13 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari – Gorilla Trekking & Wildlife Viewing

13 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari

Day 1: Airport pick up

Upon arrival at the airport, our company representative together with the guide will welcome you and transfer to your lodge. Depending on the time of your arrival, you might be able to do some optional activities in Entebbe like a visit to the Botanical gardens or the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC). Please note that all activities today are at your own cost.

Journey Time: 10 minutes
Accommodation: The Boma Hotel Entebbe
Meal plan: No meals included

Day 2: Ngamba Island

After breakfast, you will take a short boat ride to NgambaIsland to visit the Chimpanzee Sanctuary, established in association with the Jane Goodall Institute. The island is home also home to monitors lizards and many species of birds and is a natural habitat for chimpanzees that have been orphaned or rescued from captivity.
You will watch these fascinating primates from a viewing platform. Later in the evening, you will transfer back to Entebbe and proceed to Kampala to break the journey and cut out the morning traffic jam for the next day!

Dinner and overnight stay at Cassia Lodge
Meal plan – Full board

Day 3: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park via Ziwa Rhino sanctuary

Today after breakfast, your guide will pick you from Kampala to Murchison Falls NP. En route, you will visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will go for a game walk with an experienced ranger, which gives you a unique opportunity to view the rhinos from a close distance. Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley National Park once had both black and white rhinos; however, widespread poaching during the Idi Amin era resulted in the disappearance of these majestic animals from the wild. Founded in 1998, Rhino Fund Uganda works to reintroduce black and white rhinos into Uganda and runs a breeding program.

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda, covering an area of over 3,840 km². The park’s name derives from its famous waterfall: the mighty Murchison Falls, which are formed where the Victoria Nile powerfully forces its way through a narrow cleft before plunging 43m down with a thunderous roar
The mighty NileRiver divides the park into its north and south sections. At the spectacular Murchison Falls the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below.

As the river attracts large numbers of game, a boat safari up the Nile provides the perfect opportunity to see and photograph the animals. Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, apes and all the other thirsty wildlife that the Nile attracts; you go to the bottom of the Murchison Falls, which approaches you with a thunderous sound. By car or after a short hike you can reach the “Top of the falls” from where you have a perfect view of the impressive falls and the river snaking below. You will be staying at a great mid-range lodge. Here you can relax during the rest of your day.

Journey Time: 7 hours
Accommodation: Paraa safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 4: Morning game drive- Afternoon boat safari-Top of falls

Today after breakfast, you will depart for an early morning game drive across the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park. The 3,893 sq km park is home to a range of animals, and you will have a chance of viewing some of the Park’s residents including lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo, and elephants. For the birders amongst you, these areas support the secretary bird and the black chested snake eagle, to name a few. In the afternoon, go for a boat trip to the base of MurchisonFalls, where the Nile thunders through a small 7 meter gap plunging 43 meters into the Nile on the way to Lake Albert. The banks of the Nile are densely populated with crocodiles, hippopotamus, and a range of other wildlife that come to the river to drink. After the boat safari you will hike to the top of the falls. From here you have a wonderful view and fantastic photo opportunities.

Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 5: Transfer to Kibale National Park

Today you will begin your journey to Kibale Forest N.P. The long drive is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda. Kibale Forest National Park is located in west-central Uganda just east of the Rwenzori Mountains, near the town of Fort Portal. The 766 Km² Park predominantly covers evergreen rain forest and ranges between 1100 and 1600m in elevation. Kibale Forest is one of the last remaining expanses to contain both lowland and montane forests and forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will have packed lunch en route, arriving in the evening for overnight and dinner

Journey Time: 8 hours
Accommodation: Kyaninga Lodge
Meal Plan: Full board

Day 6: Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (Full Day)

Have breakfast and report to the park headquarters for briefing after which you embark on the Chimpanzee habituation experience where you attend to the Chimpanzees as a care taker! You will enter the forest early and watch chimps leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7pm. Return for dinner and overnight as above.

Accommodation: Kyaninga Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Have breakfast at leisure and go for a guided nature walk in the Bigodi swamp after which you continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National park. Queen Elizabeth National park is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. The park has game including Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck. Lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park. Be ready to see huge numbers of hippos and elephants, and keep your eyes on the lookout for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.
In the late afternoon you will relax at the lodge.

