Gorillas & Masai Mara - Camping

16 days
from
3 685 €
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 53 reviews >
Trip code: 
WYU8
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–18

Fantastic Kenyan wildlife and the endangered Mountain gorillas

The Masai Mara, a vast grassland teeming with animals, has an astonishing amount and mixture of game, including lions, cheetahs and at certain times of the year, the wildebeest migration. Lake Nakuru National Park has an incredible variety of birds as well as a healthy population of White and Black rhinos while Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to hippos, elephants, buffalo, leopards and the elusive tree-climbing lions as well as a huge variety of birds.  Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most impressive parks in Africa, renowned for its scenic beauty, spectacular falls and abundant wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, Ugandan kobs (antelope), leopards, and over 450 different species of birds. The highlight of the trip is undoubtedly an hour with Mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. This close-up encounter is arguably the most sensational wildlife experience of them all.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a precious hour in the company of Uganda's Mountain gorillas
  • Game drives in the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru N.P. and Queen Elizabeth N.P.
  • Visit Murchison Falls National Park
  • Track chimpanzees and other primates in Budongo Forest

Key information

  • 13 nights full-service camping, and 2 nights in hotels
  • Travel by specialist overland vehicle, 4WD and on foot
  • Some long drives on rough roads and early starts

What's included

  • 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 14 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • 1 chimp permit and 1 gorilla permit

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
316 810 698
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Nairobi; overnight in hotel.

    The group flight usually arrives into Nairobi this afternoon and will be met and transferred to the start hotel. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon. This evening's welcome briefing is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.

    Accommodation: Kenya Comfort Suites or similar
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    To Masai Mara; late afternoon game drive.

    After loading our things onto the overland vehicle we depart Nairobi and travel approximately 7 hours into the Masai Mara, one of the most famous ecosystems in the world. This vast grassland is teeming with life; plains game including wildebeest, gazelle, topi, zebra and buffalo abound in the rolling savannah, and never far away lay the predators; cheetah, lion and hyena. Between mid-August to late October one of the greatest spectacles on Earth takes place in the Mara - the annual migration of thousands of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra trampling their way across the long grass. Nothing is guaranteed on safari, but with the help of our brilliant guides you should see and learn a huge amount about the Masai Mara's resident wildlife as we game drive through the park this afternoon.

    Accommodation: Mara Springs Camp or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Full day in the Masai Mara.

    A full day game drive in the Masai Mara to increase our chances of encountering many of the wildlife species found in the reserve. We find a quiet spot inside the park to enjoy lunch by our vehicle, looking out across the plains. There is also an optional Hot Air Balloon Safari in time for sunrise (including champagne and breakfast).

    Accommodation: Makalia Falls Camp or similar
    Full-service Camping

  • Day 4

    To Lake Nakuru N.P.; afternoon game drive.

    We depart the Masai Mara in the morning after breakfast and drive to Lake Nakuru National Park, one of the finest small parks within Kenya, where we have an afternoon game drive. Protected by an electric fence, the park is widely known for its impressive population of Black and White rhino which are relatively easy to spot on game drives in the open savannah. Fever trees line the park and are a well-known spot for leopards to laze in, whilst one of the most impressive sights is the vast flamingo population. Owing to flooding the alkaline content of the lake has changed in recent years and as a result the flamingos no longer tend to be found in such large numbers, but this can change depending on the rainfall.

    Accommodation: Nderit Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

     

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Morning game drive in Nakuru N.P.; to Eldoret.

    This morning we once again go in search of wildlife on a game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park. After lunch inside the park, we have a journey of around 3 hrs as we drive to Eldoret, one of Kenya's larger cities, where we spend the night.


    Accommodation: Green Wood Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    To Jinja, Uganda.

    Today there is a long drive of about 250km to Jinja, which should take about 8 hours, including a border crossing into Uganda. The border crossing can be slow but we leave plenty of time for this and you'll no doubt find the experience interesting! Located on the shores of Lake Victoria, Jinja is the adventure capital of Uganda and the source of the River Nile. The area is most famous for grade IV and V white-water rafting excursions but there are plenty of other adrenaline fuelled activities here. We stay at a tented camp in a well-equipped resort that has a stunning location high up on the banks of the Nile.

    Accommodation: Adrift Camp or similar

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Free day for optional activities.

