This two-week itinerary includes some of the best wildlife encounters and safari experiences that East Africa has to offer. In Kenya, you'll spend time at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to the only remaining northern white rhinos in the world, and experience cultural immersion with Maasai people while staying in a camp near the Maasai Mara. Then fly across the border to Uganda to spend an incredible day hiking and looking for gentle mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Highlights

  • Spot rare wildlife including elephants, cheetahs, lions, and giraffes 
  • Trek to see Uganda's mountain gorillas in their natural habitat
  • Immerse yourself 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 Arrive in Nairobi Nairobi
Day 2 Tour the City of Nairobi Nairobi
Day 3 Travel Overland to Ol Pejeta Conservancy Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Day 4 Learn About Lion Tracking at Ol Pejeta Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Day 5 Explore the Beauty of Lake Naivasha Naivasha
Day 6 Learn About Local Culture at Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp Maji Moto
Day 7 Experience Bush Camping Maji Moto
Days 8-9 Discover Maasai Mara National Reserve Maasai Mara
Day 10 Fly to Uganda for Gorilla Trekking Adventure Entebbe
Day 11 Get to Know Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 12 Look for Mountain Gorillas on a Guided Trek Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 13 Return to Entebbe via Lake Bunyonyi Kabale
Day 14 Fly from Entebbe Airport to Nairobi - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi

Nairobi
Wildlife on the outskirts of Nairobi

Welcome to Kenya! Start in Nairobi, where you'll relax and rest after arrival to prepare for the adventure ahead.

Day 2: Tour the City of Nairobi

Elephant orphans in Nairobi

Enjoy a day of tours today, 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 due to poaching, human conflict, and environmental issues. If you "adopt" an elephant you can return in the evening for a bit of one-on-one time as the elephants are tucked in for the night. At the Giraffe Center, you'll have a hands-on giraffe encounter and some educational experience around the topic of giraffe conservation.  

Day 3: Travel Overland to Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Black rhino in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Today you'll be picked up in Nairobi in a private four-wheel-drive safari vehicle. You'll be driven to the Laikipia area to the north, crossing the equator along the way. Your destination is the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya, situated 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 spotting them here. Notably, there are only three northern white rhinos left in the world, and they are all in Ol Pejeta. 

Go on a drive to see lions, elephants, leopards, zebras, giraffes, and hippos, then visit the Rhino Conservation and Education Center and the Chimpanzee Sanctuary. It's also possible to go on a nighttime safari. 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: Learn About Lion Tracking at Ol Pejeta

Cheetahs relaxing in Ol Pejeta

In the early morning, embark on a lion tracking activity to learn fascinating facts about this vulnerable big cat. A few lions are fitted with radio collars, and you'll accompany a lion tracker to search for their signal. When a pride is found, you'll help identify individual lions by recording whisker patterns, scars, ear tears, and other characteristics. The data you collect goes straight to an ecological monitoring department, helping to find solutions to the challenges facing Laikipia’s lions. 

Day 5: Explore the Beauty of 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, all in the absence of predators.

Day 6: Learn About Local Culture at Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp

Maasai men in colorful dress

After breakfast, drive to the renowned Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp, an authentic Maasai community where the people are still living according to old Maasai traditions. Activities include walks in the hills with Maasai warriors to learn about traditional life, bead making, learning about warrior training, enjoying a campfire with Maasai people, and a visit to a nearby hot spring. You'll stay overnight in the camp in a traditional cottage.

Day 7: Experience Bush Camping

Maasai women standing in front of a traditional cottage

Today, you'll trek across the plains to a forest bush campsite, where the group will construct a traditional Maasai temporary camp and sleep out under the stars. Enjoy a meal with warriors and elders, including songs, stories, and blessings around the campfire. Sample the ceremonial local brew, made for special occasions; the ingredients include aloe root, honey, and herbs.

Days 8-9: Discover Maasai Mara National Reserve

A herd of wildebeest in the Maasai Mara

The world-renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve needs little in the way of introduction. Its wildlife-rich 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, Maasai giraffes, and several species of gazelle all call the reserve home. This vast concentration of game accounts for high predator numbers: look for cheetahs, leopards, and the highest density of lions in the world.

One unforgettable way to see the park is on an early-morning hot air balloon safari. The crew will transfer you to the launch site inside the Maasai Mara. You'll enjoy a one-hour ride high above the park for a bird's-eye view of wildlife. Return to the camp by late morning, and after lunch, you'll go on an afternoon safari wildlife drive.

Day 10: Fly to Uganda for a Gorilla Trekking Adventure

Mountain gorillas in Uganda

Depart the Maasai Mara on a morning flight to Nairobi, and connect with an international flight to Uganda. Arrive at Entebbe's airport, where you'll be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel to unwind before the next day's activities.

Day 11: Get to Know Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Morning mist in 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 and banana plantations, spotting herds of Ankole cattle with long, curving horns. Then you'll ascend into the Kigezi Highlands, known as the "Switzerland of Africa," thanks to its terraced farms and mountain scenery. This is the gateway to the forest. 

Day 12: Look for Mountain Gorillas on a Guided Trek

A baby mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

You'll wake up very early in the morning to prepare for your guided gorilla trekking experience. There are now only around 650 mountain gorillas left in the world. You'll hike through the Impenetrable Forest in search of them, observing the gorillas closely while they eat and play with their babies. Gorillas are shy and peaceful animals, and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact. 

Day 13: Return to Entebbe via Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi Fishing Boats
Lake Bunyonyi fishing boats at sunset

Begin the drive back to Entebbe, with a relaxing overnight stop at Lake Bunyonyi on the way. 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 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 to relax, observe bird habitats, or try your hand at fishing.

Day 14: Fly from Entebbe Airport to Nairobi & Depart

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. Safe travels!

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