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Gorillas Game Parks and Zanzibar 24 Day (Northbound)

Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi
£1,295 (plus local payment)

Ref: AT049

A combination of two very popular trips allows travellers to experience the varying faces of Africa, from the island paradise beaches of Zanzibar to gorilla viewing in the rain forests. The island of Zanzibar is full of exotic traditions, while the game parks of east Africa are renowned for their unspoiled natural beauty and prolific game. The memory of the Gorilla Trek and observing these amazing creatures as they meander and feed in their ever-diminishing habitat remains with everyone forever. 

Who can join: 18 years and over
Accommodation: Camping
Transfer time: approx. 1 hour
Pick up Point: Kipepeo Beach Campsite, Plot 4, Mjimwema, Kigamboni
Meals: Meals Included as Indicated
Volunteer numbers: approx. 25
Special Offer: S A L E !    S A L E !    S A L E ! 

Duration & Fees

24 days£1,295
£1,055

USD 1800 - Local Payment

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Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Start Dates

2019 Start Dates:

10 Jan | 24 Jan | 7 Feb | 21 Feb | 7 Mar | 21 Mar | 4 Apr | 18 Apr | 2 May | 16 May | 30 May | 13 Jun | 27 Jun | 11 Jul | 25 Jul | 8 Aug | 22 Aug | 5 Sep | 19 Sep | 3 Oct | 17 Oct | 31 Oct | 14 Nov | 28 Nov | 12 Dec | 26 Dec

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Pre-trip night dorm room accommodation
  • Fully equipped expedition vehicle
  • Cooking and camping equipment (sleeping bags not provided)
  • Meals as indicated
  • Park fees and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Pre-departure pack and support and advice from Amanzi Travel staff and trip leaders

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Optional excursions
  • Meals and drinks unless otherwise stated 
  • Airrport Departure Taxes
  • Departure Transfer
  • Laundry
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Personal items and tips
  • Bottled water
  • Gorilla Permit
  • Transfer to Gorilla Trek

Click here to enlargeStart and Finish Points:  Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi
Countries visited:  Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya
Departure Point Dar Es Salaam: Kipepeo Beach Camp, Plot 4, Mjimwema, Kigamboni
Check in time: 7.30 am (departure time to be advised at pre-departure meeting)
Pre-Departure Meeting: 5 pm the day before at the departure point

Due to the early departure passengers are advised to arrive the day before their trip departs.  Airport pick up on arrival and one night's pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in the trip fee. Anyone wishing to arrive early for sightseeing in Dar es Salaam should contact Amanzi Travel for suggestions regarding accommodation and activities and excursions.

For booking purposes, any travellers choosing NOT to trek the Mountain Gorillas should notify Amanzi Travel as soon as possible.

Included Highlights

Great Rift Valley; Lake Nakuru National Park; Lake Naivasha; Kampala; Lake Bunyoni; Masai Mara National Reserve; Serengeti Excursion;  Meserani Snake Park and Masai Cultural Museum ; Zanzibar Ferry; Zanzibar Excursion; Spice Tour and Sunset Dhow Cruise.

Itinerary

TANZANIA
Tanzania's natural environment and geographical features have made it one of the best tourist destinations in Afirca.  Being the largest country in East Afria, Tanzania has loads to offer her visitors, including 13 game reserves and national parks.  Tanzania also hosts part of the world's largest animal movements, the Great Migration.  Inland are the vast Serengeti National Park nd the wildlife-packed Ngorongoro Conservation area, and thousands of people every year fulfil their lifetime ambition to climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.  On the coast, Zanzibar is exotic, intriguing and steeped in the unique Swahili culture.

DAY 1: Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar  (No Meals)
A ferry from Dar Es Salaam takes the group to the "Spice Island,” where the next 3 nights will be spent.  Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands.

Please note:  Meals are for passengers' own account whilst on Zanzibar, as experience has shown that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own and in accordance with their own budget.  The Trip Leader joins the group and can arrange activities, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. There are also many optional excursions on offer (see Extra Information). 

