Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Mountain Gorilla Safari: Tanzania, Zanzibar & Rwanda 2020 tour
Arusha Kigali Mountain Gorilla Safari: Tanzania, Zanzibar & Rwanda 2020 Trip

Mountain Gorilla Safari: Tanzania, Zanzibar & Rwanda 2020

Tauck
By Tauck
4.7 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: N/A
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*)
13 days
From: $ 15,990 $ 1,230 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Intimate game drives in wildlife-rich national parks promise up-close animal encounters... a private ocean safari and spice tour in Zanzibar reveal cultural treasures... and a gorilla trek in Rwanda is a true bucket list experience! Unique experiences include custom film vignettes created by BBC Earth exclusively for Tauck; all small group departures
  • limited to just 24 guests for more intimate exploration; a private lecture at Oldupai Gorge where the remains of early man were found; a hot air balloon ride at dawn over the Serengeti followed by breakfast; ocean safari on a private dhow boat with lunch on a secluded beach; and a one-hour interactive visit with a silverback gorilla family in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park accompanied by an expert guide and a personal porter in small groups of just 8 guests. Experience the following... in Tanzania
  • visits to a Maasai village and primary school
  • a picnic in a prehistoric crater
  • and a private lecture in Oldupai Gorge precede four nights in the heart of Serengeti National Park
  • with a hot air balloon ride and daily game drives... in Zanzibar
  • two nights at a beachfront hotel with ocean view rooms in Stone Town include a walking spice tour with a coconut harvester
  • a cruise aboard a traditional dhow with swimming and snorkeling
  • and free time for exploration; and in Rwanda
  • enjoy a Kigali tour
  • coffee experience
  • visits to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Museum and Kigali Genocide Memorial
  • and a trek into Volcanoes National Park with expert guides to spend time with a gorilla family in the wild. Accommodations feature Serena Safari Lodges in Ngorongoro
  • with views of the crater
  • and in the Serengeti
  • where a Maasai-village inspired lodge overlooks the vast grasslands; Kirawira Tented Camp
  • combining colonial elegance with modern-day amenities – ideally located to overlook the great migration in the Western Serengeti; Park Hyatt Zanzibar
  • a beachfront setting in the heart of historic Stone Town; and three nights in boutique hotels in Rwanda.

Short Description

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities abound on this small group safari. Intimate game drives in wildlife-rich national parks promise up-close animal encounters. A private ocean safari and spice tour in Zanzibar reveal cultural treasures. And a gorilla trek in Rwanda is a true bucket list experience!

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
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
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 Kigali

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

Tanzania Rwanda

Attractions & Cities Visited

Arusha Kigali Serengeti National Park Zanzibar

Activities & Interests

Culture

N/A
See more

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Arusha, Tanzania

Tour begins: Arusha Serena Hotel. A transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha Serena Hotel, is included. Welcome to Tanzania and the start of your African safari; your hotel overlooks Lake Duluti. Although most flights land at Kilimanjaro International Airport after the sun has set, thoughts of Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro will come to mind as you journey the short distance from the airport to your hotel.

LODGING : Arusha Serena Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Arusha, Tanzania

Day 2 Lake Manyara & on to Ngorongoro

Depart your hotel in Arusha and make your way to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge for lunch overlooking Lake Manyara, a bird-lover's paradise. Enjoy your first game viewing opportunity as you continue on this afternoon to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to Ngorongoro Crater, a wildlife mecca; your lodge is built on the dormant volcano’s rim, with stunning views of the “lost world” below. Please join us for a welcome reception followed by dinner at the lodge this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

PORTOFCALL : Arusha, Tanzania

Day 3 Game drives & a picnic in Ngorongoro Crater

Spend today exploring Ngorongoro Crater, long regarded as Africa’s “Garden of Eden.” Within the crater lie grasslands, forests and a freshwater lake, inspiring a continual migration of animals. Riding in your four-wheel-drive safari vehicle, you’ll have a chance to spot Africa’s celebrated “Big Five” – buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black-maned lion and the rare black rhinoceros. Dig into a hot lunch as you picnic in the heart of the crater, sure to be a highlight of your African safari. Back at the lodge to enjoy dinner and local entertainment this evening, you'll be able to observe Ngorongoro's wildlife-rich caldera below from the comfort of your private terrace.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Day 4 Visit Oldupai Gorge en route to the Serengeti

