Sample Itinerary: Safari & Gorilla Trekking

 

 

 

 

 

In this itinerary you’ll explore some of Tanzania’s best safari highlights and then fly to Rwanda to go gorilla and golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park. You’ll then finish off your trip on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar.

Day 1: Arrive in Arusha 

Arrive in Tanzania at Kilimanjaro Airport. Your guides will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it. You’ll then be transferred to your lodge in Arusha.

  •  Dinner and overnight: Mt. Meru Hotel Lodge

Day 2: Tarangire National Park

After breakfast you’ll be picked up from your hotel/lodge and travel southwest through the Masai Steppe to Tarangire National Park, Tanzania’s fourth largest and a sanctuary for an unusually large elephant population (this is the best place to see elephants!). Majestic baobab trees are an interesting feature of the park, dwarfing the animals that feed beneath them.

  •  Wildlife viewing in Tarangire National Park
  •  Dinner and overnight: Maramboi Tented Lodge

Day 3: Lake Manyara National Park 

After breakfast drive to Lake Manyara National Park, a unique park with an alkaline lake and breathtaking views. Here you’ll view a wide variety of wildlife including lions, baboons and countless varieties of birds.

  •  Morning wildlife viewing at Lake Manyara National Park
  •  Dinner and overnight: Ngorongoro Farm House

Day 4: Serengeti National Park 

After breakfast, continue your journey into the heart of Tanzania by heading west, toward the Serengeti Plains. You’ll make a brief stop at Olduvai Gorge (an archaeological site and one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world).

  •  Afternoon wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park
  •  Dinner and overnight: Serengeti Seronera Lodge

Day 5: Serengeti National Park 

Enjoy another day of wildlife viewing from a second location deep in the Serengeti. Home to literally hundreds of thousands of hoofed animals, the Serengeti is a pristine and unique sanctuary that will give you a glimpse into “the world as it was in the beginning.” Relish the vastness of the Serengeti, “the land that flows on forever,” along with some of the best animal viewing that Africa has to offer.

  •  Full day of wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park
  •  Dinner and overnight: Serengeti Serena Lodge

Day 6: Serengeti – Ngorongoro 

After breakfast, with vegan your lunch boxes, drive to Ngorongoro Conservation area with an en-route wildlife drive. Stop at one of the Maasai villages/Bomas for a cultural visit and traditional dances. Here you’ll be guided by a Maasai guide who will inform you of the Maasai traditions and cultures.

  •  En-route wildlife viewing to Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  •  Cultural tours in the Maasai Village/Bomas
  •  Dinner and overnight: Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater

Depart from your lodge after a leisurely breakfast and drive to Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is a geological marvel boasting several vegetation zones from lakes to forest to savannah. It is home to about 30,000 animals, despite its tiny size of only 10 miles across.

  •  Wildlife viewing on the floor of Ngorongoro Crater
  •  Late in the evening drive back to Arusha
  •  Dinner and overnight: Mt. Meru Hotel

Day 8: Arusha – Kigali (Rwanda)

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Rwanda. Upon arrival at the airport, your guides will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it. You’ll then be transferred to your hotel.

  •  Dinner and overnight: Gorillas Nest Lodge

Day 9: Gorilla Tracking

After an early breakfast, you’ll drive to the Volcanoes National Park. Declared a National Park in 1925, this Rwandan section of the famous Virunga Mountain Range is home to over half the surviving 650 mountain gorillas in the region. Each of the four habituated gorilla families allows for a maximum of 8 visitors per day, undoubtedly the most intimate and poignant of wildlife encounters. You’ll arrive at the park’s headquarters to be allocated to a gorilla tracking group. You’ll have an early morning briefing by your trackers and then you’ll drive to the trail for the start of an amazing adventure. Upon seeing the gorillas, you’ll stay with them for an allowed one hour hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting and raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback is truly one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!

  •  Dinner and overnight: Gorillas Nest Lodge

Day 10: Golden Monkeys tracking

After an early breakfast, you’ll drive to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters where you’ll be allocated to a Golden Monkeys tracking group. You’ll have an early morning briefing by your trackers and then you’ll drive to the trail for the tracking. Tracking usually takes between 2 and 4 hours. Once you come to the habituated families, you’ll spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life; adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch while females carry their young, completely oblivious to on-lookers. You’ll then trek back to the base and drive to the lodge for a deserved shower and then lunch.

  •  Dinner and overnight: The Manor Hotel

Day 11: Kigali (Rwanda) – Arusha

After breakfast you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Arusha. Upon arrival in Arusha, your guides will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it. You’ll then be transferred to your lodge in Arusha.

  •  Dinner and overnight: Mt. Meru Hotel

Day 12: Arusha – Zanzibar

After breakfast, you’ll drive to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight to Zanzibar. On arrival at Zanzibar Airport, your guides will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it. You’ll be transferred to your beach hotel and be received with a welcome drink at check in. Enjoy a leisurely day at the beach or pool.

  •  Dinner and overnight: Sunshine Hotel

Day 13: Zanzibar 

Today you’ll enjoy some leisurely beach time and you’ll also go on a dolphin safari boat excursion. Optional activities also include snorkeling and other sea sports. You’ll also have the option of going on a Stone & Spice Tour in the historical town of Zanzibar where you’ll get to see the Sultan Palace House of Wonders, the Old Slave Market and other interesting historical sites.

  •  Dolphin tour at Kizimkazi
  •  Dinner and overnight: Sunshine Hotel

Day 14: Zanzibar – Home

After breakfast, you’ll drive to Stone Town of Zanzibar for some last minute souvenir and antique shopping on the Narrow Street of Zanzibar before being transferred to Zanzibar Airport for your trip back home via Dar Es Salaam.

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Article: Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda & Uganda – How We Can Help this Endangered Species