10 Day Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking Safari
Explore the primeval forest of Bwindi Impenetrable NP and its giant but gentle inhabitants, the mountain gorillas.
Reach out to the Batwa forest people and delve into their ancient cultures.
See the extraordinary Wildebeest Migration in season and seek out the Big 5 game on Masai Mara’s wilderness plains.
Take a hot-air balloon safari at sunrise, guided bushwalks, horseback safari rides, and Maasai cultural encounters.
Spectacular landscape views of the Mountains of the Moon (Rwenzori Mountains), the Virunga Volcano Ranges, Uganda’s marvelous western countryside, and the vastness of Masai Mara savannah plains.
The annual great migration showcase and fantastic wildlife viewing all-year-round in Masai Mara.
Observe destination standard operating procedures to avoid COVID19 transmission.
Know before you go
The Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking Safari is a cross-border itinerary that will require some bureaucracy when crossing, especially because of COVID-19 restrictions. We’ll use scheduled local flights and 4×4 safari vehicles between Nairobi, Laikipia, and Masai Mara because the selected attractions are more than 6 hours drive apart.
Please take and carry a NEGATIVE PCR COVID-19 TEST certificate. You’ll be required to present it for entry. We’ll keen to observe Covid-19 guidelines to ensure your safety during this trip. The lodges booked for you have been checked for Coronavirus standards of operation and have been found to comply.
Please visit the gym or workout to prepare yourself for the gorilla trekking adventure. Because of the steep terrain in the gorilla sanctuary, you’ll need to be physically fit to trek to the gorillas.
The tour is limited to a maximum of 6 travelers per vehicle and a 30% deposit on confirmation.
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you’ll start your Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking Safari adventure with a short transfer to Papyrus Guesthouse where you’ll spend the next two nights. Papyrus is located in a quiet suburb behind the presidential statehouse with a relaxing natural setting with trees and a beautiful garden.
For an introduction to the gorilla nation, you visit some of Entebbe’s famous attractions like the leisurely Botanical gardens (great for birding enthusiasts), Jane Goodall’s Ngamba Chimpanzee Island, UWEC Zoo with a collection of animal species found in Uganda, and visit victoria mall for shopping and forex exchange.
After your breakfast, you’ll transfer to Entebbe International Airport for your scheduled local flight to Kisoro. A flight over western Uganda will reveal the most beautiful emerald landscapes that gracefully fade from the savannah plains into the mountainous rainforests and cultivated lands. The imposing Rwenzori Mountains fade out as the misty Virunga massifs welcome you to the indomitable gorilla sanctuary.
You’ll land at Kihihi Airstrip, and your Safari vacations Africa Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking Safari guides will pick and transfer you to Kisoro, where you’ll embark on a hiking and canoe challenge. As your guide goes round to meet you somewhere, a walking safari guide will take you through the Mutanda trail through local villages, communities, and gardens. Get used to being called Mzungu by village children’s excited by your presence and take in the sights and sounds of the communities you’ll be walking through. After a 45 minute walk, the stunningly beautiful lake mutanda will reveal itself from the shadows of the mountainous slopes for your next canoe riding challenge across the lake. You’ll be assisted by a canoeing expert in a dugout local canoe to paddle your way on the calm waters of the lake: you don’t need to worry about hippos, crocodiles, or bilharzia here.
On the other side of the lake, the guide will lead you to the vehicle waiting at the main road. He’ll drive you to Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, where a warm shower, delicious meal, and clean white sheets will be waiting for you. The lodge is set on a ridge with a 360-degree unbeatable view of the emerald Bwindi Impenetrable Forest swathe and the seven Virunga massifs. Its design is inspired by nature, and cottages are all privately build with trees around them.
Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner
After an early breakfast, a guide will drive you to the trailhead for briefing before you hit the jungles to find the mountain gorilla family that you have been assigned. Trekking through the jungle could take from 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas were last seen last evening. So make sure you are physically able to withstand the trek through uneven terrain, damp forest floors, and thick forest cover. When you meet the gorillas, you’re allowed only 60 minutes (gorilla trekking permit $700) or 4 hours (gorilla habituation experience $1,500), with the gentle giants and you’ll be escorted back. Back at camp as the night cools down, you have a roaring campfire and local songs to look forward to as well as a deep massage, perfect for soothing any aching muscles after a day of hiking.
You’ll have another day to meet the local Batwa tribes people, delve into their hidden cultures, visit their forest, and listen to their age-old tales.
Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After a very early breakfast, drive along the Nteko Ridge to the Ivy River Trail’s junction with the forest (7 km) and then start the unforgettable hike across the forest (13km – 4-5 hours). Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a vast, unique natural reserve – monkeys, duikers, bush pigs, and some of Bwindi’s world-renowned bird species, plus many butterflies,s can be sighted.
If you are fortunate, you may even encounter gorillas! Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighboring Rwanda, the park is nowadays an ecological island within a sea of villages and farmland, and its conservation importance is immense.
The emphasis of this Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking Safari activity is for your walking guide to share his knowledge of the forest with you; it is not merely an A to B hike. The trail is also an essential footpath for local people, particularly on market days, traveling from Nkuringo and Nteko to Buhoma, on the park’s northern boundary. There is no road through Bwindi, so vehicles driving between the two locations have an incredible 170 km bone-jarring journey taking 6 to 8 hours.
Upon reaching Buhoma, you’ll head directly to your lodging, Buhoma Lodge, one of only two lodges set within the bounds of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Buhoma lodge enjoys incredible views across the forest canopy. Each of the ten chalets accentuates the natural beauty of the surrounds of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. With stunning views from each private veranda, you’ll complement your hiking in the jungle appreciation of Africa’s stunning natural beauty.
Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to Kihihi Airstrip (3 hours drive) for a scheduled flight to Entebbe. You will be met at Entebbe airport and assisted onto a scheduled flight to Masai Mara and check into the magnificent Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp where you’ll spend the next three nights.
Sprawled along the Saparingo River on the edge of the Oloololo escarpment, where riverine forest meets the sweeping plains in the seasonal path of the awe-inspiring Great Migration, Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp provides an authentic dose of African wildlife, delivered with legendary Kenyan hospitality.
Whether you take the Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking Safari during migration season or not, Masai Mara provides exceptional Family safari experiences on the savannah plains. You’ll take morning and afternoon game drives to the savannah plains to catch predator action. Lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wildebeest, elephant, buffalo, crocodile, and giraffe are among the heavyweights you can quickly see on a game drive. You will have a chance to meet the native Masai worries and experience their old way of life and take a hot-air balloon safari over the Masai lands.
Accommodation: Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
After your breakfast, you’ll take a flight back to Wilson Airport where a driver will pick and transfer you to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight back home.
Accommodation: This can be arranged based on the time of your flight back home.