Gorillas in the Mist and the Greatest Show on Earth
Travel Service Safaris Gorillas in the Mist and The Greatest Show on Earth Rwanda and Kenya September 2-15, 2020
September 2, 2020: Arrive Kigali Arriving in Kigali you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Set off for the Volcanoes Virunga Lodge. Enjoy your pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with stunning views of the Volcanoes or warm yourself inside by the roaring fire. Approximate Travel Time: Driving 3 hours Please book flights arriving no later than 10:00am.
Overnight Virunga Lodge (L,D)
September 3, 2020: Trek Gorillas It is an early start for gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the enchanting bamboo forest on the slopes of the Virunga range of volcanoes. After a gentle climb of between one and three hours, you will spend one hour in the company of these gentle apes before returning to base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy.
Overnight Virunga Lodge (B,L,D)
September 4, 2020: Optional Activities Today choose from one of the optional activities:
Go for a second gorilla trek (additional permits required)
Trek to the grave of pioneer primatologist Dian Fossey and visit the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favorite gorilla, Digit, and many other gorillas.
Visit Lake Kivu, location of the finest inland beaches in Africa.
Take a guided walk to Lake Bulera, to experience village life.
Tour the former Imbabazi Orphanage and beautiful English cottage gardens.
Overnight Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)
September 5, 2020: Kigali tour and fly to Nairobi Drive to Kigali, enjoy a city tour and a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial before your international flight. A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial is a moving testimony to this country’s past that it has courageously overcome (guests to pay/donate entrance fees directly). Transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Nairobi. (B, L) Approximate Travel Time: Driving 3 hours
September 5, 2020: Nairobi Arrival: Transfer to Hemingways Hotel. Overnight at Hemingways
6th September 2020: Tour of Giraffe Centre, Karen Blixen Museum, & Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage: Our tour starts at the Giraffe Centre, an elevated treetop aerie where we may hand feed giraffes, quite literally face–to–face. The Centre has a feeding platform where they exchange kisses with visitors for pelleted food. Then we will proceed on to the Karen Blixen Museum. Karen Blixen Museum is located on the outskirts of Nairobi on Karen road. Its history dates back to 1914, during the First World War, with the arrival of Karen Blixen from Denmark. At the foot of Ngong Hills, Karen Blixen established herself as a farmer. After her departure in 1931, the suburbs retained the commemorative home of Karen. The Danish government donated the house, and the surrounding land to Kenya after independence. The house was restored by the Danish government, and was used during the filming of "Out of Africa" which immortalized Karen Blixen's book by the same name. The museum was opened to the public in 1986. From there we will go to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage for our private visit with the baby elephants. Daphne Sheldrick is a world–class conservation figure and the premier authority on the successful raising of milk–dependent infant elephant and rhino orphans. During this time the baby elephants are brought out to play and to feed, and visitors can watch and interact with them. Wardens are on hand to explain the work of the orphanage and to answer any questions.
Overnight at Hemingways (BL)
7th September 2020: Fly to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. This morning we will be transferred to Wilson Airport for our flight to the Masai Mara where we will be met by our host for the next five nights, Jackson Looseyia, and his staff, who will see to our needs throughout our stay at Tangulia Camp. Here we will concentrate our efforts on the wildebeest migration. We will try to see crossings of these beasts as they attempt to cross the Mara River as massive crocodiles await their arrival.
Overnight at Tangulia Mara Camp (BLD)
8th, 9th, 10th, 11tt of September 2020: Masai Mara. After the rains when the first flush of grass turns the Masai Mara’s golden savannah green, the most mesmerizing wildlife spectacle anywhere takes place here: The Great Wildebeest Migration. Between the months of July and October one and a half million wildebeest, accompanied by vast numbers of zebra and gazelles make the long and dangerous trek from drier lands in Tanzania, northwards to this corner of Kenya. Lines of animals stretch as far as the eye can see across the plains. They come to give birth to their young and the grasslands echo with the sounds of the new-born. It is a time of plenty. But it is a time too when the predators are drawn from all around. High above on the hot winds the carrion birds, the vultures and eagles, soar. In the long grasses lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena prowl. Most dramatic of all is the moment when the migration arrives at the Mara River. They must cross it to reach the rich grazing. As the animals throng, crocodiles cruise the waters. Then the bravest takes the plunge into the swirling currents and thousands follow.
