Gorilla Safari & the Masai Mara

“Besides a real sense of comradery in camp and the chance to explore breathtaking wildlife across three countries, you will never forget meeting a wild Mountain Gorilla face-to-face”


Nairobi | Lake Naivasha | Masai Mara | Game-driving in the Masai Mara | Kembu Farm | Lake Nakuru National Park | Eldoret | Jinja | Lake Mburo National Park | Guided walking safari in Uganda | Lake Bunyonyi | Ruhengeri | Gorilla safari in the Parc National des Volcans | Kigali | Genocide Museum

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03 Nov 2017
US $ 4305
excluding flights
18 Dec 2017
US $ 5395
excluding flights
3 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 18 Dec 2017 departure
Our top tip:
In addition to your daysack, take a small overnight bag to pack what you’ll need in for camping.
Trip type:
Small group tour. 4-18 adults (min. age 18) with a tour leader.
Activity level:
11 nights camping, 4 nights hotel.
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge.
15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 13 dinners.
Accommodation, all transport and listed activities, tour leader, gorilla permit, flights (if booked).
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Gorilla Safari & the Masai Mara

Accommodation & meals:
The majority of this trip is spent camping, therefore reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint for the whole trip. Each tour has their own chef, dedicated to buying produce from local stalls and markets and making a range of traditional meals. Guests might have the chance to learn to make an African Lakes regional specialty such as stew with ‘Ugali’ - a maize flour and water mixture with the consistency of dough.

We employ local tour guides, drivers, porters and chefs and so all of these employment opportunities provide financial benefit for people in the community. Beyond this, we also work directly with a number of charitable organizations in the area. Along with offering the opportunity to get involved in a school project in Jinja, for example, we make a point of visiting the genocide museum in Kigali, Rwanda. This helps to educate visitors, drive income to the area and to support the work of the Aegis Trust which prevents further acts of atrocity in the region.

Local Crafts & Culture:
In addition to purchasing supplies locally, tour guides encourage travelers to purchase goods and souvenirs from a Maasai village. Through this we encourage and respect their customs and craftsmanship while sharing with our visitors at a fair price for the Maasai people. Our guides are also keen to teach Swahili as a means of making a more genuine connection with people they meet on the trip.

Group size:
This is a small group tour and so numbers do not exceed 18, meaning that local environments and the communities and variety of species (endangered and otherwise) that we encounter are not seriously impacted by our stay. This group size also allows us to travel with ease and therefore to stay at a number of unique, lesser known campsites and one hotel that would not usually benefit from tourism commerce due to its limited size.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

The permit fee charged to see the Gorillas in in Parc National des Volcans goes directly towards the preservation of this endangered species and their fragile but beautiful environment. By traveling with us, you ensure that rangers are paid a fair wage and have the provisions and personnel to protect themselves and wildlife against harmful poaching activity.

44 Reviews of Gorilla Safari & the Masai Mara

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 16 Jul 2017 by

The most memorable moment was getting up close to a gorilla family at Volcanoes National Park; seeing white and black rhinos in Lake Nakuru NP; seeing the Wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Jan 2017 by

This is by far the best vacation I have ever been on, and I've been on quite a few! Nothing beats the natural untouched beauty of Africa, but it was the beauty of the people that helped us feel at home that I will remember most. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Mar 2014 by

Every day was fabulous always something different... traveling with like minded people was also a good thing. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Mar 2014 by

Gorillas!!!!! Interacting with them was the most exceptional experience of my life and the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever had. It is without comparison. The Masai Mara was amazing, wild camping was a buzz and white water rafting on the Nile was an amazing experience but being close to the African people(especially the happy kids) and not isolated in 5 star resorts made the trip a once in a lifetime experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Feb 2014 by

It was excellent. I would go again tomorrow... it was such a fabulous trip from the start in Kigali to the end in Nairobi. Seeing the gorillas was obviously so special and memorable and the rafting in jinja was an unexpected highlight. Also the people in my group and our fabulous tour operator's team who were so efficient, friendly, patient and organised. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2014 by

Wildlife from Masai Mara to Rwanda was amazing, varied and stunning...Brilliant - one I shall never forget. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Jan 2014 by

It was a really great vacation, great wildlife, beautiful scenery, great people, and well organised. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Mar 2013 by

The Gorilla trek in Rwanda was the real highlight, would do it again tomorrow, but Uganda was an unexpected highlight, with wonderful bird watching at Lake Bunyonyi, camping next to the hippos at Lake Mboru and at Jinja the boat trip to the Source of the Nile. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2012 by

The most memorable part was game driving in the Masai Mara and visiting the gorillas in Rwanda...Excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Dec 2011 by

My vacation was the best, the guides were fantastic and made sure that all our needs were catered for, couldn't fault it and worth every penny. Very fortunate that we had a great group of people on the trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Aug 2011 by

Most memorable? Seeing the gorillas, playing with children at the orphanage at Bunyonyi, seeing an elusive cheetah on our final game drive in the Mara and an absolutely fantastic group of people led by an amazing guided. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2011 by

