Gorillas & Masai Mara

17 days
from
£4,679
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 122 reviews >
Trip code: 
WYUA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
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. The highlight of the trip is undoubtedly the Mountain gorillas in the foothills of the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. This close-up encounter is arguably the most sensational wildlife experience of them all.

Highlights

  • Enjoy one precious hour in the company of Rwanda's Mountain gorillas
  • View fantastic wildlife in the famous Masai Mara
  • Enjoy game drives in Lake Nakuru National Park

Key information

  • 4 nights full-service camping in a variety of campsites (some quite basic), 6 nights in permanent tented camps with shared facilities and 4 nights in hotels with en suite facilities
  • Travel by specialist overland vehicle, 4WD and on foot
  • Some drives on rough roads

What's included

  • 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 12 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Gorilla permit (USD750 through November 2017; USD1500 as of December 2017)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
(354) 567 8978
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

  • Day 2

    Arrive Nairobi.

    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: Heron Court Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 3

    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. Stay in a permanent tented camp just outside the reserve for the next two nights.

    Accommodation: Mara Springs Camp or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    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 are also several optional excursions that you can enjoy today in addition to the game drive. Get up early for a sunrise Hot Air Balloon Safari (including champagne and breakfast) or visit a traditional Masaai village to meet the locals.

    Accommodation: Mara Springs Camp or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Drive to Lake Naivasha.

    We depart the Masai Mara this morning after breakfast and drive to Lake Naivasha. Lake Naivasha is one of the few freshwater lakes of the Rift Valley - full of waterbirds, hippos and floating papyrus. This afternoon we visit Elsamere, the former home of George and Joy Adamson and now a conservation centre where you can enjoy afternoon tea on the lawn and watch the Colobus monkeys whilst learning about the story of Born Free. It’s possible to reach Elsamere by boat, at a small extra cost, if you would like to.

    Accommodation: Fish Eagle Camp or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    To Lake Nakuru N.P.;full day game drive.

    A 2 hour drive brings us to Lake Nakuru National Park, one of the finest small parks within Kenya, where we have a full day 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, whose numbers have been known to reach over 1.2 million. 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. Tonight we camp just outside the park in a campsite with good showers and flush toilets.

    Accommodation: Nderit Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    To Eldoret.

    This morning we stop for re-fuelling and supplies in Nakuru town and then drive towards Eldoret, one of Kenya's larger cities. Tonight's camp is at set within a traditional African village. If there is availability, it's possible to upgrade to one of the lovely rooms inside the quaint house, or to a specially designed cottage, paying a supplement locally.

    Accommodation: Green Wood Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    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
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    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
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    To Lake Mburo N.P.; guided afternoon walking safari.

    Leaving Jinja early this morning we drive past sugar plantations and Mabira Forest before reaching the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda's capital city. Our lunchtime stop will be at the Equator line, where you can take that all important photo straddling the Northern and Southern Hemispheres! Continue west, away from Lake Victoria before arriving at Lake Mburo National Park. Our journey today should take approximately 5 hours.

    Lake Mburo National Park is one of the smallest parks in Uganda at only 260 square kms, but boasts an impressive 313 different bird species and 68 mammals; zebra, impala, buffalo, topi and eland are found in abundance, and the rare Roan antelope may also be seen. With luck, we may also spot leopard, hyena and jackal.

    Depending on our time of arrival, a walking safari will be scheduled for either this afternoon or the following morning. Walking safaris offer an entirely different perspective of the bush and an exciting close-range wildlife encounter. Lake Mburo National Park is a great place for this given the absence of some of the larger African game such as lions and elephants. Walking safaris are always accompanied by an armed ranger who will go into detail about tracks, droppings, animal behaviour and flora. Tonight's campsite is located inside the park near the lake and has basic facilities (flushing WC and cold showers).

    Accommodation: Lake Mburo Public Campsite or similar
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    To Lake Bunyoni.

    Expect a change of scenery today as we travel approximately 4 hours to the south-west of Uganda into hilly terrain on our way to Lake Bunyoni. There are very few towns as most people live in small family compounds known as rugos. The lake is often referred to as the 'place of many little birds' - dotted with 29 forested islands, it is surrounded by terraced hillsides and provides a stunning location. We stay at a tented camp in a very well equipped resort but there is also the option to upgrade to a room or cabana depending on availability.

    Accommodation: Bunyonyi Overland Resort or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Free day at Lake Bunyoni.

    Lake Bunyoni is a beautiful spot to relax. We have a full day here to enjoy the impressive landscape and excellent bird life. Your leader will assist with ideas of things to do locally.

    Accommodation: Bunyonyi Overland Resort or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    To Ruhengeri, Rwanda.

    Cross into Rwanda and drive approximately 4 hours to Ruhengeri and Parc National des Volcans, the home of wild Mountain gorillas. Parc National des Volcans borders the Virunga National Park in the DRC and is covered in rainforest and bamboo. The park was the original base of Dian Fossey, a zoologist who studied Mountain gorillas in the wild to document their behaviour over a period of 18 years and was a passionate conservationist.

    Accommodation: Best View Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Trek to see the Mountain gorillas in Parc National des Volcans.

    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 in Parc National des Volcans 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 rough 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: Best View Hotel or similar
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    To Kigali; visit the Genocide Museum; free afternoon.

    Rwanda's small and attractive capital, Kigali, is our final destination. 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 today. The afternoon is free to explore the city at your own pace before an optional farewell dinner with the group this evening.

