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Gorillas and Game Parks

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Gorillas and Game Parks - Absolute Africa
Gorillas and Game Parks - Absolute Africa
Jodie "It's the connections with people, animals and the amazing African landscapes that makes this trip incredible! This trip includes some amazing experiences from Gorillas, chimp walks, having hippos outside your tent, camping in national parks, masai village visits, to travel in the big yellow truck. Made all the better by the people you get to share them with. We had the loveliest drive Angelo who k..."
Excellent
10 reviews
Starts
Entebbe
+10 Destinations
Gorilla Trek
Ends
Arusha
Map

Highlights

  • Explore the Uganda Equator
  • Visit Dian Fossey's grave
  • Gorilla Trekking and Serengeti National Park
  • Game cruise at Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Discover local culture at Mto Wa Mbu markets
Age range
18 to 99 year olds
Accommodation
Hostel, Camping
Max Group Size
28
Transportation
Overland Truck
Travel style
Overland truck, Adventure, Safari, Wildlife
Start in Entebbe and end in Arusha! With the overland truck tour Gorillas and Game Parks, you have a 13 day tour package taking you through Entebbe, Uganda and 11 other destinations in Africa. Gorillas and Game Parks includes accommodation as well as meals, transport and more.

10 Reviews

Excellent
78%
Good
11%
Average
0%
Rather Poor
11%
Bad
0%
Write a review
  • D
    Written on November 30, 2017
    2.0 - Rather poor