Overnight at Tangulia Mara Camp (BLD)
12th September 2020: Masai Mara. Transfer to Mara and Acacia House in Mara North Private Conservancy just beyond the border of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Here we will concentrate on the big cats and smaller animals of the Mara ecosystem. The Masai Mara National Reserve was named for the Maasai people who inhabit the area, and for the Mara River, which flows through this great reserve. It shares a border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and is essentially a continuation of this park, forming the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. The Masai Mara is home to an excellent year-round concentration of game and is renowned for its annual visit by the two million animals that make up the Great Migration. Covering an impressive 1 115 km² (430 square miles), the Masai Mara is a land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains. The Masai Mara was made famous by the book Out of Africa by Karen Blixen, which was later made into a movie starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Immortalised through famous tales of olden day safaris, the Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world. Known as the ‘spotted land’ to the Maasai, the reserve is home to a vast number of resident wildlife, as well as part of the annual phenomenon of the Great Migration. The migratory wildebeest, zebra, kongoni and topi join abundant elephant, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, lion and cheetah in the Mara. Leopard and serval are frequently encountered, while endangered black rhino can be found in the dense bush thickets. The Mara River is also famed for its enormous crocodiles, which lay in wait for the wildebeest and zebra during the excitement and drama of the migration. Six species of primates and over 450 birds add to the Mara’s incredible natural diversity.
Overnight at Mara/Acacia House Camp (BLD)
13th, and 14th September 2020: Masai Mara. Overnight at Mara/Acacia House Camp (BLD)
15th September 2019: Fly to Nairobi. Transfer to hotel for dayroom use. Day rooms Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport (B)
Cost per Person Sharing:
Gorilla pre-trip $6200 US Dollars. Single supplement is $650 Kenya Safari $8650 US Dollars. Single suplement is $1500
Terms and conditions: All payments are non-refundable. Medical evacuation insurance is mandatory.
This includes: 1. Accommodation at Hemingways, Acacia/Mara House and Tangulia Mara Camp as stated above, as well as Virunga Lodge on Gorilla extension. 2. Dayroom use on the 15th of September at Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport 3. Park and conservancy Entrance fees, as well as One gorilla permit for September 3. Additional permits available for additional cost. 4. Meals: All Meals beginning with breakfast on the 6th included except dinner on the 6th. All meals beginning with Lunch on the 2nd except dinner on the 5th for the gorilla extension. 5. All airport and airstrip transfer in Nairobi and Masai Mara Game Reserve, as well as Rwanda on the extension 6. Transfer from Tangulia Mara Camp to Mara/Acacia House on the 12th of September 7. Bottled water in Nairobi and also on Safari 8. Flying Doctor Services 9. Internal domestic flight (Nairobi – Masai Mara – Nairobi on the dates indicated) 10. Nairobi Tour (Private visit to Daphne Sheldrick/ Karen Blixen Museum/ Giraffe centre)
Roundtrip international airfare From the USA to Africa
Visa for Kenya
Tips to guides and drivers
Cancellation and medical evacuation insurance
Sodas and Alcohol except where explicitly stated
Dinner on the 5th of September in Nairobi
Airfare from Kigali to Nairobi on the gorilla extension
Visa for Rwand on gorilla extension
Deposit of $1000 per person due to hold your space for safari. Group maximum of 12 guests. Remainder of money will be due May 1, 2020
Additional deposit of $2500 per person for gorilla extension.
About Virunga Lodge:
The magnificent Virunga Lodge is the premier luxury gorilla lodge of Rwanda and one of Africa’s finest and most renowned lodges. The lodge is perched high on a ridge with stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east.
It offers the finest views in Africa, uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional and personalised service by our carefully trained staff. It is the first accommodation choice for the luxury traveller tracking the endangered mountain gorilla. Each of our ten luxurious bandas has a private terrace from which our guests can watch the sunrise over the dramatic landscape of mountains and lakes. Luxuriously appointed, with the accent on vibrant Rwandese fabrics and stylish locally inspired furniture.
Each Banda has an individual fire place, a luxury shower room with a double vanity, and charging station. The two deluxe bandas – called Ibirunga and Ibiyaga have their own private sitting room and more refined interiors. Lodge overview
10 stone guest bandas with tile roofs (2 deluxe, 6 doubles and 2 twins) reflect the local building style.
Guide cottage available
Bandas are individually named after lakes in the area.
