Gorillas and big game, Nairobi to Kigali tour

“18 day small group overland tour of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda featuring: big game safaris, jungle treks, comfortable camping and a couple of lengthy drives.”

Highlights

Masai Mara | Jinja on Lake Victoria | village communities | Lake Nakuru | Murchison Falls cruise | Chimpanzee trek in Budongo Forest | Queen Elizabeth Nature Park | Great Rift Valley | Kazinga Channel hippo cruise | Mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest | optional activities include: white-water rafting in Jinja and a hot air balloon ride at dawn including champagne and savannah breakfast |

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Date
Price
Basis
10 Dec 2018
US $ 4335
excluding flights
Full
 
26 Dec 2018
US $ 4185
excluding flights
Full
 
26 Jan 2019
US $ 6665
excluding flights
7 spaces left
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11 Feb 2019
US $ 6665
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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29 Jun 2019
US $ 4495
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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15 Jul 2019
US $ 4335
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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10 Aug 2019
US $ 6665
excluding flights
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26 Aug 2019
US $ 6665
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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14 Sep 2019
US $ 4495
excluding flights
Full
 
30 Sep 2019
US $ 4335
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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19 Oct 2019
US $ 6665
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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04 Nov 2019
US $ 6665
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11 Dec 2019
US $ 4495
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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28 Dec 2019
US $ 4335
excluding flights
8 spaces left
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Vouchers
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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.

Simplicity
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.
Mythbuster
“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?”
No.
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: Gorillas and big game, Nairobi to Kigali tour

Accommodation and Meals:
We will be spending three nights in a luxury tented camp, which is locally run and locally staffed, so by choosing to stay here, we are supporting employment opportunities for communities in surrounding areas. We also encourage clients to bring supplies through Pack for a Purpose which Ilkeliani can then distribute. Most meals are supplied and we are keen to source ingredients from as nearby as possible as a means of generating income for small businesses within the local community and producing fresh, authentic food for clients. Breakfasts and lunches often include freshly baked biscuits, fruit, cakes and hot drinks.

Activity:
The highlight of this trip is going on game drives in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, where we hope to spot some the ‘Big 5’ and countless other fascinating species. First of all, by visiting this protected area, we must pay park fees which go towards community and environmental initiatives in this area. We are very mindful of the environment and local groups we encounter anyway and maintain a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy.

Community:
We use the Ilkeliani Camp, which assists the surrounding Masai communities of the game reserve in conserving their wildlife and environment. By using this accommodation, we contribute to a number of initiatives they run. The camp provides for the Masai people whereby they receive a bed night fee for every guest night in the camp. Unlike most camps in the Mara who charge their clients an extra "hidden" conservation fee, Ilkeliani contributes to this cause directly from their profits. This enables the Masai to benefit from their natural resources in a sustainable and non-destructive way so to better able to care for their families and improve their standard of living.

Conservation:
Our local operators are trustees of the Kicheche Community trust, which runs several programmes for the benefit of people and wildlife. For communities to prosper within and in the vicinity of wildlife conservancies it's important for these communities to be protected from the wildlife and vice versa. In 2012 Kicheche Trust donated half for the construction of 5 predator free bomas (small groups of housing). The trust also part sponsors the Naboisho Lion project in Naboisho Concervancy, Masai Mara, which helps to protect and monitor local wildlife. By traveling with us, you are not only raising awareness about animal welfare but contributing to these vital projects.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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.

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