    Today is free to choose from a range of optional activities. White-water rafting in Jinja is considered to be amongst the best in the world, with a half or full day route that varies from quiet pools and forested islands to thunderous rapids and drops. There are several grade V rapids to navigate including 'Big Brother', 'Overtime' and 'Silverback'. If rafting doesn't appeal, you can join a village walk, learn about a vibrant community project known as Soft Power which supports education, or visit the source of the White Nile.

    Accommodation: Adrift Camp or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    To Murchison Falls

    We leave Jinja and drive to Murchison Falls National Park, a journey which should take us 6 hrs.  Murchison Falls N.P. is the largest of Uganda’s national parks and covers an area of 5081 sq kms, with rolling grasslands and wooded savannah. Tomorrow we visit the top of the falls, where the river narrows from 50 metres to crash through a 7 metre gorge, falling 45 metres to the rocks below. A truly impressive sight!

    Accommodation: Red Chili Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Full day Murchison Falls

    This morning we have an early morning game drive in search of wildlife in Murchison Falls N.P.  We transfer by ferry to the north side of the Nile where we embark our game drive.  Murchison Falls N.P. is home to elephants, giraffe, buffalo and Uganda kobs, as well as the predators: lions and leopards. After lunch we travel by boat up the Nile, passing hippos and crocodiles, searching for elephants and waterbuck that come to the river to drink. The cruise lasts about 3 hrs, and will travel upstream to the bottom of the falls, stopping near the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’, the place where the water bursts through the narrow gorge and creates an outstanding rainbow. 


    Accommodation: Red Chili Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Chimpanzee Tracking in Budongo

    We depart early this morning for Budongo Forest, which is home to the largest numbers of chimpanzees in Uganda; we will go on a trek in search of chimpanzees and other wildlife.  The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and hope to see both Velvet and Colobus monkeys, wild pigs, forest elephants and of course the chimpanzee.  Once a chimpanzee family is found, we will have an hour with these fascinating creatures, to watch them interact and play with each other.

    Accommodation: Kontiki Hotel Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    To Queen Elizabeth National Park.

    Today we have a long drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). The drive goes south along the eastern length of the Rwenzori Mountains, where, weather permitting, we can see the glaciated peaks. We gently descend into The Great Rift Valley and QENP. The park resides in a fertile, equatorial area and has beautiful scenery. It is Uganda’s most popular and accessible savannah reserve, with a total area of 1978 square kilometres. It is primarily associated with grassy savannah plains, but this impressive park also includes within its boundaries leafy rainforests, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including a total of 95 recorded mammal species and more than 610 species of birds.

    Accommodation: Irungu Forest Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Full day Queen Elizabeth National Park

    This morning we will explore QENP on a game drive in search of wildlife including elephants, lions, buffalo, leopard, hyena, jackal, topi, kob, bush buck and various others. In the afternoon there is an optional boat trip of about two hours along the Kazinga Channel to view some of the largest concentration of hippo in the world (reported to be about 30,000) and other game with excellent birding. The game drive will continue in the afternoon for those who do not join the boat trip.

    Accommodation: Irungu Forest Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    To Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    We have a final early morning game drive in QENP and depart after breakfast, heading for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Mountain gorillas. The journey is 300kms and takes 5-6 hours including stops along the way.


    Accommodation: Lake Bunyonyi Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Trek to see Mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    You will probably remember today for the rest of your life as we spend a full hour in the company of a family of Mountain gorillas! Owing to the nature of the terrain and the need to explore to find the gorillas, our trek doesn't follow a path and instead our guides will cut a route through the undergrowth. After a safety briefing, we are assigned to a gorilla family group and begin our trek. You should expect a minimum of three hours walking on irregular terrain in order to find the gorillas; steep ascents and descents over muddy slopes are the norm. Strong footwear is essential and we recommend hiring a local porter to help you carry your bag/camera equipment and provide a steady, supportive hand (porters will be arranged and paid for locally on the day).

