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12-day Best of Uganda & Rwanda

This tour is brand new and offers guests the opportunity to trek gorillas in both Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda and Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda without missing out on some of the fabulous parks and reserves in Uganda. We include Chimpanzee tracking in the Kibale Forest, multiple game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park with its wide array of wildlife, including the famous tree climbing lions, and a visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary on beautiful Lake Victoria. Uganda boasts some of the best bird watching in Africa, with over 1000 different species, including the rare shoebill stork and the remarkable grey crowned crane. Luxury accommodation, professional guides and custom made safari vehicles, this safari will be the trip of a lifetime. Please note - two gorilla tracking options are available with this itinerary based on availability. Please make your request at the time of booking.  

Make an Enquiry
From
USD$4,062
per person sharing*

tailoring_safari.pngThis itinerary is designed to give you an overview of what is possible.  We can tailor this safari to suit your specific requirements.  Call us on (09) 270 9440. (03) 9018 5625.

Highlights

  • Entebbe - Kibale Forest National Park
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Volcanoes National Park
  • Lake Kivu

Includes

  • Airport transfers (Entebbe/return)
  • Return domestic flights from Entebbe to Kihihi/QENP on a scheduled flight
  • 4x4 transport with English speaking local driver/guide as above
  • Accommodation and meals as above (full board on safari, bed and breakfast in Entebbe)  
  • Bottled water in safari vehicle
  • Community visit en route from Bwindi to Ishasha
  • All park entrance fees
  • Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
  • Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park 

Excludes

  • Gorilla Permit of US$ 600 per trek Bwindi – must be pre-booked/prepaid (low season permits available in April/May & November at US$ 450)
  • Optional extra of Forest Walk Bwindi (US$ 70 pp including park feesI
  • Optional extra Community Visit Bwindi (US$ 30)
  • Optional Extra of Batwa Pygmies Community Visit (US$ 85)
  • Optional additional permits include trek transfer and facilitation US$ 670 high/ US$ 520 low season.
  • All international flights and airport taxes
  • Personal expenses such as porters, drinks, tips, visas and travel insurance.
  • Services/activities/meals not included above

Starts

Entebbe, Uganda

Ends

Kigali, Rwanda

Duration

12 days

Countries visited

Rwanda, Uganda

Departures

Any date of your choice. Advanced bookings recommended, as accommodation is subject to availability.

Price

From USD$4,062
per person sharing*

Group Size

2+ people

Safari Type

Lodges and Tented Camps

Accommodation:

Lodge

Vehicle

tailoring_safari.pngThis itinerary is designed to give you an overview of what is possible.  We can tailor this safari to suit your specific requirements.  Call us on (09) 270 9440. (03) 9018 5625.

Day 1 - The Boma Hotel Entebbe, Entebbe
Breakfast

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel

Entebbe is a small, quiet town located on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is easy to explore on foot or local transport on motorbikes known as “boda bodas”.  With a wide variety of restaurants serving many different cuisines as well as several bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and chat with the locals, you’ll find Ugandans to be very open and friendly.

Optional excursion to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary located on the beautiful Lake Victoria. Created in 1999 to offer a permanent sanctuary to orphaned Chimpanzees, victims of illegal trade and habitat destruction, Ngamba is now home to 49 chimps.  

The Boma is situated on the outskirts of Entebbe and only 5 minutes from Entebbe International Airport.  The Boma Guesthouse is ideally suited for business and recreational travelers alike.  The Boma is an ideal stopover for passengers inbound on late evening or outbound on early morning flights.  The Boma will arrange all airport transfers leaving you relaxed in the knowledge of not having to travel to or from Kampala at night or in the early hours of the morning. 

Day 2 - Primate Lodge Kibale, Kibale Forest National Park
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

After breakfast, we depart to Kibale Forest area.  It will take approx. 6-7 hours to get there, stopping for a picnic lunch en route. The scenery is interesting, travelling via the edge of the bustling city of Kampala, into more rural areas interspersed with busy villages.

We’ll enjoy two nights in the area to allow time for chimpanzee tracking in the forest. (Permits must be pre-purchased).  Optional excursions include a guided forest walk, visit to the Bigodi Swamps, or the Vanilla Farm close to Ndali.  Kibale is an enchanting ancient forest, and supports an incredible range of flora and fauna. Rich in wildlife, it is most noted for its primate population including red-tailed monkey, diademed monkey, olive baboon, chimpanzee, black and white colobus.

