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Gorillas & Plains

Nothing compares to thrill of seeing Africa's iconic safari animals up close. Come face to face with lions, elephants, and more, and experience untamed Africa at its best during the Great Migration.
Every day is action-packed in Kenya as you drive through plains full of wildlife as far as you can see on journeys of drama, danger and survival. The highlight of the year is no doubt the Great Migration when 2-million-strong herd of wildebeest, thunder across the savannah and chase the rains. But all throughout the year, thrilling encounters with Africa’s iconic wildlife await - hippos, giraffes, flamingos, mighty elephants, proud lions, and more!
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Quick overview

Duration
14 Days

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Starting From
₹140,879
Per person on twin-sharing basis
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Travel Operator
Encounters Travel

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Flights
Not Included

Flight booking assistance will be provided. See All Inclusions

Reviews

7 Reviews

Anonymous

Written on 01 Mar, 2017

5.0 out of 5
Amazing and surreal. We found the gorillas within an hour and the experience of being up close and personal with gorillas is a once in a life time adventure.
Amazing and surreal. We found the gorillas within an hour and the experience of being up close and personal with gorillas is a once in a life time adventure.read less
David
5.0 out of 5
Had a worry free amazing experience from the time we booked the trip till we arrived back home. Definitely recommend using them.
Had a worry free amazing experience from the time we booked the trip till we arrived back home. Definitely recommend using them.read less
Marijo W
5.0 out of 5
Best trip I have ever been on. I have traveled with many tour companies but none compare to the itinerary, information, and professionalism of this company.
Best trip I have ever been on. I have traveled with many tour companies but none compare to the itinerary, information, and professionalism of this company.read less
Chook
5.0 out of 5
Highly recommend Encounters Travel. Entire tour was conducted without a hiccup, tour guides were amazing - friendly, highly knowledgeable, courteous and nothing was too much trouble to ensure our trip was of a high standard.
Highly recommend Encounters Travel. Entire tour was conducted without a hiccup, tour guides were amazing - friendly, highly knowledgeable, courteous and nothing was too much trouble to ensure our trip was of a high standard.read less
Taylor
5.0 out of 5
I highly recommend you to use Encounters if you travel to Egypt. Their customer service was excellent and exceeded my expectations.
I highly recommend you to use Encounters if you travel to Egypt. Their customer service was excellent and exceeded my expectations.read less
David
5.0 out of 5
Had a worry free amazing experience from the time we booked the trip till we arrived back home. Definitely recommend using them.
Had a worry free amazing experience from the time we booked the trip till we arrived back home. Definitely recommend using them.read less
Jagdev
5.0 out of 5
Well organized with good guides. Small groups and well paced and decent time for departure from one city to another.
Well organized with good guides. Small groups and well paced and decent time for departure from one city to another.read less
Video

360 Degree Video| Here's What It Feels Like To Be In The Masai Mara

Sitting inside an open jeep, watching elephants and lions nearby are just some animal encounters in store in Africa - but expect TEN TIMES MORE wildlife during the Great Migration. Watch this video by Pallavi Nopany for a glimpse of what's in store.

Why take this trip with us

Experiences

Our experiences and activities are expertly curated with inputs from trusted locals.

Accomodation

Best in class hotels that are conveniently located in city centres.

Safety

Our trips are organized with your safety in mind. We collaborate with local tourism authorities extensively.

Guide

Our trips always have a knowledgeable, friendly and expert guide to show you around.

Transport

Our tranport and transfers are always exclusive, private and in small buses.

Join the group

The highlights excite you? The dates suit you perfectly? Click below to get full details by email, including early-bird and Postpaid pricing options.

Customise this trip

Our trips are fully customisable, so if you are travelling solo, with friends or family, create a trip that matches your preferred dates and budget.

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Itinerary

Nairobi to the Masai Mara

Your African adventure begins in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Those who booked the activity package will make their way into the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve, one of the wildest and most spectacular safari destinations on the planet. 
 
Stretching for over 1,510 square kilometres (580 square miles) and rising between 1,500 - 2,170 meters (4,920-7,120 feet) above sea level, the Masai Mara is home to all the Big Five wildlife (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros) as well as the great wildebeest migration for several months of the year. 
 
We'll travel to the Masai Mara in a minibus, before switching over to a game vehicle. For this reason, we request that you only pack a small overnight bag to travel with. You will need your towel, clothes, toiletries and camping essentials. 
 
If you haven't booked the activity package, then you should please arrange to travel to Lake Nakuru to join the tour on the morning on Day 4. For assistance with this, please contact us for more information. 
 
Route: Nairobi to Masai Mara ±240km 
Activity package: Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion

Exploring the Masai Mara

The vast plains and grasslands of the Masai Mara offer some of the best game viewing opportunities in Africa. If you're lucky enough, you could see the Big Five in the reserve as well as animals such as cheetah, gazelle, zebra and more. 
 
Hippo and Nile crocodile spend hours wallowing in the muddy waters of the Mara River, which from the months of July - September play host to the infamous Mara River crossings, which sees thousands of wildebeest attempt to cross its crocodile-infested waters. 
 
