As we start with our 35-day East Africa & Gorillas safari tour we leave the dazzling Victoria Falls and head to the South Luangwa National Park. South Luangwa National Park is a world-class safari destination and our game viewing experience starts here with an afternoon game drive as we go in search of the elusive leopard. When we have discovered the wide variety of wildlife in the park we will travel into the warm heart of Africa, Malawi where we spend a few days indulging in the many attractions that underlie the charm of the Lake and its people. Before we go to the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of Zanzibar we’ll continue our game viewing experience at Mikumi National Park. Your time on Zanzibar is split between the northern reaches of Nungwi, where there are many attractions and activities on offer, water sports, fishing, snorkelling and an ocean safari are just some of the offerings. The other option is to simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun. En route to Stone Town, we participate in a walking spice tour, passing through villages and spice plantations. Stone Town offers a rich history and was once a landmark on both the slave and spice trade routes. The Serengeti offers an authentic and idyllic wilderness safari that cannot be left out on any safari. Our overnight excursion, operated in specialised 4×4 safari vehicles, allows us to explore the Ngorongoro crater floor, where herds of wildlife are known to congregate and spend a full day traversing the Serengeti National Park. Our next leg of the tour starts in Nairobi and we head to the Masai Mara National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park for world class safari and animal viewing. We cross into Uganda and enjoy a trek through Budongo Forest, the biggest Mahogany forest in East Africa and the home of the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. We travel south to the beautiful scenery of Lake Bunyoni and there we will be taken into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to visit the endangered Mountain Gorilla.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation
Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.
Airport Transfer Available Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel
Rainbow Hotel is situated 4km from the town centre of Victoria Falls, far enough away to enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush, but close enough to get into town quite easily if required. There is a complimentary shuttle that operates between the hotel and the town of Vic… … Read More
Airport Transfer Available Sentrim Boulevard
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. Depending on the traffic in Nairobi, it can take anything from… … Read More
Setting off early from Victoria Falls, we catch a last sighting of the mighty falls before crossing the border into Zambia. While we have a long day travelling today, we get our first impressions of the Africa that awaits us. Colourful markets, busy villages and rural scenes form the backdrop of our journey to the outskirts of Lusaka. We enjoy a prepared meal on arrival as our guides brief us on the days ahead.
This morning we drive through Zambia’s busy capital Lusaka before turning east towards Petauke, our destination for the night. As an important link between Lusaka and neighbouring Malawi, the Great East Road winds through rural Zambia and we will cross the mighty Luangwa River along the way. Dotted with villages and subsistence farms, todays landscapes serve as a stark contrast to the developed countries so many of us call home.
South Luangwa National Park
With two days of travel behind us we look forward to the tranquillity of South Luangwa and this morning we make our way to the banks of the Luangwa River. Our first stop though is the town of Chipata, home of Chipata Cotton and an important centre for the cotton famers of the region. Tribal Textiles represents the creativity of the African culture and those interested can enjoy a tour of their workshops (March to December). One of the finest sunsets is surely that enjoyed on the banks of the Luangwa River, so grab a cold drink and watch the day fade away.
South Luangwa National Park
South Luangwa National Park is a world-class safari destination and we have a full day to explore the park in search of the variety of wildlife found in the park. This morning you can partake in an optional morning safari or during the dry season (April to December) you can join one of the iconic walking safaris on offer in the park. This afternoon we will enjoy a sunset drive in the park including a sundowner stop. The unique opportunity to explore the park at night gives us a chance to spot the elusive nocturnal species that are rarely seen in the day.
This morning we board our truck and set off for Malawi, the warm heart of Africa. Our destination tonight is the shores of Lake Malawi, the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system. As one of the ten largest lakes in the world, the lake stretches for over 500km along the western boundary of Malawi and is home to more species of fish than any other lake. We spend the night on the shores of this natural wonder.
Today is all about the lake and this day is set aside for you to relax at the lake. Use the time to read a book, soak up the sun or indulge in the many attractions that are on offer.
Today we are back on the road for most of the day travelling further north and will overnight once again on the banks of Lake Malawi. Our Nomad guide will lead us on a walking tour through a nearby village in the afternoon. After the walk, enjoy the sunset over the lake from the beach.
We depart this morning and continue north, heading for the Utengule Coffee Lodge where we will overnight.
