Tailor made safari, gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar

“An 11 day trip combining gorilla trekking in Rwanda, a Kenyan safari and Zanzibar's beaches, which can be completely tailored to your preferences.”

Highlights

Rwanda: Parc National des Volcans | Gorilla trekking | Kigali guided tour | Kenya: Masai Mara | Safaris | Optional: walking safaris; horse riding | Zanzibar | Optional: PADI diving course; Jozani Forest day trip | Trip can be 100 percent tailored to your interests

Description of Tailor made safari, gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar

Track wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda's Parc National des Volcans, enjoy game drives on the plains of the iconic Masai Mara in Kenya, then relax on the exotic island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania.

This 11-day private, guided tour offers magical wildlife encounters and paradise island exploration on Zanzibar. From tracking wild mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, to intrepid game drives in the iconic Maasai Mara to snorkelling in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, this African adventure has been designed to provide you with a lifetime of memories.

You'll start in Kigali, Rwanda, then head to Kinigi, located in the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, in Parc National des Volcans, where you'll trek to see endangered mountain gorillas. Next, you'll fly to Kenyaís Maasai Mara, home to Africa's Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), the Great Migration of zebra and wildebeest, as well as big game favourites and authentic bush walks with Maasai warrior safari guides. This phenomenal holiday ends with four days on the exotic spice island of Zanzibar, where you can unwind along the palm-fringed coastline, explore the rich heritage of Stone Town and enjoy water sport activities (and even swim with migrating whale sharks, depending on the season).

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Kigali (Rwanda) & Transfer to Kinigi - Meet our representative at the airport upon arrival and drive through the lush green Rwandan countryside to Kinigi, located in the foothills of the Virungas in Parc National des Volcans. Check into your accommodation and relax after a long journey, ready for an early start the next day.
Day 2:Gorilla Tracking in Parc National des Volcans - Experience a once-in-a lifetime wildlife encounter with the wild mountain gorillas of Rwanda. After an early breakfast, drive to Parc National des Volcans' headquarters, where youíll meet your guide and be briefed about your trek, including the various aspects of "gorilla etiquette." Start your journey deep into the forest in search of your allocated gorilla family. High altitude, steep, slippery trails and humidity can make the trek challenging, but itís definitely worth the effort to spend time with wild mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Day 3:Return to Kigali & Fly to Nairobi (Kenya) - You'll head to Kigali after breakfast, where you'll take a guided tour of the city, including a visit to the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, a memorial to those who were killed during the 1994 genocide. Drive to the airport in the afternoon for your onward flight to Nairobi. Upon arriving in the city, our representative will transfer you to your accommodation.
Day 4:Transfer to the Masai Mara - Drive to Nairobiís Wilson Airport in the morning for your scheduled light aircraft flight to the Masai Mara. You'll meet our representative upon arrival and be driven to your safari lodge/camp, where you will spend the next three nights. We use a number of different award-winning safari camps and luxury lodges inside the wildlife reserve.
Day 5:Explore the Masai Mara - Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives on the plains of Masai Mara. This iconic reserve offers amazing wildlife viewing opportunities and itís highly likely that youíll see zebra, impala, gazelle, wildebeest, buffalo, rhino and elephant as well as carnivores such as lion, cheetah and leopard. If youíre visiting at the right time of the year, you will get the chance to witness one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on Earth, the Great Migration. Over 2.5 million wildebeests migrate north from Serengeti National Park to the Masai Mara during an annual migration cycle driven by rain.
Day 6:Explore the Masai Mara - Enjoy two thrilling game drives in the wildlife reserve today. You also have the option to start your day with a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the plains of the Masai Mara, followed by a champagne breakfast. There are a range of other optional activities you can participate in during your time in the Mara, including cultural visits to Maasai villages and markets, guided bush walks, horse riding and black rhino tracking experiences.
Day 7:Fly to Zanzibar - Enjoy an early morning game drive before driving to the airstrip in time for your scheduled light aircraft flight to Nairobi, where youíll board a connecting flight to the exotic island of Zanzibar. Our representative will meet you upon arrival and drive you to your accommodation, where you will stay for the next four nights.
Day 8-10:Explore Zanzibar - Explore Zanzibar at your leisure. With its rich history, beautiful sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and colourful coral reefs, Zanzibar is the perfect destination for post-safari relaxation. Should you wish to make the most of your stay on the island, there are plenty of adventure activities that you can participate in, including mountain biking, hiking, bird-watching, wind surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking and sailing, plus diving and snorkelling (the island is surrounded by fantastic coral reefs). In case you decide to take a plunge, you may even be lucky enough to see dolphins, green turtles and, at certain times of the year, whale sharks. We recommend that you explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town to learn about Zanzibarís Swahili culture and history. You can explore the Old Town with its colourful bazaars, winding alleyways and ancient stone houses and visit the Dhow Port, Old Slave Market, Sultan's Palace, Portuguese Fort, the House of Wonders and Livingstone House, among other places.
Day 11:Depart from Zanzibar - Your adventure comes to an end today. Enjoy your final breakfast, check out of your accommodation and drive back to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) for your flight home.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Accessible Overview:
We are always up for meeting the challenge of catering for as many individual requirements as we can. If we can’t help, we are honest and straightforward about it. More often than not this is due to budget or availability and we’ve never had to say no to anyone with physical or mental disabilities. Not that we have had many requests but in the cases we have had, it simply requires a bit more planning. Being accessible, empathetic and welcoming is a huge part of our identity and I would describe every member of our team as caring and compassionate.
Limited mobility:
Yes. We can limit the walking needed to literally zero. In planning an itinerary for those with limited mobility we can pick properties with limited walking required or indeed level pathways, which are wheelchair accessible - there are all sorts of plans that can be made within an itinerary. For example, you can be carried by porters on a ‘throne’ to go see the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda: an experience which is often labelled as ‘gorilla trekking’. On a safari or a cultural tour we can use vehicles throughout and there is no requirement for walking. Walking is very much an optional activity.
Wheelchair:
We have had guests in wheelchairs before and we have adapted our trips accordingly. For example we have picked wheelchair accessible accommodation, ensured vehicles are able to handle the requirements of the person and their chair, built ramps where necessary, booked extra luggage allowance on internal flights and had the chair stored in the hold, informed local guides and hotel staff that extra attention is needed and some assistance in lifting into/out of vehicles etc.
Blind or limited vision:
We have not done this before but we would certainly be excited to try. We were just talking about this in our Africa team and we feel certain an audio described safari would still be worth it: the sounds and smells on safari are a huge part of the experience and sight is not the be all and end all of the safari experience! Please do get in touch to discuss this with us.
Deaf or limited hearing:
We have not done this to date but again would definitely be up for the challenge. Guides proficient in sign language would be sourced, written correspondence including use of WhatsApp or other instant messaging service, etc.
Cognitive conditions:
We have not encountered this yet but we would have no objection and not view this as an insurmountable issue. Perhaps the simplest way if the client has their own carer already, is simply to book them on the same trip. All we really need is a list of requirements and we can then get to work!
'Free from' food:
There are some destinations where they say they can cater to e.g. vegans but the choice really is very limited. In Namibia, for example, at a lot of the lodges we have found that the vegan choice is very poor at the moment. I would say it mostly depends on the maturity of the hospitality industry in the destination as to what requirements they are well set up to cater to. It’s also important to have that personal experience and client feedback so that we know that when a lodge says ‘yes, we can do it’ they really mean ‘we can do it but it’s not going to be good.’ Please do get in touch and we will give you honest advice on this, drawn from our own experience or feedback from travellers to date.
LGBT:
Yes but with certain strings attached dependent on the destination. For example, it is illegal to be gay in Uganda. You can still go to Uganda as an LGBT traveller but you need to careful about being discreet as it is technically against the law. We would always advise our clients of important information before booking and we do also include information on LGBT travel in our pre-departure documents as well.
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Responsible tourism

