Project Description

MOUNTAIN GORILLAS & THE GREAT MIGRATION
Enquire Now

INTRODUCTION

It is with great excitement that I introduce the ultimate combination photo safari, the majestic Mountain Gorillas with the stampeding herds of the annual Great Wildebeest Migration. The safari itinerary will take you from the deep, lush green rain forests and dormant volcanoes of the Virunga to the vast open grass plains of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where you will bear witness to the ultimate show of survival as the large predators welcome back the great herds.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mountain Gorillas
  • Lions, Leopards, Crocodiles & Birds
  • Great Migration
  • Breathtaking Scenery

NELIS WOLMARANS
Photographic Guide

Watch the video
PRICE FROM

US$ TBA pps

DATES

TBA

DURATION

12 Days / 11 Nights

LOCATION

Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve

GROUP SIZE

Max 6

Please Note: The tour price may fluctuate depending on the price of the Mountain Gorilla trekking permits on the day that you confirm your safari. Gorilla permits are non refundable and non transferable.

ITINERARY

Arrival in Kigali Intl. Airport and transfer to the Volcanoes National Park.

Following your arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by your photographic guide and host, Nelis Wolmarans and transfer to your overnight accommodation. During dinner tonight, Nelis will run through the itinerary with you and answer any questions.

Transfer to Volcanoes National Park and afternoon exclusive cultural photography

Following breakfast, we will transfer to the genocide memorial. This is a must visit monument to the 1994 genocide that occurred in Rwanda when an estimated 1,000,000 people were massacred. Not only will this visit answer any questions you may have regarding this dark period in Rwanda’s history, but will also make you appreciate where this beautiful little country finds itself today.

Hereafter, we will enjoy a scenic two hour drive to Rwanda’s North-Western province. The road winds through lush valleys and over mountain tops as we make our way to volcano country. Our accommodation is situated in close proximity to the National Park offices and offers spectacular views of some of the Volcanoes that tower on the horizon.

Tonight, before dinner we will meet for pre-dinner drinks in the lounge for a discussion on the following mornings’ Mountain Gorilla trek.

Mountain Gorilla Trek 1 – Volcanoes National Park.

After a delicious 6am breakfast, we will set off for a short drive to the National Park headquarters where we will receive a quick briefing on our Gorilla trek. Hereafter, a short drive to the starting point of the trek leading to our allocated Gorilla family for the day. We will also hire a local porter who will carry your backpack and assist you on the trek itself. This is a great initiative to support the local community and these porters prove themselves invaluable if your trek turns out to be tougher than expected.

The scenic and refreshing hike is set at your own comfortable pace with plenty of stops and photo opportunities along the way. Once we reach the armed trackers who guard each Gorilla family all daylight hours, we will leave behind our porter, backpack and walking stick.

We will spend a magical hour with the family of gorillas until it is time for us to reluctantly depart from their presence. Fortunately, we still have another gorilla experience to look forward to. Following this amazing morning with the gorillas, we will return to our lodge for lunch and to freshen up. Hereafter we will enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing.

Golden Monkey Trek

This morning we will shift our focus onto a smaller primate with which the Mountain Gorillas share the forest, the very colorful Golden Monkeys. These little guys are extremely well habituated and will wander within a foot from their human spectators. This is another fun photography experience! The trek is generally also much shorter than that of their larger cousins.

Following this excursion, we will head to the streets for more culture photography. Our previous cultural photo excursions entailed setting up the shot in a more controlled environment where we were able to ask of our photographic subjects to please do this or stand over here. Today’s exercise will be the opposite of that. Look for the natural beauty and emotions in the people and especially the children that we will encounter on our walk.

Mountain Gorilla Trek 2 – Volcanoes National Park

Today brings you a second opportunity to enjoy the company of these majestic primates. By far, the majority of people say that they enjoyed their second gorilla experience even more than the first. You now know what to expect and you are generally a lot more relaxed. The uncertainties about being fit enough, the altitude and safety are now a thing of the past and today is all about excitement and enjoyment.

We will make the most of today, using this second opportunity to also focus on some of the behavioural aspects of Gorilla interaction and taking particular notice of the features and behaviours that we share with these close relatives, such as their hands and feet, caring mothers, facial expressions and much besides. We will spend our afternoon post processing a small selection of images from each participant.