Tanzania – Iringa
Before heading to Iringa, we will make a stop at a local coffee plantation where we have the opportunity to see the process of growing and harvesting coffee beans and will be able to sample some of the beans. We then ascend the Great Rift Valley and make our way into Tanzania. We round the northern extremes of the lake as we turn east and continue to our overnight stop in Iringa.
This morning we complete our journey to the doorstep of Mikumi National Park. Mikumi ranks as the fourth largest park in Tanzania, but forms part of a 75 000 square kilometre wilderness that centres on Selous, Africa’s largest game reserve. Today you will have the opportunity to book a game drive in Mikumi National Park.
Stone Town (Zanzibar)
We head out early to catch our ferry to Zanzibar Island from Dar es Salaam. After arriving at the ferry port we make our way to our hotel located in Stone Town.
Stone Town - Nungwi
Boasting a rich history this busy port was once a landmark on both the Slave and Spice trade routes. This morning we will travel by road to the north of the island, Nungwi and our base for the next 2 nights. Before our arrival in Nungwi, we will stop along the way to enjoy a guided walking spice tour, which passes through villages and spice plantations. You will be able to witness first-hand how spice farm workers climb the trees and seek out specific plants and will have the opportunity to purchase fresh spices directly from these farms.
Today is a free day to enjoy some of the many attractions and activities on offer. Water sports are the order of the day and Nungwi offers fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and a variety of ocean safari options. Whatever it is you chose to do today, you will have ample opportunity to create some island memories. Rent a scooter and explore the many attractions on offer or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
We bid farewell to the island and board our return ferry, on arrival back at the Dar es Salaam port, we reunite with our truck and return to Bagamoyo where we spend the night.
Heading north this morning we travel across the northern reaches of Tanzania, our destination tonight is the bustling town of Arusha. Northern Tanzania is home to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro. You will be briefed this evening by our local guide on what to prepare for the coming days.
Although it is short distance to Karatu, we will spend most of the day commuting closer to the Ngorongoro Crater. Upon arrival in Karatu, our guide will brief us on our overnight excursion into the crater.
Ngorongoro Crater & Seronera Excursion
We rise early and will be collected from our camp and transferred to the Ngorongoro Crater in 4×4 safari type vehicles. We will spend the bulk of our day exploring the crater floor in search of the animals which roam the plains. In the afternoon, we will arrive at our overnight camp in the Seronera region, located in the heart of the Serengeti National Park. The camp is surrounded by spectacular views and abundant wildlife and this evening, while sipping on a cold beverage, we will enjoy the sights and sounds of nature passing right in front of your meru style tent.
This morning we rise early to enjoy our time game driving through Serengeti National Park. Famous for the abundant wildlife that exists in the park, we will spend most of our day in search of the animals that reside here. We will arrive back in Karatu in the late afternoon and will spend our evening reminiscing about our encounters of the past two days.
Returning to Arusha, tonight we will reunite with our fellow travelers who opted for the optional Serengeti excursion and we share our experiences of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Kenya – Nairobi
We cross the border into Kenya this morning and make our way to Nairobi.
Today is free for you to explore the streets of Nairobi. A number of optional day trips can be booked including a visit to the Giraffe Centre and the Nairobi National Park.
Masai Mara National Reserve
We leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara, 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 Nomad truck. For this reason, you are asked to pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities. Some of the 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 game driving through the Mara in search of all the animals.
Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning we bid the Mara farewell 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.
This morning we not only cross the border into Uganda, but shortly after setting out this morning 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 kilometre journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Masindi – Murchison Falls National Park
After meeting your crew this morning, we head 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 is 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.
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 boat cruise in the park. 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.
This morning we depart Masindi and transfer towards the edges of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Our accommodation for the night is nestled atop a hill overlooking Lake Kikorongo.
Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
Crossing the Equator once more we travel south to the beautiful scenery of Lake Bunyonyi. With eager anticipation we prepare for the upcoming Gorilla trekking excursion and tonight we will receive a briefing on what to expect.
Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
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 free day in Bunyonyi you will have the opportunity to participate in certain optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike.
Gorillas (Lake Bunyonyi)
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.
Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala
This morning we set off on our return journey to Kampala, where your tour comes to an end upon arrival in the city.
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.
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 metres above sea level.
Returning to Nairobi this afternoon we reflect on many memories that we have gathered together and brace ourselves for a return to the busy streets of Nairobi. Your tour ends upon arrival in Nairobi.
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