18 Days East Africa Safari

Overview

Time to love on Mother Nature and give yourself a great treat. This is time for Africa; exploring what is unique to the four of seven countries that form East Africa. Uganda with the source of river Nile in Jinja; The world’s most powerful waterfalls in Murchison Falls National park and Sipi Falls near Mount. elgon National park. Rwanda with the gorillas and golden monkeys at Volcanoes National park; Chimpanzees in Nyungwe National park and Genocide memorial site. Kenya with the pink flamingos around Lake Nakuru and the Big 5 cats in Masai Mara reserve.

Tanzania for the Big 5 in Serengeti national park and the world’s largest caldera in Ngorongoro crater. All meals, transfers, accommodation and safety are taken care of, and you will be surprised of the cultural diversity, weather, religion, infrastructure and food. Common language in all the three countries is English, but then you can also speak Swahili and Arabic with those who know. It is a road trip that enables you uncover the beauty of Africa in a short range. The strip starts in Entebbe international airport-Uganda, and ends in Arusha Tanzania. Time and all set schedules to be followed.

Day 1: Arrival and optional Kampala city tour

You will be landing today at Entebbe international airport, clear with the immigration authorities and then meet your driver guide who will welcome you to the pearl of Africa for an east African tour. You will be briefed on what to expect in each day of the 18 days across East Africa. The starter is the stunning view of Lake Victoria; second largest fresh water lake in the world.

You will be driven to the hotel for check-in and refreshments, as you rest from the long flight and get set for the next day’s activities. If you settle in and feel the need to explore Kampala city, we will gladly take you around the bustling streets to see natives as they trade, buy some souvenirs, and more. Kampala features 7 hills, and is in the central part of Uganda. Dinner and an overnight stay will mark the end of this day.

Day 2: Transfer to Sipi Falls via River Nile

Wakeup to a mouthwatering breakfast meal at the lodge. At 08:00 hrs, you will checkout of the lodge for a transfer to Sippi Falls National park in Mount. Elgon national park.  It is a road trip which will enable you experience what traffic Jam looks like, busy towns and plantations in the eastern part of Uganda.

You will drive past Mabira forest which is one of the oldest Natural forest in the country. The plantations and the Magical Jinja Bridge will welcome you to the pearl of Africa, as you drive to the river Nile. Upon arrival, you will have a canoe boat ride to the source of the Nile, which is the starting point of the longest river on earth. River Nile takes three months to pour its water to the Mediterranean Sea. At the Nile area is a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi who requested his ashes be poured in the Nile after his death. You will have time for photos, lunch, and then proceed with the drive to Mbale city with the view of the rolling hills, lush vegetation, and more. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge upon a safe arrival and check-in.

Day 3: Sipi Falls Hike

After breakfast, you will go for a hike to Sippi Falls. The walk is through plantations where you will be explained to the importance of the plants and also how they grow. More to your day is identifying the different bird species, interacting with local natives of the place, and taking photos of the beautiful backdrop of Mount Elgon. Mount Elgon spans through Uganda and Kenya, and has the largest caldera in Uganda and one of the kind in the continent of Africa.

Walk to the three Magical Falls of Sipi, take photos, listen to the narration by the ranger guide, and relax. Whereas others just watch, the adventurous ones will engage in some more activities at the spot such as Zip-lining, or showering under the running waters. Enjoy each passing minute with the thundering sound of the fall, and thereafter, Have Lunch. What follows is an evening walk back to the lodge for dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 4: Depart for Murchison Falls National Park

Wakeup to a delicious breakfast meal at the lodge, and thereafter depart for Murchison Falls National park; Uganda’s oldest and largest game park. Murchison is home to the world’s most powerful waterfalls – Murchison Falls, and a habitat to the big 4 animals (lions, leopards, Buffaloes and Elephants). The Journey to the park lasts for approximately 7-8 hours, with enroute stopovers for lunch and sight-seeing opportunities.

After lunch, you will proceed with the drive to the park where you will check-in in the evening hours, refresh, have dinner and call it a day with a night stay. It is a drive from the eastern circuit to the Albertine rift. You will arrive and check-in at the lodge for dinner and a peaceful night.

Day 5: Game drive, Boat cruise and top of the falls experience.

Start your day with a tasty cup of coffee at the lodge. Thereafter, a sunrise game drive in the open savannah park in the northern part of Murchison Falls National park. The Game drive is for 3-4 hours, and starts at 6:30, when the animals are just up, and those that take the advantage of the darkness are returning their hideouts.

There is no guarantee of what you what animal will come your way because this is an open wilderness where they pray and predators roam freely. There is an element of luck required from the start to the end, thus need to have an open mind and be attentive. There are about 78 mammal species in the park, namely; the different antelope species, herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, warthogs, leopards, lions, and more; birds, flora such as the whistling acacia, Victoria Nile and stunning landscape.

