Uganda and Kenya Sanctuary Safari
GORILLA'S AND GNU'S
Featuring the Masai Mara in Kenya and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda this fantastic East Africa Safari takes you into the heart of this incredible place. With flights in between locations included this easy combination of fully inclusive luxury lodges for 7 nights will take your breath away.
4 x nights Sanctuary Olonana Camp
MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, KENYA
Sanctuary Olonana is an exceptional luxury safari lodge set on a private stretch of the Mara River in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve, the Masai Mara.
Featuring 14 glass-sided suites, Sanctuary Olonana is inspired by the Masai Mara’s breath-taking natural wonders, an abundance of wildlife, and a dramatic river which runs right past its forest setting. Game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sundowners, scenic flights and balloon rides, Olonana makes for a wonderful African safari.
WHY VISIT SANCTUARY OLONANA
Located on a private concession bordering the epic Masai Mara
During annual Wildebeest Migration, the action happens on the camp's doorstep
Easily accessible, only a 45 minute flight from Nairobi
Offers game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sundowners, balloon flights and scenic flights
Gold Eco-Rated by Ecotourism Kenya and winner of "Africa's Leading Eco-Lodge" in World Travel Awards 2015
In the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. This unique accolade is granted only to those businesses that have won the Certificate of Excellence for five years in a row.
CLASSIC MASAI MARA
The soothing interiors of the main lodge are an extension of the surrounding wilderness — a Kenyan Greenheart tree extends through the centre, floorboards evoke wood bleached by the African sun, while splashes of saturated mustard yellows and cerulean blues conjure the colours of African wildflowers glowing in a ‘golden hour’ light. Ornamentation includes hand-crafted Maasai spears on the walls and patterned prints inspired by these carved wooden weapons once used for lion-hunting ensure an authentic African spirit abounds. Dramatic glass doors open out from the lounge to the terrace. Here, faded indigo rugs and elegant Edison-bulb pendant lights gently illuminate the decking without competing with the natural ambiance and the inviting new boma firepit is encircled by deckchairs, with each seat promising grandstand river views. Dine on the deck of the main lodge and overlook the river’s resident hippos. Relax with a good book in the library, cool off in the pool or for an extra special treat, experience traditional African remedies and spa treatments in the mini-spa.
At Sanctuary Olonana, game viewing starts from the camp. A pod of hippos lives permanently in the river just below camp and many other species come to drink there. Sanctuary's experienced guides take you to all the hidden spots and our customised open safari vehicles offer all-round views, allowing for excellent photography opportunities. The Mara's rich eco-system includes acacia-studded savannah, riparian forest and woodland which attract more than 300 bird species and a stunning variety of animal life all year round.
CULTURAL VISIT TO MAASAI VILLAGE
Get an insight into the vibrant and still traditional way of life of the Maasai. Learn about the medicinal plants that grow here, the importance of cattle and the stages of life through which all Maasai pass, from young boy or girl to respected elder. Accompanied by an experienced Maasai guide you are invited to visit the village which is built along traditional lines; complete with cattle enclosure, outer palisade and mud and cow dung huts. Meet the elders, their wives and families and learn about the social structure of the homestead, the role of women in their society and many more aspects of their daily life. Interaction and discussion is encouraged, so whether the ladies are building a hut, the warriors are dancing or making fire with stones and sticks, guests are free to join in.
Walk with our naturalist and learn about plants, trees and insects and their use in the daily lives of the Maasai tribe. Visit our award-winning wetlands which cleanses wastewater naturally before returning it to the environment. There is an opportunity to plant a tree, leaving a positive mark in Africa. Our naturalist shares his intimate knowledge of the surrounding environment and how many of the trees and plants are used for medicinal purposes. Watch the hippos, learn to identify the birds from their song, stop and learn about insects and even the fascinating system ants have to build and maintain their ant-hills. Your guide will also point out animal signs which are everywhere, but not that easily noticed.
VISIT TO A SCHOOL
More and more popular are the visits organised by our guides to a variety of local schools during school term. These visits are free but we would recommend a donation to the school of anything upward of $15 per person.
HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI
Your balloon is inflated against the first rays of sunrise and once aloft floats gently over the plains and the plethora of game. The balloon lands around one hour after taking off with breakfast being prepared nearby. The smells of bacon, sausages and eggs drift on the breeze as you begin breakfast with platefuls of exotic Kenyan fruits and homemade pastries and, of course, glasses of bubbly to toast your flight. (Additional cost)
3 x nights Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST, UGANDA
Once-in-a-lifetime encounters with Uganda’s endangered gorillas await when you stay in one of these only eight private luxury tents in the heart of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Ecologically respectful, contemporary-yet-classic in style, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp blends in sensitively with the dramatic African mountain landscape and, situated uniquely inside the national park, you are only minutes away from the start of your gorilla trekking adventure.
WHY SANCTUARY GORILLA FOREST CAMP
Frequently visited by gorilla families due to its unique location
Exclusive camp with only eight tents, the perfect base for a once in a lifetime trip to track mountain gorillas
Opportunity for community interaction, including the local Batwa Pygmies
Specially customised sedan chairs with support and harness allows less able guests to be carried into the rainforest to track the gorillas in their natural habitat
An established philanthropy project at Bwindi Community Hospital which guests can visit
HIGH-DRAMA ACCOMMODATION FOR A HIGH-DRAMA LOCATION
Located in one of the remotest areas of Africa, these comfortable canvas spaces are dressed with indigenous prints and furniture made from natural materials. Beds are draped in neutral-toned linens, and local artefacts set a scene that ensures memorable moments both inside and out the accommodation. Each tent has a spacious, stone-walled bathroom with private sections, and a free-standing bath for a relaxing soak after a day’s trekking. The trees around the camp light up in the morning when the sun starts shining, and thanks to there being so few tents, the camp retains an intimate, exclusive feel, enabling you to experience Africa’s magic with the lightest of footprints yet with practically every mod con.
The gorillas are completely wild but have become used to seeing a few humans after years of habituation. Many of the expert guides have been involved in this process since the beginning and are able to explain the complicated etiquette involved in meeting a giant silverback. This is an opportunity afforded only to a select few, as just eight visitors are allowed to view each group every day. Tracking through dense forest with steep slopes means that participants do need to be physically fit to enjoy the track. Once the gorillas are located, spend a maximum of one hour with them before returning back to camp. Please note only children aged 15 and above can track gorilla.
BATWA TRIBE EXPERIENCE
Learn about and interact with the local Batwa People. This full day activity involves a three hour walk followed by about an hour spent with the Batwa. The walk back to camp is two hours. The visit includes a music performance, visitation by the goddess, hunting and gathering demonstration and an opportunity to see how they live. The Twa tribe who are also known as the Batwa are the oldest inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. They speak the same language as the Hutu and Tutsi groups of Rwanda. Like most of the tribes in Africa, they have moved from place to place and are now found in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and eastern portions of the DRC. Statistics show that by the year 2000 their numbers were approximately 80,000 people, making them a significant minority group in these countries. The first records of the Batwa were made by the Egyptians over 4,000 years ago. They described them as short statured people living near the "Mountains of the Moon" extolling their abilities as dancers and story tellers.
Bwindi boasts over 350 bird species, including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo - the so-called the "Albertine Rift Endemics". For keen birders, we can arrange for a local expert to guide you on a fascinating 2-3 hour walk through the park.
Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a spectacular place to visit. In addition to the gorillas, Bwindi is also home to rare forest elephants, giant forest hogs and eleven kinds of primates, such as red tailed and blue monkeys, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzees. You can also find forest duiker antelopes, bush buck antelopes and over 200 species of butterflies. We can offer a guided forest walk on the Munyaga waterfall trail. This trail starts from the Park office and ends at the magnificent Munyaga waterfall. The walk to and from the waterfall takes about three hours and is a good way to practice or cool down a day before or after the gorilla tracking.
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK DRIVES
While staying at Gorilla Forest Camp guests are able to venture out on game drives to Ishasha, located in the south of the well known Queen Elizabeth National Park popular for its tree climbing lions, savanna elephants, buffaloes, topi, hippos, various bird species, warthogs and the occational leopard.
The Ishasha Sector is famous for its population of tree-climbing lions. The Lions are normally seen lazily lying within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous Uganda Kobs grazing in the open Ishasha plains. This is usually a full day outing where guests are able to stop for lunch at the hippo pool. Departure is 6:30 in the morning.