Africa Encompassed Northbound

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. 3- Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
64 days
From: $ 13,885 $ 217 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Gorilla permits included! Seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Uganda’s steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence.
  • Go on safaris in iconic spots like Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti savanna, the Okavango Delta and the Masai Mara.
  • A local leader and crew, plus plenty of time in villages and small towns, means you’ll have the opportunity to meet heaps of locals from all walks of life.
  • Chill out on the northern beaches of Zanzibar, enjoying white sand and the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
  • Travel for good! Visit community-based projects that empower women, promote economic freedom and protect wildlife.

Short Description

Witness vast landscapes, natural wonders, towns rich in cultural traditions and modern cities humming with life on this epic journey through Africa. This 64-day odyssey takes you from cosmopolitan Cape Town to the bustling streets of Nairobi, travelling through immense canyons, verdant mountains, gorgeous beaches and beautiful villages along the way. Encounter the sweeping beauty of the Serengeti, meet the San people, have close encounters with mountain gorillas and be warmed by Malawi. Camp on balmy beaches in Tanzania, trek through steamy rainforest and see cheeky chimps at play in Uganda. With unforgettable inclusions plus plenty of freedom, this adventure was designed for curious travellers with a strong independent streak.

Style Small group tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic (2*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Cape Town
End City Nairobi

Itinerary

Day 1 Cape Town

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. With its stunning coastline, modern cityscape and nearby mountains, Cape Town is one of Africa's most exciting cities. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. If you do happen to arrive early, why not get out and explore Cape Town, perhaps taking a walk in Newlands Forest, jumping on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, or heading down to the waterfront to see Cape Town Stadium up close.

Day 2 Western Cape

Leaving Cape Town behind, travel up the Western Cape (approximately 6 hours). Sit back, relax and enjoy the sprawling scenery. Tonight, you will stay on a working farm with your small group. This is a great chance to gain an insight into everyday life in this remote part of South Africa.

Day 3 Orange River

Journey to the Orange River, the beautiful natural border between South Africa and Namibia (approximately 9 hours). En route you will pass through Namaqualand, which is renowned for its wildflowers that spring up from late July to mid-September. Traditionally known as the Gariep River, the Orange River is the longest in South Africa (2200 km). Its source is high up in the Drakensberg mountain range in Lesotho, and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay in South Africa.

Day 4 Fish River Canyon

This morning there is the chance for an optional canoe adventure on the Orange River. Floating leisurely down the stream is a great way to discover the beauty of this region. Head further west into the desert lands of Namibia towards Fish River Canyon (approximately 4–5 hours). At 500 metres deep and over 160 km long, Fish River Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the world. At any time of year there are remarkable photographic opportunities here as you watch the colour of the granite rocks change as the sun goes down.

Day 5 Sesriem

Be ready for a long travel day as you drive toward the fabled dunes of Namibia (approximately 10 hours). You will have the opportunity to stop at a market or shop to stock up on supplies before tomorrow's bush camp. Upon arrival, stretch your legs and take in the exciting desert scenes. You will be situated in the most famous part of the Namib Desert, among the vast dune fields, the most spectacular of which are found near the Sesriem Canyon. Get an early night in preparation for your dawn hike tomorrow.

Day 6 Sossusvlei / Bush Camp

Wake up before dawn and scramble to the top of the dunes for a dramatic sunrise view across a vast sea of sand. The colour changes as the sun creeps up above the horizon, and the views are nothing short of incredible, providing a spectacular setting for your brunch. The dunes themselves are some of the highest in the world and home to much animal life. Afterwards, jump in the back of a pickup truck for a trip to Sossusvlei – the incredible salt and clay pan just nearby (approximately 30 minutes each way). You'll have plenty of time to explore this mysterious desert oddity. In the afternoon, drive to your bush camp in the heart of the Namib Desert (approximately 4 hours).

