East Africa Adventure: Tanzania Plus Gorilla Trek in Rwanda
The Steppin Out East Africa Adventures is a way to see traditional Africa in a non-traditional way. And Rwanda and Tanzania are two of my African countries - warm, friendly, safe, beautiful. The pre-safari Tanzania trip starts with an optional extension to Rwanda - where you get to take in the land of a thousand hills and have the opportunity to get up close and person with the gorillas and golden monkeys as well as have an opportunity to visit the people Beyond the Gorillas. (For those who don't want to travel to Tanzania, we can arrange a few day extension in Rwanda such as Nyungwe National Park and Lake Kivu)

From Rwanda we fly to Tanzania-- a country known for the Serengeti and its amazing wild life, but we weave cultural experiences as well into our amazing encounters with wildlife. This particular time of year (and the area we are selecting to go) is when the Great Migration give birth to their calves. Last time Steppin Out was there was when the wildebeest had just settled into Tanzania - wildebeests as far as the eye could see. This time of year would also include their babies and the babies of many other animals.

Our Safari combines many of the key features the Serengeti has to offer adventurous and culturally curious travelers. Game viewing concentrating on the fascinating and powerful Big Cats in the central Serengeti, the Big Mammals migrating throughout the Serengeti, the Big Five (rhino, elephant, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard) and other unique wildlife species in the region. It also includes various novel geological features in the Ngorongoro Crater and Highlands area. The archeological highlight where the Leakey’s unearthed a 1.8 million year old human skeleton in the 1950’s. Recreational adventures include climbing into the magnificent craters in the Ngorongoro Highlands and mountain biking through mountain ridges and African villages. Of course we added special touches as any Steppin Out trip does, with personalized cultural immersion experiences with the Maasai, Hadzabe and Datoga tribes that allows participants to interact directly with these land dependent rural traditional peoples whose lifestyles include hunting gathering, pastoral herding and agriculture. Learn to hunt, dance to work songs and how one cow supports an entire community.
For questions with this form contact us at info@steppinoutadventures.com or call 847-414-4956

FIVE DAY RWANDA PORTION EXTENSION - $4425 double occupancy Add $475 for single
TANZANIA PORTION: $6075 add $1100 for a single

TOTAL: $10,750 for January 29- Feb. 12


Arrive a night early in Kigali - $235
Arrive a night early in Arusha: $275

Those not paying via credit card, should send their check to Steppin' Out c/0 Robin Richman , 1730 W. Irving Park Road, #1 Chicago, IL 60613
See our trip from December 2018
RWANDA & TANZANIA: Gorillas & Serengeti and So Much More (Tentative Itinerary) Note: You can just do Rwanda, just do Tanzania. We'll help you with all.
Jan. 29 DAY 0 ARRIVAL in Kigali

Jan. 30 Day 1 Meet in the morning for breakfast. Visit the Genocide Mausoleum. Lunch in town. Follow the road as it climbs to the base of the majestic volcanoes, with spectacular views across the five peaks. Continue toward Volcanoes NP.

Jan. 31 DAY 2 - Golden Monkeys km 70, 2 hrs tar road
As the first light of dawn breaks through the curtain of mist clinging to the summits of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura, we make our way into the Volcanoes National Park.
Trek to a habituated group of Golden Monkeys (cercopithecus mitis kandti) which are endemic to the Virungas. These rare species are also listed as endangered – and Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkeys’ troops that are available for visiting by tourists in the park, both of which make about 80 members.
Golden monkeys in Rwanda live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and habituation has helped them to overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
Trekking golden monkeys and gorillas is a similar experience – in a small group of no more than eight people, and you can spend one hour with the monkeys once you find them. They are very active creatures and jump from tree to tree which is really interesting and a little difficult to photograph!
We will have lunch at the lodge and in the afternoon visit a village and get to know some of the amazing people of Rwanda and hear their stories.
Overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Meals (B,L, D)

