Map of East Africa Safari: Gorillas and the Big Five including Kenya, Tanzania, United Republic Of and Uganda

A wild adventure to rival all others

Set out on search of Africa’s most magnificent creatures on a 17-day adventure through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda’s dense jungles, open plains and expansive lakes house elephants, hippos, lions and chimpanzees, to name just a few, while misty rainforests hide Uganda’s most famous residents – mountain gorillas. Hop across to Kenya and Tanzania and travel to some of Africa's most famous areas including the Masai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, where you'll take multiple game drives in search of the Big Five animals and more.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Kampala, Uganda
Finish
Arusha, Tanzania
Destinations
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
Style
Original
Theme
Wildlife
Code
YGSFC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • With gorilla permits included in the price of the trip, seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Uganda's steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence.

  • Visit a street market and haggle alongside locals for pigs and chickens before delivering these sustainable food sources to villages on the outskirts of Nairobi. Sit down in a local’s home afterwards for tea and coffee and learn about life in Kenya.

  • Meet Maasai warriors and experience Kenya's tribal life at an afternoon village visit in Loita Hills and venture into the incredible Masai Mara National Reserve for a full-day game drive in 4WDs.

  • Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth, with two early morning and two late afternoon game drives through this spectacular wildlife arena.

  • Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open-roof 4WD for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, in unbeatable. But please keep in mind that 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 pretty strenuous and often humid. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours up and down hill. A top tip is to pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs.

  • A maximum of 8 people are permitted to visit a family of gorillas at one time, so its likely the group will be split across different but equally amazing treks. 

  • This trip includes some long driving days, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie! 

  • Camping in the Serengeti National Park with no barriers between you and the animals is amazing, but it's important to heed the safety advice of your leader. You'll be briefed on arrival.

