18 Days East African Safari Holiday (1 Free Gorilla Permit)

18 Days safari begins from Entebbe airport and ends in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. It takes visitors to the most famous and magnificent destinations in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. These include; city tours, famous east African National parks presenting amazing launch trips on rivers and lakes, the Big 5 African mammals, endangered mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and chimpanzees and the abundant flora. 18 days East Africa safari also presents the magical great wildebeest migration in Tanzania and Kenya, the iconic cultural experiences and pure adventure.

18 Days East African Safari Holiday

18 Days East African Adventure Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival & Hotel Transfer

Welcome to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa! Upon arrival, the guide will pick you up from Entebbe airport, meet and greet and drive to your pre-booked hotel in Entebbe / Kampala. Time permitting, have a short excursion in the bustling city of Kampala and admire the spectacular spots and destinations that make up Kampala, including historic monuments, shopping malls, museum, craft markets, ancient buildings, artifacts, the people, food etc. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

This morning, depart Kampala town Murchison falls National Park via Kachumbanyobo gate. Enroute visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a three-hour drive from Kampala and about 1.5 hours from Murchison falls national park, along the Masindi – Kampala highway. While you track the rhinos, look out for other animals like bushbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, oribi and several other wildlife present in the ranch.

The sanctuary has abundant bird life, including the elusive shoebill stork that can be sighted on a canoe in Lugogo wetlands. Retire from the Rhino tracking excursion, have lunch at Amuka lodge or Kabalega diners. Continue on a drive to Uganda’s biggest national park, Murchison falls national park for dinner and night stay at the lodge.

Day 3: Game Drive & Boat Cruise

An early rise up to commence a lovely sunrise game drive in Murchison’s plain landscapes. Here you have endless opportunities to to meet early risers and nocturnal as they return to their hideouts. This national park is also home to a varied number of animal species, and tourists usually have endless chances of sighting the park’s permanent and migratory residents like buffaloes, antelopes,elephants, jackals, waterbucks, giraffes, big cats like lions, leopards, etc.

Bird lovers are never left out in Murchison falls National park, as there is a cock tail of different species of birds including the rare, endangered species like shoe bill stork, migratory species and the residents such as black chested snake eagle, secretary bird, etc.

After lunch, go for a 3-4 hour afternoon boat cruise along the Victoria Nile, between the raging Murchison falls and the Albert delta. This launch trip takes one to where there are various species of birds, lined up on the shores, both endemic and migratory populations, mammals like buffaloes, elephants,etc, big cats and reptile species like crocodiles. After this boat trip, either choose to hike to top of the falls or return to the Paraa jetty and drive back  to your place of accommodation for relaxation.

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park

Leave Murchison falls national park after breakfast, and head southwards to the iconic Kibale national park. Traverse the curved landscapes of the western region, with unmatched views of the Albertine escarpments. Cross undulating plantations of sugar and tea until you reach Kibale forest national park – Africa’s primate capital. Retire at your lodge for resting, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5: Chimpanzee Trekking & Bigodi Swamp Walk

This morning, embark on a forest trek searching for the rare chimpanzees. While trekking within the lush tropical forest of Kibale, the sights and sounds of resident birds are all over and one can anticipate to meet at least 8 other types of primates, most probably the Red-tailed and grey-cheeked Mangabeys and obviously the endangered chimpanzees, plus many other forest mammals, butterflies, etc. Walking in this forest is averagely less hectic than other forests like Bwindi due to its well-kept paths and moderately flat terrain. Return to the starting point, have a picnic lunch while waiting for a cultural tour.

In the afternoon, you will explore the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, part of the bigger Magombe wetlands. The sanctuary is a popular eco-tourism destination with in the Kibale Forest area and is operated by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED), a local community based organization. Among the many activities done in Bigodi, include bird watching, swamp and community walks.

