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Grand East Africa Safari – 20 Days. With gorillas & wildebeest migration

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20 Days / 19 Nights

Gorilla trekking and wildlife safari in Uganda, Kenya & Tanzania

This Grand East Africa safari package takes you on a mind-blowing journey to see the best of East Africa’s nature, wildlife, and gorillas.

You will go on the ultimate exploration of all the things that make East Africa special. Your trip will start in Uganda and then go to Kenya and Tanzania.

In Uganda, you will raft the waters and rapids of the Nile before going to track chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in the natural rainforest homes. You will also enjoy some classic wildlife viewing in the savannahs of Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National parks.

In Kenya, you will explore the incredible Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Lake Naivasha, and Finally Masai Mara. In all the places, you will see all the savannah wildlife you can think of – including the last 2 northern white rhinos in the world.

In Tanzania, you will explore the various circuits of the endless Serengeti and its animals. You will then continue to explore the Ngorongoro crate for some more wildlife before ending your exquisite African safari experience in Arusha.

On this trip, you will not only see the chimps and gorillas, but you will also see all the other animals that made East Africa’s wilderness special. Take a look at our detailed day-by-day breakdown to better imagine how you experience this trip.

This trip can be arranged for groups and individuals who want to explore the very best of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

As with all our safari packages, we can customize the program to fit your personal preferences. Just reach out to us and we’ll be eager to help you.

Safari Highlights

  • Kampala City
  • Jinja Source of the Nile
  • Kibale National Park
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Lake Mburo National Park
  • Nairobi City
  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Lake Naivasha
  • Masai Mara, Kenya
  • Serengeti, Tanzania
  • Ngorongoro, Tanzania

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe, transfer to Kampala

Our driver/guide will wait for you at Entebbe International Airport and welcome you to Uganda. You will then be transferred to your hotel for the night.

Accommodation:

Standard Boma Hotel
Comfort Cassia Lodge
Luxury Serena Hotel Kampala

Meal plan: Dinner

 

Day 2: White Water Rafting in Jinja, then back to Kampala

After an early morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to Jinja for a white water rafting experience on the Nile. The rafting can take either a full or half-day depending on your preference.

You will also visit Jinja town and some craft shops for your souvenir shopping. You will come back to your accommodation in Kampala in the evening.

Accommodation:

Standard Boma Hotel
Comfort Cassia Lodge
Luxury Serena Hotel Kampala

Meal plan: Dinner

 

Day 3: Drive to Kibale National Park

After your early breakfast, your guide will drive you to Fort Portal town; a 5 hours journey from Kampala with stop-overs along the way. This town nestles in the shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains so be sure to have that amazing view.

Accommodation:

Standard Kibale Forest Camp
Comfort Turaco Treetops
Luxury Papaya Lake Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park

After an early breakfast, you will go to Kibale Forest National Park for your Chimpanzee tracking experience. Kibale is commonly called the primate capital and you will see many other species of primates along with the chimps.

The rangers are well informed and you will learn so much about the forest’s plant and animal ecosystems. After finding the chimps, you will spend some time observing their interesting lives before heading back to the starting point.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Bigodi swamp and community around the Kibale Forest National Park.

Accommodation:

Standard Kibale Forest Camp
Comfort Turaco Treetops
Luxury Papaya Lake Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 5: Visit Caves & Crater Lakes, drive to Queen Elizabeth NP

After breakfast, you will go on a cultural tour of the Amabere ga Nyina Mwiru caves and the nearby craters. The caves and craters are located some 10 kilometers from FortPortal town and have a fascinating story of their formation, and their cultural significance to the people.

You will return to Fort Portal for lunch and then visit the Tooro Kingdom Place afterward.

In the evening we drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountain range for most of the 2-hour drive.

Accommodation:

Standard Bush Lodge
Comfort Kasenyi Safari Camp
Luxury Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 6: Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park

After your breakfast, you will go for an early morning game drive in the park and try to spot as many animals as possible. There are great opportunities to see lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants, waterbuck and so much more.

