$AU15,968 per person twin share, $AU2,223 single supplement
Depart Brisbane 22 Jun 2019 | 27 days
Leo Scanlan, seasoned traveller and former RGSQ President has a great love of Africa and will be your host exploring the national parks of Central Eastern Africa.
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Booking & Enquiries
$15,968* per person twin share, single supplement $2,223*.
Bookings: RGSQ Office phone (07) 3368 2066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Enquiries: for details about the tour, contact the Tour Leader, Leo Scanlan 07 3343 4398 or email email@example.com
*Please note, the price will cover return airfares ex Brisbane. Surcharges will apply for alternations to air arrangements. Terms and Conditions apply, please contact the RGSQ Office on 07 3368 2066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Itinerary subject to change. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency rates change. Payments by credit card will incur surcharge.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information at the time of publication, RGSQ cannot accept responsibility for the errors, changes, omissions or for descriptions which have been supplied by third party providers.
[Click on each day for more detail]
Day 1: Depart Brisbane, 22 Jun 19
Day 2: Entebbe Uganda, 23 Jun 19
On arrival in Entebbe, the former seat of Uganda’s government, we will meet our local escorts and drive to our overnight accommodation. The rest of the afternoon will be spend at leisure, enjoy the sparkling pool with stunning views of the great Lake Victoria.
Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, 24 Jun 19
We depart Entebbe after breakfast and drive to Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda's largest National Parks. We visit the world-famous Murchison Falls for a view from above and below the falls, before proceeding to the Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, home to Uganda’s only wild Rhinoceros, with as many as 19 southern white rhinos roaming the sanctuary.
Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park to Fort Portal, Uganda, 25 Jun 19
After breakfast we embark on a Murchison Falls National Park game drive. The park is home to buffalo, elephants and Rothschild-Giraffes, and commonly spotted wildlife include: lions, antelope, waterbucks, hippos and crocodiles. Thereafter we proceed to Fort Portal for our overnight accommodation with wonderful views of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, 26 Jun 19
A morning transfer takes us to Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is characterised with volcanic craters, grassy plains, tropical forest and giant lakes connected by a channel groaning with hippos. In the afternoon we enjoy a boat ride before visiting the Kataara Women’s Group. The Kataara Women’s Poverty Alleviation Group is an innovative Community Based Organization which runs a small-scale enterprise selling handicrafts made with paper produced from elephant dung.
Day 6: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda, 27 Jun 19
This morning is filled with a game drive in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park has approximately 100 types of mammal and 606 different bird species, including the peculiar shoebill, the Kasinga Channel alone is said to contain the world's largest concentration of hippos, and other wildlife includes buffalo, the rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, giant forest hog, Uganda kob, Defassa waterbuck and elephant. After game experience we proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Day 7: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda, 28 Jun 19
Today we wake up early for a hearty breakfast for the energy needed for gorilla trekking. Before 8:00am, we report to the ranger station for registration and a talk by one of the rangers. The guides will then take us through the bush, pushing our way through the undergrowth, to track the gorillas. (NB: this trek can take from 30 minutes to 5-6 hours). A reasonable degree of fitness is required, as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them ‘talk’ to one another, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the Silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense rainforest knowing we are with a few of the last remaining mountain gorillas, as there are only about 650 of these beautiful creatures left. In the afternoon/ evening embark on an optional community walk.
Day 8: Kampala, Uganda, 29 Jun 19
Early morning we take a long drive to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. This bustling city serves as the commercial hub of the country boasting a blend of African markets, modern skyscrapers, international hotels, bars, and casinos. Our hotel has options of Ngeye and Kibs restaurant, which offers a variety of dishes. The coffee shop and live bakery provides enough ways to enjoy Uganda coffee beans along with cakes and breads.
Day 9: Kampala, Uganda to Nakuru National Park, Kenya via Busia Border, 30 Jun 19
We depart Kampala early morning and take a drive to Busia boarder for a farewell with our Uganda crew and meet up with our Kenyan crew. Thereafter we proceed to Nakuru National Park. Our lodge is located on a range of hills that form the western limits of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, and offers spectacular views over the vastness of Africa.
Day 10: Nakuru National Park, Kenya, 01 Jul 19
Today we explore Nakuru National Park, which was created to protect the Lake and its flocks of Lesser Flamingo which are drawn to the algae that flourishes in the saline waters of the soda lake. The national park is home to hippos, black and white rhino, Rothschild giraffe, buffalo and eland.
