overland tours

MASAI MARA AND GORILLAS – 14 DAY TOUR

Visit the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Mountain Gorillas of Uganda and the Chimpanzees on Lake George on this “Once in a Lifetime” expedition.

This tour starts with a visit to the Masai Mara National Park and its wide open plains full of wild animals. We take in the spectacle of Lake Naivasha and the Nakuru National Park – a great place to spot flamingos. We then cross into Uganda where you can explore Kampala or visit a Chimpanzee sanctuary. We stop in at Lake Bunyoni on the way to the gorilla trekking. The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and visiting them is a great way to ensure their survival as each permit raises money for their conservation. We tour back to Nairobi via the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Jinja and Eldoret.

Full Course Details

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Project Type: Overland Tour –14 Days

Location: Kenya & Uganda

Pick up Point: Please be sure to arrive 1 day before your tour is due to depart. This will avoid any unforeseen problems. As the activities on your tour can be moved to any day during your tour, we also highly recommend that you book your flights to depart the day after the tour officially ends.

Please ensure you arrive at the departure point at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time. 8:00am from Sentrim Boulevard Hotel, Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 315680

Drop off Point: Sentrim Boulevard Hotel, Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 315680

Duration: 14 Days

Start Dates: All year round, please contact us for exact departure dates

Accommodation: Camping

Meals: As detailed in Itinerary

Age Range: N/A

NB – The Itinerary is flexible and can be changed without notice in order to accommodate the best possible viewing of the Mountain Gorillas. The Permit price to visit the Gorillas can also change without notice.

Gorilla Permit: USD630 – USD730
The cost of a permit to visit the Gorillas is currently as above. Please check actual amount with us closer to departure. You will be pre-invoiced for this non-refundable amount.

FURTHER INFO

Day 1 – Masai Mara National Reserve

We leave the capital of Nairobi and travel to the Masai Mara, world renowned for it’s endless plains of wild animals and spectacular beauty. This afternoon we will enjoy a cultural experience as we visit and interact with Kenya’s native Masaai people.

Meals – Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation Camp – Masai Mara Camp
Facilities – Hot Showers & Shared Ablutions
Route – Nairobi to Masai Mara ±240 km
Activity Package – Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion
Included Highlight – Masai Village Visit

**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, sleeping bag, 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 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 game driving through the Mara in search of all the animals.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Masai Mara Camp
Facilities – Hot Showers & Shared Ablutions

Day 3 – Masai Mara – Lake Nakuru

We rise early and enjoy our final game drive 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.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Lion Hill Campsite no website available
Facilities – Hot Showers, Bar & Shared Ablutions
Route – Masai Mara to Lake Nakuru ±220 km

Day 4 – Jinja

Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and more 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.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Eden Rock Resort
Facilities – Hot Showers, Swimming Pool & Shared Ablutions
Route – Nakuru to Jinja ±430 km
Border Post – Kenya: Busia. Uganda: Malaba

Day 5 – Kampala

This morning will be at leisure. You will have the opportunity to participate in the optional activities available in Jinja, including the popular Nile River rafting. Later this afternoon, we will make our way to Uganda’s largest city and capital, Kampala.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Red Chilli Hideaway
Facilities – Hot Showers & Shared Ablutions
Route – Jinja to Kampala ±85 km

Day 6 – Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)

Lake Bunyonyi is a small but attractive lake with steep sides and abundant birdlife. 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.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort
Facilities – Hot Showers & Shared Ablutions
Route – Kampala to Lake Bunyonyi ±420 km
Optional Activity – Canoe Rental Lake Bunyoni, Pygmy Village Visit (per boat)

Day 7 – 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 free day 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.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort
Facilities – Hot Showers, Bar, Internet, Laundry, Shop & Shared Ablutions
Route – Lake Buyoni National Park to the Starting Point of the Gorilla Trek ±125 km (in safari or smaller vehicles)

Day 8 – 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.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort http://www.bunyonyioverland.com
Facilities – Hot Showers, Bar, Internet, Laundry, Shop & Shared Ablutions

Day 9 – Lake Bunyoni – Kampala

Today we say farewell to the Gorillas and make the long journey back to Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Red Chili Hideaway
Facilities – Hot Showers, Swimming Pool, Internet, Laundry, Restaurant & Shared Ablutions
Route – Lake Buyoni to Kampala ±420 km

Day 10 – Murchison Falls

The Murchison Falls, also referred to as the Kabaraga 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. This afternoon we will enjoy a game drive through the park in search of the great diversity of wild animals including lion, buffalo, leopards, elephant and numerous bird species. Our accommodation for the night is located in the Paraa’ area, meaning “the place of hippos”.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Red Chili Murchison Falls
Facilities – Hot Showers, Swimming Pool, Internet, Laundry, Restaurant & Shared Ablutions
Route – Kampala to Murchinson Falls ±330 km

