GORILLA TRACKING UGANDA & RWANDA | 15 DAYS
The Gorilla Tracking Uganda & Rwanda 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 at Entebbe Airport.
You will be met and transfer to your hotel in Kampala. Met by our local guide for transfer to your hotel in Kampala. Entebbe is about 42 kms from Kampala. You will remember that it was at Entebbe where the Israelis heroically released hostages that was on a hijacked Air France Airbus in 1976.
Accommodation Options available (bed breakfast basis)
Day 2: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
After an early morning breakfast we begin the long awaited gorilla tracking Uganda and Rwanda Safari.. We will pass by the top of the falls where you can see the Nile’s beauty perfected!! Marvel at the Nile, compressing from 50 meters to squeeze through a 6-meter canyon dropping 40 meters with a thunderous roar creating a beautiful rainbow, plums of spray and the best thing that happened on the Nile … “the Murchison Falls”. Enjoy the sunset as you return to the lodge. Enjoy superb comfort and service at the
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Day 3: After breakfast we will take a morning game drive on the northern Bank.
The Gorilla Tracking Uganda Safari continues with an expert ranger helping us view the extraordinary variety of wildlife living here including the Uganda Kob, elephant, lion, giraffe, antelope, a vast variety of eagles and much more. After a packed picnic lunch, we will take the boat safari upstream the calm Victoria Nile to the best of the far and enjoyable. We’ll pass pods of hippo, crocs, vast birdlife and butterflies. We’ll maybe see the legendary Shoebill Stork.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
DAY 4: Kibale Forest National
Leave Murchison falls N.P for Kibale Forest N.P via the Lake Albert escarpment, having a good view of the lake. Stopover at Kolping Hotel in Hoima for lunch and after drive across the interesting river Nkusi (flowing from the southern end of L. Albchimps-of-kibale-N.Parkert, through the villages of Kagadi, joining Victoria Nile). Both rivers join L.Kyoga and flow through the Murchison Falls continue to L. Albert and north to the Mediterranean sea.
Day 5: Chimps and primate search – Kibale
After breakfast we take a 45-minute drive takes us to Kibale National Park, where we spend the day hiking through the Kibale Forest in search of chimpanzees and other primates. This park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. Kibale 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. Chimps tend to forage in small parties, or even as individuals. They usually travel on the ground, but being primarily fruit eaters, they mostly feed in trees. They coalesce into larger groups when they find an abundant source of food, such as a fruiting fig tree.
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. Hunting behavior is fascinating but it takes luck to be present when it happens: groups of adult male chimps move quickly through the forest canopy trying to trap red colobus monkeys or bushbabies, and will occasionally capture ground dwellers such as young duikers (small antelopes of which there are three varieties in Kibale Forest). Chimpanzees are highly social animals, so their behavior is always fascinating to watch. They are highly vocal and communicate with a large variety of sounds and gestures. It’s very exciting when a whole group suddenly bursts into a cacophony of wild hooting.
Day 6: Kibale/ Queen Elizabeth National Park
Shift to Queen Elizabeth National Park this morning (about 3 hours). Leave 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 – mille conservation area is bordered no the North East by lake George and on the south West by Lake Edward; its Western border adjoins the Zaire Parc Du Viringa. 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 flamingo reside seasonally.birds-at-kazinga-channel
Enjoy a sumptuous lunch at jacana 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 kingfishes, saddle billed stork and many others.
Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park
We set out early in the morning for a game drive on the northern part 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. In the afternoon we make half day guide foot safari (rough three hours) through Kyambura Gorge in the Eastern sector of the park in search of chimpanzees and other primates. The walk takes you along the river gorge through tropical forest where you are also likely to see black – and white colobus monkey and red – tailed monkey. The chimpanzee population here is quite mobile and viewing is unpredictable but the walk is enchanting.
Day 8: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Today we leave Mweya Safari Lodge for Bwindi with picnic, driving through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. A game drive on our way wee reveal more elephant and, invariably, large numbers of graceful Uganda Kob, the symbol of Ugandan National Parks. After checking – in at our accommodation, you can rather be interested in rural African culture we suggest you take a guided village walk in Buhoma Village – see how Ugandans live, visit a local bar and meet the local medicine man!
Day 9: Gorilla Tracking
Today you will enjoy surely! The hight of the Gorilla Tracking Uganda and Rwanda Safari is experienced right at this point after breakfast, where we will proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip – Gorilla tracking – 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 totally forgotten. These gentle giants are highly endangered and anyone suffering even the slightest of ailments, including a cough will not be allowed to go the trek. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 meters from the gorilla, sit around them for a whole sometimes weigh up to 250 Kilos. Pictures with non flash lens can be taken.
Day 10: 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 11: Gorilla Tracking, Parc National des Volcans
Early morning we drive to Volcanoes National Park headquarters – Kinigi to meet your guides for the day. After completing our park formalities, we are embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breathtaking wildlife experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 700 living today.
You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. We encourage for your own enjoyment to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy. (We’ve had people as old as 70 years old do gorilla tracking so this should not be a problem; all you need is to ask your driver guide to request a shorter group for you if cannot you trek far) It is important to bring good h
gorilla-adventure-safari-30iking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the
gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. Return to your hotel for lunch and later dinner and overnight.Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (up-market luxury)
DAY 12 GOLDEN MONKEY TRACKING
Gorilla trekking or other optional activities (not included in tour cost and should be booked in advance at the time of booking)
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 13: Akagera National Park
Drive to the east of Rwanda to Akagera National Park bordering Tanzania. Game drive in the park to see a variety of birds and animals such as elephant, giraffe, buffalo, spotted hyena, hippo, and crocodiles. O/N: Akagera Lodge (FB)
Day 14: Wildlife Tour in Akagera National Park
Game drives in the park or a canoe ride on Lake Ihema to see the large number of hippo, the huge Nile crocodile and birds. O/N: Akagera Lodge (FB)
15: Return to Kigali city
Following breakfast, you will leave for Kigali. You have the opportunity to visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Museum. The memorial is very moving – the tour takes a couple of hours – and will be of interest to anyone who has spent some time in this enchanting country. It is in memory of the multitudes murdered in Rwanda´s genocide 1994. The Memorial sites and centres are places of dignified remembrance for loved ones lost. It is also a place of reflection and learning for the wider community, both in Rwanda and internationally. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport.
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: Paraa Safari Lodge or Nile Safari Lodge / Chobe safari lodge
Moderate: Sambiya River Lodge / Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/ Pakuba Lodge
Low Budget: Red Chilli Rest Camp / Budongo eco lodge
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.).