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Fly to Africa and feel the nature! This safari will allow you to visit 2 different countries in Africa that are famous for their great safari sites. During this safari, you will have a valuable opportunity to see several animals including black and white rhinos, flamingos, leopards, hippos, and so on. For your accommodation, you will camp in every chosen place so that you will feel the nature to the fullest. Don't hesitate and pack your bag now!
Your accommodations during this safari will be a camp on every chosen spot.
The mountain gorilla (Gorilla Berengei), of which there are still only about 700 remaining, is one of the closest living relatives. A visit to these gentle giants in their natural environment will be a unique and wonderful experience, one you’ll never forget. The park rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are.
However, they are free roaming animals and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. As the gorillas share much of human's DNA, anyone with even the slightest cold or transferable illness will not be permitted to trek. Trekking is also only open to people over 16 years old.
On this trip, you will depart from Kampala early on Thursday morning. After an early morning departure from Kampala, you will drive west into the depths of Uganda to your base at the tranquil Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place.
Dependant on where trekking permits are available, you will trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Cong, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice. Currently, they are priced at 600 USD.
There will be a local transport and handling fee of 120 USD per person (this covers the return public transfer and the Wildlife Authority’s booking fee). For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda, you will also have to purchase an additional visa to enter either country.
Due to the restrictions on the daily numbers of visitors to these incredible animals, you will depart from your base in Bunyonyi in small groups over 3 to 4 days depending on the group size. You will wind your way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa en-route to the National Park. Dependant on where permits are available, you may spend a night in either Kisoro or Rwanda.
In the following morning, after packing your picnic lunch, you will be 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 (not including transfer time) and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.
To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of human's genes (and therefore able to catch human's 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 will trek back out of the rain forest to your meeting point where you will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni resort.
Depending on where the trek will take place, you may also pass through some of the local villages that have settled in this region due to the high number of refugees fleeing from the Rwandan Genocide or from the continued unrest in the DRC. The villagers in this area are mostly subsistence farmers and families that farm against the slopes of the volcanoes. It is impressive to see how they have plowed, planted, and harvested their crops in such an unlikely landscape.
After marveling at the experience of the gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, you will begin your drive back to Kampala. You will cross the Equator for the second time and stop for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. You will spend an overnight stay in Kampala and have the opportunity to sample its nightlife.
Today, you will have the option to visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or head 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. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area.
Departing early, you will head back to Kenya, stopping for lunch and supplies en-route. You will spend an overnight stay outside Nakuru at 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.
This morning, you begin your exploration at the Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake’s edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level and when it’s low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight! The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhinos which are often seen.
You will spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard encountering buffalos, giraffes, various antelopes, and the occasional hippopotamuses along the way. After your game drive, you'll head to your camp, arriving in the late afternoon.
Lake Naivasha is home to a multitude of bird life. You will spend the day enjoying optional excursions like Elsamere visit, a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary, or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.
After having breakfast, you will head back to Nairobi usually arriving by late morning or early afternoon. upon arrival, you will exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime. The rest of the day will be yours at leisure to enjoy some of the many options available in this bustling city. The options include a visit to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where you can view the orphaned baby Elephants at feeding time and a visit to the Giraffe Centre in Langata.
All of the tours operated by Africa Travel Co are participation trips meaning that all passengers are expected to help out around camp. The crew members running the trip will set up a rota system that will be followed. One day, you may be on cleaning duty, the next day you may be on cooking duty, and so forth. This is not only to make the trip easier for all involved but also for you as the passengers to get to know one another while on the trip.
Your overland vehicles are custom built converted Mercedes-Benz or MAN trucks that have seating space for passengers and a storage area for luggage and all trip equipment. The trucks sit between 27 to 30 passengers on camping trips. Most seats are forward facing, though some models have a combination of forward, backward, and some inward facing seats with tables. Vehicles have sliding glass windows and the seating area is raised providing a great advantage for game viewing and photography. Seats are cushioned and there is storage space for personal items like cameras, snacks, and day packs in the seating area.
Lake Bunyonyi is a body of water 7 kilometers west from Kabale Town, southwestern Uganda. It is 25-kilometer long and 7-kilometer wide covering an area of 61 square kilometers. The lake's altitude is 1,950 meters and it is surrounded by hills that are 2,200 to 2,478-meter high and intensely cultivated. Its 29 islands are concentrated in the central part. These islands have few settlements. They are mostly used for tourist facilities and for a secondary and primary school. The data on the lake's maximum depth varies from 44 to 900 meters in parts.
Nakuru in Kiswahili means "Waterbuck Haven". Lake Nakuru National Park, close to Nakuru town, was established in 1961. It started off small, only encompassing the famous lake and the surrounding mountainous vicinity. Now, it has been extended to include a large part of the savannahs. It has unusual but beautiful vegetation. The forest vegetation is covered with Euphorbia, tall cactus like trees, and acacia woodland. The forest region is a host to over 400 migratory bird species from around the world.
Great Rift Valley, mostly known in Kenya as the East African Rift Valley, was formed between 2 and 7 million years ago. It is the longest rift on the surface of the earth. The Rift Valley starts all the way from Jordan in the Middle-East, runs through Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo, as well as Malawi, and ends near the coastal town of Solada in Mozambique. The amazing quality about the Rift Valley is that once it reaches the Kenyan border, it diverges into 2 rifts which later converge near Lake Rukwa in southern Tanzania.
Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake fringed by thick papyrus. The lake is almost 13 kilometers in diameter but its waters are shallow with an average depth of 5 meters. The highest of the Rift Valley lakes, Naivasha lies at approximately 1,880 meters above the sea level. At the beginning of the 20th century, Naivasha completely dried up and effectively disappeared. The resulting open land was farmed until heavy rains a few years later caused the lake to return to existence, swallowing up the newly established estates.
Meals and menu will vary as food is purchased en-route and subject to produce that is available seasonally in the areas you will travel through. As Africa Travel Co supports the local communities along the way, fresh produce is mostly purchased directly from the producer or local grower and therefore has an organic appearance. Your safari cooks will be able to offer a wide variety of menus with the ingredients available.
The breakfast spread will consist of bread (toast when time allows), spreads and cereals with a hot breakfast every few days. Lunches will be mostly prepared en-route with a supply of ‘build your own’ sandwich ingredients available. Dinners will be cooked in the evenings upon arrival at the campsite. A wide array of dinner menus is on offer during your safari consisting of curries, stews, kinds of pasta, barbecues and even roasts.