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20 Days Budget Safari in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda

  • Nairobi - Maasai Mara - Naivasha - Nakuru - Jinja - Kalinzu Forest - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Kisoro - Musanze - Kigali

Unforgettable Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya Safari

Pack your bag and join Absolute Africa for this amazing 20-day safari in three famous safari destination countries in Africa. Visit the best game parks in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda - The Masai Mara, the mountain gorillas, Nakuru, Queen Elizabeth, and Hells Gate National Park. Watch the spectacular scenes across the savannah plains of the Mara and into The Rift Valley, across both freshwater and soda lakes, and into Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. Experience the most amazing journey of your lifetime!

Highlights

  • Big Five viewing
  • Maasai village visit
  • Mountain gorilla trekking
  • Game cruise and game drives
  • 17 breakfasts & 16 dinners
  • 19 nights’ lodging
  • 19 activity days
  • English
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During the safari, you will be camping for 17 nights and stay at a dorm for 2 nights.

Day 1: Nairobi, Kenya

Your safari will start with a visit to Sheldrick’s Orphanage to enjoy time with the elephant and rhino calves during the play and feeding sessions. The orphanage is especially famous for perfecting the husbandry techniques to keep vulnerable orphaned elephants alive. You will also visit the Giraffe Park and have the departure meeting. A fun evening out in one of Nairobi’s famous restaurants will follow. It’s early to bed in preparation for an early start tomorrow.

Day 2: Nairobi to Maasai Mara

Today the adventure will truly begin as you will head towards some of the best game parks East Africa has to offer. You will travel via the Great Rift Valley where you will get magnificent panoramic views of the Kenyan countryside. Approaching the Maasai Mara all eyes start scanning the landscape for wildlife. The Mara rarely fails to please with lion, cheetah, hyena, zebra, giraffe, elephant, hippo, crocodile, gazelle and warthog all regulars. In the evening, you will camp in the wild.

Days 3 - 4: Maasai Mara to Naivasha

You will rise early so you can enjoy further game drives. You can also enjoy a dawn balloon safari as well. A visit to a Maasai village is also arranged where you can watch a traditional jumping dance before being shown around the village to learn a little about traditional ways. Then you will be on your way to Lake Naivasha. Arriving at the lake, you can chill out with the black and white colobus monkeys and take high tea on the lawns at Elsamere, the home of Joy Adamson. You will camp near the lakeshore where the grunts of hippos punctuate the night. The following day will be a cycling safari in Hells Gate National Park, which is a great opportunity to stretch your legs and get some exercise in the wilds of Africa amidst zebra, gazelle, eland, and impala and the clear evidence of past volcanic activity. A visit to the Maasai Cultural Centre deep in the Park also gives further insight into the Maasai people. Guided walks to the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary are an alternative for today, and a hippo cruise can also be arranged to really enjoy the wildlife of the lake.

Days 5 - 6: Naivasha to Nakuru

Today you will head further up the country to camp near Nakuru National Park. The following day is spent in the Park. Game drives in Lake Nakuru National Park will take you through acacia forests, grasslands, and candelabra euphorbia stands. There is the chance to see both black and white rhino, zebra, giraffe, eland and, with a little luck, lion, and leopard. The soda lake can be pink with greater and lesser flamingo.

Days 7 - 8: Nakuru to Jinja, Uganda

In the morning, you will drop into Nakuru town to have a look around and do some shopping, then you will drive on past Eldoret to Raj’s campsite, which has the most amazing bar. The next day you will cross into Uganda and arrive in Jinja, where you will camp for a few days by the White Nile, just downstream from the Source of the Nile.

Days 9 - 11: Jinja

After several days on the road, you will enjoy a welcome break from traveling. Here you can enjoy many activities whilst get to know your fellow travelers. Or, you can do some volunteering at one of the community projects in the local villages.

Days 12 - 13: Jinja to Kalinzu Forest

Leaving Jinja, you will travel via Kampala to the campsite in Entebbe near Lake Victoria. You will relax in the evening around a campfire and can enjoy a visit to the local sports bar. The next day, you will leave the shores of Lake Victoria and head into the lush countryside of Uganda. You will stop at a local drum and craft market. Roadside stalls sell fresh rotisserie meat such as ‘chix on sticks’, and at the Equator stop, there is time for a photo shoot. You will camp near the hillside forest of Kalinzu on the edge of the Rift Valley and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Day 14: Kalinzu to Queen Elizabeth National Park

The option of early morning chimpanzee trekking is scheduled for this morning. You will head out into the Kalinzu Forest in search of these habituated chimpanzees. From there you will drive on to Queen Elizabeth National Park for an afternoon game cruise on the Kazinga Channel to sit back and enjoy the company of hippo from the safety of a boat. There will be also buffalo for a company and the occasional Nile crocodile lying disarmingly motionless nearby, blending into the surroundings. Watch kingfishers diving behind us to catch small fish disorientated by the slowly passing boat. There is also elephant, lion, hyena, and leopard in the park.

Day 15: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kisoro

This morning, you will head in again into the park for an early morning game drive where hopefully you will find some surprises in amongst the bushes. The park is a haven for around 600 species of bird and the thousands of migratory Ugandan Kob. Then you will make your way to Kisoro, passing through Kabale to stock up.

