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East African Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda’s Gorillas

Cultural tour & Safari of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda & Rwanda

East Africa – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda & Rwanda stand as a veritable treasure trove, boasting the most diverse and vibrant collection of wildlife that thrives freely in its expansive territories. From the untamed expanses of the Masai Mara to the majestic Serengeti, the awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater, the serene Mburo, the impenetrable Bwindi, and the captivating Volcanos National Park, this region offers an unparalleled spectacle of nature's grandeur. Here, it's not just about the renowned Big 5; East Africa proudly houses the most extensive array of animal species, a captivating tapestry of avian life, and is the custodian of over 80% of the world's Mountain Gorillas. Not to be overshadowed, the region also unveils its rich tapestry of flora and fauna, complemented by its natural parks, cascading waterfalls, and much more. Embark on an artistically curated 18-day overland safari  affording you the extraordinary opportunity to encounter Mountain Gorillas in two remarkable locations – the lush Bwindi in Uganda and the enchanting Volcanoes in Rwanda. With well-timed precision, you might even witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Great Migration, an epic migration of over two million wildebeest and other majestic herbivores, accompanied by their formidable carnivorous counterparts.
Our intimate groups, limited to a maximum of 7 passanegrs, ensure that you receive personalized attention from our highly knowledgeable local accompanying English-speaking guide/drivers.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
1. Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley 2. Tanzania - Ngorongoro Conservation Area
3. Tanzania - Serengeti National Park 4. Uganda - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
5. Olduvai Gorge    
Tour Information
Duration : 18 days
Minimum : 02 persons
Maximum : 07 persons
Price (From) : US$ 8495
International air not included
Day 01: Arrive Nairobi (KENYA)
Day 02: Nairobi/Amboseli (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 03: Amboseli
(B, L, D)
Day 04: Amboseli/Lake Naivasha (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 05: Lake Naivasha /Lake Nakuru (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 06: Lake Nakuru/Masai Mara (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 07: Masai Mara
(B, L, D)
Day 08: Masai Mara/Lake Victoria (Drive) (TANZANIA)
(B, L, D)
Day 09: Lake Victoria/Serengeti (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 10: Serengeti
(B, L, D)
Day 11: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 12: Ngorongoro Crater/Lake Manyara (Drive)
(B, L, D)
Day 13: Lake Manyara/Arusha (Road) Flight to Entebbe (UGANDA)
(D)
Day 14: Entebbe/Lake Mburo National Park (Road)
(B, L, D)
Day 15: Lake Mburo National Park/Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Road)
(B, L, D)
Day 16: Gorilla Trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Drive to Musanze (RWANDA)
(B, L, D)
Day 17: Gorilla Trekking Experience at Volcanoes National Park
(B, L, D)
Day 18: Golden Monkey trekking and transfer to Kigali Airport
(B, L)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Nairobi (KENYA)

Giraffe Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

Karibu, Jambo, Habari Gani, Hakuna Matata, Greetings we will hear. We are warmly received in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, at Nairobi International Airport (NBO), and transferred to our hotel. The Kiswahili language here is often easily understood as many people mix the vernacular with English words. Balance of the day is free.

Overnight: Eka Hotel, Nairobi (1 night)

*Upgrade to Nairobi Serena Lodge available for US$ 70/CA$ 95 per person, per night

Day 02: Nairobi/Amboseli (Drive)

Our day begins with an exploration of vibrant Nairobi. Witness the grand Parliament House, then dive into Kenya’s rich heritage at Nairobi National Museum. Next, get up close with endangered Rothschild’s giraffes at the Giraffe Centre, and experience the Karen Blixen Museum, celebrating the famous author of Out of Africa.

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

After a hot lunch, our safari adventure begins as we travel to Amboseli National Park, a photographer’s paradise. Amboseli is famous for it’s stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest stand-alone mountain. On clear days, we have the chance to snap photos of Amboseli’s vast herds of elephants against the majestic backdrop of Africa’s tallest peak. During our afternoon game drive, our expert guides leads us to the best spots for wildlife sightings before we savour one of Kenya’s famously beautiful sunsets.

