RWANDA UGANDA GORILLA TREKKING | 14 DAYS
The Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Trekking safari traces the western Rift Valley in the heart of Africa, starting with game viewing on the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park – elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, and leopard. Track the fast moving and elusive chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge. In Ishasha go on the hunt for the tree-climbing lions lounging on old fig trees. See the rich wildlife and array of birds on the Kazinga Channel. Seeing some of the last remaining 700 mountain gorillas in the world is a fantastic experience and this safari takes you to three gorilla parks – Bwindi , Mgahinga and PNV in Rwanda. It offers an opportunity to track gorillas five times, twice in Bwindi, once in Mgahinga/Nkuringo, and twice in PNV. and this has to be pre arranged with your agent because we normally include only 2 permits one in Uganda and another one in PNV.
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest contains an estimated 20 families of gorillas, totalling around 400 individuals and of these, 12 families have been habituated to the presence of human beings and can be viewed at close quarters. One of these groups is reserved for research only. At present permits are available for visitors to trek to and interact with the habituated groups.
You can also go for nature walks to see birds, monkeys and orchids, visit Nyungwe national park, Lake Bunyonyi, Kigali City tours etc.
You can also climb a volcano or go for a nature walk or visit the endangered golden monkey. PNV in Rwanda has five habituated gorilla families and tracking most groups in the afro-montane forest usually takes only a few hours. You can also climb a volcano, visit the remains of Dian Fossey’s grave or visit the endangered golden monkey.
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe
You are met by our representative and briefed through your stay in Uganda before your transfer to your hotel in Entebbe. You will remember that it was at Entebbe where the Israelis heroically released hostages that was on a hijacked Air France Airbus in 1976. Enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. we shall check ad have a short rest before we walk down the pier for our boat ride on Lake Victoria to Ngamba Island (45 minutes by motorised boat).
On arrival at the Island, home to 39 chimpanzees, you will be given a short introduction and briefing on the sanctuary like why it was established and the back ground as well. After which, its feeding time! It is interesting to watch the chimps interact with each other and with their keepers. In the relatively short amount of time you are there you will be able to see such different personalities amongst the group, with some whistling for food and others clapping. Obviously the ideal option would be to re-introduce these orphaned chimpanzees to the wild however this is not possible for a number of different reasons and the sanctuary is not bad for second best.
Day 2: Kibale forest national park
Travel to Kibale Forest National Park. This equatorial forest holds a higher diversity (13 species) and density of primates than any other African forest. Kibale’s primates include Vervet, L’Hoest’s, Red-tailed and Blue monkeys, in addition to Grey-cheeked mangabey, Red colobus, Black & white colobus, Olive baboon and Chimpanzee. Kibale is the most ideal site in Uganda to seek wild Chimpanzees and one of the few parks in Uganda where night excursions are permitted for those who wish to observe primates such as the unusual Potto and various Galago species (bushbabies).L-host-Monkey-at-bwindi After dark we will take an excursion with spotlights to seek nocturnal primates and other wildlife.
DAY 3: Kebale Forest
Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 0800hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is Chimpanzee tracking. Chimpanzees are man’s closet cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate’s species. More primates like Black and white Columbus monkeys, L’Hoest Monkeys, Grey cheecked Mangabey, Red tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, Little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater and mammals like Elephants can be seen in this walk.
Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large “communities” of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.
Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialize with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.
In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the Eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great Blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bush bucks, bush pigs and among others.
DAY 4 : KIBALE FOREST /QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Either a day’s walk in the foothills of the Rwenzoris, one of the great mountain ranges of the world, looking out for its forbidding peaks in the distance, or drive straight to Queen Elizabeth. The game seen will depend on the season; the Kasenyi plains are good for lion and the Mweya peninsula for a variety of animals.
Shift to Queen Elizabeth National Park this morning (about 3 hours driving). Leaving through Fort Portal town, you turn south and early this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains-the famed “Mountains of the Moon”. This 767-square-mile conservation area is bordered on the North East by Lake George and on the South West by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Zaire Parc Du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda Kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally. In the afternoon enjoy a game drive in the northern part of the park, visiting the Baboon Cliff famous for its nice scenery, and good views of the shadows of the mountains of the moon – the Rwenzoris. The drive to the lodge leads through large expanses of savannah grasslands and plenty of wild game
We arise early for a transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. We do a morning game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda Kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range. Midmorning relax by the pool at the lodge. PM go for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.