Chimpanzee trekking can be exciting – as unlike their cousins the Gorillas, chimpanzees tend to be more active and often keep moving through the forest canopies, so you may find yourself following a family through dense jungles!  Of course, sightings cannot be guaranteed as they are wild animals, but the chances of seeing them are very good. 

Kibale Forest – is a 2-3-hour drive from QENP (north) on good roads.  Two nights will be spent in the area to allow time for chimpanzee tracking in the forest, (permits must be pre-purchased).  You can also do a forest walk (guided) during your stay, or simply enjoy the area and perhaps visit the Bigodi Swamps, or the Vanilla Farm nearby.  

Primate Lodge in Kibale is an exclusive eco-lodge situated in the heart of Kibale Forest National Park. It is surrounded by a lush tropical forest that is home to 13 different species of primates, including the chimpanzees. Privately secluded in the rainforest, this safari lodge offers you a truly authentic jungle experience and is the perfect gateway for tracking the primates in Uganda. 

Day 3 - Primate Lodge Kibale, Kibale Forest National Park
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Today is sure to be exhilarating! We drive for approx. 30 mins (from Ndali, or, if staying at Primates you literally walk for five minutes) to the park headquarters for our briefing on Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest.

Head off into the forest in search of Chimps – sometimes heading  off well-defined paths following their markings. The chimps move fast making for a thrilling adventure. Perhaps you are lucky and find them foraging quietly. Once amongst the Chimpanzees, spend approximately an hour observing and following them.

Afternoon at leisure to rest, explore the Bigodi Swamps, enjoy a walk amongst the crater lakes or forests, or perhaps take a walk around the Farm.  (These options are not included in the price and must be pre-booked).

Day 4 - Mweya Safari Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Depart to Queen Elizabeth National Park, a drive of approximately three hours.  This park set in the Great Rift Valley is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds.  With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with its tree climbing lions and Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda.  The northern Mweya area, traverses the equator and is dominated by the scenery of crater lakes, is often occupied by large flocks of flamingos. A boat trip from Mweya along the Kazinga Channel, which joins Lakes Edward and George, provides one of the most memorable experiences offered by the park.  A picnic lunch will be provided today. The next three nights will be enjoyed in Ishasha Wilderness Camp, an intimate camp with just ten luxurious safari tents set on a tranquil river bank. 

Queen Elizabeth National Park spreads over 1,978sq km in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley and is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, leopard, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds.  With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with the massive Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda Volcanic craters, grassy plains, tropical forest and giant lakes connected by a channel groaning with hippos are what you will see at the Queen Elizabeth National Park. 

Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge is surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains aptly described as the 'Mountains of the Moon' and overlooks the Kazinga Channel which links two of the Nile's great lakes – Lake George and Lake Edward. Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors a spectacular experience of luxury in the wilderness. 

Day 5-6 - Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Days at leisure to enjoy game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Ishasha area is famed for its unusual tree-climbing lions. 

Ishasha Wilderness Camp is situated inside the southern Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the Ntungwe river and is an idyllic retreat for people who truly enjoy the wilderness. This exclusive camp offers quality accommodation and services in this unspoilt remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for its tree climbing lions that can sometimes be spotted resting in the branches of the large fig trees in the area. Each of the ten spacious framed canvas rooms, situated in the wooded area beside the river, is comfortably furnished and with its own private en-suite bathroom and dressing area providing running water, hot water 'bush' showers and a flushing eco-friendly toilet. A central lounge/dining area, under a cool thatched roof, provides a comfortable environment for meals and relaxing during the day. A shaded area beside the river offers al fresco dining and an evening 'fireplace' for guests to relax with sundowners and share their day's experience.

Day 7 - Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

From QENP, we drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  On the way, we will stop at the Community Project at Ishasha Village. Here the local people allow you to enjoy some time in their homesteads, as well as see some of the crops and curios they produce, and visit the local elephant trench project – which stops elephants coming into the village and raiding crops. 

Continue to Bwindi, through some beautiful areas of mountains and forests, as well as busy villages, to Buhoma Lodge, where we will be based for three nights to enjoy Gorilla trekking in the nearby forest.

We will have the opportunity for two days of gorilla tracking.  Other activities that can be enjoyed in and around the park include forest walks, visits to a local school or orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.  

Bwindi National Park, located in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, is considered the most diverse forest in Uganda. Home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, and 160 species of trees, Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa.  The park contains almost one-half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site. 

