Overlanding is the only way to see East Africa! This classic trip is one of our most popular journeys in the world, and thoroughly deserves its reputation. Dragoman have been leading the way in African overland expeditions since 1981, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. We start this classic trip in Kenya's bustling capital of Nairobi, and first visit the stunning reserve of Nakuru National Park, home to a stunning array of wildlife, including thousands of pink flamingos. We move on to the adventure capital of Uganda, Jinja - this is the source of the White Nile and has a wealth of optional adrenaline activities that we can get involved in including the legendary white-water rafting here. We then move on to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where we have the option to track rhino on foot, before heading on a foot safari in the forests of Murchison Falls National Park to track chimpanzees! We enjoy a safari through Murchison Falls before slowly making our way down to Rwanda and the highlight of the trip - coming face-to-face with the amazing mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, a truly breathtaking experience and one that will stay with you for the rest of your life. We finish our incredible journey with a trip back to Nairobi via a visit to the stunning plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park - a truly wonderful and unforgettable African experience!
Duration: 21 Days
Activities: Hiking, Parks & Nature Reserves, Community Project , Trekking
Guide (Language): english
Start City: Nairobi, Kenya
Guaranteed Departure: No
Physical Demand: Average
Trip Rating: 80.0%
Trip ID: 158133
End City: Nairobi, Kenya
|Duration: 21 Days||Guaranteed Departure: Yes|
|For lovers of: Hiking, Parks & Nature Reserves, Community Project , Trekking||Physical rating: Average|
|Accommodation standard: Budget%||Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%|
|Your Guide: English speaking||Tour code: 158133|
|Starts: Nairobi, Kenya||Finishes: Nairobi, Kenya|
Border Information: If joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
There will be a group meeting at the Kivi Milimani Hotel at 6:00pm. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note, as this will often be a travelling day for the crew who will be joining you.
Address - Kivi Milimani Hotel, Milimani Road, Nairobi
Your trip leader will meet you at the Kivi Milimani Hotel reception, and then we will all head to our well equipped campsite situated in the suburb of Karen for a more detailed talk about your trip. Tonight we have the option of going out for a group meal.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.
After an early breakfast we will make our way to Gilgil, where we will visit the Saidia Children's Home - a Dragoman-supported home for orphaned children from the area.
From there, we will make our way to Nakuru, our base for tomorrow's excursion into Nakuru National Park. If we make good time on the drive we may have the opportunity to take a walk around the working dairy farm where our campsite is, and to visit a local women's knitting collective.
Tonight we will stay at a beautiful and well equipped campsite located on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Nakuru town.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
This morning we head into Nakuru National Park for an included half-day game drive in local safari trucks. Nakuru is a beautiful park with a large lake and many forested areas - it is teeming with wildlife and there is an excellent chance to see both black and white rhinos.
We will most likely have lunch in the area before driving on to Kericho this afternoon, where there is an optional tour around a nearby tea plantation.
Tonight we stay at a well equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours
Border Information: Exit Kenya at Busia, enter Uganda at Busia.
Today we have a full day's drive across the border into Uganda as we travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa!
Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours.
On the next day, we will have a free day to get involved in the many optional adventure activities available here, such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and boat trips on the White Nile!
In Jinja we will stay at a well equipped campsite.
Today we continue our journey and head north to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary close to the town of Nakitoma. Here we will have the chance to track rhinos on foot with a local ranger!
Tonight we will stay in a well equipped campsite within the Rhino Sanctuary.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Today we continue to Kaniyo Pabidi in the Budongo Forest in the southern part of the Murchison Falls National Park. Here we will head out for our included chimpanzee tracking walk in the afternoon!
Please note that for conservation reasons the maximum group size to track the chimpanzees is 12 people, so if we have a large group we will split in half, one half going to this afternoon and the other half going tomorrow morning.
Tonight we stay in basic dorm rooms in a small lodge in the Budongo Forest.
Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.
If we had to split the group for chimpanzee tracking, the other half of the group will head out for the walk this morning. When we are ready to continue, we will drive to the central region of Murchison National Park to reach our campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours (to the campsite).
On the next day, we will head out early in the truck for a morning of game driving around the northern area of the National Park - we will take a local vehicle barge to get over the Nile and pick up a ranger to show us around in search of wildlife!
We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then embark on an included launch cruise on the Nile to spot wildlife from the water and to see the spectacularly powerful Murchison Falls.
In Murchison Falls we will stay in a well equipped campsite at Paraa on the southern banks of the River Nile in the heart of the park.
Please note that the roads leading into and around Murchison Falls are very poor and can be hazardous in wet conditions. If there has been heavy rain recently, it may not be possible to go into the National Park beyond Kaniyo Pabidi - this is firstly for safety reasons on the drive in, and secondly due to the risk of extreme bogging that will cause us to miss the gorilla treks in Rwanda. We will always endaevour to reach the National Park as per the itinerary; but when this is occasionally not possible, please respect the tour leader's decision in this matter. On these occasions we will be able to utilise this time with spending longer in Lake Bunyonyi and Ruhengeri.
Today we have a full day's drive back south to Kampala, where we will have a nightstop in a well equipped campsite in the southern suburbs of the city.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.
Over the next 2 days we will continue travelling south through Uganda to reach Lake Bunyonyi, home to some of the most picturesque scenery in the whole of the country, where we will hopefully get the opportunity to explore the lake by boat and admire the surrounding landscape.
