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14 Days Camping - Masai Mara & Gorillas [NMG]

Route:

Masai Mara Reserve and Surrounds - Lake Naivasha - Lake Nakuru National Park - Kampala - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Uganda - Kenya - Nairobi

Masai Mara & Gorillas - Camping - 2014


Highlights
: Masai Mara Reserve, Masai Tribe, Equator, Mountain Gorilla, Nile River Rafting

Countries Visited: Kenya, Uganda

TOUR CODE:NMG
Accommodation: Twin Share Camping
Max Passengers: 18
Number of Crew: 2
Vehicle Type: Adventure Truck
DURATION: Days: 14 Nights: 13

Meals:
Breakfast:13
Lunch:13
Dinner:12

Departure Point
Please ensure you arrive at the departure point at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time. 8:00am from Sentrim Boulevard, Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 315680 www.sentrimhotels.net/sentrim-boulevard-nairobi

End Point
Sentrim Boulevard, Harry Thuku Road, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 315680 www.sentrimhotels.net/sentrim-boulevard-nairobi

*NOTE: All information is subject to change without prior notice. Travel times and campsites can change depending on road or weather conditions, etc. These are used as a guideline only. On our longer tours it is possible that your crew, truck and fellow travellers will change due to our unique tour linking system. On this tour, camping and accommodated clients will be travelling together with a maximum number of participants of 18.

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 Masai Mara National Reserve
We leave the capital and travel to the Masai Mara National Reserve. Today the tour enters this huge area of spectacular game viewing to photograph some of Africa’s most abundant wildlife. Famous for the annual migration of around 1.5 million wildebeest, the Masai Mara is also home to many other animals, including lions. Cultural interaction with Kenya’s native Masaai people completes our experience.

*The Masai Mara Reserve excursion & game drive will be operated in safari type vehicles, please ensure that you pack a small overnight bag to take into the Mara. You will need your towel, sleeping bag as well as clothes, toiletries and your camping essentials.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Masai Mara Camp: www.keniatours.com
Facilities: Shared aboutions, hot showers
Route: Nairobi to Masai Mara ±240km
Travel time: ±6-7 hrs
Activity Package: Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion

Day 2 Lake Naivasha
After an early morning game drive in the Mara, we depart towards Lake Naivasha for a relaxing day on the lakeshore. You can go hiking in the area and activities include game and bird watching. One of the more popular optional activities is to go game viewing from a bicycle. An alternative way to spend your afternoon is to take high tea at Elsamere, the former home of Joy Adamsson, best known for her autobiographical novel, Born Free.

Optional Activities: Cycle hire, High Tea at Elsamere.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Fish Eagle Camp: www.fisheagleinn.com/index.php#content
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, laundry, pool
Route: Masai Mara to Lake Naivasha ±245 km
Travel time: ±6-7 hrs
Included highlights: Cultural interaction with Masai

Day 3 Lake Nakuru
Today we will travel north to Lake Nakuru where we will spend the afternoon game driving. Originally created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru was upgraded to National Park status in 1968. White rhino inhabit the transitional savannah area surrounding the lake, with excellent photographic opportunities.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Kembu camp: www.kembu.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar
Route: Lake Naivasha to Lake Nakuru ±110 km
Travel time: ±2-3hrs
Included Activities: Hells Gate National Park, Game drive in Lake Nakuru NP

Day 4 Lake Nakuru - Kampala
Leaving Lake Nakuru very early, we head towards Uganda, briefly stopping for a photo at the equator. Later we arrive in Uganda’s capital and largest city, Kampala.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Red Chilli Hideaway: www.redchillihideaway.com 
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers
Route: Lake Nakuru to Kampala ±490 km
Travel time: (Long day) ±12 - 14 hrs plus border crossing

Border posts:
Kenya: Busia 09256 454 3482
Uganda: Malaba (no telephone numbers)

Day 5 Kampala / Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Although officially this day is set aside for everyone to explore Kampala, most people take an optional day trip to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary of Ngamba Island. This non-profit eco-friendly project was set up in 1998 to care for orphaned chimpanzees.