PLEASE NOTE:  New legislation prohibits the taking of photographs during the Zanzibar ferry ride.  Spot fines can be issued if legislation is not obeyed.

Included Activity:  Zanzibar Excursion
Included Activity:  Spice Tour and Sunset Dhow Cruise

DAYS 2 & 3: Zanzibar
History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire for anyone wishing to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.

DAY 4: Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam (Dinner)
Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon the group will return to the mainland and a night in Dar Es Salaam.  Arrival back to the campsite is usually in the late afternoon or early evening.

DAY 5: Dar Es Salaam to Pangani * (B / L / D)
This morning there will be a early start and the tour will leave the hustle and bustle of this major Tanzanian city and head towards the farmlands of this beautiful country.  To-day is used as a transit day to get closer to the Serengeti.

* Some trips may choose to forego this night at their own cost.

Day 6:  Pangani to Arusha (B / L /D)
From Dar Es Salaam there will be a long day's drive through vast sisal plantations and African bushveld to Arusha. On the way the Pare and Usambara mountain ranges will be passed before driving through the town of Moshi. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions and weather permitting, it may be possible to catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! Tonight's stay will be in a lovely campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on the Excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow.

Optional Activity:  Make a short visit to the "Masai Cultural Museum" at Snake Park

DAY 7:  Arusha to Karatu  (Optional) (B / L / D)
This morning there will be a visit to the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Cultural Museum.  A few minutes' walk from the campsite is a gallery selling the bright and iconic Tinga Tinga paintings. Alternatively the town of Arusha is nearby to explore.  After enjoying lunch at the campsite against the backdrop of Mount Meru the Tanzanian guides will arrive and passengers will  transfer into locally operated 4WD vehicles.  These vehicles have been adapted for safari use and allow excellent viewing and photographic opportunities through the opening roof hatches.

Leaving the camp the group will travel via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. The night will be spent at a very pleasant campsite in Karatu (campsite has no ablution facilities).

Day 8:  Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park  (B / L / D)
This morning sees an early departure for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. This World Heritage Site is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world.  Comprising of open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes, the Ngorongoro Crater is  truly a miniature 'Garden of Eden' and boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino.

After a game drive in the Crater and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ the tour will continue on the way to the Serengeti National Park. Vast plains wil be crossed during the game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight camp will be in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness and with no fences (or ablution facilities) surrounding the campsite it is truly in the midst of nature.

Included Activity:  Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK AND NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
The Serengeti National Park's claim to fame is not only the annual migration of white bearded wildebeest and zebra, but also it is regarded as the best wildlife reserve in Africa due to its density of predators and prey.  Ngorongoro Conservation Area consists of a large volcanic caldera, namely the Ngorongoro Crater.  This massive crater is home to over 250,000 large animals making it an attraction not to be missed.

Day 9:  Serengeti National Park to Arusha (B / L / D)
In the morning, the group will head off for another game drive to explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’ may be seen!  Following the morning drive, the group will retrace the journey back across the plains and along the lush Crater rim to the truck at Arusha, where the evening will be spent musing over the thrilling wildlife experience.

KENYA
Upon entering this beautiful east African country visitors may be greeted with the words "jambo" (hello) or "hakuna matata" (no problem) by the friendly locals.  With a population of nearly 42 million and land area of more than 580,000 sq km, Kenya is home to an abundance of wildlife and colourful tribespeople, making it the perfect getaway for a once in a lifetime safari.

DAY 10: Arusha to Nairobi (Kenya) (B )
The tour will set off early this morning and to make its way to the Tanzania/ Kenyan border and the small border town of Namanga.  After completing the border formalities the journey will continjue to the Capital City Nairobi and the campsite on the outskirts of the city. 

DAY 11: Nairobi to Masai Mara (L / D)
This morning the tour will leave the hustle and bustle of Nairobi to climb the escarpment to the first stop, a viewpoint overlooking the spectacular Great Rift Valley. Descending into the Rift Valley, Masai land is entered where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. The tour will pass through the town of Narok and then continue the drive possibly getting a glimpse of some wildlife along the way before arriving at the campsite, Acacia Camp in the late afternoon. Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai National Reserve.

