From mountain gorillas that roam across Rwanda’s jungles to wildebeests that rumble over the Mara River, this 6 days combined tour makes it possible for one to traverse East Africa’s two most iconic spectacles. Trek to meet a mountain gorilla family and lose yourself in the charm of these humble primates. Proceed on to spend 2 full days in the Masai Mara national reserve, encircled by the wildlife theater of the historic wildebeest migration. Tailored for travel all year round, this grand east African safari will immerse you in endangered apes and the great wildlife of Masai Mara National Reserve.
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Masai Mara Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Kigali to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
Arrival at Kigali airport and the guide will drive you to a nearby motel / hotel for an easy breakfast and short relaxation. Time permitting, take a brief city tour before heading out to Volcanoes national park. During the city tour; visit different spots of historic and cultural importance in Rwanda, these include Kigali genocide memorial museum – a place where at least 250,000 genocide victims are buried and one can take a tour through open graves and the interior of the museum presents a detailed documentation of what exactly happened during this horrible period.
Visit Kigali craft market, Belgian monuments, modern buildings and shopping malls, Kigali convention center, etc. After this excursion, have lunch and begin your journey towards the north –western province of Rwanda, to Musanze district. The journey is filled with charming sceneries, marked with Virunga ranges, Rwanda’s rolling landscapes, romantic tea estates, and so much more. Arrive at your lodge in the outskirts of Volcanoes national park, Rwanda’s prime home of the endangered mountain gorillas. Spend the rest of your evening resting and listening to the sights and sounds of this region.
Day 2: Rwanda Gorilla Trek & Community Experience
This morning, prepare yourself for an amazing encounter with one of Rwanda’s most sought after primates; the endangered mountain gorillas. For most travelers, this is the absolute highlight of their safari in Africa. Volcanoes National park has magnificent floral and faunal diversity and one of the few areas in Africa which plays host to two magnificent primates- mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. As a matter of fact, up to 35% the worlds’ population of mountain gorillas dwell here.
Gorilla trekking here ranges between 1 hour and 7 hours! Once the allocated gorilla family has been found, visitors are given up to one hour observing the gorillas, as they feed, jump from one tree to the other, play, cuddle and learn about their lifestyle. Having an up-close encounter with the mountain gorillas is a truly humbling and sensational wildlife experience. This is definitely the unforgettable part of your tour that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Retreat from the jungles, head back to the starting and transfer to your lodge for relaxation. In the evening, take a community walk to visit the Iby’Iwachu village, attend the traditional performances, listen to the ancient Rwandan stories, and learn about their respective history and uniqueness. Retreat to the lodge for overnight stay.
Day 3: Canoeing on the Twin Lakes, Outbound Flight to Nairobi
After breakfast, undertake a brief canoe ride along the calm waters of Bulera and Ruhondo. These are twin lakes located on the foothills of Muhabura and Sabyinyo volcanoes. The canoe will soon expose you to Virunga region’s most hidden treasures, resident birds, neighboring communities, the fishermen and a rich history of the two lakes as narrated by your site guide.
Return to the lodge, and immediately head for Kigali. While en-route, travel through breathtaking scenery and delightfully rolling plantations, some of the best in northern Rwanda. Depending on the time, you can proceed to Kigali’s craft market and purchase for yourself some souvenirs before checking in at the airport for your outbound flight to Nairobi.
Day 4: Transfer to Maasai Mara National Reserve
Depart Nairobi city at 8.00am to begin your drive Kenya’s most lovely national park. Pass via the Great Rift Valley view point, and descend the escarpment, drive past Narok and finally to Masai Mara reserve for lunch at the lodge. This is followed by an afternoon game drive in Masaai Mara famous for its black manned lions and yearly migration of wildebeests, countless elephant families melting in and out of the forest, big herds of buffaloes lazing about, giraffe stepping daintily down from the escarpment or a cluster of hippos moving from one lake to the next. There are other heaps of resident game around the park, including zebras, eland antelopes, giraffes, Topis and Impalas; plus sighting the raptors soar effortlessly above and below you is a great way to end the day.
Day 5: Full Day Game Drive in Masai Mara
This is a complete day of game drives. Have breakfast before sunrise and head out to the park to spot some predators that might have made a kill last night. Return to the lodge for breakfast while the sun rises over the game reserve, and the views are simply breathtaking. Depending on the location of your lodge, move with packed lunch as you return to the park for more game drives or return to the lodge for a hot lunch.
After this thrilling day, return to the camp to refresh with an ice- cold drink on the balcony of your room as you enjoy breathtaking views of the Mara river!
Alternatively, you can undertake a walking safari in Masai Mara national park. Various visitors to Masai Mara national reserve choose to discover the Great Rift Valley on foot. They take the Southern route passing via the edge of the Oloololo Escarpment, Maasai naturalists provide full guided walks through lush forests and lovely open areas in-between.
Day 6: Morning Game Drive & Transfer to Nairobi
Have an early morning breakfast, as you head out for your last game drive in this magical wonderland, Masaai Mara. Spot more animals that you might have missed in your previous game drives. Return to the lodge, have breakfast, leave this lovely game reserve and drive back to Nairobi city. The safari guide will proceed with you and drop you off at JK airport to catch your departure flight.