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best of east africa

14-day Big Game and Gorilla Safari through Kenya and Uganda

Experience the best of East Africa on this fantastic adventure to Kenya and Uganda. Guests will see Africa’s much sought after big game, from lions to elephants and more, in Kenya, then track endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda, all in just 14 days.

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Day 1 – Nairobi: Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi, Kenya), you will be met and transferred to your accommodation for your overnight.

Deluxe: The reception at the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages is the historic Swedo House which was the original hunting lodge/farm house, built between 1906 and 1908. It is located approximately half a mile from the Karen Blixen Museum (Bogani House from the film “Out of Africa”). There are 13 en suite deluxe cottages, built in 2001.

Luxury: Hemingways Nairobi, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the world, is an elegant boutique hotel situated in Nairobi’s Karen residential area with magnificent views of the nearby Ngong Hills. The hotel offers forty-five luxury suites and on-site restaurant serves the very best of local and international cuisine and is open everyday for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

Day 2 – Amboseli: After breakfast, you will transfer to Wilson Airport for your flight. Upon arrival you will be transferred to Tortilis Camp or Ol Donyo Lodge. Enjoy an afternoon game drive returning to camp for dinner and overnight.

Deluxe: Tortilis Camp is named after the flat-topped, umbrella thorn tree, the Acacia Tortilis. Located in a private conservancy bordering the national park, game drives, walks, sundowners and bush meals take place both inside the national park and in the conservancy, where guests enjoy exclusivity. With Mt. Kilimanjaro peering down over the entire camp, each of the 16 tents has a beautiful view of the mountain. A family tent is also available.

Luxury: Ol Donyo Lodge is located on over 270,000 acres of private land in the heart of the Chyulu Hills, between Kenya’s Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks. This stunningly beautiful area is incredibly diverse and often has spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. The lodge is perched on a hillside with views of East Africa’s classic savannas below. Six pool suites plus one two-bedroom family suite offer a harmonious blend of contemporary and rustic accommodation, merging the landscape into each suite. Safari experiences include horseback safaris, mountain bike safaris, guided walking safaris and open vehicle game drives.

Day 3 – Amboseli: Today, enjoy morning and afternoon safari activities in the national park and private conservancy. Overnight at Tortilis Camp or Ol Donyo Lodge.

Days 4, 5 & 6 – Laikipia (Loisaba Conservancy or Ol Malo): After breakfast, you will be transferred by light aircraft and vehicle to your selected accommodation. You will have lunch in camp before heading off for an afternoon safari activity. Enjoy two and a half days of activities to experience the wildlife and landscape. Game drives, night drives, horseback riding, camel-trekking, fishing, mountain biking, cultural visits to Samburu villages, visits to the anti-poaching sniffer dogs, day trip to Lake Turkana via helicopter and walks in the area on offer (varies based on camp selection and some may incur an additional cost). Overnights and meals at Loisaba Tented Camp or Ol Malo Lodge.

Deluxe: Loisaba Tented Camp offers unhindered views across Laikipia’s mottled landscape all the way to Mt. Kenya. Twelve spacious tents have been custom-designed with large floor-to-ceiling doors and windows, polished wood floors and wide verandas. Three family tents are also available. Loisaba Conservancy, a functioning ranch, is a success story of conservation. Home to elephant, lion, the rare wild dog, and an abundance of other species, Loisaba is a great example of successful collaboration between conservation, communities, ranching and tourism.

Luxury: Ol Malo Lodge is in a privately-owned game sanctuary on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River in Kenya’s wild and beautiful North Eastern Province on a rock escarpment on the edge of the Laikipia Plateau. Each double room has its own veranda and complete privacy. Large picture windows frame a wild, constantly changing landscape. Ol Malo partners with the Samburu Trust to protect and secure the future of the Samburu people and their land through education, conservation, healthcare, water supply, women’s opportunities and eco-tourism.

Day 7 – Masai Mara (Mara North Conservancy or Olare Motorogi Conservancy): After breakfast, you will be transferred by light aircraft to your selected camp. In the afternoon, you will go on a game drive in the Masai Mara or private conservancy, and then return to camp before sunset for dinner and overnight.

Deluxe: Alex Walker’s Serian – The Original is one of just eleven member camps in the exclusive Mara North Conservancy. The camp has five spacious tents, including one family tent, and all are set on hardwood decking overlooking the Olooloo Escarpment. The game viewing in the conservancy is spectacular, and with the incredible guides and low density of visitors, walking safaris are also a special way to discover the magic of the African bush during your stay. Enjoy the exclusive use of a safari vehicle, guide and spotter to spend your days as you see fit.