  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Itinerary

Welcome to Uganda! Your gorillas adventure begins in the country’s capital, Kampala. A welcome meeting will take place at your hotel at 6pm tonight where you’ll meet up with your local leader and fellow travellers before finding out what to expect on your journey. If you get here early, why not head to the Uganda Museum to learn about the country’s cultural heritage, or perhaps head to a local craft market to browse the colourful stalls and chat to the vendors. Once the meeting’s wrapped up, you may like to get to know your group over dinner, or perhaps head to a street food market and sample the local favourites (grasshoppers are a popular snack here!).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until tonight's important welcome meeting at 6pm. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these to give to your leader.
Leave the hustle and bustle of Kampala behind as you make the drive to Kibale National Park (approximately 6 hours). On arrival, head to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, home to the largest concentration of chimpanzees in Uganda. Your first encounter with Uganda’s jungles and wildlife is sure to be one to remember. Follow your leader over wooden boardwalks as you learn about this diverse environment and look out for antelopes, otters, baboons, birds, and if you’re really lucky, chimpanzees. After your walk on the wild side, stop by a local village to gain an understanding of rural life in Uganda. Join a guide from the village as you learn about their traditions and customs, visit their church and homes, see how crops are grown and hear stories from a local mzee (village elder). The profits from all of today’s activities are shared among the local community.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kibale National Park - Bigodi Wetland Santury walk
  • Kibale - village visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
The day is yours to make the most of Kibale National Park and its surrounds. One of the absolute highlights of this region is chimp trekking – be sure to speak to your leader about this activity as it will need to be booked in advance. You can also arrange to take a hike around some seriously spectacular crater lakes and pay a visit to scenic tea plantations to learn about the production in the area. Your leader will be on hand to make arrangements and give tips on how to have a fantastic day here.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kibale National Park - tea farm visit - USD10
  • Kibale National Park - Crater Lake hike - USD15
  • Kibale National Park - Chimpanzee Trekking - USD215
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Say goodbye to Kibale and drive on to the Queen Elizabeth National Park (approximately 3 hours). Home to elephants, buffalo, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks. On arrival, enjoy some lunch then head out on a game drive in search of the varied wildlife within the park – a keen eye and a little patience is sure to reward you with some memorable sightings! Then get ready to see the park from a different perspective as you hop aboard a cruise down the Kazinga Channel, linking Lake Edward to Lake George. You’ll be joined by local guides who will fill you in on everything you could want to know about the landscape and the animals who live within it – be on the lookout for hippos basking on the shore, as well as crocodiles, herds of elephants and abundant birdlife.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - Kazinga Channel boat cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head further south as you travel to Kisoro (approximately 6 hours) – the journey is like a game drive in itself, with the chance to spot zebras, antelopes, baboons and monkeys out the window. See another way of living when you head to the Ugandan countryside and visit the rural village of Mikozi. Browse the eye-catching stalls of the local market, enjoy a couple of drinks at the local bar and speak to a traditional Ugandan healer before continuing to your lodge in Kisoro.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kisoro - Mikozi Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Join a local guide and trackers as you climb through the rugged, mountainous terrain of Bwindi National Park in search of mountain gorillas. A quick lock of eyes with these creatures is a truly primal moment and visits are strictly controlled to minimise disturbance. Make no mistake, tracking gorillas is no walk in the park – it's called Bwinidi Impenetrable National Park for a reason. It can be wet, muddy, strenuous and uncomfortable, but the indescribable elation at coming across a group of gorillas is worth the effort. Spend a mesmerising hour with the gorillas as they eat, sleep, groom and play as the male silverback watches over them, then return to the lodge for dinner and to reflect on this incredible experience.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Gorilla Trek and Permit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Don’t forget to carry your rain gear, packed lunch, plenty of water, gloves, hat, and water proof bag for protection of your camera in case of rain
Travel from Kisoro to Lake Mburo National Park (approximately 6 hours). After a full-on day yesterday, your tranquil accommodation overlooking the park is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Tonight you’ll be staying in large safari-style tents, each with its own veranda so you can really soak up the view. If you’re keen to search for more wildlife, speak to your leader about the option to book a boat cruise on Lake Mburo.
Accommodation
  • Self-contained tent (1 night) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Mburo - boat cruise - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Accommodation tonight is in twin share, self-contained safari-style tents with private facilities.
Rise bright and early – it may be the last day of your adventure, but there’s still plenty to see! Lake Mburo National Park is one of the best spots in the country for a walking safari, so it would be a crime not to set out on foot while you’re here. Join a local park ranger who knows the area better than anyone and search for zebras, giraffes, elands, impalas, topis and much more (there’s no lions or elephants to worry about here, so you’re safe without a vehicle!). After your walking safari, head back to your accommodation for breakfast and take a final chance to enjoy the view, then make the drive to Entebbe Airport (approximately 4 hours). Say goodbye to your local leader and board an unaccompanied flight to Nairobi, Kenya (approximately 1 hour). You’ll be picked up from the airport by an Intrepid representative and transfer to your hotel, where you’ll meet your new local leader and travellers joining you for the rest of your journey at a 6pm welcome meeting. Once you've met your new travel buds, join them for an optional group dinner or alternatively strike out on your own.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Giraffes & Elephants Urban Adventure - USD70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note your flight from Entebbe to Nairobi will be unaccompanied. As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today.

There will be a welcome meeting tonight to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet travellers joining you. It’s important that you attend the meeting as your new leader will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

