Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya camping safari, gorillas & the Mara

“Three-country 18-day journey through myriad African landscapes offering unforgettable encounters with iconic wildlife. Flight inclusive.”

Highlights

Rwanda genocide museum | mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest | Queen Elizabeth Nature Park | Great Rift Valley lakes, forests and plantations | White-water rafting, source of the White Nile and village communities around Lake Victoria (optional) | Kazinga Channel hippo cruise | Flamingos, rhino and leopard around Lake Nakuru | Murchison Falls cruise | Chimpanzee trek in Budongo Forest | Masai Mara |

Description of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya camping safari, gorillas & the Mara

Begin with a resonant human encounter at a moving museum in Kigali reflecting on the 1994 conflict that killed over a million Rwandans, before lifting your spirits with another side of Rwanda - an unforgettable encounter in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with a family of Mountain gorillas whose gentleness belies their giant size.

Heading to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Great Rift Valley, you skirt the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, pausing for lunch amid tea and sugar cane plantations. Alongside savannah plains, this Park offers rainforests, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes creating one of the world's highest levels of biodiversity, including 600-plus bird species. There's also a river cruise along the Kazinga Channel to see the world's highest concentration of hippos.

Travelling on through Uganda, trek in the birdsong-filled Budongo Forest to encounter chimpanzee, Velvet and Colobus monkeys, wild pigs and forest elephants, then onto the Murchison Falls National Park where a ferry across the Nile heralds a game drive in search of elephants, giraffe, buffalo and Ugandan kobs (a local antelope) – plus the lions and leopards that hunt them. End a magical day with a journey up the Nile to the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’, where rainbows arch through dramatic spray at the base of the park's eponymous cascade.

Driving to Jinja on Lake Victoria, choose between the adrenaline rush of white water rafting, a trip to the source of the White Nile or walking to a local village to see a transformative community project in action.

Crossing into Kenya, the big game stars of the secluded Lake Nakuru reserve are black and white rhinos, complemented by gaudy flamingos and leopards lazing in fever trees. The grasslands of the Masai Mara provide a grand finale – and visit between August and October to witness vast herds of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra run the gauntlet of predatory cheetah, lion and crocodiles as they cross the Mara on their annual migration.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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10 Dec 2018
£ 3499
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26 Dec 2018
£ 3599
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29 Jun 2019
£ 3789
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15 Jul 2019
£ 3949
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10 Aug 2019
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26 Aug 2019
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14 Sep 2019
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11 Dec 2019
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28 Dec 2019
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Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya camping safari, gorillas & the Mara

Accommodation and Meals:
The accommodation on this trip is a combination of hotels, lodges and permanent tented camps. The vast majority of the staff is from nearby villages and they even offer accommodation for staff staying in villages further away. This industry is a great source of employment for local people, so by staying in these hotels we are supporting steady income for local communities. In terms of meals, hotels will source local produce as much as possible and clients are encouraged to explore local restaurants and markets if convenient. Main meals are typically based on a meat or bean stew and ‘ugali’ (maize flour and water) or ‘matooke’ (boiled and mashed green banana).

Local Craft and Culture:
Although this is a largely nature based trip, we incorporate as much benefit to local people as possible. One of the ways to support local people and boost the economy is to buy crafts along the roads in the smaller villages which we pass. During the visit to the Masai Mara village clients will have the opportunity to buy wooden carvings, necklaces, bracelets and Maasai spears. These items are for sale and provide a significant form of alternative income. Guides are careful to explain that any souvenirs on sale over the duration of the trip which are made from animal parts, shells or local hardwoods should not be purchased.

Conservation:
The permit fee charged to see the Gorillas in in Parc National des Volcans and in Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest goes directly towards the preservation of this endangered species and their fragile but beautiful environment. By travelling with us, you ensure that rangers are paid a fair wage and have the provisions and personnel to protect themselves and wildlife against harmful poaching activity.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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