Gorilla Tracking & Trekking - 14 Days
Day 01 - The Masai Mara adventure group leaves the Nairobi and travel north to Lake Naivasha where they spend the day at Hells gate national park that lies next to this shallow lake. Hell's gate is named for the huge red-coloured cliffs that form the entrance to the geothermal interior. This is the only national park where backpackers can go hiking in and the activities also include game viewing and bird watching. The park entry fees are included in the Kenya to Rwanda tour and a popular optional game viewing safari on bicycles. Another optional way to spend the afternoon is to take high-tea at Elsamere - the former home of Joy Adams, best known for her autobiographical novel Born Free Optional activities: Cycle hire, high tea at Elsamere
Day 02 - The Masai Mara national reserve is the Kenyan side of the Serengeti located in Tanzania. Today we will be entering this 2430 square kilometre area of spectacular Kenya game viewing to photograph some of Africa's most abundant wildlife. Best known for the annual migration of around 1.5 million wildebeest, the Masai Mara is also home to many other plains animals including lions. In addition to what the group hope will be a successful day Masai Mara game viewing, cultural interaction with Kenya's native Masaai people will round off the tour groups experience. The reserve is home to all the “big five” and it is also possible to observe; baboon, eland, ostrich, bat-eared fox, jackal and cheetah. The rivers abound with hippos and crocodiles. Maasai Mara topography creates a unique bio-diverse area, providing guests with the opportunity to venture into the savannah covered with hundreds or even thousands of animals of many different species.
Day 03 - After some further game viewing in the Masai Mara we will travel towards central Kenya and the home of the greater and lesser flamingo - Lake Nakuru. Originally created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru was upgraded to National Park status in 1968. Although the shallow alkaline lake is most famous for the large flocks of flamingos that congregate to feed on the blue-green algae, the National Park is also home to a further 450 species of birds and over 50 species of mammals. White Rhino inhabit the transitional savanna area in Kenya surrounding the lake and if you are lucky you will get some great pictures. Besides the rich and varied bird life this is a popular place to encounter leopard. Waterbuck are usually sighted along the lake shore, and this is the home of the Rothschild’s giraffe. Baboon, impala, buffalo, monkeys, warthog, Reedbuck and eland are also resident. However, the main attractions are the rhino. Picnic sites in the park include Makalia Falls, Enjoro River Mouth near the main gate, Baharini, Acacia, Baboon Cliff, Out of Africa, Lion Hill Summit. The park is a designated rhino sanctuary and it is one of the best places in Kenya to observe them.
Day 04 - We drive from Lake Nakuru and across the border into Uganda travels through Eldoret - founded by the Afrikaner people at mile 64 on the wagon route from Londiani. The country is hailed as 'Africa's friendliest country' and on arrival it will soon become obvious how true this is. Kampala is the capital of Uganda and since 1986 the constantly improving economy and relative political stability have enhanced the attractiveness of Uganda as a tourism destination. When the Masai Mara adventurous group cross the equator today there will be opportunity for photography.
Day 05 - Although officially this day is set aside for everyone to explore Kampala most people use this day to take an optional day safari trip to the chimpanzee sanctuary of Ngamba island. This non-profit eco-friendly project was set up in 1998 to care for the orphaned chimpanzees that are the sad result of the illegal bush-meat trade. Ngamba island in Uganda is situated 23 km from Entebbe (near Kampala) in lake Victoria and is only accessible by boat. The Chimpanzee sanctuary & wildlife conservation trust (CSWCT) manages the project and as only one third of their operating costs are covered by visitors fees, all interested parties are encouraged to join 'Friends of the Sanctuary' if they choose to. Should the weather be unfavorable and the Uganda lake too rough for this excursion there are many other activities available in Kampala Optional Kenya to Uganda trips activities: Ngamba chimpanzee excursion, Kampala markets.
Day 06 - Lake Bunyoni is a small but attractive lake with steep sides and abundant birdlife safari. Ringed by mountains, Lake Bunyoni is best known for its dense otter population and beautiful scenery. On this campers make use of this beautiful spot to relax and spend the night before the final drive to the gorillas.