    It's possible to join a second gorilla trek today and miss the day in Kigali: please ask your sales consultant for more details and to book as gorilla trekking permits need to be paid for as far in advance as possible.

    Accommodation: Beausejour Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 16

    Depart Kigali.

    Our trip comes to an end today after breakfast 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
  • Day 17

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.

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.

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.

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. 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 USD 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, the rest of the itinerary is graded as leisurely in relation to the activity level.

Gorilla Trek: Owing to the nature of the terrain and the need to explore to find the gorillas, the trek doesn't follow a path in Parc National des Volcans and instead the guides will cut a route through the undergrowth. You should expect a minimum of three hours walking on rough terrain, with the possibility of climbing up to 3000m, 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 morning starts 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. 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.
This is a full-service camping safari - tents will be put up and taken down for you and all meals and washing up will be done unless of course you want to help. Our four-person crew includes a tour leader, a driver, a chef (who shops and prepares all meals) and an assistant. They work hard to ensure that all you need to do is enjoy your holiday!
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 us on
(354) 567 8978
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

Hotels & Camping

On this trip we have 4 nights full-service camping in a variety of campsites (some quite basic), 6 nights in permanent tented camps with shared facilities and 4 nights in hotels with en suite facilities.

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. One of the sites that we use is located within National Park boundaries and is very basic – this is marked on the itinerary. Upgrades are available at some locations to a room - these can only be booked and paid for locally.

The tented camps that we use are typically at well-equipped resorts with walk in tents, beds and usually shared bathroom facilities. Most of these resorts have additional facilities such as a swimming pool, bar and sometimes WiFi.

In Nairobi, Kigali and Ruhengeri, Rwanda, we stay in small hotels/guesthouses with en suite facilities.

The single supplement guarantees single accommodation throughout the trip (including a single tent). This supplement is subject to availability and should be requested at the time of booking.

Call us on
(354) 567 8978
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.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
(354) 567 8978
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

African sunset

From the volcanic slopes of Kilimanjaro to the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains, Exodus has cultivated an ar

  • Reviewed October 2017
    Roma Fernandopulle

    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
    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
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Patricia Orchard

    Gorillas and Masai Mara

    Had a fabulous time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Gorillas

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Crew were fantastic. Albert, Raymond and Stone Cold (driver).
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Wendy Nichols

    Gorilla, lions, rhinos and more

    This trip is as amazing as it looks. The safari parts were amazing on their own and then you have the gorillas to look forward to. Watching the lions, elephants, rhino, elephants, zebras, cheetah and so many other animals in the wild is additive! This was my 10th safari trip and it didn't disappoint! The gorillas experience in Rwanda was even more amazing then I had imagined and I felt privileged to spend an hour with them, watching them in the wild and being astounded as a baby gorilla stroked my leg. Book this trip now and you won't regret it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The gorillas without a doubt. A once in a lifetime experience never to be forgotten.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great team for the trip. The tour leader was informative, approachable and ensured the trip ran smoothly throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Card games for the long drives make the traveling days speed by. If you have a small extra bag that's good for the camping days so you can take a small bag into the tent (especially if your sharing or not paying the single supplement).
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Ian Braby

    A rewarding experience.

    This was not the trip I had planned to take over Christmas, but it turned out to be truly rewarding, overall, although a little more of a heads-up regarding the gorilla trek would not go amiss. The whole trip may be rated as "2" - leisurely - and, for the most part you are travelling in a truck and this describes it well, but the mountain trek is definitely a "4", minimum (and I've been on a "3" and it was more demanding than that!). After 3-and-a-half hours up and down the mountain, mostly in pouring rain and hail, exhaustion was setting in when we reached our gorilla family - but the encounter really made the effort worthwhile. Looking back, however, most of my photos were shot long before we arrived in Rwanda - the game drives through the Masai Mara were very successful! In all of the drive, the only thing we missed was a leopard, but we did get to see rarities like the serval and jackel, so that was very satisfying. Some of the so-called "comfortable" camps were a bit of a let down, with poor washrooms and very elderly tents, badly in need of replacement, but the Exodus camps were great, as was our superb team lead by Peter Kiptoo, driver Boniface, cook Esther and assistant Amos. They really helped to make the experience all the more memorable by looking after us all so well. This is a trip to be recommended!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being able to climb the mountain to see the gorillas unaided!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Knowledgeable and prepared to respond to (our only occaisional) demands!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ignore all the ramblings in the trip notes concerning registering online for visas and just follow the spoken advice and purchase an East African visa for all three countries on arrival. Not really sure it is necessary to pack a mosquito net, since the tents are mosquito-proof and most of the other stops feature mosquito nets.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Adrian Hodges

    Gorillas & the big 5, an amazing adventure

    Excellent trip with the major highlights being the gorilla trekking at the beginning and the wildlife safaris in Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara at the end (and we got to see all of the Big 5). Uganda was slightly disappointing, as we had to miss the Lake Mburo stop due to weather, although I did enjoy the white water rafting in Jinja. The crew were excellent and the accommodation was good throughout and it was a great group. Overall I had a fantastic time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The gorilla trekking was the definite highlight, to spend that time so close to those magnificent animals was incredible. I was amazed how close we got, which made it very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kip was an excellent leader, knowledgeable, helpful, efficient & friendly. Nothing was too much trouble. Along with the rest of the crew (Dan, Ken & Amos) he made the trip run like clockwork.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring long sleeves, long trousers and long socks for the gorilla trekking. Also a $50 note to exchange money at the Kenyan border, you get a better rate with larger notes (this is not mentioned in the trip notes)

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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