Optional Activities: Ngamba Chimpanzee Excursion, Kampala Markets, Dinner Out.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Camp: Red Chilli Hideaway: www.redchillihideaway.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers
Route: Optional Ngamba Island Excursion ±50 km return journey

Day 6 Kampala - Lake Bunyoni
Lake Bunyonyi is a small but attractive lake with steep sides and abundant birdlife. Ringed by mountains, the lake is best known for its dense Otter population and stunning scenery. We make use of this beautiful spot to relax the night before the final drive to the gorillas.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort: www.bunyonyioverland.com
Facilities: Shared aboutions, hot showers, bar, laundry, internet, shop
Route: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni ±435km
Travel time: ±12hrs

Day 7/8 Gorillas (Lake Bunyoni)
The mountain gorilla is extremely endangered and while exact numbers vary it is widely assumed that there are only around 650 left. Visiting the gorillas is a great way to support their future on earth as the money spent on permits is used for their protection. An extremely important part of the future conservation of the remaining gorillas rests in the community development work – as local communities change their attitudes towards wildlife and start to protect rather than poach, the future of the mountain gorilla is assured.

As permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are extremely limited we require flexibility in both the tour itinerary and where we actually visit them. The home of the mountain gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Whenever possible we choose to make use of the National Park in Uganda, but this depends on the availability of permits. Should we not obtain permits to visit the mountain gorillas in Uganda then we will inform all passengers beforehand that the tour will travel to Rwanda or DRC.

On your free day in Bunyoni you will have the opportunity to participate in certain optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike.

Optional activities: Mountain biking, nature walk, hiking

Day 7
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort: www.bunyonyioverland.com
Facilities: Shared aboutions, hot showers, bar, laundry, internet, shop
Route: Lake Bunyoni National Park to the starting point of the Gorilla Trek: ±125 km (in safari or smaller vehicles)
Travel time: ±3-4 hrs

Day 8
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort: www.bunyonyioverland.com
Facilities: Shared aboutions, hot showers, bar, laundry, internet, shop
Route: Starting point of the Gorilla Trek to Lake Bunyoni ±125 km
Travel Time: ±3-4 hrs

Please note: Although there are 2 days allocated to Gorilla Trekking you will only spend one day on the trek. The other day are there to provide a large enough window in which to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to trek if there are more than 6 of you on the tour.

Day 9/10 Queen Elizabeth National Park
Leaving Lake Bunyoni, we venture to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we will spend the next 2 nights. Many game species can be found in this wetland park as well as the (elsewhere elusive) giant forest hog and the legendary tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha Sector. We will enjoy an included 4x4 game drive on day 10 through the NP.

Optional Activities: Kasinga Channel Sunset Cruise, Chimpanzee trekking at Lake George
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Hippo Hill: www.hippohilllodge.com
Facilities: shared ablutions, hot showers, bar
Route: Lake Bunyoni to Queen Elizabeth NP ±310 km
Travel time: ±5-6 hrs
Activity Package: Game Drive

Day 11/12 Jinja
Jinja is Uganda’s second largest city and more famous as the point where the Nile (officially the Victoria Nile) flows out of Lake Victoria and begins the 6695 kilometre journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean.

Optional Activities: White Water Rafting.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (Day 11 only), Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Eden Rock Resort: www.edenrocknile.com
Facilities: Hot showers, internet, swimming pool 
Route: Queen Elizabeth NP to Jinja ±430 km
Travel time: ±8-9 hrs

Day 13 Kenya - Eldoret
Returning to Kenya we visit Eldoret, the country’s 5th largest city. The Great Rift Valley is still the dominant geographical feature of this region and the altitude at Eldoret is 2100 metres above sea level.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Naiberi River Camp: www.naiberi.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, swimming pool
Route: Jinja to Eldoret ±270 km
Travel time: ±7-8hrs plus border crossing

Border posts:
Kenya: Busia 09256 454 3482
Uganda: Malaba (no telephone numbers)

Day 14 Nairobi
Returning to Nairobi, the largest city in the East Africa region, there’s an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details.