    Seeing wild Mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is an experience you will never forget. An adult male can weigh up to 195kg, a female up to 100kg, and a male can reach 1.7m in height. They are almost exclusively vegetarian and quite destructive eaters, which makes them unpopular with the farmers lower down the mountain slopes as they have been known to wreck a whole field of crops just to eat one plant. For this reason, and also because of poaching, the gorillas are very carefully protected. Gorillas are gentle creatures and are not known to attack unless very severely provoked. The family groups that we trek to see are habituated to human presence but to prevent over familiarisation our time with them is limited to one hour. The minimum distance that we must keep is 8 metres - we are not permitted any closer because gorillas are very susceptible to human disease. Please note that anyone with a cold or any similar ailment may not be permitted to join the trek.

    Accommodation: Lake Bunyonyi Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Optional second Mountain gorilla trek. To Kigali

    This morning there is the option of getting a second gorilla permit, though due to the limited number of permits, this should be obtained at time of booking. For those who choose not to go on a second gorilla trek, there are other walks which you can do nearby or you can relax, reminiscing about the previous day’s encounters.

    In the afternoon, we cross the border into Rwanda and head to Kigali (those on the second gorilla trek will typically be transferred seperately).

    Please note that on some departures, due to availability of permits, we may have to swap these two days over with the free day (and optional second gorilla trek) on day 14 and the included gorilla trek on day 15 or we may have to split the group to trek with gorillas across both days.

    Accommodation: Beausejour Hotel or similar

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 16

    Morning visit to the Genocide Museum and end.

    Rwanda is a country widely remembered for the genocide of 1994 in which over a million people were killed. There is a moving museum in Kigali to commemorate this time in Rwanda's history which we visit this morning. Our trip comes to an end in the afternoon where we bid Rwanda and our group goodbye. Those on the group flights will be transferred to the airport for the flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

East Africa Visa (combined visa covering all three countries):

British passport holders may apply for East African Visa that will cover all three countries directly from Kenyan High commission; this process requires posting your passport and application form. Please contact the Kenyan High Commission to obtain more information about the combined visa from Kenya.  Alternatively, the East African Visa is currently available upon arrival at Nairobi airport and the cost is US$100 in cash, the process is straightforward and no additional documents are required. This is currently the best approach; however, we recommend that you check that the visa inserted into your passport has been filled in and stamped as this will make things easier at the border crossings.

British passport holders may also decide to obtain three separate visas for each of the countries:

Kenya

Most nationalities do now require a visa for Kenya, including Britons, most EU nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians.  At present single entry and transit visas are available online (see below) and soon all visas will have to be obtained online. Alternatively visas are available in advance or on arrival. The Kenyan government are planning for all visas to be obtained online and may stop delivering visas on arrival on short notice. For the latest information please contact your local Kenyan High Commission or Consulate.  
For information about the online application process please visit http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html.
The cost of the visa is US$50 for a single entry visa.
You will need to first register to the ecitizens website (including needing a photo 500px x 500px) before you can start applying.
For the application process itself you will need details of the accommodation used (which we will send you) and itinerary as well as a photo 5.5cm x 5.5cm and a scanned or photographed copy of your passport’s bio/photo page.

Uganda

Most nationalities require a visa for Uganda. The Government of Uganda has introduced the online visa application system with effect from 01 July 2016. Applications should be filled at the following link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/.
The decision taken on the application will be sent electronically through the email provided by the applicant. If approved, an approval letter will be sent as an attachment to the email provided. Print it out and present it together with a valid passport / travel document at the port of entry.
The cost of a standard, single-entry visit visa had been reduced to $US 50. You’ll need to bring this amount with you in cash (US dollars only) on arrival. Check the Ugandan Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control website for the latest information on visa fees.
Information about documents required in the online visa application is found here:
https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/help/visa

Rwanda

From 1 November 2014, British nationals entering Rwanda will be able to get a visa on arrival on payment of a fee. The fee is currently fixed at $50US for a 30 day tourist visa. You can also choose to get a visa in advance at any Rwandan diplomatic mission or online. For some other nationalities the visa must be applied for online in advance; please check with your local consulate.

Vaccinations

Kenya

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Rwanda

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary , and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Uganda

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary , and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited on this itinerary, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

Virtually all meals are included and will be prepared for you by our chef and crew.They are adept at catering for large groups of hungry travellers!