Day 11: Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, 02 Jul 19
We depart Lake Nakuru National Park and head for Masai Mara National Reserve. The Masai Mara together with Tanzania’s Serengeti form Africa’s most famous wildlife park. We game drive to our lodge, which is located inside the Masai Mara and offers great opportunities to view wildlife from the comfort of our verandas.
Day 12: Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, 03 Jul 19
We spend the day exploring Masai Mara National Reserve on game drives. The endless grass plain which dominates the Masai Mara vegetation gives optimum game viewing and photo opportunities. The game drives also provides chances to encounter Masai warrior with their cattle. Time allowing aside from traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential and you can even do a horseback safari.
Day 13: Lake Victoria, Tanzania, 04 Jul 19
Transiting via Isibania border we leave Kenya and meet up with our local Tanzanian crew. After crossing the border we proceed to Lake Victoria, a massive water body, three times the size of Wales and is shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is both Africa’s biggest lake and the source of its biggest river, the Nile. Its waters are rich in fish life with shimmering shoals of colourful cichlids and large Nile Perch.
Day 14: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 05 Jul 19
Departing Lake Victoria, we enter the Serengeti National Park and game drive to our overnight accommodation located in the Seronera region. The region is in the central Serengeti, set directly on the Great Migration route, and offers excellent viewing of this incredible annual phenomenon, when countless wildebeest flood across the plains. While migratory game populations fluctuate seasonally, Seronera is still a wildlife hotspot at other times of the year, sheltering the Big Five, among many other species. Optional hot air balloon trips and walking safaris are available, if time permits.
Day 15: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 06 Jul 19
We fill the day on safari in Serengeti National Park, with luck we may spot large prides of lions, elephants and giraffes, gazelles and eland. Our game drives are in the world-famous Seronera Valley which is known for its prime wildlife-viewing opportunities and picture-perfect landscape characterised by endless stretches of savannah-covered open plains, interspersed by rocky outcrops of granite, scattered with acacia woodlands and covered in a network of rivers and streams.
Day 16: & Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania, 07 Jul 19
We depart Serengeti National Park on game drives headed for a stop at the Ol Duvai Gorge. Our destination for tonight is the Ngorongoro Crater, which is home to vast herds of wildlife. The lodge is situated on the eastern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, in the volcanic highlands of Tanzania. Accommodations are designed thematically to match traditionally circular African houses with conical roofs. Guest rooms are spacious and include an ensuite bathroom, a private lounge and balcony.
Day 17: Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania, 08 Jul 19
Early morning we aim for the crater descent into the Ngorongoro Crater, a game viewing paradise and major tourist drawcards. Within the crater rim a daily wildlife drama is played out as large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby lions, leopards, elephants and black rhinos. In the afternoon we proceed to Karatu which borders the Ngorongoro Conservancy.
Day 18: Arusha, Tanzania
After breakfast we drive to Arusha in preparation to our return journey to other Kenyan national parks. The town was built by the Germans as a centre of colonial administration because of the temperate climate, it is a good spot to take a day off from safari. We spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Day 19: Amboseli National Park, Kenya, 10 Jul 19
Leaving Tanzania, our next destination for 2 nights is Amboseli National Park in Kenya, renowned for its excellent variety of wildlife such as Masai giraffe, elephant, lion and cheetah. Its landscape is dominated by the majestic snow cap of Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as open plains, acacia woodland, swamps and the massif of Ol Doinyo Orok. In addition to game activities, we have an opportunity to meet and interact with Masai people, as we game drive to our lodge.
Day 20: Amboseli National Park, Kenya, 11 Jul 19
Today we embark on game drives in Amboseli, with great chances of viewing a variety of big game. The birding in Amboseli is also excellent, especially closer to the lakes and swamps. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to large herds of elephants among other wildlife species. At our lodge we soak up with spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Day 21: Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, 12 Jul 19
We give a farewell to Amboseli and game drive Tsavo West, which is covered in fairly thick bush, yet with a spectacular natural scenery which includes volcanic cones, swamps, rocky outcrops and lava flows, mountains, river forest, plains, lakes, natural springs and wooded grassland. Our overnight lodge is stone-built and overlooks its own water hole, which is visited daily by elephants, buffalos and a wide variety of plains game.