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Depart at leisure after breakfast to Queen Elizabeth National Park, a road transfer of about 2-3 hours. Queen Elizabeth N/Park is set in the back drop of the Rwenzori towering mountains and is home to an endless checklist of wildlife such as buffaloes, waterbucks, antelopes, elephants, warthogs, and over 500 bird species.

The trip to Queen Elizabeth national park from Kibale forest takes approximately 2 and half hours, traversing the bustling towns of Fortportal and Kasese and the entire journey passes through sweeping plantations of tea, trees, seasonal rivers, the equator, which this part of the country is famous for.

Day 7: Game Drive & launch trip on Kazinga channel.

An early breakfast followed by unique game viewing experience which is arguably the highlight of Queen Elizabeth national park. With a total population of 95 mammals as well 500 plus bird species, the park has one of the highest biodiversity rantings as compared to many national parks in the world. Some of these species are migratory, others are permanent and endemic.

The afternoon meanwhile comes with amazing opportunities to meet more unique wildlife along the mesmerizing Kazinga channel. These include reptiles like monitor lizards and crocodiles, big mammals like elephants and buffaloes, small mammals like antelopes, etc.

Day 8: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

An early rise up, take a well deserving breakfast and exit Queen Elizabeth N/Park through the south, via Ishasha sector. The drive takes approximately 4 – 5 hours depending on the gorilla region you are visiting.

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is a famous destination for primarily gorilla trekking, and a biodiverse place for so many other species including mammals, birds and verdant flora and unique montane forest scenery.

Evening arrival, check in at the lodge and have an overnight stay.

Day 9: Gorilla Trekking & Batwa Cultural Experience

Rise up early and admire the rising sun emerging through the towering Virunga volcanoes, take a delicious breakfast and drive shortly to the ranger station for briefing session which begins at 7:00am. During this 30 minutes’ session. you’ll be told about the entire gorilla trekking experience, what to expect, a gorilla family will be assigned to respective groups of trekkers and porters can also be hired to help carry the heavy luggage.

Gorilla trekking experience lasts between 2 to 7 hours depending on the movements of the allocated gorilla family, the season and speed of the trekkers. After finding the group, you are only give an hour to be with them as you watch feed, play, mothers caring for the infants, learn about their lifestyle and the mighty silver back offering maximum protection to fellow group members.

After this magical one hour, descend back to the starting point, have your box lunch and immediately transfer to the lodge for relaxation.

In the evening, take a tour to explore the interesting Batwa communities for unique cultural entertainment; watch them dance, learn about their style of life, traditional songs, performances, and so much more. Retreat back to the hotel for relaxation, refreshments and a night stay.

Day 10: Bwindi NP to Rwanda -Volcanoes National Park.

After breakfast, leave Bwindi impenetrable National park, and cross to the other side of Rwanda in the northern region. Cross via Cyanika / Kisoro border and penetrate into Rwanda’s big game destination. Volcanoes national park is famous for the endangered mountain gorillas and the only park in Rwanda that hosts these particular species. Arrive at the lodge for early check in, and if there’s time, you can do a short nature walks to discover the park’s permanent wildlife residents, bird life, lush vegetation, and rolling hills.

Day 11: Golden Monkey Trekking & Iby’Iwacu Village Walk

Have breakfast and proceed to Volcanoes national park headquarters for another briefing, this time for golden monkey trekking; and not the gorilla trekking. Enter into the bamboo forest, on the lower slopes of Virunga Mountains where these shy, rare primates inhabit. Golden monkey trekking tours lasts averagely 1-5 hours depending on the movements of the golden monkeys.

During trekking, you will meet other resident primates in the park like, Blue and black colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, among others. After trekking the golden monkeys, return to the lodge for lunch, relax and in the evening, opt for a community tour to the nearby Ib’yiwachu village and enjoy cultural performances, traditional activities, local brew, songs and their interesting stories.

