Days
14
Price from
$12,855NZD

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 we get to meet and interact with a multitude of iconic African wild animals in their natural habitat.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this trip will increase by 1 day to become a 15 day itinerary. This change comes as a result of traveller feedback and will allow us to travel at a more relaxed pace and include an additional day in the Masai Mara. This is a free day to do optional balloon, walking safari, full day or half day game drive. Prior to arriving in the Mara we include a traditional Maasai experience in Loita Hills. Further the genocide museum visit will occur on day 1 rather than day 4. The trip now finishes in Arusha (with the option of continuing to Nairobi) to lessen the drive time.
Please see the trip code PFSSC for the 2017 itinerary and dates.


Start
Kigali, Rwanda
Finish
Nairobi, Kenya
Countries
Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Wildlife
Code
PFSS
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.

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

  • 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.

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 duration 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.

Itinerary

Welcome to Rwanda. On arrival at Kigali Airport a Peregrine representative will meet you. Please arrange to arrive in Kigali before 2pm – 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. Your adventure begins with a drive through the verdant rolling hills of Rwanda.
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
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
After 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 our actual time of walking can usually be predicted when we 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.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Volcanoes National Park - Mountain gorilla trek & permit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
You will have a number of options today if you’re not taking another trek to see the gorillas. For fans of the book and/or movie 'Gorilla's in the Mist', the Dian Fossey Trek is a 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
  • Venge Village walk - USD35
  • Mt Bisoke hiking (full day) - USD75
  • Golden monkeys Trek Permit - Optional - USD115
  • Dian Fossey Memorial - USD90
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning you will be taken on a city tour of Kigali, including 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. 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.

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 2.00pm. Please ensure flight details have been sent to Peregrine so your transfers can be arranged accordingly.
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - Carnivore Restaurant - KES3600
  • Nairobi - Langata Giraffe Sanctuary - KES1200
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi - National Museum - USD10
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Audio Guide - USD15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Nairobi after breakfast and head north, driving along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley (approximately 4 hours of driving in total). You'll head for Elsamere, stopping for lunch with the lake as a serene backdrop. '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. After lunch, you'll embark on a boat trip across Lake Naivasha, the highest of all lakes in the Great Rift Valley and home to many a hippopotamus. 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 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). This is arguably one of the finest game reserves in Africa. You'll embark on an afternoon game drive in the truck on the way to your tented 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, business centre, gift shop, bar and restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Mara Leisure Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore more of the park by 4WD 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. Once we return to the tented camp there is an option to go back out and visit a Maasai Village. These visits can be fascinating to learn about the different culture and way of life of traditional Maasai people. However, please note that these villages exist primarily as businesses. You will be charged an entry fee of USD20-25 and they will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. 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. 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 - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Masai Mara - Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
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.

Notes: Accommodation tonight is quite basic, due to very few options in the area and the need to break up the journey.
Accommodation
  • Grabo County Dream Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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. The next two nights are spent at the feature stay of the trip: Kati Kati mobile tented camp. Meru-style tents are a great place to relax at the end of the day with their big beds, table, clothes rack, sink, shower and a toilet. The 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. It's also eco-friendly, with solar power.
Accommodation
  • Kati Kati Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game Drive (Overland Vehicle)
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.
Accommodation
  • Kati Kati Tented Camp or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD539
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)
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
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive to Arusha (approximately 10 hours, not including border formalities). Those continuing back to Nairobi will be transferred back to the starting hotel in Nairobi; others will depart from here. Your East African adventure comes to an end on arrival in Nairobi in the early evening. Any flights out of Nairobi should not be booked to depart prior to 9 pm. Spending an extra night in Nairobi is highly recommended, as the journey from Arusha is a tiring one, and sometimes there are unexpected delays.

Notes: Due to safety reasons, you won't be able to be dropped off at the airport en route to the hotel. The six-hour drive from Arusha to Nairobi can be replaced by a short flight between Kilimanjaro Airport and Nairobi (at your own expense).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 10 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 Elementaita - Elsamere Conservation Centre
  • Lake Nakuru - Game Drive
  • Masai Mara - Game drive
  • Serengeti - Game Drive (Overland Vehicle)
  • Serengeti - Game drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game drive

Dates & availability

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Important notes

INTERNAL FLIGHT:
The flight from Kigali to Nairobi on Day 4 is not included. Please ensure you book a flight that departs Kigali after 2.00pm.

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.

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.