BIRMINGHAM, AL, January 17, 2007 – Imagine capturing thousands of animals in a single sweeping glance as they make their way across the Mara River. Picture yourself tracking gorillas in the wilds of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. These and other extraordinary experiences are brought to life by International Expeditions, the world leader in nature travel, during its 11-day Kenya Migration Safari with four full days in Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve, and its 15-day Uganda Safari, the most comprehensive itinerary of its kind.
While exploring the wonders of East Africa, International Expeditions travelers reap the benefits of a company with decades of safari expertise. Group sizes are limited to just 10 guests in Uganda and 18 in Kenya, allowing for plenty of personal attention from professional naturalist guides. In Kenya, guests travel in custom-built four-wheel drive Land Rovers with roof hatches and window seats for everyone. In Uganda, guests are cosseted in ultra-deluxe accommodations in the country’s best lodges and luxurious tented camps.
Seeing the great migration of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles across the African plains is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream. Hearts pound with the excitement of discovery – be it watching a cheetah pursue a gazelle at 70 miles an hour or spotting lions hunting for their dinner. The great herds – often consisting of hundreds of thousands of animals – typically arrive in Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve during the second half of July, and the Kenya Migration Safari is timed to put travelers in their midst at the ideal time of year.
After an overnight in Nairobi, International Expeditions’ Kenya Migration Safaris begin with a stay at Sweetwaters Tented Camp, located on a private ranch with views of snow-covered Mount Kenya. Afternoon and evening game drives await, with the chance of seeing all the “Big Five” animals (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard), plus a visit to Jane Goodall’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Guests then travel to the Samburu Reserve, located in Kenya’s Northern Frontier District, where two nights are spent at the Samburu Serena Lodge. Morning and afternoon game drives allow ample time to observe the abundant wildlife of the region, including unusual species such as the Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich and Beisa oryx.
Next is a flight to the Masai Mara Reserve and the Mara Intrepids, where luxurious tents are nestled among trees at the Mara River’s edge. Renowned for the wildebeest migration between July and September, the Mara is one of the world’s most rewarding places to see wildlife. Its verdant savannah grasslands and lone acacia trees evoke the classic image of Kenya. It was here that the romantic safari film Out of Africa was set. Four full days of morning and afternoon game drives provide guests the greatest chance of seeing the great herds. Bush dinners are enjoyed beneath the star-studded African sky.
There are just three 2007 departure dates for the Kenya Migration Safari: July 20, 27 and August 10. Per person prices start from $4,298, including accommodations, most meals, transportation by air and land in Africa, guides and group transfers.
The African Queen – The Uganda Safari
Winston Churchill called Uganda the “pearl of Africa” for good reason. It’s an extraordinarily beautiful and diverse country, green and tropical, with savannahs, forests, lakes, branches of the Nile and snow-covered peaks. It has wildlife and plants characteristic of both East and West Africa, meaning adventurers can see more in a short visit than anywhere else.
International Expeditions’ Uganda Safaris, departing March 16, June 22, October 26 and December 21, are of extraordinary scope. After an overnight in Entebbe, guests visit the Entebbe Botanical Gardens to see vervet and colobus monkeys. Next is a drive to Murchison Falls National Park where three nights are spent at the luxurious Nile Safari Camp, featuring tents with private verandas overlooking the Victoria Nile. A journey by launch to the base of the spectacular falls offers exceptional wildlife viewing, with the chance of seeing hundreds of hippos and large numbers of crocodiles, elephants and birds.
An exploration of the park’s northern sector, where part of The African Queen was filmed, brings encounters with elephant, lion, giraffe, sitatunga, Uganda kob and buffalo, before a boat ride to the Lake Albert Delta takes guests in search of shoebills, elephants and other wildlife.
During a visit of the Kibale Forest area, travelers traverse the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains (the Mountains of the Moon), and with the help of skilled guides search for primates including chimpanzees. The day is topped off with a special traditional lunch in a local home, plus a visit of the village school and meeting with local elders.
At an area watering hole there is excellent birding and a host of monkeys, including black-and-white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey and others. Next is a drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Africa’s premier national parks, and Mweya Lodge, overlooking Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel with the Ruwenzoris in the distance.
In the Queen Elizabeth National Park, game drives seek out elephant, buffalo, kob, waterbuck, bushbuck and predators including lion and leopard; bird watching is remarkable, with about 600 species recorded. During a boat excursion along the Kazinga Channel hippos are in full view, and the park’s less-visited Ishasha region is one of the few places where lions regularly climb trees.
A highlight of the Uganda Safari is the World Heritage Site Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where travelers hike in search of endangered mountain gorillas. Later, a game drive in the Lake Mburo National Park takes guests to one of the few places in Uganda to see impala and zebra.
Per person prices for the March 16, June 22, October 26 and December 21 Uganda Safaris start from $5,338 including accommodations, most meals, transportation in Africa, guides and group transfers. The cost of the permit to view gorillas is an additional $375.
Founded in 1980, International Expeditions is the world leader in nature travel, specializing in small group and independent journeys to the most exhilarating destinations around the globe. A pioneer of environmentally responsible travel, International Expeditions is committed to preserving natural habitats and improving the welfare of the people and communities it visits.
For more information call an International Expeditions destination specialist at 1-800-633-4734, see your travel agent, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ietravel.com.