Migration Safari and Gorilla Trek Experience

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Tanzania Wildlife Safari

This combination includes 3 nights in the Greater Maasai Mara, giving you the best opportunity for wonderful game viewing and a chance to see the migration with 3 nights in Bwindi to experience this once-in-a-lifetime gorilla encounter. It is an affordable option with extended stay so the journey is not rushed and you have time to relax, as well as appreciate the nature around you, and meet wonderful people.

Arrive at the airport, exit the terminal and meet with the driver. Road transfer to Wilson airport on time for the flight to the Masai Mara. Depending on your arrival flight you might require a pre night in Nairobi.

While on your Kenya tours arrive in the Mara and meet with the safari guide. You will have a private vehicle during your stay, to customize your experience to the fullest. Speke’s Camp is situated on the boundary of the Maasai Mara Reserve, surrounded by fabulous indigenous trees overhanging the Olare Orok River. Your meals are included and you can chat to your guide to set your days. During the season (August-Sept), it is possible to view the Great Migration, depending on the herds’ movement.

Known is the movement of a million plus wildebeest from Serengeti in Tanzania northwards into the adjoining Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. It is one of the world’s most spectacular and thrilling displays of wildlife behaviour.

Masai Mara is the most noted location of the wildebeest migration due to its famed Mara River crossings, and this has led to some misunderstandings about the migration itself. The migration is an on-going movement of animals that takes place throughout the year.

The migration is not a singular, isolated event. Instead, the phrase describes the constant movement of over 1.5 million wildebeests and hundreds of thousands of zebras, as well as elands and gazelles. As with other wildlife, the purpose of the movement is the search for pasture and water. When supplies of these vital resources are depleted in one area, the animals move to another area where water, grasses and other food sources are plentiful.

Witness the arrival crossing of the Mara River that occurs around late July to August with parts of September and again on their return south, around the last two weeks of October through early November. These are the best times to track and see the annual wildebeest migration safari in Masai Mara.

The Mara River crossing will take you through a range of emotions – awe, anticipation, heartache, inspiration, excitement and much more. The crossing is the subject of many documentary films from the BBC to the National Geographic, but even superb film making cannot give you the experience of being on-site.

Throngs of wildebeests gather on ledges above the river, and you can sense their urgency and hesitation. The energy in the air is palpable. As you watch in silence, the wildebeests seem to be gathering their courage, and on some days, they leave the river’s edge and disperse across the savannah to graze. But then the day arrives. The wildebeests once again stand above the river, eyes wide, breath laboured – each animal vying for a position that gives the safest and surest path to the water and the opposite bank.

Hours can pass while conversing with the guide as the wildebeests nervously watch the water for crocodiles. Finally, with no apparent trigger, a few animals rush toward the water, with thousands following close behind along with zebras, elands and gazelles. Your excitement quickly turns to fear. You know that time is of the essence – crocodiles are moving toward the slower and smaller wildebeests.

Breakfast and transfer to the airstrip on time for your flight to Entebbe. On arrival, transfer to the N.5 Boutique Hotel and balance of the day at leisure.

Transfer to Entebbe airport and fly to Bwindi. On arrival, road transfer to the lodge, arrive on time for lunch and relax for the rest of the day.

Your 3 nights stay at Buhoma includes all your meals and selected beverages. You have 1 gorilla trekking included for the next day and the balance of the stay is at leisure to book optional day excursions depending on your preferences.

The lodge commands spectacular and uninterrupted views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is well known for its warm welcome and attentive service. You will be hosted by the local manager at the lodge who will assist with any special requirements.

The park has four Gorilla sectors including Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Buhoma, a maximum of eight people is allowed to trek each Gorilla family and permits is charged at a cost of 700 USD per each person.

The peak season falls in the dry months of December to February and June to August. The wet season is in March to May and October to November. Tracking gorillas during the rainy season is more challenging because of the overgrown vegetation and muddy trails. However, visitors shouldn’t be discouraged from booking tour during the rainy season.

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest starts with a briefing at the park headquarters at around 7:30am. Visitors should sleep early before the day of tracking and wake up by 5am to take breakfast before starting the journey to the park office. After the briefing at the park office, trekkers are separated into smaller groups of 8. Each group of eight track a particular gorilla family. Some gorilla families live near the park offices while others are found further away.

The time taken tracking gorillas in Bwindi depends on the gorilla group one is assigned to. It can take only 30 minutes to locate some groups while others can take hours. A team of trackers normally go ahead of the group to identify the location of the gorilla family. They then inform the lead Guide by radio call of the exact location of the gorilla family.

Once you spot the family, you will be allowed only one hour with them – so that they don’t start getting uncomfortable. Watching gorillas can be an extremely emotional event as gorillas behave like humans and share about 98 percent of our DNA. Take your time to observe their behaviour and different personalities while taking some great photos for your memories.

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