Overnight: Amboseli Serena Lodge, Amboseli (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 03: Amboseli

a herd of elephants walking along a body of water

Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives exploring one of Kenya’s most scenic national parks. Sightings of scores of big-tusk elephants is almost guaranteed, but we’ll also have the chance to spot wildebeest, zebra, lion, cheetah, hyena and some of the parks more than 370 species of bird. Amboseli also offers a hot air balloon safari as do Masai Mara and Serengeti National Parks.

We also have the option to meet the unique Masai people, a proud warrior tribe who have managed to preserve much of their traditional culture and lifestyle. Visits to the Masai village must be booked in advance – Details found in our “Notes” section. (B, L, D)

Day 04: Amboseli/Lake Naivasha (Drive)

white pelican, lake naivasha, Naivasha, Kenya

A picturesque rural drive takes us to Lake Naivasha, a stunning freshwater lake with shores filled with flower farms, traditional villages and a great range of game life. Giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps and colobus monkeys call from the treetops while the lake’s large hippo population sleep the day out in the shallows. Naivasha is also a true haven for bird lovers. Time permitting, take a one-hour optional boat safari to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitats. Details found in our “Notes” section.

Overnight: Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge, Lake Naivasha (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 05: Lake Naivasha /Lake Nakuru (Drive)

Beautiful scenes from a safari in the natural reserves. Lake Nakuru in Kenya

Today, we embark on a full day of adventure, exploring the Great Rift Valley and Lake Nakuru National Park*. The park supports a wide range of ecological diversity, including greater and lesser flamingos, as well as more than 80 species of bird—a highlight for any birdwatcher! The lake is also known for the black and white rhinoceros who call it home. We experience morning and afternoon game drives through this wildlife haven, with a stop for lunch at our lodge in between.

Overnight: Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge, Lake Nakuru (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 06: Lake Nakuru/Masai Mara (Drive)

A lone hot air balloon over a herd of wildebeest over the Masai Mara in Kenya.

Today, we journey to the iconic Masai Mara, one of the world’s most well-known game reserves. Thousands of animals make their home here, from elephants to giraffes to countless species of antelope. Scores of predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, roam the plains, providing ample opportunities for unforgettable encounters. Upon arrival at our lodge, we will be treated to a hot lunch before embarking on our first game drive at the Mara through this unforgettable wildlife haven.

Overnight: Mara Serena Lodge, Masai Mara (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 07: Masai Mara

Maasai woman in Koibatek, Kenya

An adventurous day ahead as we enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the spectacular Masai Mara Game Reserve. Blessed with a permanent water supply, Masai Mara has a year-round population of diverse and abundant game. All of the Big Five animals – elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino – are quite common on this scenic grassland, as well as cheetah, hippo, zebra and giraffe (rounding out the Big Nine!). Additionally, the Mara is yet another perfect place to experience a balloon safari. During this unforgettable hour-long balloon floating we take in the beautiful birds-eye view of the vast Mara followed by a delightful champagne breakfast at the centre of the park. Because of the popularity of balloon safaris, it is highly advisable to book well in advance. Let Bestway Tours & Safaris know at the time you book the tour, so that your spot can be secured. After our two extraordinary game drives at the Mara, we drive back to our lodge in time to freshen up for a sumptous dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 08: Masai Mara/Lake Victoria (Drive) (TANZANIA)

Crested Crane, Tanzania

We embark on a scenic drive from Masai Mara to Tanzania’s Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. We first make our way to the Isebania border, where we cross into Tanzania. Here, it’s time to say goodbye to our Kenyan safari guide and meet our equally experienced guide for Tanzania. We also switch transport to a Tanzanian-registered vehicle. We then proceed to the Speke Bay area of Lake Victoria. About the size of the counry of Ireland and best known as being the source of the Nile River, Lake Victoria offers a tranquil combination of lakeside charm and traditional villages. Balance of the day is free to enjoy beautiful views of the lake, or take in local village life, complete with fishing boats, children playing and bustling local markets.

