Mountain Gorillas, Craters, Serengeti Plains, and Beach

13 days

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Coming face to face with a Mountain Gorilla is truly an experience of a lifetime. Bisate Lodge set on the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park offers dramatic views of the Virunga Volcanoes. Here, the specialist guides will lead you up into the mountains for an opportunity to spend time with these magnificent creatures. Next, head to the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania where your lodge is perched at the edge of the Grumeti River. Thanks to an abundance of water in the area, this section of the Serengeti is renowned for fabulous year-round game viewing. Visit the beautiful Ngorongoro Crater with an abundance of game viewing in a magnificent setting- your lodge is set on the very rim of the crater. Fly across to Mnemba Island, your exclusive beach paradise, where white sandy beaches and clear blue waters make a perfect conclusion to an incredible African Safari.

Highlights

  • Gorilla trekking – 2 Days
  • Genocide historical tour
  • Cultural village visit
  • Dian Fossey Research Camp visit
  • Optional escorted walks & mountain bike excursions
  • Maasai Village visit
  • Lake Manyara Game Drive – tree climbing Lions
  • See the Big Five while you descend into the Ngorongoro Crater
  • Experience wildlife on the Serengeti plains from specially adapted safari vehicle
  • Hot Air balloon safari over the Serengeti plains
  • Optional additional day for Golden Monkey trek
Gorilla Close Up

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Kigali

Welcome to Africa! Arrive into Kigali and transfer to the Kigali Heaven Retreat. Settle in and enjoy a swim in the large outdoor pool and enjoy a leisurely dinner at the hotel.

DAY 2

Volcanoes National Park, Diane Fossey Research Camp, Genocide Memorial

After breakfast, visit the Genocide Museum. The memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims, excellent exhibitions documenting the genocide. After the tour, you will be transferred to Volcanoes National Park and Bisate Lodge. Arrive in time for lunch. This afternoon take a walk to Dianne Fossey Research Camp and enjoy a tour of the local area and communities. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 3

Volcanoes National Park Gorilla Trekking

Wake early this morning and set out on foot to view the Mountain Gorillas. Typically, tracking can take from three to eight hours. You’ll be joined by a guide and several trackers as you head towards the gorillas through the dense forest. Once you find them, you will be able to spend one magical hour observing these amazing creatures in the wild. Return to the lodge for a warm shower, dinner and overnight stay.

DAY 4

Rwanda Gorilla Safaris/ Return to Kigali

After your morning coffee, set off on a day of trekking. Today you will visit a different family group, following the same procedure as the previous day. This afternoon you will be transferred back to Kigali for your overnight stay at The Retreat. Settle in and enjoy a fine dining experience at the Fusion Restaurant.

DAY 5

Flight to Grumeti Reserve – Singita Wine Tasting, Spa Treatment, or Game Drive

After breakfast, your bush flight takes you into western Serengeti to Singita Faru Faru. Arrive in time for a lovely lunch, featuring a wine tasting in the lodge’s temperature-controlled cellar. An experienced sommelier will guide you through a variety of wine styles, years and cultivars to find the wines most suited to your individual taste. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the spa or you may wish to head out on a game drive before dinner.

DAY 6

Full Day Game Drive and Singita Faru Faru

Today, head out with your guide and packed picnic lunch for a full day of exploring the Serengeti plains on the private Singita conservancy. With such close proximity to the river and plains enjoy the unique opportunity to experience a very close connection with the wilderness. Return to camp for a dinner under the stars.

DAY 7

Cultural Experience and Walking in the Bush

After an early morning game drive, visit one of the nearby local villages to interact with the local community. Return to camp for lunch. This afternoon head out on foot with an armed guide. Walking in the remote wilderness is thrilling and an excellent way to experience some of the smaller creatures of the African bush. Return to camp for dinner and your overnight stay.

DAY 8

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Olduvai Gorge

After breakfast, drive east through the Serengeti to the airstrip where you board your bush flight to Lake Manyara, your guide will meet and transfer you to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, located on the rim of the crater. Enjoy a light lunch at the lodge with the most spectacular views before heading out with your guide to the archaeological site of Olduvai Gorge, where the first remains of homo sapiens were discovered. This evening, gather around the camp fire to exchange tales of your safari followed by a sumptuous hearty meal.

DAY 9

Full Day Game Drive in Ngorongoro Crater

Set out early for the nearby Ngorongoro Crater by safari vehicle. The crater is a huge volcanic caldera formed about 2.5 million years ago when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed on itself. Here you can view the Big Five in high concentrations with a stunning backdrop of the crater walls. Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch on the crater floor. Return to camp for dinner and your overnight stay.

DAY 10

Flight to Zanzibar- Mnemba Private Island Lodge

After an early morning breakfast, you will fly from Lake Manyara to Zanzibar. You will be met and transferred by road via the lush spice plantations to the waters edge for a short boat transfer across the pristine waters to Mnemba Private Island Lodge. Settle in and enjoy a sundowner cocktail on your private beach sala before enjoying a delicious seafood platter served in a remote beach location.

DAY 11

Yoga and Snorkeling

Enjoy a private yoga session before indulging in a delicious brunch. This afternoon explore the wonders of the ocean with a snorkel to a nearby house reef, followed by canapes and sundowners.

DAY 12

Island Walk and Picnic Lunch

After breakfast, head out on a walk around the island, with a possibility of seeing the Suni antelope, Ader’s duiker, seasonal turtle hatchlings and the rare coconut crabs. Return to a scrumptious picnic on the beach, followed by a relaxing massage on your private deck. This evening enjoy a seafood banquet under the stars.

DAY 13

Travel Home

This morning enjoy a light breakfast before being transferred to the airport to connect with your international flight home.