Days
15
Price from
$13,320NZD

Combine the amazing wildlife experiences on the East African savannahs with a trek in the forests of Rwanda to visit the mountain gorilla. This is the ultimate wildlife adventure in which you get to meet and interact with a multitude of iconic African wild animals in their natural habitat.


Start
Kigali, Rwanda
Finish
Arusha, Tanzania
Countries
Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Wildlife
Code
PFSSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why we love this trip

  • Seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Rwanda's steamy jungle, and spend an unforgettable hour in the presence of these majestic creatures.

  • After a tough day trekking through the mountains, retire to your accommodation and take in the volcano vistas, sitting by the fireplace with the group.

  • The Masai Mara National Reserve is filled with iconic vistas and animals, and here you’ll sleep in a permanent tented-camp under a blanket of stars, then wake to the sounds of calming birdsong.

  • Pull up in the Serengeti National Park and enjoy a refreshing sundowner and some nibbles before carrying on to you camp.

  • Stay in a perfectly located camp in the Serengeti – Kati Kati Tented Camp lies in the heart of the park but away from the crowds.

  • Enjoy panoramic views from the rim of an extinct volcano, then descend into its World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater to be surrounded by wildlife.

  • Visit the Maasai, known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and enjoy a fascinating talk, full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture.

  • Enjoy a private dinner under the stars within our permanent tented camp while listening to the sounds of the Serengeti.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid. But the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. Perhaps pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs.

  • We use our purpose-built overland vehicles for the Kenya & Tanzania portion of this trip. It is important to note that while our vehicles are not air-conditioned, all windows do open to allow for fresh air. But please be aware that road travel in Africa comes with its fair share of dust, and while curtains are fitted to minimize the sunshine, it can get hot and windy.

  • This itinerary features some long travel days, which can be exacerbated by bumpy African roads. It is recommended that you pay close attention to our given approximations of distance and driving hours.

  • Our overland safaris do not require exceptional fitness levels, but a general level of physical movement is needed. For example, you need to judge yourself physically fit enough to handle entering and exiting our vehicles several times a day, you must be prepared for some long travel days, and on this trip handle the gorilla trek.

  • Overlanding is the perfect journey for those travellers with an open mind and the spirit for adventure. However it may be quite different to any style of travel you have experienced before. Ask your agent for a copy of our Peregrine overlanding flyer for more information.

  • On day 10 we stay in Migori to break up the journey between the Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park. The accommodation here is quite basic due to very few options in the area.

Itinerary

Welcome to Rwanda. The Rwanda portion of your Serengeti & Silverbacks is an Independent Experience. You may be travelling on your own, or with up to 5 other passengers. The Independent Experience starts at Kigali Airport where you will be met by our local representative. Please arrange to arrive in Kigali before 1pm – if your flight does not arrive before that time then you need to arrive one day earlier and book one night's pre-tour accommodation as well as an arrival transfer (these will be at an additional cost). Please read the visa information for Rwanda on your pre-departure information before you depart, as you're required to apply for your visa before arrival.
Upon your arrival you will visit the Genocide Museum, which was opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Whilst the genocide occurred as a result of a complex series of factors, it can only be seen as an absolute tragedy to Rwanda and its people. Time spent at the museum is sure to be emotionally moving, but it is an important way to understand the sheer courage and resilience of the people of this beautiful, tiny nation. Then you travel towards the gorillas with a drive through the verdant rolling hills of Rwanda. You’ll be staying in the Musanze region (formerly Ruhengeri).
Hotel facilities include a pool, restaurant, bar & lounge with fireplace and incredible views of the Volcanoes.

The Volcanoes National Park is the oldest national park in Africa, and it was specifically created to protect the habitat of the gorillas.
Accommodation
  • Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
After a very early start, drive to the park headquarters (approximately 30 minutes) where you’ll be briefed on the gorilla trek by the guides of Parc National des Volcans. Ten different gorilla families live here, in bamboo forest interspersed with alpine moorland, grassland and marshland. The groups include Group 13, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Susa, Kwitonda (which has recently arrived from the DRC) and the Hirwa group, newly formed from different habituated families. Gorilla trekking is highly controlled, with only 80 gorilla trekking permits available each day. Once a trekking group encounters one of the gorilla families, only one hour is granted in the presence of the great apes before trekkers must leave, however reluctantly. Be aware that the trek can be strenuous and may reach altitudes of almost 3,000 metres above sea level. Depending on weather conditions, some of the paths can be slippery and these paths themselves can change depending on the location of the gorillas. Therefore it is very hard to predict how long you will need to walk for, but a very good level of fitness is recommended for this trek. It may take anything between 40 minutes and five hours to reach your designated gorilla family, but it’s more than worth it. The trackers will have already set out and located the gorilla family by the time you begin your trek, so your actual walking time can usually be predicted when you set off. You can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Be mesmerised as you watch them eat, sleep, groom and play – the giant silverback surveying the scene as the smaller ones laze in the trees or play like children. As lunch can only be taken upon return to the hotel, it is recommended that you bring a few snacks to keep you going throughout the morning. At the end of the day the comforts of the hotel beckon, along with a chance to reflect on what is sure to be a truly memorable day.

