10 Days Gorillas and Zanzibar Safari

10 Days Gorillas and Zanzibar

This safari is for you to return to the roots and understand the creation story. You understand where your origin is and whether or not history is real to suggest man resembles Apes and could be having a common ancestry. You get to spend time with the worlds sought after Apes-the endangered mountain Gorillas; only found in the continent of Africa in the high altitude places of the great rift valleys. The mountain Gorillas live on the slopes of Virunga chain of Mountains, and half of their total population find home in Uganda; pearl of Africa.

Safari Highlights

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DAY TO DAY HIGHLIGHT

SAFARI OVERVIEW

This safari is for you to return to the roots and understand the creation story. You understand where your origin is and whether or not history is real to suggest man resembles Apes and could be having a common ancestry. You get to spend time with the worlds sought after Apes-the endangered mountain Gorillas; only found in the continent of Africa in the high altitude places of the great rift valleys. The mountain Gorillas live on the slopes of Virunga chain of Mountains, and half of their total population find home in Uganda; pearl of Africa.

The fact that there is rest after everything, you will head to the east of Tanzania; the archipelago gateway for an escape to the pristine white sand beaches and the historical stone town city. What a waits you is a new experience and story. Eating different dishes, visiting two of east Africa’s top safari destinations, meeting new people, refreshing, swimming, gorilla trekking, city tours, shopping, and photography. The trip starts at Entebbe international airport in Uganda and ends in Tanzania.

  • Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe
  • Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Day 3: Gorilla trekking and Batwa Pygmies
  • Day 4: Bwindi to Arusha Tanzania
  • Day 5: Arusha city tour
  • Day 6: Flight from Arusha to Zanzibar Island
  • Day 7: Stone town tour and primate treks in Jozani-Chwaka forest
  • Day 8-9: Dolphin tour and beach experience
  • Day 10: Departure
  • End of safari

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe

Meet and greet our driver guide at Entebbe international airport, located at the shores of Lake Victoria; the world’s third largest freshwater lake. This is the first scenery that ushers you to “the pearl of Africa”.  You will get sorted with the immigration office, and then join your guide who with a great smile and amazing stories will accompany you to your lodge for check-in and refreshment.

If there is anything you need to buy, or know; your guide will gladly offer a tour around the vibrant Kampala city; Uganda’s oldest capital and trade hub. Visit the historical monuments, craft village, coffee shops and the shopping malls. The night life is so vibrant that taking about 3 hours in the happening places around town is a bonus to your experience. End this day with an overnight stay at your Hotel after dinner.

Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi

After breakfast, you will check-out of your hotel for a transfer to the southwestern part of Uganda. This road trip lasts for approximately 8-9 hours; with views of the rolling hills, plantations, busy towns, and more. The driver guide will explain to you the different attractions at the route, tell stories of the African culture, and keep you engaged.

There is an enroute stopover at the independence monument for Lunch, and to watch the experiment done at the imaginary line that divides the earth into two; the northern and the southern Hemisphere. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park was upgraded to a national park status in 1991, to protect the primates and the forest cover. There are over 19 mountain Gorilla families spread in the four sectors of the park (Ruhija, Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Buhoma). You will drive to one of the four sectors and check-in to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day 3: Gorilla trekking and Batwa Pygmies

At daybreak, you will have a cup of coffee. Thereafter, transfer to the park headquarters for a pretrekking briefing and document verification. This is done at 07:00 hours for about 30 minutes, with the ranger guides explaining the trekking dos and don’ts, assigning you a gorilla family to trek, and accompanying to the Jungle. You will first visit the place where the Apes where last spotted, following the bent tree branches and broken leaves. The hiking pace is set by the Apes, and it can take up to 8 hours to find them. Good news is this tiresome hike is rewarded with the encounter of other park residents such as birds, monkeys, forest mammals, and the knowledge of the plants and their importance to Mankind. Upon finding your cousins, there is an hour for photography, relaxation and to watch the King of the Jungle-the silverback; his powerful movements and looks. The Gorillas have an over 95% DNA similar to man, and a strong social life. They feed on vegetables, fruits and insects. 