Day 7 Swakopmund

Continue to Swakopmund (approximately 4 hours). Surrounded by the massive dune fields of the Namib Desert on three sides and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Swakopmund is an ideal place for outdoor activities. The township has an interesting German–Namibian atmosphere, which makes it a pleasant place to simply walk around and explore.

Day 8 Swakopmund

With free time today, it's worth checking out the Germanic architecture and taking advantage of some excellent souvenir shopping. If you're after a dose of history and culture, you can stop in at the lighthouse and visit the Swakopmund Museum. Active types and thrill-seekers might like to take advantage of the many outdoor activities on offer – this town is the adventure-sports mecca of Namibia.

Day 9 Swakopmund

With another free day in this beautiful seaside town, you might like to do some reading, relaxing and swimming. Alternatively, you can venture further afield – perhaps to the Okakambe Trails or the Camel Farm (both located in the same area, around 12 kilometres east of town). A horse ride or camel ride is a great way to see the desert from a different perspective.

Day 10 Spitzkoppe

Travel to Spitzkoppe (approximately 6 hours). Experience the sight, sound and smell of thousands of olive-coloured seals on the shores of Cape Cross while travelling up the Atlantic Coast. Visit one of the most stunning areas of Namibia, the wild lands around the mountain of Spitzkoppe, also known as the Matterhorn of Namibia. Although you shouldn't try to climb to the top, there are some excellent hikes and guided walks throughout the area, which is rich in plant life and even has some bush paintings to be found. The Spitzkoppe is known for its stunning beauty and the thousands of ancient Bushmen rock art paintings that are still viewable. Be sure to look out for the sunset from your bush camp this evening – the landscape is known to take on dazzling oranges and reds.

Day 11 Etosha National Park

This morning, set off and travel to Etosha National Park (approximately 9 hours), stopping at a market or shop and ATM if required. Etosha is among the world's premier places to view wildlife. A wide range of southern Africa's wildlife roams here, including all the big carnivores and the five rare or endangered species: black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. Tonight, there is an option to take an evening game drive in the park before spending the night at the particularly spectacular Okaukuejo Camp. The camp overlooks a floodlit waterhole visited by many different species throughout the day and night.

Day 12 Etosha National Park

Enjoy a full-day game drive in Etosha National Park. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the constructed waterholes and the large, sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is difficult to see through, but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to usually allow for some sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, which means significant numbers of elephants, antelope and other herbivores reside here. This evening you will spend the night at Namutoni Camp.

Day 13 Grootfontein/San People

Leaving Etosha behind and continue to your camp which is located 50 kilometres outside Grootfontein (approximately 5 hours). This will be your base for visiting the San people tomorrow. Arrive at your camp, stretch your legs, perhaps enjoy a cool drink and kick back with your fellow travellers.

Day 14 Grootfontein

Embark on a 180-kilometre round-trip to visit the San people. You will go out walking with some of the tribe, listening to their stories and songs. You'll soon discover that they communicate in a unique and fascinating Khoisan dialect, commonly known as a 'clicking' language. The San are the oldest ethnic group in Namibia, having inhabited southern Africa for an estimated 20,000 years. Around 30,000 of them live in Namibia, but only 2000 still follow a traditional way of life. The San have a deep understanding of nature and ecology, living in harmony with their environment.

Day 15 Bagani

Head to Bagani, where you will set up camp for the night. Bagani is a small, friendly town with some good hiking trails along the river and plenty of nice spots in which to relax and soak up the ambience. This area is the homestead of the local Mbukushu kings.

Day 16 Okavango Delta

Drive across the border into Botswana and head south along the Okavango Panhandle (the narrowest part of the delta) to Seronga. Here you'll leave your vehicle and join your transport for the journey into the delta (approximately 4 hours). Boarding boats out into the swamps, travel to Gao Island to meet your mokoro team and start exploring the Okavango Delta with them. Each mokoro (small dugout canoe) takes two people and is poled along through the meandering waterways by a local tribesman. Punting along past birds and lily pads, you'll hear hippos occasionally piercing the peaceful atmosphere with their charming grunts. On the first night here, you'll camp on an island away from civilisation.