Included Excursion:  Masai Mara Nature Reserve

DAY 12: Masai Mara (B / L / D)
An early departure after sunrise to start on the game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve.  The Masai Mara is well known as one of East Africa's best National Reserves and is home to a wide variety of wildlife species.  Most famous for the Annual Migration that consists of the impressive herds of more than one million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson's gazelle that cross from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.  The Masai Mara is most popular between July and October when these vast herds feast on the fresh grazing there.  Following these herbivores are Africa's predators that are often seen at a kill during this period.   The game drive will be through a section of the park in search of the 'Big 5' - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard - along with the many other species of animals, reptiles and birds who make this wilderness home.

After the game drive there will be the option to visit one of the nearby Masai Manyatta's - a traditional hamlet where the Masai still live in their traditional way.  The evening will be spent sitting around the camp fire watching the sun set over this "Garden of Eden".

DAY 13: Masai Mara to Eldoret  (B / L / D)
Leaving the Masai Mara early in the morning, the tour will pass through the scenic tea plantations of Kericho before descending the Rift Valley Plateau, on the way to Eldoret.

UGANDA
The "Pearl of Africa",  as it is referred to by its people, is home to some of Africa's major attractions.  This country contains four of Africa's seven great lakes, including Lake Victoria which is the second largest body of fresh water in the world.  Lake Bunyoni is one of these spectacular lakes with its mythical landscapes and hidden bays.  The source of the Nile at Jinja allows the opportunity to tame the mighty waters with some of the world's best white water rafting, and to top it all, this breath-taking country has the largest population of primates anywhere in Africa. 

DAY 14: Eldoret to Kampala (Uganda) (B / L / D)
Today, the border into Uganda will be crossed and an overnight stop it the capital city, Kampala. Uganda is a small country of striking physical beauty. Its landscapes vary from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snow capped Ruwenzori Mountains in the west and the semidesert region in the north. The political instability that has haunted Uganda in the past has actually had the positive effect of leaving the country free of the over commercialism so common in other parts of Africa. The current administration under President Museveni has devoted considerable effort and funds to return Uganda to its former status as one of Africa's most prosperous and, from a tourist’s point of view, one of the most appealing and interesting countries to visit.

DAYS 15 - 18: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni (B / L / D)
After an early morning departure from Kampala the group will drive west into the depths of Uganda to the base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni. Lake Bunyoni, the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds, is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place. Dependant on where trekking permits are available, the trek will be in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice – currently they are priced at US$600.  There is a local transport and handling fee of US$120 per person (this covers the return transfer and the Wildlife Authority’s booking fee). For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda (the Trip Leader will advise at the pre-departure meeting as to where the permits have been secured and will assist with the online visa application for Rwanda en-route if needed), it will also be necessaary to purchase an additional visa to enter either country, as well as renewing the Ugandan visa upon re-entry. Please budget accordingly and also allow a little extra for tips for the local guides and rangers.  Please not that payment for the permit must be made in US$ cash at the pre-departure meeting.

* Gorilla Trekking is optional.

Trekking Procedures: The mountain gorilla (Gorilla Berengei), of which there are still only about 700 remaining, is one of our closest living relatives. A visit to these gentle giants in their natural environment is a unique and wonderful experience - one never to be forgotten. The park rangers monitor the gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed. As the gorillas share much of man's DNA, anyone with even the slightest cold or transferable illness will not be permitted to trek. Trekking is also only open to people over 16 years old.

Due to the restrictions on the daily numbers of visitors to these incredible animals, departure from the base in Bunyoni will be in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size. The group will wind its way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa en-route to the National Park.  Dependent on where permits are available the night may be spent in either Kisoro or in Rwanda.. The following morning, after packing a picnic lunch, the group will be transferred to a ranger’s station where the trek commences. The rangers will lead the group through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a gorilla family. Trekking can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 8 hours and it can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. To ensure the gorillas do not get too used to the presence of humans and because they share many of man's genes (and therefore able to catch man's diseases), the maximum time permitted to spend with them is 1 hour. This is plenty of time to watch their activity and to take photographs. The rangers will be able to provide the group with a background to the family being visited. Once the hour is up, the group will trek back out of the rain forest to the meeting point where they will be transferred back to the Lake Bunyoni campsite.