Seeing the mountain gorillas at such close proximity. Incredible...It was an excellent trip. Very well organised with lots to see and do without feeling rushed. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Aug 2011 by

I have travelled a lot and have been to Africa before but not the East. However, something about this trip touched me deeply. I worry for Africa, for the people, the environment and the wildlife. This trip educated me further on the problems facing this great continent. It was truly educational, breathtaking, humbling and fun! Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Jan 2011 by

Good, but too much driving. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Aug 2010 by

Most memorbale was almost walking into a zebra on my way to the toilet one night! The camping was challenging for me, but it was worth it to hear animals at night. 5 stars. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Jul 2010 by

A highlight was the gorilla treks, not only where they amazing but it was also on my birthday. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Apr 2010 by

This was the best vacation we have ever taken. It was a packed with a wide variety of activities from wildlife to culture to beautiful site seeing. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2010 by

Seeing the gorillas and animals in the other game reserves, the experience of spending time in Africa, meeting the people and seeing the beautiful country. The guides and the group were excellent...One I will never forget. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2010 by

Expect the unexpected! Don’t get hung up on itineraries, when something doesn’t work out the way YOU are expecting it too. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2010 by

An excellent vacation, would readily recommend it to friends. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2010 by

A very enjoyable time, and we plan to go back to East Africa again, though under our own steam now. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Mar 2009 by

It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had and I’ve been to many countries. Africa is the kind of place you fall in love with. We ventured to such different landscapes, enjoying the wildlife which was spectacular to see, the elephants roaming, the gorillas goofing around. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Feb 2009 by

There were highlights in each country. The gorilla's in Rwanda, the white water rafting in Uganda and The Masa Mara in Kenya. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2008 by

Most memorable were Gorilla trekking, time with chimps, watching lions hunt down a buffalo, wiping out while whitewater rafting on the Nile, meeting up with some great new people on the trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Dec 2008 by

Most memorable was seeing the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Oct 2008 by

A fantastic way to see wildlife and experience Africa in three different countries for a very reasonable price. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2008 by

Seeing the gorillas for the first time, hearing the deep rumble of the silver back and then hearing the crashing around as the youngsters were playing and feeding was a moment that will stay with me. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2008 by

Very good, better than I could have hoped. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2007 by

This has been the most amazing trip with lots of varied and interesting experiences. For me the highlights of the trip have been the gorilla visit in Rwanda which was absolutely breathtaking and watching the wildebeest migration as they entered the Masai Mara in Kenya. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Aug 2007 by

Difficult to choose a highlight - gorillas, Masai Mara wildlife, rafting on the Nile, even just watching the world go by from the back of the truck. It was all fantastic Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2007 by

Too many highlights to choose from! Seeing all the animals in their natural environment on the Masai Mara, watching baby gorillas play and taking in the scenery by the various lakes we were lucky enough to stay by - to mention but a few! Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2007 by

The most memorable and exciting part of our vacation was the gorillas without a doubt! Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2006 by

I had a brilliant time it was all I expected and more. I saw all of the BIG 5 and have fallen in love with Africa. The team we had were brilliant... their knowledge of the animals was more than adequate especially as we saw a Pangolin. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2006 by

The undoubted highlight of this trip was the animals, whether it be the juvenile gorillas playing just a few metres from us, the lion cubs tucking into wildebeest with gusto, languid cheetahs or majestic elephants. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2005 by

Sitting within metres of the Gorillas was the most awe inspiring experience of my life to date... Truly memorable - I didn't take pictures just sat and watched and built up a store of memories! You must try Ugandan food - wow! Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Sep 2005 by

This trip was absolutely amazing for so many reasons, wildlife, activities, tour guide, chef, truck, fellow travelers and there is so much more! ... I loved Africa and will be going back. Thanks very much for providing such a valuable service. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2005 by

There were so many memorable bits! The most has to be the gorillas, especially in light of the recent news of how endangered they really are, to get so close to them without them being concerned at all was incredible. Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Jun 2005 by

The most exciting part is a toss up between sitting feet away from a pride of 14 lions feeding on a buffalo they had just brought down and rafting the Nile's grade 5 rapids at Ginga... Fantastic vacation...Would not hesitate to return or recommend to anyone else. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Oct 2005 by

The best part of the vacation was visiting the gorillas... a unique experience both exhilarating and heart wrenching. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2005 by

Seeing gorillas in front of us was amazing. They just ignored us and carried on eating and playing while we snapped away for the hour we had with them...The white-water rafting on the nile was the most memorable part. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2005 by

The most exciting part of the vacation was seeing the gorillas in their natural habitat, so close. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2005 by

The gorillas were the highlight of the trip... The pre-travel advice and the trip experience was first class and extremely considerate. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Jul 2005 by

The most memorable part of the vacation was undoubtedly seeing the mountain gorillas at close quarters. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2005 by

The most exciting part of the vacation was seeing a Cheetah kill with her cub closely following. Read full review

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