Optional Activities: Meal out in Nairobi.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Accommodation: Own Arrangements / Post Accommodation can be booked through SA Tours and Safaris.
Route: Eldoret to Nairobi ±350 km
Travel time: ±6-7 hrs

Tour Ends
The tour ends at Sentrim Boulevard, Kenya, www.sentrimhotels.net/sentrim-boulevard-nairobi. We suggest you book accommodation here for this evening through your travel agent or Nomad.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Activity Package
This is an optional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. Ideally we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this. This payment is 100% transparent and is listed below. The Activity Package can be pre-purchased prior to your arrival or through your guide on day 1 of your tour.

Activity & Price
-Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion R4950
-Queen Elizabeth NP Game Drive R750
TOTAL: R5700

This dossier has been written with the inclusion of the Activity Package items.

Gorilla Permit – USD605 – USD705
The cost of a permit to visit the Gorillas is currently as above. Please check actual amount with us closer to departure. You will be pre-invoiced for this non-refundable amount.

What’s included
Meals as indicated on the itinerary (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the Nomad truck), accommodation, registered guides and transport. We also include some of the highlights. These highlights are listed below the day-by-day descriptions as “included highlights”.

What’s excluded
All items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities (see list for an indication of prices).

 

Extra information

Pre and Post Tour Accommodation
If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you. We can also arrange airport transfers – contact your travel agent, SA Tours and Safaris, to make these bookings.

Arrival / Departure
Please be sure to arrive 1 day before your tour is due to depart. This will avoid any unforeseen problems. We also recommend that you book your flights to depart the day after the tour officially ends.

Insurance
All clients require adequate Travel Insurance. Medical Insurance is not sufficient. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Travel Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased via SA Tours and Safaris, please enquire with our consultants for further information.

MEALS ON TOUR

Breakfast: As breakfast is served very early in the morning (if there is driving or activities to be done) it is a simple but filling breakfast: Tea and coffee, breads and spreads, cereals, yoghurts, fruits and on occasion, when there is time for a later breakfast, guides will serve a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, porridge, bacon or beans.

Lunch: Lunch is generally served at a picnic spot next to the road en route to a destination. As the guides only have approximately 45 minutes to get everyone off the truck, prepare lunch and then get everyone back on the truck again, lunches consist of sandwiches and salads (rice salad, pasta salad, tuna salad and green salad) which are quick and easy to prepare but which are quite filling. They do have meal plans which they should stick to, to ensure that there is variety on a day to day basis.

Dinner: This is when the guides get time to prepare a delicious meal and they focus on a substantial protein, vegetable and carbohydrate dinner. We serve traditional cuisine consisting of braais (BBQ), potjie (stew), bobotie (mince), spaghetti and fish and chicken dishes.

All meals (on both accommodated and camping tours) that are included as per the dossier are prepared at the full service adventure truck. This is a unique adventure in itself where you get to dine under the stars with your new found friends and experience the real sights and sounds of Africa!

Currency and Banking
USD (United States Dollars) is the best currency for East Africa. Credit Cards cannot always be processed – especially in remote areas. USD Notes printed before 2004 (i.e. the old style notes) will not be accepted and many places will not accept USD100 notes. USD20 and USD50 notes are good to change in to local currency. Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information on each country.

Health
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.

Visa
Please note that these are your responsibility. Most nationalities require visas for East African countries. Although most nationalities can obtain their visa on the border we prefer that you obtain it before arrival to save time at immigration when crossing from one country to another. See Pre Departure Booklet for more information.

Malaria
Malaria prophylactics are required