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Zebras, Rwanda

Uganda & Rwanda Gorillas, Primates & Wildlife Safari Experiences - 10 Days

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

Uganda & Rwanda Gorillas, Primates & Wildlife Safari Experiences - 10 Days

10 day Uganda and Rwanda safari including Ngamba chimps, Kibale primates, Rwanda and Uganda gorillas, game drives and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

This 10 day 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 chimps in Kibale National Park. 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 and Mgahinga in Uganda and Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. It offers an opportunity to track gorillas five times, twice in Bwindi, once in Mgahinga/Nkuringo, and twice in Parc National des Volcans.

Bwindi in Uganda has four habituated families and the gorillas there live in thicker tropical forest and tracking.

You can also climb a volcano or go for a nature walk or visit the endangered golden monkey. Parc National des Volcans 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: Entebbe
  • Day 2: Kibale Forest National Park
  • Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park | Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
  • Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park & Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
  • Day 7: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 8: Transfer to Rwanda
  • Day 9: Day for Optional Gorilla Trek or Excursions
  • Day 10: Tour of Kigali
Itinerary

Day 1: Entebbe

On arrival in Entebbe, you will be met, assisted and transferred to your hotel to refresh and relax for the rest of the morning.

You have an option for a boat trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria  (cost is $150 and is not included on tour cost). An excursion to this forested sanctuary island offers a marvelous introduction to the ecology and conservation of chimpanzees.

Luxury: Overnight at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel | Protea Hotel Entebbe | LAICO Lake Victoria Hotel

Mid-range: Botanical Beach Hotel Entebbe | Boma Guesthouse | Gately Entebbe

Budget: Entebbe Backpackers | African Roots Guesthouse | Anderita Beach Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 2: 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 and 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).

After dark we will take an excursion with spotlights to seek nocturnal primates and other wildlife.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp | Mountains of the Moon

Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse | Kibale Forest Camp (tents)

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park | Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 08:00 hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is chimpanzee tracking. Chimpanzees are man’s closest cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate species.

More primates like black and white columbus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked 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, bushbucks, bush pigs and among others.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Morning is free at ease. During the afternoon we travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for a number of wildlife like the hippos, buffaloes, elephants, kobs and a number of bird species.

Queen Elizabeth National Park holds other wildlife including the predators, lion, leopard and spotted hyena. 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 and continue for lunch at the Lodge.

Up-market/Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge | Jacana Safari Lodge | Katara Lodge

Mid-range or moderate: Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp | Buffalo Safari Resort | Enganzi Lodge | Ihamba Safari Lodge

Budget price: Kazinga Channel View Resort | Simba Safari Camp (tents) | Mweya Hostels | Bush Lodge (tents)

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park

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.

Return to the lodge for your breakfast, before heading out for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray at a 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.

Up-market/Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge | Jacana Safari Lodge | Katara Lodge

Mid-range or moderate facility: Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp | Buffalo Safari Resort | Enganzi Lodge | Ihamba Safari Lodge

Budget price: Kazinga Channel View Resort | Simba Safari Camp (tents) | Mweya Hostels | Bush Lodge (tents)

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park & Bwindi Impenetrable Forest 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.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Super Up-market: Gorilla Forest Camp | Bwindi Lodge | Clouds Mountain Gorillas Lodge

Mid-Luxury level: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Springs

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Gorilla Safari Lodge | Lake Kitandara Camp

Low Budget: Travellers Rest Hotel | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Buhoma Community Campground

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today enjoy gorilla tracking in Bwindi.

After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip - gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day. We trek the gorillas 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. When the gorillas are sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.

While most of today's forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi's vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates.

The latter includes chimpanzee, L'Hoest's, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi's most famous resident, the mountain gorilla.

Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Super Up-market: Gorilla Forest Camp | Bwindi Lodge | Clouds Mountain Gorillas Lodge

Mid-Luxury level: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Springs

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Gorilla Safari Lodge | Lake Kitandara Camp

Low Budget: Travellers Rest Hotel | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Buhoma Community Campground

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Transfer to Rwanda

Take breakfast and depart for Rwanda. You will cross the border via Kisoro then clear at the border - 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.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

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

Day 9: Day for Optional Gorilla Trek or Excursions

You can choose to go gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans (subject to permit availability at the time of booking).

Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families however are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy.

Alternatively you can take a nature walk with a guide from the park, learning about the flora and fauna of the forest.

Alternatively, you could go on a short trek to search for one of the troops of golden monkeys which inhabit the forest (this would need to be pre-booked, and is an additional cost).

Or climb the Visoke/Muhavura volcanoes, or, if you wish, you can visit the Iby'Iwachu Cultural Village, which will give you a fascinating insight into the traditions and history of Rwanda's people, or walk to Lake Bulera.

Accommodation options available

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

Day 10:  Tour of Kigali

Depart from the park in the afternoon to Kigali.

You have a Kigali city tour today and visit the Genocide Memorial Museum before you transfer to the airport for your onward international flight.

The city tour includes the old town (Nyamirambo) and Muslim quarter, the new handicraft village and other shops, the Batwa pottery and dance centre and the Gisozi Genocide Memorial. 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.

After, you will be transferred to Kigali Airport for your flight back home.

 

Accommodation
Inclusions

Included

  • All tour activities as indicated above
  • 1 gorilla permit per person in Uganda and 1 in Rwanda
  • Golden monkey tracking
  • All chimps permits
  • All boat trip fees
  • Game drives
  • Accommodation in hotels (with breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
  • Sightseeing as noted in the trip itinerary
  • Park fees
  • Entry fees
  • Ground transportation
  • Bottled drinking mineral water

Excluded

  • Tips for drivers and other staff
  • Bank charges involved
  • Flight tickets and departure taxes
  • Travel documentation (visas)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Optional excursion
  • Beverages other than mineral water in the vehicle
  • Meals not indicated on your detailed itinerary

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