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18-Day Mountain Gorilla To The Mara Accommodated Overland Tour from Nairobi

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USD 2,732.49
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What to Expect
Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi – Lake Nakuru National Park

Stop At: Punda Milias Nakuru Camp, Old Nakuru Road, Kenya
Kenya is East Africa’s most popular safari destination and has a long tradition of tourism and of welcoming visitors. Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, has seen rapid growth in recent years but still has a comparatively small city centre, interesting city markets, numerous craft shops, book shops and plenty of cafes and restaurants. We recommend you arrive at least one day before the tour departure in order to relax, check out the city and overcome any jetlag.

We depart Nairobi early and descend into the ‘Great Rift Valley’, an enormous cleft in the Earth’s surface stretching from the Red Sea to Madagascar but with particularly marked escarpments here in Kenya. We stop at a lookout point to take in the magnificent views. Our overnight stop is Lake Nakuru National Park, a relatively small park (by African standards) however prolific in wildlife, situated on the Great Rift Valley floor. The shallow soda lake attracts a huge variety of birdlife – especially flamingos, which may gather in such numbers that (when viewed from above) they form a strikingly pink ‘fringe’ around the lake-shore. However, Lake Nakuru is not simply a bird sanctuary, it is also home to buffalo, lion, rhino (black and white), leopard, warthog, baboon, antelope, and a variety of smaller animals. A delightful introduction to East Africa’s wildlife diversity that we search for in an afternoon game drive making use of local guides and smaller safari vehicles for a more intimate experience.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Punda Milias Camp, Nakuru, Kenya

Day 2: Lake Nakuru - Eldoret

Stop At: Naiberi river campsite & resort, Ngong Rd Kaptagat, Eldama Ravine Rd, Kapseret, Kenya
From Nakuru we continue northwest and climb in altitude towards the town of Eldoret en route to the Ugandan frontier. We cross from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere today over the Equator, enjoying some time here learning a little about its significance and taking photos before moving onwards to Eldoret. The name ‘Eldoret’ is based on the Maasai word ‘Eldore’ meaning stony river, due to the stony bed of the nearby Sosiani River. The town is the 5th largest in Kenya and is the fastest growing with a population of approx. 194,000. We stay outside of town in a unique area created on hilly forest tribal land, once home to members of the ancient Sirikwa tribe. Preserved on the site are excavations with stone sides, commonly called Sirikwa holes, which are believed to have been roofed and occupied by the inhabitants of a bygone age.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Naiberi Overland Camp, Eldoret, Kenya

Day 3: Eldoret - Kampala

Stop At: Red Chilli Hideway, 13-23 Bukasa Hill View Road Butabika Kampala, 12-23, Kampala, Uganda
We cross into Uganda, Winston Churchill’s ‘Pearl of Africa’, a country with beautiful natural scenery and a rich mosaic of tribes and cultures – and friendly people. Our first night we stay at the capital Kampala, an attractive hilly city, bustling with roadside traders, markets and busy matatu (mini-bus taxi) stands.

Please note that some group members may be starting their tour in Kampala

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Red Chilli Hideway, Kampala, Uganda

Day 4: Kampala – Queen Elizabeth National Park

Stop At: Simba Safari Camp, Fort Portal-Mpondwe Rd, Kikorongo, Uganda
From Kampala, we travel west towards Queen Elizabeth National Park, crossing the Equator again, through fertile green terraced hillsides, lush banana plantations, steep mountains and tangled forests. From the truck we should see herds of Ankole cattle with their incredible long curving horns roaming the roads and paddocks. We stay a short distance from the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here you will have the opportunity to relax and unwind, take a walk in the surrounding areas and mingle with the local community.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Simba Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park area, Uganda

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Stop At: Queen Elizabeth National Park, 410 kilometers from Kampala, Kasese Uganda
This morning we enter the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take in the magnificent views of the mountains that separate Uganda from central Africa as well as Lake Edwards and Lake George. Queen Elizabeth National park has over 500 species of bird and 100 species of mammals making it one of the most bio diverse national parks in the world and if we are lucky, we may get to spot these animals en route to Kyambura Gorge for the trek to see the chimpanzees. Unlike their larger cousins the mountain gorilla, chimps live mostly in the trees and so our viewing is usually peering high into the forest canopy. However, the experience of seeing man’s closest relative in the wild is a memorable one.

