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Tanzania Safari and Uganda Gorillas

Tanzania Safari and Uganda Gorillas

Tanzania Safari and Uganda Gorillas - 8 Days

Tanzania Safari and Uganda Gorillas itinerary:

Day 1:  Moshi/Arusha – Lake Manyara National Park.
In the morning we will collect you from your hotel and take you to Lake Manyara National Park. Once you have reached the National Park Gate, your driver will open the roof of the vehicle allowing you to better observe the wonderful wildlife and scenery.

Ernest Hemingway spoke of this area as the most beautiful that he had ever seen. It is easy to see why for to the west the Rift-Valley-Escarpment rises to almost 600m, and to the east the seemingly endless Maasai Steppe stretches to the horizon. In between lies the shallow and alkaline Lake Manyara where the flamingoes seem to turn the shallow waters a pink hue.

On the lake’s perimeter a diverse range of animals can be found such as elephants, giraffes, buffalo, antilope and gazelles. The Manyara National Park is also well known for it’s lions which like to climb the trees- something which is quite unusual for big cats. In the late afternoon you will leave Lake Manyara National Park and spend the night at Kirurumu Manyara Lodge .
Meal plan: Lunch; Dinner
 
Day 2: Lake Manyara National Park – Serengeti National Park
After breakfast a trip to the cooler regions high up in the crater before later reaching the Southern Serengeti. The Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Reserve in Tanzania and the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya together create one of the largest reservation areas in the world.

Their combined aim is to maintain this intact continuous wildlife ecosystem – one of the few left in the world. The Serengeti National Park is famous for the ‘Great Migration’, over one million wildebeest and two hundred thousand plus zebras each year follow the rains. In October and November they travel from the mountains of the north, southwards to the plains seeking lush pastures.

After the great rainy season in April, May, and June the herds then make their returnward journey. Even without this mass migration, the Serengeti is still an exciting and spectacular place that still cannot fail to enthrall. You will have your evening meal and an overnight stay at Kati Kati Tented Camp
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
 
Day 3: Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Dawn is the best time to watch wildlife, therefore before breakfast the first wildlife safari of the day takes place. After breakfast another explorative tour of the Serengeti National Park follows. Here in the Senonera region you can often watch wildebeest and zebras next to lions and other big cats such as leopards and cheetahs. Lunch is taken at a picnic spot before a slow drive to the Ngorongoro Crater.

On the way you will pass the Olduvai Gorge where the English pair, Louis and Mary Leak pioneered excavation work. In the sixties some of the earliest archaeological deposits of human evolution was found and a small museum (visit optional) documents these discoveries. Once you reach the crater’s rim you will be able to see into this massive caldera and down to its floor which lies 600m below. Overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge situated on the crater edge where you can enjoy the wonderful view across the caldera as the sun sets. Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater – Moshi/Arusha
After Breakfast will be at day break followed by a drive on a small road through a forested region to the crater’s floor where the landscape turns to savanna with scattered acacia trees. Here the wildlife is just breathtaking; with a little luck in just a few hours you can observe the big five – lions, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros,and leopards.

As well as these fantastic animals you can also observe warthogs, wildebeest, zebras, gazelle, antilope, hippopotami and much much more. After a morning full of wildlife watching and lunch in the crater, you will return to Moshi/Arusha in the afternoon to connect with your flight to Uganda.  Overnight The Boma Guest House.

Day 5: Fly to Bwindi Forest for Gorilla tracking
This morning you take a scheduled flight to Bwindi.  The 390-square–mile forest is biologically diverse, and was established to protect the gorilla population and the multitude of other plant and animal species that live here.

Your visit here helps support the conservation effort and assists further rationalization of the forest protection. The flight takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes .  You are then driven from the airstrip to your camp that will be your home for the three days.  Overnight Engagi Lodge/Mahogany Springs
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 06: First Gorilla Tracking
The next two days will be for gorilla tracking!
You will rise early each day and after breakfast, be driven to a point in the park where your hike will begin.  Well-trained guides lead you to a point where the gorillas were encountered the day before.  The duration of the gorilla tracking is determined by the gorillas whose continuous search for food requires a nomadic lifestyle.
 
The Gorilla trek can take from 1-8 hours at altitudes in excess of 7,500ft and over rough and steep terrain.  Although the gorilla trek hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and its inhabitants make your experience extremely interesting.  Upon encountering the gorillas, your fatigue is quickly forgotten.
 
The gorillas are not tame, but they have been scientifically habituated to accept the presence of quiet and non-threatening observers.  Each strictly regulated 60- minutes visit passes all too quickly, and you must depart, leaving the gorillas to their fragile existence.
 
You will take a packed lunch and water for your meal and picnic in the forest.  Porters are available at the park headquarters to help you carry.   Return to your accommodation at the edge of the park.  Overnight Mahogany Springs/Engagi Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 07: Second gorilla trekking day!
After breakfast, you head for the forest for the second gorilla trek.
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 08: Fly to Entebbe/Departure
This morning you will take a short drive from your camp to the nearby Kihihi airstrip for your private flight back to Entebbe. At a distance you will be able to see the hills and plains of Rwanda and the Rift Valley dropping away towards Lake Edward and the Congo.  Below are the rolling farmlands around the Kabale area, commonly known as the “Switzerland of East Africa”.

As you approach Entebbe, watch out for aerial views of Lake Victoria Drive a short distance to Lake Victoria Hotel where day rooms have been booked for you to re-pack.  You will have a choice of either relaxing by the pool, or taking a walk to nearby Entebbe botanical gardens.   Depart later in the evening.
Meal plan: Breakfast

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