Notes: Your gorilla trek will be a shared activity. You will be accompanied by other travellers, with a maximum of 8 people per gorilla group, plus your guides.
Accommodation
  • Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Volcanoes National Park - Mountain gorilla trek & permit
Optional Activities
  • Ruhengeri - Venge Village walk - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
You will have a number of optional activities today. It is possible to partake in an additional gorilla trek. However, this is subject to permit availability and must be pre-purchased in advance. For fans of the book and/or movie 'Gorillas in the Mist', the Dian Fossey Trek is anther good option. You’ll follow in Dian Fossey's footsteps on your way to her grave, as well as the graves belonging to many poached gorillas, including the famous Digit. Be guided around the incredible setting where Old Karisoke Research Station was set up and, although very little of the station remains, imagine the life that Dian Fossey led in these isolated mountains. For a more leisurely but equally memorable experience, trekking in search of golden monkeys is highly recommended. In June 2003 the National Parks Department first allowed permits to walk the trails in search of these rare and engaging primates. This walk will take you to the edge of the forest, where watching these unique monkeys play and interact is a mesmerising experience. After your experience today you will then travel back to Kigali (approximately 2 hours) late in the afternoon or early in the evening. Dinner tonight will be at your own expense and can be enjoyed at one of the many nearby restaurants.

Notes: It is strongly advised that these options are pre-booked and confirmed at time of purchase of the main tour, in order to ensure availability. Gorilla trekking permits in particular can be booked out many months in advance. Please note the prices of these options are not inclusive of transport costs to and from the activity. Please note that the roads leading to both of the above treks are not in the best condition, so be prepared for a rough and bumpy ride.
Accommodation
  • Lemigo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Volcanoes National Park - Dian Fossey's Memorial - USD90
  • Volcanoes National Park - Golden Monkeys Trek Permit - USD115
  • Volcanoes National Park - Full Day Mt. Bisoke Hike - USD75
  • Volcanoes National Park - Nature walk Rwanda - USD55
  • Ruhengeri - Venge Village walk - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning you will be taken on a city tour of Kigali.
You will then be transferred to Kigali International Airport, arriving there about midday (approximately 1.5 hour drive).
On arrival in Nairobi (after a 1.5 hour flight), you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Your tour leader will meet you at the hotel at approximately 6pm to provide a tour briefing. The rest of the day will be at your leisure – maybe visit the Karen Blixen Museum, the Langata Giraffe Centre, or have a meal at the famous Carnivore Restaurant, where meat lovers can taste a variety of barbecued game meat.

