The Big 5 Safari And Gorillas Itinerary for Your First Time

How to Plan The Big 5 Safari And Gorillas Itinerary for Your First Time. Take note. Meet… Interact! The endangered mountain gorilla and other plains-dwelling big game are revealed by our one-of-a-kind safari itinerary.

In our specially designed 6-passenger open-top jeeps, our knowledgeable safari guides will bring you closer to the Big Five, giving you a front-row seat to every exciting encounter!

Embark on a thrilling hot air balloon safari above the Serengeti... Upon landing, you will be greeted with a breakfast of Champagne!

Being able to quietly observe and interact with a family of gorillas in their native jungle home will be an unforgettable and profoundly moving animal encounter.

You can customize your The Big 5 Safari And Gorillas Itinerary with our unique approach: You can relax on Zanzibar’s beaches, add a second gorilla trek, or do both!

Included in the price is a 9-night stay in a luxury safari lodge, game drives in the morning and afternoon, a guided gorilla trek with a permit, 23 meals, house wines and spirits at the lodges, transportation, three domestic flights, and all tips (except wildlife rangers).

Safari Travel – How to See “The Big 5” in the Serengeti National Park

Detailed Big 5 Safari And Gorillas Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania

The Arusha Coffee Lodge is a charming property situated on one of the biggest coffee plantations in Tanzania. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be transferred there. The rooms are large and feature antique furnishings such as canopied four-poster beds, wide-plank floors, and beamed ceilings. This evening is at your leisure to have a meal and unwind.

Day 2: Onward to Ngorongoro

Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area, Tanzania

Following breakfast, you will embark on a picturesque overland ride that leads you westward into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will reach the Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge in time for lunch. There are just twenty private homes spread out over fifty acres of manicured gardens and natural Tanzanian bush. Each cottage features an open fireplace in the living room and bedroom, a large bathroom, and a terrace with views of the Ngorongoro panorama.

You are free to unwind and take in the stunning natural scenery of our five-star property after lunch. Join us for a gourmet dinner this evening featuring dishes inspired by the Mediterranean, made with ingredients straight from our lodge garden. We’ll be serving complimentary house wines, drinks, and refreshments to round off the meal. Meals B+L+D

Day 3: Down to the Crater Floor

Observing animals in their natural habitat is like no other, and Ngorongoro Crater provides an unparalleled opportunity to do just that. To start, giraffes and impalas are extremely scarce inside the crater, despite the fact that they would love to feed on the lush flora there. The sheer cliffs make it extremely difficult for these delicate-legged creatures to do so. The crater bottom is mostly open grassland, making it easier for wildlife officials to police this conservation area. As a result, endangered species like the black rhino and cheetah have a robust population. The morning’s game drive across the crater floor will be absolutely breathtaking; it seems like being in a gigantic fishbowl! Birdwatchers will find Ngorongoro’s Crater grasslands and highland woodlands home to over 500 species of birds, making it a veritable birdwatcher’s paradise. After returning to our five-star lodge, you can relax and enjoy lunch. Meals B+L+D

Day 4: Into the Serengeti

OUR SAFARI OF A LIFETIME (Serengeti Tanzania)

We will transport you to the airstrip this morning following breakfast so that you can embark on an exhilarating safari excursion into the Serengeti. Immense herds swoop across the plains below as you marvel at dramatic airborne panoramas of African landscapes. You will be met and led to a deluxe safari camp upon arrival in Serengeti National Park. Each one is meticulously selected to bring you closer to the wildlife no matter where your safari takes you in the Southern, Central, or Northern Serengeti. Lunch and your first Serengeti game drive in the afternoon will be waiting for you when you arrive! Enjoy a social supper this evening with complimentary house wines, spirits, beer, and a selection of non-alcoholic beverages served with your fellow guests. Meals B+L+D

We Adjust Our Itinerary Seasonally to keep you closer to the Great Migration – whenever you go:

From January through March, You will spend three nights at Sanctuary Kusini, an ideal location to witness the unfolding drama of the Great Migration as it reaches the wild southern Serengeti for the calving season. We are a luxury camp with just 12 under-canvas suites, and we look out over predator populations.

From April through June and November to December, Staying at Lemala Nanyukie, each of the fifteen luxurious tents has a unique design with features like as sunken outdoor lounges, private plunge pools, cathedral-like tented ceilings, and canvas walls. As part of their relentless search for food and water, the enormous herds of the Great Migration traverse this area of the Central Serengeti. Exciting animal shows are guaranteed all year round thanks to the vast grasslands, which are home to a high concentration of predator cats.

From July through October,  Located near the Mara River, you will be in the vicinity of Lemala Kuria Hills as the Great Migration enters the Northern Serengeti to cross it. In this secluded area of the Northern Serengeti, you’ll find a luxury lodge with fifteen rooms that offer glass fronts, private plunge pools, and expansive views of the rolling grasslands, open woods, and tree-lined watercourses that set it apart. Its prime location, along the Mara River and in the heart of the yearly Wildebeest Migration corridor, makes it an ideal spot for breathtaking, crowd-free views of the Great Migration river crossings.