Breakfasts will usually include cereal, toast and hot food such as porridge or eggs. Lunches tend to feature a range of sandwich options as well as a selection of fruit. Dinners usually feature soup, main (a mix of local and international cuisine) and dessert (typically fruit salad). All cooking equipment is loaded onto the overland vehicle and so our crew are ready to prepare food wherever we stop - don’t worry about going hungry on this trip! You will have time to stock up on snacks and drinks along the journey.

For meals not included, it would be a good idea to allow a further US$100 to cover these.

Weather

Although this part of East Africa lies in the tropics, the temperature depends more on altitude than on season. Kenya has temperatures ranging from 18 - 28ºC in March and dropping to 15 - 21ºC in August. The long rains, during which we do not operate these tours, occur in April and May, and there are intermittent 'short rains' between November and early December, though these normally have no great effect on the safari.

In western Uganda, the rainy season is also in April and May, with intermittent rains during November and December, and daytime temperatures of between 15 - 25ºC. Parts of Uganda are very wet and rain can be expected at any time.

In Rwanda, the rainy season is also in April and May, with intermittent rains during November. December to February is quite dry, and June through October is the driest season. Temperatures do vary, in the southern parts of Rwanda the temperatures are between 18 - 30ºC, while in the northern part, temperatures are between 12 - 28ºC.

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded 2 (Leisurely/Moderate) with a safari rating of 4.
The grading of moderate applies specifically to the gorilla trek and the chimpanzee tracking. The rest of the itinerary is graded as leisurely in relation to the activity level only (however, this is not a leisurely trip is relation to the early starts and long drives).

Gorilla Trek: Owing to the nature of the terrain and the need to explore to find the gorillas, the trek doesn't always follow a path in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and instead the guides will cut a route through the undergrowth.  You should expect a minimum of three hours walking on irregular terrain, with the possibility of climbing up to 2607m, in order to find the gorillas; steep ascents and descents over muddy slopes are the norm.  Strong footwear is essential and we recommend hiring a local porter to help you carry your bag/camera equipment and provide a steady, supportive hand (porters will be arranged and paid for locally on the day).


Transport is in a specialist overland vehicle with good visibility and 4WD vehicles in the Masai Mara. There will be several early mornings where we start before sunrise, especially to view the wildlife, and several long drives as this trip covers the highlights of three countries. Although the distances are not always very long, some of the roads are quite poor and bumpy especially after the rainy season. We include breaks for toilet facilities, shopping, photos and meals. There are a few days where the journey time (including stops) can be over 7 hours and the longest drive can take approximately 10 hours. The spectacular scenery and glimpses of village life when travelling make the journeys enjoyable, as well as the chances to get to know your fellow travel companions.

Come prepared with a sense of adventure and a sense of humour and you're sure to have the holiday of a lifetime.

Certain areas in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are not recommended for travel on the Foreign Commonwealth website. Please note that we do not visit any of these areas on our itinerary and keep continually abreast of changes to FCO advice.

Call for general departures:
316 810 698
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Camping

The camping is full-service which means that the tents are put up and taken down for you by our crew. We use standard mobile two man tents for these nights and provide mattresses and all other equipment that you'll need (except a sleeping bag and pillow). East African campsites vary in terms of facilities - you should not expect hot showers, flushing toilets or western standards of cleanliness. Upgrades are available at some locations to a room - these can only be booked and paid for locally.

In Nairobi and Kigali, we stay in small hotels with en suite facilities.

Call for general departures:
316 810 698
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Paul Goldstein is one of very few people that has spent time with all five of the BBC's ‘Dynasty’ luminaries.

