Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas

Discover some of Africa’s most famous, sought-after wildlife experiences on this bucket list East Africa safari. See rare rhinos and the Big 5 in Kenya, witness the Great Migration of wildebeest, track endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, and much more. This is a trip you’ll remember for life!

We designed this Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas vacation for a couple from San Francisco who wanted the adventure of a lifetime. This bucket list trip took them to Kenya and Tanzania to see the Great Migration, as well as Rwanda to track wild mountain gorillas in the forest!

They started their adventure in Kenya, exploring some of the northern safari parks: Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to some of the last northern white rhinos in the world; and Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, run by the Samburu community, said to be one of the lost tribes of Israel who celebrate Judaic culture and live in close harmony with the land, plants, and animals. 

Continuing their Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas vacation, they visited the world-famous Maasai Mara region of Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to witness the Great Migration! They even saw a wildebeest river crossing, one of the most iconic wildlife spectacles in Africa. 

Then it was time for gorilla trekking in Rwanda—a true bucket list item! They stayed at a fabulous lodge just 10 minutes from the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, enjoying beautiful views of the misty mountains. They spent a day tracking a family of incredibly rare, wild mountain gorillas and observing them in their natural habitat. They also tracked golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park, an experience which is often overshadowed by gorillas but just as rewarding! They loved seeing the adorable golden monkeys leaping from tree to tree.

At last, having seen all the highlights on this whirlwind adventure, their Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas vacation came to an end. They headed back to the capital city of Kigali to catch their flight back home.

  • 3 Nights Hemingways Nairobi
  • 3 Nights Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages
  • 3 Nights Sarara Camp
  • 3 Nights Serians Nkorombo
  • 3 Nights Serian’s Serengeti Lamai
  • 3 Nights Kigali Serena Hotel
  • 3 Nights Virunga Lodge
  • All airport transfers
  • Flights within Kenya and Tanzania
  • All game drives
  • Sheldrick Center
  • Giraffe Center
  • Karen Blixen Museum
  • Hot Air Ballon in the Mara
  • Horse Back Riding
  • Northen White Rhino Tracking
  • Genocide Museum Kigali
  • Walking Tour Nyamirambo
  • Cooking Class in Rwanda
  • Dian Fossy Gorilla Fund Visit
  • All gorilla trekking permits
  • Golden Monkey Trekking

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Kenya! Fly into Nairobi and make your way to your fabulous hotel for the evening. A large, plantation-style hotel, Hemingways Nairobi offers spacious and luxurious rooms, and even a private butler service. From the spa to the gourmet menu, you’ll find plenty here to keep you entertained. If you wish, you can also visit the Giraffe Centre just a few miles away and hand-feed the giraffes!
Hemingways Nairobi

Day 2
Today you spend enjoying Nairobi and surrounds with a trip to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to interact with elephants, and then on to the Giraffe Center to feed the rare Rothchilds Giraffes, ending with a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum. Your driver will escort you all day with a stop for lunch.
Hemingways Nairobi

Day 3
Today is your day to spend at leisure enjoying the pool, spa and other amenities at Hemingways. You have time to visit some of the shopping co-ops featuring local artists and designers from the area.
Hemingways Nairobi

Day 4 – 6
Head to Kenya’s Laikipia region and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Tucked away along an acacia studded river line, in the heart of the wilderness area, The Safari Cottages offer the comforts of home, exclusivity and a wonderful wildlife experience. Each cottage is entirely self sufficient, including a private chef, guide, and private safari vehicle at no extra cost. Spend your days with highly trained and knowledgable guides, exploring Ol Pejeta’s open plains and secret valleys by day and night. Find lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and more on thrilling game drives. In the evenings, indulge in decadent dinners on your verandah, as your host recounts 40 years of wild and fascinating bush tales. While here, you can visit the Nothern White Rhino on a Rhino Tracking excursion and do some horse back riding.
Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages

Day 7 – 9
Your safari adventure continues in the Namunyak Conservancy. The conservancy is run by the local Samburu community, said to be one of the lost tribes of Israel who celebrate Judaic culture and live in close harmony with the land, plants, and animals. The landscapes here, characterised by mighty purple peaks, vast bushlands and forests of cycad and juniper, have slowly welcomed back several threatened animal species, and visitors can look forward to seeing buffalo, leopard, lions, Grevy’s zebra, De Brazza colobus monkey, reticulated giraffe, kudu, and wild dog.  In the northern part of the conservancy, the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is home to large numbers of these gentle giants. Activities not-to-be-missed at Namunyak include guided forest walks, night-time game viewing, birdwatching, and taking part in Samburu traditional activities.
Sarara Camp