Day 17 Okavango Delta

Continue your trip around the delta and then return to Gao Island before heading to the relative civilisation of Umvuvu Camp with its (usually) hot showers and small bar. Today there is an option to take a nature walk with your guide. This is a great chance to discover the beautiful natural surrounds, gain some insight into the history of the local area and look out for animals such as giraffe, zebra and elephants.

Day 18 Bagani

After your exciting Okavango adventure, return to Bagani for the night. There will be time to relax, or to take part in one of the many activities on offer. Bagani offers a range of boat trips and fishing excursions. There are also many excellent hiking trails to explore. Ask your leader about how to take up one of these options.

Day 19 Chobe National Park

Setting off from Bagani this morning, embark on a pretty long drive (approximately 8 hours). Don’t fear – your destination, the incredible Chobe National Park, will be well worth it. Enter Botswana at Goma border, which is also the gateway to the park. Once arrived, take an optional cruise down the Chobe River – one of the best ways to witness some of the park's many animals.

Day 20 Chobe National Park

Enjoy an early-morning game drive. Adventuring through the park, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close to the wildlife. With luck you’ll spot a variety of creatures – lions, buffaloes and any number of exotic birds. Botswana's first national park is famous for its high concentration of elephants, so keep an eye out for them. They can often be seen swimming in the Chobe River. The river also attracts cheetahs, hippos, and crocodiles who like to sun themselves by the water's edge. In the afternoon, perhaps take an optional boat cruise to gain a different view of these amazing animals.

Day 21 Victoria Falls

Travel on to Victoria Falls (approximately 3 hours), crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi. Though a visit to Victoria Falls' is optional, it is highly recommended – if you didn’t see the waterfall, have you actually been to Victoria Falls? The staggering curtain of water is about 1.6 kilometres and cascades 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 metres and the falls become an impressive raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see little islets in the river below. Gather your travel crew together tonight for dinner, celebrating the southern Africa adventure and memories you’ve shared.

Day 22 Victoria Falls

There will be a group meeting at 6 pm to welcome any new travellers joining you and meet your new local leader. Aside from that, today is a free so you can explore however you like. Maybe take a canoeing adventure along the Zambezi River. Or perhaps you’d prefer to visit a near by village and chat to locals about how life has changed in Victoria Falls over the years?

Day 23 Victoria Falls

Use your free time to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls. This thundering curtain of water is one-and-a-half kilometres wide, falling 108 metres into a narrow gorge below. In the wet season, the spray created can rise up an incredible 400 metres and the falls become a raging torrent. In the dry season, the view of the falls is unobstructed by spray and you can see little islets in the river below. Be sure to check your Lonely Planet app for all of the hottest tips and advice on what to do in Victoria Falls, or ask your local leader for their recommendations.

Day 24 Bulawayo

Depart Victoria Falls and travel toward Bulawayo (approximately 7 hours) via the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust – one of The Intrepid Foundation’s projects. Here you can learn about the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, human-wildlife conflict and the trusts role in anti-poaching. There may also be a chance to meet any rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care. Onwards to Bulawayo – known locally as the 'City of Kings', Zimbabwe's second-largest city has an interesting history and some impeccable colonial architecture.

Day 25 Bulawayo

Perhaps get up early and take the option to go to Matobo National Park. Home to a significant population of black and white rhinoceros that can be tracked on foot, Matobo National Park is also the site of the grave of Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of Rhodesia and the De Beers diamond company. The Matopos area has great spiritual and cultural significance to the local people and there are many sites within the park where important ceremonies still take place. This optional activity is highly recommended, otherwise you could head into town to check out the local museums or take the opportunity for some down time.