Luxury: Mara Plains Camp is a small, high quality, seven-room camp under canvas and on raised decks with sweeping views across Kenya’s notable savannas. Each of the seven tents has deep canvas canopied ceilings, rough-hewn wood floors and accents of East Africa’s rich safari history. Thick Lamu wood doors, deep purples and brass accents – these small details transport guests to a time and land far away. The well-appointed en suite facilities (including a deep copper bath) plus the extensive private veranda complete what is genuinely a stunning concept. The Olare Motorogi Conservancy is reputed to have the lowest vehicle density in the Masai Mara region, while also having the highest concentration of big cats anywhere in Africa.

Days 8 & 9 – Masai Mara (Mara North Conservancy or Olare Motorogi Conservancy): During your time in the Mara area, enjoy two days of safari activities in one of the world’s most magnificent wildlife havens.

Day 10 – Entebbe: After breakfast, depart for Nairobi and onward to Entebbe, Uganda. Overnight at Karibu Guesthouse or No.5 Boutique Hotel.

Deluxe: Karibu Guesthouse is a boutique hotel set in a former presidential residence and is just 10 minutes from the Entebbe airport. With 8 rooms, 24 hour reception, fast internet, swimming pool and spa facilities, it is a great place to begin your Ugandan safari.

Luxury: No.5 Boutique Hotel is nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe. With 10 luxurious rooms opening onto the garden and swimming pool, this is a great option for guests looking for an intimate stay in a tranquil setting. Unwind beside the swimming pool, pamper yourself with a spa treatment or work up a sweat in the hotel gym. 

Day 11 – Bwindi National Park: After breakfast, fly from Entebbe to Kihihi Airstrip. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your safari lodge. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge or Bwindi Lodge.

Deluxe: Mahogany Springs Lodge is situated in one of the most intimate, secluded, beautiful and natural settings in the world and is only about 2 minutes away from the gorilla tracking starting point. All 12 deluxe suites have their own private terrace with magnificent panoramic views over the grounds, river and surrounding areas.

Luxury: Overlooking the Bwindi National Park, award-winning Bwindi Lodge is a luxury lodge with eight individual bandas, each having their own view of the forest and a private balcony from which to spot wildlife, including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys. Guests should keep an eye out for the family of gorillas that visit the lodge regularly.

Day 12 – Bwindi/Gorilla Trekking Day: Gorilla Trek! (Permits not included and not guaranteed until secured with full payment.) After breakfast, take a short drive to park headquarters and meet with local guides and trackers who will instruct you on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Afterward, hike to the point where the gorillas were seen the night before and begin your trek. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided, and it is important to take plenty of water. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is essential, including zip lock bags for camera gear. Return to your lodge for your afternoon at leisure or arrange a community activity offered by your lodge/camp. Dinner and overnight at your selected accommodation.

Day 13 – Bwindi/Batwa Village Visit: After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Batwa tribe village tracking point for a visit to a Batwa Pygmy tribe village. The hike is steep, as they live very high up in the mountains. It is a rare privilege to see this forgotten group of people. Only eight of the original Batwa remain in the village, and they are about 4 feet high and very nimble. The walk to their village is spiced with interesting information and anecdotes: the way the locals make banana gin, how they build their homes and the history of the Batwa. Alternatively, you can add a second gorilla trek today! (Permits not included and not guaranteed until secured with full payment.) Return to Mahogany Springs Lodge or Bwindi Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 14 – Entebbe/Depart: After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kihihi airstrip for your scheduled flight back to Entebbe. Upon arrival, connect to your onward flight or enjoy the afternoon at leisure at Boma Hotel or No.5 Boutique Hotel or before your evening flight.

The Boma Hotel is set in tropical gardens in a leafy suburb, a few minutes drive from Entebbe International Airport.

Interested in this trip? Give us a call or drop us an email.

Quick Facts

Perfect for:

  • Perfect for Gorilla Trekking
  • Perfect for Big 5/Wildlife Sightings
  • Duration 14 days
  • Departures Anytime
  • Accommodations Deluxe or luxury hotel, tented camp, game lodge
  • Fitness Rating Moderate/Difficult
  • Activities Game drives, nature walks, cultural visits, gorilla trekking
  • Safari Type Big 5/Wildlife
  • Style Deluxe
  • Land-Only Price* $$$$

*Pricing is per person and an estimate. Contact a Journey Specialist for a customized quote.
$ = Call for Pricing | $$ = $5,000 – $9,999 | $$$ = $10,000 – $20,000 | $$$$ = >$20,000

Contact a Journey Specialist