This safari starts in Kigali (Rwanda) and ends in Kampala (Uganda). You will have great opportunities to track the critically endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. This trip will also expose you to excellent birding, incredible primate trekking experience, boat trips, Cultural Excursions, City tours and big game drives among others.Below is the proposed itinerary for this kind of safari;
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali – Parc National des Volcans
Upon arrival in Kigali, you will meet your driver guide at the airport and then transfer to Parc National des Volcans. If time allows, we can take a tour in Kigali city; visit Genocide memorial site, local markets, local art and crafts among others. The 2 hours journey to PNV goes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape. Dinner and overnight stay in Kinigi guest house or Mountain Gorilla’s Nest.
Day 2: Day for Magical Experience: Gorilla Tracking Rwanda
Wake up early and prepare for today’s incredible experience of Gorilla tracking. We shall assemble at Park Headquarters with packed lunch, attend a briefing on the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ while with Gorillas. Tracking gorillas take 2-9 Hours depending on their movements. You will stay with these giant apes for 1 hr for observation and photographing. Descend to the hotel for a rest and if the evening is free, we can have a walk to nearby communities, interact with them and learn more about their culture. Dinner and overnight stay in Kinigi Guest house or Mountain Gorilla’s Nest lodge.
Day 3: Excursion to Diana Fossey’s Graves
Have breakfast at the lodge and start our excursion to the grave of Diana Fossey; the American primatologist. This is situated at the former Karisoke Research Center where Diana spent about 20 years studying and habituating the Mountain Gorillas. The trek to the site is quite spectacular, it goes through bamboo forest. You will be exposed to several primates and birds as you make our way up and down to Karisoke, nestled between the volcanic peaks of Karisimbi and Bisoke. Overnight at Kinigi Guest House or Mountain gorilla view Lodge.
Day 4: Transfer to Uganda
Have breakfast, and then drive to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda; famous for its beautiful islands and prolific bird life, settle into Arcadia Cottages and relax as we wait for lunch. Join a canoe ride in the after noon that expose you to excellent bird watching, and visit the beautiful Islands of Lake Bunyonyi. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Lake Bunyonyi – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Take breakfast and drive through the Switzerland of Africa, with the roads winding through many hills and valleys, with distant views of the volcanoes. The journey rewards you with beautiful scenic viewing. Arrive by lunch time and have lunch at Gorilla Forest lodge or Buhoma Homestead. Take an evening walk in nearby Batwa (Pygmies) communities for entertainment and learn more about local cultures. Return for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Second Gorilla tracking Expedition Uganda
After early breakfast, we shall proceed to park offices with packed lunch for a briefing about the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ while with gorillas. Tracking can take 2-9 hours depending on their movements. Tracking involves walking up steep and densely forested hills before finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation. You will stay with these Giant apes for 1 hour for observation and photography. Relax in the evening as we wait for dinner and overnight stay in Gorilla Forest lodge or Buhoma Homestead.
Day 7: Bwindi Forest – Queen Elizabeth National park
Take breakfast and set off to Queen Elizabeth Park. The journey takes you through beautiful rolling hills and the Ishasha sector.Ishasha-Tree-climbing-Lions in the south of Queen Elizabeth; a home for tree-climbing lions. Have lunch at Mweya safari lodge or Simba safari Camp. Proceed for a launch cruise along the Kazinga channel, famous for the highest concentration of Hippos in Africa. Bird life is prolific with over 610 species and hundreds of Nile crocodiles. You will also see herds of elephants and buffaloes drinking water on the channel. The boat provides a clear platform for photographing. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Chimpanzee tracking & Game drive
Have early breakfast and drive to Kyambura Gorge nearby to track the fast moving and elusive wild chimpanzees, one of man’s closest relations. Kyambura Gorge habours the only family of habituated chimpanzees in Africa. Chimpanzee tracking safaris depart from Fig Tree Camp each morning at 08:00 Hrs and in the afternoon at 13:00 Hrs. The chimp population is quite mobile and viewing is unpredictable but the walk is enchanting. Other primates include Red tailed monkeys, Vervet, Black and White colobus monkeys, olive baboons and Giant forest hog. Return to the lodge for lunch and proceed for an evening game drive along Mweya peninsular before sunset. Dinner and overnight at Mweya or Simba safari lodge.
Day 9: Queen Elizabeth – Kibale Forest National Park
Wake up early for a cup of tea or coffee and take a morning game drive to Kasenyi plains to catch up with early raisers and predators returning to their hideouts. You will be exposed to large variety of animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Warthogs, and several Antelope species, Lion, leopard and many more. Return to your lodge for full breakfast and relax as we wait for lunch.
Depart Queen Elizabeth for Kibale forest following the Rwenzori ranges. The journey will reward you with big game viewing en-route. Dinner and overnight at primates lodge or Ndali lodge.
Day 10: Chimpanzee tracking – Kibale Forest
Have early breakfast and assemble at Kibale Park headquarters for a briefing on chimpanzee trekking. The trek will expose you to other primates like Colobus Monkeys Giant forest hog, Vervet, red-tailed monkeys, the Grey Cheeked Mangabeys, Olive Baboons, and over 350 bird species. Return for lunch; relax as we wait for an evening cultural walk to nearby communities. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Birding in Bigodi swamps – Kampala
Get to Bigodi swamps after breakfast for a nature walk. Here you will see several antelopes like the sitatungas, 8 primates species and 200 bird species including the rare shoebill. Return to your lodge, relax as you wait for lunch and set-off to Kampala with lots of scenic viewing en-route. Dinner and overnight stay at Holiday Express hotel or Kampala Forest Cottages.
Day 12: Kampala City tour – Departure
Depending on your time of flight, you may have a city tour in Kampala, visit Kasubi Tombs, Bahai temp or Nakasero fruits Market before connecting to Entebbe International Airport for your scheduled flight.
End of the Safari
This safari quotation includes;
– Airport transfers
– Full board Accommodation
– Park entrance fees
– Gorilla permits
– Chimpanzee trekking permits
– All activities mentioned
– Guiding fees
– A 4×4 comfortable safari vehicles.
– Professional fulltime English speaking Driver Guide.
But excludes Airfare to Rwanda, visas (where applicable), laundry, drinks, tips and other personal expenses.