Day 11 – Nakitoma

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. Budongo boasts a high biodiversity of 24 species of small animals, 9 of which are primates. 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. This afternoon we depart Murchison National Park and head to Ziwa Rhino & Wildlife Ranch, home to the only wild rhino’s in Uganda.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Ziwa Rhino
Facilities – Hot Showers, Bar & Shared Ablutions
Route – Murchison Falls to Nakitoma ±165 km
Activity Package – Chimpanzee Trekking Murchison Falls
Optional Activity – Guided Birding Walk (2.5 hours)

Day 12 – Jinja

This morning you will have the opportunity to participate in an optional rhino trekking experience with trained rangers, who will guide you through the expedition. Then it’s off to Jinja and our final night in Uganda.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Eden Rock Resort
Facilities – En-suites Per Room, Hot Showers, Swimming Pool, Bar & Internet
Route – Nakitoma to Jinja ±230 km
Optional Activity – Rhino Trekking, Nile River Rafting Half Day

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 metres above sea level.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation – Camp: Naiberi River Camp
Facilities – Hot Showers, Swimming Pool, Bar & Shared Ablutions
Route – Jinja to Eldoret ±290 km
Border Post – Kenya: Busia. Uganda: Malaba

Day 14 – Nairobi

Returning to our final destination Nairobi, the largest city in the East Africa region, there’s an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details.

Meals – Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation – Own Arrangements / Post tour accommodation can be booked through Nomad.
Route – Eldoret to Nairobi ±305 km
Optional Activity – Dinner Out Nairobi
The tour ends at the Sentrim Boulevard Hotel.

Location
Where You'll Stay

ACCOMMODATION

Camping

Malaria
Malaria Prophylactics are required throughout this trip

Whats Included:
Meals as indicated on the itinerary (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the Nomad truck), accommodation, registered guides and transport. We also include some of the highlights.

Whats not included:
All items of a personal nature, alcohol, soft drinks,bottled water, snacks, souvenirs, tips, activity package and optional activities

Health:
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.

Vaccinations
A Yellow Fever Certificate might be required for this tour depending on your nationality.

Insurance:
All clients require adequate Medical Insurance. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Medical Insurance is not provided.

Visas:
As visa requirements vary considerably from country to country and nationality to nationality, please contact the various embassies or a visa service agent in your home country to re-check your visa requirements at least 4 weeks prior to travelling. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and that Nomad Adventure Tours will not be held responsible for guests being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas.
All travellers must be in possession of a valid onward/return air ticket or proof of other means of transport enabling the traveller to leave the country in which your adventure tour passes or terminates. You should also have proof of sufficient funds (e.g. credit card) to see you through your time in the country. Should the adventure tour you are joining be re-entering a country, be sure to have a multiple entry visa that enables you to re-enter the country.
In some cases visas are available on entry into a country and may be cheaper to do so, however for peace of mind and to speed up the border crossing process, Nomad will always advise you to get your visas prior to your trip if possible.

Climate:
The African sun is very strong. Please use a factor 30 sunscreen and wear a hat. You should drink at least 3 litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. It can also get very cold during winter months on this route.

Currency:
As your tour may pass through multiple countries, we have prepared information on the use of local and foreign currencies, ATMs and Credit Cards for each country.

Pre and Post Tour Accommodation:
If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you. We can also arrange airport transfers

Arrival and Departure:
Please be sure to arrive 1 day before your tour is due to depart. This will avoid any unforeseen problems. As the activities on your tour can be moved to any day during your tour, we also highly recommend that you book your flights to depart the day after the tour officially ends.

Tipping on Tour:
Southern Africa: In general tipping in restaurants is expected and is around 10% for good service, more if you have received exceptional service, and, feel free not to tip at all if you received poor service. Tipping taxi drivers etc is really at your own discretion and not always expected. If in doubt please ask your guides. It is expected to tip porters and car-guards etc. Ask you r guides how much is appropriate in local currency. Our guides do work hard but they are also paid at (and often above) industry levels for this work. Our Crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty. The best way to arrange tips is to elect one person in the group to collect the money. We recommend USD1-2 (or about R10-R20) per day per person, per guide as a fair tip. So if you have 3-crew on a tour, we would recommend that 3 envelopes are used and each crew member’s name written on one. Place what you feel is fair into each envelope and the elected person can give these to the crew at the end of the tour. If you do not feel that the crew deserve a tip, please, do not tip them. You must remember that tipping is only for exceptional service and is not at all compulsory or expected.

