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An unforgettable East African wildlife adventure

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel

Every detail taken care of

What's Included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking permits
  • Private transfers and all flights mentioned in the itinerary
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

From rainforest draped volcano slopes rising into the clouds in Rwanda to the endless savannah plains of Kenya, this is a classic East African journey.

Begin with three nights on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, staying at one of our favourite luxury lodges. The jungles beyond, stretching up to the Ugandan and Congolese borders, are most famous for being home to mountain gorillas, the largest of the great apes but also one of the gentlest. Ten groups within the park are habituated to humans, and you’ll get the chance to trek through the forest to spend a magical hour in the company of one family group as young ones play, adolescents show off and mothers dote under the watchful eye of a dominant silverback. You will also get to meet a troop of golden monkeys, another of the Virunga mountain range’s endemic primates and hike to see magnificent lakes.

Return to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, for a relaxing evening prior to the flight due east to Nairobi in Kenya to board a light aircraft for the short hop to the Maasai Mara. Based out of a fabulous safari camp for a further four nights, spend your days out on game drives across the Mara landscape in search of iconic wildlife such as lion, cheetah, elephant, rhino and much more, walking with the Maasai, and, if you’re here between July to October, you may witness the millions of wildebeest and zebra here on the great migration. Return to Nairobi for a final night and a chance to visit a renowned sanctuary before your departure.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-4

Volcanoes National Park

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Meet and greet at Kigali airport

Transfer

Private road transfer from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park.

Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park

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Three nights in Volcanoes National Park Three nights in Volcanoes National Park

Tucked into the far north-west corner of the country, Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park is one of the few remaining havens of the the mountain gorilla, with its landscape’s gentler slopes and more open bush allows for some of the most effortless tracking and observation of these animals than other parks.

Home to five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga mountains massif and with hills richly blanketed with rainforest, bamboo forests as well as open grassland, swamps, marshes and small lakes – this is also a prolific sanctuary for the likes of the golden monkey, bushbuck, spotted hyena and prolific birdlife. You may also have heard of this park thanks to the famous American primatologist Dian Fossey who based most of her research here, founding a centre to bring worldwide attention to the gorillas endangered status.

Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park

Rwanda is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy close personal encounters with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The forested slopes of the Virunga massif – a chain of ancient volcanoes – are home to over half the world’s 880 remaining gorillas. There are, in total, 10 habituated groups available for tracking by tourists in Volcanoes National Park, and each morning eight permit holders are allocated one group.

You will hike to the spot where your gorilla family was last seen the previous day. All tracker guides are experienced in looking for signs of the gorillas’ location, for example, footprints, dung, chewed bamboo and celery stalks, as well as nightly abandoned nests.

Once the gorillas are located, probably smelling them before seeing them, the group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with the family. You are likely to reach their location during their long midday rest and play period. At this time of day, the dominant male (usually a silverback) generally lounges on the ground or against a tree while youngsters roll in the vegetation and climb on trees, vines, and each other. Females nurse and play with their infants. It is entirely possible that you will find the gorillas quite quickly and be back at your hotel for lunch; or you could face a three or four hour hike (sometimes even longer) each way.

Golden Monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park Golden Monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park

The endangered Golden monkey enjoys a territory of highland forests, especially bamboo, living in groups of up to thirty individuals. A handful of troops in Volcanoes National Park have been habituated and can be tracked in a similar way to the gorillas. The monkeys are playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches or frolicking on the forest floor towards the base of the volcanoes and have overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.

rwanda-hilltop-village-lake-ruhondo
Visit the 'Twin Lakes' of Burera and Ruhondo Visit the 'Twin Lakes' of Burera and Ruhondo

Between Musanze and the Ugandan border are two scenic lakes usually referred to as the twin lakes; Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo. They are fed by rivers and a lake in Uganda. The twin lakes area is very scenic, with steep and intensively farmed hills surrounding the pristine dark blue waters. They offer magnificent views over the whole of the Virunga Volcanoes.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from your Virunga lodge to your hotel in Kigali

Days 4-5

Kigali

Accommodation in Kigali

Overnight in Kigali Overnight in Kigali

Enjoy a night in Kigali, you'll have our list of recommended restaurants and attractions to make sure you make the most of your time here.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Transfer to Kigali airport

Flight

Flight from Kigali to Nairobi

Flight

Flight from Nairobi to the Mara

Days 5-9

Maasai Mara

Accommodation in Maasai Mara

zebra-acacia-tress-maasai-mara-kenya
Four nights in the Masaai Mara Four nights in the Masaai Mara

Enjoy daily game drives and other activities with your chosen camp and guides in this magnificent national park. Between July and October it is home to the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest thunder across the plains in search of fresh pasture, an incredible sight which is one of Africa’s premier wildlife experiences.

It must not be forgotten, however, that the Maasai Mara has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife year-round. The big five can all be ticked off your list on a visit here, and you’ll also get to see huge pods of hippos basking in the rivers, cheetahs racing across the savannah and giraffes ambling between the acacia trees.

Flights & Transfers

Flight

Flight from the Maasai Mara to Nairobi

Days 9-10

Nairobi

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Nairobi

Accommodation in Nairobi

elephant-orphanage-baby
David Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage David Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage

Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Located in a secluded area of the Nairobi National Park, the orphanage is open for visitors between 11am and 12pm when the the orphans arrive for their midday mud bath and feeding.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Nairobi Wilson airport

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Rwanda Gorilla Trekking and Maasai Mara Safari

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    We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

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