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Mountain Gorilla Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda 2019 tour

Mountain Gorilla Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda 2019

Tauck
By Tauck
4.7 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
16 days
From: $ 17,590 $ 1,099 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Earth Journeys
  • crafted by Tauck and BBC Earth... Intimate safari drives in 6-passenger vehicles for amazing wildlife viewing
  • hot air balloon ride over Masai Mara
  • stays in safari lodges in Serengeti
  • Amboseli
  • Mount Kenya Safari Club and Mara Safari Club; private Gorilla Trek in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park; visits to Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • the William Holden Wildlife Education Center
  • the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Museum
  • and Kigali's Genocide Memorial Museum

Short Description

Earth Journeys... created by Tauck and BBC Earth. From the Big Five to silverbacked Mountain Gorillas, wildlife is the draw on this 16-day safari in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda where game drives and mountain treks reward with once-in-a-lifetime encounters with animals, both endemic and endangered. All departures are small groups, limited to 24 guests.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Arusha, Tanzania
End City N/A

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Arusha, Tanzania

Tour begins: Arusha Serena Hotel. Transfers are included from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha Serena Hotel, for an overnight stay.

LODGING : Arusha Serena Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Arusha, Tanzania

Day 2 Birds of Lake Manyara National Park

Set out for a four-night safari to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti plains, traveling through Lake Manyara National Park. Along with abundant giraffes, baboons and elephants, Lake Manyara is home to a multitude of birds, including great birds of prey. Continue on to Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to some 30,000 large mammals. Please join us for a welcome reception and dinner at your lodge overlooking the vast and wildlife-lush Ngorongoro Crater far below.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

PORTOFCALL : Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Day 3 A Garden of Eden in Ngorongoro Crater

Experience the Africa of bygone days when you explore the "lost world" of Ngorongoro Crater, believed by many to have been Africa's original "Garden of Eden." Within this dormant volcano's walls lie short grasslands, swamps, forests, fresh and saltwater lakes, inspiring continuous animal migration. From aboard your four-wheel-drive vehicle, you'll have an opportunity to spot Africa's renowned Big Five - buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black-maned lion and the endangered, rare black rhinoceros - as well as herds of zebras, wildebeests and gazelles. Today's picnic lunch in the crater will be a highlight.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

PORTOFCALL : Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Day 4 Ancient Man in Oldupai Gorge

Your day begins with a visit to Oldupai Gorge, the world-famous paleoanthropological site studied by anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey for more than 40 years, finding exceptional stone tools, animal bones and fossilized evidence of some of the earliest known human species. Enjoy game viewing as you drive to your wilderness lodge in Serengeti National Park; be prepared for bumps and bounces along unpaved roads. No matter how rough the ride, wait until you see your safari lodge in the Serengeti - it's built for unprecedented pampering. Enjoy a special barbecue dinner in your lodge's Boma Grill tonight, enhanced by a Maasai traditional dance performance.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti

PORTOFCALL : Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Day 5 Endless Plains in Serengeti Nat'l Park

Morning and afternoon game drives take you into the golden Serengeti savanna today, one of the oldest ecosystems on Earth able to sustain an abundance of flora and fauna. You may spot numerous prides of lions, zebras, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, black rhinoceros, hippos, buffalo, jackals, gazelles and primates. Enjoy the evening under the sunset and savor a taste of Pan-African cuisine during a leisurely dinner.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti

PORTOFCALL : Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Day 6 Kenya's Amboseli National Park

Leave the Serengeti behind as you fly to Arusha, Tanzania en route to Kenya. Dominating the skyline, majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro peaks over surrounding landscapes from more than 15,000 feet up. Have lunch at the Cultural Heritage Center in Arusha prior to continuing into Kenya and begining a two-night stay at your safari lodge in Amboseli National Park, where herds of free-ranging elephants and other wildlife like to roam; enjoy a private lecture on the elephants of Amboseli before dinner tonight.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge

PORTOFCALL : Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Day 7 Private Game Drives in Amboseli

Tauck's private safari game drives in Amboseli National Park offer ample opportunity to view the elephants, hippos and buffaloes that seek out the park's natural watering holes and the graceful antelopes that graze in the flat grasslands. An early morning visit to a Maasai village precedes a morning game drive, after which you'll return to the lodge for breakfast. Spend some down time at your lodge prior to lunch, then another game drive, and time to spend as you please at the lodge in the afternoon. Enjoy an included dinner at your leisure at the lodge this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge

PORTOFCALL : Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Day 8 Mt. Kenya's Animal Orphanage