In the afternoon, you will go on a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. The high concentration of hippos, birds, and other animals on the water’s edge makes this activity perfect for almost anyone, and unbelievable for birding and wildlife photography

Accommodation:

Standard Bush Lodge
Comfort Kasenyi Safari Camp
Luxury Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 7: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today, we’ll drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi Impenetrable National park. The drive takes you through the Kigezi highlands where you pass local villages, plantations, farms, and small towns.

The terraced hillsides, steep hills, and winding roads are part of the reason why this area is sometimes referred to as the “Switzerland of Africa”.

Accommodation:

Standard Buhoma Community Camp
Comfort Rushaga Gorilla Camp
Luxury Mahogany Springs Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 8: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today is gorilla trekking day and you will wake up early to have breakfast and be at the park offices at 7:00 am. You will be briefed by the Park rangers on all the procedures before you can start your trek.

In groups of 8 and the rangers, you will go into the forest in search of the mountain gorillas that call this dense rainforest home.

The trek can be quite challenging but meeting the gorillas will make all that sweat more than worth it. You will spend 1 hour with the gorillas after which you will be led back to the starting point by your ranger guide.

A certificate is awarded by UWA at the end of every gorilla trekking experience. You will spend your afternoon relaxing at the lodge and enjoying the views of the forest.

Accommodation:

Standard Buhoma Community Camp
Comfort Rushaga Gorilla Camp
Luxury Mahogany Springs Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 9: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, you will leave Bwindi for Lake Mburo National Park with a stopover in Mbarara for your lunch. Lake Mburo is the best and easiest place for seeing a lot of Zebras in Uganda.

You will see other wild animals such as buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, elands, antelopes, and lots of birds as well as the local long-horned Ankole cattle in the nearby ranches.

Take an afternoon boat ride on the Lake & see a variety of birds and hippos too.

Accommodation:

Standard Rwakobo rock lodge
Comfort Mburo Safari Lodge
Luxury Mihingo Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 10: Drive back to Entebbe

After your breakfast, go for a walking safari in the park in the company of a park ranger. On this walk, you will see many animals and birds, as well as feel the connection to the nature and surrounding landscape.

After your lunch, you will leave for Kampala with a stopover at the Equator line for some pictures and souvenirs. You will then continue to Entebbe International Airport for your onward flight to Nairobi.

Accommodation:

Standard Boma Hotel
Comfort Cassia Lodge
Luxury Serena Hotel Entebbe

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 11: Drive to Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Pick up from your Nairobi Hotel or at the airport by the latest 8:00 am. Board your safari land cruiser and drive through the lush central Kenya highlands, before proceeding north towards Mount Kenya.

Check-in and lunch at your tented camp, followed by afternoon game drives. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to the BIG 5. However, it’s mainly Rhinos and Chimpanzees that are protected here which are the main attractions.

Besides visiting Baraka the Black Rhino and enjoying game drives, one can also visit the Chimpanzee sanctuary.

 

Day 12: Drive to Lake Naivasha

After breakfast, board your safari vehicle and enjoy a game drive before departing to Lake Naivasha. Check-in followed by lunch.

Afternoon at leisure by the lake shores. You may book a guided nature walk at Crescent Island or a scenic boat ride that offers breathtaking scenery. Overnight stay at Lake Naivasha Country Club.

Accommodation at Lake Naivasha Country Club

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 13: Drive to Masai Mara National Reserve

Depart after breakfast for Masai Mara. Check-in, lunch, and afternoon game drive when you begin your search for the wildlife found in Masai Mara.

Accommodation at Ashnil Mara Luxury Tented Camp / Base Camp Masai Mara (similar)

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 14 & 15: Wildlife Game Drives in the Masai Mara

You will spend the whole day exploring this world-renowned reserve during your game drives.

Your expert safari driver/guide with in-depth knowledge of the vast reserve will help you locate Lions, Elephants, Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo, Burchell’s Zebra, Hippos, Elands, Spotted Hyena, Topi, Hartebeest, Warthog, Black-Backed Jackal, Mongoose, Masai Ostrich, Secretary Bird, Marabou Stork, Martial Eagle, Vultures, Egrets among several other mammal and bird species that call Masai Mara home.