After a one on one with the world’s strongest primate species, you will have Lunch, and thereafter return to the lodge for refreshment. What follows is an exciting entertainment by the Batwa pygmies; the former hunters and gatherers at the forest. At sunset, you will retire to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Bwindi to Arusha Tanzania

Today starts with an early breakfast meal at the lodge. Thereafter, you will checkout for a transfer to Entebbe international airport for a late flight to Arusha Tanzania. On road, Bwindi impenetrable national park will take about 8-9 hour drive, with an enroute stopover for Lunch. You will keep your eyes on the plantation cover and other geographical features aligned on the route. Waving back to the natives is a show of love, before departing Uganda.

Upon reaching Entebbe international airport, you will have a chattered flight to Arusha International airport, where our company driver guide will meet and welcome you to the land of Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Zanzibar. Transfer to your Hotel for dinner and a night stay over.

Day 5: Arusha city tour

Wakeup relaxed and for a cup of coffee. Thereafter, our tour guide will take you for a tour around the busy Arusha city. Visit the Historical, cultural and religious sights there is to explore around town. You will also have lunch in the city and then at sunset, call it a day by driving to the Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Arusha has very friendly people, and you will spend with them, engaged in stories, city walks, Bargaining for Items, and more. Swahili is the commonly spoken Language around town, however English is one other language the people have mastered.

Day 6: Flight from Arusha to Zanzibar Island

At 11:00 hours, you will check-out of the lodge for a transfer to the airport for a flight to Zanzibar Island, located at the shores of the vast Indian Ocean. Dolphin tours, swimming, stone town tour and primate tour should be running in your minds right after Landing at the gateway of Tanzania. Zanzibar’s pristine white sand beaches are some of the best in the world, and without doubt offer the most conducive atmosphere for chilling.

When you land in Zanzibar, our company driver guide will gladly welcome you, and brief you on the expect code of conduct at the Island. Zanzibar Island is dominated by Islam religion, and decency is highly recommended. The driver guide will transfer you to the lodge for check-in, dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Stone town tour and primate treks in Jozani-Chwaka forest

After breakfast, you will go for a half day tour around stone town city. This place was the heart of slave trade In Africa in the 19s. Slaves from Africa to Europe were held captives here, and then sold to the rich Arabs and British business men. The dilapidated houses still stand, and you will be able to see while taking a walk around the streets. The prayers from the mosques should enable you understand the dominant faith here and the code of conduct expected of all persons there. Stone town features a combination of African, European and Asian ancient houses and art. Your tour guide will take you to the different attractions such as the Museums, former slave trade markets and the House of wonder. Lunch comes after words.  

After lunch, there will be a drive to Jozani – Chwaka national park. The afternoon primate trekking is from 15:00 hours, starting with a briefing session and two hours of seeing the different birds, reptiles, butterflies, flora and primates such as the rare red Colobus monkeys. You will discover how the park residents end their day, before returning to the lodge for dinner and a nap.

Day 8-9: Dolphin tour and beach experience

Your last two days in the island will be for engaging in what most people wish but miss; chilling by the quite white sand beaches of Zanzibar. The life of resting by the ocean shores; while taking in the cool lake breeze, reading a novel, Sippi some spirit and whispering to the African clouds. You will also have a half day dolphin tours, where you dive into the waters; to swim with the aquatic life such as the fish, dolphins, and more.

Lunch and dinner come on time, enough rest, and beach activities at peace. Make sure the camera is well charged for photography, because the stories created here will be worth telling on photos and paper.  Retire to bed when the body says so.

Day 10: Departure

On this day, you will have a relaxed breakfast meal at the lodge. Thereafter checkout for a transfer to Abeid Karume airport where you will connect to the next destination. All activities on this day are dependent on your flight time. What we recommend is doing some shopping around Arusha city as you get some souvenirs in remembrance of your 10 days outside home.

End of safari

Included in The package/Price:

  • All Domestic Flights as mentioned in itinerary
  • Transfers in a exclusive 4×4 Customized jeep
  • All Airport Transfers.
  • Full Board Accommodations 9 Nights
  • All Activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 1 Gorilla Permit per person
  • 1 chimpanzee Permit Per person
  • All Boat Cruises Mentioned
  • City Tour
  • Dolpin Tour
  • Bottled water on safari

Excluded in the Package

  • Personal International flight
  • Visa (USD $50 or $100 for east African tourist visa
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Items of personal nature
  • Laundry service
  • Tips

F.A.Q.