Day 26 Masvingo

Drive the short stretch to Masvingo (approximately 5–6 hours). This colonial settlement – the oldest in Zimbabwe – makes for the perfect base from which to explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The ruined city, now a World Heritage-listed site, was first constructed in the 11th century. It's thought to be the former royal palace of the Zimbabwean monarch. Spend a few hours exploring this intriguing site before heading off to camp for the evening.

Day 27 Harare

Travel to Harare today (approximately 5–6 hours). You will arrive at your destination in time for lunch. You only have an hour or two to explore Zimbabwe's capital city, so if you're feeling active and up for a stroll, get out and make the most of it. Perhaps head to the National Gallery, the museum, the botanical gardens or simply wander the city centre and visit the colourful markets.

Day 28 Lusaka

Today you will cross into Zambia and drive to your campsite just outside Lusaka, Zambia's capital (approximately 8 hours). Your journey begins with a nice scenic drive to the border. At some point during the day there will be an opportunity to stop at an ATM and stock up on any supplies you might need at a shop or market.

Day 29 Petauke

Spend some time checking out Lusaka before a long day of travel. You'll see that it's a modern city but still retains a traditional African feel. Afterwards, travel on to Petauke (approximately 8 hours).

Day 30 South Luangwa National Park

After breakfast, travel (approximately 4 hours) to a workshop in South Luangwa where local craftswomen take snare wire recovered from poaching traps and transform it into jewellery inspired by the African bush. The women will show you around their purpose-built workshop and give you a chance to try coiling or hammering the wire yourself. For each sale made, a donation is given to anti snare patrols dedicated to the conservation of the region. Afterwards, make your way through the heartland to South Luangwa National Park (approximately 2 hours). The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River and its lagoons is among the highest in Africa. Many elephants, buffaloes, leopards, Thornicroft’s giraffes and lions are known to roam here. There are also some 400 species of birds inhabiting the area. A great way to experience South Luangwa and its beautiful scenery is to take an optional river trip – ask your group leader for more details.

Day 31 South Luangwa National Park

Rise early for an exhilarating morning game drive in a 4WD vehicle. Enjoy classic savanna scenery while keeping your eyes peeled the parks abundance of wildlife. There’s every chance you may spot a herd of zebra grazing on parched grass or a pride of lions passing by. Midday is the hottest part of the day here, so seek refuge from the sun and return to the camp for lunch. Afterwards, perhaps head out on a village walk for a snapshot of daily life in the local community. An optional game drive at night is also a good option to see wildlife when they are most active.

Day 32 Lake Malawi

Cross the border into Malawi and continue straight to your camp on the shores of Lake Malawi (approximately 9–10 hours). Malawi is dominated by its lake, which covers almost a fifth of the country and provides a livelihood for many local people. Fishermen, fish traders and canoe and net makers all ply their trade on the lake. A common sight is that of a fisherman in a bwato (a dugout canoe made from a hollowed tree trunk) fishing on the still lake at the break of day. Your campsite at Kande Beach is right on the shore, so take some time to rest and relax.

Day 33 Lake Malawi

Take a dip in the lake this morning as you head out on a snorkelling trip with a local guide. Lake Malawi's high alkalinity has resulted in an abundance of brightly coloured fish and relatively low levels of plants. What you end up with is a tropical oceanlike snorkelling experience within a landlocked freshwater lake. This afternoon, enjoy free time to soak up your idyllic surrounds. As well as chilling out on the lake’s sandy shores, make sure you take the opportunity to meet some local Malawians – easily some of the friendliest people in Africa.

Day 34 Chitimba

Drive to your camp in Chitimba (approximately 8 hours). Chitimba lies along the coast of Lake Malawi and has lovely beaches, friendly locals and a laidback atmosphere. When you arrive, perhaps take a stroll and acquaint yourself with this different part of the lake. Enjoy the scenery of banana palms, papaya trees and the Livingstonia and Nyika mountains looming nearby.

