Join GrassTrack Safaris and my travel partner, Kiki Keating for this unique journey across East Africa. Kiki is the owner of KikiNetwork Travel and has led trips all over the world (including a GrassTrack Safaris trip to Botswana). On this 15-day, privately guided safari you'll experience vast landscapes, ancient cultures, and witness some of the best wildlife on the planet.
JULY 6-20, 2024
4 guests minimum, 12 maximum
Tanzania: Culture & Wildlife
Starting in Arusha, Tanzania you'll explore this bustling city’s markets and cultural centers. From Arusha you’ll head to the remote Lake Eyasi, home of the Datoga people and the Hadza Bushmen. The Hadza are East Africa’s last remaining true hunter-gatherers. As one of Africa’s oldest tribes, they have lived sustainably on their land near the Rift Valley, birthplace of humanity, for over 50,000 years. Their language is similar to the Southern Africa’s Bushmen who speak the click language. You’ll join the Hadza for a morning hunt or bush walk and then make a visit to a Datoaga homestead.
From Lake Eyasi, you’ll drive north to Karatu, visit a Maasai village, and then witness the stunning Ngorongoro Crater. At 2000 feet deep and 12 miles across, this is the largest intact caldera in the world. An estimated 25,000 large mammals are resident in the crater, including a population of highly endangered black rhino, elephants, lions, hyenas, and flocks of flamingos.
Your last stop in Tanzania is the famous Serengeti National Park. For the next four days you'll explore the wilderness of the northern Serengeti searching for the park's abundant and diverse wildlife. With luck you'll witness a river crossing of thousands of wildebeest and zebras, one of the great wildlife spectacles on earth. In July and August, the huge herds concentrate on the banks of the Mara River, preparing to make the dangerous crossing into Kenya on their perpetual search for fresh grazing. The river crossings can be unpredictable but by spending four days in this region you'll maximize your chances of witnessing this incredible event. You can also enjoy bush walks and nighttime game drives.
Uganda: Gorillas & Golden Monkeys
From the Serengeti you'll then fly to Entebbe, Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria. Here you can visit the Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary or enjoy a sunset cruise on Lake Victoria. The next day you’ll fly to western Uganda for three nights on the shores of Lake Mutanda. The afternoon is at leisure to canoe or kayak on Lake Mutanda, take a farm tour in the nearby village, mountain bike the lake's shoreline, take an afternoon hike, or simply relax for your gorilla trek.
You’ll head deep into the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as you search for the highly endangered mountain gorilla. Mountain gorilla tracking is perhaps the most exciting wildlife encounter on earth. You will enjoy an intimate experience with a wild family group of gorillas led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or along the forest. Each trek is unique as you will soon be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the colorful bird calls, chattering golden monkeys, and littered with fresh spoor of the elusive buffalo and elephant. You’ll slowly weave your way through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia trees and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate. Through gaps in the canopy, you may glimpse magnificent volcanic peaks that among the highest in Africa.
The trekking can take from 1 to 4 hours depending on the specific gorilla family you’re tracking (there are 10 gorilla families in the park). Although the hike is physically demanding with rough, steep, and muddy terrain, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for one magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young.
Finally, you’ll have the chance to search for another rare primate in Mgahinga National Park. Golden monkeys are striking primates with their bright orange fur contrasting the green rainforests of the mountains and they are endemic to the high-altitude forests of the national park. The monkeys are playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches or frolicking on the forest floor. The Golden Monkey can be found in very few places outside of Mgahinga, and their vibrant colors, energetic demeanor, and large troops of up to 30 individuals are indeed a sight to behold.
On your last day you’ll return to Entebbe. Depending on your departing flight, you may have time to explore the city or take a trip to the nearby swamps to search for the unique shoebill stork.
We have plenty of safari packages to explore or we can help you create a tailor-made safari that is perfect for you. We have the expertise and experience to design an adventure deep into the African wilderness.