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Gorillas + The Big Five

10 days

The Serengeti + Ngorongoro + Rwanda

Our Distinctive A+R Style

  • Observe. Encounter... Engage! Our unique safari itinerary reveals the Big Game of the plains and the endangered Mountain Gorilla.
  • Get closer to the Big Five with our expert safari guides in special 6-passenger open-top jeeps – it’s a front-row seat for every thrilling encounter!
  • Take to the skies over the Serengeti on a Hot Air Balloon Safari… And touch down to find a Champagne breakfast waiting!
  • Silent observation and engagement with a Gorilla family in their natural jungle habitat will be one of the most poignant and life-changing animal encounters you will ever have.
  • Our unique approach allows you to personalize your safari: Add a 2nd Gorilla Trek or unwind on the beaches of Zanzibar – or do both!
  • With 9 nights luxury safari lodgings; morning + afternoon game drives; Guided Gorilla Trek with Permit; 23 meals; house wines + spirits at our safari lodges; all transfers; 3 internal flights; and all gratuities except for your safari guides.

c Visit 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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Day
1

Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania

Arusha Coffee Lodge - Arusha, Tanzania

On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you’ll be transfered to the Arusha Coffee Lodge; set on one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations, you’ll find spacious guestrooms with beamed ceilings, wide-plank floors and canopied 4-poster beds that evoke the heritage of this delightful property. This evening is yours to dine and relax as you wish.

After breakfast, a scenic overland journey takes you westward into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where you’ll arrive in time for lunch at the Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge. Set on 50 pristine acres of landscaped grounds and wild Tanzanian bush, you’ll find just 20 private cottages, all with open fireplaces in the bedroom and living room, spacious baths, and expansive terraces overlooking the Ngorongoro landscape.
 
After lunch, the afternoon is yours to relax and enjoy the breathtaking wilderness setting of our luxury lodge. This evening’s dinner features fine Mediterranean-inspired cuisine prepared with farm-fresh produce from our Lodge’s own garden – and accompanied by complimentary house wines, cocktails and beverages.  Meals B+L+D

There is no place anywhere on the planet that is quite like Ngorongoro Crater c, and it offers an absolutely unique environment for wildlife viewing. First, you will rarely see any giraffe or impala inside the crater; though they would love to graze the abundant vegetation, these delicate-legged animals find it nearly impossible to navigate their way down the steep cliffs. But because it is so enclosed and the crater floor is mainly open grassland, this conservation area is easy for game officials to patrol, and the result is a healthy population of endangered species including Black Rhino and Cheetah. Indeed, it’s like a giant fishbowl, and this morning’s game drive across the crater floor will be amazing! In addition to plenty of Big Game, Ngorongoro is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with more than 500 species recorded in the Crater grasslands and highland forests.   Back at our luxury Lodge, you’ll enjoy lunch and a leisurely afternoon.  Meals B+L+D

This morning after breakfast, we’ll take you to the airstrip for an exciting safari transfer into the Serengeti c. Thrill to cinematic aerial views over the African landscapes and a chance to see vast herds roaming the plains below. After touching down at Serengeti National Park, you’ll be met and escorted to one of our luxury safari camps. With remote settings in the Southern, Central and Northern Serengeti, they’re handpicked to keep you closer to the wildlife – whenever you travel. You’ll arrive in time for lunch and your first afternoon game drive in the Serengeti! This evening, gather with your fellow guests for a congenial dinner accompanied by complimentary house wines, spirits, beer and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages.  Meals B+L+D
 
We Adjust Our Itinerary Seasonally to keep you closer to the Great Migration - whenever you go:
 
From January through March, when the Great Migration reaches the remote southern Serengeti for the calving season, you’ll spend 3 nights at Sanctuary Kusini - perfectly situated here for the unfolding drama. With only 12 under-canvas suites, our luxury camp overlooks predator-populated plains so you’ll have front-row seats when the Wildebeest Migration passes through at full throttle.
 
From April through June and November to December, you’ll stay at Lemala Nanyukie where 15 luxury tents feature canvas walls, cathedral-like tented ceilings, sunken outdoor lounges and private plunge pools. This sector of the Central Serengeti is crossed by the vast herds of the Great Migration in their inexorable quest for water and food. And throughout the year, the sweeping grasslands are home to a large concentration of predator cats, promising thrilling wildlife spectacles.
 
From July through October, when the Great Migration moves into the Northern Serengeti to ford the Mara River, you’ll be close by at Lemala Kuria Hills. This luxury lodge features 15 glass-fronted suites with private plunge pools and sweeping views of the sloping grasslands, open woodland and tree-lined watercourses that distinguish this remote sector of the Northern Serengeti. Close to the Mara River within the main corridor of the annual Wildebeest Migration, it’s perfectly situated for unforgettable, uncrowded viewing of the Great Migration River crossings.

The Maasai call it Siringitu - "the place where the land moves on forever." Indeed, these wide open expanses are awe-inspiring in their natural beauty. But the Serengeti is also renowned for its extraordinary concentration of plains game - including of course the Big Five - so today's safari drives are sure to be heart-pounding and inspiring. And in the company of our engaging, impassioned and knowledgeable safari guides, these activities will also deepen your understanding and appreciation for Africa's abundant natural wealth. Cap off your afternoon game drive with Sundowner cocktails surrounded by the wild beauty of the Serengeti, and then return to your luxury lodge for another congenial dinner. Meals B+L+D

Animals, too, have their regular routines and this morning’s hot air balloon safari in the sharp clear light of dawn is an amazing time to gaze down as the wildlife of the Serengeti greets another day. Touch back down for a champagne breakfast and a morning game drive. Back at camp, you’ll have time to relax and to share your impressions of Africa with your fellow adventurers over lunch.
 
