East Africa and Gorillas (Camping)offered by supplier M20305 (read about supplier)
Tour Duration: 35 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 18 people
Destination(s): Zambia Uganda
Specialty Categories: Sightseeing Wildlife Viewing
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 20600 South Africa Rand (ZAR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 29200 South Africa Rand (ZAR)
Day 1: Lusaka.
Leaving behind the natural wonder of Victoria Falls we begin our expedition. After Livingstone we journey towards the bustling Zambian capital of Lusaka. You will notice the vegetation becoming sub-tropical and the roads a little rougher. Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Day 2: Chipata.
Today is a long drive through lush country, crossing rivers en-route to Chipata, the gateway to the South Luangwa NP. Zambia is truly African and an adjustment from the more Western ways of Southern Africa. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: South Luangwa National Park.
Early in the morning we drive from Chipata to the border of the South Luangwa National Park where we spend the next two nights right on the banks of the Luangwa River. You can often see hippos and other animals from the camp bar. This afternoon we enjoy a sunset game drive in the South Luangwa NP. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 4: South Luangwa National Park.
In the morning you have the opportunity to take another game drive. The park is known for its high concentration of leopards and hippos. After lunch we visit the community run tribal textile project and a local village. Optional Activities: Morning Game Drive, Game Walk inside park. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 5: Lilongwe.
Today we visit the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only sanctuary for rescued, orphaned and injured wild animals. The Centre is set in 180 hectares of beautiful woodland, Lilongwe’s only protected wilderness. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 6-7: Kande Beach.
This morning we have the opportunity to participate in a 2 hour city tour, before we take a scenic drive to Kande beach. We will spend the next 2 days enjoying the many optional activities available, such as horse riding and different water sports. We will go on a guided village walk in order to meet the local people and learn more about Malawian life. Optional Activities: Scuba diving, snorkeling etc. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 8: Lake Malawi - Chitimba.
We travel further north and spend our last day in Malawi at Chitimba beach. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 9: Tanzania - Iringa.
Today we leave Malawi and enter Tanzania. We ascend out of the Great Rift Valley through some spectacular mountain passes, passing vast tea plantations in the highlands before arriving at our camp outside Iringa. This evening our dinner is in a local Masai Hut where we enjoy a traditional Tanzanian evening. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 10: Mikumi.
We leave Iringa today and head north to the Mikumi National Park. Mikumi is home to lion, zebra, wildebeest, impala, buffalo and elephant and today we have the opportunity to enjoy an optional afternoon game drive through the park. Optional Activities: Afternoon game drive in Mikumi NP. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Dar es Salaam.
Our journey today brings us out of the cool highland region to the humid Indian ocean coastal city of Dar es Salaam. Meaning ‘house of peace’ in Arabic, Dar es Salaam is the economic and trade capital of Tanzania, but inland Dodoma remains the official capital city. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Days 12-14: Zanzibar.
A local ferry will take us from Dar es Salaam (where we leave the truck) to Zanzibar. We take a transfer to the northern part of the island where we will spend our time relaxing on the beach. On the 3rd day, we head south to Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, where we will spend the night. Here we have time exploring the historical and unique architecture. There are also spice and seafood markets to be explored. Optional Activities: Lunch and Dinner, Motorbike hire, Spice tour, Walking city tour, Swimming with Dolphins, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling etc. Meals: Breakfast x 3.
Day 15: Lushoto.
Today we leave Zanzibar and catch a ferry back to Dar es Salaam and return to our truck. We continue on to Lushoto, the major town and district centre, albeit small, in the Usambara Mountains, halfway between the coast and the parks. The popular pot plant Saintpaulia has its only wild occurrences in Tanzania, and particularly in the Usambara Mts. Here you will have the chance to hike in the surrounding area, or just relax. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.
Day 16: Karatu.
Today we take a scenic drive via Arusha to the picturesque town of Karatu. The area’s cool climate, verdant hills, and pleasing views made it popular with settlers and farmers. Vast and extensive fields cover the slopes of the volcano and the lands around Karatu town. Karatu is also a stone’s throw away from the world famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 17-19: Serengeti and Ngorongoro Excursion.
These 4 days are set aside for the optional 3-night camping excursion into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. This area has one of the most densely inhabited large animal populations in Africa. On the first day from Karatu to Ngorongoro, there will be time for visiting the Oldupai gorge and museum.
