Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari

This 14 day Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari combines some of the biggest highlights of East Africa. On this tour you will enjoy safaris in the world famous Masai Mara National Park and go gorilla trekking in Uganda. Look into the eyes of the last wild mountain gorillas– an experience you will never forget.

This overland group tour also offers some spectacular natural landscapes, beautiful lakes, diverse cultural groups and you can even go white water rafting on the Nile river!

This tour conveniently departs and ends in Nairobi in Kenya.  From Nairobi you can also join our 20 day East African Adventure (South).

  • This tour is offered in two travel styles:

1. Camping: Clients mostly overnight in comfortable two-man dome tents, with built in mosquito nets and of course a mattress… and a couple of nights are upgraded to budget rooms.
2. Accommodated (hotels/ lodges): Clients overnight in a comfortable twin rooms or permanent safari tents, mostly with en-suite bathrooms.

2020 Tour dossier
  • The basics:

Camping option How much
Tour price ZAR 36 450
Single supplement ZAR 1950
* Gorilla permit U$ 630 - U$ 730
Hotel/ Lodge option How much
Tour price ZAR 41 450
Single supplement ZAR 4450
* Gorilla permit U$ 630 - U$ 730
How long 14 days
Group size 20 clients max
Start point Nairobi, Kenya
End point Nairobi, Kenya
Meals Breakfast x 13, Lunch x 13, Dinner x 13
Countries Kenya, Uganda

* The Gorilla Permit costs between U$ 630 - U$ 730 in 2020. The Gorilla Permit is a compulsory payment. Keep this in mind for your budget.

Included: Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary, transport, registered guides and selected activities as per itinerary.
Excluded: flights, all items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities etc.

  • Day to day description l Gorillas and Masai Mara Safari

Day 1: Nairobi - Masai Mara National Reserve
Your gorillas and Masai Mara safari begins once we leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara. The Masai Mara is world renowned for its endless plains of wild animals and spectacular beauty. The visit to the Masai Mara is operated in safari type vehicles and not the overland truck. For this reason, you are asked to pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, sleeping bag, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials.

Day 2: Masai Mara National Reserve
The rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara offer ideal wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities. Some of the other animals that could be found here include elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers, which traverse this reserve. Today we will spend the entire day on safari (game driving) through the Mara in search of all the animals.

Day 3: Masai Mara - Lake Nakuru
We rise early and enjoy our final safari through the Mara before heading to Lake Nakuru National Park, where we will enjoy an afternoon game drive through the park. Lake Nakuru is home to large flocks of flamingos and pelicans as well as black & white rhino, leopard, lion and numerous buck. Originally created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru was upgraded to National Park status in 1968.

Day 4: Jinja, Uganda
This is a special day as we cross the border into Uganda and we cross the Equator on our way to Jinja! Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and most famous as the point where the Nile (officially the Victoria Nile) flows out of Lake Victoria and begins the 6695 kilometer journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.

Day 5: Masindi - Murchison Falls National Park
After a quick stop in the city of Kampala, we travel in the direction of The Murchison Falls National Park. Also referred to as the Kabaraga Falls, Murchison Falls is a waterfall found on the course of the great Nile and are located within the Murchison National Park. The park is recognized as one of the best National Parks in Uganda. After settling into our accommodation in Masindi, your guide will brief you on the activities for the following day.

Day 6: Masindi - Budongo Central Forest Reserve
Budongo Forest is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa and is home to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. It is believed that there are between 600 – 700 chimpanzees in Budongo and this morning we will meet up with our chimp guide who will take us on our trek through the forest in search of the chimps. We will also enjoy a safari drive through the park in search of the great diversity of wild animals.

Please note: As the Chimp trekking is limited to 12 guests per trek, should there be more than 12 guests on a tour the trekking will be split between the morning and the afternoon. Therefore you may find that you will first do the game drive activity followed by the Chimp trekking or vice versa. Please allow for flexibility.

Day 7: Kampala
While we spend the night in the bustling capital city of Kampala, this morning we have the opportunity to visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. These majestic animals are in a literal fight for their survival. Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) was formed as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in 1997 and is tasked with overseeing its aim of reintroducing Rhinoceros, a highly endangered species across the globe, back into the National Parks of Uganda through a breeding and release program. Out of this emerged the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, 7000 hectares of imminently suitable savannah and native woodlands.

Day 8: Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)
We cross the Equator again en-route to Lake Bunyoni. Lake Bunyoni is a beautiful little lake with steep sides and abundant bird life. Ringed by mountains, the lake is best known for its dense otter population and stunning scenery. We make use of this beautiful spot to relax the night before the final drive to the gorillas.
Optional Activities: Canoe rental lake Bunyoni

Day 9: Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)
The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only around 650 left. Visiting the gorillas is a great way to support their future on earth as the money spent on permits is used for their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining gorillas rests in the community development work – as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is assured.

As permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are extremely limited we require flexibility in both the tour itinerary and where we actually visit them. The home of the mountain gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Whenever possible we choose to make use of the National Park in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits.

Should we not obtain permits to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC.

On your open day (when you don't visit the gorillas) in Bunyoni you will have the opportunity to participate in certain optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike.

Day 10: Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)
Although there are 2 days allocated to Gorilla Trekking you will only spend one day on the trek. The other days are there to provide a large enough window in which to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to trek if there are more than 6 of you on the tour. Today we will enjoy a visit to the Nyombi Village, a Pygmy village which is reached by motor boat from Bunyonyi Resort. We will have the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Pygmies and how they live. 

Day 11: Lake Bunyoni - Kampala
Today we set off on our return journey to Kampala and make a third crossing of the Equator along our way. Tonight your guide will brief you on the activities available in Jinja so that you can plan your day tomorrow. We overnight in Kampala and enjoy an optional dinner out.

Day 12: Jinja
A short distance from Kampala, Jinja offers many exciting activities and your guide will assist you to plan for this day. Most activities are focussed around the waters of the Nile and these include rafting, kayaking and a variety of cruises on Africa’s largest river. While those who may be less inclined to water sports can enjoy horse riding or a quadbike adventure on dry land.

Day 13: Kenya - Eldoret

Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the country’s 5th largest city. The Great Rift Valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region and the altitude at Eldoret is 2100 meters above sea level.

Day 14: Nairobi
We return to our final destination of the tour. Nairobi is the largest city in the East Africa region and there is an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details. Your tour ends upon arrival in Nairobi.

Please note: The itinerary is flexible and can be changed without notice in order to accommodate the best possible viewing of the Gorillas. The Permit price to visit the Gorillas can also change without notice.

Interested in this tour?

Before and after the tour services
To help with the planning of your trip, you are more than welcome to book these hotels before and/ or after your tour through us. These hotels are either the starting or end point of your tour, or it will be conveniently close to it. These hotels also offer airport transfers. For information on prices, just click "Hotels and Transfers" at the bottom of this page.

Our gorilla trekking tours in Uganda depart from this hotel in Nairobi in Kenya

Sentrim Boulevard Hotel is located close to the Nairobi National Museum and the University of Nairobi. It is within walking distance of the city market, a Barclays ATM on the University grounds and there is a grocery store nearby…