(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 Upperhill 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.
Your guide will take you out on an excursion through Kigali today. Visit some of the popular market places before heading out to a location of heart aching cultural history. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre was opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004. The Centre is built on a site where an estimated 250,000 people we`re buried. The Centre is serves as a permanent memorial to the victim of the genocide and serves as a place where people can grieve those that they have lost. One of the principle reasons for the Centres existence is to provide educational information regarding the genocide. Rwandans believe that it is extremely important for the younger generations to be able to have access to a place where they can learn about the reasons and affects of the genocide. The Centre includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the genocide in 1994. There is also a children’s memorial, and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The Education Centre, Memorial Gardens and National Documentation Centre of the Genocide all contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation.
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.
Take your flight from Kigali to Nairobi today. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Your guide will drive you to Lake Naivasha, through Nairobi and rural Kenya. This will be your your first glimpse of the Rift Valley and unique villages and traditional African landscape. As you approach you will get a glimpse of Mount Longonot, Hell's Gate National Park and Lake Naivasha. The drive will be about an hour and a half.
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.
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.
Includes a boat trip to visit Crescent island in Lake Naivasha. A short boat trip from the mainland out into the lake gives you access to the unique Crescent Island Wildlife Sanctuary. Crescent Island is a peninsula or island, depending on the lake level, joined to the mainland by a causeway. A wide variety of wildlife, birdlife and flora lives quite freely without the threat of predators. You will have the opportunity to spend some time walking around at your own pace, enjoying this peaceful Island.
Among the resident birds are fish eagles, ospreys, lily-trotters, black crakes and a variety of herons. Hippos also live in the lake. A number of mammals can be seen grazing in the surrounding lake environs, such as zebra, impala, buffalo, giraffe, Kongoni and, at night, hippos.
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.
This afternoon's game viewing will be exciting as you are searching for game with your private guide and driver. The leopard is difficult to see as it moves fast and is very shy. If you're lucky there is a good chance to spot them around water holes or up in a tree after a long, hot day.
Kensington Mara West Camp has been revamped and relocated to what is surely one of the best views in East Africa. Perched elegantly on the Ololoolo escarpment, forming the western boundary of the Masai Mara Reserve itself. 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.
Today you will head out for an early morning game drive with your expert guide. The Masai Mara Park will offer you a diverse range of animals. The park is home to the Big Five (Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo and Leopard) and numerous other antelopes including Thomson's and Grant's Gazelles, Impalas, Topics, Hartebeest, Zebra and Masai Giraffe. It's also home to over 450 species of birdlife among these are vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles and African pygmy-falcons.
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.
Masai Mara is named after the traditional inhabitants (Maasai) and the Mara River. At some point during your stay in the Mara, you'll drive by the river, which is a great place to spot wildlife. This area is a photographer's delight where with any luck you'll be able to take amazing pictures of the hippos and elephants in the water.
This afternoon you'll meet up with your guide and head out on your game drive. Mara is one of the few places you could spot the rare rhino. Stay alert as you track 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).
Includes opportunity to visit local handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs.
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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