Kenya’s most famous national reserve, the Masai Mara runs along the country’s south-west border neighboring Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Masai Mara Game reserve is an interesting gigantic ecosystem that is shared the two African countries and protected by a combination of national reserves and community-run conservation areas.
With effect from today 1st June 2019, Air Kenya is set to launch direct flights from Masai Mara national park to Uganda at the Entebbe International Airport. This newly launched initiative will allow travelers to fly direct from Masai Mara in Kenya to Uganda’s gorilla safari destinations; Bwindi forest National park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park as well as to other national parks like Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo Valley National parks in Uganda.
This is a great move to promote joint Uganda Kenya tourism by allowing travelers to explore the two Africa safari countries within the shortest time possible especially those interested in short Uganda gorilla safaris and short Kenya wildlife safaris. The direct flights will save travelers the stresses associated with long driving hours and Kenya Uganda border crossing. The new initiative comes 5 months after Air Kenya suspended the coastal routes of Lamu, Malindi, and Diani on 11th January 2019. The reasons for air Kenya’ suspension of 3 coastal routes were to specialize on fully serving regions that needed more services better than the coat. Captain Dino Bisleti, the Chief Executive Officer of Air Kenya and Aero Link said he will provide a seamless connection from Kenya to Uganda and vice versa. He further said, travelers on Africa safaris for example those interested in Kenya safaris, Kenya wildlife safaris, Uganda safaris, short Uganda safaris, short Kenya wildlife safaris, short gorilla safaris and many more have a distance and a time saver. This will longer require them to travel to Nairobi spend a night in the City and connect to Entebbe next day.
Apart from its picturesque scenery and regal Maasai people you encounter dressed in striking red garb, the Masai Mara Game Reserve Kenya is best known for the annual Great Migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra while Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda is famous habiting half of the world’s remaining endangered mountain gorillas as well as the best destination to go for an Africa gorilla safari or Uganda gorilla safari.
Air Kenya will fly passengers from the Masai Mara Game Reserve to Kisumu for customs and immigration clearance, then proceed across Lake Victoria to Entebbe International Airport following which Air Kenya’s Ugandan partner airline; Aero link Uganda will carry the passengers on to the Savannah airfield in Kihihi. At that point will Ugandan tour or Uganda safari tour operators will pick up the passengers and take them to Buhoma, the entrance point to other Uganda gorilla trekking safari routes.
Besides the new flight launch in Uganda, Air Kenya had similar connections that have been available for some time now out of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park via Mwanza to Kigali for Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris. These flights are being operated by Coastal Aviation.
Uganda is blessed with two gorilla destinations including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; the only destination in Uganda where silver meets gold. Uganda has flying safaris to all its gorilla safari destinations. Flights to the Uganda Gorillas safari destinations are determined by the specific region where one booked the Gorilla permit and henceforth, the accommodation.
The issue of long drive distances from Kampala / Entebbe to your Uganda gorilla safari destinations in the extreme south west of Uganda is sorted. We have noted that at times, long distances have proven challenging to some of our Uganda safari travelers interested in gorilla tours Uganda. We are here to put your worries to a stop since there are available flight options that offer an alternative.
Amazingly, a 9-10hour journey covering 527km can be shortened to only 1 hour and 20 minutes by flight from the Entebbe International Airport. Normally, the travelers arriving in for gorilla safaris in Uganda and intending to transfer by flight opt to connect directly with the scheduled domestic flight right at the Airport depending on the time of their arrival flight. Or travelers can rest in any hotel around Entebbe and use the scheduled flight for the next day.
For those tracking Buhoma and Ruhija to the north and east of Bwindi, they land at Kihihi Airstrip while those tracking the Bwindi’s southern regions of Rushaga and Nkuringo along with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park land at Nyakabande Airstrip Kisoro (also known as Kisoro Airstrip). These are the sites where gorilla trekking in Uganda is carried out.
The dynamics between these flights needs to be understood as well. The flights to Kisoro Airstrip only operate in the morning hours because of the strong winds in the area. And as a result, passengers from the southern Uganda gorilla tracking safari points have to arrive or depart Kisoro not later than 10am.
However, for Kihihi Airstrip, flights operate both in the morning and in the afternoon and therefore passengers have a choice to make from the two options depending on their interconnecting International flights or programmes in Kampala /Entebbe.
As per the Aerolink schedule, the flight to Kisoro departs Entebbe at 07:45hrs arriving at 08:55hrs, the same aircraft proceeds to arrive Kihihi Airstrip at 09:30hrs. Departure from Kisoro Airstrip is at 09:10hrs while for Kihihi Airstrip is 09:45hrs all arriving Entebbe at 11:25hrs.
For the afternoon session, the flight to Kihihi Airstrip departs Entebbe at 12:45hrs and arrives at 13:55hrs. The afternoon departure from Kihihi Airstrip is at 14:05hrs arriving at 15:55hrs.
You can also enjoy Africa wildlife safaris to other destinations of your choice including Rwanda for a Rwanda gorilla safari, Rwanda wildlife safaris, to Tanzania for a Tanzania wildlife safaris, to Congo for a Congo gorilla safari. Please note that all these countries on your Africa safari tour.