Ke in Masai Mara (Kenya) and the Mountain Gorillas (Uganda)
Safari means journey in Kiswahili, the language of East Africa, and Kenya is the home of safari. Its varied ecosystems and landscapes mean that the biodiversity here is higher than any other country in Africa. It has been the natural home of celebrity safaris, big game hunters and royalty since the 18th century and remains the most spectacular safari destination with unparalleled wildlife viewing. A complete safari includes at least three of the main ecosystems: the semiarid dramatic landscapes of the north, the tropical woodlands of the Rift Valley and the lush savannahs of the Masai Mara.
Kenya has a culture borne of countless sources. From the prehistoric records of early man to the present day, Kenya has been a land of unending change, contrasts, and diversity. The country has at least 40 different ethnic African groups (including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin tribes, Luo, Kamba, Kisii, Meru and Embu, Mijikenda, Swahili, Turkana and Masai) who speak a variety of indigenous languages. Waves of migration over the centuries from the north and south of the continent have led to Kenya becoming one of the most diverse African countries culturally and linguistically.
Kenya has a well-established system of guide training and certification. It is important that a safari is guided by competent and experienced guides as it is through their eyes that guests will interpret the wilderness around them! All the properties we will stay in have in house guides from the local area, that know their part of the wilderness and its inhabitants.
We begin our journey in Nairobi , one of the most prominent, thriving capital cities on the continent. The world’s only capital city with a national park, Nairobi is a vibrant combination of modern life, African culture and nature. Skyscrapers, banks, malls, international hotels and businesses are prominent throughout Nairobi. Close to Nairobi National Park, the suburbs of Langata and Karen have maintained the traditional Nairobi charm with tall mature trees and vast gardens.
We will lodge at One Forty Eight, a beautiful new boutique hotel bordering the giraffe sanctuary in the peaceful suburb of Langata on the outskirts of Nairobi. This bohemian-chic little hotel, set in a wildlife-rich garden, has been converted from a stunning private home and artist’s studio. The eight spacious rooms feature striking artwork and recycled furniture (as well as all the modern conveniences); the food is delicious and the service first class. One Forty Eight is a wonderful and stylish place to spend a night at the start of our safari.
Amboseli National Park
The second most popular wildlife area in Kenya, Amboseli National Park covers 392 square kilometres of the 8,000 square kilometres Amboseli basin ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. Amboseli provides one of the best locations to witness some of the largest African elephants. Amboseli has the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the iconic images of elephants with Kilimanjaro in the background have been taken in Amboseli.
Cape buffalo, impala, hyena, lion, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, gazelle and wildebeest as well as over 600 bird species are attracted to the lush green wetlands within Amboseli National Park.
We will lodge in the 5-star Elewana Tortilis Camp, located on the south western edge of the park, facing the mountain and overlooking its own private conservancy – Kitirua Wildlife Conservancy. The en-suite tents are spacious, comfortable and many offer views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. We will enjoy game drives in open sided vehicles, exclusive access to Kitirua Wildlife Conservancy, guided bush walks and stunning sundowners.
Mara North Conservancy
Situated in southwest Kenya, the Mara North Conservancy is a beautiful private wilderness area spanning more than 30,000 hectares. It is home to a spectacular array of plants, reptiles, birds and mammals; including elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and large concentrations of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other migratory wildlife.
Leopard Gorge, in the heart of the conservancy, is famous as the setting of countless BBC Big Cat Diaries and National Geographic documentaries. Neighboring the well-known Maasai Mara National Reserve, this conservancy is vital for sustaining the famous Serengeti wildebeest migrations as well as the highly threatened African wild dog and black rhino.
The 70,000 acre Mara North Conservancy (MNC), one of the largest community and private sector owned conservancies in the world, is regarded as one of Kenya’s most successful conservation models, MNC is an exclusive safari destination in a prime wildlife area, open only to the guests of the 12 member camps within it.
We will lodge in the Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp, located in the heart of Mara North Conservancy. The tents are spacious and offer a choice of traditional Safari showers or the more modern ‘plumbed’ showers with running hot and cold water. Wildlife wanders across the plains in front of camp and at night, the roar of lions, call of the leopard and trumpeting of the elephants close by are reassurance of being at one with the wild… no fences, no boundaries.
We are now whisked away from the glorious Masai Mara to the mountains of Uganda. We are on a mission to photograph the mountain gorillas!
