FULL ITINERARY – INTO THE HEART OF AFRICA2019-01-04T10:25:51+00:00

FULL ITINERARY

FULL ITINERARY: INTO THE HEART OF AFRICA

DAY 1

Enter the second largest rainforest on earth

STAY AT: Ngaga Camp

GETTING THERE: Arrive at Maya Maya International Airport in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, where you will be met upon arrival and assisted with the next leg of your journey. Catch your scheduled charter flight into Mboko airstrip in Odzala-Kokoua National Park (a two and a half hour flight with a packed lunch on board), where you will be met by a guide. Take a leisurely drive (around 3 hours, stopping to view game) through the park to Ngaga Camp.

EXPERIENCE: Unwind after your long journey in this magical camp set right inside the rainforest. On arrival, take a stroll in your new forest surroundings with a guide to tell you all about the local plants and wildlife. Alternatively, relax on your private veranda looking directly into the forest canopy and spot the many species of monkeys and bird life as they come and go. Enjoy sundowner drinks around the fire and hear everything you need to know about your exciting gorilla trek the next day.

DAY 2

Meet some of our closest living relatives on the planet

STAY AT: Ngaga Camp

EXPERIENCE: Awaken early with a light breakfast at 5.30am before setting off at 6am with an expert tracker and guide to search for the western lowland gorillas. Ngaga Camp is within the range of several gorilla families, two of which have become habituated. Depending on the location of the gorillas, treks can last anywhere between two and eight hours from start to finish, in which you will hike over undulating terrain through the untouched rainforest. Once found, you will spend a magical hour with the gorilla family, observing their behaviour and interactions and learning about them from your guide. After lunch, embark on a wildlife walk through the network of forest trails, learning about the rich diversity of flora and fauna from an expert guide. Admire the giant ancient trees towering above you and spot exotic birds like turacos and hornbills. Extraordinary insects, beautiful orchids and unusual fungi make the rainforest a stimulating and sensory experience. Evenings comprise of sundowners around the fire to contemplate the sights of the day before a delicious supper. 

DAY 3

Gorilla central

STAY AT: Ngaga Camp

EXPERIENCE: Begin the day at 5.30am with a light breakfast before setting off on another trek to find the second habituated gorilla family. Revel in every last minute of your final encounter with such wondrous creatures, an experience which will never be forgotten. After lunch on the raised deck overlooking the forest, visit a local Ombo village to learn all about sustainable forest lifestyles. The camp has a close relationship with the local communities, who welcome visitors and enjoy telling them about their culture. Following dinner, experience the thrill of walking through the forest in the dark, with a guided night walk, unique to Ngaga Camp. Discover the nocturnal wildlife, keeping your eyes peeled for shy animals like bush-babies, or the rare and critically endangered pangolin.

DAY 4

Cruise down the Lekoli River for a spot of game viewing

STAY AT: Mboko Camp

GETTING THERE: Vehicle transfer between the camps, approximately three hours (with stops).

EXPERIENCEAfter a final breakfast at Ngaga Camp, take a relaxed game drive through Odzala-Kokoua National Park to Mboko Camp, visiting the Mbomo village school en-route. Lunch on the elevated deck with 360 degree views of the river, the nearby forest and the open savannah plains on which the camp sits. In the afternoon you will take a guided boat safari and drift peacefully down the Lekoli River. Here you have the chance to spot many different animals, such as forest elephant and buffalo, various species of monkey , colourful kingfishers and hippos, to name but a few! Relax with a sun downer by the impressive brass fire pit before a wholesome evening meal and spectacular star gazing.

DAY 5

Drift downstream whilst spotting wildlife on the banks of the river and the forest edge

STAY AT: Lango Camp

GETTING THERE: You will travel to Lango Camp as part of your kayak excursion. Your luggage will be transferred by vehicle.

EXPERIENCEAfter breakfast, enjoy exploring the Lekoli River and nearby streams by kayak. Gliding silently down the river is a serene way to explore the multitude of habitats that exist in this area and spot some of the shyer animals. End up at the Lango bai. A ‘bai’ is a swampy clearing in the forest; there are many in the area and they attract regular animal activity due to the water, salt and minerals they offer. Lunch at Lango Camp and rejuvenate with a siesta or some laid back game viewing from your private deck. All rooms at the camp directly overlook wetlands frequented by an array of wildlife. Later in the afternoon, set off with a guide to explore the forest on foot, following a network of elephant trails. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the comfy chairs around the fire pit.

DAY 6

Explore the waterways of the rainforest

STAY AT: Lango Camp

EXPERIENCEHave a relaxed breakfast before setting off for a guided bai walk. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet! Wading through forest streams is one of the best ways to experience up close encounters with the natural world and offers a fantastic perspective on this unusual environment, as well as a real sense of adventure.