The Serengeti excursion is in open topped 4x4 safari vehicles in order to tackle the challenging side roads in the parks. For those not going to the parks, take this chance to absorb some of the fascinating local culture. Optional Activities for those not doing the Serengeti Excursion: Various Serengeti & Ngorongoro Excursion packages, Lake Manyara game drives, day hiking & village tours and many more various day trips. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 20: Arusha.
Today the group meets up again and we have the chance to exchange stories of the various adventures that we participated in over the past few days. In the afternoon we visit the local Masai Mara Museum and Snake Park in Arusha. Optional Activities: camel ride to local Masaai village. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 21: Kenya - Nairobi.
After crossing the border into Kenya we continue to travel towards Nairobi. Most people choose to go out for a group meal at one of Nairobi’s excellent restaurants. Optional Activities: Dinner out. Meals:Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 22: Lake Naivasha.
Today, will meander inland to Lake Naivasha for a relaxing day on the lakeshore. You can go hiking in the area and activities include game and bird watching. One of the more popular optional activities is to go game viewing from a bicycle. An alternative way to spend your 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, Boat Cruise. Meals: Lunch, Dinner.
Day 23: Masai Mara.
Our day begins with a game drive through Hell’s Gate National Park, before we enter the huge area of spectacular game viewing to photograph some of Africa’s most abundant wildlife, the Masai Mara. The Masai Mara is known as Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserve, famous for the abundance of lion, the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Masaai people, well known for their distinctive custom and dress, it is without a doubt Africa’s most famous safari destination. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 24: Lake Nakuru.
Leaving the Masai Mara, we travel north to Lake Nakuru where we will spend the afternoon game driving. Originally created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru was upgraded to National Park status in 1968. White rhino inhabit the transitional Savannah area surrounding the lake, with excellent photographic opportunities. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 25: Uganda - Kampala.
Leaving Lake Nakuru we drive to the Uganda border, and then stop for a photo at the equator. Later we arrive in Uganda’s capital and largest city, Kampala. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 26: Kampala / Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Although officially this day is set aside for everyone to explore Kampala, most people take an optional day trip to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary of Ngamba Island. This non-profit Eco-friendly project was set up in 1998 to care for orphaned chimpanzees. Optional Activities: Ngamba Chimpanzee Excursion, Kampala Markets, Dinner Out. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 27: Lake Bunyonyi.
Lake Bunyonyi is a small but attractive lake with steep sides and abundant birdlife. Ringed by mountains, the lake is best known for its dense Otter population and stunning scenery. We make use of this beautiful spot to relax the night before the final drive to the gorillas. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Days 28-30: Gorillas.
The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only around 650 left. Visiting the gorillas 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 gorillas 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 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 DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Whenever possible we choose to make use of the National Park in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits. Should we not obtain permits to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Please note: Although there are 3-days allocated to Gorilla Trekking you will only spend one-day on the trek. The other days are there to provide a large enough window in which to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to trek if there are more than 6 of you on the tour.
Day 31: Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Many game species are to be found in this wetland park including the (elsewhere elusive) giant forest hog, and the legendary tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha Sector. Optional Activities: Kasinga Channel Sunset Cruise. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Days 32-33: Jinja.
The morning is spent on further game viewing and this afternoon we travel to Jinja. 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. Optional Activities: White Water Rafting. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 34: Kenya - Eldoret.
Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the country’s 5th largest city. The Great Rift Valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region and the altitude at Eldoret is 2100 metres above sea level. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 35: Nairobi.
Returning to Nairobi, the largest city in the East Africa region, there’s an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details. Optional Activities: Meal out in Nairobi. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
NB: The itinerary is flexible and can be changed without notice in order to accommodate the best possible viewing of the Gorillas. The Permit price to visit the Gorillas can also change without notice.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Registered guides and transport.
- All items of a personal nature
- Snacks and souvenirs
- Optional activities.
Note: It is advisable that this tour is bought with the Activity Package. This is an optional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. Ideally we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this. This payment is 100% transparent and is listed below. The Activity Package can be pre-purchased prior to your arrival or through your guide on day 1 of your tour. The itinerary has been written with the inclusion of the Activity Package items.
Total activity package cost: R8600
Gorilla permit – USD505 – USD605
The cost of a permit to visit the Gorillas is currently as above. Please check actual amount with us closer to departure. You will be pre-invoiced for this non-refundable amount.
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Joined InfoHub: May 2010
M20305 is one of the largest adventure tour companies in Africa. We are bonded members of SATSA and have an impeccable client satisfaction record. To date we have carried 42 500 clients (and counting) and traveled more than 16-million kilometers. We have about 120 full time staff (including our guides) and our tours...