Day 12: Dian Fossey Hike & Twin Lakes Visit

Take breakfast and immediately transfer on a morning trek to visit the Dian Fossey tombs. This is a place where a primate heroine, Dian Fossey who selflessly fought and advocated for mountain gorilla conservation and protection was buried. She was killed, reportedly by poachers in 1985 after her attempts to punish and apprehend anyone suspected to be a poacher grew a lot of criticism and later caused her death.

Trek to Karisoke research center where her body and her other favourite mountain gorillas are laid to rest, pay your last respects to this heroine and learn more about her works in the ebtire Virunga region.

Return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon drive to the scenic twin lakes – Ruhondo and Bulera which are located at the foothills of Mount Muhabura and Mount Gahinga. Take a leisurely sunset canoe to discover more of the hidden treasures in the area.

Day 13: Visit Musanze Caves & Transfer to Kigali for outbound flight

Visit Musanze caves after a tour to Musanze caves. After this tour, continue to Kigali city crossing the most scenic regions of Rwanda often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’. Spot the spectacular country-side, flanked with amazing views over the Virunga massif, panoramic landscapes and undulating valleys. Reach Kigali city in the evening,Transfer to the airport in Kanombe, check in and get on a connecting flight to Arusha airport in Northern Tanzania. A night night stay will be in Arusha.

Day 14: Transfer to Serenget National Park, Sunset Game Drive

A beautiful sunrise of Arusha is a great wake up call, couple with a tasty breakfast, and after you embark on a road trip to Serengeti national park, taking approximately 5 hour drive. Go with your box or have an enroute lunch, and safari driver will select the best route to take basing on the season and weather.

Upon arrival at Serengeti National park, check in at the lodge and prepare for an evening / sunset game drive. Get on a safari jeep as the sunsets over the Serengeti skies and be mesmerized by the richness of Africa’s most bio-diverse game reserve. Serengeti is filled with the highest population of wildlife in East Africa, and an evening game drive is a perfect timing to spot rare cats including leopards, lions, cheetahs, and variety of big mammals.

As night and dark sets in, retreat back to the lodge for dinner and slumber.

Day 15: Serengeti National park: Full day game drive.

This is a typical day of spectacular game drives, filled with one of Africa’s most sought after species and rich Serengeti Savannah and woodland vegetation.

The Serengeti’s appealing flora, and climate all make it a favorite home for diverse wild game species. Therefore, on this second day of game safari will expose you to Africa’s big game – including the Big 5, buffaloes, elephants, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, lions,leopards and during the July-September season, you can be lucky to view the great wildebeest migration on its way to Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya.

Day 16: Serengeti NP – Masai Mara National Reserve. Evening game safari.

In the morning, depart from Serengeti National park, and drive to the other side of Kenya (southern region) in the Masai Mara reserve. Enter through Isebania border and transfer until you reach Masai Mara – Kenya’s most famous safari destination. Indulge into epic game viewing opportunities enroute to Masai Mara reserve, as it is filled with huge population of wild game.

Check in at the lodge, have lunch and time permitting you can do a brief evening game drive to admire Mara’s permanent and migratory animal residents, bird life, sweeping vegetation, and undulating hill slopes.

Day 17: Masai Mara NP: Full day of game drive.

Wake up before the sun comes for breakfast and preparation for once-in-a-lifetime moment and most spectacular wildlife displays in the Masai Mara reserve. Set out to this famous wildlife-filled reserve to gaze at the sun rising, visit the Mara River – a magnet for animals in the morning and over thousands of game grazing in Mara’s undulating Savannah.

A hot air balloon safari would be another option in Masai Mara reserve, comes with bush breakfast, and up to 360 degrees views of the Mara plains. Watch the wildlife action right from the skies and you will land on a place where the big cats lie as they wait to pounce of unsuspecting antelopes. It’s all magical!

After this day of epic safari, go back to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and a night filled with rewarding memories.

Day 18: Departure

Following a leisurely breakfast at your lodge in Masai Mara, immediately check out and begin the 6 hours trip to Nairobi city. Your driver guide will drop you at Jomo Kenyatta international airport to catch a flight back home.