Remarkable Rwanda & Tanzania: Exploring Lush Mountains and Expansive Plains

Highlights

Spend 11 unforgettable nights discovering East Africa: from the Serengeti’s expansive plains and kopje outcroppings in Tanzania, to the lush forests of Rwanda in search of mountain gorillas. This safari highlights true bucket-list wildlife encounters, exceptional destinations, and premier accommodations.

Rest up in Arusha after your international flight, then kick off your adventure in the southern Serengeti. This area is defined by classic grassland plains framed by rocky hills, and river courses fringed with yellow barked acacia trees. Enjoy day and night game drives across more than 129,000 acres of private wildlife reserve in search of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and ample plains game. For a more hands-on approach, explore the bush on foot as your guide teaches you about this dynamic ecosystem and the animals that call it home, or visit a local village to learn about age-old traditions and tribal stories. Mwiba Lodge features just ten tented suites set among massive stone boulders, ancient coral trees and acacias overlooking the Arugusinyai River.

Next, continue north to the Grumeti Reserve which spans over 350,000 acres in northern Tanzania. Indulge in the glamour of a bygone era in the intimate 1920s-style explorer’s tented camp, Sabora. Its opulence delightfully contrasts against the vast Serengeti wilderness just outside your door. Cool off in the swimming pool between game drives, where you may spy the likes of cheetah, bearded wildebeest, black rhino, lion, elephant, and the rare Colobus monkey.

Your last four nights on safari take you from the vast savannah landscapes of northern Tanzania to the dense jungles of Rwanda. Overnight and rest up in Kigali, then make your way to Volcanoes National Park. Made famous by Dian Fossey's work, more than half of the world's last mountain gorillas live in these extensive bamboo and afro-montane forests. While guests may well find endemic golden monkeys, forest elephants, buffalo, bushbucks, and more, the mountain gorillas are the stars of the show. Trekking to encounter these magnificent creatures face-to-face is often described as a life-changing experience. Set off in the early mornings to spend the day trekking through lush foliage in search of one of the area’s gorilla families.

Between trekking, unwind at Bisate, a sumptuous lodge that keeps environmental principles—and stunning views of Bisoke and Karisimbi volcano peaks—at the fore. We love the lodge not only for the top-notch service and amenities, but for its dedication to reforestation and rehabilitation. Guests can participate in the lodge’s hands-on biodiversity conservation efforts, as well as engage and meet with the local community. Aside from tracking one of the several habituated gorilla groups, activities can include visiting the Iby’wacu village, the Twin Lakes of Buhondo and Burera, the lava tunnels of the Musanze Caves, Dian Fossey’s grave, and more. Walks on the extensive property offer birding and participation in the reforestation program.

Summary

  • 1 Night – Legendary Lodge – Arusha, Tanzania

  • 3 Nights – Mwiba Lodge – Mwiba Wildlife Reserve

  • 3 Nights – Sabora Tented Camp – Grumeti Private Reserve

  • 1 Night – Marriott – Kigali, Rwanda

  • 3 Nights – Bisate Lodge – Volcanoes N.P.

Cost

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Elizabeth Gordon