Transfer to Kigali, Lunch and onto the airport for our flight to Kenya

Following a very well deserved sleep-in and breakfast, we will depart for Kigali. Should you wish to make any curio purchases, we can visit one of the best curio markets in Kigali. Our ground handlers are able to ship these purchases to your home address via DHL. Following lunch, we will make our way to the airport, where we will board our flight into Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Intl. Airport. After clearing customs and collected our luggage, we will transfer to the conveniently situated Ole Sereni Hotel for an overnight stay.

Early morning breakfast and flight into the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

After an early morning breakfast, we will transfer to the nearby Wilson Airport for a very scenic small plane flight into the Maasai Mara National Reserve. We will touch down at the Musiara Airstrip and transfer by safari vehicle to the nearby Little Governors’ Camp, our accommodation for the next 5 nights. This beautiful camp is located in close proximity to the Mara River and overlooks a beautiful Marsh that is frequented by a large variety of both mammal and bird species.

From our camp, we will be in close proximity to the four major crossing points on the Mara River, where the large wildebeest herds cross the treacherous waters on their annual migration route. After settling in at our accommodation, we will set off on our first long awaited afternoon safari, exploring the riches that the Maasai Mara has to offer

Maasai Mara National Reserve

We will make full use of today by taking a packed breakfast and possibly a packed lunch with us. The crossings on the Mara River can happen at any time, so it is best to ensure that we are completely flexibility to stay out or return to camp as we see fit or as the wildlife activity dictates.

Our safari focus falls squarely on the Great Migration and the incredible obstacles these animals have to face including treacherous river crossings with strong currents, steep riverbanks and hungry crocodiles. This is also the time of plenty for the predators, which they will encounter along the way, large Lion prides, elusive Leopards, sprinting Cheetah and the ever-opportunistic Hyena clans. It is estimated that about a quarter of a million of these wildebeest will not survive this journey.

Maasai Mara National Reserve and balloon safari.

This morning we will have a very early start as we travel the short distance to Little Governors’ Camp from where we will take to the sky in a Hot-Air Balloon. This activity offers us a bird’s eye view of our breathtaking wild and natural surrounds.

The general wind direction takes us along the Mara River in the direction of the Tanzanian border, with spectacular views of the sunrise. From our comfortable balloon basket, we should see large Hippo pods, plenty of crocodiles, elephants and the vast expanse of the Wildebeest herds. Hereafter we will enjoy a mouthwatering breakfast prepared out on the plains, with a beautiful view of the escarpment towering in the west.

Following breakfast, we will visit the different crossing points on this side of the Mara River, as well as keep our eyes open for any other photo opportunities that might arise. We will enjoy a packed lunch on this day, so as to allow us more time out in the field. In the later part of the afternoon, we will make our way back to camp.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Over the next two full days we will spend the majority of our time at the different river crossings looking out for any signs of the herds moving towards the water. Predator and prey interactions are a regular occurrence during this period and with a bit of luck and the knowledge of our local guide, we will have the opportunity to witness and photograph these from start to finish.

Day of departure.

After our final morning activity and breakfast, we will sadly depart the Maasai Mara. After landing at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, we will stop for lunch where after we will transfer back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our departure flights.

For more information or a detailed itinerary, please contact me.

INCLUDES

  • All accommodation during the itinerary
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 11
  • All road transfers as per the itinerary
  • Genocide memorial visit
  • All internal flights between Nairobi and the Maasai Mara NR
  • Bottled still water throughout the safari
  • All activities as per the itinerary
  • Two Mountain Gorilla trekking permits per person valued at US$1500 per permit
  • One porter per person per Mountain Gorilla trek
  • Hot Air Balloon safari
  • All park & Conservation fees
  • Laundry in the Maasai Mara
  • One Golden Monkey permit per person

EXCLUDES

  • All international flights including Rwanda to Kenya
  • All beverages on this safari except bottled still water.
  • All items of a personal natu
  • Spa treatments, curio purchases and telephone calls
  • All Gratuities
  • Laundry in Rwanda
  • All visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Any items not mentioned in the list of includes

ENQUIRE NOW

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.