Group members needn’t feel that they are exploiting these animals. The ever-growing number of tourists trekking them each day plays a vital role in their survival. For years they have been ruthlessly hunted for their hands and heads, which have been sold as ashtrays and lampshades! In addition, large numbers have been killed whilst trying to stop poachers stealing the babies for sale to zoos, where they have never lived long. 100% of the gorilla permit cost is used to by the parks authorities to finance patrols that are instrumental in protecting the gorillas from poachers and their lethal snares and on promoting these wonderful animals.

Depending on where the trek takes place it may be possible to pass through some of the local villages that have settled in this region due to the high number of refugees fleeing from the Rwandan Genocide, or from the continued unrest in the DRC.  The villagers in this area are mostly subsistence farmers and families that farm against the slopes of the volcanoes.  It is impressive to see how they have ploughed, planted and harvest their crops in such an unlikely landscape.

DAY 19: Lake Bunyoni to Kampala (B / L / D)
After marvelling at the experience of the gorilla encounters and enjoying the peaceful Lake Bunyoni, the group will begin the drive back to Kampala, crossing the Equator for the second time stopping for the classic “one foot in each hemisphere” photo opportunity. An overnight in Kampala will be made with the opportunity to sample its night life!

DAY 20: Kampala to Jinja (B / L / D)
Today there is the option of visiting the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or transferring to Jinja for a selection of adventure activities including white water rafting at the source of the White Nile, quad biking or volunteering at a community project. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the banks of the river, or ticking off the wide variety of water birds in this area.

DAY 21: Jinja to Nakuru (Kenya) (B / L / D)
The tour will depart early to head back to Kenya. The overnight stop will be made in Nakuru at a lovely campsite on a local farm.  Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park. There is the option of visiting the EAMO Orphanage.

Optional Activity:  Spending time with the children at the orphanage.  Some passengers may like to take along pens, pencils, notepads etc for the children.  These are always appreciated.

DAY 22: Lake Nakuru National Park (B / L / D)
This morning the exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park will begin  - famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake’s edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it’s low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight! The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. The day will be spent searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way.  After the game drive the group will return to the campsite, arriving in the late afternoon.

Included Activity:  Game drives in Lake Nakuru National Park

DAY 23: Lake Nakuru National Park to Lake Naivasha (B / L / D)
Lake Naivasha is home to a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes. The day will be spent enjoying optional excursions such as "Elsamere" (former home of Joy and George Adamson of Born Free fame), a boat ride to the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary or a bike ride around Hell’s Gate National Park.

Included Activity:  Lake Naivasha

DAY 24: Lake Naivasha to Nairobi (B)
After breakfast, the group will head back to Nairobi, arriving at Acacia Camp in the early afternoon when addresses will be exchanged and everyone will part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!

The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy many of the options available in this bustling city; perhaps visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to enjoy viewing the orphaned baby elephants at feeding time; or head to the Giraffe Centre in Langata.  For anyone wanting more game viewing, then Nairobi National Park offers some great day trips and there is time to hunt for more souvenirs at the local curio markets close to the campsite.  The evening offers a chance to try the fare on offer at the famous Carnivores Restaurant.

Please note that this itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road and weather conditions, political situations and group decisions.  All prices and local payments are subject to change with prior notice.  Due to Tourism Laws in some countries visited there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.

