From the wilds of the Masai Mara, to gorillas in Uganda, safari in the Serengeti and down into the Ngorongoro crater. Then top off your African adventure with a taste of the tropics on the beautiful island of Zanzibar.
Nairobi - Masai Mara. Heading west from Nairobi on day 2, we reach possibly Kenya’s most famous natural attraction - the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Kenyan section of the wildly beautiful Serengeti Plains teems with wildlife. The highlight of the Mara is no doubt the annual wildebeest migration, when literally millions of these beasts plus zebra and Thomson’s gazelle stray north from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania in search of lush grass on the savannah plains. Elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe and a multitude of hooved herbivores also inhabit the reserve. A game drive through the Mara on day 3 gives us the chance to spot the Big Five. During our stay we can also opt to visit a local Masai tribe.
Overnight: Masai Mara | Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Eldoret & Kampala
Masai Mara - Eldoret. Leaving the Masai Mara early today, we head out of Masai Land and pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on our way to Eldoret - our stop for the night.
Overnight: Eldoret | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lake Bunyoni & Gorilla Trekking
Kampala - Lake Bunyoni. From Kampala we drive to Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, which is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, we trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda.
We depart from our base in Bunyoni in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size. We wind our way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa en-route to the National Park. Dependant on where permits are available, we may spend a night in Kisoro en route. The following morning, after packing our picnic lunch, we are transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of our genes (and therefore able to catch our diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. You will have plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide you with a background to the family you are visiting. Once your hour is up, you trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point where you will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite.
Overnight: Lake Bunyoni | Breakfast x 4, Lunch x 4, Dinner x 4
Lake Bunyoni - Kampala. After marvelling at the experience of our gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, we begin our drive back to Kampala. We cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. We overnight in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its night life!
Overnight: Kampala | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kampala - Jinja. Today we have the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or heading to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or visiting a volunteer and community project.
Overnight: Jinja | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Jinja – Lake Nakuru (Kenya). Departing early, we head back to Kenya and spend the night outside Nakuru at a lovely campsite on a local farm. Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to a veritable array of wildlife. The park supports a population of black rhino, lion, leopard, zebra, antelope and giraffe. The lake itself is a shallow soda lake.
On day 13 we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park. The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. We spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way.
Overnight: Lake Nakuru | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Nakuru – Naivasha. Today we head to Lake Naivasha arriving in the late afternoon. Lake Naivasha, is home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. We spend the day enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere (former home to Joy & George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.
Overnight: Lake Naivasha | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nairobi - Arusha (Tanzania). Leaving Nairobi, we cross the border into Tanzania. We set up camp in a Meserani, on the outsirts of Arusha - the starting point for the 3 day excursion to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.
The Ngorongoro/Serengeti excursion takes us via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu. The following morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino.
Overnight: Karatu (1) Serengeti (1) Arusha (1) | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 4, Dinner x 4
Arusha - Pangani. We return to Arusha before continuing on towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. We may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed!
Overnight: Pangani | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar. A ferry from Dar Es Salaam takes us to ‘Spice Island’, where we spend the next three nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and offers a wealth of experiences. Wander the streets of Stone Town, take an excursion around a spice plantation or simply laze on one of the pristine white sandy beaches, the choice is yours!
Overnight: Zanzibar | Breakfast x 1
Zanzibar - Dar es Salaam. Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon we take the ferry back to Dar es Salaam. On arrival, where we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!
GORILLA TREKKING PERMITS
Please note: Uganda Gorilla trekking permits need to be purchased in advance, and are subject to availability. Due to the limited availability of the trekking permits, we are unable to guarantee your permit upon receipt of payment. Should we be unable to obtain your permit you will receive a full refund. Please click here for further details on Gorilla permits.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. Single travellers will be paired up in tents with another person of the same gender.
Local payment - 2019 - $1800pp, paid in USD. 2020 - $1850pp, paid in USD
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Kenya Comfort Hotel, Nairobi
Comfortable dormitory accommodation in central Nairobi (upgrades available on request). The Kenya Comfort Hotel also features an outdoor pool, restaurant serving a good array of local and international dishes as well as a fully stocked bar - perfect for relaxing before or after your epic overland adventure.
Wildebeest Eco Camp, Nairobi
Wildebeest Eco Camp is a distinctive starting point from which to explore Nairobi and beyond. The camp offers a shaded campsite for budget travellers, or luxury ensuite tents for those looking to splurge a little on their safari experience. Located in the vibrant Langata area, Nairobi National Park and the Galleria Shopping Centre are among the attractions just 10 minutes' drive away. After a long day of travelling, indulgences such as an infinity pool and guest library are available, as are free Wi-fi and laundry service.
Naiberi River Campsite & Resort, Eldoret
Camp by the river Naiberi at this vintage resort 16km from Eldoret, which also offers spacious dorms, log cabins, and executive rooms built into the valley slopes. During the day, admire the wildlife, with a variety of local nature trails offering the chance to encounter over 250 bird species. At night, venture down to the famous cave restaurant and enjoy a meal within the stone walls, believed to have once housed members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Other amenities include an outdoor pool and extensive bar selection.
Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala
Located on a purpose-built, 5-acre site in a peaceful suburb, the Red Chilli Hideaway offers affordable accommodation ranging from a campsite which we use for our overland safaris to private ensuite rooms for upgrades. Settle down for the day at the Hideaway's saltwater pool, self-catering kitchen, or restaurant & bar. The camp supports sustainable tourism and operates the Steve Willis Memorial Fund, whose proceeds go to providing clean drinking water in the Murchison Falls region.
Kipepeo Village , Dar es Salaam
The Tanzanian bush meets the blue waters of the Indian Ocean at Kipepeo Beach & Village, situated on the south coast of Dar Es Salaam. The campsite is right on the beach itself and is a popular destination for watersports adventures or simple relaxation. Facilities include a beach bar and restaurant.Upgrades are available to the twenty elevated ensuite chalets, built in the bush and decorated in traditional Swahili style, provide a stunning ocean views.
Extra Tour Info
Tour was amazing. The truck could have been more comfortable, & we had some really long driving days in heat but I would not have missed it. We had a really good, accommodating chef who we called John. The food that he produced no matter what time we arrived at our destination was very good, very healthy, fresh & substantial. My Husband has coeliac disease, & is therefore gluten intolerant & he tried hard to accommodate this. We had so many experiences, saw so many animals including a cheetah, leopard, black & white rhino, it was quite unforgettable. The holiday was a lot more expensive than I originally thought as there are so many add-ons which in my opinion can't be missed & I feel that this hides the true cost of the holiday. The Guide was helpful & knowledgeable.”