After game drive, you will have a lunch break, and then wait for the afternoon boat cruise to the bottom the world’s most powerful waterfalls – Murchison falls. On this 2-3 hour’s ride, you will lookout for Nile crocodiles, hippos, aquatic birds, swamps, and the animals by the river bank. There is the unforgettable moment when you are at the face of the thundering fall, taking photos, and watching the water squeeze through the 7-meter gorge while pouring its water to the Nile.

Day 6: Fly to Kihiihi airstrip. Drive to Volcanoes National park in northern Rwanda

Wake up early, and seal it off with a mouth-watering breakfast at the lodge. You will fly to Kihiihi airstrip where our company driver guide will meet and immediately transfer you to the “land of a thousand hills”. After briefing, embark on a 3-4 hours’ drive to Volcanoes national park, where mountain gorillas call home.

Mountain gorillas can only be found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Lunch is enroute, and your eyes will be fed with stunning views of the rolling hills, plantations and busy towns. You will arrive at the lodge in the evening for check-in, dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 7: Gorilla trekking and Musanze caves exploration

A day to do a once in a lifetime activity starts with a heavy breakfast meal at the lodge. Thereafter, you will get the trekking documents, packed Lunch, and transfer to the park headquarters for a registration and a pretrekking briefing. After thirty-minute briefing, you will have known the trekking dos and don’ts, the Gorilla troop to trek, and more about the Park.

Volcanoes national park is a host to a quarter of the world’s total mountain gorilla population. These are the world’s most powerful primates and are only found in the continent of Africa. They set the rhythm of the search, and you will first check where they were last spotted while following the sounds, broken tree branches and footsteps. As you trek, you may chance among others; the different plants, birds, and primates in the park. The trekking duration is 1-8 hours, with an extra hour for photography, and to watch the mothers nurse the infants, the younger stars play, and the gentle silverback. Lunch will be in the Jungle.

After gorilla trekking, have some rest, and then visit Musanze caves, where you will take photos, explore the cave, relax, and see the colonies of bats.  You will return to the lodge to retire to bed after dinner and a nap.

Day 8: Transfer to Nyungwe National Park

After breakfast, you will depart to Nyungwe national park, through a route marked by breathtaking landscape, rolling hills, and lush plantations. Nyungwe national park is a habitat to over 13 primate species, but dominated by chimpanzees. There will be an enroute stopover for lunch and sight-seeing. You will get to your lodge in the evening hours, check-in to the lodge in the evening hours, have dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk

A heavy breakfast meal early in the morning puts you in the mood of facing the day. You will head to the park headquarters for a pretrekking briefing, which lasts for about thirty minutes. The thirty minutes is for listening to the ranger guides who know chimps and Nyungwe forest. The talk covers the life of a chimpanzees and other primates in the forest, the trekking dos and don’ts, and more. After the briefing session, you embark on the trekking exercise, when you have chances of identifying different plant species, birds, forest mammals and primates such as the white and black Columbus monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey-checked monkeys and more.

Chimpanzee trekking experience lasts for about 1-4 hours, and an extra hour for watching them play, feed and nurse. Chimpanzees are very intelligent, as seen by how they eat, erect nests, and interact. They make over 25 sounds, each having a different signal. One other unique fact is that they possess over 98% human like DNA, and are regarded man’s cousins.

After chimpanzee trekking, you will have some time to refresh and have Lunch, and then an afternoon canopy walk. The canopy is one of the kinds in east Africa. It is freely suspended on the tree top, which gives you the opportunity of watching the forest, primates that prefer the tree tops such as monkeys, the rolling hills, plantations and more. At sunset, you will return to the lodge for dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 10: Return to Kigali and fly to Nairobi

After breakfast, you will hit the road on a 5-6 hours’ drive to Kigali international airport. This road trip offers a great view of the rolling hills, and plantations. Have lunch in Kigali and visit the Genocide memorial center in the heart of Kigali city, before a drive to the airport for your flight to the next destination; Nairobi Kenya. Our driver guide will meet and welcome you to Magical Kenya. After an introduction, you will transfer to your lodge for check-in and a nap.

Day 11: Nairobi to Lake Nakuru

After the last sip of coffee, you will check-out of the lodge for a transfer to Lake Nakuru national park. This is a true birders haven in Kenya and the place you will encounter the sought after pink flamingos, water ducks and more birds. The journey is on a safe route in the country side, marked by lush plantations, undulating hills, and African style homesteads and more.

There will be an enroute stopover for Lunch, and then a late drive to your lodge in the park for dinner and a sweet slumber.