Chimpanzee Trek permits are issued by the wildlife authority in groups of up to 8 people per group. Depending on our group size, we may trek on the afternoon of day 4, morning of day 5 and afternoon of day 5 or morning of day 6.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Simba Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park area, Uganda

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Lake Bunyonyi

Stop At: Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Plot 1 Kazooba Road, Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale, Uganda
We leave the picturesque hills of the national park and make our way to the lush and stunning Lake Bunyonyi (‘Place of many little birds’). This lake is 27km long, 7km wide and at an elevation of 1950 metres above sea level, it is surrounded by undulating hills between 2200m to 2478m high. With a depth of nearly 900m in parts, this lake is the second deepest lake in Africa (the deepest being Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania). With twenty-nine islands that can be visited by local boats, the lake is a great place to unwind, relax and explore on the days that we don’t trek to see the mountain gorillas.

Over the next two days the group will be split, with one group trekking to the mountain gorillas while the others stay at Lake Bunyonyi to enjoy the many activities on offer.

Lake Bunyonyi

There are many activities to do here such as hiring canoes to visit some of the lakes’ islands, visit local tribes and villages, visiting the local orphanage, as well as bird watching and nature walks. Alternatively, just relax, catch up on your travel diary or postcards to home, or sorting through your photos of your trip so far.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking

This region of Africa is home to the world’s remaining 700 free-roaming mountain gorillas, many of which inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. [We may travel into neighbouring Rwanda to trek for the gorillas if need be.]

On the day of your trek we gather in the early morning to meet our local guide and tracker. Walking in small groups, we trek into the thick rainforest. The trek can be demanding at times - with uneven terrain and hilly rainforest, but the privilege of spending time with a family of these gentle primates makes the effort well worthwhile. To many people the day’s trek and time with the gorillas remains their most exciting wildlife encounter in Africa.

The usual procedure, once we have located the gorilla ‘family’, is to squat or sit down and simply observe them for around an hour – the time set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (the national body charged with controlling and maintaining the gorillas in Uganda). Gorillas are sociable creatures, living in groups between 12 and 20 individuals, usually led by an alpha male (the ‘silverback’ - so called because of the silver hair on his back which grows once the male gorillas reach maturity). Most people find that the gorillas are remarkably human-like at close quarters – particularly in the social interaction between family members and in ‘play’ activity in which the young engage. Photography is permitted (although not with a flash and there are restrictions for those who wish to use a video camera.)

Your permit allows you one trek and gorilla viewing (time limited to one hour). However, because the authorities maintain strict limits on the number of visitors allowed to view the gorillas each day we may spend several days in the area while all passengers in our group complete the trek and viewing.

NB: Depending on the availability of the gorilla permits the tour itinerary may vary in day to day running order which is based on the brochure itinerary. From time to time we may have to trek on different days. If at any chance our Gorilla trek should be in another neighbouring country, e.g. Rwanda (instead of Uganda) this may entail extra visa fees although we shall endeavour to advise you before departure of any significant changes to the tour itinerary. Please take the above itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to day 6 – 8 of this tour.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Uganda

Day 7: Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla Trek day

Stop At: Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Plot 1 Kazooba Road, Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale, Uganda
If not trekking, today is free to explore the surrounding area, discover the Islands by boat on Lake Bunyonyi or catching up on some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Uganda

Day 8: Lake Bunyonyi rest days or Gorilla Trek day

Stop At: Bunyonyi Overland Resort, Plot 1 Kazooba Road, Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale, Uganda
Today is a trek day or a day at leisure to enjoy the many optional activities in Lake Bunyonyi. Whether relaxing on the shores of this deep Crater Lake with a good book or heading out to the village and orphanage to gain an insight into the everyday life of Ugandans in this area - you’ll no doubt wish you could stay in this beautiful part of Africa for longer.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Stop, Uganda

Day 9: Lake Bunyonyi - Kampala

Stop At: Red Chilli Hideway, 13-23 Bukasa Hill View Road Butabika Kampala, 12-23, Kampala, Uganda
From Lake Bunyonyi we make our way back across the Equator (stopping for a photo if we have not done so previously) through lush pasture lands and the northern reaches of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) to Kampala where we will overnight. Kampala is a hotspot for great food and entertainment. If time allows, go out to enjoy the nightlife, try the local cuisines and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at d Chilli Hideway, Kampala, Uganda

Day 10: Kampala - Jinja

Stop At: Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda
Leaving Kampala, we drive the short distance to the town of Jinja on the banks of Lake Victoria and the Nile. It was in 1862 that the British explorer John Hanning Speke recognised Lake Victoria as the ‘source of the Nile’ settling a long running dispute about Africa’s (and the world’s) longest river. From his modest monument on the banks, the Nile begins its 4132-mile course through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.