Today we will spend the entire day game driving through the Mara in search of all the animals. 
 
Activity package: Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion

Travel to Lake Nakuru

We start our day with an early morning game drive through the Masai Mara towards Lake Nakuru National Park, which we'll reach by afternoon. 
 
We'll head out later in the day for a game drive through Lake Nakuru National Park, which is home large flocks of flamingo's, pelicans and a host of other bird life. In fact, the Lake Nakuru was originally a bird sanctuary before it received national park status in 1968. 
 
Other wildlife that you can see here include leopard, lion, black and white rhino as well as different species of buck. 
 
Route: Masai Mara to Lake Nakuru ±220km 
Activity package: Kenyan Parks Highlights Excursion

Lake Nakuru to Jinja

We say goodbye to Kenya today as we make our way across the border towards Uganda. We'll make a stop along the way to celebrate crossing the Equator before we head towards Jinja - Uganda's second largest city. 
 
Jinja is also famed as being the point where the Nile River flows out of Lake Victoria and begins its 6,700-kilometre journey towards Egypt and the Mediterranean. 
 
Note: If you have not booked the Activity Package then you will need to get to Lake Nakuru and be ready to leave there with the group this morning. 
 
Route: Lake Nakuru to Jinja

Jinja to Murchison Falls National Park

After spending the night in Jinja, we make our way towards Kampala for a short stopover before we make our way to Murchison Falls National Park which sits on the shore of Lake Albert, in northwest Uganda. 
 
The Murchison Falls, also known as Kabaraga Falls, is a waterfall located on the course of the Nile River. The park is also home to four of the Big Five species: lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant. 
 
Your guide will help you settle into your accommodation before briefing you on the itinerary for the following day.

Travel to the Budongo Central Forest Reserve

Home to East Africa's biggest mahogany forest, we make our way towards the Budongo Central Forest Reserve, which is home to the largest population of chimpanzees in Uganda. It's estimated that between 600-700 chimpanzees call Budongo Forest home. 
 
We'll meet up with our chimpanzee guide this morning, who will take us on a trek through the forest in search of these beautiful mammals. Afterwards, we head out on a game drive to spot the other wildlife in the forest reserve. 
 
Note: Chimp trekking is limited to 12 guests per trek. Should there be more than 12 guests on a tour, the trekking will be split into morning and afternoon treks. Therefore, you may find that you will first do the game drive activity followed by the chimp trekking or vice versa. Please allow for flexibility. 
 
Activity package: Chimpanzee Trekking 
Included highlight: Nile River Boat cruise (half day) in Murchison Falls National Park

Back to Kampala

We can start the day with an optional early morning game drive before we visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and then make our way back to the Ugandan capital city of Kampala. 
 
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. The Rhino re-introduction project is the brainchild of the Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority. 
 
Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) was formed as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in 1997 and is tasked with overseeing its aim of reintroducing rhinos back into the national parks of Uganda through a breeding and release program. 
 
Optional activities: Murchison Falls game drive 
Activity Package: Ziwa Rhino Walk 
Route: Masindi to Kampala

Crossing the Equator towards Lake Bunyonyi

We make our way back across the Equator once more today as we travel south towards Lake Bunyonyi - a small lake with an abundance of bird life. 
 
Surrounded by mountain ranges, Lake Bunyonyi boasts a large otter population and is the ideal place to relax before our journey to see the mountain gorillas.. 
 
Route: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni

Searching for mountain gorillas

Today, we head out in search of the endangered mountain gorillas. It's estimated that there are only around 650 left in the wild today. 
 
One of the best ways to protect these beautiful animals is by visiting them, as money spent on permits are used to fund their protection. 
 
One of the most important factors in the future conservation of the mountain gorillas lies with in community development - if the attitudes of the local communities' changes towards protecting the wildlife around them instead of poaching - the battle in protecting mountain gorillas can be won. 
 
Permits granting permission to visit the gorillas are limited, so flexibility is required in both the tour itinerary and where we visit them. 
 
The home of the mountain gorillas is completely at odds with man-made borders and so their range encompasses Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). 
 
We prefer to make use of the national parks of Uganda, but depending on the availability of the permits, we may travel to Rwanda or the DRC. 
 
On your free day in Bunyonyi you will have the opportunity to participate in optional activities. You can also go hiking or explore the area on a mountain bike. 
 
Optional Activity: Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking & a cultural tour

We allocate two days to gorilla trekking; however, we only spend one day on the trek. The other days are dedicated to providing a large enough window to obtain permits and to allow the entire group to see these beautiful animals. 
 
We will also visit the nearby Nyombi Village, a Pygmy village which is reached by motor boat from Bunyonyi Resort. We will have the opportunity to learn about the culture of the Pygmies, giving you great insight into their daily lives. 
 
Included Highlight: Pygmy Village Visit

Back to Kampala

We say goodbye to Lake Bunyonyi this morning as we cross the Equator for the third time until we reach Kampala. Your guide will give you a breakdown of the activities available in Jinja, so that you can plan your day ahead. 
 