Day 35 Iringa

Today is a long travel day into Tanzania and its southern highlands (approximately 11 hours). Sit back, relax and watch as the countryside passes by. On arrival you will set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse situated on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement.

Day 36 Mikumi National Park

Wake up early this morning to head off on a 4WD game drive into Mikumi National Park with local expert guides. This less touristed park is home to impressive numbers of elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, warthogs, wildebeest and impalas – and maybe even a predator or two if you're lucky! Afterwards, we'll drive to Iringa (approximately 5 hours) and set up camp on the grounds of a farmhouse on the outskirts of this pleasant settlement. The area is filled with natural bush land which can make it a bird watchers paradise. Make the most of this rural setting by doing some stargazing before you retire for the night.

Day 37 Dar es Salaam

Settle in for a 7-hour drive to Kipepeo Beach, just south of Dar es Salaam. Be sure to make the most of it – perhaps take a stroll along the shore after you arrive and settle in. Your camp today is on the grounds of a hotel situated next to the beach.

Day 38 Stone Town

Catch a ferry to Zanzibar and check into tonight’s accommodation in Zanzibar City’s Old Quarter – Stone Town. There will be an important meeting tonight where you can introduce yourself to any new folks joining your adventure and your new leader for the next part of your tour. Aside from that, your day is free! The best way to explore Stone Town is on foot. After settling in, maybe set out and have a wander through the narrow alleyways and past the market stalls, ornate doorways and stores overflowing with the city’s famous carved frames. Later, maybe head to a waterfront bar for a drink with an incredible view and a seafood curry – a must-try local specialty.

Day 39 Zanzibar Northern Beaches

Once checked out of your Stone Town accommodation, consider booking in to an optional guided tour of the island's spice plantations, learning all about the history of this town's spice trade. You will have the opportunity to smell and taste various spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, plus sample some teas made with these spices too. After lunch, head to the Northern Beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.

Day 40 Zanzibar Northern Beaches

Enjoy free time in this beautiful archipelago today. There are many ways you can spend your day – perhaps talk to your leader for any recommendations they might have. Snorkelling in search of exotic fish is an excellent option, or you could take a traditional dhow boat on the water. You might also like to feast on a sumptuous lunch of grilled local seafood, or just relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book. It's totally up to you!

Day 41 Stone Town / Bagamoyo

Catch the midday ferry to Dar es Salaam where you will meet your driver and cook before boarding your overland vehicle for the short drive to your beachside camp in Bagamoyo.

Day 42 Usambara Mountains

If you wake early, you can make an optional excursion to the historical slave trade markets that once operated in Bagamoyo. After that visiting that sombre but important site (if you choose) it’s time to travel into the remote Usambara Mountains (approximately 7 hours). This unspoilt area of Tanzania attracts very few tourists, making it the perfect place for a Lonely Planet Experience. The forests stretch across the mountains and are ideal for easy hikes and guided walks. You base is the old German colony of Lushoto, where you’ll stay on the grounds of one of the earliest hotels in Africa.

Day 43 Usambara Mountains

Today, explore the beautiful Usambara Mountains and experience this area’s gentle hospitality on a visit to some of its small communities. From your base, hike to the gorgeous Irente viewpoint. It's best to pack some water and snacks in a day pack for this trip. On your way back, visit a local cultural project based at Irente farm and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Day 44 Arusha

Get ready for is a full day of travel as you board your truck once again and venture towards Tanzania’s national parks. Your destination is the sprawling gateway town of Arusha, approximately 10 hours’ drive. Arrive at your campsite on the outskirts of the town and settle in for the evening.

Day 45 Karatu

Take a short drive to the small town of Kisongo,enjoy a walk here. Then continue to drive to the small town of Karatu, the gateway to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Day 46 Ngorongoro Crater / Serengeti National Park

Get up early, put your camping and personal gear into a six-person jeep and head out for an excursion into the Serengeti via the Ngorongoro Crater. Enjoy a safari in the crater, spending between 3–4 hours exploring this perfectly intact volcanic crater. Watch for black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. Next, move on to the open plains of the Serengeti. Green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, this is perhaps the quintessential image of Africa – the home of thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Your campsite is within the Serengeti itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep.