Accommodation
  • Panafric Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - National Museum - USD10
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - Langata Giraffe Sanctuary - KES1200
  • Nairobi - Carnivore Restaurant - KES3600
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Notes: Today’s flight is not included and you will be unaccompanied. Please note that your international departure flights from Kigali today should not be booked to depart before 1pm. Please ensure flight details have been sent to Peregrine so your transfers can be arranged accordingly.
Depart Nairobi for Elsamere after breakfast and head north, driving along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley (approximately 4 hours of driving in total).
'Elsamere' is the former home of the writer Joy Adamson, whose 1960 book 'Born Free' helped bring wildlife conservation into the mainstream. The house is a veritable museum that dedicated to the works of Joy and George Adamson, with many photos of Elsa, the lioness that started it all. You'll then embark on a boat trip on Lake Naivasha, the highest of all lakes in the Great Rift Valley and home to many a hippopotamus. Later, enjoy lunch with the lake as a serene backdrop. After lunch, continue to your tented camp, arriving in the early evening. The camp is located on a lava outcrop commanding stunning views. The Camp’s dining area features an outdoor terrace with camp fire pit and a safari bar. The terrace overlooks a water hole which attracts wildlife in the mornings and evenings.
Accommodation
  • Sleeping Warrior Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Naivasha - Boat trip
  • Lake Elementaita - Elsamere Conservation Centre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you will visit Lake Nakuru National Park by 4WD. Mornings can be cold so it's important to bring warm clothes. You might see why this great soda lake has been described as the world's greatest ornithological spectacle; it amazingly turns into a sea of pink on occasion. Flooding in recent years has unfortunately caused a decline in birdlife. The park boasts substantial numbers of other species, including waterbuck, reedbuck and gazelle. Leopards are also to be found here, and the chances of sighting one are significant. Keep your eyes peeled, too, for one of Africa's most endangered creatures, the elusive black rhinoceros (white rhinos are much easier to spot). 
Accommodation
  • Sleeping Warrior Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Nakuru - Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will head southwest to the Masai Mara (approximately 6–7 hours), arguably one of the finest game reserves in Africa. Before you arrive, you'll first cross the Great Rift Valley, Africa's immense and spectacular great divide. Pass by the remote region of Loita Hills, home of the traditional Maasai people. Here you will make a stop to visit the Maasai, known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African Community. Meet your Maasai hosts and enjoy a fascinating talk, full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture, from a local elder. Enjoy being shown around a traditional Maasai home and their cattle enclosures. Afterwards, continue on your journey to ‘The Mara’, swapping into 4x4 jeeps. After checking into the park, take a game drive on the way to camp. Set in what is considered Kenya's prime wildlife area, Mara Leisure Camp is located along the Talek River, on the northern boundary of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Facilities at the camp include a swimming pool, gift shop, bar and restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Mara Leisure Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Loita Hills - Cultural talk and village visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore more of the park by 4x4 Jeeps today with further game drives in the morning and afternoon. Witness the wonderful procession of wildlife that inhabits the area. Wildebeest, zebra and gazelle are plentiful, and you might even spot predators keeping a casual eye on their movements. Elephants, giraffes and elands are also commonly sighted, along with plenty of bird life. The area is known for its rolling green plains and riverine woodlands, and amongst the many species of game, a black-maned lion, leopard or cheetah might appear, with some luck. 
As dusk falls, a variety of animals might be visible in the vicinity of your camp also.
Accommodation
  • Mara Leisure Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara - 4x4 Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is a free day. If you wish to continue your exploration of arguably one of the finest game reserves on the continent there are a number of optional activities you can choose from including half-day or full-day game drives, or walking safaris.
A morning game drive involves waking at dawn for a light breakfast followed by an early morning game drive, setting off at sunrise and returning to the camp three to four hours later.
An afternoon game drive departs around 4pm and returns after sunset. On returning to the camp, freshen up before joining other guests around the campfire for a pre-dinner drink.
An optional balloon ride over the Masai Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity you will be picked up from camp before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing with your pilot. You then glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, making the most of the amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you'll ascend to get an overview of the enormity of the Masai Mara plains and the early-morning movements of the teeming herds. Upon landing you'll be treated to a bush breakfast before rejoining your group.
Accommodation
  • Mara Leisure Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
  • Masai Mara - Guided Walking Safari - USD30
  • Masai Mara - Full Day Game Drive - KES16000
  • Masai Mara - Half Day Game Drive - KES8000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Say goodbye to the Mara and head to Migori (approximately 6.5 hours). On the way you will stop for lunch (at your own expense) and visit a local soapstone factory in Kisii. This town is home to the best soapstone carvers on the continent. Their products are quite popular around the world. It's a favourite stopover for travellers seeking a taste of the exquisite Kisii carvings.
Accommodation
  • Grabo County Dream Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Accommodation tonight is quite basic, due to very few options in the area and the need to break up the journey.
Cross into Tanzania before heading to the Serengeti National Park (approximately 8 hours, not including time spent at the border). These 'Endless Plains' span some 14,700 square kilometres, but their main claim to fame is 3 million or so animals. The game most likely to be seen in the Serengeti are the wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, lion, cheetah, warthog, hyena, hippo and ostrich. You'll take a game drive en route to your camp and watch the landscape change within the park from the vast treeless central plains to thick scrub and forest in the north. Linking these areas is the savannah, dotted with acacia trees and magnificent rock outcrops.
Pull up in the park and enjoy a refreshing sundowner and some nibbles before carrying on to you camp.
The next two nights are spent at Kati Kati mobile tented camp, our feature stay on this trip. Meru-style tents are a great place to relax at the end of the day and have large beds, table, clothes rack, sink, 'bucket' showers and a toilet. The eco-friendly camp has a comfortable lounge area, and a cosy mess tent located in the centre of the camp where meals are served. The campfire is ready every evening for appetizers before dinner. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a real safari camp experience with modern comforts.
Accommodation
  • Kati Kati Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game Drive (Overland Vehicle)
  • Serengeti - Sundowner in the Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a full day of game drives in the truck in the magnificent Serengeti. Perhaps the ultimate way to go game viewing is on a hot air balloon safari over the great plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara. Hot-air ballooning in East Africa can be an unforgettable experience, an exceptional way to see this part of the world. We strongly recommend booking this extra activity prior to departure if you're interested.
Tonight we have a private dinner under the stars within our permanent tented camp while listening to the sounds of the Serengeti.
Accommodation
  • Kati Kati Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game Drive (Overland Vehicle)
  • Serengeti - Private Dinner Kati Kati Camp
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD546
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After an early morning game drive, it's time to leave the park and travel to the Ngorongoro Crater (approximately 5 hours). It's one of Africa's most beautiful nature reserves and the world's largest intact caldera. Upon arrival you will check into your accommodation, which is located just outside of the crater. This small and exclusive lodge faces the Oldeani Volcano, and is located approximately 5 kilometres from the Ngorongoro Lolduare gate.
Accommodation
  • Ngorongoro Farmhouse or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game Drive (Overland Vehicle)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
In the morning, climb aboard the 4WD for your descent to the crater floor. Hopefully you'll see some or all of the 'big five' creatures that rule here. Animals within the Ngorongoro Crater are less shy of people and safari vehicles, so it's easier to see them up close. Views from the rim of the crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodlands and hills. The Masai are permitted to water their cattle at the permanent lake and can be seen leading their animals in and out of the crater. The most commonly seen animals are the lion, wildebeest, zebra, eland, bushbuck, cheetah, jackal, buffalo, Grant's gazelle, Thompson's gazelle and black rhinoceros. The afternoon is yours to spend as you please, perhaps with optional walking activities or a coffee tour.
Accommodation
  • Ngorongoro Farmhouse or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to Arusha (approximately 3 hours) where your East African adventure comes to an end at the finishing point hotel. Any flights out of Arusha should not be booked to depart prior to 3pm.