Day 07/08 & 09 - The Gorilla is one of our closest living relatives with over 95% similarity in our DNA. The Mountain Gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only 650 left. Visiting the Gorilla's is a great way to support their future on earth as the money spent on permits is used for their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining Gorilla's rests in the community development work - as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach the future of the Mountain Gorilla's is assured.As permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are extremely limited we require flexibility in both the tour itinerary and where we actually visit them. The home of the Mountain Gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Whenever possible the travelers choose to make use of the National Parks in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits and any one of the following National Parks could be used, Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda, Mgahinga national park in Uganda, Volcano NP in Rwanda and Virunga national park in DRC.The forest area that the Mountain Gorilla inhabits is split between two sections. The Bwindi Impenetrable reserve forms 330 square kilometers of forest area in Uganda. The Virunga volcano region is located on the border between DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. The Virunga volcano region is home to the other three National Parks - Mgahinga, Volcano and Virunga and is approximately another 300 square kilometers in size. The Gorillas themselves are split into two divided populations.Should the overland safari not obtain permits to visit the Mountain Gorillas in either Bwindi or Mgahinga national parks in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC. Visas for all nationalities are available on the DRC and Rwandan borders.
Day 10 - The Rwenzori mountains rise majestically above Lakes Edward and George. In literature and during the exploitative period of Africa these 'mountains of the moon' have stirred the imagination of many a prospective explorer. The visitors will view many game species are to be found in this mainly wetland park including the giant forest hog, and the legendary tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha Sector. The 1995 square kilometers of exceptional bio-diversity contain over 600 species of birds and nearly 100 mammals. Game is best viewed from the water and the group is recommend a sunset river cruise on the Kasinga channel.When looking at some maps of Uganda it is possible to become confused as several of the national parks and lakes have changed their names more than once since independence in 1962, and not all maps have been updated. Queen Elizabeth national park was called the Ruwenzori national park for many years until it returned to the colonial name. Meanwhile the Ruwenzori mountains to the north of Queen Elizabeth N.P became Ruwenzori National Park in 1991. Optional Kenya to Uganda journeys activities: Kasinga Channel Sunset Cruise.
Day 11- With the gorillas still fresh in the mind, return to Kampala where there is opportunity to dine out at one of Kampala's many restaurants. There is a variety of different fare on offer and your guide will provide you with a choice of options. The next day the tour will leave early for Jinja - home to some of the best White Water Rafting in the world. As Kenya to Uganda backpackers need to pre book this activity the guide needs to know by the time they arrive in Kampala if visitors wish to participate in this optional adventure activity. Optional Kenya to Uganda missionary activities: Meal out in Kampala
Day 12 - Jinja is Uganda's second largest city and is famous as the point where the Nile officially the Victoria Nile flows out of Lake Victoria and begins the 6695 kilometre journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean. Many overland tour visitors feel quite moved - knowing that the river in front of the safari group nourished the Egyptian empires thousands of years ago and continues to sustain people to this day. The longest river in the world, the Nile goes by many names as it makes its way though Uganda, Sudan and Egypt. The correct identification of Lake Victoria as the source of the Nile was made by John Hanning Speke who was part of the 1856-1858 expedition led by Richard Francis Burton.If the group do not want to go rafting why not volunteer for the day at Soft Power Education - a UK registered charity that is doing a wonderful job in the education of Jinja's youth. Spending the day helping out will not only assist their projects, but will also allow visitors the opportunity to spend a day at grass-roots level helping Africa's youth. Optional Kenya to Uganda tours activities: white water rafting, soft power education project.
Day 13 - The group returns to Kenya today and this time they spend a night in the town of Eldoret, the 5th largest city in the country and is currently the fastest growing. Moi University (named for Daniel Arap Moi, the President from 1978 to 2002) is located here and almost 11 500 students are educated every year. The tourist find the Great rift valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region with the altitude at Eldoret being 2100 metres above sea level.valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region with the altitude at Eldoret being 2100 metres above sea level.
Day 14 - The City of Nairobi was originally founded as a camp for Mombasa-Uganda Railway in 1899 and had since become the largest city in both Kenya and the East African Region, Nairobi is not a prime tourist destination, but it does have several tourist attractions, the most well known being Nairobi NP. The park contains many animals including lions and giraffes. Nairobi also has more species of birds than any other capital city in the world. Kenya has several museums in Nairobi including Nairobi railway museum and the national museum of Kenya, which houses many artifact’s including the full remains of a Homo erectus boy. Nairobi has the informal title "City in the Sun."As this is the last evening together the group may choose to dine together at Nairobi's famous Carnivore restaurant where vegetarians are catered for, but not encouraged. Transfer to the airport for your flight back home