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Mountain Gorilla Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda
from $20,290 pp

  • Duration: 15 days
  • Destinations: Africa, Kenya, Tanzania
Mountain Gorilla Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & Rwanda From the Big Five to silverbacked Mountain Gorillas, wildlife is the draw on this 16-day safari in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda where game drives and mountain treks reward with once-in-a-lifetime encounters with animals, both endemic and endangered. All departures are small groups, limited to 24 guests. Special experiences include custom film vignettes created by BBC Earth exclusively for Tauck; a private catered lunch in Ngorongoro Crater; private lecture on famous elephants of Amboseli and anti-poaching efforts; a hot air balloon ride at dawn followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush; and a guided gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park for a one-hour gorilla family visit and a private lecture on conservation programs underway in Rwanda. Highlights include: Tanzania - An overnight stay in Arusha, two nights overlooking Ngorongoro Crater and three nights at a safari lodge in the heart of the Serengeti set the stage for morning and afternoon game drives with ample opportunity to spot the Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and the endangered rare black rhinoceros. Kenya - Two-night stays in Amboseli National Park, at an elite safari club straddling the Equator, and in luxury tented accommodations in Masai Mara National Reserve include game drives, Maasai traditions, orphaned chimps, elephant insights, a hot air balloon ride, and a boma dinner. Rwanda - A strenuous but exhilarating trek in Volcanoes National Park leads to encounters few will ever have when silverback gorilla families share their natural habitat with the privileged few for a limited time. Visits to the Dian Fossey Museum, the Genocide Museum and a coffee cooperative and a lecture by a gorilla conservation expert enrich a three-night stay in Rwanda. Accommodations include Serena Safari Lodges in Ngorongoro Crater and Amboseli National Park; Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, ideally located in the heart of the park; Fairmont's Mount Kenya and Masai Mara Clubs - elite, luxury accommodations; and two nights in Ruhengeri, Rwanda, at the base of Volcanoes National Park, for easy access to the gorilla trek and the Dian Fossey Museum. Please note: You should expect your gorilla trek to be strenuous. As the mountain gorillas' habitat can only be reached by hiking up into the mountains (there are no roads), your inbound trek may range from 40 minutes to 4 hours, at a beginning altitude of approx. 7,000 feet (approx. 2,130 meters) above sea level, and increasing from there. See the special note in Pricing & Availability for further details.Earth Journeys, crafted by Tauck and BBC Earth... Intimate safari drives in 6-passenger vehicles for amazing wildlife viewing, hot air balloon ride over Masai Mara, stays in safari lodges in Serengeti, Amboseli, Mount Kenya Safari Club and Mara Safari Club; private Gorilla Trek in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park; visits to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the William Holden Wildlife Education Center, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Museum, and Kigali's Genocide Memorial Museum
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Tauck World Discovery: Mountain Gorilla Safari: Kenya, Tanzania & RwandaDay 1 Arusha, TanzaniaArrive Arusha, TanzaniaTour begins: Arusha Serena Hotel. Transfers are included from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha Serena Hotel, for an overnight stay.Meals: Day 2 Lake Manyara National Park, TanzaniaBirds of Lake Manyara National ParkSet out on safari to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti plains, traveling through Lake Manyara National Park. Along with abundant giraffes, baboons and elephants, Lake Manyara is home to a multitude of birds, including great birds of prey. Continue on to Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to some 30,000 large mammals. Please join us for a welcome reception and dinner at your lodge overlooking the vast and wildlife-lush Ngorongoro Crater far below.Meals: B, L, DDay 3 Ngorongoro Crater, TanzaniaA Garden of Eden in Ngorongoro CraterExperience the Africa of bygone days when you explore the "lost world" of Ngorongoro Crater, believed by many to have been Africa's original "Garden of Eden." Within this dormant volcano's walls lie short grasslands, swamps, forests, fresh and saltwater lakes, inspiring continuous animal migration. From aboard your four-wheel-drive vehicle, you'll have an opportunity to spot Africa's