Day 1 Depart USA
- The serenity of a balloon ride over the plains followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush
- Flying to Lake Victoria for a day of fishing for Nile Perch
- The scenic drive from Kigali to Parc des Volcans in Rwanda
- A life-changing personal encounter with Mountain Gorillas in their native habitat
Your East African adventure begins as you depart the USA bound for Africa arriving in Nairobi the following afternoon.
Day 2 Welcome to Kenya and the Masai Mara
You arrive in Nairobi in the early afternoon and are met by our representative who will take you to your waiting car for the trip to the domestic airport where your aircraft is waiting to fly you to the Masai Mara and Governors' Il Moran Camp which is located in a corner of the Masai Mara described as the "the best wildlife real estate in the world". Herds of plains game roam the rolling grasslands, big cats prowl, and families of elephants stroll majestically past. Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your tent strategically sited overlooking the Mara River in the shade of old African Fig trees. Tonight dinner with wine under the stars and then a good night's sleep in your spacious luxury tent.
Day 3 A Balloon Safari over the Mara
The Mara from a balloon is one of the most spectacular sights on earth and today you will have the chance to see the whole scope of the Mara in perfect silence and peace. Your adventure begins just before dawn when flames from the balloon's burners light the darkness as the crew inflates their craft. As the first rays of sunlight flicker across the skies, the inflated balloon begins to rise. Suspended in a basket beneath your balloon, you are off on a game viewing adventure with an entirely different perspective. As you float over the plains, the forest and the Mara River, you hear the sounds from below drift clearly upwards; a lion's roar, elephants crashing through the bush, screeching baboons perched in the tips of trees. For an hour or so your drift wherever the air currents take you, then you return to earth with a champagne breakfast, cooked before your eyes on the plains of the Masai Mara. After breakfast you return to camp where you have a chance to relax in the heat of the day. In the evening another game drive offers another opportunity to view the wildlife.
Day 4 Game Viewing on the Mara
Today you will leave your vehicle behind and take a walking safari with one of the camps armed guides for a chance to capture the true thrill of the bush. You'll track game unsure what waits around the next corner, giraffe, buffalo, even lion, and at the same time learn about the smallest details of bush life and the traditional Masai uses of the indigenous plant. At the end of it all waits another sumptuous barbecue breakfast complete with champagne. In the afternoon you will drive out to one of the languid pools where hippos escape the heat of the day. Another evening game drive completes your day on the Mara.
Day 5 Lake Victoria and the Nile Perch
Early in the morning you will be taken to the airstrip for the brief flight to Mfangano Island Camp which sits on the shore of Lake Victoria. You arrive in time for a full English breakfast overlooking the lake. You then have the choice of going out to try your hand at catching a Nile Perch or bird watching along the lakeshore and visiting some of the local fishing villages. A delicious lunch with freshly caught fish (perhaps yours) will be served along with chilled white wine. After lunch you return to the airstrip where your aircraft waits to take you back to Il Moran in time for an afternoon game drive.
Day 6 Exploring Nairobi
In the morning, after your early morning game drive, you are taken to the airstrip where your aircraft waits to take you to Nairobi. Upon arrival you are met by your guide who will first take you to the world famous Carnivore restaurant where meat is on the menu both domesticated and wild, the lamb is good but so too are Zebra and Crocodile. After a hearty lunch you will go to the Karen Blixen Museum to relive her time in Africa from 1914 to 1931 which formed the basis for her book "Out of Africa". You will also visit the giraffe orphanage where giraffes are reared for a return to the wild and visit a local craft center. Your guide than takes you to your hotel which is located close to the Museum and on the land that once belonged to the Baroness. Dinner is in the hotel's elegant dining room.
Day 7 Kigali and the “Thousand Hills”
After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for the flight to Kigali in the nation of Rwanda. The flight takes a little over an hour. Upon arrival you are met by your guide who along with your driver will take you on a scenic drive through the "thousand hills" of Rwanda. You will make your way through the rich lowland farms before you reach your home for the next four nights, the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. The lodge is situated in North Western Rwanda in the foothills of the mighty Virunga's, the chain of 15,000 foot volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The lodge affords wonderful views of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside. Each private cottage comes with fireplaces, dressing rooms and stylish bathrooms. Once checked in you are free to enjoy the views from your terrace before cocktails and dinner with wine.
Day 8 The Golden Monkeys and the Rain Forest
After breakfast you will be taken to the park headquarters to begin your hike into the rainforest in search of the elusive Golden Monkeys considered to be the rarest of primates and found only in this area. As you search for the monkeys you will be immersed in a true rain forest where hundreds of bird species and plant life surround you. You may even spot the trail of Elephants. When you sight the elusive monkeys you have a maximum of one hour to spend observing them in order to maintain a healthy environment for the animals. Depending on the success of the search, this can be a full day endeavor and a box lunch is provided. Upon completion of the trek you return to the camp for a warm bath and a cocktail enjoyed as the sun sets.
Day 9 Gorillas in the Mist
Given the high altitude of the park and especially the habitat of the Mountain Gorilla, the area is many times covered by low hanging clouds creating a mist-like atmosphere. Today you will participate in one of the most dramatic, thrilling and poignant wildlife experiences available to humans. The ability to spend time with creatures three times the size of a man yet gentle and accepting of a respectful presence. You again will enter the park with a skilled ranger who will take you to an area where a group of gorillas is known to reside although they do move around. Once located, you will have an hour to spend with these magnificent distant relatives and watch them feeding, sunning themselves and even at play. Your guide will allow close interaction keeping in mind your safety and that of the Gorillas. You return down the mountainside with a sense of awe and humility; one of a relatively few people able to say they have had such an experience.
Day 10 Ruhengeri and the Gorilla Conservation Program
After breakfast your guide will take you into Ruhengeri a bustling Rwandese market town where you have a chance to enjoy the friendliness of the Rwandese people and typical life in the countryside. You may want to pick up a few souvenirs. After lunch you visit the socio-economic and conservation projects run by SACOLA, the community trust that owns the lodge you are staying in. the revnue from your visit benefits the local community and also helps support the African Wildlife Foundation and its local partner, The International Gorilla Conservation Program. During your visit you will learn about the exceptional work being done by these organizations.. You then return to your camp for a farewell dinner.
Day 11 The Return Home
In the morning, your guide and driver will be ready to take you back through the scenic road to Rwanda's Capital, Kigali. Here you will board a commercial flight to Nairobi airport connecting to your international flight to the USA.
Day 12 Arrive in USA
You arrive back in the USA at breakfast time.
Available Year Round
Extreme Safari in Kenya - Silverbacks of Sabyinyo ULEA08 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Maasai Mara, Nairobi (Karen), Parc des Volcans
Additional Pricing Information
- All air transportation as part of the program offered including private and charter aircraft. (On those programs requiring private aircraft flights, you will be limited to 33lbs of luggage which can be stored in the safari luggage which we provide to you. Additional luggage will be stored for you for the rest of your trip. In the private camps, daily laundry is available (and, in most cases included).
- Luxury rail travel as indicated
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- On Safari, only private camps are used and include all meals and all game viewing in most camps, house beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks ( indicated on itinerary)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Baggage handling at all hotels and camps
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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