Designed for those intrepid travelers who seek to get the best out of their African safari. Take on an amazing trip through the magical Rwanda to discover its magic! The mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park is just waiting for you. A whole – round primate tour within Nyungwe forest to discover her elusive residents will bring you close to the amazing chimps, white Colobus monkeys, olive baboons and a magical canopy walk.
Away from Rwanda, the trip continues to two most famous game viewing destinations – Serengeti and Masai Mara reserves offering countless opportunities to spot the Big Five mammals of Africa alongside other iconic big cats and numerous bird life and African herbivores such as zebras, giraffes, antelopes, baboons, and so much more. If you visit during July – November season, you might also catch a glimpse of the great wildebeest Migration.
9 Days Gorillas & Best of East African Wildlife Itinerary Details
Day 1: Kigali to Volcanoes National Park
Arrive at the Kigali International Airport where your safari guide will be ready to welcome you to the magical Rwanda. Depending on your flight arrival time, you may undertake a fully guide Kigali city tour. This cosmopolitan city is ranked among the safest as well as the cleanest cities in Africa, with a car-free zone in its central business district.
Visit her famous spots, including the genocide museum, monuments, craft markets and so much more. From Kigali, drive northwards to Musanze district at the foothills of Virunga Massif. Musanze is fast becoming a major town in the north west of Rwanda and growing into a popular base for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park. Tonight you relax at the historic hotel on the outskirts of Volcanoes national park and prepare for the following day’s unforgettable gorilla tour.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes NP
Wake up as the sun rises over the towering Virunga ranges, have breakfast and drive for a short journey to the park headquarters. Here you’ll be briefed about the gorilla trek, get assigned to a ranger and a specific gorilla family which you will track. Get your trekking gears ready and porter (to be hired at an affordable cost and highly recommended to help carry your luggage) and a warn cup of coffee will also be served.
Thereafter begin the trek into the forest with excitement and anticipating a great adventure ahead.
Tracking can last between 45 minutes and 7 hours depending on the group you are tracking and the season. Upon meeting the gorillas, you will spend utmost one hour in their midst, watching their behaviors, lifestyle, their conservation history as narrated by the ranger guide. The ranger guide will make sure you are in the best spots to capture every moment with pictures and videos and maximize this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Return to your hotel for a relaxed evening, refreshments and later overnight stay.
Day 3: PNV to Nyungwe Forest National Park
After breakfast in Volcanoes national park, join your driver/guide and begin transfer to the south, Nyungwe forest national park. Nyungwe is a popular park not only in Rwanda but in east Africa as it harbors up to 13 species of primates, including the endangered chimpanzees. On the way to Nyungwe, take short visits to the some of the Rwanda genocide memorials in this region and have lunch at the shores of Lake Kivu – Rwanda’s biggest lake. Continue for more 2 hours until you arrive at your lodge on the outskirts of Nyungwe forest for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4: Chimp Trekking & Canopy Walk
Morning breakfast and organize for an early chimpanzee tracking experience. This is Nyungwe forest’s most famous activity, as it enables visitors to come in close contact with man’s closest cousin. Attend a short briefing at Uwinka visitor center led by one the park officials. You will be briefed about rules and regulations to be observed during chimp trekking. Together with your guide, trackers and porters, walk through undulating tea plantations before penetrating into the thick lush forest.
Nyungwe forest is home to over 13 species of primates including chimpanzees and excellent birding opportunities, an incredible population of forest mammals, more than 100 species of butterflies and the occasional three horned chameleon. The chimp trekking excursion can last from 1 to 4 hours but you will definitely listen to the chimp’s pant – hoots from the moment you penetrate into the forest. Once you find a troop of chimps, you are allowed to stay with them for not more than one hour; watch them play, juggle, munching fruits and going about their daily routine.
Retreat to the lodge, or have a picnic lunch, and relax for a while as you look forward to another great afternoon adventure. This afternoon presents a magical Canopy walk adventure; this experience rewards you with an entire forest canopy and 360 degree views of forest dwellers, ranging from primates, bird life, ancient trees and other small insects.
Day 5: Transfer to Kigali & Fly to JRO Airport
Today, you drive to south western Rwanda via Butare city for a brief cultural encounter, get real up close with the Rwandan style of life, history and their ancient kings. Have lunch here and proceed to Kigali traversing the most beautiful ranges and towering hills, synonymous with Rwanda. Arrive at Kigali international airport, check in and prepare to catch a connecting flight to Arusha / Kilimanjaro airport. Overnight stay in Arusha town.
Day 6: Transfer to Serengeti National Park & Sunset Game Drive
Wake up to a beautiful sunrise of Arusha, with a delicious breakfast, and soon you hit the road and begin a 5 hour journey to Serengeti national park. With a picnic lunch, the safari driver will choose the best possible route based on the weather, season and the kind of animals you’d like to spot, because the opportunities of sighting Serengeti’s diverse wildlife along the way are endless.
Arrive at the lodge in Serengeti national park, check in and get ready for an evening magic! As the sun sets over the Serengeti horizon, you get on your jeep to be mesmerized by Tanzania’s best national reserve. The evening game safari presents endless chances to see predators in action as they take advantage of the setting sun and cooler temperatures to pounce on a retreating antelope for an early dinner. It’s a perfect timing to spot lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas in action as well as other herbivores retreating in huge herds back to their kraals for an overnight.
Another option would be to take to the skies with a luxurious hot air balloon safari that offers 360 degrees views of the Serengeti sweeping plains. As night sets in, retire back to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 7: Full Day Game Drive in Serengeti
Today is typically a game viewing extravaganza! No doubts! Because it’s a full, fun-filled day in one of Africa’s wildlife – populated conservation areas. The Serengeti is a notable destination known to be the most thrilling wildlife eco-system in the Natural world.
Serengeti national reserve harbors the highest and varied concentration of wild animals than any other park in the east African region. The scenic appeal of Serengeti’s rolling Savannah plains, its appealing climate and diversity of wild game species has made it a one stop center for authentic game viewing experiences. This is a day of game viewing, period! Traverse the reserve like never before on a full day game safari and have unlimited encounters with Africa’s big five mammals and more of the lesser game, like antelopes, zebras, giraffes, and big cats.
Day 8: Transfer to Maasai Mara & Evening Game Drive
After breakfast, leave Serengeti National park, and cross to the other side of Kenya in the Mara region. Cross via Isebania border and penetrate into Kenya’s big game destination. Do not miss epic game viewing along the way to the Masai Mara, as it is Kenya’s most populated wildlife park. Arrive at the lodge for early check in, and if there’s time, you can do a short evening game drive to discover the park’s permanent wildlife residents, birdlife, lush vegetation, and rolling hills.
Day 9: Morning Game Drive & Transfer to Nairobi
This is the last day of this magical safari. Wake up as early as possible, before dawn sets in to experience memorable game drive in Masai Mara reserve. A morning safari offers you unlimited chances to view the Big game mammals as well as watching big cats in action before the sun rising. You’ll then return to your lodge for check out, and pick your box lunch to begin your transfer back to Nairobi. Arrive in the bustling Nairobi, at about 16:00 in the afternoon and immediately proceed to Jomo Kenyatta airport for your departure flight.