Tanzania and Gorillas
 

Gentle Giants Safari


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Day 1

In Arusha you will be met by a Sanctuary representative and transferred by private 4WD vehicle to Sanctuary Swala, your luxury tented camp in the Tarangire National Park. The drive from Arusha to Tarangire is approximately two hours, from the entrance of the park there is another one hour drive and there are plenty of game viewing opportunities en route. Tarangire is renowned for its elephant population that flood the park in their herds as they drink by the edge of the Tarangire River. In the afternoon there is time to relax before enjoying an exciting game drive by open four wheel drive vehicle. Huge herds of elephant, greater kudu, impala and zebra are all easily spotted whilst leopards lurk in the trees. As the sun fades return to camp for a Sundowner. Relax in your comfortable sofa as you watch the game stroll through camp and carry on with their daily activities.

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Overnight:
Sanctuary Swala


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Day 2

Start your day leisurely watching the bush come to life from the private deck of your tent.  Impala and dik dik wonder through camp on their way to the waterhole before starting their day. Following lunch you have time to take a refreshing swim in the pool or relax on your private deck with a cool drink and gaze out to the waterhole and watch as the game lazily congregates in the shade to escape the midday sun. As the afternoon progresses you may like to return to the Tarangire on an afternoon game drive. The beauty of Tarangire unfolds as you venture out into the baobab scattered landscape. This evening enjoy a game drive by moonlight.  As dusk falls, venture into the park transformed by night.  Search for nocturnal animals rarely seen by visitors as this is one of a few places in northern Tanzania where you can enjoy a safari by moonlight.   At night you may encounter an African wild cat, the elusive leopard or a bushbaby peering down at you. 

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight:
Sanctuary Swala


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Day 3

This morning awake to the sounds of the bush as a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee is served on your tents private deck. You may like to spend a full day with your driver/guide who will take you into the heart of the Tarangire by open 4WD vehicle in search of buffalo, giraffe and elephant.  The swamp attracts hundreds of elephants as they wallow in the shallow water that remains throughout the dry season.  A variety of bird species can be found around the edge of the swamp including lovebirds, rufous-tailed weaver birds and ashy starling all endemic to the area.  Kori Bustard, ostrich, hornbills and guinea fowl can all be found on dryer land.  A picnic hamper will be provided for your lunch to be enjoyed at one of the parks picnic sites with extensive views below you. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the lounge or on the deck as the sun paints the camps baobab's a dusty pink. Dinner tonight is enjoyed by lamplight as you listen to Tarangire's nocturnal animals stir and start their day.  Retire to the camp fire this evening as you unwind under the starry night sky.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Sanctuary Swala


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Day 4

Today  a Sanctuary guide will transfer you by private 4WD vehicle to Kilimanjaro Airport.  Upon arrival at Entebbe International airport you will be met by a Sanctuary Retreats representative who will brief you and transfer you to Serena Lake Victoria Resort on the shows of Lake Victoria, 32 KMs away. Styled to replicate the lines of a classically rustic Roman villa which might just as easily stand amid the sunflowers of the Tuscan Hills, as on the shores of Africa's largest lake, Lake Victoria. A gracious terracotta and cream palace, the central citadel is encircled by broad cafĂ© and cocktail terraces, where cushioned sofas invite relaxation. Above the marble reception, where a Roman fountain plays, white-arched galleries rise to a clear glass atrium. Widely spaced amongst the rose gardens, clusters of pastel-painted villas offer a choice of rooms and suites, all with panoramic lake views.

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight: Serena Lake Victoria Resort (Partner Hotel)


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Day 5

After breakfast transfer to Entebbe International airport for your scheduled flight to Kihihi - Bwindi on Aerolink schedule flight at 08:30hrs. This is a 1hr 50min flight. Upon arrival at Kihihi airstrip the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp guide will be there to meet you and transfer you to the lodge. Gorilla Forest Camp is the only concessionaire located within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is UNESCO World Heritage. It is the perfect luxurious base for a tracking experience as it offers luxury in the heart of the rain forest. Accommodation is in eight large en-suite 'tents' which have two queen-sized beds and a bathtub looking out onto the forest - ideal for soaking away aches and pains after a day searching for gorillas in the forest. The camp is raised on natural platform for open air dining. Guests can sit around the cosy campfire at night and enjoy Bwindi's crystal clear mountain sky.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp


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Day 6

You will have an early breakfast every morning before leaving for gorilla tracking. You will be at the tracking point by 8:00am for a briefing by the tracking guide. Tracking commences every morning from the park headquarters at 8:30am. The gorillas we track belong to one of the 'habituated' family groups in Northern Bwindi, in Buhoma side. For several years each group has undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the presence of humans. Experienced guides will accompany on the treks. The trackers, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves.  Once the gorillas are located, the group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Bwindi boasts over 300 bird species, including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo - the "Albertine Rift Endemics".

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp


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Day 7

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Batwa tribe village tracking point for a visit to the Batwa Pygmy tribe village. The hike is stiff as they live high up in the mountains. It is a rare privilege to see this forgotten group of people. Only eight of the original Batwa remain. Although no one is sure exactly how old they are, they are believed to be between 80 and 110! The walk to their village is spiced with interesting information and anecdotes: the way the locals make banana gin, how they build their homes and the history of the Batwa. For hundreds of years they had lived in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, reliant on the forest for food and shelter. When gorilla tourism started to take off and the recognition of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest by UNESCO as a world Heritage site there was need to protect and conserve the Forest, this led to the Batwa to be moved to the periphery of the Forest. Years later an American doctor, Doctor Scott, learnt about their plight and working with other stake holders was able to procure them land.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp


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Day 8

After breakfast at the lodge, you will be ready for your transfer to Kihihi airstrip for your schedule flight back to Entebbe at 1055hrs. Upon arrival you will be met by a Sanctuary Retreats representative who will assist you to your next connection.

Meals included: Breakfast