km 100, 2 hrs, mostly tar road
Another early morning to catch Gorillas in the mist. Tracking gorillas through the unique vegetation can take several hours of challenging walking in wet and muddy conditions. To see a gorilla, the trek will have been worth the hardship.
Don’t forget that you’re encountering mountain gorillas in their habitat – this is not a zoo experience. Respect them, their environment and their behaviour and know that you’re a guest in their world. Having said that, don’t worry about being attacked! Gorillas are not as aggressive as popular culture has made them out to be. While they’re huge (silverbacks can be over 200 kgs) and powerful, gorillas on the whole are gentle and shy creatures. There has never been an incident of a habituated gorilla attacking a tourist. These habituated groups see tourists every single day, so they’re pretty used to us.
Your tracking guide will tell you more about how to behave when you’re in the presence of gorillas.

After lunch at your hotel we will head to the Red Rocks Intercultural for musical entertainment and a cooking class Our cooking lessons involve mainly Rwandese dishes in an African cuisine and in an African Kitchen. Later in the afternoon indulge in banana beer production to understand the chemistry about the process of brewing a local beer from bananas fruits. If you find the activity interesting enough you can join the women in squeezing the juice out of the bananas and drink a glass of juice. We can also have some guests talk to us about the inside way of Rwandese culture and historical norms. Listen to different stories from various individuals in the society and share anticipations of a better future and learn important things of a nation which is transforming together.
Overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Meals (B,L, D)

Feb. 2 Day 4
In the morning we will have decided beforehand whether we want to bike, hike or boat:

• Drive to the two compellingly twin lakes Bulera and Ruhondo, located just adjacent of the volcanoes. Take a boat to explore the breathtaking scenery or even join fishermen with their local canoes on the lake. You will visit one of the communities living in an Island and the highest point to have some good photos of the volcanoes especially during a clear day.

• Hike from Red Rocks through cultivated lands and lead you to a school on top of Rugarika hill, there is a school there – you will be welcomed by students during their break-time, have short interaction with the kids before they enter into their classes – If during school holidays you will just enjoy the beautiful sceneries and chat with locals before returning back to Red Rocks

• Enjoy biking in the village seeing beautiful sceneries and talk to the villagers in their daily routines. You may decide to bike towards the main town where you can stop for any bargains

After a full day there, we will drive back to Kigali.

Overnight at Kigali Hotel B, L. D

Feb. 3 Day 5 – Fly from Kigali to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) –
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) where our representative awaits to transfer you to your hotel in Arusha. Arrive at Africa Tulip for a quick lunch and check in and later proceed to Mulala Village.
We will drive to Mulala village, about 40 minutes above Arusha town on the slopes of Mount Meru. The highlight of this visit is to meet the Agape Women Group and see what they do for a living. “Agape” means love. You will feel the love of the Mulala women as soon as you arrive. You will be greeted by their chants and dance, as is the traditional when entering an African village.

Activities with the Agape women include a short village walk and a coffee plantation tour, which includes learning the whole local coffee-making process. The process begins at the plantation where you will harvest fresh coffee beans, then cook the beans using firewood then transform the cooked beans into a powder. You will also receive a brief introduction about cheese making process and cheese tasting. Visiting a secondary school (still under construction) is an optional activity before saying goodbye. The possibility of painting a classroom is open and all materials can be bought on site.

Lodging: The African Tulip Hotel (D

Feb. 4 Day 6 Bike Ride, Community Visit, Game Drive
We will start off the day with a bike ride to Lake Manyara.
The bike ride will be on flatbumpy roads taking approximately 30min one-way, all the while having the chance to see indigenous wildlife species such as gazelles, zebras and wildebeests. Once at lake Manyara, you will be able to see numerous species of birds and a chance to spot the beautiful migratory flamingos.

Later, you will return to Mto Wa Mbu village. The word Mto wa Mbu means "Mosquito River." It is one of the most culturally diverse villages in Africa, with over 18,000 inhabitants and a melting pot of over 80 tribes from different parts of Tanzania. Twenty-two years ago it was an experiment for tourism. It is working and offers a great taste of Tanzanian culture. Mto Wa Mbu exports mainly bananas. There are over 30 species of banana in the village, introduced from various parts of the country. You will see age old banana plantations, banana beer factories, and visit the Makonde tribe.
Of course, you cannot leave the village before enjoying genuine Tanzanian hospitality when they offer you a true local lunch at a unique venue that is actually the extension of a local resident’s kitchen. It combines a form of community economic development served by a resident who transformed her kitchen into a business. A wide variety of local African foods are served. All foods are locally cultivated- nothing is imported. The setting for lunch is a palm shaded area off the beaten path.