There is no standard price for Uganda, Rwanda or Congo gorilla permit –each country has its rates. In Uganda, the charges vary depending on the visitor category. The foreign non-residents are charged USD 700 to have their gorilla permits booked, USD 600 for foreign residents and Ugandans (East Africa citizens) pay shs. 250,000 per person. To have a gorilla permit secured/booked, you need USD 1500 for Rwanda and this is most ideal for luxury/high-end travelers interested in visiting the endangered mountain gorillas.

When booking a gorilla permit, it is also a good thing to have a destination of your desire in mind. The key places to consider a must-visit on gorilla tour include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park –these are gorilla trekking destinations for tourists on a tour in Uganda. In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is where you can locate habituated mountain gorilla families and crossing the D.R. Congo, you can explore Virunga National Park.

It is a good thing to also understand when best to book your gorilla permits to avoid having issues on actual date of gorilla trekking. Considering our experience, we always recommend our clients to have their permits booked early enough at least 2-4 months. This can save you from last minute stress, especially if you plan to travel during the dry season also considered to be the peak season. The peak months of the year fall around June, July, August to September, and December, January to February.

Gorilla permits are among the relevant documents visitors must have to be allowed to track gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Not any gorilla permit should be presented on actual gorilla trekking adventure but a valid one. Booking gorilla permits is part of making the entire gorilla trip complete and should be done early enough before the actual visit to see mountain gorillas or eastern lowland gorillas.

To have your gorilla permit booked, there is a process one should undergo through and is generally tedious. Considering your tight schedule back home, you may wonder how easier you can have your permit booked in advance to avoid last minute stress.

The easiest way to secure your gorilla permit in Uganda or Rwanda is by dealing with a recognized tour operator/company on the ground. This is where our reservation team comes in. As part of your gorilla safari requirement, our team being on ground will ensure that your permit is booked early enough and everything else that is needed for gorilla trekking is put together.

The beauty about dealing with local safari company such as ours is that we have knowledge on the different gorilla groups and surrounding communities plus various accommodation facilities for your night stay. This is in addition to making the entire gorilla permit booking process easier on behalf of our clients.

There is also an option of booking the permit directly through the reservation team of respective park authorities. But the challenge is that you must undergo through the long process to have your permit booked and this may not favor you depending on your schedule. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is an organ in charge not only for conservation of wildlife in the Pearl of Africa but also sets prices for tourism activities in the parks including gorilla permits. In Rwanda, you can contact Rwanda Tourism Board/Rwanda Development Board to have your permit booked.

The East African tourist visa is a joint visa that permits one to travel to specific countries within East Africa, namely Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda only. A joint tourist visa can be used several times for various purposes as long as it’s not overdue. 

Tourists should therefore find it important to always remember that the tourist visa lasts for only 90 days.  Processing the tourist visa takes a maximum period of two working days. It is also important to note that the tourist visa prohibits employment.

The process of applying for a tourist visa has been made easier since it can be done with the help of a tour operator or by the individual themselves online through the Ministry of Internal Affairs immigration portal. Visitors are required to log in to the portal, go ahead and accept the terms and conditions for the tourist visa, select the Visa / permit type, the subcategory and category, complete the application form and upload the required documents. 

A reference number will be generated and sent to you through your email, submit it and proceed to payment. It’s important to note that the payment can be made using Visa cards.  An approval letter will be sent to your email after the above process.

Report at the immigration office or border post for the biometric capture with all the necessary documents, receipt of payment, approval letter and your passport. Visitors should regard it as important to enter through the home country issuing the visa.

The East African tourist visa costs a fee of $100 only, meaning that it can be obtained by all travelers ranging from the budget to luxurious ones.

  • Persons aged 15 years and above are allowed to trek gorillas.
  • Avoid sneezing in the presence of gorillas.
  • Always stay away from gorillas by observing distance
  • Do not try to feed gorillas
  • Do not chew in the presence of gorillas
  • Do not take photos with flash light on.