Day 22: Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, 13 Jul 19
Today we game drive to Tsavo East National Park, which is home to some of the largest elephant and buffalo herds in Kenya. The afternoon is filled with game activities and a visit to the Elephant orphanage release centre (donations are welcome). Our lodge for the next two nights is located in Tsavo East National Park on top of a rocky hill, offering spectacular views.
Day 23: Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, 14 Jul 19
Today we explore Tsavo East National Park on game drives. The arid environment with its unique red earth creates spectacular photo opportunities. Tsavo East boasts a rich biodiversity and is said to be one of the last remaining wildernesses. With chance depending on time, we may visit wonderful attractions including: Galana River; and Mudanda Rock, a natural viewpoint which overlooks a much visited and photographed drinking hole.
Day 24: Nairobi, Kenya, 15 Jul 19
Leaving Tsavo East, we drive to the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The rest of the afternoon will be spend at leisure or on optional excursions.
Day 25: Nairobi, Kenya, 16 Jul 19
Today we visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Giraffe Centre (A.F.E.W. Kenya) and The Karen Blixen Museum. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was founded in 1977 by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E, in honour of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE. The Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. To date it has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished it's long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in care.
The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya (A.F.E.W. Kenya) also known as the Giraffe Centre is a non-governmental, non-profit making organization, which was founded by Betty and Jock Leslie-Melville in 1979. This was in a bid to save the endangered Rothschild Giraffe, which had lost its natural habitat in Western Kenya to agriculture and there were only 130 left in the wild. Funds were raised and four herds of the Rothschild giraffes were moved to four parks namely Lake Nakuru National Park, Mwea Game Reserve, Ruma National Park and Nasalot Game Reserve.
The Karen Blixen Museum was once the home of the Danish author Karen Blixen. The renowned author made famous by the release of the Oscar winning movie ‘Out of Africa’, based on Karen’s autobiography of the same title. The museum displays many pieces of the author's furniture and has a splendid view of the Ngong Hills, immortalized in Karen Blixen's opening line, and “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills."
Day 26: Airport transfers, 17 Jul 19
Distance: 20km (approx. 0.5 hours estimate)
Day 27: Arrive in Brisbane, 18 Jul 19
Download/Print: Geography, Game Parks and Gorillas Itinerary
This is a completely new RGSQ Traveller itinerary offering many of the national park jewels of Central and East Africa, unsurpassed wildlife viewing, breathtaking views of The Great Rift Valley, superb views of Mount Kiliminjaro from Amboseli, and a whole list of great conservation and historical stories as well.
While not the first to call Uganda ‘The Pearl of Africa’, Winston Churchill nevertheless popularized the phrase in 1908 after he published his book, ‘My African Journey’ about his journey to Uganda in 1907. Earlier on explorers were equally amazed at Uganda’s natural wonders, it’s people, it’s birdlife, and it’s wonderful array of animals. This is equally true today when tourists visit Central and East Africa.
Visiting the gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda should prove one of the highlights of this Central African trek. While there is a huge conservation effort being made internationally to preserve these unique animals for future generations, sadly, this part of our tour will highlight the sacrifice of Dian Fossey, who was associated with primate studies, and her murder in 1985 which was linked to her conservation effort in the Virunga forest in nearby Rwanda.
But there’s a lot more to Central and East Africa. Kenya, Uganda’s neighbour, is equally interesting with some great conservationist names and places also etched in the public consciousness. People such as David and Dame Daphne Shedrick and their care for orphaned elephants and their association with the development of one of the largest parks in Kenya, Tsavo National Park.
A further highlight right next door in this Central African circle is Tanzania which presents with Kenya the magnificent wildlife spectacle of the plain’s animals on their annual migration from Kenya into Tanzania and back again across the Mara River. Add in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Olduvai Gorge and some enthralling paleo-anthropological digs and the history of Louis Leakey’s fossil hunting and his encouragement of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas to live and interact and study gorillas and chimpanzees in their natural habitat and you have the ingredients of a truly Central East African trip to remember.
Both Uganda and Kenya have ongoing programs of conservation to bring back from the brink of extinction the beautiful Rothschild’s Giraffe. Your participation will ensure you visit the Giraffe Centre on the outskirts of Nairobi, central to a larger good news conservation story and the release of a number of Rothschild’s giraffe into Lake Nakuru National Park which will be one of our destinations in the early part of our program.