Overnight: Serenity Eco Resort, Lake Victoria (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 09: Lake Victoria/Serengeti (Drive)

For early risers, there is a unique opportunity to participate in optional activities such as boating or canoeing on Lake Victoria, or visiting a local fishing village (advisable to pre-book). After an early lunch, we continue to the majestic Serengeti National Park*, entering via the Ndabaka Gate located on the western side. As soon as we cross the gate, we will see huge numbers of game as we safari along the western corridor towards the centre of the park. Serengeti is the prime place to witness the Great Migration, a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife spectacle of more than two million wildebeest and other large mammals crossing the plains and the Grumeti River, followed by thousands of predators. Seregenti experiences the Great Migration several times during the year. Dinner is savoured t our lodge in the heart of Serengeti.

Overnight: Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, Serengeti (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 10: Serengeti

Leopard resting on tree, Serengeti, Tanzania

Enjoy a full day at the world famous wildlife sanctuary of Serengeti National Park*. Serengeti is home to the largest remaining concentration of plains game in Africa, on a scale which has no parallel anywhere in the world. The abundance of herbivores includes wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, topi, buffalo and hartebeest, to name just a few. Serengeti is also famous for its predator population, including lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena, as well as a wide variety of birdlife, believed to be in the realm of 500 species. What’s more, the park is well known for its rare views of tree-climbing lions. Throughout the day, our experienced guide and driver will ensure we explore areas teeming with a wide variety of animals, birds and vegetation.

Here too, we get the opportunity to take part in a hot air balloon safari combined with a champagne breakfast, providing an incredible overhead view of the park and its animal residents. Pre-booking this optional activity at the time you book your tour is highly advised. Details found in our “Notes” section. (B, L, D)

Day 11: Serengeti/Ngorongoro Crater (Drive)

Zebras at Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Savour our last Serengeti game drive this morning as we explore the areas of Moro Kopjes and Gol Kopjes. The extensive grasslands in this area are interspersed with kopjes, rocky outcrops resembling islands on the flat plain that each host their own wildlife communities. We also discover the Seronera River, meandering through the park and offering a vital habitat for a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. Afternoon, we proceed to Nabi Hill gate and enjoy a lovely picnic lunch. Next, journey on to the renown Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important Paleolithic sites in the world. An optional stop at the site and museum is available for pre-booking. Details found in our “Notes” section.. Home to the first early human species Homo habilis  approximately 1.9 million years ago, this site provides invaluable insight into human evolution. Continue on to Ngorogongoro Conservation Area, where we spend our evening.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, Ngorongoro (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 12: Ngorongoro Crater/Lake Manyara (Drive)

Baby lion on a tree in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Explore the Ngorongoro Conservation Area*, which spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Its crowning jewel is the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera. We descend to the famous crater for a day of game-viewing like no other. The crater is a haven for an estimated 30,000 large mammals, including lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, hyena, hippo, wildebeest, baboon, gazelle, the endangered black rhino and many more species.

After a day of superb game-viewing, we drive to Lake Manyara. As we approach the lake, we’ll be greeted by the beauty that inspired Ernest Hemingway to call Manyara “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. For those seeking a unique experience, there is an option here to take part in a thrilling night drive, where we track predators and other animals that only emerge after dark (pre-booking advised, details found in our “Notes” section.

Overnight: Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, Lake Manyara (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 13: Lake Manyara/Arusha (Road) Flight to Entebbe (UGANDA)

Lake Manyara is another one of the finest parks in Tanzania. We take a morning safari which will be the last of our safaris - enjoy the views of the enchanting Lake Manyara. En-route to Arusha, we will have our packed lunch after which we proceed to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) for our flight to Entebbe in Uganda. Here we are welcomed and transferred to our hotel.

