Sanctuary Olonana, Gorilla Forest Lodge
From the Masai Mara to the Bwindi Impenetrable National
From the Big 5 to spending a day searching for the mighty
gorillas in the forest, you couldn't ask for a more diverse
Day 1-3: Sanctuary Olonana, Masai Mara, Kenya
On arrival at JKIA and after clearing customs you will be met by
a Sanctuary Retreats representative who will transfer you to Wilson
Airport for your connection to the Masai Mara, one of Africa's
greatest parks. Your Sanctuary Olonana guide will meet you at the
airstrip. Drive to the camp (about 15 minutes) with game viewing en
route, you may be rewarded with sightings of elephant, buffalo,
giraffe and a host of other plains' game.
The tents at Olonana are very spacious and have floor to ceiling
mosquito netting, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, flush
lavatories, solar lighting and large, river view verandahs. The
main dining room and veranda commands a dramatic stretch of the
Mara River providing the perfect setting for breakfast, afternoon
tea and after dinner star gazing.
Relax by the pool or revitalize at our mini-spa which offers a
range of treatments from facials to body massages. In the afternoon
there is time to relax before enjoying one of the many activities
offered at Sanctuary Olonana. Take a game viewing drive to
experience the phenomenal wildlife or visit the adjacent Maasai
village to learn about the local Maasai culture and get a feel for
the Maasai pastoralist heritage.
Mid-afternoon high tea will be served before your next activity.
During your stay there are a variety of activities that can be
booked on request such as a balloon safari. Float gently over the
plains with a bird's eye view of the game below as the sun rises
slowly over the horizon. After around one hour the balloon lands
and nearby a full breakfast is served in the middle of the bush
with glasses of bubbly to toast your flight! The Mara is a fabulous
place for seeing big cats and all of the big five, a variety of
plains game and over 300 bird species. The plains offer a rich
variety of food for the dominant predators: lion; leopard; hyena
and cheetah. Elephants browse amongst the large herds of wildebeest
and topi, eland and buffalo, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle. In the
Mara River, hippos submerge to snort and grumble while crocodiles
sunbathe, mouths agape, on the riverbanks. From around July to
October, there's the greatest show on Earth - the wildebeest
As the afternoon activity comes to an end, drive to a specially
chosen vantage point overlooking the Mara plains. Enjoy drinks as
you take in the beauty of the rapid sunset coloring the acacia
dotted plains and transforming the world in a matter of minutes.
Sit by the log fire and discuss the day's adventures as waiters
serve canapés, with the spectacular setting sun in the
Return to the lodge in time for a well-deserved dinner.
Spend 3 nights on a fully inclusive basis at Sanctuary Olonana
experiencing the wonders of nature at it's at its best.
Day 4-7: Gorilla Forest Lodge, Uganda
Day 4 - Sanctuary Olonana to Entebbe - Uganda
Spend your morning game viewing in the Mara and return to camp
In the afternoon your guide will transfers you to the airstrip for
the flight to Nairobi's Wilson Airport. On arrival you will be met
by a Sanctuary Retreats representative and drive you the short
distance to Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your
flight to Entebbe, Uganda.
On arrival in Entebbe you will be met by a Sanctuary
Representative who will transfer you to your Entebbe/Kampala
Day 5-7 - Entebbe to Gorilla Forrest Lodge - Uganda
This morning after breakfast you will be picked up and
transferred to Kajjansi airstrip for your charter flight to Kayonza
airstrip - Bwindi where a Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp guide will
be at hand to meet and transfer to the lodge (approximately 40
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is located within Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the
perfect base for a tracking experience as it offers luxury in the
heart of the rainforest. Accommodation is in eight large en-suite
'tents' which have two queen-sized beds and a bathtub looking out
onto the forest - ideal for soaking away aches and pains after a
day searching for gorillas in the forest.
The camp has a bar and dining cottage, as well as a raised natural
platform for open-air dining. Guests can sit around the cozy
campfire at night and enjoy Bwindi's crystal clear mountain
In the afternoon you can just relax and take in the fresh air or
take a forest walk, which is a nice way to warm up before the
On your second morning fill your bellies with a scrumptious early
breakfast before having a briefing from your guide. Tracking
commences every morning from the park headquarters at 8.30 am. The
gorillas we track belong to one of the 'habituated' family groups
in Northern Bwindi. For several years each group has undergone an
extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the
presence of humans. Experienced guides will accompany the tracking,
many of who have been involved in the habituation process
themselves. Once the gorillas are located, the group will be
allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Return to camp for
On your last full day in camp you can either relax at the camp
or visit a local village and meet the villagers to learn about
their day to day lives. On this walk you can visit a honey
production site, a traditional medicine man, a traditional
blacksmith, a local school when in term and even attend a Batwa
(Pygmy dance performance). The walk is organized with the local
community as part of our community support.
Or you could take a bird walk. Bwindi boast over 300 bird species,
including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda,
Rwanda and the Congo - the "Albertine Rift Endemics". There are
also over 200 species of butterflies found in the park. A local
expert will guide you on this fascinating walk.
End the day's simply relaxing after dinner sipping a drink as
you listen to folk tunes played on the traditional Bakiga
Spend 3 nights at Gorilla Forest Lodge and who knows you may get
a surprise visit from a family or gorilla's.
Day 8: Departure
Spend a leisurely breakfast before your transfer to Kayonza
airstrip for your charter flight back to Kajjansi airstrip. Upon
arrival you will be met by a Sanctuary Representative who will
transfer you to Entebbe International Airport.