A morning flight brings you to the world-famous Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, straddling the Equator and your luxurious home for the next two nights. The former retreat of actor William Holden, the Safari Club, founded in 1959, was once the playground of such illustrious members such as Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. Following lunch and an Equatorial demonstration, pay a private visit to the nearby William Holden Wildlife Education Center and animal orphanage; this sanctuary for animals that have been orphaned or injured and need special care also teaches local children to cherish and appreciate the unique wildlife of their homeland.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

PORTOFCALL : Nanyuki, Kenya

Day 9 Ol Pejeta & Village Weavers

An exciting day begins at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to the largest resident black rhino population in East Africa and other members of the Big Five. It is also home to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, founded by Jane Goodall, which gives lifelong homes to orphaned and abused chimpanzees, and which you'll visit this morning. While at Ol Pejeta, enjoy Tauck's special access to visit a compound where endangered black rhino are bred. After lunch at your hotel, take a look at local life on a private visit to a nearby village, where villagers spin colorful tales into their handmade wool rugs, sweaters and shawls right before your eyes. Return to your celebrity resort late afternoon. Tonight, attend our private barbecue dinner held under the stars on the lush manicured lawns of the Mount Kenya Safari Club.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

PORTOFCALL : Nanyuki, Kenya

Day 10 Welcome to the Masai Mara

pack your Tauck duffle bag and fly to the Masai Mara National Reserve in southern Kenya, where you'll be welcomed by Maasai warriors. Have lunch upon your arrival at the luxurious Fairmont Mara Safari Club, where an elegant tented camp is your home for the next three nights. Spend the afternoon relaxing, swimming, taking in the views and otherwise becoming acquainted with the Safari Club and your luxury tented camp accommodations, evoking the classic safaris of yesteryear. Embark on an evening game drive across the plains of "the Mara" in search of animals that make their homes here; perhaps you'll see lions, antelopes, elephants and zebras in their daily rituals. Return to camp for a briefing on tomorrow's hot air balloon flight, followed by dinner.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Fairmont Mara Safari Club

PORTOFCALL : Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Day 11 Ballooning over the plains of the Masai Mara

Today will be one that you'll always remember as you arise before dawn to board a hot air balloon* and float over the Masai Mara's awakening plains below as the sun rises. When you land, a special champagne breakfast will be awaiting you right there in the bush! Spectacular isn't quite strong enough a word to describe such an experience, a Tauck Exclusive! Back on the ground, look for lions, impalas, cheetahs, giraffes, and the other animals you've come to love as you return overland to the camp for lunch and an afternoon at leisure - and later on an evening game drive with an opportunity to use special technology to enhance your safari experience. Have dinner back at your tented camp.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Fairmont Mara Safari Club

PORTOFCALL : Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Day 12 More Game Drives in the Masai Mara

Unparalleled wildlife viewing is the watchword on your final day in the spectacular Masai Marai - and the last full day of your safari adventure - as you set out on a morning game drive... return to your tented camp for lunch, and perhaps a bit of swimming and down time... and then head back out across the plains for a final afternoon game drive in the bush. After returning to your tented camp, enjoy dinner in the boma of the Fairmont Mara Safari Club.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Fairmont Mara Safari Club

PORTOFCALL : Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Day 13 Fly to Kigali, Rwanda

Fly this morning to Kigali airport in Rwanda, home to Volcanoes National Park and the forested habitat of endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. A late afternoon arrival at your Serena Hotel is followed by dinner at leisure.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Kigali Serena Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Nairobi, Kenya

Day 14 Kigali coffee & Volcanoes National Park

Wake up and smell the coffee at a local cooperative that empowers Rwandan women to become coffee growers. Learn all about making coffee, from planting and harvesting to roasting and brewing with an opportunity to have a cup or two. Continue on a drive through the countryside to the city of Ruhengeri at the base of Volcanoes National Park, where eight ancient volcanoes watch over the wildlife that thrives here. Check into your grass-thatched traditional Rwandan lodge, nestled under the eucalyptus trees at the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range, and have lunch before visiting the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Museum. Learn insights and observations about gorilla behavior in preparation for tomorrow's trek, as well as hearing the fascinating story of Dian Fossey's unforgettable quest to save the mountain gorilla.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : One&Only Gorilla's Nest

Day 15 Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park

Rise early for a once in a lifetime opportunity you'll not soon forget. Drive to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park where a briefing by your expert mountain guides answers any questions you may have about your trek into the wilderness and a dance performance as you eat your boxed breakfast whets your appetite for today's gorilla adventure. Climb aboard a safari vehicle as you make your way to the trailhead where your gorilla trek begins. You will be assigned a porter who will help carry your provisions and cameras and lead you to the gorilla family you are here to meet. Once the gorillas are located, you will have the rare opportunity to watch them interact with each other, and you if they choose! When your hour-long visit is up, head back to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. A local expert presents an informative lecture this afternoon about the endangered Mountain Gorillas you were privileged to see. Join us tonight for a farewell reception and dinner at the lodge.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : One&Only Gorilla's Nest

Day 16 Journey Home

Tour ends: Kigali. Depart your hotel after breakfast for your journey back to Kigali, stopping en route to visit the Genocide Memorial Museum. Pay tribute to the 800,000 Rwandans who lost their lives during the atrocities of 1994 and discover how Rwanda was able to come together, heal and move forward into the future with hope and resilience. Continue to the Kigali Serena Hotel where Tauck has reserved day rooms for you until your flight home this evening. Airport transfers are included from Kigali Serena Hotel to Kigali International Airport. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check in at the airport.