You simply need to have your animal checker guide ready and get ready for the adventure.

Between the months of June and September, Masai Mara hosts the world’s biggest wildlife spectacle; the annual wildebeest migration when over 1.2 million wildebeest and Zebra cross over from northern Serengeti into Masai Mara in search of greener pastures, especially the red oat grass which is a delicacy to the marauding gnus/wildebeest.

If you travel during these months, your guide will dedicate time to trailing the migrating herds both in the savannah and along the banks of the Crocodile-infested Mara River.

Accommodation at Ashnil Mara Luxury Tented Camp / Base Camp Masai Mara (similar)

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 16: Drive to Northern Serengeti

After breakfast, collect your picnic lunch and depart for the seemingly endless plains; The Serengeti. You enjoy a three-hour drive to the Isebania border crossing point, clear with immigration’s, and proceed to northern Serengeti.

You will enjoy en-route game viewing in search of the BIG CATS that reside here.

Accommodation at Ole Serai Luxury Camp (Kogatende) / Mara Kati Kati Tented Camp / similar.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 17: Wildlife Viewing Northern Serengeti

You will spend two full days exploring the northern part of the Serengeti as you search for major wildlife sightings.

This is where you can witness the great migration between June and October as they graze in the savannah woodlands and along the shores of the crocodile-infested Mara River with frequent River crossings between the south and north being witnessed regularly.

After the calving season in southern Serengeti between February and March, the migration moves to Seronera in Central Serengeti between April and May, before arriving north in June.

Big predators like Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, and scavenging opportunists like jackals, hyenas, vultures, and Marabou Storks are always trailing the migration so you also have a chance of catching them in action.

 

Day 18: Drive to Central Serengeti

You will enjoy your breakfast and then depart for Central Serengeti about 4 hours drive with en-route game viewing. This afternoon, you will explore the most popular part of the Siringet- Seronera.

The abundance of both predator and prey here will amaze you as you cover different habitats and geographical areas during your game drives.

Accommodation at Ole Serai Luxury Camp (Turner Springs) / Serengeti Kati Kati Tented Camp / similar

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

Day 19: Drive to Ngorongoro Crater – Karatu

After breakfast, you depart to the Ngorongoro Conservation area. En route, you may visit the Ol Dupai Gorge, the museum where archaeological collections by Louis and Mary Leakey are displayed in situ. This is an optional opportunity to learn about human evolution and the early man.

This afternoon, you descend down the steep walls of the caldera for game drives along the crater floor. Lions, Elephants (including huge bulls), Cheetah, Spotted Hyena, Black Rhino, Gnus, Jackals, Baboons, Buffalos, and Flamingos (on the crater lakes), Hippos, and even the rare Caracal are some of the animals you might spot here.

You will then proceed to Karatu along the Ngorongoro highlands where you enjoy your dinner and overnight stay.

 

Day 20: To Arusha Airport

You depart at Leisure for Arusha airport on a scheduled flight back home. This will mark the end of your Grand East Africa Safari holiday.

Meal Plan: Breakfast

 

Inclusions;

  • Transport in a 4WD vehicle with a pop-up roof.
  • All fuel for the tour
  • English-speaking driver/guide.
  • Accommodation and Meals on Full Board (Breakfast Lunch and Dinner)
  • Park-entrance fees for all National parks
  • All activities described in the itinerary
  • 1 Gorilla tracking permit per person.
  • 1 Chimpanzee tracking permit per person
  • Drinking water throughout the safari.

Exclusions;

  • International airfares
  • Entry visas
  • Meals that are not part of your accommodation.
  • A porter. Helps to carry your backpack & push/pull you on the slippery slopes.
  • Personal (medical/travel) insurance
  • Tips and gratuities to rangers, driver/guide, porter, hotel staff, etc.
  • All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities.)

 

This Grand East Africa Safari can be customized to your preferences, budget, and schedule. Here are other relevant safari packages that could inspire your trip some more.

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