Mountain Gorilla & Kenya Safari Summary
In the next 9 days of this itinerary, you will walk you through the tropical wilderness of Parc Des National Volcans where you will encounter, face to face, the giant but gentle gorillas to the expansive plain savannahs of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Reserve where your chances of encountering a lion are the highest in the world. Accommodation and transport are carefully arranged for avoiding common and frequented itineraries to offer a safari experience that is as close to nature as is possible.
Day 1: Nairobi
This is the official start of your Safari. A Private Guide Safaris guide will receive you at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. You will be driven to a comfortable lodge where you will rest while being served meals. You will then be transferred to Ruhengeri, a town that lies on the periphery of the Parc Des National Volcans National Park in Rwanda.
Day 2: Parc National Des Volcans
With the rare distinction of being the first ever national park in Africa, the park was established in 1925 as a conservation project for the severely endangered primate populations of the gorilla and golden monkeys. The two primate species are endemic to the Virunga mountain range that straddles the common borders of Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda.
The park is part of a primate habitat that also includes the Virunga National Park in the DR Congo and the Mgahinga National Park on the Ugandan side. Relatively small, it covers an estimated area of 130 sq. km. It is home to 5 of the 8 volcanoes that shape the landscape of the Virunga mountain range.
Day 3: Parc National Des Volcans – Gorilla Trekking
We are still in the Parc National Des Volcans. The day will see guests partaking in one of the park’s most popular attractions – Gorilla Trekking. This gorilla species is one of the animal world’s most endangered species. The day will involve a guided walk through the shady bamboo rainforest for a chance at encountering the silver back gorilla in its natural habitat.
There are four habituated groups of 7 to 33 that tourists can trek. Only 32 tourists are allowed for a day’s trekking. The plight of this remarkable ape was brought the attention of the world by the critically acclaimed 1983 documentary, “Gorillas in the Mist’” by Dian Fossey.
Day 4: Parc National Des Volcans – Golden Monkey Walk
The final day on the Rwanda leg of the safari is set aside for another activity involving the park’s other primate attraction. It is another trek through the shaded forest for the privileged chance at seeing the equally endangered primate species, the golden monkey. There are two groups, habituated for human encounters, the Kabatwa group to east on the edge of the Sabinyo volcano and the Musongo group on the flanks of the Karisimbi volcano that rises up to an altitude of 3000 metres. The theatre of the monkeys displaying their unfailing reflexes as they dance through the forest’s green canopy is an experience many will cherish for a long time.
Day 5: Kigali – Nairobi – Lake Naivasha
It’s the short flight from the Rwandan capital Kigali to Nairobi en route to the picturesque Lake Naivasha. The freshwater lake is situated just outside the Town of Naivasha, Nakuru County, west of Nairobi. Covering an area of 139 sq. km, the lake is fed by the Malewa and Gilgil rivers. The swamps that surround the lake and the islands that dot the lake support a rich ecosystem of wildlife that includes a sizeable population of hippos and over 500 bird species. There is also a range of water based sports that include fishing and canoeing.
Day 6: Maasai Mara
Separated only by a territorial border from Tanzania’s own wildlife treasure, the Serengeti National Park, the Maasai Mara Wildlife Reserve is part of a series of parks that form the world’s greatest concentration of wild animals. The reserve spans an area of 1 510 sq. km and is named after the area’s native Maasai people and the Mara river.
Day 7: Maasai Mara
The vast, rolling plains of the Maasai Mara offers a dream wildlife experience to safari goers. Guests on this privately guided safari will have the rare privilege of a guided foot walk through the savannahs for closer sightings of animals. The reserve’s wildlife attractions include the world’s greatest concentration of lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, elephants, buffaloes, and eland. You will also enjoy the trek through the well-trodden trail of the greatest animal migration on earth – the wildebeest migration cycle.
Day 8: Maasai Mara
The wildlife reserve model of the Maasai Mara labored to achieve the delicate balance of the Maasai people’s hunter gatherer traditions and the central government’s wildlife conservation policy that sought the establishment of an exclusive wildlife park on these lands. The Maasai people are fiercely protective of their rich culture and pastoral way of life. They refused to give up their centuries old traditions and native lands. The reserve now boasts of a unique land use system that mixes wildlife tourism and pastoral agriculture. This safari will offer you an opportunity to learn the Maasai culture and traditions.
Day 9: Nairobi
This will mark the end of the safari tour. You will now head to Nairobi for your arranged flight back home. We advise you to bring your best camera for you will surely want to carry some of the images back home with you. The carefully prepared itinerary and the private nature of the tours will make for an unforgettable safari experience.