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Elizabeth Eagles

    Simply Unforgettable

    Well where do we begin. This was simply an incredible holiday and our very first safari. The crew of four; Boniface aka Stony the driver; Ken head chef; Raymond aka Dolly head chef in training and Patrick our tour leader were all terrific, great fun and very hard working guys. They know their stuff and helped make our holiday. The trip covers a tremendous amount of miles around 1300 miles in total. Yes there are a few early starts the earliest being around 4.30am to hit the road around 5am but when getting up a little earlier than normal to go and visit the mountain gorillas the early morning start pails into insignifance. The whole itinary is brilliant. We were exceptionally lucky to have seen the big five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, buffalo) and so what more could you ask for especially as this was our very first safari trip. The various stop overs were very good with some terrific campsites with options to upgrade to rooms or hotels along the way. The time spent trekking to see the mountain gorillas can vary we trekked for around two hours which went very quickly but do be prepared for a hilly walk and make sure you have the right footwear and waterproofs as you can come across some small brooks and it could be muddy if the rain comes, we were very lucky as the rain came once we returned back to the start. For sure this experience is likely to remain with you for ever. It does mention in the trip notes that helping out whilst not complusary, we believe it can go a really long way to get to know the crew and other members of the group you’re travelling with which adds to the fun around the campfires. The food was fantastic and plentiful each day and the variety was excellent. We thought the trip was really well planned and when things didn’t go quite to plan such as the overland truck breaking down at no stage did we feel concerned and our safety was the crews main concern. Everything was done to resolve the issue in a timely manner. We would highly recommend this trip to anyone with a love for animals you get to see so much it’s hard to put into words. Truly incredible and prividged to see these amazing animals in their own habitat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Again this is hard to put into words but two things come to mind. Spending an hour with the mountain gorillas has to be up there, they are such incredible creatures. Seeing the silverback and various mums with their 5 month old and 8 month old babies was mesmerising. In addition to this, continuing our game drive with Stony and Patrick as we decided on one occasion not attend a boat trip in the hope of seeing maybe more cats only to come face to face with an amazing bull elephant. This experience was both scary and incredible and again we felt hugely privileged to be in such close proximity to these beautiful wild elephants.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic! Patrick was very knowledgeable had a great sense of humour and made us feel safe at all times. Each evening Patrick would say the words ‘something about tomorrow’ which is when we were given the plans for the following day. Everything was clear, Patrick was very approachable and kept us updated if plans changed throughout the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind, be prepared to get stuck in, make sure you have the right footwear and a lightweight raincoat just in case as the weather can change quickly. There may be some early starts but equally there are plenty of opportunities for down time. Don’t let the early starts put you off. This trip has been very well thought out and worth every penny.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Both early on in the booking and late on we were also able to make some slight changes to flights adding a few days at the beginning and the end of the trip. All changes were made without any issues and the teams were all very accommodating. We would have absolutely no hesitation booking with Exodus again and hope to do so again very soon.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Christopher Barton

    Truly wonderful trip

    This was our third camping trip with Exodus and this is almost becoming our preferred trip type - being cheaper doesn't hurt either. We were amazed at the shear number of animals we saw in Kenya and Uganda long before we got to the Gorilla area. We saw the big five, and mostly with babies!, great scenery, wonderful lakes and rivers. Game drives were varied not only in the nature of the country visited but also sometimes in the 'bus' sometimes in 4X4s and sometimes by boat. There were some longish drives but with lots to look at, stops for snacks and toilets, and time to charge cameras etc for the next stop. We felt very well looked after the whole time, and guided through formalities of border crossings etc. We were a smallish group of nine which meant we had lots of space, and we got on well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I guess it has to be the gorillas - being so close and watching while they just got on with their lives. The babies were adorable and the silverback huge, but they seemed very peaceful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was really great, as were the other members of the team - KFC, Stonecold & Dolly. They looked after us really well and bought great calm and humour to the whole trip. In many ways they made it possible for us to have the great time we had.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I considered taking my walking gaiters but decided against it - almost the first thing Jacob said was "I hope you all brought you gaiters for the gorilla trek"! In fact we did well using two pairs of socks with the long pair on the outside and trousers tucked into them. It worked out fine. Do use a porter for the gorilla trek, it makes life a lot easier just having your bag carried, and the occasional hand up, but it also brings much needed employment to the local community.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would highly recommend this trip - Go prepared for some early mornings, some laughs, some drives but mostly some amazing sightings.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    simon cappin

    Gorillas and Masai Mara

    This trip is an absolute must for any animal lover.The diversity of fauna that we saw in 2 weeks was absolutely incredible.The gorillas were absolutely adorable and it was fascinating seeing them so relaxed in a really beautiful setting.The rafting on the White Nile was absolutely increible and I would recommend this to anyone who is not scared of the water and is a confident swimmer as the likelihood of coming out is very high.I came out twice !!The Masai Mara was absolutely stunning and within a few hours had seen leopard,lions and cheetahs.The setting itself is also very dramatic.Our guide was absolutely brilliant.He had a great sense of humour and constantly had us in hysterics during the trip with his banter.The food was excellent and I am sure I have put on weight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing gorillas so relaxed in the wild

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Overall absolutely brilliant.Enthusiastic,very informative,caring and had a brilliant sense of humour

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have time in Narobi visit the giraffe sanctuary and elephant orphanage
  • An unforgettable experience!