Journey Time: 3 ½
Accommodation: Enganzi Game Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 8: Game drive &Kazinga channel boat safari

Today you wake up early. A little before sunrise coffee, tea and donuts will be served in the lounge before we head out for a long game drive in time to see the first rays of light. You will search for all the wildlife in the park and are likely to come across Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, and many Warthogs.
A well-deserved brunch will be served back at the lodge in the late morning. In the afternoon you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Edward. Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine!), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour. After the boat-safari you game drive back to the lodge.

Accommodation: Enganzi Game Lodge
Meal Plan: Full Board

Optional activities:

Lion Tracking: For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behaviour. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology – and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions. The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors. The experiential tourism activities currently available are Mongoose Tracking, Lion Tracking, Hippo Census, and Bird Counts. Experiential tours lasts between one and three hours. They usually take place in the early morning or evening, or occasionally at night. All activities must be booked through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya at least 24 hours in advance.

Cost: $85 us dollar p.p.

Kyambura Gorge

Another optional activity in Queen Elisabeth N.P. is to visit the Kyambura Gorge. A hike through the gorge gives you the opportunity to see habituated chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and velvet monkeys. Although the chance of spotting chimpanzees is only 50%, the landscape is among the most impressive in Uganda and is absolutely worth it!

Cost: $50 US Dollar p.p. Reservation needed? – Yes, 24 hours before.

Day 9: Tree climbing lions- Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Today morning, on your way to Bwindi, you will go for a game drive in the Ishasha sector for a chance to see the tree climbing lions. After lunch at Ishasha Wilderness Camp you will be transferred to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the mountain gorillas.

Journey Time: 3 hours to Bwindi
Accommodation: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge
Meal plan: Full Board

Day 10: Gorilla Tracking

Today after early breakfast, you will be transferred to the park headquarters for briefing about gorilla tracking. You will encounter one of Bwindi’s endangered mountain gorillas. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable national park boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees – the only forest in Africa that can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primates, 113 species of mammals, over 200 species of butterflies and 360 species of birds. The gorillas you track are habituated and can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period of time, every day.

The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 hours. Once the gorillas have been located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

Accommodation: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge
Meal plan: Full Board

Optional Activities:

Batwa Trail: During this moving tour, the Batwa demonstrate hunting techniques; gather honey; point out medicinal plants and demonstrate how to make bamboo cups. Guests are then invited to the sacred Ngarama Cave, once home to the Batwa King to be entertained by traditional music and dance.

Village Walk: Overlooking the imposing hillsides of Bwindi Impenetrable forest, with the mist swirling over the summits, this is one of the most dramatic settings for your cultural tour! Among others, meet a traditional healer, who not only treats the sick, but uses his knowledge to conserve and educate about the various medicinal plants.

Day 11: Bwindi Impenetrable National park- Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

Today, after early morning breakfast, you will cross the border into Rwanda with about 2 hours at the border. You will check into your lodge and in the afternoon, you will relax.

Journey Time: 4 hours
Accommodation: Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
Meal plan – Full board

Day 12: Golden Monkey tracking – Transfer to Kigali

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the park headquarters for golden monkey tracking, which is a completely different experience but just as rewarding. These beautiful, lively creatures are on the endangered list, and are fascinating to watch as they leap through the vegetation. You will return to the lodge, have lunch and after lunch, you will be driven to Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.

Journey Time: 3 hours
Accommodation: Hotel de Milles Collines
Meal plan: Breakfast and lunch

Day 13: Airport Transfer

Today, depending on your flight time, you can visit the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre. It’s a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant Children’s Memorial, and a detailed description of the darkest hour in Rwanda’s recent history. Later you will be transferred to Kigali airport for your out bound flight

Dates

This is a private tour, departure can be organised for anytime throughout the year subject to the availability of accommodation and transport.

Discount: When your gorilla tracking is in April, May and November 2017, you will receive USD $150 per person discount on this tour.

Hotel booking: The bookings with the hotels mentioned in the program depend on availability. Reservations will only be made after your booking. In case the mentioned hotels are not available during the requested period, we will do our utmost best to book a hotel in the same class for you (of course we will only do this after consulting you).

Gorilla and chimp permits reservation: It is not possible to ‘reserve’ gorilla and chimpanzee permits. Therefore we can only buy them after your booking and down-payment and also it all depends on availability.

Transport: Our standard offering for this tour is a customized 4 X 4 safari Van; dust proof and fitted with a charging system, with pop-up roof for easy safari viewing. All passengers will have a dedicated window seat. Your professional and courteous driver/guide will be at your disposal for questions or translations.