Featured in numerous nature documentaries, Serengeti National Park is certainly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world. Established in 1952, the Park covers 5,700 square miles - larger than the state of Connecticut. Its ecosystem is one of the oldest on Earth. Indeed the essential features of climate, vegetation and wildlife that you see today have changed little over the past million years! Unequaled in its abundant natural beauty and high-density of wildlife, this afternoon’s safari drive promises more encounters with the wide variety of primates, birds, horned bovines, wild dogs, ungulates and big cats that roam the Serengeti.  Meals B+L+D

Day
7

Embark on a final morning game drive and return to the Lodge for an early lunch. Then we’ll take you to the airstrip for another exciting safari transfer flight to Mwanza, situated on the southern shores of Lake Victoria. Your connecting international flight to Rwanda is also included. Upon arrival in Kigali, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the deluxe Kigali Serena Hotel where the evening is free to dine and relax as you wish.  Meals B+L

Day
8

Discover Kigali + Travel to the Virunga Mountains

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge - Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

After breakfast, our guide will be waiting to introduce you to the capital city. At the Kigali Genocide Memorial, you’ll learn about the country’s turbulent history and the tragic events of 1994. Then experience firsthand the resilience of the Rwandan people as you explore the downtown district; Kigali was founded more than 100 years ago as a German settlement and is now known for its progressive entrepreneurs, vibrant arts scene, and great dining.

After lunch on your own, you’ll depart Kigali and travel northwest through the beautiful terraced hills that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape. As we climb gradually toward the mighty Virunga Range, you’ll have breathtaking views of the volcano peaks rising high above the verdant countryside. Arriving in Ruhengeri, you’ll check in to the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Comprised of private cottages and suites, each with a fireplace and sheltered verandah, our luxury lodge enjoys a privileged location in the foothills of the Virungas close to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park. You’ll have time to refresh before dinner. The evening is yours to enjoy the ambience and setting of your lodge.  Meals B+D

After an early breakfast, we’ll take you to National Park Headquarters where you’ll register for today’s Gorilla Trek. An informative briefing with Park staff follows, during which you’ll learn the important Dos and Don’ts while in the presence of the Gorillas. Today there are about 10 Gorilla families that are habituated to human contact, and their movements along the forested mountain slopes will determine the duration of your trek.
 
Setting out in a small group of no more than 8 visitors, you’ll trek with your guide to catch-up with your designated Gorilla family. A+R guests will also have the additional services of an attentive and experienced porter to carry their daypack and water bottle. After locating your assigned group, you’ll have one amazing hour to watch quietly as these magnificent primates go about their daily routine (Park regulations limit Gorilla / Human contact to 60 minutes each day). Then retracing your steps down the volcano, we’ll take you back to the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. An informal Mountain Gorilla Talk with our guide will enrich your understanding and appreciation for these extraordinary primates.
 
Depending upon the duration of this morning’s Gorilla Trek, you might join a guided afternoon excursion to experience the traditions and daily life of Iby’Iwacu village. Or you could explore the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo - where the scenic forested shores provide prime habitat for a rich variety of birds.  Meals B+L+D

Day
10

Back to Kigali

After breakfast, we’ll take you back to Kigali for your onward flight. Meals B
 
If you want to finish your adventures on the exotic Spice Isle of Zanzibar, we’ll include your morning flight to Zanzibar City via Dar es Salaam and 3 nights at your choice of luxury beachfront resort. You could also add a second fully-guided Gorilla Trek with all fees and Trekking Permit included.

Extend Your Trip

Continue to Zanzibar after your Safari

4-day Post Safari Extension from $1,399

With its idyllic beaches, this friendly island is the perfect place to unwind after your safari adventures. To make it easy, we include private fast track arrival transfers, 3 nights at your choice of luxury beachfront resort, and a privately guided tour.

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Day
1

Zanzibar

On arrival in Stone Town, you’ll be warmly greeted, escorted through customer and chauffeured to your choice of beachfront resort: Choose the stylish Breezes Beach Club or delight in your own private villa at either the luxury Baraza Resort & Spa or The Residence, a lavish resort set amidst tropical gardens on a powder-soft white sand beach. The balance of this day is yours to relax and unwind as you wish.

Day
2

Discover the Spice Island

After today, you’ll appreciate why Zanzibar is known as the Spice Island! Your tour of Stone Town c reveals a unique blend of Sultan’s palaces, Portuguese forts and harborfront warehouses that bear testament to the colorful history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Meals B+D

Day
3

Delight in Zanzibar

This entire day is yours to do as you wish. You can unwind on the beach, take a dip the pool, or indulge in a spa treatment. Additional resort activities and guided tours are also available.  Meals B+D

Day
4

Depart Zanzibar

We take you to the airport today to connect with your onward journey.  Meals B

Gorilla Trek in TanzaniaSearch

We adjust our itinerary seasonally...  

...to keep you closer to the Great Migration - whenever you go From January to March when the vast herds are in the Southern Serengeti, you’ll be there for the unfolding drama at the luxurious Sanctuary Kusini. From April to June and November to December, we follow the herds into the Central Serengeti to stay at the intimate Lemala Nanyukie. From July to October when the Great Migration moves into the Northern Serengeti to ford the Mara River, you’ll be close by at Lemala Kuria Hills - ideally situated for the Great Migration River Crossings!

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02 January 2023 - 07 April 2023$7,399
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02 June 2024 - 16 June 2024$8,399
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02 July 2024 - 06 July 2024$9,399
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01 January 2025 - 05 January 2025$9,599
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06 January 2025 - 08 January 2025$9,299
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Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.

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Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group Safaris whenever you book and pay-in-full.