East African Extravaganza – from Mountain Gorillas to Maasai Mara
We’ll experience some of Africa’s most compelling animals in this unique wildlife photo safari of Rwanda and Kenya. The first part of our tour highlights magnificent primates of Rwanda, featuring Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys. From Kigali we’ll head to Volcanos National Park, where experienced local trackers lead us through lush montane forests filled with calls of colorful birds and chattering animals. We’ll savor stunning views of volcanic peaks through gaps in the tree canopy, while trekking past twisting vines and giant lobelias.
A significant number of the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas roam through dense forests of the park, in groups of three to 20 animals. Trackers will guide us up rugged terrain, with some steep sections and occasional stream crossings, to where we can quietly watch a gorilla family feed, groom, play and rest. Though we spend only an hour together, it is truly an unforgettable experience to watch these magnificent gorillas interact with each other with such human-like qualities. At lower elevations, we’ll find Golden Monkeys scampering nimbly through bamboo stands, entertaining all who observe them at close range.
Nyungwe Forest is a biodiversity hotpot, and a high priority for habitat conservation in Africa. More than a dozen primates roam here, including relatively large numbers of Chimpanzees. The noisiest of african primates, the forest echoes with their screams, hoots and their drum beats on tree buttresses. We’ll likely hear Chimpanzees before seeing them. If we’re lucky, we may catch them mounting an organized hunt to satisfy their omnivorous appetites.
An internal flight from Kigali to Nairobi initiates the second part of our trip, where we’ll experience East Africa’s famed wildlife and wildebeest migration in two of Kenya’s most spectacular parks. We’ll spend a full day at Lake Nakuru National Park, home to hundreds of thousands of flamingos, and abundant mammals. Here we’ll target Leopards lounging on tree limbs, and seek great photo opportunities of Black and White Rhinos.
Our tour culminates in the world-renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve, encompassing nearly 600 square miles in southwest Kenya. This expansive savannah grasslands hosts exceptional populations of big and small cats, and serves as center stage for the ‘Great Migration’ of wildebeest and zebra. Our visit is timed to witness this spectacular phenomenon in action, when vast herds move steadily into the northern reaches of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. These determined grazers face tremendous obstacles in their quest for fresh grass, and many will fall to powerful predators and river crossings fraught with gigantic Nile Crocodiles.
Multiple game drives facilitate ample opportunity to observe and photograph prides of lions, majestic elephants and plenty of giraffe, gazelles, warthogs and more. We’ll focus on finding the elusive cats – cheetah, serval, and leopard. We’ll observe a mind-boggling assortment of birds including weavers, bee-eaters, rollers, sunbirds, hornbills, go-away-birds, guineafowl, bustards, secretary birds, raptors, and much more
This once-in-a-lifetime East African extravaganza provides the ultimate opportunity to experience and photograph some of the most amazing animals on earth. I hope you can join us!
Focus: Photography, Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Butterflies, Scenery