Days 16 - 17: Kisoro

You are now in the land of the critically endangered mountain gorilla. A village tour to visit a Batwa or Pygmy village can also be organized in Kisoro. You will spend the next few nights at the hostel in the border town of Kisoro which is surrounded by the Virunga Mountains. At altitudes of up to 3,500 feet gorilla trekking through dense vegetation on the volcanic slopes of the Virungas, is one of the trip’s high points. The gorillas are magic to visit. Herbivores, who munch the day away, when they are not playing or sleeping, they live in family groups under the charge of an older dominant male. Known as the silverback, this adult male can weigh up to 350 lbs. Despite their size, the gorillas are shy, gentle and sensitive creatures, in great danger of extinction.

Day 18: Kisoro to Musanze, Rwanda

Today you will leave the beautiful scenery of Uganda and into Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. A country that has had a turbulent history but has now moved rapidly forward in an attempt to put their past behind them. You will spend the night just across the border. In the afternoon, there will be an option to learn how to make banana beer and do basket weaving.

Day 19: Musanze to Kigali

You will make your way to Kigali through the pretty scenery and honor Rwanda’s past by visiting the Genocide Memorial in the capital Kigali. You will spend your last night in this very European style city.

Day 20: Kigali

Day 20 is the departure day for you to get back home.

During your safari, you will visit Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Naivasha, Nakuru, Jinja, Kalinzu Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kisoro, Musanze, and Kigali.

  • Bungee jumping
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Quad biking
  • Rafting
  • Swimming
  • Village walking
  • 16 dinners
  • 17 breakfasts
  • 19 nights’ accommodation
  • Driver and safari leader service
  • Fully equipped expedition truck
  • Game parks fees
  • Local payment
  • Road tolls
  • The use of camping gears
  • Visa
  • Personal expenses
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Phoebe Katherine
    10 out of 10

    "I did the gorilla trek from Nairobi to Kigali in August followed by the southern Explorer from Lusaka, Zambia to Capetown from September to October. I would (and have) highly recommended absolute africa to friends and family. Highlights were Namibia, especially etosha national park, Victoria falls and hot air ballooning in the Masai Mara. I was lucky enough to have two amazing guides, Phillippa and Kanyo, who were both friendly, fun, relaxed but capable and organised."

    "The overland trucks are a great way to see Africa, as they are great value and it takes away the stress of having to trouble shoot in Africa where things are not always easy. Maybe because of the location the tour attracts considerate, interesting and fun people and I was lucky to have two great groups. The age range was between early 20s to late 50s."

    "I was worried about getting cabin fever after 50 days on the truck but it was not an issue as you get used to truck life and approx every week the truck spends afew days at major locations like Vic falls, Swakopmund to give a break from the truck. Being able to choose your own activities means you can be independent and you don't feel like you are being herded around.I loved it and could not recommend more, so much so, I think this is the first time ever I have written a review!"

    Absolute Africa Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Pam Lawson
    9 out of 10

    "We did the East African Encounter from Nairobi on the 2nd of October, and we loved every minute of it. Joe (our guide) and Patrick (our driver) were a great team. Patrick taught me some Swahili, helped with our tents, was always smiling and friendly. His driving was also amazing, I was amazed at how he maneuvered the truck over some very treacherous roads and tight spaces. And the truck was definitely his "baby" that he looked after. Joe kept us informed, well fed and organized. He is full of local knowledge and shared it with us each evening. We always knew what was in store for the next day, and that "wiffy" and hot showers were never guaranteed. For those in the group that were not confident at cooking, he and Patrick were happy to lend a hand. During the safaris, their spotting skills were legendary. Even though we joined the main group towards the end of their trip, we felt included immediately. I would recommend Absolute Africa to anyone who wants experience more of the real Africa."

    Absolute Africa Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Steve Young
    9 out of 10

    "After a few days of leisure in Nairobi, I joined the 73-day Absolute Safari in February 2016 which was followed by a 10-day Garden Route add-on and Kruger add-on. Quite literally the most awesome adventure I have ever been on. Every single thing I read about before leaving for the trip was even more amazing in real life. I was lucky enough to have traveled with the most amazing human beings I have ever met. It was the perfect group, including our guides and drivers (Kanyo, Joe, Patrick, and Mugo) who were all great and went well above and beyond during our time spent with them, they are truly a special team. I am sure I will travel with them again at some point in the future and cannot thank them enough for such an amazing experience. Thanks to Jen and Natasja for answering my never-ending list of questions. If you are thinking about taking this trip then do not hesitate, it will change your life. All I can say is visit their website, get inspired, and just do it! I have made friends for life from all over the world as well as locals in Africa. This is not an experience to be missed and these memories will stay with me forever!"

    Absolute Africa Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Carl Whittaker
    9 out of 10

    "Incredible trip. We did the gorilla trek from Nairobi through to Kigali and couldn't recommend it enough. So many highlights from just a 20-day trip. Kanyo and hezzy, our guide and driver, were both awesome the whole way through so thanks to them. The food was amazing and portion sizes were big enough to satisfy anyone. They even catered for veggies and celiacs on the trip meaning at times there were three separate meals being prepared. I would recommend these guys to anyone!"

    Absolute Africa Facebook page, edited