    The people on my tour were largely awful (trashy Ozzies and Brits you meet at hostels who think that they run the place) but that's not really the company's fault. The itinerary is beyond stupid. Literally you drive for 8 to 12 hours a day. Unpack your tent,help with cooking And then goto bed at 8. Up at 6 am to do it all over. The brochure glosses over this completely . Anyone who isn't on a long trip to Zanzibar or further would be better of flying to Rwanda and seeing gorillas and then to arusha. The overland model is really outdated and with low cost airlines in east Africa not necessary. The food was good but that's it. The trip is awful and management has a take it or leave it attitude. Also many of the side trips weren't even offered. Prepare to sit on a truck all day with wanna be backpackers who are afraid to travel on own.
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Hi David, We were sad to read your comments. Our itineraries aim to present travel highlights in the best time frame possible at a great price, travelling remote as well as main tourist routes. In order to run a trip such as the Gorillas and Game Parks (featuring the gorilla parks and the Tanzanian game parks) we cover a lot of ground, these two highlights being around 800 km apart. There will necessarily be early starts and some big drives to fit this in the 13-day time scale. The drives to achieve this vary. Some are relatively short e.g. Kisoro and Musanze being about three hours, on occasion though they are longer. Less than perfect roads, delays at borders and a shortage of secure, suitable camp sites situated at appropriate locations all affect the day’s drive. We are aware on your tour e.g. there was an unfortunate delay on the drive into Tanzania due to slower than usual immigration arrangements that day, as well as road deterioration following rain. On some drives too there are game drives locked in during which we view wildlife. We can leave early morning and head out later in the afternoon on these days as animals are most likely about at that time. This time in the truck can make for the feeling of longer drive days too. All this is part of the adventurous nature of the tours. Few, if any tour companies, do a tour with just these two main loved highlights, the mountain gorillas and Serengeti and Ngorongoro. Where tours have these highlights in the itinerary they usually end up doubling back on themselves through Kenya and so increase the mileage even more, and again have to take the price up in consequence. Our route then is different and our many travellers, over the years are usually happy and appreciative with all they have seen and done on this two week trip heading to remote and different destinations rather than revisiting what they have seen.This timescale suits most well, as do our competitive prices. As to the day to day drives themselves these allow some sense as to local life, as well as some beautiful and fascinating scenery on the way to the big highlights. Where possible we aim to keep a steady pace, and there are numerous special stops on this tour - the option to gorilla trek, where we also have free time to relax and/or for other optional activities, then Queen Elizabeth NP, the game cruise on the Kazinga Channel, the Grumeti, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, the stay in Kigali where we visit the Genocide Memorial, the stop over with local activities like basket making and to make banana beer in Musanze and the option to trek chimpanzee in Kalinzu as well. Plus there is built in a local stay in a rural Tanzanian village where the children welcome you and love to show you around. Most days there is an activity included or available as an optional. All the above highlights and more are all presented faithfully, month on month, within a busy itinerary that still allows free time once you have reached your destinations. There are simple upgrades included in the price as well so you don’t put your tent up every night, and then you can pay more most other nights to upgrade as well if you want to which I understand that you were able to do on a number of occasions. In regard to the daily cooking routine, how much needs to be done by the group for both dinner and breakfasts is often limited. Talking to your tour leader, out of the 13 days on this particular tour the group assisted with dinner preparation on only 5 occasions with the tour leader bringing the meal together, with breakfast always prepared and organised by the tour leader. This allowed the group to have more free time or time to do activities or have longer to sleep in in the mornings. To contend that the tour is nothing but constant driving, sleeping, and organising tents and meals is misrepresentative of this tour. There are busy days and our travellers like to be prepared for the following day’s game drives or trekking. The nature of our tours then does mean that some nights people do wish to go to sleep early. We encourage this, and where the night is one surrounded by animals, an early night is often preferred to take in the sounds of the African bush. On the other hand there are also times when there is the chance to enjoy local entertainment for example in Kisoro with the drumming and music performed by a local pygmy group at the hostel or enjoying being around the camp fire for example in Kalinzu. No-one’s debating as to whether there are flights in and out of Kigali or Arusha. We start and finish tours in both destinations, and regularly assist with budget domestic flights to add on a highlight quickly where our travellers are short of time. So yes you can fly as you mentioned in and out of these places, but this is not what an overland tour is about. This isn’t the place for an extended debate on the ins and outs of independent VS organised tours. There are advantages and disadvantages with each style of travel. The true cost once you start pulling all the additional arrangements together to accompany a flight usually do add up though it is worth noting, and these arrangements don’t often work out as conveniently as might be anticipated. A flight within East Africa can easily cost between U$100 - U$200 and there are no direct services between many places. It can take a day just to travel between a destination like Kigali and Zanzibar or Kilimanjaro. Nor is there the same backpacker infrastructure in East Africa that might be anticipated if you have travelled in Asian, European or other destinations. Direct flights between Arusha and Kigali e.g. to combine the gorillas and Serengeti and Ngorongoro don’t exist, and then once in Kigali, to cross the border to Uganda for the cheaper gorilla permit, you would need to make your way to Kisoro or further by land using buses, taxis and then stay overnight. Otherwise in Rwanda the gorilla trekking permits are now $1500. Once in Arusha to arrange a low cost trip into the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater can be very difficult without waiting maybe a few days in Arusha until a group of independent backpackers are all available to go at the same time, so as to reduce the vehicle hire, vehicle entry fees, guide hire, transport expenses, food costs. These costs are on top of lodge/camping expenses and non resident entry fees for both parks. Most travellers into the Tanzanian parks organise their safari prior to leaving home to ensure availability in the time frame they have to travel, and to aim to travel with one of the better affordable operators into the parks. Our aim in overland travel is always to allow each traveller to see the highlights they came to see, travelling at a pace that is enjoyable, as relaxed as possible and to experience local life at a grass routes level which we feel is preferable to just dropping in and out which can happen if you fly in and out of a destination. The nature of overlanding tours is partly about experiencing the views from the road, of village life, varying landscapes, some more remote destinations as well as enjoying the company of your fellow travellers on the tour. The travellers on our trips come from all over the world and from different backgrounds and cultures. This can mean a diverse group of people all travelling together which is for most people part of the fun of joining a tour. People join our tours because they prefer to travel together with others and enjoy the fact that the day to day arrangements along the way are essentially organised, especially since backpacking in East Africa requires a lot of time, patience and organising since ready made tours and day trips are few and far in between and of very varying standards. The level of support and organisation provided by overland trucks can allow you we believe to see a lot at a reasonable price in a secure and fun context. We are sorry you were disappointed with the tour and the group with which you ended up travelling. Our brochure and website make it clear that these are adventure overland tours. They are not relaxing holidays or tours to quickly visit a couple of highlights but rather participatory group tours where you experience the continent from its grass routes and so inevitably more slowly. The travel is by an overland vehicle, and we believe this does allow you to get to see a lot in a short time. The information online which goes into further detail about the style of travel including the Tour Information Packs, which are sent personally to each client to read in preparation for their trip. In this there is a specific section “Life on your Big Yellow Truck” and here we re-iterate our trip style as participatory, adventure travel and the nature of the tours day to day. We also give guides to drive times in the detailed itinerary too although these are not set in stone due to the unreliable nature of travel on African roads. We appreciate there are some long drive days, and a tour of this nature particularly can be very busy. Africa is not the easiest continent to explore - both in terms of logistics and cost. We have gone through the itinerary presented with the crew and all the highlights and core activities were presented. We are sorry though to hear you felt that there were some optional activities that were not offered. Detailed optional activities are listed on the truck as well as one of the folders on board and your tour leader is available to discuss any of these with you at any time. We have noted all your comments, and will follow up to endeavour to always make each day on our vehicles as comfortable and exciting as we can. We can only again emphasise that we are sorry that you didn’t enjoy your tour. Feel free to contact us directly if we can assist further.
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  • Gorillas and Game Parks reviewer 2
    Written on July 7, 2017
    5.0 - Excellent