Optional Excursions

Kenya:
Nairobi National Park Half Day Tour (min 2) - US$ 175
Giraffe Centre - US$ 15
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant and Rhino Nursery - US$ 20
Masai Mara - Masai Village Cultural Visit  - USD 20 - 70
Masai Warrior Dancing - USD 20
Masai Mara Balloon Safari (when available) - USD 600
Naivasha Boat Hire (maximum 7 passengers) - USD 70 per hour
Naivasha Horse Riding - USD 30 per hour

Uganda:
Gorilla Trek (excluding transfer and booking fee of US$ 120) - From USD 600
White Water Rafting on the Nile - USD 160
Bungee Jump - USD 120
Adrift/Softpower Project - USD 30
Quad Biking - 2 hours - USD 100
Horse Riding 2 hours - USD 60 + transfer approximately USD 20

Tanzania:
Olduvai Gorge (if time allows) - USD 35
Stone Town Tour - Zanzibar - US$ 60
Prison Island Snorkelling Trip - USD 70
Dhow Fishing Trip - Zanzibar - US$ 50
Half Day Snorkel Trip - Nungwe - US$ 60
Scuba Diving - from US$ 100
Moped/Car Hire - USD 100

All prices are in US dollars.  Prices are subject to change, and where activities occur away from the base, there may be a transfer costs. 
For a comprehensive list of things to do before, during or after the trip, please contact us

Getting There

Flights should be arranged to arrive into Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Please make sure to arrive in plenty of time for the trip departure. Passengers should aim to arrive the day before the tour start date and depart the day after the tour end date to allow for any delays.   An airport transfer on arrival and one night's pre-tour accommodation are included in the trip price.   Anyone wishing to spend more time in Dar es Salaam should contact Amanzi Travel for ideas of things to do and available accommodation.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and we can arrange any flight requirements that you have upon request.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip to Africa.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip to Africa. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi, Gorillas Game Parks and Zanzibar 24 Day (Northbound)Dar Es Salaam to Nairobi, Gorillas Game Parks and Zanzibar 24 Day (Northbound)Meals on tour
Meals and menus vary as food is purchased en-route and is subject to what is available seasonally in the areas travelled through.  As the aim is to support the local communities along the way, fresh produce is mainly purchased directly from the local grower and sometimes has an organic appearance.  The safari cooks are able to offer a wide variety of menus with the ingredients available, even if the produce on offer is not the same as that at home.

Breakfast spread consists of bread (toast when time permits), spreads and cereals with a hot breakfast every few days.  Lunches are mainly prepared en-route with a supply of "build your own" sandwich ingredients available.  Dinners are cooked in the evenings on arrival at the campsite and a wide array of dinner menus is on offer during the safari including curries, stews, pastas, BBQs and even roasts!

Transport on tour
The overland vehicles are custom bullt converted trucks that have seating space for all passengers and a storage area for luggage and all trip equipment.  The trucks seat between 27 - 30 passengers on the camping trips.  Most seats are forward facing, although some models have a combination of forward, backward and some inward facing seats with tables.  Vehicles have sliding glass windows and the seating area is raised giving great game viewing and photographic opportunities.  Seats are cushioned and there is storage space for personal items such as cameras, snacks and day packs in the seating area.

Participation on tour
These are participation tours and all passengers are expected to help out around the camp.  The crew members will set up a rota system and passengers will help with cleaning duties, cooking duties and so on.  This makes it easier for everyone and is a good chance for the passengers to get to know each other.

 

Click here to view the full interactive mapKenya - Make Your Dreams Come True With Amanzi Travel

Why visit Kenya

For a country of its size, Kenya really does pack a lot in: mountains and deserts, colourful tribal culture, beaches and coral reefs and some of Africa’s best wildlife attractions. Stunning landscapes set the scene, from Kakamega’s rainforests to Indian Ocean beaches and idyllic islands such as Lamu, by way of Mount Kenya National Park, the rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara to searing deserts on the shores of the Jade Sea; with the Rift Valley, home to millions of breeding flamingos on Lake Nakuru and spectacular birdlife and hippo families on Lake Naivasha, cleaving a massive gash through it all.

