(Nairobi, Naivasha, Masai Mara)
(Parc National des Volcans)
A trip of contrasts, from the lushes greens of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to the Lake Nakuru, from Lake Naivasha to the savannah of Masai Mara, this trip showcases the highlights of Kenya & Rwanda.
In the heart of Africa lies a land where mist hangs over great, old volcanoes that tower almost 15,000 feet high. Rwanda, also known as “the land of a thousand hills” is a place so breathtakingly beautiful, you’ll find yourself blinking more often, making sure the scene before you is not a mirage. Feel the exhilaration of trekking through dense rainforests, bougainvillea and frangipani flowers dotting the endless green hills around you as the crisp, moist air sends a shiver down your back; or maybe it’s the anticipation of seeing your first mountain gorilla. In the evenings, as you process the wondrous events of the day, relax in charming accommodations that allow you to commune with the natural world around you.
Before heading for the lush mountains, explore the beauty and heartache of Kigali. Visit the popular marketplaces where the vendors are as vibrant as the local produce, then continue on to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center built on the site where an estimated 250,000 victims were buried. This location serves as a place for grieving as well as educating about the tragic events that occurred in 1994. Continue on to the Park des Volcanoes located within a magnificent chain of dormant volcanoes and home to the last surviving mountain Gorilla populations. Trek with your expert guide in search of these immense and beautiful creatures and thrill at getting so close to them. It is an experience you will never forget.
Return to Kenya and start your quintessential safari with your own private vehicle and driver guide. From the world-renowned plains of the Masai Mara, where big cats and wild dogs roam, to the crystal blue waters of Lake Nakuru teeming with bright pink flamingos, spend your days creating exotic memories that will last a lifetime. Discover the magnificent and diverse landscapes together and delight in seeing massive elephants, bobbing hippos, whimsical giraffes and lightning-fast cheetahs in their natural environment. Finish your safari in the Masai Mara Reserve, known as Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve, and explore the grasslands and riverine forests in search of over 95 species of mammals and 570 recorded species of birds. And, if visiting during the months of July – October, behold one of the grandest spectacles Africa has to offer, the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and wildebeests. Spend your nights in classic safari camps, game lodges and family chalets under a canopy of stars and dream of adventures that await you.
NOTE: Gorilla permits are secured with you trip's deposit. Once secured they are non-refundable. It will take 24-48 hours to secure the purchase from the authorities as they are sold on a first come first served basis. The park authority/management reserves the right to cancel any permit without any refund or further reference.
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer to and from the airport.
While you are in the care of Kensington Tours, your safety and security are our number one priority. As such, in the unlikely event of serious illness or injury, all Kensington Tours clients are covered by “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance covers the cost of the evacuation flight back to Nairobi for treatment. This insurance policy however DOES NOT cover the cost of any medical treatment received. We highly recommend travel insurance for full coverage.
Take your flight from Nairobi to Kigali today. The flight duration is approximately 1hr 30mins.
Prepare your senses for an explosion of culture and emotion during today’s excursion through Kigali. Begin by visiting some of the popular market places to view and purchase if you’d like some of the local products. Next, you’ll travel to a location stained with heart aching cultural history, The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. This tragic memorial was constructed in April 2004 to honour those whom lost their lives during the Rwandan Genocide. The centre was built on the site where an estimated 250000 victims were buried. This location serves as a place where individuals can grieve the loss of their loved ones as well as to provide educational information regarding the genocide. Rwandans believe that although the gruesomeness and painful emotions associated with this tragedy may be construed as negative it is extremely important that the younger generations of Rwandans fully understand the reasons and effects of such an event on a nation. The Centre features three permanent exhibits which depict the events of 1994, as well as a children’s memorial which exhibits the history of genocidal violence towards children from all over the world.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer today from Kigali to Parc National des Volcans. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Park des Volcanoes is located in the Virunga Mountains, a magnificent chain of dormant volcanoes in the North of the country, and home to the world´s last surviving mountain Gorilla populations, currently a mere 700 individuals. A full day trek with your guide through the park is a reasonably strenuous activity which can last the morning or all day as you seek out the gorilla families. Viewing time is limited to one hour, and only 8 maximum are allowed per group. Visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7m (about 22 feet) from the gorillas. Kids under age 15, or people sick with a cold, flu or other contagious illness, are not allowed to visit the gorillas.
PERMITS MUST BE PAID IN FULL AT TIME OF CONFIRMATION AND ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
Golden monkeys are a local subtype of the blue monkey which are endemic to the Albertine rift and live in the montane forests of the Volcanoes National Park area of Rwanda. There is currently 2 groups of habituate golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park, also popularly known as Parc de National Volcans. Each of the habituated golden monkey groups has between 80-100 members in each troop. The golden monkeys are a very playful and inquisitive primates which are habituated to human presence and will usually act up the presence of human visitors leaping from tree to tree as the y feed on the bamboo shoots in the forest. Only open for visitors since June 2003, enjoy a rare treat watching these unique primates play and perform in the forest.