After lunch, continue to Lake Manyara National Park. From whichever way you approach Lake Manyara National park, the first view is spectacular. From the west- as you pause at the top of the escarpment and gaze out over the thin green strip of vegetation nestled tight against the Rift Valley and the lake shining in the sunshine. From the east- the Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Highlands form an impressive backdrop to the lake. The large variety of wildlife to be found in the park, mammals, reptiles and birds and the different vegetation, all within a small area make Lake Manyara a particularly interesting place to visit. The park derives its name from the Masai word “manyara,” which is the name for the plant Euphorbia tirucalli. The Masai use this plant to grow livestock stockades, eventually producing a stock proof hedge, more durable than any built of thorn. During the game drives through the narrow roads and rainy forest. Manyara’s natural habitat ,you should be able to see large troops of baboons, velvet monkeys, blue monkeys, hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, warthogs, impalas, gazelles etc.Leopards, lion’s cheetahs, rock/tree hyrax, kudus, elands, bushbucks, waterbucks, and dik-diks also live in this park.
Lodging: Ngorongoro Retreat Lodge (3 Meals)

Feb. 5 Day 7 Ngorongoro Crater
After an early breakfast, you’ll drive further for an hour to the crater then descend into crater floor for exciting game viewing. Waiting for you are a remarkable selection of its 25,000 wildlife inhabitants awaits you! The Crater is a unique ecosystem of grass steppe and Acacia forest, formed 30 million years ago. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and is one of Africa’s most remarkable geological sites. It is home to one of the few remaining populations of black rhino in Tanzania and just about every other East African mammal, with the exception of giraffe (walls are too steep) and impala, all unafraid and used to the constant retinue of vehicles. The crater has the highest density of lions in Africa, with over 30 lions per 100 sq kms, compared to the Serengeti (about 14 lions/100 sq kms), Kruger National Park in South Africa (about 10 lions/100 sq kms). In Ngorongoro it is not uncommon to find lions lying in the shade of parked tourist vehicles! The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is unique in that the area is shared between the pastoralist Masai tribe and the wildlife the area was established to preserve.
The Ngorongoro maintains the historic balance between people and nature in a way that is not possible in other parks in Tanzania.
Overnight: Ngorongoro Retreat Lodge (3 Meals)

Feb. 6 Day 8
We start the day with a hike to explore the dramatic Empakaai Crater accompanied by an armed ranger, With a lake on the Crater floor and the entire caldera encircled by a steep, densely forested wall, Empakaai is a scene of vast natural beauty. On clear days the Crater offers views of Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania’s most recently active volcano. The steep slope calls for a degree of fitness, but the walk through the lush forest, with its ancient strangler figs and rich birdlife, is well worth the effort. The trail continues to the lakeshore, where you can view water birds such as flamingo. It is about 45 minutes down and about an hour and a half up.
Then we will have the opportunity meet with the Maasai trip and can participate in different activities including making goat/sheep barbeque from scratch with the help of the elders and Maasai morans/warriors. Women will participate in other activities like building livestocks fences or a manyatta and learn about beading work with the help of Maasai women.
Overnight in Ksima Ngeda Luxury Camp

Feb. 7 Day 9 Lake Eyasi Cultural Activities – Karatu

By 5:00 am you will leave the camp and drive the for an extraordinary cultural visit to the Hadzabe Bushmen, a Stone Age hunter-gatherer Bushmen tribe- one of the last of its kind on earth. The Hadzabe still live by hunter and gatherer traditions of their ancestors and speak their traditional click-sound language. Being there in the morning will grant you an opportunity to participate in various interactive daily activities including a bush trek, hunting, honey gathering, baobab fruit foraging, making jewelry with the women and experience their daily life, unchanged for millennia as they are the last tribe to continue in the ways of their ancestors. Our visit with the Hadzabe, as with other cultural groups, is not choreographed in any way. We just join in whatever they are doing in their day. Things need to stay flexible, because if game is near, they will dash off into the bush and you will try to catch up to join them! They just insist you are quiet while they hunt.