Wildlife safaris have been hugely popular in Kenya for decades, with legendary personalities such Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen highlighting their appeal, and films such as Out of Africa and Born Free portraying the romance, thrill and excitement of the country. Kenya has over twelve national wildlife parks, being among the best places in Africa to see lions, elephants, leopards and the famous wildebeest migration. The Masai Mara is famous for its annual Great Migration of more than two million wildebeest and thousands of Thomson's gazelle, zebra and impala. Aside from the Migration, game-viewing is excellent throughout the year. Large herds of elephant are common sights in the dry, ancient lakebed of Amboseli National Park, as are buffalo, gazelle, giraffe and zebra. In addition to the wildlife in Tsavo National Park, the Mzima Springs are popular, where millions of litres of cool, crystal-clear water flow out of the ground through porous volcanic rocks. The Samburu Game Park is a narrow plain giving way to rocky hillsides which are home to leopard.  A highlight of these Parks is watching large numbers of elephant bathing in the Ewaso Nyiro River. The possibilities of trekking the glacial ridges of Mount Kenya, ballooning over the Masai Mara, snorkelling at the Marine National Park in Malindi on the Indian Ocean are all very real in Kenya.

Highlights of Kenya

  • Kenya immortalised the safari with legendary personalities such as Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen, and films such as Out of Africa and Born Free.
  • Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve is renowned for the annual Great Migration of millions of herbivores – one of the seven new wonders of the world.
  • Masai and Samburu tribes-people live and tend their livestock alongside the resident wildlife.
  • The country abounds in diverse landscapes, including the spectacular Great Rift Valley.
  • It is one of the best countries in Africa for seeing large concentrations of animals throughout the year.
  • Kenya is a birdwatcher's dream destination, with more than 1,000 species recorded.
  • Lake Nakuru is a breeding ground for flamingo - up to two million birds can be found, and greater and lesser flamingos also migrate along Lakes Magadi, Elmenteita, Bogoria and Turkana.
  • Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa and features a number of permanent glaciers. The best view of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro is from Kenya's Amboseli National Park.
  • The coastline is beautiful, particularly the Lamu Archipelago, featuring the islands of Lamu, Manda and Pate. Old Lamu Town is a World Heritage Site.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (September - April) 34 °C 20 °C
Winter (May - August) 25 °C 11 °C
Rainfall: April - June (long rains), October - Mid December (short rains)

Kenya is divided by the Equator and its diverse geography means that temperature, rainfall and humidity vary widely. However, there are effectively four distinct zones:

The hot, rainy plateau of western Kenya has rainfall throughout the year, the heaviest usually during April when as much as 200mm may be recorded, and the lowest in January, with an average of 40mm.  Temperatures range from a minimum of 14°C to a maximum of 36°C throughout the year.

The temperate Rift Valley and Central Highlands have perhaps the most agreeable climate in the country. Average temperatures vary from a minimum of 10°C to a maximum of 28°C.  Rainfall varies from a minimum of 20mm in July to 200mm in April, falling in essentially two seasons – March to the beginning of June (the ‘long rains’) and October to the end of November (the ‘short rains’). Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Range are the country’s main water catchments, with falls of up to 3000mm per year recorded in these places.

In the semi-arid bush-lands of northern and eastern Kenya temperatures vary from highs of up to 40°C during the day to less than 20°C at night.  Rainfall in this area is sparse and, when it does occur, is often in the form of violent storms. July is usually the driest month and November the wettest.

The consistently average temperatures of the humid coast region vary little during the year, ranging from 22°C to 30°C.  Rainfall is dependent on the monsoon, which blows from the north-east from October to April and from the south-west for the rest of the year.  Its rainfall averages from 20mm in February to around 300mm in May.

Depending on when the rains come, the Great Migration normally reaches Kenya around July. Hundreds of thousands of herbivores then disperse onto the plains of the Masai Mara for the next couple of months. 