About Tangulia Mara Camp:
Tangulia Mara camp is a rustic and cozy tented bush camp perched on a leafy hill overlooking the Olotulo-Murt salt lick, by the Mara River. It is located on private land and has an emphasis on authentic safari and African experiences. Tangulia is a Swahili word meaning “to lead.” Our camp’s mission is to be the leaders in African Safari by allowing our guests a comfortable private stay with an array of unique safari experiences that will remain in your heart for a lifetime.
We have a total of 8 luxurious tents which includes one family tent. We accommodate up to eighteen guests at full capacity. The camp is set to remain quaint to give our guests the ultimate intimate experience.We have handmade king size beds in our tents and an additional single bed in some of our tents. The salt lick is a favorite spot for a lot of the wildlife in the area and this is the reason why we take advantage of this view. The Mara river view is seen from the front porch of most of our tents. The leafy bushes surround the rest of our tents and leave each one feeling cool, private and intimate. Winding paths lead to each tent,and with our camp being unfenced, wildlife is welcome to roam freely around camp. Our camp askaris escort guests back to their rooms at night.
Running taps and hot showers are available throughout. Our baths and toilet areas are ensuite. Note that the water on the taps is ideal for washing up not for drinking. We provide clean drinking water in beaded glass bottles in each bedside table and bathroom vanity.
Our homey tents are cleaned every day with our dedicated team of staff and replenished with our eco-friendly handmade supplies. We source our incredible products locally and give our guests the best of hypoallergenic and gorgeously scented soaps and shampoos throughout their stay.
Solar lighting and a Wi-Fi hotspot complete the amenities. Our chef takes great pride in his culinary expertise, learned over many years of catering to an international clientele. We chose the name Tangulia – meaning “to lead” as our Vision Statement.
About Mara and Acacia House:
Our private bush homes, Acacia House and Mara House sit in the Ol Chorro Losoit valley within the Lemek hills, far from the tourist trail and within the 70,000 acre Mara North Conservancy area from where the Nomadic Encounters team have operated their wilderness expeditions for more than twenty years.
The living spaces dominate both houses beginning with a large, open-air verandah looking out over the famous Ol Chorro waterhole. This leads into an open-plan dining and seating area complete with log fire for those cooler nights in the bush. Beyond are two spacious double ensuite bedrooms and a third attic room, created specifically for younger guests in Acacia House and three spacious double ensuite bedrooms in Mara House. In between the houses, raised above the waterhole, there is a pool and a barbecue area which provide a place to relax, dine and socialise between safari expeditions, particularly around sunset.
These private bush home come with a full complement of well-trained and experienced staff at guests disposal including a chef, wildlife guide and house manager to ensure a seamlessly-run safari experience which delivers the very best the Mara has to offer. It is an opportunity to explore this wilderness in the company of your personal Masai guide on your own terms. A fully qualified safari guide and vehicle will be on hand to assist with a wide range of activities which include walking, day or night game drives and visits to local villages and trading centres. Game viewing is done both in the game reserve and in the conservancy and so offering a wide range of safari experiences. Guests interested in community conservation are very welcome to participate in our projects, including the computer training for local villagers at the nearby Trust classroom.
About Jackson Looseyia:
Jackson was born in 1967 in the heart of the Masai Mara. He grew up surrounded by wildlife and from an early age found it a source of inspiration. Tracking wild animals is in his blood – he comes from a long line of master hunters and trackers.
Jackson's father was a particularly famous hunter who clashed with the park authorities and ended up being imprisoned for eight years. On his release he became the archetypal poacher turned game-keeper and was appointed head ranger in the Southern Mara.
It was at this time that Jackson was trained in the ways of the wild – his father took him into the heart of the bush for six months solid training. During this time he was shown how to track dangerous animals such as lion and buffalo. The trip had dramatic consequences as during the adventure, Jackson's father was attacked by a buffalo and had his right hand broken. Responsibility for the family was handed to Jackson.
As a young man, Jackson quickly rose to become one of the first Masai guides in the Mara and is now a partner in Tangulia Mara Camp.
Jackson has an intimate knowledge of all the wildlife in the Mara from the smallest insect to the largest predators, but the big cats are his particular favorites. especially the elusive leopard which Jackson describes as "an animal work of art". He has been ranked as one of the top 15 Legendary Guides in Africa by Conde Nast Traveler.
Jackson is probably most well known as a presenter on BBC's Big Cat Live and Big Cat Tales.
(800) 962-7187 (912) 638-6888 1806 Frederica Road St. Simons Island, GA 31522