Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp allows for an authentic safari experience.

Uganda & Tanzania | Gorilla, Wildebeest Migration & Crater | 9 Nights Bwindi Impenetrable Reserve, Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area

This Tanzania and Uganda luxury safari places you in the heart of the action for two very different, but equally remarkable, kinds of wildlife experiences. The intimacy of a mountain gorilla encounter in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is matched for impact only by seeing the herds in Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.

Two nights at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Having exchanged the bustling concrete jungle of Kampala (where we spent a relaxed night at a luxury lodge) for the real thing, we were keen to make inroads into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. We were here primarily to see mountain gorilla of course, but we couldn’t fail to notice that the forest around us pulsed with life. On a short introductory forest walk near Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, we gently brushed aside clouds of butterflies, and heard chimpanzee calling. As night fell, we drank cocktails around a campfire on the vivid green lawns (everything in Bwindi is green; they have at least fifty shades) and talked gorilla.Following our guide and tracker into the forest (which happily was not quite as dense as its name suggests) we trekked steadily towards our great ape rendezvous. En route, we enjoyed a refreshing pause at a waterfall, before the moment we’d been waiting for – our first contact with mountain gorilla. As quiety as the local forest rodents, we crept to the edge of a clearing where an immense silverback sprawled, chewing, as fuzzy youngsters rolled around and swung from low branches. We felt an instant connection with our primate cousins, and our hour with them was both an eternity and a heartbeat.

Having exchanged the bustling concrete jungle of Kampala (where we spent a relaxed night at a luxury lodge) for the real thing, we were keen to make inroads into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. We were here primarily to see mountain gorilla of course, but we couldn’t fail to notice that the forest around us pulsed with life. On a short introductory forest walk near Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, we gently brushed aside clouds of butterflies, and heard chimpanzee calling. As night fell, we drank cocktails around a campfire on the vivid green lawns (everything in Bwindi is green; they have at least fifty shades) and talked gorilla.

Following our guide and tracker into the forest (which happily was not quite as dense as its name suggests) we trekked steadily towards our great ape rendezvous. En route, we enjoyed a refreshing pause at a waterfall, before the moment we’d been waiting for – our first contact with mountain gorilla. As quiety as the local forest rodents, we crept to the edge of a clearing where an immense silverback sprawled, chewing, as fuzzy youngsters rolled around and swung from low branches. We felt an instant connection with our primate cousins, and our hour with them was both an eternity and a heartbeat.

Three nights at Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp

Our combined land and air transfer to the Serengeti was broken by an overnight stop in Arusha – probably the best-connected safari town in Africa. Despite being in the middle of a coffee plantation, we had no problem falling asleep!When we arrived at Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp, the manager explained to us that this luxury lodge has an especially light footprint – which is just as well, as it’s a mobile camp that follows the herds. This time they had overtaken them, arriving in this corner of the Serengeti as the advance parties of the migration streamed in. Climbing a small, rocky kopje on an afternoon walking safari, we realised that what looked in the golden light like low clouds was actually the savannah dust stirred up by thousands of restless hooves as the ranks of wildebeest swelled by the hour.Our guide joked that he’d ‘herd’ through the grapevine that a river crossing was imminent, and so our morning game drive took us to a point where the river banks were lower, and less of an obstacle to the advancing Great Wildebeest Migration. Dozens of antelope were already gathering, but seemed reluctant to enter the water. The presence of several large crocodile explained their reticence, but a small group of zebra grew impatient and splashed across, unmolested by the murderous reptiles. Still the wildebeest hesitated, and we enjoyed the frisson of tension as they tried to work up the courage to advance.We awoke to a ‘news splash’ – by the light of the full moon, several thousand wildebeest had forded the river. The roaring we heard as we ate breakfast advertised the fact that those remaining on our side of the river had a new gauntlet to run, and our guide was soon on the trail of a pride of lion. At first, we couldn’t see them in the long grass where they lay feeding on a breakfast of wildebeest. Their meal was interrupted by a swaggering male lion which barged in and bodily carried the carcass to the shade of a lone acacia tree.