MEALS : B, L

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 17,590
Price Per Day: $ 1,099 per day
Checking price

21 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 4
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 0
Value
4.6
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.7

Mountain Gorilla Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda 2019

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Company Reviews

Great if you like 5-star hotels and lots of food

4.0
Details
Value3.0
Guide3.0
Activities3.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The tour covered most of Switzerland, with one day in Italy, which could have been eliminated. If you want to see the country from a bus or train, and you desire luxury hotels and gourmet food, then this is the tour for you. If you want to have a closer connection to the local people, and walk a bit in the mountains, or even hear the cowbells up close, then don't take this trip. While the trip was nice, I felt a disconnect from the local people and the country itself. We were always separated in a private train car, or on a private tour. I came home not really knowing what it's like to live there, other than it's very expensive.
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Pay for a 4 star trip and get 2 star food

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals1.0
My husband and I took the Treasures of the Mediterranean tour two weeks ago. The food off the ship was very good. The food on the ship was subpar (2 stars out of 4 stars). We ended up ordering French Fries at the beginning of each meal so we would at least have something to eat. I called Tauck and voiced my concerns. They offered us a $250 voucher each for another trip. I hardly think the food portion on the yacht was $250. Why would I go on another Tauck trip when my first one, which was our retirement celebration due to the poor food. The majority of the people on the trip were dissatisfied with the food and their reviews reflected it.
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Still Spellbound by the Grandeur of Alaska

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Focused on the amazing wildness of Alaska without worrying about the mundane details. Expert, low-key tour director made everything look easy. Excursions enhanced appreciation for the history, terrain, wildlife, peoples, boom and bust cycles that make Alaska so unique. Clear view of Denali, great weather, days 'at sea' with binoculars in hand!

Most Memorable Moment:
Flightseeing, Tundra Wilderness tour (clear Denali, rare wolf sighting and grizzlies in distance), crossing Prince William Sound (sea-otters, orcas, stellar sea-lions, and more), Hubbard Glacier calving, Glacier Bay entire day, Whale Watching out of Juneau, and bald eagles everywhere!
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Australia/New Zealand - Ultimate Experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Travel Date: March 2018
We were excited to have experienced 20 days of everything these 2 countries had to offer. We felt we didn't miss anything. Tauck knows how to provide you with the ultimate activities that any seasoned traveler walks away with and says WOW - truly an experience of a lifetime. Our tour Director Gary was an added plus.

Most Memorable Moment:
Too many to name, all planned activities were outstanding. We particularly enjoyed everything Queenstown had to offer. Probably the most impressive thing about the whole trip was that we got off each of our 6 private flights directly onto an awaiting bus and never during the 3 weeks did we touch our luggage.
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Most Memorable Moment

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
San Jose, Costa Rica, where we began our trip, is at nearly 4000 ft, cool and surrounded by mountains. Panama City, where we ended is at sea level and hot with a modern skyline making for a huge change in climate and atmosphere. We began at a coffee plantation in the mountains and ended on a ship in the impressive Panama Canal. Wow what a contrast.

Most Memorable Moment:

Transiting the Panama Canal and also spending some time in a small boat on the canal. The boat took us into one of the many "inlets" of the canal created by the flooding of the Chagres river when the canal was built. The surroundings have been left as a jungle where we saw monkeys, a large crocodile and a number of birds. Totally unexpected.
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The most indelible image of Costa Rica

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The hotel choices were good and there was plenty of food. Lots of activities for the kids. But, we expected nature walks/hikes for the adults and the kids. That never happened. Where were the talks regarding ecology, wildlife, geology, whatever? The one and only wildlife talk we had was regarding insects, which was great and enjoyed by all.

Most Memorable Moment:
The most indelible image of Costa Rica was the rain forest and foliage. But if you ask my granddaughter, what she loved the most was the zip line and rafting down the river with the other kids. I genuinely enjoyed the visit to a wildlife rescue center, the chocolate factory and the pineapple plantation. Would have liked a hike though the forest.
Read more

Details

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Trip ID#:

tauck-GZK2019

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