DESTINATION

Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara Reserve can be found in south-western Kenya and is a continuation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, over the border. It was named after the people who have made their homes in the area for centuries, the Masai, and is one of Kenya’s most popular tourist destinations. Although tours to the Masai Mara cannot pass into the Serengeti in Tanzania, the animals can freely pass between the countries. The park is over 1500 square kilometers in size and is a paradise of rolling plains and savannas.

The Masai Mara is home to a huge population of wildlife, including the big five and all major African cats. Here, you’ll be able to witness the annual migration of animals from the Serengeti Park, allowing it to offer the most coveted of all safaris in Africa. It was also here where the hit BBC television documentary Big Cat Diaries was filmed. The area remains one of the most researched national parks in Kenya as its vast population and conserved area is ideal.

The Masai Mara tribe is arguably the most famous of all African tribes and have been in the region of the Masai Mara Reserve for centuries, using the plains to feed their livestock, hunt and make their homes. While visiting the reserve with Nomad Tours, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the Masai, visit their villages and learn about their customs.

While booking yourself on the Nomad Tours Discover Kenya adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to book your place on a Masai Mara balloon Safari. On the Discover Kenya adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to take a balloon safari over the Masai Mara. Peacefully glide above the tree line and observe the wildlife below you. You’ll be able to see all the way to the border of Tanzania and the Serengeti.

Lake Nakuru National Park
The beautiful Lake Nakuru can be found in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. It is protected by the Lake Nakuru National Park and is one of the main centres of attraction in Kenya. While visiting the lake, you’ll have the rare opportunity to see hundreds of pink flamingos that famously line its shore, as well as other wildlife which make themselves at home in the area, including warthogs, baboons and black and white rhinos. The Lake Nakuru National Park is a relaxing and truly exquisite place to visit.

The Lake Nakuru National Park was established in the early 1990’s to protect the lake and its surrounding mountains, however since then the park has extended its borders to include the surrounding savannahs, making it an ideal place for any tourist to visit. Here, guests can go on Kenyan safaris and enjoy the slow-paced lifestyle of the region. Here, the weather is clear and temperatures high throughout most of the year, with the exception of the rainy season at the end of every year.

Lake Nakuru is a soda lake which lies 1754m above sea level. It is most famous for its large flamingo population which covers the shores of the lake with a light shade of pink and is attracted to the expanse of algae in the lake. Black rhinos were recently introduces into the area, however when visiting, guests will also have the opportunity to observe giraffes, lions, cheetahs, leopards, and pythons along with an abundance of antelope and birdlife.

Nomad Tours will take you into the heart of the Lake Nakuru National Park, taking you on exciting Kenyan safaris and showing you the best of the beautiful grasslands and plains. Take it easy and allow us to take you on an authentic African safari and learn about the wildlife and area from our professional and friendly guides.

Mountain Gorilla
Nomad Tours specializes in gorilla tours, taking our guests to the beautiful mountains of Uganda or Rwanda to see these majestic giants in their natural habitats. These creatures are extremely endangered – there are approximately only 600 left worldwide – and they are incredibly difficult to get to; making seeing the mountain gorillas a real once in a lifetime opportunity. Observing these endangered animals in their natural environment is humbling and extremely rewarding as they’ll enlighten you to how simply life could be.
After Chimpanzees, mountain gorillas are the most closely related to human beings of all mammals; our DNA is a 99% match. They are an endangered species, despite intense conservation efforts and community development which aims to protect them. If these efforts are lost, in just a few generations, mountain gorillas will be extinct or will only be able to be seen in zoo’s and sanctuaries. By visiting the gorillas we’re aiding the communities which surround them and showing them that protecting the gorillas will benefit them financially.

Nomad Tours will take you to see these beautiful endangered animals for yourselves. Our Masai Mara and Gorilla tour will take you through Kenya and Uganda in just two weeks, showing you the stunning landscapes and exotic wildlife that is unique to these regions and Africa. As permits allowing you to visit the gorillas are limited, Nomad Tours may either take you to visit the gorillas through the Uganda or Rwanda side. We prefer to take guests through the Uganda side and will do our utmost best to ensure a pass into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see the mountain gorillas. The money that is spent on the permits needed to see the gorillas goes towards protecting them.

Nairobi
The capital and largest city of Kenya, Nairobi, is where the hustle and bustle of human feet rather than animal is most prominent. Its business high rise clad streets are a vast contrast to the open plains that one would picture at the mention of Kenya. Nairobi draws its name from the Maasai phrase for cold water, “Ehkane Nairobi” which also happens to be the name of the Nairobi River.

Being the most populous city in East Africa makes it the 12th largest city in Africa with a population of 3 million people – a far cry from the population it saw back in its humble beginnings as a train deposit en route to Kampala. Its buildings and hotels hark back to this time and are filled with traces of colonialism and age-old architecture. The city also plays host to one of the largest stock exchanges in Africa, the NSE which is also the second oldest exchange on the African continent.

