This two-week itinerary includes some of the best wildlife encounters and safari experiences that East Africa offers. In Kenya, spend time at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, with animals including the only remaining northern white rhinos in the world. Enjoy cultural immersion near the Maasai Mara reserve by staying in an authentic Maasai camp. And fly across the border to Uganda to spend an incredible day tracking gentle mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Highlights

  • Go wildlife-spotting by boat, on foot, and in a vehicle in Kenya
  • Trek to see Uganda's mountain gorillas in their natural habitat
  • Immerse in the culture of the Maasai people during a camp stay
  • Help track lions in Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Nairobi! Nairobi
Day 2 Nairobi Touring Nairobi
Day 3 Overland to Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Safari Excursions Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Day 4 Ol Pejeta Safari Tours Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Day 5 Lake Naivasha Naivasha
Day 6 Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp Maji Moto
Day 7 Maji Moto Maasai "Olpul" Bush Camping Maji Moto
Days 8-9 Maasai Mara National Reserve Masai Mara
Day 10 Fly to Uganda for Gorilla Tracking Adventure Entebbe
Day 11 Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 12 Mountain Gorilla Trek Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 13 Begin Return to Entebbe via Lake Bunyonyi Kabale
Day 14 Entebbe Airport to Nairobi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Nairobi!

Nairobi
Nairobi

Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), where you will be met by private car and transferred to your hotel. Flights often arrive late in the evening, so rest well to begin your adventures the following day.

Day 2: Nairobi Touring

Elephant orphans in Nairobi

Enjoy a day of touring, beginning with visits to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Center. At the former you can see elephants that have been orphaned from poaching, human conflict, and environmental issues. If you "adopt" an elephant you can return in the evening for a bit of private time as the elephants are tucked into bed (one visitor per adopted elephant is allowed). At the Giraffe Center, enjoy a hands-on giraffe encounter and educational experience of giraffe conservation.  

Day 3: Overland to Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Safari Excursions

Black rhino in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Today you'll be picked up in Nairobi by your private four-wheel-drive safari vehicle. You'll be driven to the Laikipia area to the north, crossing the equator along the way.

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is set in nearly 100,000 acres in the Laikipia region of central Kenya, on the equator next to Mount Kenya. It has the highest resident game-to-area ratio of any park or reserve in Kenya. Wild dog populations have been growing in this area, and while still an elusive sight, there are chances of seeing them here. Also, there are only three northern white rhinos left in the world, and they are all in Ol Pejeta. 

After your arrival, enjoy a game drive to see lions, elephants, leopards, zebras, giraffes, and hippos, and visit the Rhino Conservation and Education Center, and the Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

Another option that's not available in most wildlife conservancies is a night-time safari. Sunset is when the truly weird and wonderful come out to play, with a show of nature at its most raw. With the help of a spotlight and an expert Ol Pejeta guide, you have a chance of spotting aardvarks, bat-eared foxes, leopards, and lion hunts.

Day 4: Ol Pejeta Safari Tours

Cheetas in Ol Pejeta

Early morning, embark on a lion-tracking activity, to learn fascinating facts about this vulnerable big cat, and help protect them. A few lions are fitted with radio collars, and you accompany a lion tracker to search for their signal. When a pride is found, you help identify individual lions by recording whisker patterns, scars, ear tears, and other characteristics. The data you collect goes straight to our ecological monitoring department, and helps us find solutions to the challenges facing Laikipia’s lions. Guests remain in the vehicle at all times.

Also enjoy morning and afternoon game drives.

Day 5: Lake Naivasha

Hippos in Lake Naivasha

After an early breakfast, depart for Lake Naivasha to enjoy a morning boat tour with close-up views of hippos, waterbucks, and countless birds, along with a walking safari on Crescent Island. Stroll among the giraffes, zebras, and other peaceful animals, in the absence of predators. Optional activities you can do (for an extra cost) include:

  • Horse riding among the zebras, giraffes, and other animals on conservancy land along the lake
  • Visit a local farmer’s home to learn about subsistence farming in Kenya, and stay for tea with his family
  • Hell's Gate National Park, where you can explore canyons and wildlife  

Day 6: Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp

Maasai men

After breakfast, drive approximately 3.5 hours to Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp. This is not a commercial “staged” camp experience, but rather an authentic Maasai community, where real people are still living the Maasai traditions. 