Buhoma Lodge commands spectacular and uninterrupted views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park home to the rare and elusive Mountain Gorilla. The original Buhoma Homestead has been completely and now offer a top quality, intimate lodge for guests’ enjoyment. Situated within the National Park, less than five minutes’ walk, from the start of the gorilla trekking point. Eight, comfortable cottages have been carefully built, each with its own private veranda, allowing wonderful views of the forest canopy of the National Park. Inside the spacious cottages, guests will find comfortable beds, a well-appointed en-suite bathroom with flushing toilet and a hot shower and also some rooms with bath tubs. An elevated lounge area, complete with bar and dining facilities, offers a cosy, comfortable environment, to discuss the day’s activities around the fireplaces which add atmosphere and warmth in the cool evenings.

Day 8 - Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Words will not do today justice, unforgettable, thrilling, humbling; the rare opportunity to meet Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat is truly magical.

Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek through dense rain forests on the mountain slopes. Gorilla tracking may be fairly strenuous with treks ranging from two to six hours or longer, at high altitudes through thick vegetation up steep slopes.  Also, mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, viewing success rates are over 90%.  

Day 9 - Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Those with pre-purchased permits will depart for a second gorilla tracking experience after breakfast at the lodge. Depending upon individual itinerary schedules, guests not tracking gorillas may wish to enjoy other activities available in the area such as a forest walk, a visit to a local school/orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.

Forest Walk (Optional)

Embark on a walk through tropical rainforest with experienced wildlife guides.  Enjoy scenic views, the sights and sounds of the rain forest, ample opportunities for bird watching and glimpses of the many monkey species living in the park as they move through the forest canopy.

Village Community Walk (Optional)

Embark on a community walk through the local villages surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  Optional activities include visits to a traditional home, local orphanage or school, banana brewing demonstrations and even meeting traditional medicinal healers.  This three to four-hour walk is easily tailored to your individual schedule and interests.

Day 10 - Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Volcanoes National Park
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

From Bwindi, we drive through the ‘Little Switzerland of Africa’ along winding mountain roads, and through rural villages, to the border of Rwanda, Kisoro.   Here, on a clear day, the Virgunas can be seen ‘standing sentry’ along the border – a row of massive, dormant volcanoes watching over the region.

Crossing into Rwanda, we continue to our Gorilla Trekking base, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. 

Set high on the jungle-covered slopes of the volcanic Virunga Mountains, Parc National des Volcans is best known as a sanctuary for the region’s rare mountain gorillas. Highly regulated treks through the reserve allow visitors to spend an hour at a time with these incredible primates in their natural habitat.

The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is perfectly situated for gorilla tracking in Rwanda. The 30 individual cottages have been built on 4 acres of land on the slopes of Mt Sabinyo. The stone and thatch cottages each have en-suite facilities, a small lounge with a fire place and a private veranda. The cottages are of a good size and are well positioned to give them privacy from each other. Being at altitude, it can get cold therefore each cottage has a fireplace in the room.

Located very close (about 15 minutes) from the main headquarters of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park (Parc National de Volcans), this is a very handy base from which to explore the area and organise treks to see the Golden monkeys and, of course, the mountain gorillas. This is a great location with superb views of the volcanoes.

Day 11 - Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Lake Kivu
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Trekking gorillas in the Volanoes National Park is a very similar experience to that in Bwindi – just as challenging, equally memorable. If you’ve opted not to trek today, take a hike to Dian Fossey’s grave or enjoy forest walk with Golden Monkeys.  You will only be able to enjoy one of these activities (as they all take place in the morning) and pre-booking is essential.

After lunch, we drive to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda – a bustling, clean and safe city.  Overnight Serena or similar, dinner included.  Optional visit to the haunting Genocide Museum.

One of Africa’s Great Lakes, Kivu is the sixth-largest and eighteenth-deepest lake in the world, covering a whopping surface area of roughly 2,700 square kilometres and reaching to almost 500 metres at its maximum depth. Three vibrant resort towns – Kibuye, Gisenyi and Cyangugu – located on its shores provides an array of lodging options, while the steep hills that surround it are peppered with forests and waterfalls. Water sports enthusiasts will have a field day at Lake Kivu, and bird watchers are likely to be equally thrilled by the lake’s diverse menagerie of avian species.  

Serenely sited on the white sandy shores of Lake Kivu, the sixth largest lake in Africa, and surrounded by extensive tropical gardens, the tastefully open-plan Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offers the ideal weekend escape.

Day 12 - Safari ends in Kigali, Rwanda
Breakfast

Breakfast at the hotel.  Airport transfer is included today.  Lunch/dinner for own account. End of services

tailoring_safari.pngThis itinerary is designed to give you an overview of what is possible.  We can tailor this safari to suit your specific requirements.  Call us on (09) 270 9440. (03) 9018 5625.



 
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