Set off this morning to explore Oldupai Gorge, where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of some of the earliest known human species, an estimated 1.8 million years old; learn more about the site’s significance on a docent-led tour. Continue wildlife viewing while driving the rough dirt roads across the plains and grasslands of the Serengeti. Arrive at your safari lodge in the Central Serengeti, which was inspired by Maasai tribal dwellings. Have dinner at your leisure at the lodge, and enjoy some local entertainment in the lounge this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

PORTOFCALL : Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Day 5 Ballooning over the Serengeti & game viewing

Lift off on an exciting hot air balloon flight* as dawn breaks over the vast Serengeti grasslands; from aloft, observe wildlife in the first light of day, an African safari thrill – and enjoy another thrill upon your return where a champagne breakfast in the bush waits for you. An afternoon game drive on the Serengeti plains may yield sightings of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinoceros, hippos, buffalo, jackals, and gazelles. This is also one of the best places on the African Continent to see prides of lions. Return to the lodge for lunch, then enjoy an afternoon at leisure (or a lecture by an expert), followed by a special sundowner with filmmaking gadgets this evening before dinner at the lodge.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

PORTOFCALL : Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Day 6 On to the western Serengeti

Spot more wildlife as you travel to the Serengeti’s remote Western Corridor, known for huge masses of migrating game animals thundering across the terrain. Arrive at Kirawira, your luxurious tented camp in the remote Grumeti River region for another unique African safari experience; animals you might see on an afternoon game drive across the treeless plains of the Serengeti include wildebeest, lion, buffalo, cheetah, warthogs, giraffes and zebra.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Kirawira Tented Camp

Day 7 Wildlife wonders on the Serengeti plains

After awakening in the heart of the wilderness in your luxurious tent – surrounded by Edwardian-era accents that evoke the classic safari camps of a century ago – your safari guide shares fascinating insights about the African bush on your early morning game drive, as you observe the struggle of species to survive in the "circle of life" within Serengeti National Park. Later, after lunch and another game drive, relax by the pool at Kirawira as the setting sun streaks the Tanzanian sky – a classic African safari doesn't get any better than this!

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Kirawira Tented Camp

Day 8 To Zanzibar & a Stone Town "spice walk"

Rise early for your final Serengeti game drive this morning, then fly midday to intriguing Zanzibar, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean that was once a wealthy trading center for spices. Upon arrival, set off with your local guide on a walking "spice" tour of Stone Town, in the main port of Zanzibar City. Learn where some of your favorite spices come from as our guides reveal aromatic secrets hidden in nuts, roots and bark. Your home for the next two nights is a fabulous hotel created overlooking the turquoise sea and white sand beaches.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : Park Hyatt Zanzibar

PORTOFCALL : Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 9 Cruise aboard a dhow on an "Indian Ocean"safari" in Zanzibar

Traditional Arabian sailboats called dhows have plied the Indian Ocean waters of the Swahili Coast for millennia, trading and fishing from one island port to the next. Sail out to sea from Stone Town aboard a traditional dhow for an "Indian Ocean safari" off the coast of Zanzibar this morning, as the captain and crew help you spot dolphins frolicking in the ocean blue; cast anchor on a sandy beach for swimming and perhaps some snorkeling near beautiful coral reefs. After returning to shore, the afternoon is yours to check out more of fascinating Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on your own. Join us this evening for dinner at your seaside hotel.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Park Hyatt Zanzibar

PORTOFCALL : Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 10 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 : Kigali, Rwanda

Day 11 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. There are only several hundred mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, and about half live in the forests of the Virunga mountains in Rwanda. Learn insights and observations about gorilla behavior in preparation for tomorrow’s exciting trek, as well as hear the fascinating story of Dian Fossey’s unforgettable quest to save the Mountain Gorilla.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : One&Only Gorilla's Nest

PORTOFCALL : Kigali, Rwanda

Day 12 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 13 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

PORTOFCALL : Kigali, Rwanda

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 15,990
Price Per Day: $ 1,230 per day

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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: Tanzania, Zanzibar & Rwanda 2020

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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.
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Details

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Trip ID#:

tauck-GZT2020

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