However there is a reason Nairobi is affectionately referred to as the “green city in the sun”. While there are many concrete structures throughout the city, there are also green characteristics throughout the city and surrounds. This theme is carried out throughout the many trees in the area as well as parks in the centre of the town and well known reserves on its outskirts.

Uhuru Park is probably the most well-known of these reserves as well as the Nairobi National Park which is home to a plethora of wildlife as well as over 400 species of bird. This famous land area is flanked by the central Park as well as Langata Giraffe centre which makes great efforts to raise endangered Rothschild giraffes and introduce them into the wild. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust also goes to great measures to rehabilitate and provide a home for orphaned elephants and black rhinos.
However, while steeped in a dense tree cover and surrounded by wildlife, the city of Nairobi also caters for those in search of culture with their many museums, the world’s largest icing rink as well as a collection of fantastic markets such as Spinners Web and the City Market, known for their traditional fare and wood carvings.

Kenya
Kenya is one of the most popular African countries, renowned for its beautiful game reserves, endless lush plains and abundance of wildlife. It lies on the equator and can be found just under the horn of Africa, nestled between Somalia, Ethiopia, the Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania, with an eastern Indian Ocean coast. For a country of its size, Kenya successfully manages to pack in a variety of attractions, destinations and activities for both locals and tourists to enjoy.

Kenya’s geography is as diverse as the heritage of its people. It has a warm and humid climate which hardly ever reaches below the double digits. 73% of Kenya’s population is under 30 years of age, most of which speak either English or Swahili.

The Idyllic African safari is based on the very landscapes and culture of Kenya; with novels and films such as “Out of Africa” capturing its magical atmosphere and unique beauty. Here, you’ll find yourself relaxing in a truly enchanting landscape, while observing the African wildlife and learning the local customs and lifestyle. Safaris in Kenya allow guests to enjoy a piece of this paradise while staying in luxurious or tented Kenya accommodation.

Kenya’s largest and capital city is Nairobi; a city that has watched the story of this beautiful nation unfold. It is known as the Green City in the Sun and is alive with locals and wildlife. It became a popular destination during the colonial times as the single rail way depot between Uganda and Mombasa, and today it one of Africa’s hubs for business and education.

Kenya’s Maasia Mara game reserve and Maasia people attracts thousands of tourists every year, as does it’s beautiful and majestic Mount Kenya, Mombasa south coast and Lake Nakuru – a truly astounding lake which stretches for miles

Uganda
Uganda is also known as the “Pearl of Africa” and is the Eastern African country that is the most central. Its name derives from the Buganda Kingdom which historically stretches over the southern regions of the nation. It’s made up of over a hundred districts and several different regions; each one offering something unique and consists of different tribes and landscapes.

The western region of Uganda is an incredibly beautiful region; a wonderland of golden plains, thick rain forests, snow peaked mountains, and tea plantations. It is here where the rare African gorillas can be found, located in the game reserves, mountain regions and forest reserves. This is a popular region among explorers and entices the majority of the country’s tourism.

The central region of Uganda has preserved many cultural sites, making sure that the kingdom’s heritage sites and buildings are preserved for future generations to observe and learn from. The nation’s capital of Kampala can be found here, as can Uganda’s most beautiful waterfalls and water bodies, such as Lake Victoria.

Travelling towards the Eastern Region of Uganda you’ll come across the source of the river Nile and the Bujagali falls. Here you can go bunjy jumping and go on a white water rafting adventure. This region is truly beautiful and continues to mesmerize tourists every year with its majestic mountain ranges while the Nyero rock paintings give tourists and locals an insight into the nation’s past. Lastly, the Northern Region of Uganda offers an enchanting perspective into the nation’s tribes and national parks.
A visit to Uganda will give you an insight into the rich heritage and culture of Eastern Africa. Stay in Uganda accommodation that’ll treat you to the local cuisine (influence by Asian, English, Arab and Indian techniques and flavours) and learn about the history and beauty of one of Africa’s most beautiful nations.

Gallery Rates

PAYMENT

£200 deposit to secure placement at time of booking, final balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

INCLUDED

Meals as indicated on the itinerary (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the Nomad Truck) accommodation, registered guides and transport. We also include some of the highlights. These highlights are listed below in the day-by-day description as ‘included highlights’

EXCLUDED

All items of a personal nature, alcohol, soft drinks, bottled water, snacks, souvenirs, tips, activity package and optional activities.

Enquire

If you have any questions, or if you’d like to find out more about this incredible adventure and create some unforgettable memories, just fill in the form below and one of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

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