moutain gorilla holidays PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING BY IAN WOOD
The next trip will take place in Feb 2014 with the following itinerary: Click here to see photo gallery for this holiday. Places are limited to just 8 people and you are welcome to just come on the first part of the trip (Lake Manyara, Ndutu, Ngorongoro crater and Tarangire national parks) or stay on and join me for the extension to Gombe stream.
10th Feb 2014 Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania (This airport is now served by direct flights on KLM ... other options available include British Airways, Swiss Air and Emirates via Nairobi or Dar es Salaam). Airport pickup and overnight accommodation in Mount Meru hotel. That evening we'll have supper together and start to get excited about this trip !
11th Feb 2014 Drive in our comfortable 4*4 vehicles to Ndutu. On route we'll spend a few hours exploring Lake Manyara national park which will give us our first opportunities to photograph elephants, giraffes, baboons and lots of other wildlife.
11th, 12th, 13th & 14th Feb 2014 Stay at Ndutu safari lodge, Ngorongoro conservation area which is a lovely lodge with a great position near to lake Ndutu. The comfortable on suite rooms and beautiful bar and restaurant make this a fantastic place to re-group after our daily excursions. We have permission for off road driving here and the wildlife possibilities are simply immense. At this time of year, wildebeest come to calve in this region with about 300,000 new arrivals born over a three week period. This scale of newborns never goes unnoticed and the possibilities for close encounters with lions and cheetahs are incredible. We'll leave for game drives at 6 am each day sometimes taking a picnic lunch with us and sometimes returning to the lodge before heading out on our afternoon/evening game drives. As far as you can predict with wildlife I'd be extremely confident of close up sightings of the following: Numerous lions and cheetahs, leopard, elephant, wildebeest, zebra, jackal, bat eared foxes, hippos, giraffe, hyena, antelopes and many bird species.
15th Feb 2014 We'll drive across vast plains packed with thousands of wildebeest, zebra and antelope before heading up to Rhino safari lodge which is positioned near the rim of the famous Ngorongoro crater. Overnight at this lovely lodge.
16th Feb 2014 With a breakfast picnic kindly made by Rhino lodge we'll set off at 5.30 am to make our way down onto the crater floor where we'll spend several hours photographing the huge amount of wildlife that packs this valley. In just one day you stand a good chance of seeing more African wildlife than you've possibly ever seen before and the crater walls provide the perfect scenic backdrop. From here it's a about a two hour drive to Tarangire National Park
16th and 17th Feb 2014 Stay in the gorgeous Tarangire safari lodge which has one of the best terraces in Africa for evening cocktails and a swimming pool to take a plunge in the heat of the day. Tarangire is famous for its huge herds of elephants, but lions, leopards and a wealth of other wildlife are commonly seen in this national park.
18th Feb 2014 After our final morning game in drive in Tarangire we'll head back to Arusha/Kilimanjaro where people can either fly on home or stay another night at the Mount Meru hotel before coming on the Gombe stream extension listed below.
19th Feb 2014 Flight to Kigoma and accommodation at Jacobsen guest house. This is a real find. A lovely, welcoming guesthouse with a gorgeous beach and good swimming in the crystal clear waters of lake Tanganyika.
20th Feb 2014 Stay Jacobsen guest house
21st Feb 2014 Direct from the beach near our guesthouse, our boat will take us on the 2.5 hour journey along the edge of this vast lake to Gombe Stream national park.
21st, 22nd & 23rd Feb 2014 Stay at the research centre, Gombe stream national park and trek Jane Goodall's long studied group of over 60 chimpanzees. This lovely mosquito free forest cascades down to the shores of lake Tanganyika and offers the best place in the world for close encounters with chimpanzees that I've ever seen. For over 50 years these chimpanzees have been studied and they go about their business oblivious of the humans that come to watch them. If you love primates the experience will be overwhelming and if you don't love primates .. then you will by the time you leave here !
24th Feb 2014 Back by boat to Jacobsen guest house for overnight stay
25th Feb 2014 Flight from Kigoma to Arusha (via Mwanza) arriving back at approx 3 pm. People can then either catch evening flights home from Kilimanjaro or stay one more night at the Mount Meru hotel before departing on 26th Feb 2014.