See the absolute highlights of Africa’s wildlife on this ten-day odyssey. Not only do you get to trek into the Rwandan jungle to look for the famed mountain gorillas, but you’ll then follow this up with a lengthy safari across Tanzania’s most famous parks including the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire, and more! It’s the perfect way to see all that East Africa has to offer without rushing.Less
Upon arrival in Kigali, you’ll be met by your Shadows of Africa driver and begin the ninety-minute drive to Musanze, Rwanda’s second-largest city. Located in the foothills surrounding the famous Volcanoes National Park, Musanze is a dynamic town with a variety of dining and entertainment options.
Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to visit the nearby Twin Lakes or pay a visit to the Iby Iwacu Cultural Village.
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you’ll proceed directly to the Volcanoes National Park’s headquarters to meet your guides. After completing the briefing, you’ll embark on the once in a lifetime experience of tracking the enigmatic mountain gorillas.
There is no guarantee of how long or difficult your tracking experience will be as it depends on where the family of gorillas is and on weather conditions, It can take anywhere from two up to six hours of trekking through the mountain forest at relatively high altitudes. Fitness is definitely recommended for those wishing to undertake the excursion.
One of the most memorable experiences you’re likely to ever have, you’ll be allowed an hour of close contact with the gorillas once you’ve found them. You’ll be privileged enough to come within mere meters of a family of these rare and beautiful animals, observing their family dynamics and getting to learn a bit about each gorilla’s distinct personality in serene silence.
After your hike is complete, you’ll return to your lodge to relax.
You’ve got a more relaxed day today, with a pair of activities designed to help you come down from the thrills of gorilla trekking.
You’ll start your day by headed back into Volcanoes National Park to visit another of its residents: the cheeky and cheerful golden monkeys. You’ll spend the morning observing these acrobatic primates before returning to your lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon, it’s time for some cultural discovery as you venture to the nearby Iby Iwacu Cultural Village to learn more about the Rwandan culture. Staffed by reformed poachers, this replica village introduces visitors to Rwandan cuisine, medicine, history, and traditional dance through many fun and interactive exhibits.
You’ll then overnight in Musanze.
You’ll return to Kigali in time for lunch in the Rwandan capital before participating in a complimentary city tour including the Genocide Memorial, the Presidential Palace Museum, and the local craft markets.
The opportunity to have lunch at the famous Mille Collines Hotel (Hotel Rwanda) is also a highlight of your day.
You’ll fly to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Airport in the afternoon/early evening and overnight in Arusha.
You’ll depart from Arusha after breakfast for the drive to Lake Manyara National Park. The journey takes approximately two hours, but we’ll pass through the market town of Mto Wa Mbu along the way. This agricultural and fresh produce market is a melting pot of local cultures and a souvenir hunter’s paradise.
After a brief stop at the village market, you’ll enter Lake Manyara, National Park. The park is truly a photographer’s playground and offers some of the best game viewings in the world. You can expect to see many of Africa’s most well-known animals, with the tree-climbing lions a particular treat. These proud predators lounge in acacia trees practically begging to be photographed.
Bird-watchers will find Lake Manyara is an absolute delight, with a huge variety of birds on display in the park. Even the novice can expect to be amazed by large flamingo flocks, circling birds of prey, and the brightly colored lilac-breasted roller.
You’ll then retire to your chosen accommodation for dinner and a good night’s rest.
We’ll take an early breakfast, as we’ve got a big day of exploration and adventure ahead of us!
We’ll begin the day with the scenic drive towards the Serengeti. Along the way, we’ll pass through the mist-shrouded rainforests of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where you might be lucky enough to glimpse cape buffalo, baboons, or even elephants and leopards in the dense undergrowth.
It’s a nearly four-hour drive to the Serengeti park gates, but you can choose to break up the drive with one or both of the below optional activities:
• Oldupai Gorge Museum: Sometimes known as the Cradle of Mankind, the Oldupai Gorge Museum commemorates some of the oldest evidence of human habitation ever found. Here you can see some of the oldest fossil evidence in the world of human habitation, visit the Oldupai Gorge Museum to learn more about the human journey, and take in the stunning views of this stark gorge country.
• Maasai boma visit: Pay a visit to one of the famous Maasai bomas, where you’ll have the opportunity to witness (and participate in) traditional Maasai dance, tour an a