DAY 5 : SAFARI IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK, GAME DRIVE TO SEE LIONS, LEOPARD, ELEPHANT, BUFFALLO, ETC
Game drives during this day dedicated to discover Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the most diverse ecosystems in Africa. A total of 95 mammals species has been recorded. The park boasts of over 600 recorded bird species making it the ideal destination for bird watchers.
We set out early in the morning for a game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda Kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range.
Other mammals include Giant forest hog, a variety of antelope, elephant and hippo. The park’s bird species number more than 600, quite likely higher than any other destination in Africa.
You shall visit the crater lakes like Lake Katwe famous for salt
DAY 6: QUEEN ELIZABETH/ BWINDI NATIONAL PARK
After an early morning game drive, we continue to the Buhoma sector of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi’s chief claim to fame is its resident, habituated population of Mountain Gorillas. These spectacular primates now number only around 650, most of which live either at Bwindi or across the border in Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans. (Bwindi holds some 280 – 320 Gorillas, in 15 groups.) This ancient rainforest has 120 mammal species, perhaps more than any other national park in the country except Queen Elizabeth. Primates include L’Hoest’s, Red-tailed, Blue and Colobus monkeys and the Olive baboon. Antelope include bushbuck and 5 species of forest-dependent Duiker. Birders come to Bwindi to seek the 23 Albertine Rift Endemics which thrive here. Of those, 14 are found nowhere else in Uganda. Some 200 species of butterfly have been recorded in the park and the colourful clouds of butterflies that congregate at Bushpig wallows is a marvelous spectacle.
DAY 7: GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
After a full briefing, we head off with native trackers, enjoying the highlight of the trip- tracking the mountain gorillas, which may last the entire day. We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It’s difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. You start where the group was last contacted the previous day, then follow a rough trail through the forest to discover the nests where they slept overnight. From here a fresh trail should lead you to the group – hopefully by the middle of the day. On locating them, you approach discretely and respectfully, then spend as long as you are able in close proximity to observe their behaviour and social interaction. When sighted, visitors will be guided to sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.
The experience of watching an extended family group feeding and grooming, or the youngsters playing – from a distance a few meters away – is just unforgettable! Their daily routine revolves around foraging for food, resting and grooming – or playing for the young – before building nests for the night; any unweaned young sleep wit their mothers. After this highly privileged insight into the way of life of these huge primates, you make your way back to the lodge – tired but elated.
DAY 8: Transfer to Rwanda Take breakfast and depart for Rwanda.
You will cross the border via Kisoro then clear at the boarder – Rwanda is 1 hour behind Uganda . Located in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans is home to the steep slopes of this wonderful mountain range – home of the rare mountain gorilla – and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which cuddles evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
DAY 9: Gorilla Trekking, Parc National des Volcans
Have breakfast and go to ORTPN offices for briefing after that set off in the forest for Gorilla trekking. A thrilling trek through the refined foothills of the Virungas provides inspiring views in all directions. Then, suddenly, the trail enters the national park, engrossing trekkers in the strange closeness of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, and besieged with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive populations of buffalo and elephant.travel-explore-africa-uganda05 Through gaps in the forest canopy, the marvelous peaks are sighted, easily easy to get to and among the uppermost in Africa, indicating an ascent. Gorilla trekking is quite strenuous but a worthwhile on encounter of these gentle giants. The enthusiasm of your coming across with these apes will wipe away your intricacy of the strenuous trek. Spend time watching gorillas, watch the adults feeding their young ones, brushing and resting as the youngsters play from vines in a pleasurably playful display.
DAY 10: PARC NATIONAL DES VOLCANS
We take our second Gorilla tracking excursion today, in Parc National des Volcans. Either go gorilla tracking again (on payment of supplement at time of booking), or visit the golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park or, climb the Visoke/Muhavura volcanoes, or trek to Dian Fossey’s grave.
Day 11: Track golden monkeys or visit Dian Fossey grave & transfer to Lake Kivu – boat cruise.
After breakfast, you can opt between tracking golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park or hike the Dian Fossey grave at Travel Explore Africa Golden MonkeysKarisoke research center. Return for lunch at the hotel after which you will transfer to Lake Kivu 110km about 2 hours’ drive. Arrive in the afternoon and enjoy the beach offerings including a boat cruise. Accommodation: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (Luxury/upmarket),or Hotel Gorillas Lake Kivu (Midrange/standard). Palm Beach (Budget/basic)
Day 12: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park.
After your morning cozy breakfast amidst the thrilling fresh air from the Lake, embark on your journey to Nyungwe Forest National Park 220km taking approximately 5 hours’ drive. You will have lunch en route and arrive in Nyungwe in the afternoon.
