Mountain Gorilla Safari: Tanzania, Zanzibar & Rwanda 2024

Tauck
By Tauck
4.3 . Great
83%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. 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: $ 19,490 $ 1,499 / 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! 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
  • 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!

Style 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 N/A

Theme

Cultural

Destinations

Tanzania

Attractions & Cities Visited

Arusha Ngorongoro Crater Serengeti National Park

Activities & Interests

Culture

N/A
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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 for a visit to Isoito, a Maasai boma (village), for an opportunity to learn about the Maasai cultural traditions and have a bush lunch. Enjoy your first game viewing opportunity as you continue on 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 : Ngorongoro Crater, 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 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

PORTOFCALL : Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

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. A briefing about tomorrow's hot air balloon ride precedes dinner at your lodge. 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. A morning 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, followed by a special sundowner 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

PORTOFCALL : Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

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

PORTOFCALL : Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

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

Rise early for your final Serengeti game drive this morning, then fly late this morning 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 tour of Stone Town. 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. Dinner is at your hotel this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Park Hyatt Zanzibar

PORTOFCALL : Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 10 Fly to Kigali, Rwanda

Early this morning, enjoy a "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. Then fly to Kigali airport in Rwanda, home to Volcanoes National Park and the forested habitat of endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. A late evening arrival at your Serena Hotel is followed by dinner at leisure.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Kigali Serena Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 11 Kigali Coffee & Volcanoes National Park

Embark this morning on a drive through the countryside to the city of Musanze 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 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

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

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 19,490
Price Per Day: $ 1,499 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardSingle StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Jul-25-2024Aug-07-2024$ 19,490$ 23,234 Reserve
Aug-08-2024Aug-21-2024$ 19,490$ 23,234 Reserve
Sep-19-2024Oct-02-2024$ 19,490$ 23,234 Reserve

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Tauck.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

24 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

83%
4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 4
Average 0
Disappointing 3
Terrible 1
Value
4.2
Guide
4.5
Activities
4.4
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.3

Mountain Gorilla Safari: Tanzania, Zanzibar & Rwanda 2024

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Company Reviews

Skip this cruise - not worth it

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide4.0
Activities1.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals1.0
My husband and I went on the Treasures of the Mediterranean Isles Trip jn October 2022. This was our third Tauck cruise with Ponnant but our first post covid and the level of food and serive on Ponnant ships has dropped alot. The food was, at best, cafeteria food at a bad high school. My husband ate salad and cheese and crackers
For dinner every night because the entrees were terrible. You could be the first person at breakfast and everything on the buffet was cold, nothing was hot. there warming trays had tea light candles underneath them.
Wine served at dinner was low quality whicj says something since it was French wine. Tours were poorly
Planned, guides were ok at best. There is no time to shop or eat on land 9 times out 10. We were in Sicily but never got a chance to eat Sicilian food. So disappointed in this ver expensive cruise. The land portions in Malta and Marseiile were better but the tours in Malta were short, limited and subpar. This was our 8th Tauck trip and we have since cancelled our next three. We are not paying Tauck prices for mediocre experiences.
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Tauck/Aon terrible travel insurance

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Tauck partners with Aon for travel insurance. We bought this insurance through Tauck specifically to cover us in case of a positive for test for Covid and could not go on the cruise. Three days before the trip, one of us tested positive with very mild symptoms. We contacted Tauck and they agreed to refund 1/2 of the tour cost and the insurance would pay for the other half. When we called the insurance they said they required a PCF test. The test was taken and came back positive. Two months later they denied the claim because we didn’t go to a doctor. That was not necessary or practical. We had proof of Covid. Tauck is not willing to help. This was the insurance they recommended and sold to customers. We have now read many reviews of terrible service from Aon. Why is Tauck a partner to this company and not willing to help their clients? BEWARE. Terrible customer service.
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Nice trip but not if you are a loyal Tauck Customer like myself

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities4.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation5.0
Meals2.0
This was my 16th Tauck Tour. I was assigned a room with a "mountain" view only to be obstructed by lawn chairs, pool covers, large plants and buildings. It was a 1st floor room. I complained to tour director who said everyone got the same (NOT TRUE). I called Tauck 800 number on Sept 3 to request a call back from Customer Service. It took them until September 8 for a call back. The person on the phone was rude, non caring and (I'm paraphrasing) and told me just because you have taken 16 tours doesn't mean you deserve a better view that a first time customer. He went on to imply Tauck doesn't respect loyalty and wants to impress first time travelers. I ended the call and wrote an email to a good person at Tauck who was very helpful in the and requested this go to the top. I included pictures of my view and one dead fly because there were flies in the room and I guess Tauck thinks that makes the room special? I'm not done with them yet. Consider my treatment by this Customer Care agent before spending the big bucks to travel with Tauck.
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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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Details

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Trip ID#:

tauck-TR2024

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