Petty theft is common in Nairobi. As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt. Your hotel room or reception may also have a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or the floor when you're in a bar or restaurant. Without being paranoid, appearing
This morning you'll take part in a unique experience: a 'From Farm to Feast' Urban Adventure. During this tour, which explores the relationship between farming and food, you'll help deliver a supply of chickens or pigs to a local community and find out how a local non-profit is helping to alleviate poverty and malnutrition in Kenya, one chick or piglet at a time. Be truly welcomed into a local's home for tea and coffee and learn about life in Kenya and the challenges these communities face. These are some amazingly inspirational women. All of your tour costs will go to supporting nutrition efforts in local communities. In the afternoon, your leader will take you on a brief walking tour of Nairobi and the evening is then free for you to enjoy as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nairobi - Farm to Feast Community Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer from Nairobi to the famous Masai Mara, a journey of approximately six or seven hours. This is one of the best game reserves in all of Africa and on the way you'll stop in Loita Hills, a remote region that's home to the traditional Maasai people. This is one of the key places where the Maasai people still practice their traditional way of life, with little influence from the western world. Make a stop at Tepesua Village, which is known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. You’ll be welcomed by Maasai Warriors by way of 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, washable sanitary pads, and backpacks to sell to visiting travellers and locals. Learn about village life and be shown around a traditional Maasai home, and their cattle enclosures. Continue to the outskirts of the Masai Mara, where your permanent tented camp can be found.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Loita Hills - Maasai Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore the Masai Mara in 4WD safari vehicles with game drives in both the morning and the afternoon. This is the quintessential African experience and with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most impressive animals, one you won't soon forget. Keep your eyes peeled for wildebeest, lions, leopards, antelope and giraffes, to name but a few.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is well worth considering. If you have pre-booked this activity (see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. Then you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast, then be returned to your campsite to meet up with your group.
Prepare for a long travel day as you head towards the border separating Kenya and Tanzania, then on to the small town of Musoma on the shores of Lake Victoria. Not only is this the largest lake in Africa, it's also the largest tropical lake in the entire world and shares its shores with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The next three days will be spent in the wilderness, so make the most of your afternoon and evening by stocking up at the local market, grabbing cash from the town's ATM and kicking back with a beach side cold drink as the sun goes down.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
If you're up for it, wake early this morning for a guided bike excursion around Musoma. You'll scoot around town and visit the marketplace, which is a great opportunity to interact with the local community. Travel on from Lake Victoria to Serengeti National Park (approximately three hours) and enjoy a picnic lunch at the entrance to the famous expanse. Continue to your campsite on your first Serengeti game drive, keeping an eye out for the hoofed animals and predators that call this place home. Tonight you'll have a true African safari experience, camping in an unfenced site within the national park, right in the heart of the animal action. Your leader will give you a full safety briefing once you arrive.    
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Musoma - Guided Bike Excursion - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake to another glorious day in the Serengeti. Start the day with an early morning game drive to search for animals when they're at their most active, then return to the campsite for a relaxed brunch. Spend the hottest part of the day relaxing in camp – don't stress, the animals will be doing the same – then head off again in the afternoon for another drive through the park. Return to the campsite for dinner and another night under the Serengeti's stars.

Note: there's also an option of an early hot air balloon ride here. Please ask your leader at the start of your trip if you're interested. 

Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD599
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
Enjoy a final game drive through the Serengeti as you exit the park this morning. After lunch, you'll drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation area en route to Karatu, a small town on its outskirts. Ngorongoro is a World Heritage site, the highlight of which is the Ngorongoro Crater, a gigantic volcanic caldera that you'll visit tomorrow in search of the Big Five.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning you'll descend to the Ngorongoro's crater floor for a 4WD excursion. If all goes to plan, you'll see some or maybe even all of the Big Five animals that reside here and better yet, the vehicle has an open roof so you can really feel like a part of the action. The animals here are less wary of humans and vehicles and as a result it's easier to watch them from up close. Take in the spectacular views from the rim of the crater as you make your way to the bottom, where animals roam the lakes, rivers, woodlands and hills. Keep an eye out for wildebeest, lion, zebra, cheetah, buffalo, gazelle and the endangered black rhino, as well as the colourfully dressed Maasai people who often water their cattle at the lake here. In the afternoon, you'll drive to Arusha and maybe enjoy an optional group dinner to celebrate this trip and say farewell to your new friends.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast today. A departure transfer can be booked, at an additional expense, to either Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK). Alternatively, you can continue on with our crew to finish in Nairobi. Please see 'Special Information' below for more details.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There is also an option of continuing back to Nairobi with your crew. Any flights out of Nairobi should not be booked to depart prior to 9pm. We highly recommend you book a post nights accommodation and depart the following day. Post nights accommodation can be booked through your sales agent.

The drop of point in Nairobi is the Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites:

Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites
junction of Milimani/Ralph Bunche, Milimani, Nairobi,
Nairobi
KENYA
Phone: 254 737 111 111

Meals

15 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Lodge (6 night), Permanent Tented Basic Lodge (3 nights), Camping with basic facilities (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Kibale National Park - Bigodi Wetland Santury walk
  • Kibale - village visit
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - Kazinga Channel boat cruise
  • Kisoro - Mikozi Village
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Gorilla Trek and Permit
  • Nairobi - Farm to Feast Community Visit
  • Loita Hills - Maasai Village Visit
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our East Africa Safari: Gorillas and the Big Five trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip requires a higher non-refundable deposit (AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900) in order to secure the included gorilla permit. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 45 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking.
3. This trip includes 2 nights camping within the Serengeti National Park. Tents, sleeping mats and sleeping bags will be provided. Please bring a pillow (or travel pillow) for these 2 nights.
4. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Serengeti National Park is possible on this itinerary. Please see Day 14 for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited, and we recommend that you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.

Essential trip information

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