renowned Big Five - buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black-maned lion and the endangered, rare black rhinoceros - as well as herds of zebras, wildebeests and gazelles. Today's picnic lunch in the crater will be a highlight.Meals: B, L, DDay 4 Serengeti National Park, TanzaniaFlying to Serengeti National ParkToday, you'll hop a morning flight from Lake Manyara to the heart of Serengeti National Park. As you do, you'll fly over Oldupai Gorge, where, over 50 years ago, archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of some of the earliest known human species, an estimated 1.8 million years old. Arrive at your Four Seasons safari lodge in the Serengeti for a three-night stay. Following an afternoon game drive in Serengeti National Park, join us this evening for a special barbecue dinner in your lodge's Boma Grill, enhanced by a Maasai traditional dance performance.Meals: B, L, DDay 5 Serengeti National Park, TanzaniaEndless Plains in Serengeti Nat'l ParkLook for wildlife in the heart of the vast savanna of the Serengeti today on both morning and afternoon game drives. Sightings might include lions, zebras, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, jackals, gazelles, and giraffes. When the sunset paints the sky in the evening, watch the show from the luxury of your lodge in Serengeti National Park, and enjoy dinner tonight at your choice of restaurants at the lodge.Meals: B, L, DDay 6 Amboseli National Park, KenyaMore game drives in the SerengetiSpend another glorious day in the spectacular Serengeti as you head out into the grasslands aboard safari vehicles for game drives in the early morning as well as the afternoon. In between, you'll have free time to relax and enjoy the amenities of your Four Seasons safari lodge, where you'll dine at your choice of restaurants tonight.Meals: B, L, DDay 7 Amboseli National Park, KenyaOn to Kenya's Amboseli National ParkLeave the Serengeti behind as you fly to Arusha, Tanzania en route to Kenya. Dominating the skyline, majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro peaks over surrounding landscapes from more than 15,000 feet up. After landing in Arusha, continue overland into Kenya and arrive in time for a late lunch to begin a two-night at your safari lodge in Amboseli National Park, where herds of free-ranging elephants and other wildlife like to roam.Meals: B, L, DDay 8 Nanyuki, KenyaPrivate game drives and more in AmboseliTauck's private safari game drives in Amboseli National Park offer ample opportunity to view the elephants, hippos and buffaloes that seek out the park's natural watering holes and the graceful antelopes that graze in the flat grasslands. An early morning visit to a Maasai village precedes a morning game drive, after which you'll return to the lodge for breakfast. Spend some down time at your lodge prior to lunch, then another game drive, and time to spend as you please at the lodge in the afternoon. Enjoy a reception and private lecture on the elephants of Amboseli and anti-poaching efforts in Kenya prior to dinner at your leisure at the lodge this evening.Meals: B, L, DDay 9 Nanyuki, KenyaMount Kenya Safari Club & an animal orphanageA morning flight brings you to the world-famous Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, straddling the Equator and your luxurious home for the next two nights. The former retreat of actor William Holden, the Safari Club, founded in 1959, was once the playground of such illustrious members such as Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. Following lunch and an Equatorial demonstration, pay a private visit to the nearby William Holden Wildlife Education Center and animal orphanage; this sanctuary for animals that have been orphaned or injured and need special care also teaches local children to cherish and appreciate the unique wildlife of their homeland.Meals: B, L, DDay 10 Masai Mara National Reserve, KenyaRhinos & chimpanzees, village crafts & moreAn exciting day begins at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to the largest resident black rhino population in East Africa and other members of the Big Five. It is also home to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, founded by Jane Goodall, which gives lifelong homes to orphaned and abused chimpanzees, and which you'll visit this morning. While at Ol Pejeta, enjoy Tauck's special access to visit a compound where endangered black rhino are bred. After lunch at your hotel, take a look at local life on a private visit to a nearby village, where villagers spin colorful tales into their handmade wool rugs, sweaters and shawls right before your eyes. Return to your celebrity resort late afternoon. Tonight, attend our private barbecue dinner held under the stars on the lush manicured lawns of the Mount Kenya