Day 47 Serengeti National Park

Wake at dawn and embark on a game drive. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then go back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. After spending the middle of the day relaxing, just like the animals do, head out again as the day begins to cool. You'll return from this second game drive in time for dinner. There's also the option today of a balloon ride over the park (in place of a portion of the morning game drive). If you have pre-booked this activity you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. After landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast, then be returned to your camp.

Day 48 Mto wa Mbu

Rise with the sun and enjoy another game drive as you exit the Serengeti and head for Mto wa Mbu. On arrival, you will learn how to prepare a Swahili dish and enjoy a crafting session with local women.Learn about the farmer and artisan co-op that operates at the local market. Enjoy your food creations for lunch.

Day 49 Nairobi

Set off early for a full day of travel. Cross the border into Nairobi and arrive at your hotel in the evening (approximately 9–10 hours).

Day 50 Lake Nakuru National Park

Take in spectacular views of the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita on the drive north-west to Lake Nakuru National Park, situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley. The drive will take approximately 3–4 hours and you’ll arrive in time for a short evening game drive along the shore of the lake. Lake Nakuru National Park is a small and compact area based around a lake that makes 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.

Day 51 Eldoret

Rise early this morning for tea or coffee before going back into the park for a morning game drive. Return to camp for brunch before driving north-west to Eldoret, one of Kenya's fastest growing towns (approximately 5-6 hours.). Due to its high altitude, the town is an ideal training ground for middle- and long-distance athletes and is home to some of Kenya's most famous runners. Tonight, enjoy a traditional dinner at your campsite located just outside of Eldoret town.

Day 52 Kampala

Today you will leave Kenya behind and cross the border into landlocked Uganda, travelling on to its capital city, Kampala (approximately 10 hours, though it could take longer depending on border crossings). With a population of over 30 million, Uganda is a country of great cultural diversity and is one of the five countries that make up the East African Community. As today is a long travel day, take a break from setting up camp with a stay at a hotel. After your long drive enjoy a dinner prepared by the hotel before settling in for a good night rest.

Day 53 Kalinzu Forest

Travel to Kalinzu Forest National Park (approximately 9 hours). Some of its inhabitants include chimpanzees, black and white colobuses, baboons, red-tailed monkeys, both blue and red duikers, bushbucks, waterbucks, giant forest hogs, buffalo and elephants. On arrival, settle into your camp and perhaps stretch your legs and explore your surrounds with the rest of the group.

Day 54 Queen Elizabeth National Park

Take the optional excursion of visiting the chimpanzees of Kalinzu Forest this morning or enjoy the sounds of the forest from the comfort of your tent. 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. Later, take the short drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Once camp is set up there's an option to take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife, as well as a healthy population of hippos.

Day 55 Kisoro

Today, drive out of the Queen Elizabeth National Park on your way to the southwest tip of Uganda (approximately 7-hour drive). On this short game drive, cross your fingers and look out for elephants, buffalo, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks. When you arrive at the corner of Uganda, where the border touches Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, you’ll be based in Kisoro, which provides access to seven different gorilla groups located in Mgahinga, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Nshongi.

Day 56 Gorilla Trek

Joined by a local ranger and gorilla trackers, climb through the rugged mountain terrain of Bwindi National Park to encounter rare gorillas. No more than eight people per day can visit any one habituated family and visits are strictly controlled to minimise disturbance or the chances of 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 quite 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 four hours – up and down hills. 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. Be mesmerised as you watch them eat, sleep, groom and play – the giant silverback surveying the scene as the smaller ones laze in the trees or play like children. Your visit with the gorillas will last one unforgettable hour.