Key Facts

Population – 39 million
Capital - Nairobi
Currency – Kenya shilling
Language – Kiswahili, English, tribal languages
Nairobi, from the Masaai "enkare nyarobi" means "Place of Cool Waters"
“jambo rafiki” – hello friend
Time difference – GMT +3 hours
Telephone – country code 254, international code 00

Click here to view the full interactive mapUganda - Explore National Park In The Pearl of Africa

Why visit Uganda

In 1907, pioneering tourist, Winston Churchill, called Uganda the Pearl of Africa. The country is small but the physical beauty is striking and the national parks are much quieter than other neighbouring countries. Its landscape varies from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria, to the snow-covered Ruwenzori Mountains in the west, the highest mountain range in Africa, to the white-water rafting mecca of Jinja, the source of the mighty Nile, and the semi-desert parts of the north. It has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the majestic mountain gorillas, one of the rarest animals on the planet. This is a unique opportunity to encounter these contemplative creatures at close quarters, hidden among the bamboo and dense jungle of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Highlights of Uganda

  • Stunning, varied scenery of mountains, lakes and desert.
  • The Mount of the Moon, Ruwenzori Mountains, the highest range in Africa.
  • Endangered Mountain gorilla encountered at close quarters.
  • Source of the River Nile at Jinja.
  • Lake Bunyoni is the deepest crater lake in Africa, perfect for swimming, hiking, canoeing or simply sitting back and enjoying the tranquil surrounds.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (December to May) 29 °C 16 °C
Winter (June to November) 26 °C 14 °C
Rainfall: March to May, October to November

The majority of the country has a tropical climate, where temperatures average 26°C during the day, and 16°C at night;  however this can vary according to altitude. The hottest months are December to February where temperatures can reach 29°C. The wettest months are April and May where rainfall is heavy. The dry season from mid-May to mid-October is easier for tracking mountain gorillas, but the endless hills are barren, a contrast to the verdant greens of the wet season. Peak season for gorilla tracking is July and August - travelling outside this time means it is easier to arrange a permit.

Key Facts

Population – 32.4 million
Capital – Kampala
Currency – Ugandan shilling (UGX)
Language – English, Swahili
Time difference – GMT +3 hours
Telephone – country code 256

Click here to view the full interactive mapTanzania - Take a Gap Year or Holiday to Help Communities Grow

Why visit Tanzania

Tanzania is unsurpassed for its magnificent scenery: from the snow-capped heights of Mount Kilimanjaro, the "Crown of Africa", to the exquisite floor of the Ngorongoro Crater; the jewel-like coastal islands of Zanzibar to the awe-inspiring Great Rift Valley, the natural splendours set the stage for the astoundingly diverse wildlife. Within the space of several hours it is possible to go from lazing on idyllic beaches and diving on exquisite coral reefs to exploring the narrow alleys of Arabian influenced Stone Town, from climbing mist-covered slopes in the Southern Highlands to trekking through barren landscapes around Ol Doinyo Lengai, guided by spear-carrying Masai warriors. Turtle season is between December and May, and these prehistoric creatures can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches.

Yet, despite its attractions, Tanzania has predominantly managed to remain unassuming and low-key. It has also remained enviably untouched by the tribal rivalries and political upheavals, and this makes it an ideal choice for both first-time visitors and Africa old hands.

Tanzania's natural endowment as a wildlife safari destination is unrivalled. Wild animals roam in vast uncrowded and unspoilt areas. The magnificent collection of game sanctuaries to the north of the country, near the border with Kenya, is referred to as the Northern Circuit. This is the most popular and accessible wildlife safari route in Tanzania, and is considered as one of the finest game viewing areas anywhere in the world. Arusha, a city of northern Tanzania is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks. Beautifully situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, it has a pleasant climate and is close to Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as having its own Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.

Highlights of Tanzania

  • Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain.
  • Bordered by Africa's three largest lakes - Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria.
  • Zanzibar Island, exploring bustling Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, and idyllic beaches, snorkelling, and picturesque fishing villages on Mnemba Island.
  • Ngorongoro Crater - the largest intact caldera in the world, where wildlife are specifically protected.
  • Olduvai Gorge - said to be the birthplace of man.
  • The 20-million-year-old Great Rift Valley.
  • The vast game-filled plains of the Serengeti and hot air balloon safaris.
  • The annual Great Migration of millions of herbivores is a once-in-a-lifetime experience can be viewed between Tanzania and Kenya.
  • More than twenty-five percent of Tanzania is dedicated to conservation areas.
  • Possible to view the elusive "Big 10" in Tanzania - elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hippo, zebra and giraffe - plus the famous chimpanzees on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
  • Tanzania boasts over 1,000 bird species, with Lake Manyara National Park alone being home to over 400.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer (November -May) 31 °C 20 °C
Winter (June – October) 22 °C 15 °C
Rainfall: March - May (Long Rains “Masika”), November - December (Short Rains  “Vuli”)