Day 12: Transfer to Masai Mara reserve

Kick start this day at 07:00 hours with a bird watching experience at the shores of Lake Nakuru. We find the flamingos, king fisher, water duck and more birds such as the shoe bill stork, ostriches Kori bustards and regal sunbird parading at the water, creating a great scenery. More birds can be spotted at the swamps and trees around the designated bird watching areas as guided by an expert birder. During the early hours of the day is when seeing birds is easy, and most recommended.

After bird watching, you will return to the lodge for Lunch, and then checkout for a transfer to Masai Mara reserve. There will be an enroute stopover for photography at the Great Rift Valley, and the other at Narok town for lunch. From Narok to the park is approximately two hours. You will check-in to the lodge for refreshment, dinner and sleep.

Day 13: Sunrise and sunset game drive

Game drives calls first thing today. You will leave bed and get to the wilderness at 6:30 am so as to meet the night hunters heading to their hideouts. These night hunters are often very hard to spot, and among them are the lions, hippos, hyenas, cheetah, and leopards. The day grassers are easy to meet and they include among others the elephants, zebras, warthogs, Buffalos, and more.

To the list of what to see and know today, add; plants, birds, reptiles, primates and the history of the park. You will have a mouthwatering bush breakfast, and thereafter return to the lodge for refreshment and Lunch.

In the cool evenings, you will embark on the sunset game drive, where you see animals, birds and more in the park get ready to sleep. The beautiful sunset will interest you, as well as hopes of encountering some of the animals you might have missed during the game drive experience. End this day with dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 14: Transfer to Serengeti NP

Start this day with a delicious breakfast meal at the lodge. Thereafter, hit the road to Serengeti national park, through namanga boarder in the eastern park of Serengeti national park to seronera gate. This route isn’t the best thus taking a little more time and a slow drive.

Masai Mara is an extension of Serengeti national park; one of the finest wilderness in the world. A great place to spend a day or more relaxing with animals and admiring the stunning landscape. The other transport option is a flight to Kilimanjaro international Airport or a drive through Isebania boarder located in the western part of Serengeti national park. You have an enroute stopover for Lunch, and document verification, and thereafter arrive at you lodge in the evening hours in at sunset for dinner and a peaceful nap.

Day 15: Game drive and culture excursion

Wakeup by 06:00 hrs for breakfast. Thereafter set off for a sunrise game drive in the open savannah park. There is that animal you have wished to see hope this is the day and moment. No guarantee, though among the animals to lookout for are the lions, zebras, wildebeest, warthog, giraffes, impala, waterbuck, elephants, rhinos, Buffaloes, and many more. Serengeti has a very stunning landscape, worth a camera focus. Your driver guide will show you the different animals and explain their unique characteristics such as eating, hunting and more. After game drive, return to the lodge for Lunch.

In the evening hours, It will be you and the Masai warriors; dancing to their songs, having a community walk,  visiting the manyattas, cattle herds and more. The Masai warriors are proud of their culture. It can be read through their eyes, clothes and voices. At no cost would they want to trade it with modernity. End your day at the lodge with dinner and a nap.

Day 16: Transfer to Ngorongoro crater - nature walk

A Good morning with a tasty cup of coffee, and lots more as breakfast. Thereafter, you will depart for Ngorongoro crater, with an enroute stopover at the ancient Olduvia gorge. The historians say this place is where fossils of oldest person on earth where found and thus reserved for other generations to learn history of man and the ancestors. You will spend a few hours there taking photos and listening to the local guide.

Proceed with your drive to your lodge at Ngorongoro, for check-in and Lunch. In the evening, you will go for an evening nature walk on top of the crater. Ngorongoro crater is the largest land crater in Africa, and one of the natural wonders in the world. You will spend time on photos, and looking out for the animals in their hideouts. It is a safe and fun moment, before you return to the lodge for dinner and a night stay.

Day 17: Game drive

At day break, you will have a mouth-watering breakfast meal at the lodge. pick a paper and write; black rhinos, cheetahs, golden jackals, spotted hyenas, giraffes, hippos, Kobs, lions, leopard, wildebeest, zebras, cranes, yellow billed oxpecker, hilder Brandt’s spur fowl, white-eyed slaty flycatcher, eastern double-collared sunbird, black-headed heron, Fischer’s sparrow-lark and more.

These and more are present in the park, and on a lucky day, you will encounter most of them during the 3-4 hours’ game drive at the open savannah park and around the crater. Take photos, and ask questions on whatever you don’t know as this is the time to understand the wilderness and its habitats. After game drive, you will return to the lodge for Lunch and rest. Chill by the lodge, until dinner time and have an overnight stay.

Day 18: Departure

Depending on the time of your flight, you will have a relaxed wakeup call. Breakfast will follow, and then check out for a transfer to Arusha airport. Bid farewell to your driver guide for the moments shared and travel safe.

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