Our accommodation is situated on the grassy banks overlooking the Nile River. It is here that we usually have the option to try river rafting - an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of ‘white-water’. There is also the opportunity to make some difference to local children at a local school project: ‘Softpower’ is a locally run volunteer programme aimed at building and improving schools in the Jinja area to which your contribution of a few hours of painting or plastering is always most welcome. Other activities at Jinja include mountain biking, quad biking, village walks and even Nile cruises.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda

Day 11: Jinja

Stop At: Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda
Enjoy a free day in this magical place or take part in one of the many optional activities on offer. Adrenaline lovers can head to the world class rapids and try rafting - an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of ‘white-water’. Those seeking a more relaxing day can visit the local community or simply just relax.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda

Day 12: Jinja

Stop At: Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda
Enjoy a last day on the banks of the Nile exploring the surrounding community, the town of Jinja and discover the beauty of the river Nile as you relax on its banks or indulge in the many optional activities on offer.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Nile River Explorers, Jinja, Uganda

Day 13: Jinja – Eldoret

Stop At: Naiberi river campsite & resort, Ngong Rd Kaptagat, Eldama Ravine Rd, Kapseret, Kenya
Leaving Jinja, we retrace our steps across the border into Kenya and onwards to Eldoret, where we will stay for the evening.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Naiberi Overland Camp, Eldoret, Kenya

Day 14: Eldoret - Nairobi

Stop At: Karen Camp, Acacia Drive off Marula Lane, Off Karen Road, Nairobi, Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
This morning we cross the Equator and make our way south to Nairobi and to our base just outside the city.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Karen Camp, Karen, Nairobi

Day 15: Nairobi

Stop At: Karen Camp, Acacia Drive off Marula Lane, Off Karen Road, Nairobi, Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
Today you are free to explore the city and surrounding area and our Tour Leader can help you arrange these optional excursions locally. Popular excursions include catching a taxi into town to check out the shopping, markets, bars and restaurants; Visit the National Museum of Kenya; chow down at Carnivore – a BBQ meat eater’s paradise; go on safari at Nairobi National Park; Visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre or check out the Karen Blixen Museum in the nearby town of Karen. Alternatively, the day is yours to simply relax and enjoy some ‘downtime’.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Karen Camp, Karen, Nairobi

Day 16: Nairobi – Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya

Stop At: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Rift Valley Province
We depart the city early and make our way across the Great Rift Valley to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, enjoying views of the vast vista en route. We travel in small specialized safari vehicles that enable us to have a more intimate view of wildlife. We spend two nights camping on the edge of the Reserve with time to explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Enkolong Tented camp, Masai Mara area, Kenya

Day 17: Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya

Stop At: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Rift Valley Province
We have the day to explore the Reserve in search for wildlife including the ‘Big 5’ – lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard.

The sweeping plains, distant horizons, low slung acacia trees, and plentiful wildlife ensure a deeply evocative few days. The ‘Mara’ is crossed every year between July and October by great herds of wildebeest, zebra and other grazing animals in their migration from the adjoining Serengeti plains to the south (in Tanzania). How long they stay is dependent on rainfall and subsequent grass growth in the rainy season. Predators (such as lion, cheetah, leopard) and scavengers (hyena, vultures) follow the grazing animals and this enormous congregation of wildlife forms a spectacular display of Africa’s natural resource. But the Mara is excellent for game viewing at any time of year and regardless of when you can visit we hope to see some, if not all, of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) and an array of other wildlife. We stop for a lunch before returning to our tented camp for the evening.

Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Overnight at Enkolong Tented camp, Masai Mara area, Kenya

Day 18: Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya - Nairobi

Stop At: Karen Camp, Acacia Drive off Marula Lane, Off Karen Road, Nairobi, Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
From the Mara we make our way back across the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi, where our tour ends in the late afternoon.
Duration: 1 day

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
No accommodation included on this day.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Hotel boulevard, Hotel Boulevard, Harry Thuku Rd, Starehe, Kenya
Departure Time
8:00 AM
Duration
18 days
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • 17x Breakfast
  • 15x Dinner
  • 16x Lunch
  • Accommodation included: 17 nights
  • Fully equipped safari vehicle
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • All road tolls and vehicle taxes
  • All ground transportation
  • Meals as indicated
  • Services of two crew
  • The Great Rift Valley
  • Lake Nakuru NP, Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
  • Maasai Mara excursion with small vehicle*
  • Entry/Admission - Punda Milias Nakuru Camp
  • Entry/Admission - Naiberi river campsite & resort
  • Entry/Admission - Red Chilli Hideway
  • Entry/Admission - Simba Safari Camp
  • Entry/Admission - Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Entry/Admission - Bunyonyi Overland Resort
  • Entry/Admission - Nile River Explorers
  • Entry/Admission - Karen Camp
Exclusions
  • Visas
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Departure taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Optional activities
  • Drinks, tips
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Adventure Pass Activities and Excursions (Mandatory/ USD 640.00pp)*
  • Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trek Permit (Mandatory/ USD 780.00pp)
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Mandatory Gorilla and Chimpanzee Permit is GBP 560.00 and is paid at the time of booking
  • Each Overland tour has an Adventure Pass which is paid to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour (or pre-paid by arrangement prior to your tour). This is separate and in addition to the Tour Price, and covers selected park entries, activities and excursions along the way where payment goes directly to the supplier to ensure local suppliers benefit directly from the income. The (mandatory) Adventure Pass is USD 640.00 per person
  • Minimum age is 18 years, Maximum age is 39 years.
  • You MUST confirm and obtain any visa requirements prior to border crossing. All visa requirements are the sole responsibility of the traveller.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • * Highlights are included in the Adventure Pass
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 24 travelers
Cancellation Policy
All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

Reviews

About the operator

This tour has not yet been reviewed, but you can read what other travellers have to say about this operator.

By: Acacia Africa
114 reviews
Certificate of Excellence
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Loved Namibia!
This trip exceeded my expectations, but that is because I went in with realistic expectations. I feel it is
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Emmalou2605
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127
Loved it!
I have previously overlanded with Acacia and another company so knew what to expect from the whole set up. I can
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elliotanderson1
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10
Amazing trip
Acacia provided an affordable, simple and stress free booking. The trip was amazing and made better by the
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jsarubbi2019
10
Solo lady seeing Africa!
Great to see the highlights of Africa at an affordable price! I felt safe the whole time. Great to experience all
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aussiestardust
Gold Coast, Australia
4526
The Trip of a Lifetime!
I recently completed the 41 day Cape Town to Cape Town tour and I loved every minute of it! Africa has been on my
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adventurekit
Hong Kong, China
20
my great 31 days trip in Africa
thanks again for the great 1st experience in Africa, good wildlife, good people everyday, what more I can ask for?
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francescamontanar
Milan, Italy
10
Fran
Best trip of my life - would strongly recommend it!!! It is very extremely safe and the leader will always make
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Gautam A
30
Safari In Africa with Acasia
Excellent trip, well planned, looked after well, many tips, staff were super helpful and friendly. Saw plenty of
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gokulv1989
Christchurch, New Zealand
10
Kenya and Tanzania
Great service. Good value for money. A very enjoyable experience. Tour leader Rachel and driver Sam were
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Elodie C
London, United Kingdom
30
The most amazing trip of a lifetime
I just finished the 58-day Nairobi to Cape Town Ultimate African Overlander, camping the whole way down, and it
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jkerr2uk
10
Fantastic African overlanding experience
My husband and I are in our early 30s and joined Acacia Africa in February in Nairobi for the ‘28 days overland
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uzchuck
10
Buyer beware! Big rip off!
First of all the safari pass is a big rip off! They do not use this money as they say. It is more money for the
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manejga
Mexico City, Mexico
40
Amazing experience!
We loved having the opportunity of interacting from people from all over the world. Animals and multicultural
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Tanya G
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
20
Amazing experience!
I booked a 3 week tour with Acacia Africa from Kruger to Cape Town & loved every minute! The guides are
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feecragg96
Cranleigh, United Kingdom
112
Cape Town to Kenya
This is the only way to properly travel in Africa! The guides have done the routes so many times that they have so
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