Tanzania has a generally comfortable, tropical climate year-round, where temperatures rarely fall lower than 20°C.  The coolest months countrywide are from June to October (15–20 °C), when it is also dry, and the warmest from December to March (25–31°C), although there are significant regional variations:-

  • Along the warmer and humid coast, the average daily temperatures hover in the 30°C range, and only go as low as 25°C due to sea breezes from June to September. The climate here is determined in large part by the monsoon winds, which bring rains in two major periods. During the “masika” (long rains), from mid-March to May, it rains heavily almost every day, although seldom for the whole day, and the air can get unpleasantly sticky. The lighter “vuli” (short rains) fall during November, December and sometimes into January. July and August have the lowest rainfall.
  • Inland, altitude is a major determinant of conditions. The central plateau is somewhat cooler and arid, while in the mountainous areas of the northeast and southwest, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C during cold and hot seasons respectively, and it can rain at any time of year. In the Kilimanjaro area, temperatures vary from 15°C in May-August period to 22°C over December - March. As one heads to the peaks of Kilimanjaro, temperatures can drop to below freezing, especially at night. The best climbing on Mount Kilimanjaro, which is surprisingly easy, is from August to October and from January to March.

Key Facts

Population – 43.7 million
Capital – Dodoma is the political capital, and Dar Es Salaam is the principal commercial city
Currency – Tanzanian shilling
Language  –  Swahili is the most widely spoken language, although English is the official language
“karibu tena” – welcome again

Peoples and Culture:  there are over 120 tribes in Tanzania.  However, the majority of people on Zanzibar follow the Muslim faith. Dress code to them is of particular importance and it is suggested that women try to dress fairly conservatively in order not to offend the local people. An Arabic influence is also evident in the people, who are a mix of Shirazia (from Persia), Arabs, Comorians (from the Comoros Islands) and Bantu from the mainland. The official language of Zanzibar is Kiswahili. Most residents have a good knowledge of English, Italian and various Arabic dialects.

Zanzibar's most world famous musician is Freddie Mercury! He was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5th 1946 in Zanzibar, to parents Bomi and Jer Bulsara, who were Parsees - members of the Zoroastrian faith.

Time difference – GMT +3 hours
Telephone – country code 255

Gorillas Game Parks and Zanzibar 24 Day (Northbound)

I had a wonderful time on the overland tour. I have met some incredible people and seen such wonderful things. Everything was perfect

Lavinia, UK, aged 36

Gorillas Game Parks and Zanzibar 24 Day (Northbound)

Amanzi travel were truly amazing when myself and two friends wanted to book a trip to Africa. We were recommended to Amanzi travel by a friend who had previously done a volunteer project through them. We went on the Southbound 21 day overland tour... and what a trip it was, we loved every single minute. Amanzi travel were very accommodating and very helpful with everything from sorting flights, payments etc, even replying to emails on the same day, if not the next, and only a phone call away. A fabulous service with extremely helpful staff, that I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to book a once in a life time experience. I will certainly be using Amanzi travel for my future trips to Africa!

Kerrie, UK, aged 30

Gorillas Game Parks and Zanzibar 24 Day (Northbound)

Excellent - Long drives but made worth it by absolutely amazing experiences!!

Bethany, UK, aged 21

Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34

The overland trip was excellent - really well run. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ...   

Amanzi Travel are excellent - professional, informative but with a real personal service ...     The cheetah volunteer project was an absolutely fantastic experience, and the Overland trip was brilliant.

Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, 32 and 34 (Cheetah Volunteer Project and Overland Trip)

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