Gorillas and The Great Migration

 

Daily Summary

Quite possibly the most famous wildlife reserves in the world, Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park offer breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and unrivaled game viewing all year round. From July to November, the area plays host to the spectacular Great Migration, when vast herds of wildebeest plunge across the Mara River which separates the two countries, on their quest for fresh grass, braving Nile crocodile in the rivers and hungry lion, cheetah and leopard on the other side.

Covering an area of around 1,500km, the Masai Mara National Reserve forms the northernmost part of the Greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. The spectacular Serengeti is located to the South and East of the Mara, comprising 15, 000km of savannah. These are the last areas on Earth where you can get a front-row seat to the Great Migration.
 In both areas you will be sure to see Africa’s Big Five – elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino – and also hosts high concentrations of big cats. This makes for spectacular predator/prey interactions; witnessing this heart-stopping wildlife action first-hand is visceral. Often used as a backdrop for some of television’s most exciting wildlife documentaries, the Masai Mara and the Serengeti are  high on most  safari wish lists and they most certainly won’t disappoint.

The trip concludes with Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, home to 340 of the 780 remaining mountain gorillas on earth. This area is also the location of the 20 years of renowned research work done by Diane Fossey on these giant primates. There are 10 habituated families within the Virunga Volcanoes and your guides will determine which specific family you will trek each day. Should you have two days' permits you will visit another family on day 2. No two encounters are ever the same!

Days 1-4:
Arrive Nairobi, Kenya- Transfer to Masai Mara

The typical day on safari will begin with an early wake up call followed by a light breakfast before jumping in the land rover to discover what animals are active in the cool morning temperatures. The morning safari will last 3-4 hours, depending on what you see and how long you wish to linger. The drive is interrupted by a short "bush bathroom" break and refreshments, coffee, tea and juice.
Upon returning to camp expect a hearty brunch or lunch after which you will have time to enjoy a siesta, look through and edit your photos, lounge in your room or common area before you are ready for the late afternoon drive to spot more wildlife and enjoy the scenery. Typically you will stop for a sundowner, to enjoy some refreshments as you watch the setting sun and listen to the nocturnal calls of animals. Dusk is an excellent time to see predators on the hunt and view animals typically hiding or sleeping during the day. Return to camp to refresh before dinner and share stories/ drinks around the campfire with your guides and fellow guests.
Enjoy games, music, and at times local entertainment, before retiring for sleep in your beautifully appointed tent or suite.
Afternoons or mornings can also be spent on walking safari (in private concessions) or arranging to visit a local Maasai village.

Days 5-7:
Serengeti, Tanzania

Today you will depart Kenya by light aircraft bound for Tanzania where you will process through immigration and customs on arrival. You will arrive at camp in time to enjoy lunch, relax and unwind before beginning your first safari in the afternoon.
The  typical day begins at dawn with an early wake up call, coffee and a small breakfast snack, followed by an early morning game drive that ensures you catch the tail end of the night exploits of nocturnal creatures and inspires you with the new day vigor of the bush, still veiled in dew. This is an essential three to four hour safari experience that ends in a lavish breakfast back at camp. The option of daily bush walks is offered by field guides. This serves to highlight those aspects of nature one may miss on a drive and expose you to the energy and excitement of being immersed in the environment. The excitement of another safari drive begins again after afternoon tea when the intensity of the African heat begins to subside. This game drive coincides with the close of business for daytime game and the emerging routines of nocturnal beasts on the prowl. There is nothing quite as enthralling as pursuing the hunt of the big cats. The excitement of each drive is interrupted by refreshment breaks, to accommodate any call of the wild and revitalize you with a sundown cocktail. In private concessions guests can opt to continue with a night game drive before or after dinner.

Days 8: 
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Today you will enjoy your morning game drive followed by lunch in camp before departing for the Kogatende airstrip for your flight onward to Kigali. On arrival in Kigali you'll be met by our partners who will assist you with customs and immigration clearance (while you enjoy a cup of coffee at the VIP lounge). Thereafter you will transfer with your driver/guide to the Volcanoes National Park where you will settle in for an evening at leisure.

Day 9-10:
Gorilla Tracking

After an early morning breakfast you will meet your guide for a short drive to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters to check-in for your gorilla tracking. An absolute experience of a lifetime and sure to be a highlight of your trip will be your encounters with these mystical creatures.
You will be in a group of no more then 8 fellow visitors, plus guides, trackers and porters as you embark on your trek. Tracking times will vary based on the movements of the gorillas and can range from a simple 20 minute walk to more then two hours of hiking. Once your expert tracker has located the family of gorillas you will have one hour to spend photographing and enjoying this close encounter with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Return to your lodge for lunch after the trek followed by a nature walk. 

Day 11:
Depart For Home

Private Transfer to Airport and Assistance with VIP Check In

 

Pricing and Accommodation

Accommodations

Kenya

This itinerary includes a luxury tented camp, a striking combination of contemporary style and comfort, in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. The camp is hidden in a grove of riverine woodland on the banks of the Talek River and consists of sweeping pale canvas tents, king-sized beds made from local fig-wood, wide sofas furnished with bolster cushions, and wool rugs - a luxurious base from which to explore the Mara. The camp has 12 total tents, including 7 luxury tents, 2 suites and 3 large double tents.

Tanzania

Hillside suites, intimate, contemporary and elegant, are set on the untouched plains of the Northern Serengeti. The camp is perfectly located near the famous Lamai Wedge migration route with easy access to several migration crossing points along the Mara River. The camp consists of 15 tented suites (including 1 honeymoon suite), with private decked verandahs. Guests can enjoy the infinity swimming pool, walking safaris, as well as community and cultural visits. Wifi is available throughout the camp and spa services can be arranged.

 Rwanda

This Lodge is situated in the foothills of the mighty Virungas – the chain of 15,000 ft. volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – affords wonderful views of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside. It is the perfect base from which to explore this unique and fascinating corner of Africa.

Accommodations comprised of six cottages, two suites and one family cottage built of stone with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs. Each cottage features a large sitting area

 and a  fireplace.

Pricing

2020 est. $16,000 per person, full board,

including 2 days of Goriila permits. ($1500 per person per day), Double Occupancy. Excludes International Flights. Final pricing on customized proposal.

 
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Image by bill wegener
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Image by Jorge Tung
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