Embrace a world of wild beauty and unique experiences on our 37-day Gorillas & East Africa expedition. Our adventure unfurls from the bustling heart of Nairobi, acting as a vibrant launchpad to the animal kingdom’s theatre – Masai Mara National Park. This park is the epicentre of the awe-inspiring Great Migration, a spectacle of life that redefines grandeur.
Our journey then carves a path through the geological marvel, the Great Rift Valley, where the Earth’s tectonic forces have sculpted breath-taking panoramas. Our caravan arrives at Lake Nakuru National Park, a haven adorned with a splash of pink flamingos amidst verdant landscapes.
Though East Africa offers an array of picturesque mountains and ethereal crater lakes, the ‘Jewel of the Continent’ is undeniably Bwindi National Park. Here, shrouded in verdant mystique, we engage in an intimate encounter with the critically endangered mountain gorilla. Each visitation permit contributes towards the precious conservation efforts, binding us into the narrative of their survival.
After we’ve filled our souls with these experiences, we head back to Nairobi and steer our course southward, entering Tanzania – the world’s safari Mecca. We spend exhilarating days traversing the fabled Serengeti National Park and the enchanting Ngorongoro Crater in our open-top 4×4 vehicles, exploring the dense, wildlife-rich terrain.
As the African sun begins to mellow, we guide you to the exotic sands of Zanzibar Island, where we’ll indulge in a 3-night retreat. We’ll meander along the sun-kissed beaches of Zanzibar and step back in time in the historic Stone Town.
Then, as if responding to the call of Africa’s warm heart, we arrive in Malawi. Here, we bask in the beauty of Lake Malawi, the country’s crown jewel, and watch the sunrise paint the sky with hues of a radiant dawn. Our next compass point directs us to the untouched wilderness of South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, where we revel in a sunset safari.
Our epic journey concludes with a majestic flourish at Victoria Falls, straddling the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe. As we arrive at the thunderous splendour of the Falls unfurls in front of us in Livingstone. Consider extending your trip to bask in the allure of this natural wonder. Our 37-day safari provides a captivating lens into the heart of East Africa, echoing with experiences that linger long after the journey’s end.
Day 1 – 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.
Day 2 – 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.
Day 3 – 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.
Day 4 – Jinja
This morning we cross the border into Uganda and make our 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.
Day 5 – Masindi – Murchison Falls National Park
After a quick stop in the city of Kampala, 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.
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 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.
Day 7 – Lake Kikorongo
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.
Day 8 – 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.
Day 9 – 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.
Day 10 – 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.
Day 11 – Lake Mburo
We depart the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi for another of Uganda’s beautiful water bodies – Lake Mburo. Lake Mburo is situated in the Ankole sub-region of Uganda, near the town of Mbarara, and spans an area of approximately 260 square kilometers and is surrounded by rolling hills, open grasslands, and patches of woodland. With over 350 recorded bird species, Lake Mburo National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include acacia woodlands, savannahs, and wetlands, provide optimal habitats for numerous bird species, including the rare and odd looking shoebill stork.
Day 12 – Jinja
This morning we leave the Ankole region and set off on our return journey to Jinja. Jinja offers many exciting optional activities which 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 – Jinja
Jinja offers many optional activities for the adventurous and for the not so adventurous. Today you’ll have at your leisure, and your guide will assist you to plan for this day.
Day 14 – 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.
Day 15 – Nairobi
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 where we will overnight before continuing into Tanzania.
Day 16 – Nairobi – Arusha
Leaving behind the bustle of Nairobi we travel south to the Tanzanian border. After completing border formalities we continue to the busy town of Arusha, our base for the night. Northern Tanzania is home to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro.
Day 17 – Serengeti National Park (Seronera)
We are collected this morning in safari style vehicles and depart Arusha early, heading directly towards the Serengeti National Park. In the afternoon, we will arrive at our camp in the Seronera region located in the heart of the Serengeti. 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.
Day 18 – Serengeti National Park (Seronera)
This morning we rise early to enjoy a full day’s game drive 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.
Day 19 – Ngorongoro Crater – Karatu
We spend the morning commuting towards Ngorongoro Crater where we will enter the conservation area and explore the crater floor in search of the animals which roam the plains. After our exploration, we exist the crater and make the short journey to Karatu where we will overnight.
Day 20 – Arusha
Soon after our departure from Karatu, we will visit the Mto wa Mbu Market which is situated in the little village of Mto wa Mbu. Known for crops such as rice and their distinctive red bananas, the town sits on the main road that links the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater Conversation Area with Arusha. Returning to Arusha, we spend the night reminiscing about our experiences of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Day 21 – Bagamoyo
We head out early this morning as we journey south to our overnight stop in the coastal town of Bagamoyo. Formerly a centre point of the East African slave trade, Bagamoyo lies just north of the port of Dar es Salaam. While today is primarily a travel day, we experience the hustle and bustle of one of Africa’s major travel routes. Road travel in Africa is an experience in itself and the bustling markets, villages and scenic backdrops that line the routes give a window into the lifestyle of rural Africa. This evening we will prepare for our Zanzibar excursion that begins tomorrow morning.