    The highlight was the Gorillas, but the whole trip was an experience never to be forgotten. We saw the big 5 in the Masai Mara and other animals in their natural habitat that you only ever see on the television. I can also now identify exotic birds I never knew existed! And we had a hippo join us at the campsite for dinner! The trip was made more memorable through the wonderful Exodus team of Jacob - our guide, Boniface - our amazing driver, Godfrey - our wonderful chef & Esther -his assistant, who was learning the ropes & always smiling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking into the eyes of a Silver-back gorilla. I didn't think that we'd get so close to them, they brush passed you as they walk by. Just watching them interact with each other - grooming, playing and feeding, was amazing. The hour we had in their company flew by and was truly unforgettable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was our tour leader and he was excellent. He was very knowledgeable about where we were travelling, always full of good advice and very patient & professional. Seat rotation was suggested for the truck and all worked smoothly. My wristwatch broke in Doha on the way to Nairobi and he was very helpful in ensuring that I could buy a replacement at the earliest opportunity and so stay on time.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel with an open mind, be prepared for anything & you'll have an amazing unforgettable experience. Take advantage of hiring a porter for the gorilla trek, as he will be invaluable in helping you. I was a little apprehensive about the camping since I've not done any before but it was fine. The group were all well travelled and we all gelled together, helping out with the washing and air-drying of plates!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you're undecided, my advice is to GO! Go with the flow, join in and you'll have a fabulous unforgettable time.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Karen Lim

    Wonderful!

    A wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the gorillas up close - we were told to stay at least 7 metres from them but sometimes we were much closer. That one hour went by like a flash! I also loved the white water rafting - I hadn't intended to do it but wanted to seize the opportunity of trying out some of the best rafting in the world. I did not feel at all scared and would definitely do it again. The Masai Mara was amazing - seeing animals I had only previously seen in books, and birds I had never seen before.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was great! He was always cheerful, informative, knowledgeable, helpful, patient, cracking jokes and teasing members of our group and the rest of the team. The rest of the team were also sound - Boniface (Stonecold) the driver who handled our enormous truck with great skill, Godfrey the cook who turned out delicious meals with very basic cooking facilities and Esther the assistant who was always ready to help with a smile.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes and the other reviews. Go with a bit of patience and forbearance - do not expect Western standards in anything.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was a bit apprehensive about the camping aspect and the gorilla trek and I was fine. The camping worked out well and the gorilla trek was very manageable (with the help of porters). I can honestly say that I did not have any bad moments on this trip. Our group was varied in age but we all got along very well and there was much laughter and good times.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    David Simpson

    Great wildlife viewing with a top class crew

    Some of my best ever wildlife viewing, seeing all the big 5 (including my first ever clear views of leopards) plus much else including spectacular birds, chimpanzees and of course the amazing mountain gorillas. Very well looked after by leader Jacob, the best ever driver Stone Cold, Godfrey the cook and the hardworking trainee Ester, all of whom not just kept us safe, healthy and happy, but were great company.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the fabulous mountain gorillas, who didn't seem to have read that they were meant to keep 8 m distance! Couldn't believe how close and active they were. The optional hot air balloon ride in the Maasai Mara was also well worth doing, as was chimpanzee tracking which hadn't been mentioned as an option in the trip notes.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was knowledgable, worked hard to make sure we all had a good experience, and had a good sense of humour too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for plenty of early starts and long drives, but the experiences along the way make it all worth it. Being on time for the morning starts, and being ready to help load/unload the truck etc (though not required) makes it all run more smoothly.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The region is really beautiful, and always has plenty to see even on the long journeys. The camping is fine, the people along the way friendly, and you'll find Rwandan streets far cleaner than those in the UK!
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Patricia Carr