Route: Lake Bunyonyi to Kampala

Kampala to Jinja

Kampala is a short distance away from Jinja, which offers plenty of activities to take advantage of, most centred around the Nile River. They include kayaking, river rafting and cruises on Africa's largest river. 
 
For those looking to do something else other than water sports, horse-riding and quad biking are available as well. 
 
Optional Activities: Quad biking, kayaking, rafting 
Route: Kampala to Jinja

Back to Kenya

We leave Jinja today and make our way to Eldoret - Kenya's fifth largest city. The Great Rift Valley is the most prominent geographical feature of this region, with the city rising at 2100 metres above sea level. 
 
Route: Jinja to Eldoret

Travel to Nairobi

After spending some time searching for the Big Five and mountain gorillas, the tour comes to an end in Nairobi. There is an optional dinner, where we can swap stories and exchange contact details. 
 
We recommend that you book at least one more night post-tour rather than flying out this evening in case of any delays. We can help you in organising extra nights if required. 
 
Route: Eldoret to Nairobi 
 
Note: The itinerary for this tour is flexible and can be changed without notice in order to accommodate the best possible viewing of the Mountain Gorillas. The Permit price to visit the Gorillas can also change without notice.

Inclusions

 13 night's accommodation in hotels/lodges/guesthouses

 All transport using our 25-seat expedition vehicle

 All 'included highlights' as mentioned in the itinerary

 2 truck crew (driver/guide plus assistant/cook)

 Local guides for sightseeing tours and activities as per the itinerary

 Meals: 13 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 11 dinners

Not Included

 International Flights (available on request)

 Visa fees if required

 Activity Package and optional activities (see itinerary and tour notes)

 Travel Insurance (compulsory, available on request)

 Meals not indicated in the itinerary

 Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)

 Tips for guides & drivers

 Entrance fees and activities not mentioned above

 Any other items not mentioned above

 Gorilla permits (allow approx US$630

 Additional 5% GST

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Frequently asked questions

Byond Travel is Asia's largest discovery and booking platform for expert-led group tours in over 50 countries. We boast 10,000+ tours by verified experts that offer unique and memorable experiences. We curate expert advice and recommendations from a community of 100k+ travellers, and bring together local operators who offer these services, making the booking of experiences comparable, fast and easy.

We enable travellers to go on group trips all around the world. We also help create customized journeys for private groups.

A comprehensive list of inclusions and exclusions is mentioned on each trip page, but across all our trips, we have these in common: unique experiences, handpicked local experts, comfortable accommodation, and a trip leader who’s there to assist you around the clock.

No. We don't include flights and visa costs in our prices unless specified. We, however, will put you in touch with our partners who can help you.

Our travellers are friendly and open-minded. They come from countries all around the world. At the end of your trip with our multicultural groups, you will return with new friends, memorable experiences and incredible stories.

We have trips for all kinds of travellers. Some are suitable for 18-35 year olds, some may better suit travellers above 50, and others where everyone is welcome.

Yes, you can customize your trips. We help organize solo journeys that are highly personalized.

Our travellers come from all over the world. From India, Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Calcutta are represented the most.

We believe the early-bird catches the best travel worm :) The early-bird discounts are valid for the first few spots on the group and are not time sensitive. Your travel designer will let you know about the number of spots available.

We have a secure payment gateway that supports payment through credit and debit cards, net-banking and Internet wallets. The payment gateway also supports payment through EMIs. If you are not comfortable with paying online, please let your travel designer know and they'll help you out with alternatives.
We also have a 'Travel now, pay later' programme through which you can book a trip without any immediate payment. You only pay after your trip is over. And you can pay in three monthly installments with 0% interest. Click here for more information.

If you’ve changed your mind about a trip you’ve already registered for, all you need to do is call/email the representative who you’ve been in touch with. Cancellation fees are applicable and are based on the period of notice. All products have their own cancellation and refund policies, although we will always try our best to ensure we get you the maximum refund possible.

Your safety is our number one priority and we design our travel journeys keeping this in mind. We collaborate with tourism boards and there will always be access to emergency contacts and medical support throughout the trip.

Requirement of visas whilst travelling depends on your nationality. You are responsible entirely, for obtaining all the documents that you’re required to produce during your vacation. We will provide you with the visa documents related to your booking.

Visas take varying periods of time – sometimes several weeks – to obtain. Do ensure that you plan an experience with us knowing that you’ll have your documentation under control. Failure to obtain visas could cause delays and cancellation that could cost you unnecessary additional expenses and inconvenience, so do plan ahead.

Our postal address is:

Byond eTravel & Entertainment Private Limited 164, 9th Cross, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bangalore - 560 038

If you have any queries regarding our trips, please email support@byond.travel or call us on +91 80470 91112

If you are from the press or want to talk to us about partnerships, please email vikram@byond.travel or rishi@byond.travel.

This Trip Is Operated By Encounters Travel

Our tours are designed to give our travellers the best possible experience in each country, and to be good value without making compromises to save time or money. We also try very hard to keep the overall style and inclusions/exclusions of our tours as consistent as possible from country to country, while taking into account the different highlights and activities available in each country.

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