En route we will split the drive with a nightstop in either Mbarara or Kabale, which both have decent campsites that we can use. We will also cross the Equator and stop for the mandatory photos en route!
In Lake Bunyonyi we stay in a well equipped campsite.
*Please note that due to security concerns on the road to Lake Bunyonyi, we will often not be able to bring our truck here and will instead stay at a well-equipped campsite in Kabale. The decision to go or not will be entirely at the discretion of your tour leader and the Dragoman head office, and will be based on the latest safety advice from local operators - if we cannot bring the truck, it may still be possible to visit the lake as a day trip from Kabale in smaller local vehicles.*
Estimated Drive Time - 12-14 hours (split over the 2 days - the exact breakdown depends on where we have the intermediary nightstop).
Border Information: Exit Uganda at Katuna, enter Rwanda at Gatuna.
Leaving Uganda behind, we cross the border into the stunning country of Rwanda.
We will first travel to the capital city of Kigali, where we will have an included visit to the incredibly moving Genocide Memorial. After this we will drive the short distance to Ruhengeri (also known as Musanze), the gateway to the Volcanoes National Park, where we will spend the next 2 nights.
Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (allowing for 5 hours driving, 2 hours at the border and 3 hours at the Kigali Genocide Museum).
On the next day, we will go on what is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip - trekking to see the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest habitat.
This region is one of the last remaining sanctuaries for the mountain gorilla. No more than 8 people per day can visit any one habituated family, and visits are strictly controlled to minimise the possibility of disturbance or transmission of disease to the animals.
Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid; however, the sheer thrill of coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk at least 4 hours - up and down hill. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself! Once you find them, you will stay with the gorillas for one unforgettable hour!
When visiting the gorillas you will be assigned a trekking group and time on your permit. The group may be split up into different trekking groups during the day.
Whilst in Ruhengeri we stay in dorms at a local church mission, or camp in their grounds.
Please note that the gorilla permits are paid for in full by the trip kitty - however, Dragoman has to purchase the permits in advance on the customers' behalf, so a higher deposit is charged on the trip price to protect us from losing this money in the event of cancellation - please see the notes at the end for further detail.
Please also note that there is some flexibility in the itinerary depending on the circumstances of the trip and the weather, as such we sometimes may have extra time in Ruhengeri, in which case we will have time for some of the other activities here (listed below).
Border Information: Exit Rwanda at Cyanika, enter Uganda at Cyanika.
Today we have a free morning in Ruhengeri, then head out of Rwanda, crossing back into Uganda to camp in the town of Kabale.
Tonight we will stay in a well equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
This morning we travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, beautifully set between the Great Rift Valley lakes of Edward and George, undertaking a game drive on our way to the campsite.
After lunch we will take a boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, well-known for pelicans, eagles and other wonderful birdlife as well as its healthy population of hippos. During our time in the park we also hope to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, Ugandan kobs and waterbucks.
Tonight we will camp at a basic campsite with drop toilets, inside the National Park. Your leader will explain the basic safety aspects of camping in an unfenced area amongst the wildlife upon arrival.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Over the next 2 days we will travel back to the east through Kampala to Jinja. We will take a short game drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park on our way out in the morning.
We will most likely split the drive with a nightstop in Mbarara, but if the road conditions improve on a different road then we may go via Fort Portal instead. Both of these places have decent campsites to stay in.
Either way, we will reach Jinja by the second evening and enjoy a night relaxing at the same campsite as earlier in the trip.
Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours split over 2 days.
Border Information: Exit Uganda at Malaba, enter Kenya at Malaba.
Today we travel back into Kenya and visit the town of Eldoret, where we have the option to visit a local cheese factory and creamery before heading to our campsite at Naiberi River just outside of town.
In Eldoret we will stay in an excellent campsite with the possibility of an Indian buffet meal.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.
Today we will make our way back to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where we will stay again in our well equipped campsite situated in the suburb of Karen.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7- hours.
Border Information: if you are leaving the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely exit Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
Today is this is the final day of this section - if you are leaving here (or continuing northbound with us to Ethiopia) you will have a free day in Nairobi. If you are continuing your trip with us southbound towards Tanzania then there will a new group meeting at 10:00am for the next section of your journey, before heading away from Nairobi - your leader will give you detailed instructions about this.
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Nairobi. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
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Charles was amazing! Made sure everyone was full and so kind and helpful. He never complained and always had good food waiting for us.Overall Rating
Tom and Michaela were so enthusiastic, we had a ball and they arranged to get to places where we believed other trips had not gone to in the wet season (Murchison Falls). I have nothing but praise for these two leaders.Overall Rating
Michaela and Tom were a credit. They worked hard, mucked in with all the chores and genuinely seemed to care that we had a good trip. They went above and beyond when the poor road conditions meant we wouldn't have been able to get the truck to Murchison Falls. They researched alternatives, and whilst we had to pay a little bit extra, their efforts meant that we were able to get there which was great as it had been one if the reasons for booking the trip in the first place.Overall Rating
it rocked my world. So much so, that I keep coming back for more. Your destinations lure me in, your tour leaders keep me coming back. Keep up the great work.Overall Rating
The crew are really fun and knowledgeable. Felt safe at all times. They knew what we wanted to know and always had an answer to any question and a justification to changes. Appreciated them always checking with us and Denford for a group solution.Overall Rating
Trip Name: Nairobi to Nairobi - 2016
Duration: 21 Days
From Price: 1720
Trip Code: 158133
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