Day 57 Gorilla Trek

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 free day in the area around Kisoro. You can head out on more rainforest hikes to see monkeys, take some nature walks, or if your legs are up for it, join a challenging hike up Mt Sabinyo – one of five volcanoes located in the Parc National des Volcans – or perhaps take a day excursion over the border to Rwanda to visit the genocide memorial, art museum and Nyamirambo women’s center. However, please ensure you have a Rwanda or East Africa visa.

Day 58 Mbarara

Farewell the lands of the gorilla and turn back towards the capital, Kampala. You’ll break up the journey at the pit-stop town of Mbarara for the night (approximately 5–6 hours driving). We’ll be honest – there’s not a great deal to do here, however it’s a great opportunity to spend the afternoon and evening relaxing at the camp, or even to have a leisurely look around the town.

Day 59 Jinja

Today you'll continue your journey inland, travelling towards Jinja (approximately 7 hrs). The Jinja region is one of the highlights of any visit to Uganda, a riverside retreat at the source of the Nile but also the adventure capital of Uganda. Tonight, camp at a scenic riverside site and enjoy a good night’s rest ready for tomorrow's adventures.

Day 60 Jinja

Located at the source of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria, Jinja is a place for the adventurer, the adrenaline junkie and the eco-traveller. You’ll enjoy two days here at your own pace, with a bunch of optional activities to choose from (at extra cost) if you want. Maybe get active with some whitewater rafting or kayaking. Alternatively take a boat cruise to the source of the Nile or to enjoy the river and quench a thirst.

Day 61 Kericho

Farewell Uganda and begin the journey back to Kenya and Nairobi, stopping overnight at the town of Kericho (approximately 9 hours, including border crossings). Kericho sits at the edge of South-Western Mau National Reserve and is known for its vast tea estates. On arrival, visit a tea plantation and sample a delicious brew or two.

Day 62 Masai Mara National Reserve

This morning, drive to the famous Masai Mara National Park (approximately 7 hours). Stop en route in Loita Hills, home of the traditional Maasai people, and visit Tepesua Village. You’ll be welcomed by Maasai Warriors through traditional song and dance. Meet your Maasai hosts and enjoy a fascinating talk, full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture. Take a walk to the community village which was founded for widows who had lost their cows due to drought and can never remarry. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the Tepesua Widows Income Project. Here the women are engaged in making handicrafts and sewing eco-friendly handbags and backpacks to sell to visiting travellers and locals. Travel on to the Masai Mara; a quintessential African experience, with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and the world's most iconic animals living within its boundaries. Explore this diverse environment and view a multitude of wildlife on an early evening 4WD game drive with expert local driver guides.

Day 63 Masai Mara National Reserve

Venture into the Masai Mara National Reserve with expert local driver guides for a day-long 4WD game drive. You'll explore this diverse environment and most likely see a multitude of wildlife. Plus, an optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. You’ll then glide through the dawn skies, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and of the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast before returning to your campsite.

Day 64 Nairobi

Return to the bustling metropolis of Nairobi (approximately 4–5hours). On arrival in Nairobi you'll be dropped at your finishing point hotel, where your trip ends on arrival.

Availability

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Price From $ 13,885
Price Per Day: $ 217 per day
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Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
May-07-2023Jul-09-2023$ 13,885Sold Out Reserve
Jun-25-2023Aug-27-2023$ 13,8852 spots left Reserve
Jul-09-2023Sep-10-2023$ 13,8858 spots left Reserve
Aug-06-2023Oct-08-2023$ 13,88513 spots left Reserve
Aug-13-2023Oct-15-2023$ 13,88512 spots left Reserve
Aug-20-2023Oct-22-2023$ 13,8856 spots left Reserve
Sep-10-2023Nov-12-2023$ 13,8856 spots left Reserve
Sep-24-2023Nov-26-2023$ 13,8858 spots left Reserve
Oct-15-2023Dec-17-2023$ 14,2901 spots left Reserve
Nov-12-2023Jan-14-2024$ 13,8857 spots left Reserve
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4,209 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,181
Great 669
Average 132
Disappointing 67
Terrible 160
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Africa Encompassed Northbound

