Rwanda, Kenya and Seychelles Safari
Days 1, 2, and 3 – Volcanoes National Park, Gorilla tracking
After arriving into Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, you will be met by your driver who will drive you through lush, cultivated valleys to the Volcanoes National Park for 3 nights. This afternoon you have the time to relax and prepare for one of the most amazing wildlife experiences in Africa – Gorilla Tracking. The Volcanoes National Park is one of the wildlife successes of Africa. Over the years since the Genocide in the 1990s, tourists have been coming to track gorillas here, and the revue generated from this has allowed Rwanda to not only protect but grow the gorilla population. Revenue generated by tourists has also allowed Rwanda to develop other national parks and reintroduce animals that had previously been extinct in the country.
This morning you meet your team, trackers and guide for your gorilla tracking on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. After a short briefing at the park headquarters where you will learn more about the family of gorillas you will be tracking, you head off on your gorilla safari. Trackers head out ahead of the team to find where the gorilla family is so they can guide you in the general direction. After you find the family of gorillas, you get to spend 1 hour with them as they go about their daily lives. This is one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa and one that few get to experience.
Tracking on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park can be tough going and so it is recommended to be fit before embarking on a gorilla adventure.
Day 4 – Kigali
This morning you have the chance for an additional activity in the Volcanoes National Park before heading back to Kigali. Enroute to your hotel you can visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. This is a moving tribute to the horrific atrocities that took place across Rwanda in the 1990s.
Days 5, 6 and 7 – Masai Mara
From Kigali you fly to Nairobi where you are met and transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to the Masai Mara for the start of your Kenyan Safari. The Masai Mara is world renowned for its incredible game viewing and in particular big cats. Lions are fairly common in and around the Masai Mara making them the dominant predator of the region. Cheetah prefer the open grasslands where they can use their speed to catch their prey, while leopard prefer the rocky outcrops, valleys and riverine woodlands where they can slink away unseen. If you are lucky you may get to highly endangered wild dogs in some of the community conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara.
The Masai Mara is known for the annual migration that moves through the park from the Serengeti in Tanzania. Every year millions of wildebeest and zebra move in a clockwise direction from the Serengeti through the Masai Mara and back south again, following the rains. The migration traditionally moves between the northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara between June/July and October before the herds head south to give birth. When the migration is in the Masai Mara it can offer some of the most dramatic game viewing in Africa with millions of wildebeest and zebra moving through the grasslands and often crossing large crocodile infested rivers to get to the best grazing.
Outside of the migration, the game viewing is still spectacular as the majority of animals do not migrate. Elephant, topi, Thompson’s gazelle, cheetah, leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino and giraffe all remain making for a varied Masai Mara safari experience.
Within the Masai Mara ecosystem, guests have 2 choices on where to stay. There are the camps that are located inside the Masai Mara Game Reserve and often in the thick of the action, but the areas can get crowded as this is a public reserve. Surrounding the Masai Mara Game Reserve are community run concessions that are private and so offer a more exclusive safari experience, away from the crowds. There are no fences between the Masai Mara and these conservancies and so the game moves freely between the main reserve and the surround concessions. The benefit of staying in the community reserves is more exclusivity, more freedom with the chance to do walking safaris and night drives and the chance to do a full day game drive inside the main Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Days 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 – Seychelles
After the excitement of your gorilla safari in Rwanda and big five safari in the Masai Mara you deserve some down time, and the Seychelles is the perfect place to do that. Head back to Nairobi in time for your onward flight to the tropical islands of the Seychelles. Consisting of 115 islands spread throughout the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are the picture-perfect beach destination with blinding white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters surrounded by palm trees and lush green forests.
The Seychelles has plenty of options for luxury beach lodges, villas and private islands to choose from depending on your budget and preference. Our preference is for the exclusive private islands where privacy is at its best. The Stanley Safaris’ top choice for private islands include North Island and the Outer Islands of Alphonse Island, Astove Island, and the Cosmoledo Atoll.
Regardless of which option or island you choose, you are guaranteed white sandy, palm fringed beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters teeming with marine life. Spend your days relaxing on the beach or by the pool or head out on snorkeling or diving excursions to observe the incredible diversity under the water.