(Nairobi, Naivasha, Masai Mara)
(Parc National des Volcans)
A trip of contrasts, from the lushes greens of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to the lakes of Nakuru and Naivasha and the savannah of Masai Mara, this trip showcases the highlights of Kenya & Rwanda. In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat, are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest - the Virungas - home of the rare mountain gorilla. The mountain gorilla shares 97% of human DNA. On your second day at the park, seek the equally rare golden monkeys (or pay for an additional day of gorilla trekking). Return to Kenya and start your quintessential safari with the hippos of Lake Naivasha or the Rhinos of Nakuru. Finish at the world's top game park, Masai Mara, famous for its plains of predator and prey, and the annual wildebeest migration. Includes internal flights, private guide and vehicle throughout.
NOTE: Gorilla permits are $750 for Rwanda and they 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.
In the unfortunate event of serious illness or injury, all travellers are covered by this “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance policy 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.
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer to & from the airport.
The Country Lodge Nairobi is owned and operated by the Fairview Hotel Group and provides guests with excellent accommodations options at a very reasonable price. The property is located in the Upper-hill neighbourhood of Nairobi, an area of the city that is rather lively, boasting a number of picturesque gardens, ethnically inspired restaurants and a wide range of activities. Guests at the Country Lodge can be assured that they will have a safe, clean and quiet place to rest their head during their stay in Nairobi. Throughout the hotel a wireless Internet connection is made available for usage. Guest will always wake up to a quality, hot breakfast before heading out to explore this dynamic Kenyan capital city.
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.
Travel today between Kigali and Parc National des Volcans by private car and english speaking driver.
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 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.
Trekking through the national park to view the rare species of Golden Monkeys. Only open for visitors since June 2003, enjoy a rare treat watching these unique primates play and perform in the forest. (Optional extra day gorilla trekking - $500pp 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Perched in secluded spots on an escarpment edge overlooking the vast plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve giving, Mara West, tremendous views and a sense of private exclusion. This is the authentic Out of Africa experience where much of the original film itself was filmed & produced. The camp borders the remote and beautiful western edge of Masai Mara National Reserve. Kensington Mara West provides nature lovers with deluxe accommodations while experiencing the sights and sounds of an unforgettable African safari. Tents offer rustic charm surrounded by grassy fields. Chalets are perched in secluded spots on an escarpment edge overlooking the vast plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, giving tremendous views and a sense of private exclusion.
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 river banks 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.
Depart from Nairobi international airport - end of itinerary.
PASSPORT/VISAA Passport valid for at least six months and visas are required for both Canadian and US citizens. Visa may be purchased on arrival at the airport. Single entry visa is $50 per person, payable in cash, new bills (no credit cards). Visas may also be obtained in advance through a visa service or through the embassy directly. Processing generally takes 5-7 working days.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Kenya for the most up to date visa information.
Nairobi (NBO) (Jomo Kenyatta International) is 16km (10 miles) southeast of the city. Mombasa (MBA) (Moi International) is 13km (8 miles) west of the city. NOTE: Only newly printed USD currency and local currency will be accepted in East Africa, any USD currency printed without the new security measures will not be accepted. HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Guests of Kensington Tours are covered by East African Flying Doctor Services included in the tour price. This coverage guarantees that any member injured or ill while on safari will be airlifted back to Nairobi to the international hospital. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/kenya.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital - Nairobi. Language - Swahili is the national language and English is the official language. There are over 42 ethnic languages spoken, including Kikuyu and Luo. Religion - Mostly traditional but there is a sizeable Christian population (both Catholic and Protestant) and a small Muslim community. Time - GMT + 3. Electricity - 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are UK-type square three-pin. Bayonet-type light sockets exist in Kenya. Telephone - Country code: 254 (followed by 20 for Nairobi, 41 for Mombasa and 51 for Nakuru). Mobile phone coverage is widespread. There are Internet cafes in major cities and hotels.
A passport is required and evidence of yellow fever immunization is recommended. Citizens of the following countries DO NOT require a visa and may visit for up to 90 days:USA, Germany, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong and Burundi. Canadian citizens and all other nationalities must apply for a visa online and then pay for the visa upon arrival. A Tourist Visa costs approximately $70.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Rwanda for the most up to date visa information.
NOTE: Only newly printed USD currency and local currency will be accepted in East Africa, any USD currency printed without the new security measures will not be accepted. HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Guests of Kensington Tours are covered by East African Flying Doctor Services included in the tour price. This coverage guarantees that any member injured or ill while on safari will be airlifted back to Nairobi to the international hospital. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/rwanda.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Kigali Government: Republic since 1962. Gained independence from Belgium in 1962. Language: The official languages are Kinyarwanda, French and English. Kiswahili is used for trade and commerce. Religion: Animist (50%), Christian (mostly Roman Catholic) and an Islamic minority. Time: GMT + 2. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +250. There are no area codes. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Internet: There are Internet cafes in Kigali, including one at the airport.
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