Overnight: Karibu Guest House/ Protea Hotel by Marriott, Entebb (Luxury) (1 night) (D)

Day 14: Entebbe/Lake Mburo National Park (Road)

Hippos enjoying the water, Uganda

After breakfast, we start on a scenic drive to Lake Mburo National Park, with a great beautiful en route view of the rolling landscape, pull over and take some pictures as you proceed to the park for a short game drive, later head to your lodge, for lunch. You will do a game drive in the park in search of the little and big ones, before heading for a boat ride on Lake Mburo, which rewards you with great aquatic wildlife sightings such as hippos and crocodiles, and a number of bird species. Evening, we retire at our lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

Overnight: Rwaboko Rock Camp/ Kigambira Lodge (Luxury) (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 15: Lake Mburo National Park/Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Road)

Gorilla sitting in the rainforest of Uganda

After breakfast we head for a game another game before a hot lunch at Mbarara. The excitement continues as we are now off to what is one of the major highlights of this safari – the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site on the edge of the western branch of the East African Rift Valley, at elevations ranging from 1,160 to 2,607 metres. Balance of the day is free. Bwindi is home to 350 species of birds, 310 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species. Floristically, the park is among the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species, including 200 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and many birds such as hornbills and turacos. It is most notable for the 400 Bwindi gorillas, half of the world's population of the endangered mountain gorillas.  The park's thick forest makes for an exciting and immersive adventure, attracting tourists from all over the world.

Overnight: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge/Four Gorillas Lodge (Luxury) (1 night) (B, L, D)

Day 16: Gorilla Trekking at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Drive to Musanze (RWANDA)

We start early morning at 0630hrs to prepare for the gorilla trekking briefing at the park headquarters. Enter the jungle with your packed lunch to search for the shy mountain gorillas and enjoy their lifestyle in their real home. After meeting the gorillas, we sit around these great apes for an hour watching their social life and take pictures. On a gorilla safari, a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as walking shoes, packed snacks and mineral water, insect repellent, sunscreen and hut. The gorilla trekking experience takes almost 2 – 6hrs depending on the movements of these primates and pace of your trekking group. After the gorilla trek we bid farewell to Uganda and take a 2.5hours drive to Musanze in Rwanda. Musanze is located in the Volcanoes region where the best gorilla trekking is experienced in Rwanda. We have an easy evening at this august place.

Overnight: Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge/Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (luxury)(2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 17: Gorilla Trekking Experience at Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla eating in the wild, Rwanda

After an early morning breakfast, we meet with our ranger who will brief us about the code of conduct while with the gorillas. The gorilla trekking at the Volcanoes is relatively less strenuous and could take 2 - 6hours depending on the movement of the gorillas in the jungle. Meet and stay with the gorillas for a maximum of one hour.  After a great experience, we are transferred to our lodge for lunch. Balance of the day is free. An optional visit to the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of Dian Fossey and learn about her great work towards gorilla conservation can be arranged. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 18: Golden Monkey trekking and transfer to Kigali Airport

Golden monkey (Cercopithecus kandti) eating bamboo, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A relaxed day. Morning is free or you can add an optional exciting activity. This time it is the golden monkey trekking. Just like the gorilla trekking experience, golden monkey trekking is equally exciting but much less hectic. Details found in our “Notes” section. After a hot lunch at our lodge we take the 3-hours drive to Kigali International Airport for our flight back home. Departure flights should be after 1700hrs. You may want to consider adding sometime in Kigali to see the Genocide Museum, visit the famous Hotel Rwanda which played a big role during the genocide, the Kimironko local market and art gallery. Details found in our “Notes” section. Our remarkable East African safari now comes to an end and we bid farewell with memories and memories of an incredible time - one never to be forgotten. (B, L)

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates & Prices

We accept payments in US$, CA$ as well as in other convertible currencies like EUR, AUD and GBP. Tour prices have been costed in US$. CA$ price shown below is an indicative amount reached at by using the conversion rate at the time of web posting and will be applicable if there is no change in the conversion rate. Should the currency conversion rate change, the US$ pricing will prevail. Bestway Tours & Safaris offers a conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