Uganda, or the ‘Pearl of Africa’, as it was famously dubbed by Winston Churchill, is characterized by relatively dry and flat savanna in the north, with verdant mountains in the West, and vast dense and remarkably lush forests in the central region. The nation is home to an astonishingly diverse range of African wildlife including the highly endangered mountain gorilla which can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Uganda has gained itself a reputation as ‘Africa’s friendliest country’.
Situated on a peninsula in Lake Victoria, Entebbe offers plenty to keep visitors amused. This charming town features tree-lined streets and serves as an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area. Tourists can look forward to spending days on beautiful beaches along the banks of Lake Victoria, stroll through the fields and forests of the magnificent Botanical Gardens, or pay a visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a haven for country’s orphaned chimps.
We will lodge in the Protea Hotel by Marriott, adjacent to the airport and convenient for our flight to Bwindi.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Located in southwestern Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest. It is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities. The rugged landscape features dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys and steep ridges. This untouched forest has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its breathtaking natural beauty and unique ecological significance.
Aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other photo attractions such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot and a variety of butterflies.
We will lodge at the famous Bwindi Lodge, overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Bwindi Lodge is the finest luxury lodge at Bwindi, with dramatic intense views of the forest canopy across a serene stream. Speaking from experience I can say that it is one of Africa’s unique properties. The gorillas frequently come to relax in the verdant bush around the lodge and guests can have awesome personal experiences with these gentle giants.
The eight newly renovated luxury bandas, each having their own view of the forest, have been been totally restyled with warm luxurious interiors and inviting four poster beds and locally-inspired furniture.
The main living area has a central fireplace which acts as a focal point for guests to relax and discuss their gorilla tracking experience. A large terrace overlooking the forest is a great place to spot the monkeys and birds hidden in the foliage.
The newly built Forest Spa Humula mw’ Ishamba is open. I’ve got to say that the messages are terrific after a long day of hiking!
Fly back to Entebbe for our flights home.
** Due to the recent restrictions on gorilla trekking permits, the exact dates of this photo adventure may have to be adjusted by a day or two in either direction. Please do not book your flights until the dates are finalized, which will be well in advance of our trip.
Once you are registered, I will send you detailed information about our trip; our destinations, activities, lodging, what to bring, photo equipment, and more.
Pricing & Payment Schedule
After initial $500 deposit on our website, you will immediately be billed $6,000 (for Double Occupancy) or $7,500 (Single Occupancy) to be paid by check. Final payment is due on January 17, 2020. Deposits are refundable on a decreasing schedule; 100% by August 31, 2019; 50% by October 31, 2019, and 25% by December 31, 2019. Final payments, due on January 17, 2020, are not refundable. All costs are in U.S. dollars.
What is included
- Bed and Breakfast at 148 Giraffe Sanctuary and Hotel No. 5
- Full board accommodation at Tortilis Camp, Elephant Pepper Camp and Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge
- Soft drinks, beer and house wine at Tortilis Camp and Elephant Pepper Camp only
- Airport / Airstrip transfers
- Park Entrance Fees
- Game drives in a 4 wheel drive vehicles
- Exclusive use of vehicles at Tortilis Camp and Elephant Pepper camp
- Scheduled flights mentioned above
- 3 freight seats on all the routes to cater for the additional weight
- Limited Laundry at Tortilis Camp, Elephant Pepper Camp and Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge
- Sundowners and Bush breakfast
- Guided walks
- All transfers mentioned above
- All domestic flight departure taxes
- All Known Government Taxes
- 2 x days Gorilla trek permits
- All drinks, laundry and extras at 148 Giraffe Sanctuary, Hotel No. 5 and Volcanoes Bwindi - Lodge
- All items of a personal nature
- Champagne, Luxury spirits & wines
- Any activities not included in the itinerary
- All statutory increases beyond our control
- International flights and visa fees
- Gratuities to camp staff
- Any Unforeseen Tax Increases
- Balloon safari in the Masai Mara
- Wednesday, Jun 17, 2020 08:00
- Monday, Jun 29, 2020 08:00
- Total Price
- 16,500 DBL
- 13 days / 12 nights - The photo adventure of a lifetime, tracking The Big Five and cheetahs hunting, as well as the incredible Mountain Gorillas. $16,500 per/person double occupancy; $18,000 per/person single occupancy.