Day 22 – Zanzibar Beaches
We depart Bagamoyo and head towards Dar es Salaam and the ferry port to catch the ferry to Zanzibar Island. After arriving in Zanzibar we make our way to the eastern shores of the island where we will spend the next two nights at a beachfront resort. Relax on the beach, enjoy the infinity swimming pool or rent a bicycle and explore the neighbourhood.
Day 23 – Zanzibar Beaches
Today is a free day to enjoy some of the attractions and activities on offer. Whatever it is you chose to do today, you will have ample opportunity to create some island memories. Explore the many attractions on offer or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
Day 24 – Stone Town (Zanzibar)
This morning we transfer by road to Stone Town. Before we arrive in Stone Town, 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. We continue to Stone Town, boasting a rich history this busy port town was once a landmark on both the Slave and Spice trade routes. We will enjoy a walking tour of Stone Town to discover the more well known landmarks, including the birthplace of Freddy Mercury.
Day 25 – Dar es Salaam
We bid farewell to the island of Zanzibar and we catch our ferry back to Dar es Salaam, arriving in the early afternoon, where we will overnight before continuing our journey.
Day 26 – Mikumi
Leaving the coast behind us we travel inland and make our way to Mikumi where we stop for the night. Mikumi National Park ranks as the fourth largest park in Tanzania and forms part of a 75 000 square kilometre wilderness that centres on Selous, Africa’s largest game reserve.
Day 27 – Iringa
The town of Iringa sits on a cliff overlooking the Ruaha River Valley. The town centre offers the visitor a view into the past with its German colonial buildings and a popular market. The Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery memorialises soldiers who died in local battles during WWI and WWII.
Before reaching the town, we have a quick stop at the Baobab Valley, a mesmerizing landscape dotted with ancient, towering baobab trees that have stood the test of time. These iconic trees create a surreal and breath-taking scene, casting dramatic shadows against the African savannah, the perfect backdrop to stop for a group picture.
Day 28 – Mbeya Region
This afternoon 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.
Day 29 – Lake Malawi
Leaving Tanzania behind, we descend the Great Rift Valley and cross the border into Malawi. Known as the “Warm Heart of Africa” the lakeside country is blessed with natural beauty Our destination tonight is the shores of Lake Malawi where we look forward to spending the night enjoying the attractions of the northern regions of the lake. Snorkelling in the crystal waters offers the chance to see first-hand the brilliantly coloured tropical cichlids, tiny fish often found in colourful aquariums around the world.
Day 30 – Lake Malawi
This morning we board our truck and head further South of Lake Malawi. Our destination tonight is the shores of Lake Malawi. Stretching over 500km along the western boundary of Malawi, the lake is home to more species of fish than any other lake. We spend the night on the shores of this natural wonder.
Day 31 – Lake Malawi
Today is another day of leisure, relaxing at the lake. Use the time to read a book, soak up the sun or indulge in the many attractions that are on offer.
Day 32 – South Luangwa
This morning we enjoy a final sunrise on the shores of Lake Malawi before setting off for Zambia and the South Luangwa National Park. After crossing the border into Zambia we make a short stop in Chipata before continuing to our camp on the banks of the Luangwa River. Having watched the sun rise over Lake Malawi in the morning we enjoy an equally spectacular sunset over the Luangwa River this evening.
Day 33 – South Luangwa
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, enjoying a sundowner on the way. 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.
Day 34 – Petauke
Leaving the Luangwa Valley this morning, we make a stop at Mulberry Mongoose to view their local jewellery and curios, these accessories are hand crafted by local ladies from South Luangwa using organic materials originating from the African bush. The Chipata area is a major producer of cotton and we get a taste of the creativity of the African culture. Our destination tonight is the small town of Petauke.
Day 35 – Petuake – Chirundu
Setting off we head west towards Chirundu, our destination for the night, we make a delightful stop at Luangwa Market, a bustling hub where local Zambian vendors showcase their wares. Among the treasures on display are masau and masaku, delectable fruits that are available year-round and renowned for their mouth-watering taste. In addition, other African curios catch our eye, from charming miniature hippos to intricately woven baskets and papyrus carpets, adding to the colourful tapestry of this vibrant marketplace. 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.
Day 36 – Chirundu
As our lodge is situated along the banks of the Kafue River, today is free for you to participate in some of the activities on offer. Fishing on the Zambezi River is one of the most popular activities, or book a full day safari experience in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Other optional activities include a river safari, birding and an excursion to the baobab forest and bat cave.
Day 37 – Livingstone
Crossing the Southern reaches of Zambia we make our way to the adventure town of Livingstone located right on Victoria Falls. This afternoon you can get your first look at the mighty Victoria Falls, or as the Zambian locals call it, “Musi oa Tunya”, the Smoke that Thunders as the falls are known in the local language. Your tour comes to an end upon arrival in Livingstone.
- On Request
- Small Group
- German Translator
- German Guided
Pre & Post Tour
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation
Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.
Airport Transfer Available Sentrim Boulevard Hotel – Nairobi
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