Activities include walks in the hills with Maasai warriors to learn about traditional life, warrior training, widow village visit for a look at local traditional life, bead making, campfire with the Maasai warriors, hot spring visit. Visit community projects such as our school, conservation projects for beekeeping, and a tree nursery. We also offer spiritual blessings, called Emayan.  

The lodging at the camp is in cottages with shared flush toilets and hot mineral water showers.

Day 7: Maji Moto Maasai "Olpul" Bush Camping

Maasai women

Today, trek across the plains to a forest bush campsite, where we'll construct a traditional Maasai temporary camp and sleep out under the stars. Slaughter a goat in traditional "Olpul" style, with warriors and elders, enjoying songs, stories and blessings around the campfire. Share the ceremonial local brew, made for special occasions from aloe root, honey, and herbs.

Spend the night at the bush camp, on traditional leafy beds under the stars in sleeping bags (provided), with the protection of warriors throughout the night.

Days 8-9: Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara

The world-renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve needs little in the way of introduction. Its tawny, wildlife-stuffed savannas are familiar to anyone who has watched nature documentaries. Reliable rains and plentiful vegetation underpin this extraordinary ecosystem and the millions of herbivores it supports. Wildebeest, zebras, impalas, elephants, Masai giraffes and several species of gazelle all call the Mara home. This vast concentration of game accounts for high predator numbers, including cheetahs, leopards and the highest lion density in the world.

An optional activity you can do for an extra cost is an early-morning balloon safari. The crew will pick you up as early as 5am for a drive to the launch site within the Maasai Mara Reserve. Enjoy a one-hour ride in the air above the amazing savanna for a bird's-eye view of wildlife and the landscape. A sumptuous champagne breakfast on the plains awaits you upon landing.

Return to the camp by late morning, and after lunch embark on an afternoon safari wildlife drive to continue experiencing the great migration of millions of wildebeest, along with lions, elephants, hippos, and many other species. 

Day 10: Fly to Uganda for Gorilla Tracking Adventure

Mountain gorillas

Depart the Maasai Mara on a morning flight to Nairobi, and connect with an international flight to Uganda. Arrive to Entebbe Airport, where you'll be met by your driver/guide and transferred to your hotel.

Day 11: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Travel by car to the home of the mountain gorillas: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. En route, stop at the equator and take a scenic drive through savanna grasslands, banana plantations, and among herds of Ankole cattle, with their incredible long, curving horns. Then, ascend into the Kigezi Highlands, known as the "Switzerland of Africa", with terraced farms and mountain scenery, to arrive at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The journey from Kampala to Bwindi is 9-10 hours, with a stopover for lunch and other comfort breaks.

Day 12: Mountain Gorilla Trek

Mountain gorillas

Wake very early in the morning to prepare for your gorilla tracking experience, one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on earth. There are now only 650 mountain gorillas left in the world. Adventurously track through the Impenetrable Forest to find the gorillas, observing them closely while they eat, playing with the young ones, and seeing how they act a lot like humans. Gorillas are shy and peaceful animals, and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact. There are always park guides with you, who interpret the flora and fauna and the actions of the gorillas.

Day 13: Begin Return to Entebbe via Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi Fishing Boats
Lake Bunyonyi Fishing Boats

Begin the drive back to Entebbe, with a relaxing overnight stop at Lake Bunyonyi en route. This is the second-deepest lake in Africa, surrounded by a beautiful landscape and dotted with unique islands. Lake Bunyonyi has no crocodiles or hippos, and due to its altitude malaria is also scarce. You could hardly find a friendlier body of water on the continent! The name means "the place of little birds", and it definitely deserves such a name. Take a boat ride to one of the Islands which is home of the Batwa Pygmies, and do a bit of fishing for Nile Perch.

Day 14: Entebbe Airport to Nairobi

Entebbe International Airport, Kampala

After breakfast, drive on for another six hours to Entebbe Airport, then catch an evening flight to Nairobi. Connect to a night flight home, or add an overnight in Nairobi to fly onward the next day.