Lunch on the Lango Camp deck overlooking the savannah. Choose from a range of further nature walks and games drives, or relax in the tranquil camp surroundings, watching wildlife as it creeps out of the forest or delighting in the antics of the guereza colobus monkeys which are regularly spotted around the camp.

DAY 7

Learn more about the rainforest ecosystems

STAY AT: Mboko Camp

GETTING THERE: Walking safari to Mboko Camp. Luggage will be transferred by vehicle.

EXPERIENCEAfter your last breakfast at Lango Camp you will travel back to Mboko. You can travel via vehicle, or decide to embark on an adventure walk through the bai and forest, ending up at Mboko Camp.

After lunch, you can take a guide for more nature explorations by river or foot to learn about the forest ecosystems. Alternatively, soak up the surrounding scenery from the comfortable camp deck, watching the ebb and flow of resident wildlife and identifying the melodious sounds of the many bird species.

DAY 8

Relax and rejuvenate in the Congo’s capital

STAY AT: Radisson Blu Brazzaville

GETTING THERE: Depart Odzala-Kokoua National Park by scheduled charter flight from Mboko airstrip to land at Brazzaville’s Maya Maya International Airport. From here you will be driven to the nearby Radisson Blu M’Bamou Palace Hotel.

EXPERIENCE: Upon arrival in Brazzaville, you will be taken to the Radisson Blu Hotel where you can spend the day enjoying the facilities and regaining your strength for the next part of your adventure in Kenya! The hotel has stunning views overlooking the famous Congo River and the full range of modern luxuries and services. Pamper yourself with a treatment from the wellness centre which includes a double massage room and dine at one of their restaurants which offer a variety of international cuisine.

DAY 9

Touchdown in Kenya and meet our resident Rothschild’s giraffe!

STAY AT: Giraffe Manor

GETTING THERE: Fly out of Maya Maya International Airport in Brazzaville and land in Kenya at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where you will be met by a representative of The Safari Collection. Short road transfer (approximately 30 minutes) to Giraffe Manor in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

EXPERIENCE: Giraffe Manor is quite unlike any other boutique hotel in the world and the experience of getting up close and personal with wild giraffes is one you will never forget! Our resident giraffe roam the grounds of the wildlife sanctuary surrounding the manor house and enjoy being fed by our guests.* Spend time interacting with the giraffe and relaxing in the manor gardens.

* The giraffe at Giraffe Manor are completely wild and therefore we cannot guarantee interaction with them at any given time, however, they are usually very curious creatures and are always eager to come and say hello and investigate what snacks might be on offer!
DAY 10

Best of Nairobi

STAY AT: Giraffe Manor

EXPERIENCE: Have you ever wondered what it might be like to share your breakfast table with a giraffe? Delight in an out of the ordinary and truly memorable breakfast with these exquisitely elegant and beautifully patterned creatures. Learn more about the giraffe with a visit to the Giraffe Centre located within the Manor’s grounds. For anyone with a keen interest in history, you can take a trip back to the early colonial days with a visit to The Karen Blixen Museum, which offers a glimpse into the life of the famous Baroness and author of the book “Out of Africa”. En-route, you will have a chance to purchase unique gifts from an array of talented local designers and artisans. Later in the afternoon, visit the nearby David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust where you can spend time with adorable orphaned elephants and Maxwell, the blind rhinoceros that lives there too. Interacting with the rescued elephants is an unforgettable and often emotional experience, as you learn about the terrible situations in which they were found abandoned, often as a result of poachers.

DAY 11, 12, 13 & 14

An authentic safari experience in the world famous Masai Mara

STAY AT: Sala’s Camp

GETTING THERE: You will be transferred to Wilson Airport where you will catch a scheduled Safarilink flight into the Masai Mara’s Keekorok Airstrip.

EXPERIENCE: Explore the Masai Mara National Park, Africa’s most famous safari region and one of the world’s most prolific game areas. Game drives are arranged early in the morning and in the late afternoon to capture the animals at their busiest. Tucked away in one of the wilder corners of the Mara game reserve, Sala’s Camp sits at the confluence of the Sand and Keekorok Rivers, attracting an abundance of wildlife. You can look forward to some exceptional sightings and you are sure to meet the resident big cats who frequent the area.  You can arrange a bush lunch and head further into the Mara to find the wildlife in the most remote corners of the reserve, or book a sunrise ballooning safari for stunning vistas of the savannah from above. Back at the camp, you can go on local nature walks, play volleyball or simply relax and enjoy the view from your private pool.

DAY 15

Farewell Africa

After a final safari breakfast at Sala’s Camp, take your scheduled Safarilink flight back into Wilson Airport. From here, you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta Airport for your international flight home.

*Depending on the time your international flight departs Nairobi, you may need to book a day room or excursions within Nairobi.

OTHER EXPERIENCES YOU MIGHT LIKE 

HELICOPTER TOUR

WEEK OF WILD ADVENTURE

MIGRATION EXTRAVAGANZA

VIRUNGA GORILLA EXPLORATION

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