Day 5: Morning + Afternoon Game Drives

It is known as Siringitu by the Maasai people, meaning “the place where the land moves on forever.” The sheer grandeur of these open fields is mind-boggling. Safari drives today will be exhilarating and motivating because the Serengeti is famous for its high concentration of plains wildlife, including the Big Five. You will gain a deeper appreciation for Africa’s rich natural resources while participating in these activities with our enthusiastic, well-informed, and entertaining safari guides. Indulge in Sundowner cocktails as you say farewell to the Serengeti on your afternoon wildlife drive. Afterward, head back to your five-star resort for another delicious meal. Meals B+L+D

Day 6: Ballooning + Game Drives in the Serengeti

Serengeti Balloon Safari Experience

Hot air balloon safaris in the early morning light provide a breathtaking vantage point from which to watch the Serengeti’s wildlife rise and shine, just like humans. After a champagne brunch, you’ll touch down again for a morning game drive. Upon returning to camp, you will have the opportunity to unwind and converse with your fellow explorers over lunch about your experiences in Africa.

The world’s most famous animal sanctuary, Serengeti National Park, has been featured in countless nature documentaries. The Park, which has been there since 1952, is bigger than Connecticut and extends over 5,700 square miles. Its biosphere is among the planet’s oldest. In fact, very little has changed in the last million years with respect to the fundamental aspects of the weather, flora, and fauna that you observe today! On this afternoon’s safari drive, you’ll have more opportunities to see the diverse array of monkeys, birds, horned bovines, wild canines, ungulates, and big cats that inhabit the Serengeti, an area unparalleled in its abundance of natural beauty and wildlife density. Meals B+L+D

Day 7: Fly to Kigali, Rwanda

Get back to the lodge in time for lunch after your last morning wildlife drive. On the way to Mwanza, which is on the southern beaches of Lake Victoria, we will drop you off at the airstrip for another thrilling safari transfer flight. It also includes your international connecting flight to Rwanda. The evening is at your leisure to dine and unwind at the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel, where you will be warmly welcomed upon arrival. Meals B+L

Day 8: Discover Kigali + Travel to the Virunga Mountains

The tour of the nation’s capital will begin after breakfast, when our guide will be waiting to take you around. Learn about the horrific events of 1994 and the country’s troubled history at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Kigali, Rwanda, was once a German settlement but has since become famous for its forward-thinking entrepreneurs, thriving arts scene, and excellent restaurants; while exploring the downtown area, you can witness the resiliency of the Rwandan people firsthand.

Your journey northwest from Kigali will take you by the picturesque terraced hills that make up a large portion of Rwanda’s countryside after you have lunch on your own. You will be treated to stunning panoramas of the towering volcanoes that dot the lush landscape as we progressively ascend toward the formidable Virunga Range. When you get to Ruhengeri, make your way to the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge to check in. Located in the foothills of the Virungas, near the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park, our luxurious lodge boasts private cottages and suites, each with a fireplace and shaded terrace. There’ll be plenty of time for you to relax before supper. You are free to relax and take in the scenery at your lodge this evening. Meals B+D

Day 9: Gorillas in the Wild

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda:

The Gorilla Trek registration process begins with an early breakfast, and we’ll transport you to the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters to complete it. After that, you’ll get a briefing with park employees where you’ll find out what to do and what not to do when you’re around the gorillas. The length of your walk is dictated by the movements of the around 10 gorilla families that have become accustomed to human interaction. These families traverse the mountain slopes covered in forests.

Join your guide on a journey to see your assigned gorilla family; groups of no more than eight people are allowed. In addition, A+R visitors will have access to a professional porter who will be happy to help them with their daypack and water bottle. Once you’ve found your group, you’ll have an incredible hour to observe these majestic apes as they go about their daily lives in relative peace (park restrictions limit gorilla/human contact to 60 minutes daily). After that, we will return you to the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge by following your previous route down the volcano. You will gain a deeper respect and admiration for these remarkable apes during a casual Mountain Gorilla Talk with our guide.

The length of this morning’s Gorilla Trek determines whether you’ll get the opportunity to take a guided afternoon excursion to learn about the customs and daily lives of the Iby’Iwacu village. Another option would be to visit the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera, which are home to a diverse array of bird species thanks to their picturesque forested shorelines. Meals B+L+D

Day 10: Back to Kigali

We will return you to Kigali for your subsequent journey after breakfast. Part B: Lunches

To round up your explorations of the exotic Spice Island of Zanzibar, we may arrange for your travel to Zanzibar City from Dar es Salaam in the morning and three nights at a five-star beachfront resort of your choosing. A second fully-guided gorilla trek, with the necessary costs and trekking permit, is also an option.

End of the Big 5 Safari And Gorillas itinerary 

Extend Your Trip

Continue to Zanzibar after your Safari

4 Day Post Safari

After a day of safari exploration, come relax on this welcoming island with its picture-perfect beaches. Our convenient package includes private, expedited airport transfers, three nights at a five-star beachfront resort of your choosing, and a private tour guide.

Day 1: Zanzibar

A friendly greeter will meet you at the Stone Town airport, and then you will be transported to the beachside resort of your choice: Located on a powdery white sand beach surrounded by tropical vegetation, the exclusive Baraza Resort & Spa and the elegant Breezes Beach Club both provide private villas where guests may relax in style. The rest of the day is at your leisure to do as you choose.

Day 2: Discover the Spice Island

You will understand the significance of Zanzibar’s nickname, “The Spice Island,” after today. As you explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll see a fascinating mix of architecture, from palaces of the Sultan to forts built by the Portuguese and warehouses situated along the harborfront. Items for Meals B and D

Day 3: Delight in Zanzibar

All day long, you are free to do anything you choose. Spend some time relaxing at the spa, swimming in the pool, or lounging on the beach. You can also book guided tours and other resort activities. Meals B+D

Day 4: Depart Zanzibar

You will be transported to the airport today to make your connection for your subsequent flight. Meals B