Alternatively, you can continue on to finish in Nairobi. Please see 'Special Information' below for more details.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There is also an option of continuing back to Nairobi with your crew. Any flights out of Nairobi should not be booked to depart prior to 10pm. We highly recommend you book a post nights accommodation and depart the following day. Post nights accommodation can be booked through your sales agent.

The drop of point in Nairobi is the Hotel Panafric:

Cnr Kenyatta Ave/Valley Road
Nairobi
KENYA
Phone: +254 202720822

Meals

14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners

Transport

Custom-built overland vehicle, Open 4WD vehicles, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Farmstay (2 nights), Hotel (3 nights ), Lodge (2 nights), Permanent tented camp (6 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Volcanoes National Park - Mountain gorilla trek & permit
  • Lake Naivasha - Boat trip
  • Lake Elementaita - Elsamere Conservation Centre
  • Lake Nakuru - Game Drive
  • Loita Hills - Cultural talk and village visit
  • Masai Mara - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Serengeti - Game Drive (Overland Vehicle)
  • Serengeti - Sundowner in the Park
  • Serengeti - Private Dinner Kati Kati Camp
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game drive

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Important notes

ARRIVAL TIME:
Please arrange to arrive in Kigali before 1pm – if your flight does not arrive before that time then you need to arrive one day earlier.

INTERNAL FLIGHT:
The flight from Kigali to Nairobi on Day 4 is not included. Please ensure you book a flight that departs Kigali after 1.00pm.

COMPULSORY SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
Single travellers must pay a single supplement for the Rwanda portion (nights 1 to 3) of this trip. A single supplement is available to purchase for the entirety of the trip, but only the Rwanda portion is compulsory.

COMBINATION TRIP:
This is a combination trip and the composition of your group may change after Rwanda.

TRANSPORT:
Days 5-15 of this trip are operated in a Peregrine overland truck.

FINISH POINT:
On the final day you can end the tour in Arusha or Nairobi.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.