Tailor made safari, gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Responsible tourism has saved the last of the Mountain Gorillas from extinction: proving the sustainable value of tourism outweighs the short term temptation of poaching. Your trekking permits and National Park fees contribute to the ongoing conservation efforts in Parc National des Volcans.

On safari we works with selected safari camps and lodges who are committed to local conservation efforts. With our accommodation selections you will find that your safari camp is dedicated to responsiblity and sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Our UK office takes a leading role in setting the standards for an environmentally friendly work environment. We work with local government to recycle our waste and continually look for new ways to be greener.

Community

The safari accommodations we promote all have a strong focus on recruiting staff form within their local communities: many aim for at least 75% of their staff coming from their immediate local community. This provides jobs and skills and is one of the most direct ways of positively affecting community development.

Our accommodation choices make use of locally owned properties where possible and often include adventurous, authentic choices such as local homestays which therefore involve local people and their communities in the very fabric of our holidays.

Holidays are locally-guided by knowledgeable locals who possess a wealth of information on the local environment and culture.

We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture.

In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their childrenís education in pursuit of this opportunity.

Talk to us about packing for a purpose and see if you can get involved by making a small material contribution to the communities you are visiting. We have developed partnerships with charities and accommodations throughout Kenya and are constantly working to extend our reach with the help of our travellers.

1 Reviews of Tailor made safari, gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 12 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Safari in Tanzania and hot air balloon.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Ensure lodges do and local partners do have sustainable practices in place before you go (employee wages, waste management, etc)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Partially. Some lodges were more aware than others of use of plastic, water conservation, etc. Our Tanzania operator was much more sophisticated in its environmental practices than our Uganda experience, where it was close to null. In Uganda, neither the lodge nor the travel partner had any kind of social or environmental policy or practice.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The first impression was quite low. The second leg of the trip improved considerably.

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