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Gorillas, chimps and game parks

Trip type: 
Adventure level: 
3. Moderate
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Awaiting reviews
Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda | 18 days
Trip code: 
What's included: 

Transport - Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle

Accommodation - Camping (with facilities) (11 nts), Dormitory (3 nts), Hotel (1 nt)

Meals - 15 breakfasts, 15 lunches & 14 dinners

Trip Highlights: 
Your first sighting of a gorilla
Playful chimps in the forest
Hippo cruise
Remote wildlife viewing
see full itinerary >>

Holidays in Kenya
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Gorillas, Chimps & Game Parks

  • Day 1-2 - Nairobi
  • Day 3 - Lake Nakuru
  • Day 4 - Eldoret
  • Day 5 - Kampala
  • Day 6-7 - Kibale Forest National Park
  • Day 8 - Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Day 9 - Lake Bunyonyi
  • Day 10-12 - Gorilla Trek
  • Day 13 - Lake Mburo
  • Day 14-15 - Jinja
  • Day 16-18 - Eldoret/Nairobi
Extensions and Extras: Extend your holiday and see more of the world. View additional tours for this trip »


Take an overnight flight - on arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 2.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, you recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your kitty, insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.

Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.

If you arrive early, you can head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.

Stay in a simple hotel with swimming pool, restaurant and en suite bathrooms.

While brazen crime is thankfully fairly uncommon in Nairobi, petty theft unfortunately is not and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will verse you in a few worthwhile precautions at the welcome meeting, but if you are arriving early please heed a few simple safeguards.

As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have safes in which it would be advisable to store things if you want to head out. If you do decide to go out to explore, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk - particularly when it's getting on in the day. Thieves and pickpockets have also been known to operate in bars and restaurants, so don't let up keeping your wits about you once you're inside somewhere. Don't leave day packs or handbags unattended on chairs or the floor. There's no need to be paranoid, but appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Finally, make colour scans of any important travel documents before you leave and email them to yourself: in the event that you are the unlucky victim of a theft, this will save you hours of police, embassy and travel insurance hassles.

Optional Activities

  • National Museum - USD10
  • Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi National Park safari walk - USD20
  • Carnivore Restaurant - KES2000
  • Bomas of Kenya - USD10


Hotel (1 nt)


Lake Nakuru

Drive north-west past great views of the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park, situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley (170 km, approx 3-4 hrs).

Stop along the way in the town of Gilgil where we'll learn more about one of our foundation projects, the Saidia Children's Home Project. This project isn't just about the children - they also have a 'Grannie' project which helps elders too. More info is on their website: www.saidia-gilgil.org.uk/.

Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area, based around a flamingo-filled lake, makes it a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru harbours many rhinos and will be the best chance to get a great picture of these magnificent beasts.

Arrive in time for a short evening game drive along the shore of the lake.

Tonight's campground is beautifully located - but it's very basic, having drop toilets and basic showers.

Included Activities

  • Lake Nakuru - Game drive


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)



Up early this morning, you only have tea or coffee before going back into the park for a morning game drive.

Return to camp for brunch before driving to Eldoret (200 km, approx 5-6 hrs).

One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.

Camp on the outskirts of Eldoret.

Included Activities

  • Lake Nakuru - Morning Game Drive


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)



Cross the border into Uganda and travel on to its capital city, Kampala (390 km, approx 8-9 hrs).

Kampala is the capital of landlocked Uganda. With a population of over 30 million, it's one of the five countries that make up the East African Community. It's a country of great cultural diversity and in recent years has been one of the most progressive in the region in terms of health education relating to HIV.

Once the heart of the Buganda Kingdom, Kampala is a bustling city spread over several hills and valleys.

Camp on the outskirts of the city.


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)


Kibale Forest National Park

After breakfast, you drive to Kampala City. If time allows, it's a great place to wander around on foot, exploring many of its markets and shops.

Travel on to Kibale Forest National Park (350 km, approx 6-7 hrs).

The most accessible of Uganda's major rainforests, Kibale Forest National Park is home to the highest concentration of primates in the world, with twelve different species recorded. The main attractions are the park's 500 chimpanzees, which have been habituated to human visitors. More closely related to humans than any other living creature, the chimpanzees are a delight to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees.