Like with gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekkers are required to assemble at PNV park headquarters at 07:00am for pre-tracking briefing. The park guides will lead into the forest for the search of the golden monkeys. The golden monkeys are mostly found at the foot of Mt Sabyinyo. Golden monkey tracking is generally less arduous and less challenging that the gorilla trek.
(Optional extra day gorilla trekking - $750pp additional cost for day permit).
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer today from Parc National des Volcans to Kigali. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Relax during this short flight departing Kigali, Rwanda and traveling to the urban hub of Nairobi, Kenya. The approximate flight time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Hop aboard a privately driven vehicle with your guide for this transfer from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha. Admire the scenery as you make your way through rural Kenya onto the Rift Valley, an area boasting quaint little villages which dot the traditional African landscape. Prepare yourself for you first glimpse of Mount Longonot as you make route through the Hell’s Gate National Park before arriving to Lake Naivasha. This drive will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete, depending on traffic and weather conditions.
You'll head out early this morning to explore Lake Nakuru National Park. Along with being famous for its flamingos, the park is also home to both Black and White Rhinos.
Prepare for an excitingly unique excursion to the Crescent Island Wildlife Sanctuary whilst in the Lake Naivasha area today. Admire the scenery as you take a short boat trip from the mainland to this dynamic location where you’ll have the opportunity to get in some wildlife viewing at a very relaxed pace. As there is little to no threat from some of the “Big 5” predators, the various species of wildlife, birdlife and flora live quite freely here, providing visitors with some great photo opportunities. Some of the many mammals that can be seen here include zebras, impalas, buffaloes, giraffes, and hippos. Resident bird species include herons, black cranes, lily trotters, ospreys and fish eagles.
Your guide will drive you from Naivasha to Masai Mara. This drive will take about 5 to 6 hours. Drive times may be longer in the rainy season (April to early May and November). Stop for refreshments and souvenir shopping at roadside stands along the way or head straight to the park. Enjoy game viewing as you enter Masai Mara and drive to your camp.
Head out this afternoon, accompanied by an experience tracker-guide, on an exciting game viewing adventure. Search some of the area`s wildlife hot-spots determined by your guide, as they`ve learned and now understand the games daily routines through tracking. Some wildlife is more difficult than others to spot, for instance the Leopard. These spotted cats blends almost seamlessly into the tall grass and shrubbery, and are even more challenging to spot up in their favorite hangout, the trees. Your guide will take you to nearby watering holes, where on a hot day, you`ll spot many bird and wildlife species, including the elusive Leopard.
Just like the local wildlife, you’ll head out bright and early this morning, alongside an experienced tracker-guide for the day’s first game drive. The eco-diversity and sheer size of the Masai Mara Game Reserve provides the necessary requirements to house a wide range of animal species. The most recognized are known worldwide as the African Big 5, which includes the African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhinoceros, Leopard, and the King of the beasts, the Lion. The term Big 5 was coined by big-game hunters, as these species were the most difficult and dangerous to track and hunt. Subsequently the term was adopted by the tourism industry for marketing purpose, spinning a web of positivity opposed to the negative effect portrait by the original terminology. Numerous other species of bird and wildlife inhabit this dynamic location including Hyenas, Gazelles, Impalas, Giraffes, Zebras, Vultures, Cranes, Eagles, Falcons, and Ostriches.
On today’s afternoon game drive, the choice is up to you: search for the Big 5 or expand your horizons to discover something different. Masai Mara not only has a rich mix of animals – it also has an incredible array of bird life with almost 450 different species.
The famed Masai Mara Game Reserve was named after the indigenous inhabitants of this land, the Maasai, and the provider of life to the area, the Mara River. Game viewing is almost guaranteed at some point along the Mara River, and your experienced tracker-guide will know all the best spots to go to maximize this chance to see some of the many bird and wildlife species here. Have your camera handy, as some amazing photo opportunities will present themselves from elephants on the riverbanks to hippos in shallow water.
Set out this afternoon accompanied by your guide on another exciting game drive through the Masai Mara Game reserve. The Mara area is one of the few places left in Africa where one can still spot Rhinos in the wild. Your guide will take you to locations where Rhinos have been recently reported to see if you can snap some photos of these elusive lumbering giants.
Transfer between Mara Park and Nairobi by road. Includes stops at souvenir shops and refreshment stands. One hour of road is badly potholed.