    Best wildlife experience ever

    The whole trip was fantastic with all the wildlife sightings. The big 5 in the Masai Mara plus the birdlife was unforgettable. Every country visited had something special, but of course the highlight were the gorillas. All that being said the trip was made even better by Jacob our guide, nothing was too much trouble, Stone Cold (Boniface), fantastic driver, Godfrey, great cook, Ester the lovely assistant. The 4 of them were so friendly it felt like it was one big family. They are the A-Team.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the gorillas was the best thing ever and it still feels like I dreamt it because it is so unbelievable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was the best, always smiling, making sure everybody was ok.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind about the camping side of the trip, just go and enjoy the whole package. You just have to go with the flow, it's an experience of a lifetime.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Huw Thomas

    We had a fantastic expedition

    We took the trip starting in Nairobi. We had a fantastic time seeing cheetahs, leopards, lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros and many more, we saw it all. We finished with the gorillas. The experience was unbelievable. We got closer to them and for longer than we ever expected. Our trip was made even better by the fantastic Exodus team. Jacob was our team leader and he was very ably supported by Stony the driver, Godfrey the chef and Ester the assistant. This team set the atmosphere and we embraced and enjoyed it all. What a great trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being with the gorillas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was exceptional. He exuded confidence and always had a smile. Nothing was too much nor too difficult. The 16 strong expedition had an enhanced experience because of his leadership.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace the enthusiasm and good humour of your team. They set the tone, all you have to do is enjoy all the fantastic experiences.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trek to the gorillas is challenging but very manageable. Hire a porter, the $10 plus tip will be the best money you will ever spend. They not only carry your bags but support you over the rough terrain. Don't be put off by reviewers who suggest that you need to be super fit to cope.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Celia Thomas

    An amazing trip

    This memorable trip was made special by the excellent leader Jacob and his team Stonecold, the wonderful driver, Godfrey the chef and assistant Esther. Whilst the journeys were often very long we had plenty of stops. The trip was filled with humour and fun. The group ages were from 42 to 69, we were at the upper end. For us the key was having a go. We were encouraged to try white water rafting and not only did we manage to do it , it was an excellent experience. Upgrades to cabins were available at most campsites. We saw so much on safari , big 5 , countless birds and much more. Our skille driver ensured we got the best photos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Of course the gorilla encounter was a thrill, never to be forgotten. Though we were told to keep a distance between us and the gorillas but this was quite relaxed as they came towards us. The white water rafting was exhilarating. Very professionally organised with safety at its core.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob was an excellent team leader. He had a great sense of humour which helped set the tone for the group. He was knowledgeable and patient answering even the most simple questions with a smile. He has a nothing is too much trouble attitude and was very professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As for the gorilla trekking, we asked to be in the easy group and ended up walking further than the moderate group. The gorillas are not always where they are supposed to be! Take plenty to read for the long journeys. There is not always amazing scenary. Go with an open mind , don't expect luxury and you will be very pleasantly surprised.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are undecided as to whether to go, I would say GO ! We were 16 in our well travelled group and we all agreed it was one of the best trips we've done.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Kathryn Summers

    A Brilliant Experience

    An excellant trip, my first into Africa. Now my compass is set for more. A mixed age range group, 24 thru 72 but we gelled well. Our leader Jacob was full of knowledge. A very happy and fun person to be around. He was backed by a brilliant team. Albert, our cook. Stonecold, (Boniface) our driver and Dolly (Raymond) our assistant. We were fed well, driven very safely, and Dolly, learning the ropes, accompanied us on some excursions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending time with the Mountain Gorillas. Wow, you can get closer if the Silverback is happy with it. I was just a few feet away from adolescents. Then, Seeing a Lioness, just languishing up in a tree. Magic. Then, The Balloon ride over the Mara. Spotting Giraffe, Lion and Elephant to name a few. Then, slip sliding across the mud to witness the migration of Wildebeest across the Mara River.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jacob is brilliant. Very knowledgable of his country, Kenya, and of the surrounding areas. He ensured we understood the protocol at the borders for a smooth move on. This does also mean some early morning departures, but, Jacob is correct in doing this. We all agreed with him, even offering an earlier start 1 day! Jacob is fun and has stories to tell.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do ensure your kit bag meets the size requirements for the lockers. They are actually quite wide tho. Take a small 'down pack' bag, or use one of your dri sacks for the tenting. Some of the accommodation involves steps. You don't really want to carry your whole kit down there!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just Enjoy

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 316 810 698