8 Days / 7 Nights
- Spectacular scenery
- Game viewing in the Masai Mara
- Visit the Gorillas of Uganda
- Fantastic photography opportunities
For an once-in-a-lifetime bucket list vacation with a difference, look no further than this 8-day trip with Sanctuary Retreats combining East Africa’s most thrilling encounters. Enjoy prime game viewing in the Masai Mara Game Reserve; home to the Great annual Wildebeest Migrations followed by an exciting visit to the Gorillas of Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
On arrival at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport you will be met by a representative who will transfer you to Wilson Airport for your connection to the Masai Mara. Your guide will meet you at the airstrip and drive you to the camp with some great game viewing en route.
On arrival relax and freshen up in your tent before lunch is served. The tents are very spacious and have floor to ceiling mosquito netting, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, flush lavatories, solar lighting and large, river view verandahs. The main dining room and veranda commands a dramatic stretch of the Mara River providing the perfect setting for afternoon tea and after dinner star gazing. As your afternoon game drive comes to an end, drive to a specially chosen vantage point overlooking the Mara plains. Enjoy drinks as you take in the beauty of the rapid sunset colouring the acacia dotted plains before returning to the camp for a delicious dinner.
One nights’ accommodation at Sanctuary Olonana, Masai Mara
This morning after breakfast at the camp venture out led by expert guides to explore the Mara. The Mara is a fabulous place for seeing big cats and all of the big five, a variety of plains game and over 300 bird species. The plains offer a rich variety of food for the dominant predators: lion; leopard; hyena and cheetah. Elephants browse amongst the large herds of wildebeest and topi, eland and buffalo, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle.
In the Mara River, hippos submerge to snort and grumble while crocodiles sunbathe, mouths agape, on the riverbanks. From around July to October, there’s the greatest show on Earth – the wildebeest migration. Mid-afternoon high tea will be served before your next activity. During your stay there are a variety of activities that can be booked on request such as a balloon safari.
From around July to October, there’s the greatest show on Earth – the wildebeest migration. Mid- afternoon high tea will be served before your next activity. During your stay there are a variety of activities that can be booked on request such as a balloon safari.
Three nights’ accommodation at Bwindi Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
This morning after breakfast you will be picked up and transferred to Entebbe airport for your scheduled flight to Kihihi airstrip where a Sanctuary representative will meet and transfer you to the camp. The transfer time is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
Gorilla Forest Camp is located within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the perfect base for a tracking experience as it offers luxury in the heart of the rainforest. Lunch is served at camp. In the afternoon you can just relax and take in the fresh air or take a forest walk, which is a nice way to warm up before the Gorilla tracking. Birders come thousands of miles to see the more than 350 species that live within the area. There are also rare forest elephant, giant forest hog and eleven kinds of primates, such as red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzee.
Enjoy a early breakfast this morning before a briefing from your guide. Tracking commences every morning from the park headquarters at 8.30 am. The gorillas we track belong to one of the ‘habituated’ family groups in Northern Bwindi. For several years each group has undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the presence of humans. Experienced guides will accompany the tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. Once the gorillas are located, the group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Return to camp for dinner.
Two nights’ accommodation at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Today relax at camp or visit a local village and meet the villagers to learn about their day to day lives. On this walk you can visit a honey production site, a traditional medicine man, a traditional blacksmith, a local school when in term and even attend a Batwa dance performance.
The walk is organised with the local community as part of our community support. Or you could take a bird walk. Bwindi boast over 300 bird species, including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo – the “Albertine Rift Endemics”. There are also over 200 species of butterflies found in the park. A local expert will guide you on this fascinating walk. Lunch and dinner at the lodge. After dinner simply relax and sip a drink as you listen to folk tunes played on the traditional Bakiga guitar.
One nights’ accommodation at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This morning you will enjoy breakfast at the camp, before your transfer to Kihihi airstrip for your shared scheduled flight back to Entebbe International Airport.