Enjoy a box lunch while you travel (included in tour price).
The opportunity to explore the local markets and shops presents itself today as so you can interact with the local vendors in search for the perfect handicraft or souvenir for yourself or your loved ones.
Included in your stay, stop at the famous Carnivore restaurant. The Carnivore first opened in 1980 and is a meat specialty restaurant. Commonly referred to as the ultimate 'Beast of a Feast' - here you will enjoy a variety of meat roasted over charcoal and carved at your table. Meats commonly include beef, chicken, and options to try game meat such as crocodile or ostrich. Delicious side dishes and an array of sauces complement the meats served. Your meal also includes soup, a selection of desserts and Kenyan coffee. Set in attractive tropical gardens, the restaurant remains a local attraction for international visitors.
Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions, requirements or food requests.
Situated in the trendy new Upper Hill financial district of Nairobi, Crowne Plaza Nairobi is the model of modern five-star elegance. The property embodies an ideal fusion of thoughtful design and indulgence, and comes ripe with opportunity to discover nearby Nairobi National Park to see big cats and giraffes at the Masai Mara game reserve. Earthy textures and dark wood throughout Crowne Plaza Nairobi evoke the wild plains and acacia trees of Kenya's big game reserves. The property offers a host of amenities and facilities including a luxurious health club, a stylish unisex hair salon, a 24-hour state of the art gymnasium, and an outdoor swimming pool. Five floors comprised of 162 Rooms, 13 Suites, and 29 Club Rooms are all equipped with the latest in technology, high speed complimentary Internet, Wi-Fi, minibar, in-room safe, tea and coffee facilities, and 24 hour room service.
The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is the new mid range lodge in the area and is perfectly situated for gorilla tracking in Rwanda. The 30 individual cottages have been built on 4 acres of land on the slopes of Mt Sabinyo. The stone and thatch cottages each have ensuite facilities, a small lounge with a fire place and a private veranda. The cottages are of a good size and are well positioned to give them privacy from each other. There is a separate restaurant and bar area where meals served to the guests. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge provides good value for money at the same time as great views and easy access to Parc National des Volcans.
The Simba Lodge is situated not far from Nairobi, surrounded by gardens on the serene Lake Naivasha. Its 70 rooms are spacious and pleasantly decorated to fit in with the light, earthy and calm surroundings. Dining is an all-around pleasant experience, where one may choose their favorites and make new discoveries at the wide buffet. Traditional and international cuisine is offered, as well as curries, which are popular with the locals. Hell’s Gate is not far, and there are plenty of activities such as cycling and rock climbing there. Otherwise, take a boat ride or nature walk during your free time.
Like an African castle in the sky, Sopa Lodge Naivasha spins wondrous safaris from natural treasures below the golden Kenyan sun. It is situated on the southern shores of Naivasha, the largest freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley. Let this dazzling resort of 21 cottages prepare you for mouth-dropping silence. Feast on the succulent meats and preparations of the hotel’s talented chefs. Allow your eyes to indulge in the scenery and wildlife that draws so many to visit this hotel, built for open views of nature’s activities at their most untouched. Make sure to wander around the compound. You will be enchanted by the fine architecture, cathedral ceilings, and grand windows. Stroll around the gardens, and take a swim. It’s hard to leave this heavenly escape.
Nestled against a wooded thicket and surrounded by savannah, Mara West combines luxury accommodations with the breathtaking adventures of an unforgettable African safari. The rooms are perched in secluded spots on the edge of the Oloololo Escarpment, offering guests panoramic views of the Masai Mara Game Reserve below and a sense of exclusive privacy. The camp is home to resident herds of gazelles, impalas and zebras, as well as an abundance of bird life, and is visited regularly by a variety of wildlife passing to and from the park. The stunning beauty of the Mara, the uninterrupted grazing of the antelope, the night calls of the bush babies, and the early morning chorus of songbirds, all this, combined with the comfortable and tasteful ambiance of the camp, is part of the Mara West experience and what makes it a unique paradise for nature lovers.
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
Justin Yax ,
April 21, 2014
"Once again, a perfect trip. From Elizabeth's planning to Godfrey's guiding, we could not have asked for a more thorough and well planned safari. I can't wait to come back and do it again, this time with a Kilimanjaro climb added onto the trip!"
Nancy Frierson ,
April 21, 2014
"The entire trip was superb - all the transfers, the lodging and the food, the safari experience and the knowledgeable guides. The guide's ability to spot an animal and identify it at a great distance allowed us to see and photograph all the animals on our list and then some. The lodgings were even better than we had hoped and the staff could not possibly have been better. Our trip of a lifetime turned out to be just that."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - the best gift of all!
Ebony Hoskins ,
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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