Later, we will visit the Datoga blacksmith and Datoga Boma. The Datoga tribe is another well preserved traditional tribe in the Lake Eyasi area. In contrast to the Hadzabe, the Datoga are skilled farmers and livestock keepers.
If time allows, meet nurse Ruth for a brief introduction of her health community based project (Milagro Health Project) which supports Hadzabe health issues.

A bit of a drive as we head to the game reserves for the evening. Ndutu is part of the Serengeti but is a special place where you can go off roading to get close to the animals.
Lodging: Ndutu Safari Lodge (3 Meals)

Feb. 8 Day 10 Ndutu Game Drive Chasing the Great Migration & Calving Season -
Road Type: Rough & dusty
After breakfast, we depart with picnic lunch for a full day of game drive in Ndutu. Lake Ndutu is alkaline, however the water is still drinkable and used by a wide array of local wildlife. Lake Ndutu area situatied in the Ngorongoro area is part of the southern Serengeti ecosystem.

In February the Great Migration calving season begins. The number one wonder on the list in the Serengeti is the great wildebeest migration. The migration has formed its own culture in the Serengeti, with the wildebeest doing what they do for the last 2 million years. Nothing is a constant: not the rains, not the grass, nor the timings of migration. The whole migration is masterfully planned by nature, with the migration usually being led by the zebra who relish the tall grasses, making it easier for the wildebeest with their sunken heads to eat shorter grass. The remainder of short grass benefits the gazelles that trail the magical spectacle of the wildlife procession. The wildebeest crossing over the river is a highlight for many who want to see them emerge victorious; other visitors take a different view and wait for the opportunity for nature to define its own rules. The river trees and mounds attract leopards and lions adding to the fascinating experience in the Serengeti National Reserve.

Ndutu is a very special game area as you can drive off the main road searching for wildlife. Ndutu is known as home to cheetahs and other big cats. We will spend the whole day exploring the open grassland, chasing the Great Migration and searching for wildlife.
Lodging: Ndutu Safari Lodge (3 meals)

Feb. 9 Day 11 Ndutu Nature Walk –
Road Type: Rough and Dusty
Before breakfast, depart for an early sunrise nature walk in Ndutu. The nature walk will bring you close to nature while enjoying the games in a distance. Later return to the lodge for a breakfast before dedicating some hours to game drive across the main roads.
Later in the afternoon, we go on another game drive amongst the Wildebeest, their babies and their prey.

Feb. 10 Day 12 Central Serengeti - Unlimited Kilometers of game drive
Road Type: Rough and Dusty
We head to Serengeti for game drive on Serengeti central plains. Arguably the most famous National Park in the world, the Serengeti ecosystem consists of some 35,000 square kilometres. It extends into the Masai Mara in neighbouring Kenya and provides a vast eco-system for the annual wildebeest migration. The park itself is about 14,763 sq kms in area and encompasses the main part of the Serengeti ecosystem. We descend into the heart of wild Africa- the Serengeti National Park- with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. The name “Serengeti” is from the Maasai word “siringitu,” meaning "endless plains". You will see why once you see its ocean of grassland savannas stretching to the horizon. However, certain parts are also covered in the Acacia savanna, dense wooded hills or rocky outcrops known as kopjes, as well as pans and lakes.
The abundance of African wildlife of course makes the Serengeti a sought-after safari destination, and includes healthy populations of lion, buffalo, impala, hippo, waterbuck, elephant, cheetah, leopard and a host of other game species– not mention hundreds of bird species.
Arguably the most famous National Park in the world, the Serengeti ecosystem consists of some 35,000 square kilometres. It extends into the Masai Mara in neighbouring Kenya and provides a vast eco-system for the annual wildebeest migration. The park itself is about 14,763 sq kms in area and encompasses the main part of the Serengeti ecosystem. We descend into the heart of wild Africa- the Serengeti National Park- with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. The name “Serengeti” is from the Maasai word “siringitu,” meaning "endless plains". You will see why once you see its ocean of grassland savannas stretching to the horizon. However, certain parts are also covered in the Acacia savanna, dense wooded hills or rocky outcrops known as kopjes, as well as pans and lakes.
The abundance of African wildlife of course makes the Serengeti a sought-after safari destination, and includes healthy populations of lion, buffalo, impala, hippo, waterbuck, elephant, cheetah, leopard and a host of other game species– not mention hundreds of bird species.
Lodging: Nyumbani Serengeti Camp (3 Meals