Safari Club.Meals: B, L, DDay 11 Masai Mara National Reserve, KenyaThe Masai Mara & an evening game drivePack your Tauck duffle bag and fly to the Masai Mara National Reserve in southern Kenya, where you'll be welcomed by Maasai warriors. Have lunch upon your arrival at the luxurious Fairmont Mara Safari Club, where an elegant tented camp is your home for the next two nights. Spend the afternoon relaxing, swimming, taking in the views and otherwise becoming acquainted with the Safari Club and your luxury tented camp accommodations, evoking the classic safaris of yesteryear. Embark on an evening game drive across the plains of "the Mara" in search of animals that make their homes here; perhaps you'll see lions, antelopes, elephants and zebras in their daily rituals. Return to camp for a briefing on tomorrow's hot air balloon flight, followed by dinner.Meals: B, L, DDay 12 Masai Mara National Reserve, KenyaBallooning over the plains of the Masai MaraToday will be one that you'll always remember, as you arise before dawn to board a hot air balloon* and float over the Masai Mara's awakening plains below as the sun rises. When you land, a special champagne breakfast will be awaiting you right there in the bush! Spectacular isn't quite strong enough a word to describe such an experience, a Tauck Exclusive on your Kenya safari! Back on the ground, look for lions, impalas, cheetahs, giraffes, and the other animals you've come to love as you return overland to the camp for lunch and an afternoon at leisure - and later on an evening game drive in the bush. After returning to your tented camp, join us for dinner in the boma of the Fairmont Mara Safari Club.Meals: B, L, DDay 13 Nairobi, KenyaFly to Kigali, RwandaFly this morning to Kigali airport in Rwanda, home to Volcanoes National Park and the forested habitat of endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. A late afternoon arrival at your Serena Hotel is followed by dinner at leisure.Meals: B, L, DDay 14 Kigali coffee & Dian Fossey's gorilla legacyWake up and smell the coffee at a local cooperative that empowers Rwandan women to become coffee growers. Learn all about making coffee, from planting and harvesting to roasting and brewing with an opportunity to have a cup or two. Continue on a drive through the countryside to the city of Ruhengeri at the base of Volcanoes National Park, where eight ancient volcanoes watch over the wildlife that thrives here. Check into your grass-thatched traditional Rwandan lodge, nestled under the eucalyptus trees at the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range, and have lunch before visiting the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Museum. Learn insights and observations about gorilla behavior in preparation for tomorrow's trek, as well as hearing the fascinating story of Dian Fossey's unforgettable quest to save the mountain gorilla.Meals: B, L, DDay 15 Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National ParkRise early for a once in a lifetime opportunity you'll not soon forget. Drive to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park where a briefing by your expert mountain guides answers any questions you may have about your trek into the wilderness and a dance performance as you eat your boxed breakfast whets your appetite for today's gorilla adventure. Climb aboard a safari vehicle as you make your way to the trailhead where your gorilla trek begins. You will be assigned a porter who will help carry your provisions and cameras and lead you to the gorilla family you are here to meet. Once the gorillas are located, you will have the rare opportunity to watch them interact with each other, and you if they choose! When your hour-long visit is up, head back to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon at leisure. A local expert presents an informative lecture this afternoon about the endangered Mountain Gorillas you were privileged to see. Join us tonight for a farewell reception and dinner at the lodge.Meals: B, L, DDay 16 Journey HomeTour ends: Kigali. Depart your hotel after breakfast for your journey back to Kigali, stopping en route to visit the Genocide Memorial Museum. Pay tribute to the 800,000 Rwandans who lost their lives during the atrocities of 1994 and discover how Rwanda was able to come together, heal and move forward into the future with hope and resilience. Continue to the Kigali Serena Hotel where Tauck has reserved day rooms for you until your flight home this evening. Airport transfers are included from Kigali Serena Hotel to Kigali International Airport. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check in at the airport.Meals: B, L

Departure Dates
Start: December 12, 2020
End: December 27, 2020
Price: $20,290 pp
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