Take a 2-4 hour walking safari that gives the amazing opportunity to watch the way the chimps feed, climb trees, respond to humans and care for their young ones. It's a phenomenal experience and a real highlight. This is a guided walk through thick hilly jungle. You'll need to take water bottles, raincoats, good walking boots and perhaps a walking stick.

There's plenty for you to see and do in this beautiful area, including walks to villages, tea plantations, rivers, lakes or just relaxing around the campsite.

Camp in a basic campground that has showers and flush toilets.

Included Activities

  • Chimpanzee Trekking Kibale National Park


Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)


Queen Elizabeth National Park

Travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park and take a game drive on the way to the camp (200 km, approx 5.5 hrs).

Queen Elizabeth National Park is beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George. During your time in the park you hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.

Take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife, as well as its healthy population of hippos.

Stay at a basic camp on the grounds of a lodge which has drop toilets and basic showers.

Included Activities

  • Queen Elizabeth National Park Game Drive
  • Kazinga Channel boat cruise


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)


Lake Bunyonyi

Travel on to Lake Bunyonyi (250 km, approx 6-7 hrs).

Located in the south-west of Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi - meaning 'place of many little birds' - is home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.

If time allows, one of the best ways to admire the landscape is from on the lake itself by hiring a traditional dugout canoe (mokoro). They can be hard to master at first but great fun.

Your campground has flush toilets with basic showers.

Optional Activities

  • Mokoro hire (per day) - USD20


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)


Gorilla Trek

Cross the border into Rwanda and travel toward Ruhengeri, via Kigali (200 km, approx 6-7 hrs).

Rwanda's capital, Kigali, is a great place to explore on foot - from its market areas to the infamous Hotel Rwanda.

Visit Kigali's very moving genocide memorial. You may visit the memorial on the way to Ruhengeri or on your return.

Ruhengeri is the gateway to Volcanoes National Park.

We allow two days for gorilla visits as you are assigned a trekking group/time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day, or even over two days, depending on the time of permit issue and group size. There is a maximum group size of eight on each gorilla visit.

This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than eight per day can visit any one habituated family and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance and transmission of disease to the animals.

Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid, but the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. You can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.

When you are waiting for, or have completed, your gorilla visit, your leader will provide you with options and ideas on how you can spend your time in the area around Ruhengeri.

Stay in dormitories at a local church mission.

Included Activities

  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial
  • Mountain gorilla trek & permit

Optional Activities

  • Diane Fossey Memorial - USD75
  • Golden monkeys Trek - USD100
  • Mt Bisoke hiking (full day) - USD75
  • Nature walk Rwanda - USD55


Dormitory (3 nts)


Lake Mburo

Travel to the border with Uganda where you complete the border formalities. It's possible for most nationalities to purchase a re-entry visa at this land crossing but please check before travelling. Then head to Lake Mburo (420 km, approx 9-10 hrs).

The flora of Lake Mburo National Park is acacia woodland, different to most other parks in East Africa, which means its fauna is also different to other reserves. It's the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope and has about 68 different species of mammals including zebras, impalas, buffalo, leopards, hyenas and jackals. There are five lakes within the park which are home to hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds, while the papyrus swamps provide cover for the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. This small park is less well-known among tourists so it's much quieter than some of the more famous East African parks.


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)



Before breakfast you have a two-hour guided walking safari through the Lake Mburo National Park allowing us to see some of the animals and spectacular birdlife.

Travel from Lake Mburo to Jinja via Kampala, stopping en route at the equator (340 km, approx 7-8 hrs).

Jinja is one of the highlights of any visit to Uganda. Located at the source of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria, this is a place for the adventurer, the adrenaline junkie and the eco-traveller who wants to do something really worthwhile in a beautiful area.

Camp at a scenic riverside retreat with showers and flush toilets.

Included Activities

  • Lake Mburo Walking safari


Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)



Begin the journey back to Nairobi, making an overnight stop outside the town of Eldoret along the way (300 km, approx 7-8 hrs). Continue on to Nairobi early the next morning (370 km, approx 7-8 hrs).

One of Kenya's fastest growing towns, Eldoret is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners due to its high altitude.

Your adventure ends on Day 17 and you will be transferred to the airport for your overnight flight home to London.


Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)