Day 10
Today, fly to the world-famous Maasai Mara, The park protects a phenomenal array of game, including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo, as well as crocodile and hippopotamus in the Mara River. The birdlife is no less impressive, with over 450 resident bird species. However, the true highlight here is the Great Migration, recognised as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.  Nkorombo Camp, designed to blend seamlessly into its stunning surrounds, it comprises five spacious ‘Selous style’ tents decked out in safari style of yore: leather, weathered wood, gauzy swathes of cotton, all lend accents to the essential, beautiful and comfortable style that defines Nkorombo. 
Serian’s Nkorombo Camp

Day 11 – 12
Spend the next 2 days on safari in the Mara. Arriving during the Great Migration, see thousands upon thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and other game thundering across the open plains. The highlight will be a Mara River crossing; watch in awe as the throng crosses the river, where hungry crocodiles are waiting to snatch their next meal.
Serian’s Nkorombo Camp

Day 13 – 15
It’s off to Tanzania today! Fly to Serengeti National Park, where you’ll be met at the airstrip and enjoy a game drive en route to Serian’s Serengeti Lamai. Located between the Central Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve to the north, the Northern Serengeti is a remote African wildlife wonderland. The vast, rolling savannah of the Northern Serengeti, is known as the hub of the great migration. The landscape is characterised by vast stretches of savannah interspersed with acacia trees and riverine woodlands. Wildlife can be seen along the banks of the Mara River and visitors can view the annual spectacle of the half a million migrating wildebeest. Commonly spotted wildlife include: a multitude of plains game such as buffalo, zebra, gazelles, impala, giraffe as well as lion and leopard. Visitors can look forward to bird watching, hot air ballooning, game safaris and guided bush walks. The camp is situated opposite Crossing Point 4, midway among all crossing points along the river – and is perfectly positioned to spectate the wildebeest river crossings. Away from the river, this area of rolling savannah, boulder-strewn hillsides and fig-tree groves, is littered with inconceivably enormous herds of wildebeest, topi and zebra – as well as all the predators that gorge on this movable feast. Needless to say, the game-viewing we have access to is world-class. Cheetah, lion and elephant especially make for fantastic sighting, but it’s not unheard of to see the Big Five in a day.
Serian’s Serengeti Lamai

Day 16
You will be transferred to the local airstrip, and will then catch a flight to Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali and enjoy a transfer to your hotel. The evening is at leisure to unwind, take a dip in the outdoor pool, and sample the offerings of the onsite restaurants and bars. Tomorrow, it’s off to gorilla country.
Kigali Serena Hotel

Day 17
After breakfast, depart on a guided city tour, which includes a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Enjoy lunch in town, and a stroll through the markets and art galleries. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.
Kigali Serena Hotel

Day 18
Today will enjoy more of Kigali through a walking tour of Nyamirambo and then finish with a cooking class to learn more about local Rwanda cuisine and culture.
Kigali Serena Hotel

Day 19
Today set off on a scenic drive to the famously beautiful Volcanoes National Park—your base for gorilla trekking. On the way, visit the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to learn more about her amazing work. Then settle into your cozy lodge set amidst lush gardens, soak up the views of hazy blue mountains, enjoy delicious meals of fresh produce, and rest up for tomorrow’s adventure!
Virunga Lodge

Day 20 – 21
This is it—time for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park! With the help of expert guides, trek through dense, untamed jungle, passing through gorgeous vistas of green valleys and misty volcanic peaks, until you come across a family of endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. Watch in awe as these incredibly human-like creatures interact with each other mere feet away. You’ll be able to spend an hour with the gorillas before returning to town.
Virunga Lodge

Day 22
This morning, embark on a golden monkey trek in Volcanoes National Park. Watch these adorable, endangered monkeys leap from tree to tree after you’ve tracked them down in the forest. Return to Kigali via a scenic drive, taking in the thousand shades of green that cover these beautiful hills, and catch your returning flight home.

About this vacation
Cost Per Person

Based on
22 day stay
2 travelers

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