Our combined land and air transfer to the Serengeti was broken by an overnight stop in Arusha – probably the best-connected safari town in Africa. Despite being in the middle of a coffee plantation, we had no problem falling asleep!

When we arrived at Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp, the manager explained to us that this luxury lodge has an especially light footprint – which is just as well, as it’s a mobile camp that follows the herds. This time they had overtaken them, arriving in this corner of the Serengeti as the advance parties of the migration streamed in. Climbing a small, rocky kopje on an afternoon walking safari, we realised that what looked in the golden light like low clouds was actually the savannah dust stirred up by thousands of restless hooves as the ranks of wildebeest swelled by the hour.

Our guide joked that he’d ‘herd’ through the grapevine that a river crossing was imminent, and so our morning game drive took us to a point where the river banks were lower, and less of an obstacle to the advancing Great Wildebeest Migration. Dozens of antelope were already gathering, but seemed reluctant to enter the water. The presence of several large crocodile explained their reticence, but a small group of zebra grew impatient and splashed across, unmolested by the murderous reptiles. Still the wildebeest hesitated, and we enjoyed the frisson of tension as they tried to work up the courage to advance.

We awoke to a ‘news splash’ – by the light of the full moon, several thousand wildebeest had forded the river. The roaring we heard as we ate breakfast advertised the fact that those remaining on our side of the river had a new gauntlet to run, and our guide was soon on the trail of a pride of lion. At first, we couldn’t see them in the long grass where they lay feeding on a breakfast of wildebeest. Their meal was interrupted by a swaggering male lion which barged in and bodily carried the carcass to the shade of a lone acacia tree.

Two nights at Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp

A second, equally slick ground and air transfer brought us to Tanzania’s second great wildlife destination: the fabled Ngorongoro Crater. Once a volcano loftier than Kilimanjaro, it must’ve been almost as high as our hopes for our final stop.We’d wanted to visit the Ngorongoro Crater long before we’d mastered its tricky spelling, and as the afternoon began to cool we lost no time in walking with our guide along the crater rim, out from under the shady trees around Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp to a viewpoint looking down into the extinct caldera. Given that we were accompanied by a posse of Maasai warriors, we felt especially safe. They gave us a spectacular display of their jumping prowess as shadows stretched across the crater floor. The lake was as reluctant to let go of the light as we were to turn away from the view.As the first game drive vehicle into the crater on our second day there, we felt like explorers stumbling across a lost world. We were struck by the variety of terrain, habitats and wildlife that the crater contained, and the juxtaposition of scenes we remembered from other luxury safaris, now combined in an extended remix of wildlife highlights. Zebra walked by shockingly pink flamingos; a black rhino stood proud against an escarpment background that was in fact the crater wall. As we started to ascend back out the caldera a moment of unexpected domestic levity was provided by a Maasai herder leading his cattle to graze.

A second, equally slick ground and air transfer brought us to Tanzania’s second great wildlife destination: the fabled Ngorongoro Crater. Once a volcano loftier than Kilimanjaro, it must’ve been almost as high as our hopes for our final stop.

We’d wanted to visit the Ngorongoro Crater long before we’d mastered its tricky spelling, and as the afternoon began to cool we lost no time in walking with our guide along the crater rim, out from under the shady trees around Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp to a viewpoint looking down into the extinct caldera. Given that we were accompanied by a posse of Maasai warriors, we felt especially safe. They gave us a spectacular display of their jumping prowess as shadows stretched across the crater floor. The lake was as reluctant to let go of the light as we were to turn away from the view.

As the first game drive vehicle into the crater on our second day there, we felt like explorers stumbling across a lost world. We were struck by the variety of terrain, habitats and wildlife that the crater contained, and the juxtaposition of scenes we remembered from other luxury safaris, now combined in an extended remix of wildlife highlights. Zebra walked by shockingly pink flamingos; a black rhino stood proud against an escarpment background that was in fact the crater wall. As we started to ascend back out the caldera a moment of unexpected domestic levity was provided by a Maasai herder leading his cattle to graze.