    Its an early start and a long bumpy ride to the gorillas. On the way you will see fantastic scenery and villages coming to life as the day breaks. Children walking miles to school in the dark. The whole trip is an event with the climax being the gorillas. You are almost certain to see them. You may have to walk for hours or minutes, its a lucky draw. No matter what you will be astounded at the magic of those beautiful creatures. Enjoy, we did.
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you for your review, Sally. You paint a beautiful description of travelling overland through East Africa and seeing what, for many, is the key highlight of our tours to this region. We would love to have you back on the Big Yellow Truck if you ever fancy exploring other parts of the route!
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  • K
    Written on July 7, 2017
    3.5 - Good

    The guide and driver were both good. Unfortunately, the trip was not that good. The young people, and those who were older but trying to relive their 20s, spent the whole time screaming drunk. And, I do mean LOUD! Like all the time! They were so loud that they would yell at the leader and contradict her. Sometimes, she had to tell them to be quiet but no one listened to her. It was totally out of control. These people had little interest in culture or wildlife but instead spent the time planning the next party. And if you're not into that, then you're not part of the group. Some of the people on the tour were so fed up that they wanted to leave and forfeit their trip costs. It was uncomfortable and I would not take another Absolute Africa tour unless you're into non-stop drinking & partying & screaming at everyone you see.
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    We are glad to hear that you were happy with your tour leader and driver - we select our crew very carefully and they are a huge asset to Absolute. We are disappointed for you though that you were not so happy with other aspects of your tour and, this being the case, we would encourage you to get in touch with us at your convenience. We can then look into what you are raising directly. Our trips are mainly made up of travellers in their twenties and thirties who share a wish to get the most out of their time in Africa - from its famous wildlife to the varying cultures and magnificent scenery. There is regularly an eclectic mix of personalities and characters on the tours. We find that this usually enhances the trip for most clients who enjoy getting to know people from totally different walks of life. Travellers to Africa spend a lot of time and money when embarking on a trip to the continent. Our travellers are not willing to miss out on the highlights in order to party throughout the tour. What you are describing then isn’t usual. These are NOT party trips and we have a strict no alcohol policy on the truck as well as strict rules around noise. Our travellers do love to have fun for sure on the other hand, and some may enjoy a drink at camp at the end of the day, celebrating and reminiscing over the fantastic things they have seen and done together, and enjoying the friendships they make on tour. The focus though remains firmly in the activities and highlights of the tour itinerary and the crew are tasked very much to ensure the tours achieve this and typically clients extend their tours more than they wish to drop out. Do feel free then to get back to us directly so we can look into your concerns further.
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  • J
    Written on September 28, 2016
    4.5 - Excellent

    It's the connections with people, animals and the amazing African landscapes that makes this trip incredible! This trip includes some amazing experiences from Gorillas, chimp walks, having hippos outside your tent, camping in national parks, masai village visits, to travel in the big yellow truck. Made all the better by the people you get to share them with. We had the loveliest drive Angelo who kept us all safe and happy with his beautiful, happy and positive nature. Our tour guide Derek was exceptional. His Knowledge and connection to Africa, it's animals and people made for interesting and insightful commentary. He did an excellent job setting, meeting and exceeding our expectations throughout the trip. Most importantly Derek took the time to connect with everyone in the group creating lasting friendships! Thanks Derek, Angelo and Absolute Africa!
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thanks you for taking the time to leave a review, Jodie. We are very happy to hear you got so much out of your Gorillas and Game Parks tour and will of course pass on your comments to Derek and Angelo. We hope you will travel back Africa with us again some time!
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  • P
    Written on September 7, 2016
    5.0 - Excellent

    This tour was amazing, went in with huge expectations and was still blown away. Absolute Africa brilliant every step of the way, tour guide, Derek, could not have been better. If your looking for a tour around 2 weeks can't recommend this one highly enough
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Hi PJ - thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are so glad to hear you had a blast on your tour and we will pass the comments onto Derek :)
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  • G
    Written on December 8, 2014
    5.0 - Excellent