Feb. 11 Day 13
(Option for early hot air balloon ride) We head to Seronera area, one of the richest wildlife habitats in the park. Located virtually in the geometric centre of the park, the Seronera Valley provides probably the best all year game viewing within the National Park, being on the crossroads for the migration and having a number of permanent water courses. The area consists of a varied habitat of acacia riverina and plains of red-oat grasslands. To the east and south are the lightly wooded Nyaraswiga and Mukoma Hills. It is justly famous for both leopards and lions, both of which are usually seen without difficulty. Just to the north of the valley along the road to Lobo is the only place hippos are likely to be seen in the Serengeti. The Seronera River, which provides a valuable water source to this area, therefore attracting wildlife well representative of most of the Serengeti’s species. We will also visit the Moru and Simba kopjes where lions like to hide.
Lodging: Nyumbani Serengeti Camp (3 Meals

Feb. 12 Day 14
Maybe morning game drive if we want. Fly to Arusha Airport (ARK) – Lunch at Arusha Coffee
Catch flight to US or wherever you want to go!

Rwanda offers a new aspect to Africa and a different holiday experience to that of other East African countries. With its stunning landscape including dramatic volcanoes, thick rainforest and vast lakes, Rwanda ensures that travellers have a truly unforgettable time.

As a small Central African nation situated to the west of Tanzania, Rwanda is a western arm of the Great Rift Valley and on the watershed between the Nile and the Congo - Africa's two largest rivers. Its physical beauty is unique on the African Continent with vibrant green grasslands, dazzling riverine forests and breathtaking mountain views.

Rwanda is a must-see for anyone looking for an exhilarating safari adventure. A highlight to any Rwanda holiday is a gorilla safari through the rainforest to track and observe the endangered Mountain Gorillas that inhabit the Parc National des Volcans. Mountain Gorillas are on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and are classified as ‘critically endangered’ with just 880 individuals currently recorded.

There are no Mountain Gorillas living outside of their native mountain forest home or in captivity.There are only three countries where the magnificent and highly endangered great apes still survive—Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo—and it is most expensive to see them in Rwanda (The permit is over $1500) None live in captivity in zoos; about 490 mountain gorillas inhabit the Virunga Massif ecosystem shared by Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, the DRC's Virunga National Park, and Uganda's Mgahinga National Park. Another 300 or so live on a separate mountain in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The gorilla trekking system is similar in all three countries, which cooperate in their conservation efforts and devote those high fees, in principle, to monitoring and protecting the species made famous by Diane Fossey's memoir, Gorillas in the Mist, and movies like King Kong. To avoid harassing the shy animals, just eight travelers per day (accompanied by park rangers and trackers) are permitted to hike in search of each gorilla family habituated to human observers. Rwanda offers the most permits, with up to ten gorilla families allotted for tourism (at most, 80 permits would be given out each day); Uganda, up to eight families; Because gorillas are followed on a daily basis, a sighting in all the locations is virtually guaranteed. You need to be fit, because your path may take you up muddy, steep mountain slopes for several hours. Sometimes gorillas feed on lower slopes, or even raid farmer's fields outside park boundaries; you might encounter them, as I did in both in the DRC and the Bwindi, on flat ground within 45 minutes of the trailhead. Once gorillas are located, travelers are limited to one hour of observation and photography, and they must try to keep at least 23 feet from each animal (gorillas, of course, don't know about the distance rule!).

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