What sets it apart

This luxury Tanzania and Uganda safari stood out for us for the unparalleled access it gave us not just to the places we wanted to see, but to the charismatic wildlife species and behaviours that were highest up on our safari bucket lists. Describing our experience as having front row seats doesn’t quite do it justice; rather, it’s as though we were immersed in the events – from daily routine to life-and-death drama – taking place all around us.Often, we had the same perspective as the animals themselves, and although it’s impossible to fully appreciate the feelings of a mountain gorilla contentedly munching wild celery as his offspring gambol around him, or of a wildebeest in the front row of a river crossing, we came close thanks to the superb positioning of the luxury lodges we stayed in … and the efforts of the guides who took us on our game drives, walking safaris and gorilla treks.From our first luxury lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – which felt as though the trees had only reluctantly parted to allow it to be built – to the notion of a camp in constant motion like Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp, which actually relocates as the herds do – we could sense the immense efforts that had been made to perfectly place us (and our cameras) front and centre. We returned home with great wildlife images – and with memories of skillful guides and warm, genuine African hospitality.

This luxury Tanzania and Uganda safari stood out for us for the unparalleled access it gave us not just to the places we wanted to see, but to the charismatic wildlife species and behaviours that were highest up on our safari bucket lists. Describing our experience as having front row seats doesn’t quite do it justice; rather, it’s as though we were immersed in the events – from daily routine to life-and-death drama – taking place all around us.

Often, we had the same perspective as the animals themselves, and although it’s impossible to fully appreciate the feelings of a mountain gorilla contentedly munching wild celery as his offspring gambol around him, or of a wildebeest in the front row of a river crossing, we came close thanks to the superb positioning of the luxury lodges we stayed in … and the efforts of the guides who took us on our game drives, walking safaris and gorilla treks.

From our first luxury lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – which felt as though the trees had only reluctantly parted to allow it to be built – to the notion of a camp in constant motion like Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp, which actually relocates as the herds do – we could sense the immense efforts that had been made to perfectly place us (and our cameras) front and centre. We returned home with great wildlife images – and with memories of skillful guides and warm, genuine African hospitality.

Day 1

Luxury safaris in Uganda will allow you to see mountain gorilla.

Your international flight to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, will connect with a scheduled flight to Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe, Uganda. You’ll be met there on arrival, and assisted through customs and immigration. You’ll then take a transfer to Kampala Serena Hotel, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 2–3

© Sanctuary Retreats

After a transfer from Kampala Serena Hotel to the airport, you’ll take a scheduled light-aircraft flight to Kihihi. A transfer will then take you to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, where you’ll spend two nights.

Day 4

Stretch your legs with a game of golf while staying at Legendary Lodge. © Legendary Expeditions

After a transfer from Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light-aircraft flight to Entebbe, and a scheduled flight to Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. A transfer will then take you to Legendary Lodge, Arusha, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 5–7

A stay at Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp will ensure you see the Great Wildebeest Migration. © Sanctuary Retreats

After a transfer from Legendary Lodge to the airport, you’ll take a scheduled light-aircraft flight to the Serengeti. A transfer will then take you to Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 8–9

Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp offers 10 classic safari tents.

After a transfer from Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light-aircraft flight to Manyara. A transfer will then take you to Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp, where you’ll spend two nights.

Day 10

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya.

After a transfer from Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light-aircraft flight to Kilimanjaro, and another to Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. A private transfer will take you to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, also in Nairobi, where you’ll be assisted through check-in for your international flight.

  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, taking into account when you’d like to travel, how long you’d like to be away for, who you’d be travelling with, what safari lodge style you’d prefer, and more.
  • This luxury safari trip idea is simply to show you what’s possible. To see what this type of safari costs, and what’s generally included, click hereFor a general overview of African safari prices, you can click through to our blog.
  • We also offer a curated selection of Tanzania & Kenya safari packages, wrapped and priced for your convenience, to explore them please click on the links below:

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