At a Glance
- Combining Gorillas with a Big Wildlife action packed Tanzania safari
- Family adventure featuring variety of wildlife, history, culture and landscapes
- Active with walking, trekking and 4×4 game drives
- Spice island Zanzibar finale for melting pot culture and divine relaxation
The Safari Briefing
Experienced by Lynda, Jamie & Jaclyn.
This outstanding journey was designed for a lovely family of three who had travelled with us previously to Southern Africa and their quest was to explore East Africa including gorillas and big game.
In their briefing, the family requested a really relaxed and enjoyable pace to the safari that was action packed with adventure and activities so every experience was special.
We created a fantastic itinerary that allowed the family to spend time with the gorillas in Rwanda and learn about the country’s past. In Tanzania, it was about the freedom to explore wherever the wildlife took them with the services of our private guide and custom built vehicle. They didn’t just sit on their bums in a 4×4. At Lake Manyara they slept under canvas, walked, mountain biked and in the Ngorongoro region they visited local villages and schools to truly get amongst local life.
After the adventure, the family wanted to wash off the safari dust and soak up the sun in spice island paradise – Zanzibar. We found the perfect property to suit their needs and got a great special too!
Spice Island Finale, Zanzibar was spent here
What a morning we have had. We left this at 6.45 and drove to the briefing station for info re what group of gorillas we would be trekking to. We were allotted the Hirwa group which in kinyarwanda means lucky. The weather was not only clear but sunny which at this time of the year is very unusual. We went thinking we would be soaked and cold but only trekked in a shirt and tshirt and long pants. We were trekking with an older couple from England and as we set out across the farming fields to the base of the Simbuye volcano it was obvious that Liz was going to struggle as she having trouble catching her breath. We pushed on through the eucalyptus trees and then through the bamboo forest, up and up we hiked. Liz’s breathing was becoming worse and she was struggling to continue. We had to keep stopping for her. But the guide then decided it was time the porters should carry her. So they did up the steep hill on the slippery trail. Amazing! At the 3000 metre mark the going got really tough with vines, stinging nettles *we escaped any stings thankfully( mud, slippery ground. It really was tough!) The porters we hired held my hand to aid my progress but I still ended up slipping and falling every now and then. The view back to Ruhengiri was amazing and the vegetation really was jungle. At the 3100 mark we spotted our first gorilla in a tree below us. The trackers that had worked all morning to find them were waiting for us with their machetes in hand. And BTW there were also two armed guards with us with AK47s to use as warning shots. Anyway we were then told we had to go down to see the group of gorillas. And by down I mean vertical. The porters helped us but it was still hard going and I ended up sliding and skidding on my back a few times. Finally we arrived at the group and I had tears in my eyes as I stood 2 feet from a sleeping female. It was overwhelming! Then we saw a baby playing and older twins. And THEN the 30 year old handsome silverback. He was lying on his stomach just watching us and his group and seeing if all was OK. I still have not taken it all in that we were able to get so close. For the next hour we stood within 2 to 3 feet of them and then the male moved on. Jaclyn and I were standing together when one of the females decided to join him and she came within inches of us. Another young one started to pound its chest and walked towards the english guy with us giving him a quick slap on the arm that swiftly knocked him down. As the allotted hour went by Jamie and I stood within a couple of feet of the silverback, at the same time trying to take a photo and stop from sliding down the vertical slope. As they disappeared into the jungle we all clambered back up to the trail ( to have a rest and a drink and try and take in what we had seen. I still can’t believe it.) So off we set for the 3000 metre walk down when suddenly a young 8 year old gorilla male appeared on the trail in front of us. It walked past Jamie and Jaclyn within inches again and then disappeared into the jungle. the smile on Jaclyn’s face was priceless! So we then went back to our starting point happy and shaking our heads in disbelief. Absolutely amazing!! We arrived back at the hotel at 3pm so it was a long hike but soo worth it. And then there was the actual private safari in Tanzania! WOW… that’s a whole other story. We were blessed to have a great guide and outstanding wildlife sightings. Thanks Encompass Africa for everything, lifelong family memories and shared experiences like this are simply priceless.