    Best tour I have ever been on. No faults, guide Aly awesome, great group, great food, great tours, unforgettable gorillas.
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, we are so pleased that you enjoyed your trip!
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  • Gorillas and Game Parks reviewer 7
    Written on September 3, 2014
    5.0 - Excellent

    Fantastic trip! Love this company.. Would recommend again!
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you! So glad you had a fantastic trip. We hope to see you back in Africa soon for some of the other countries too! The Team @ Absolute Africa
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  • Gorillas and Game Parks reviewer 8
    Written on August 22, 2014
    5.0 - Excellent

    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you for a Five Star review! The Team @ Absolute Africa
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  • Gorillas and Game Parks reviewer 9
    Written on August 22, 2014
    5.0 - Excellent

    You wont regret if you chose Absolute Africa for the adventure of your life.
    Absolute Africa commented on this review
    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the adventure :) The Team @ Absolute Africa
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  • A
    Written on December 18, 2007

    This trip was awesome, however I would be sure to do the 2 weeks and start in Entebbe as this trip says and not take the extra week and leave from Nairobi as also available because you will just cover the same ground on your way backdown to Nairobi. The roads are shocking in Kenya and parts of Uganda, so be prepared for a lot of bumps (girls take a good bra) and a heap of dust!! As the truck has roll up sides (which you normally want open as it is too hot with them rolled down) you can't avoid getting filthy dirty while you are driving. Aside from that, the time spent with the gorilla's is a true highlight. Be aware that my permit cost 275 pound (aprox AUS$650 / US$550) and I heard that they want to put the permits up to around US$1000 in the next year or so. Seeing the chimps first at Ngambe Island is good as you get a taste for what it will be like to see the gorillas. It's a great day going across to the island by boat and seeing the chimps at feeding time. Jinja was another good spot with heaps of activities available such as horse riding and white water rafting on the Nile. The weather when I was there (late November) was pretty good and we were lucky not to get too much rainfall. As with a lot of overland tours, be prepared for early morning rises and a lot of setting up tent!

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: UGANDA
  2. Day 2: UGANDA
  3. Day 3: UGANDA
  4. Days 4 - 6: UGANDA - RWANDA
  5. Days 8 - 13: TANZANIA

What's included

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Meals

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Additional Services

  • Flights

  • Insurance

  • Optional Extras
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Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.

  • April 1, 2016

    Is this trip guaranteed to depart?

    Yes. This trip is guaranteed to go.

  • February 15, 2016

    How much will this tour really cost me?

    The costs to consider when travelling overland are:

    Safari price & Local payment,
    Optional excursions,
    Personal spending money,
    Visas.

    We are always very transparent about what a tour will cost and are happy to go through personal, tailored budgets to give you a very realistic idea of what you will spend on your tour - whether you are an adrenaline junkie, souvenir-shopaholic or travelling on a shoestring…

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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go

Currencies

S
Shilling
Uganda and Tanzania
CHF
Franc
Rwanda

Plugs & Adapters

Uganda and TanzaniaRwandaRwandaTanzania

Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Cholera
Recommended for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Rabies
Recommended for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ideally 1 month before travel.
Meningococcal meningitis
Recommended for Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Ideally 3 weeks before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Uganda. Required for entrance into the country for Rwanda. Ideally 10 days before travel.

Policies

Location
Entebbe is the starting point and Arusha is the endpoint.
Trusted
Your money is safe with TourRadar, as we only pay the tour operator after your tour has departed.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Absolute Africa booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 24 August 2018 the full payment of $1,153 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $1153 for Gorillas and Game Parks, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable. If you cancel via TourRadar the standard cancellation policy applies.
Availability
Some departure dates and prices may vary and Absolute Africa will contact you with any discrepancies before your booking is confirmed.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Absolute Africa tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 1,349 km.
  • Entebbe (Uganda)
  • 31 km
  • Kampala (Uganda)
  • 290 km
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park (Uganda)
  • 121 km
  • Kabale (Uganda)
  • 34 km
  • Kisoro (Uganda)
  • 85 km
  • Musanze (Rwanda)
  • 19 km
  • Kigali (Rwanda)
  • 322 km
  • Mwanza (Tanzania)
  • 228 km
  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • 55 km
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania)
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All reviews are verified from travellers who went on Gorillas and Game Parks