Stay tuned for future dates! If you want to be the first ones to know click here
2024 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departures - Start day FRIDAY / End day MONDAY East Coast West Coast
Jan 05 & 19; Feb 02 & 16; Mar 01 & 15; Apr 05 & 19; May 03, 17 & 31; Jun 14; Jul 05 & 19; Aug 02, 16 & 30; Sep 13; Oct 04 & 18; Nov 01 & 15; Dec 06 & 20        
Low Season
Apr 05 & 19, May 03 & 17
US$ 8495 US$ 690 - -
Shoulder Season
Mar 01 & 15
US$ 8830 US$ 990 - -
Mid-Shoulder Season
May 31, Jun 14, Nov 01 & 15, Dec 06
US$ 9120 US$ 890 - -
High Season
Jan 05 & 19, Feb 02 & 16
US$ 9435 US$ 995 - -
Peak Season
Jul 05 & 19, Aug 02, 16 & 30, Sep 13, Oct 04 & 18
US$ 9995 US$ 995 - -
Christmas
Dec 20
US$ 9840 US$ 995 - -
Stay tuned for future dates! If you want to be the first ones to know click here
2024 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departures - Start day FRIDAY / End day MONDAY East Coast West Coast
Jan 05 & 19; Feb 02 & 16; Mar 01 & 15; Apr 05 & 19; May 03, 17 & 31; Jun 14; Jul 05 & 19; Aug 02, 16 & 30; Sep 13; Oct 04 & 18; Nov 01 & 15; Dec 06 & 20        
Low Season
Apr 05 & 19, May 03 & 17
CA$ 11469 CA$ 932 - -
Shoulder Season
Mar 01 & 15
CA$ 11921 CA$ 1337 - -
Mid-Shoulder Season
May 31, Jun 14, Nov 01 & 15, Dec 06
CA$ 12312 CA$ 1202 - -
High Season
Jan 05 & 19, Feb 02 & 16
CA$ 12738 CA$ 1344 - -
Peak Season
Jul 05 & 19, Aug 02, 16 & 30, Sep 13, Oct 04 & 18
CA$ 13494 CA$ 1344 - -
Christmas
Dec 20
CA$ 13284 CA$ 1344 - -
Specials on all departures: 3 adults sharing one room will be accorded a discount of US$ 300/CA$ 405 per person.

Notes

  • Luggage allowance is 15 kg per person in a soft bag.
  • Please note that a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is mandatory for crossing the Kenya-Tanzania border.

Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • 17 Nights accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 48 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All game safaris/transfers by 4 x 4 loose top/pop up roof jeeps
  • Game park fees (ranging from US$ 1650 to US$ 1900 per person, INCLUDED in the tour cost – Park fees are subject to change)
  • Services of an accompanying local English speaking guide-drivers for each country
  • Window seating for each full paying passenger
  • 1 litre water per person per day during safari
  • Shared electrical outlets in some safari vehicles
Not Included
  • Any airfare (Within tour airsector Arusha/Entebbe currently is priced at US$ 200 per person)
  • Travel Insurance – highly recommended
  • Tips/gratuities/visas
  • Gorilla Viewing permits for Uganda & Rwanda - US$ 700 & US$ 1500 respectively
  • Supplement for the luxury option for the Uganda/Rwanda portion of US$ 1295 per person sharing/Single Supplement US$ 550 for the 5-nights/6-days (days 13-18)

Optional Services (Necessary to pre-book before final payment)

Day Services Per Person
3,7,10 Hot Air Balloon Safari including transfer & champagne breakfast in Amboseli, Masai Mara or Serengeti US$ 620
3,7,12 Masai Village Cultural Experience in Amboseli, Masai Mara or Ngorongoro US$ 50
4 Boat Safari at Lake Naivasha US$ 65
9 Boat Safari at Lake Victoria US$ 95
11 Visit to Olduvai Gorge Museum US$ 55
12 Night Game Drive in Lake Manyara National Park US$ 390
Hot Air Balloon Safari cost includes an early morning transfer from your lodge to the balloon launching sites, a one hour balloon flight culminating with an open air champagne breakfast upon landing.

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 07 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.

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