Great Migration to Gorillas: Tanzania and Rwanda | Fauna Travel

Great Migration to Gorillas: Tanzania and Rwanda

Singita Kwitonda Lodge / Ross Couper / Courtesy of Singita

14 Days

This double bucket list wildlife itinerary combines the highlights of Tanzania and Rwanda. You will arrive in Arusha in Northern Tanzania and start your safari at a luxury tented camp between Tarangire National Park. Then, travel to the Serengeti and the private Grumeti Reserve to see the famed Great Migration in style. Finish this epic trip with a short flight to Rwanda, where you will trek to see rare mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. If time allows, you can spend the final few days of your trip on the beaches of Zanzibar.

This itinerary mixes the Great Migration with mountain gorillas. It’s the perfect East African adventure for an epic anniversary or birthday bucket list vacation.

Your travel playlist includes Mlimani Park Orchestra’s “Nawashukuru Wazai Wangu”
In the 1960s and 70,s many popular Tanzanian bands were called jazz bands, even if they didn’t play jazz music. One of the most influential is the Mlimani Park Orchestra, which has played under many names and was started as a project of the National Workers Union and the Tanzanian Government. Their sound makes for an excellent backdrop to any East African adventure.

Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania

Legendary Lodge

Legendary Lodge / Courtesy of Legendary Expeditions

Kilimanjaro airport and Arusha are the most common first stop on a Tanzanian itinerary. This lively city sits in the shadow of Mount Meru and is surrounded by coffee plantations. We like to overnight at either Legendary Lodge or Arusha Coffee Lodge before departing on your safari the next day. However, there is plenty to explore in town if you’d like to stay an extra day for shopping or a round of golf.

Day 2-4: Lake Manyara and Tarangire, Tanzania

Chem Chem Lodge

Transfer by private charter flight to Chem Chem Lodge, where you will be met by a driver for a short bush lunch and safari.

Giraffe and Chem Chem Lodge / Courtesy of Chem Chem Safaris luxury Tanzania safari
Giraffe and Chem Chem Lodge / Courtesy of Chem Chem Safaris

Chem Chem lodge is set on almost 50,000 private acres along the shores of Lake Manyara, which is famous for its congregations of pink flamingoes. Immediately east of the reserve is the 1,000-square-mile Tarangire National Park. The lodge bills itself as a slow safari destination, and guests are encouraged to embrace natural wellness through guided Maasai walks, lazy afternoons at the spa, al fresco fine dining, or sundowners on the lakeshore. It is the perfect way to ease into your safari.

Activities include game drives on the reserve, in the national park, and around the lake. Maasai village visits are also offered and are more authentic here than in other places in the country. There is no performance–just meeting people as they are.

Day 5-8: Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania

Singita Sasakwa Lodge or Sabora Tented Camp

Fly from Chem Chem to Singita Grumeti Reserve, a private 350,000-acre reserve adjacent to Serengeti National Park. Whether you prefer a tented or lodge-style room, we suggest either Singita Sasakwa Lodge or Sabora Tented Camp.

Serengeti cheetah at Singita Sasakwa Lodge, luxury Tanzania safari / Courtesy Singita

Your days can be spent on game drives following herds of wildebeest and zebra, walking with Maasai guides, and learning more about the many conservation projects Singita operates at the reserve. The Great Migration arrives here between June and July. However, outside of the Migration, there is still a large population of resident wildlife to satisfy any safari-goer. Wake up at dawn on your last day for a thrilling hot air balloon ride over the savannah, followed by a memorable bush breakfast.

Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Singita Sasakwa Lodge is a luxury safari property that resembles an Edwardian manor house with stunning savannah views. You can even watch innumerable wildebeest traversing the plains from the comfort of your private pool.

Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Singita Sabora is a minimalist canvas camp that references classic safaris but offers all of the amenities of a modern luxury hotel in a way that highlights the landscape more than the accommodations.

Day 9-13: Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Fly back to Arusha and take another short flight to Kigali, Rwanda, where you will clear customs. From there, take a 3-hour road transfer through the scenic Rwandan countryside to Volcanoes National Park in Northwest Rwanda.

Singita Kwitonda Lodge / Ross Couper / Courtesy of Singita

Your hotel here will be Singita Kwitonda Lodge, which sits on the park’s outskirts. It is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious lodges in East Africa. Singita is renowned for its food service, and the hotel gardens provide the perfect ingredients for the best food in Rwanda. Afternoons can be spent in the spa or biking around the hotel grounds and nearby villages.

However, the highlight of your stay here and possibly the entire trip is the gorilla trekking. Volcanoes National Park is one of the few places in the world to see endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. Trekkers can spend one transformational hour sitting with some of our closest wild relatives in the habituated gorilla troops that roam the slopes. Beyond gorillas, the national park offers several other activities, including golden monkey trekking and mountain climbing. 

Day 14: Departure

Return to Kigali in the morning for your international flight that evening.

Extension: Zanzibar

If you have extra time for Africa, we suggest returning to Tanzania and finishing your trip with some time on the beach in Zanzibar. We especially love the private island vibes of &Beyond Mnemba Island.

&Beyond Mnemba Island / Courtesy of &Beyond
x&Beyond Mnemba Island / Courtesy of &Beyond

We’ve sent you some reading material, including, The Tree Where Man Was Born
Peter Matheisson’s journals of traveling in East Africa in the 1960s paint a beautiful and complex picture of Kenya and Tanzania. Along the way, you’ll meet people from Maasai herders and biologists and visit some of the region’s most iconic parks in the era before mass tourism. View on Amazon

Contact us to start planning your journey into the wild.

You have a plethora of choices when booking an epic luxury trip, and we have the expert knowlege to make your travel dreams a reality. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options.

Why book with Fauna Travel?

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