Accommodation: Nyungwe forest lodge (upmarket/luxury), Nyungwe top hill lodge (Midrange/standard) or Gisakura guesthouse (Budget.
Day 13: Do canopy walk & evening tour of the tea factory.
After breakfast, embark on the famous Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk, the first of its Kind in East Africa. Be lucky to walk on top of fully grown trees vast with green lush and inhabited by rich biodiversity including primate species that always dwell in high tree branches. Birds will be closer to you than ever before. Return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. In the afternoon, take a tour to the adjacent tea factory to see how the locally grown tea is processed to become one of the finest products Rwanda has ever had.
Accommodation: Spend a night at your previous lodge.
Day 14: Drive to Kigali city & Visit Nyanza palace, Butare Museum and Murambi memorial en route.
After an early breakfast, embark on the return journey to Kigali City. It is 268 km approximately 6 hours’ drive from Nyungwe forest National Park thus offering an opportunity to visit Butare museum, Murambi memorial and Nyanza palace en route.
WHILE IN KAMPALA/ENTEBBE
Overnight at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel / Protea Hotel Entebbe/ LAICO Lake Victoria Hotel (for Luxury option)
OR Botanical Beach Hotel Entebbe/ Boma Guesthouse/ Gately Entebbe (mid-range),
OR Entebbe Backpackers / African Roots Guesthouse/ Anderita Beach Hotel (budget accommodation)
Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Up-market option: Kyaninga Lodge or Ndali Lodge / primate lodge kibale / Kibale safari lodge
Moderate option: Kibale Forest Camp
Low Budget option: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse;
Meals Included today: Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge.
Please see other accommodation options in Kibale forest national park
Up-market option: Mweya Safari Lodge Katara Lodge or Jacana Lodge (luxury)
Moderate option: Queen Elizabeth Safari Lodge or Simba Safari Camp
Low Budget option: Mweya Hostels or Kazinga Channel Lodge;
Meals Included today: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge.
Up-market option: Buhoma Lodge/ Mahogany Springs Lodge
Moderate option: Engagi Lodge/ Silverback Lodge / Gorilla Safari Lodge/ Lake Kitandara Camp
Low Budget option: Buhoma Community Restcamp or Ruhija Gorilla Friends
PARC DES VOLCANIOES
Super Up-market: Virunga Lodge/ Sabinyo Siverback Lodge
Mid-Luxury level: Mountain Gorilla view Lodge/Gorilla nest camp
Moderate: La Palme Hotel / Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel
Low Budget: Muhabura Lodge / Kinigi guest house / Virunga Hotel Musanze
Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (Luxury/upmarket),or
Hotel Gorillas Lake Kivu (Midrange/standard).
Palm Beach (Budget/basic)
Nyungwe forest lodge (upmarket/luxury),
Nyungwe top hill lodge (Midrange/standard)
NOTE: Accommodation is based on a standard double/ twin or single room in your choice of accommodation. This can either be budget, mid-range or high end. All accommodation options are selected by its location and service standard compared to its price. When you are with 1, 3 or 5 persons 1 single supplement is included. When you want more single supplements you can contact us at [email protected]
- Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
- Kibale Forest National Park Chimpanzees & other Primates
- Chimpanzee Trekking & Bigodi Walk
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Game Drive in QENP
- Boat Trip on Kazinga Channel
- Kyambura Gorge, Ishasha Sector for tree-climbing lions
- Gorilla trekking (Bwindi Impenetrable NP)
- Gorilla Tracking Rwanda – Volcanoes National Parkt
- Virunga National Park
- Kigali – Rwanda
- January to March: Hot and dry, an excellent time of year to be on safari in Uganda.
- April and May: Uganda’s long rainy season when many camps are closed. Rains tend to be in the morning and late afternoon.
- June to September: Temperatures climb rapidly and this is a fantastic time of year for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- October to December: Another great time of year to be on safari, you can get some rain in November but temperatures are favourable and conditions are ideal for game viewing.
- Ground transportation
- Accommodation and meals
- En-route meals
- All Chimpanzee permits
- 1 gorilla permit per person in Uganda and 1 in Rwanda
- Bigodi walk safari
- Park entrance fees
- Car entry fees
- Full day English speaking guide fees
- Mineral water on board
- International air fares;
- Entry visa Uganda;
- Accommodation in Kampala
- Meals that are not part of your accommodation;
- Tips and gratuities to rangers, driver/guide, hotel staff, etc;
- All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs etc.).