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Company Reviews

Annapurna Circuit with Intrepid, starting 27/11/22

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Quite simply, this was a once in a lifetime and truly amazing experience. The scenery, the food, the culture, the weather, all splendid! Our group were all fantastic, and we were expertly guided and supported by the entire Intrepid team (guides and porters), led by Parbati Joshi. If you ever get a chance, DO THIS TREK!
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Response from customer services …

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I provided feedback from my recent intrepid trip & Hannah within customer services looked into all the suggestions I made & provided an update after speaking to locals on the ground. Very satisfied with the updates provided & discount for another trip.
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Cycling Sri Lanka with non stop smile

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Amazing trip with the most phenomenal guides. Had not booked with Intrepid before but had been on other cycle tours before. Intrepid was exceptional... because of the personal touches of the guide team. Direct experience with communities and expert knowledge is all done with a light touch on top of the challenge of moving around the country safely and with great enthusiasm and happiness.
With Sri Lanka as our beautiful backdrop it might always be the case to have such an amazing time, but to come away with such understanding, knowledge and experience of history, flora, fauna, wildlife, custom, food, culture and politics is down to the incredible guide Sampath. If you book this trip and your guides are Sam and Kasun, you are very lucky - cannot recommend them highly enough. Thank you
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My credit card was charged for a trip not confirmed

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
I requested a booking for a trip on the 17th January, and in the same day I was informed that there was no available places on that trip.
Even if the reservation was not confirmed, Intrepid still charged my credit card on the same day for 2.216€, for which I had to pay a commission from my bank.
I requested several times to have the money back in to my account, but today I still did not receive a refund.
It's not acceptable for Intrepid to keep the money so many days for a reservation that didn't happen.
I saw the opinions on the trips, and they are good, so I would recommend to make any reservation trough an operator that don't debit you credit card when they cannot confirm the reservation, such as Tour Radar.
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Don’t Book with Intrepid. They’re sexist.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Intrepid clearly doesn’t care about their female customers. I did the trip between Bangkok and Bali. I’ve used them before and never had an issue. The guide on the first half was wonderful. The second half - Tantan - was terrible. From the get-go, he told us that he was on “probation” due to an incident with another female customer from a previous trip. He treated the women like second-class citizens and verbally complained about us. He never told us anything about his own country. On more than one occasion, women were separated from the group. He didn’t even realize that we weren’t with the group. And in one situation, it could have been dangerous. 

When FIVE women complained about this to Intrepid, we were told that he’s “trained and professional”. They gave us a brush off amount as compensation. And this man will still be allowed to lead tours after “retraining”. In the age of Me Too, I don’t know how a company still thinks it can treat female complaints like they’re unimportant. 

I’ve used this company many times in the past. I will NEVER use them again.
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Explore Colombia

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I've done a bunch of trips with Intrepid and they always exceed my expectations. Martin, the guide, was amazing. Intrepid designs a great trip that immerses you in the culture while keeping you safe. Itineraries include the 'must sees', with many optional excursions so you can customize your adventure to your liking. Awesome trip and awesome company!
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Overland vehicle,4x4 Safari Vehicle,Ferry,Minibus,Mokoro

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 22

Accommodations

Camping (with facilities) (48 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights),Camping (without facilities) (1 night),Bungalow (2 nights),Cabin (3 nights),Dormitory (2 nights),Hotel (3 nights),Hotel with shared facilities (1 night)

Guides

On this trip you will be accompanied by three crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver who will usually be Kenyan. Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well) Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people. Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping. Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way. Everyone is expected to participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc. If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites
  • Junction of Milimani Road/Ralph Bunche, Milimani, Nairobi,
  • Nairobi
  • KENYA
  • Phone: 254 737111111

Trip ID#:

intrepid-UXODC

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