take in the beauty of the rapid sunset coloring the acacia dotted plains and transforming the world in a matter of minutes. Sit by the log fire and discuss the day's adventures as waiters serve canapés, with the spectacular setting sun in the horizon.
Return to the lodge in time for a well-deserved dinner.
Spend 3 nights on a fully inclusive basis at Sanctuary Olonana experiencing the wonders of nature at it's at its best.
Day 4-7: Gorilla Forest Lodge, Uganda
Day 4 - Sanctuary Olonana to Entebbe - Uganda
Spend your morning game viewing in the Mara and return to camp for lunch.
In the afternoon your guide will transfers you to the airstrip for the flight to Nairobi's Wilson Airport. On arrival you will be met by a Sanctuary Retreats representative and drive you the short distance to Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight to Entebbe, Uganda.
On arrival in Entebbe you will be met by a Sanctuary Representative who will transfer you to your Entebbe/Kampala hotel.
Day 5-7 - Entebbe to Gorilla Forrest Lodge - Uganda
This morning after breakfast you will be picked up and transferred to Kajjansi airstrip for your charter flight to Kayonza airstrip - Bwindi where a Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp guide will be at hand to meet and transfer to the lodge (approximately 40 minutes).
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is located within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the perfect base for a tracking experience as it offers luxury in the heart of the rainforest. Accommodation is in eight large en-suite 'tents' which have two queen-sized beds and a bathtub looking out onto the forest - ideal for soaking away aches and pains after a day searching for gorillas in the forest.
The camp has a bar and dining cottage, as well as a raised natural platform for open-air dining. Guests can sit around the cozy campfire at night and enjoy Bwindi's crystal clear mountain sky.
In the afternoon you can just relax and take in the fresh air or take a forest walk, which is a nice way to warm up before the Gorilla tracking.
On your second morning fill your bellies with a scrumptious early breakfast before having a briefing from your guide. Tracking commences every morning from the park headquarters at 8.30 am. The gorillas we track belong to one of the 'habituated' family groups in Northern Bwindi. For several years each group has undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the presence of humans. Experienced guides will accompany the tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. Once the gorillas are located, the group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Return to camp for dinner.
On your last full day in camp you can either relax at the camp or visit a local village and meet the villagers to learn about their day to day lives. On this walk you can visit a honey production site, a traditional medicine man, a traditional blacksmith, a local school when in term and even attend a Batwa (Pygmy dance performance). The walk is organized with the local community as part of our community support.
Or you could take a bird walk. Bwindi boast over 300 bird species, including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo - the "Albertine Rift Endemics". There are also over 200 species of butterflies found in the park. A local expert will guide you on this fascinating walk.
End the day's simply relaxing after dinner sipping a drink as you listen to folk tunes played on the traditional Bakiga guitar.
Spend 3 nights at Gorilla Forest Lodge and who knows you may get a surprise visit from a family or gorilla's.
Day 8: Departure
Spend a leisurely breakfast before your transfer to Kayonza airstrip for your charter flight back to Kajjansi airstrip. Upon arrival you will be met by a Sanctuary Representative who will transfer you to Entebbe International Airport.
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.