Omar’s thrilling trip to East Africa

discoverafrica 10 April 2019
Part of the Rwanda Safari Collection
Back to the Our Blog

Omar from Kuwait shares his first safari experience with us...

I am an avid traveler, I love to discover new places and see new things. It didn't take long for me to put Africa on my bucket list of places to visit with an African safari as a top priority bucket list activity. I've visited other websites and have even communicated with their employees, but unfortunately, I didn't have good experiences with some of them. So upon planning my first safari, I came across Discover Africa and true to their name, they did help me discover a part of Africa.

My correspondent was very efficient. I layed out the specifications for him and he quickly managed to create an itinerary for me. Things were smooth from the planning stage, to the tour itself, as well as the return. I had a wonderful time and I can confidently recommend Discover Africa for your first (or next) trip to Africa.

Africa is certainly a unique continent full of wonder. My first trip was a combination of two East African countries; a safari in Rwanda followed by an amazing Kenya safari. It was a great combination as there was a stark contrast between the two countries. Rwanda is a lush, green, mountainous region with farms galore. Kenya had a somewhat harsh, arid landscape.

Rwanda

gorilla trekking in rwanda

The gorillas and Golden monkeys were Rwanda's flagship attractions so I didn't dare to miss the opportunity to see both. Some people opted for two gorilla treks as opposed to one gorilla and Golden monkey trek, and I simply don't recommend that. There is beauty in both encounters and a contrast in behavior as well. The gorillas were generally more reserved and shy while the monkeys were playful and mischievous. The rules of both encounters differ as well and you had a bit more freedom with the Golden monkeys.

Rwandans are a very welcoming, friendly people and I lost count of how many times we got smiles, hellos and waves as we drove past. On one occasion, a couple of children did a cultural song and dance for us, a wonderful introduction to the special Rwandan people. 

Kenya

wildebeest migration river crossings masai mara


Kenya was beautiful in its own way as well. I stayed at Governors Camp in the Masai Mara and the experience was nothing short of unique. A 45-minute flight will take you away from society and into the wilderness where the camps are located. You will be greeted by gazelles, giraffes, baboons and zebras upon arrival and during the transfer to the camp. You will enjoy the escape from civilization and enjoy waking up to the grunts and roars of animals as opposed to the grunts and roars of vehicles. Instead of viewing wildlife in zoos, you experience them in their natural habitat, an experience like no other. Having breakfast while marveling at the gazelles and zebras on the horizon is an alluring experience and beats all the dinner nights I've had watching my favorite TV shows. If you get the chance, opt for some Kenyan coffee, it's a pleasure to the senses and the best I've ever tasted (and I'm not much of a coffee person). 

One thing to keep in mind is that this is nature and experiences will vary from one person to the next, there are no guarantees in the wild. However, one thing that I can guarantee is that you will have a great overall experience. My favourite moment was witnessing the very end of a river crossing by a zeal of zebras as it rained over the Mara River. A zebra met it's end at the jaws of a crocodile. Our driver brought us closer to witness the spectacle of a bask of crocodiles engaging in a feeding frenzy like nothing I've ever seen. All of this while a rainbow arched over us. Truly awe-inspiring.
 

Travel tips

  • Use our HerdTracker app to track the migration so that you get the best leg of the migration river crossings like Omar did. Plan your safari around the seasons by familiarising yourself with Masai Mara weather. Omar visited Rwanda and Kenya in September.
  • View our migration map to see where the wildebeest herds generally move.
  • There are a few things to know before going on a gorilla trekking safari. This will help you decide whether this experience is for you. 
  • You can tailor-make your own safari to combine as many destinations as you like, depending on the season you travel in, as well as the accommodations you choose. 

discover africa safari club

* Omar's story was edited for spelling and grammar


Our Recommended Itinerary

The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 1

Entebbe, arrival
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 2

Your drive to Kibale is well worth it
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 3

Full day with the Chimps
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 4

Onwards to Queen Elizabeth
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 5 to 6

Witness the unusual tree climbing lions
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 7

Bwindi National Park all to yourself
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 8

Gorilla trekking, enjoy every minute
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 9

Buhoma Village walk
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 10

Drive via Kisoro to Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 11

Visit the Dian Fossey Tomb
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda
  • The Primates of Uganda & Rwanda

day 12

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

Some related info

A rough guide to the best national parks in Rwanda

Rwanda is a country which has seen an immense transformation since 1994, today it’s considered to be one of the best tourist destinations to see the famed majestic mountain gorillas of Africa. And it is becoming more and more popular due to the current cost of safaris. It’s received the title of ‘land of a thousand hills’ for its lush rolling mountains, volcanoes and valleys. Rwanda…

Rwanda: A Look at Africa’s Tea Capital

Ever since 1952, Rwanda has been producing high-quality tea in large quantities. As such, tea has become a significant pillar of the Rwandan economy and a source of income for thousands of farmers across this beautiful land. Labelled the 20th biggest tea producer in the world, Rwanda’s tea exports mean big business for this small country.   Credit: Tim Smith for The Guardian Tea in…

Seven things you should know before travelling to Volcanoes National Park

Despite Rwanda’s turbulent past, these days it’s a wonderfully lush, pristine country to visit, particularly if you’d like to get up close to the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Sharing a border with Uganda, the Congo, Tanzania and Burundi, this land-locked country has a blossoming tourism industry. Going on a trekking expedition to see mountain gorillas will take you into the…

Mountain gorilla safari dream becomes a reality [Traveller Story by Suneesh Menon]

Suneesh Menon finally achieved his lifelong dream to see mountain gorillas in the wild Chantelle Stork - one of our Africa Travel Concierge experts - recently helped 47-year-old Suneesh Menon realise a lifelong dream to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Chantelle says it was an absolute pleasure helping Suneesh. "He knew exactly what he wanted from the start and was…

Lodge Review | Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes National Park

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is a charming lodge at the foot of the impressive Virunga Mountain range and only 15 minutes from the famed Volcanoes National Park, making it the perfect home from which to begin your gorilla trekking adventure. Operated by Governors’ Camp, the lodge is locally-owned and all fees and rentals go back into the community trust (SACOLA) that works in association…

Why should you visit Rwanda?

  Not often on many travellers’ bucket list, Rwanda disappeared from the safari circuit after the tragic genocide in 1994. However, in 24 years much has changed and one can certainly feel it in the calm and dignified atmosphere of the country’s capital, Kigali. Vibrant and rapidly growing, Rwanda has overcome it’s haunted past by focusing on their best assets; the lush, forested…