12 Days Great Apes of Uganda & Rwanda SafariDestination: Uganda
This is one of our Primates special tours and a combined cross country program between Uganda and Rwanda. The focus is the mountain gorilla eco-tourism from one side, with the experience to be taken both in Bwindi Impenetrable NP and in Volcanoes National Park; and the chimpanzee eco-tourism on the other side, whereby you will encounter the chimpanzees in their natural habitat of Kibale Forest National Park and in Nyungwe Forest National Park, the latter being the biggest rain tropical forest in East Africa in size.
Travel by road
12 day Itinerary
|DAY 1||Entebbe - Kampala|| |
On your arrival at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred for overnight in BB to the hotel, at Cassia Lodge – Hotel Le Bougainviller. BB
Overnight at: Cassia Lodge
|DAY 2||Fort Portal – Kibale Forest|| |
After breakfast drive to Fort Portal the capital town of Tooro kingdom which lies on the shadow of Rwenzori Mountains, the biggest mountain range in Africa. Lunch. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to explore the region of the Kasenda Crater lakes with panoramic view points and sceneries. Dinner and overnight at Mountains of the Moon Hotel – Primate Lodge (C) or Nyinabulitwa Country Resort (E). Full Board
Overnight at: Primate Lodge
|DAY 3||Chimpanzee trekking – Queen Elizabeth N.P|| |
After breakfast, today activity is the nature walk in Kibale National Park for experiencing the rain tropical forest, birding and especially to encounter the chimpanzees in their natural environment. Kibale national park with its 766 sq km of rain tropical forest contains the highest primates density in the world. Among the species which you can see include black and white colobus, red tailed monkey and vervet monkey.
Moreover, 325 species of birds are recorded.nIn the afternoon proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park, which lies between Lake George on the East, Lake Edward on the West and the Rwenzori Mountains on the North. Have a game drive as you enter the park. Overnight and dinner at Mweya Safari Lodge - Katara Lodge (C) or Hippo Hill Camp (E). Full Boardn
Overnight at: Mweya Safari Lodge
|DAY 4||Queen Elizabeth National Park|| |
After a cup of coffee, at 6.30 am go for a game drive along the tracks of the national park, in the Northern side towards Lake George and Kasenyi village. You might see lions, elephants, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, waterbucks, Ugandan kobs, perhaps the leopard though is shy and rare to be seen. Reach up to the Baboon cliffs and the splendid crater lakes region.
Have lunch and in the afternoon take the most exciting safari by boat from Mweya peninsula along Kazinga channel, one of the most popular sites in Uganda for its concentration of wildlife, bird’s life and opportunities for good photographs. Moreover, you will see plenty of hippos, buffaloes and elephants while drinking from the channel. In the evening you go for another short game drive and try out your luck. Return at lush to your lodge for dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge - Katara Lodge (C) or Hippo Hill Camp (E). FB
Overnight at: Mweya Safari Lodge
|DAY 5||Queen Elizabeth – Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest|| |
After breakfast, drive to Kyambura Gorge, a deep forested gorge along river Kyambura within Queen Elizabeth National Park. The location is worth a visit and, if you are fit to descend the gorge for a nature walk, you might encounter the chimpanzees. Kyambura has a population of about 50 chimpanzees. Lunch. Proceed to Bwindi National Park, where you find the rain tropical forests which are the natural habitat for the endangered mountain gorillas. You will reach an altitude of up to 2300 m above sea level.
The choice of the area of the “gorilla safari” depends on the availability and allocation of the permits for this activity. Dinner and overnight, Gorilla Safari Lodge (C) or Buhoma Community Rest Camp – Travellers Rest Hotel (E). Full BoardnNote: Today transfer is variable, according to the location of the gorilla permits and road conditions. n
Overnight at: Gorilla Safari Lodge
|DAY 6||First Mountain gorilla safari (Bwindi)|| |
Early in the morning you enter the rain tropical forest of Bwindi for the gorilla safari. The activity starts at 8am and you will follow the ranger guides in a group of maximum 8 people as you search for the habituated family of mountain gorillas. Bwindi forest in Uganda has a population of about 350 gorillas, which is half the world population according to 2007 gorilla population surveys. It is not predictable the time you will spend to encounter the gorillas. You have one hour for observing the primates and their behaviors, while taking photographs.
Ensure you take the packed lunch and water with you in the bag and you might engage for this the support of available porters. nIn the evening proceed to Lake Bunyonyi, wonderful scenery, for dinner and overnight at Arcadia Cottages – Heritage Lodge (C) or Panorama Jajama Lodge (E). Full Boardn
Overnight at: Heritage Lodge
|DAY 7||Volcanoes National Park|| |
After breakfast we can organize the boat trip on Lake Bunyonyi for birding and observation of nature. After lunch, proceed to the border of Rwanda and reach the town of Ruhengeri, the gate of Volcanoes National Park. Check in at your lodge in the evening. Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (C) or Kinigi Guest House – Hotel Muhavura (E). Full Board
Overnight at: Gorilla View Lodge
|DAY 8||Second Mountain Gorilla tracking (Volcanoes)|| |
After breakfast, at 7 in the morning starts the trekking in the forest in search for one of the habituated families of the mountain gorillas. After the briefing from the ORPTN rangers, you will reach the starting point for the trekking. Bring with you water and packed lunch, while wearing trekking boots. It is not predictable the time you will spend to find the gorillas. After you finally reach and see the gorillas, you have right to one hour for observing the primates and their behaviors, while taking photographs.
Return to the lodge at leisure. Dinner overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (C) or Kinigi Guest House – Hotel Muhavura (E). Full Board
Overnight at: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
|DAY 9||The South West of Rwanda|| |
After breakfast, you leave Ruhengeri in the direction of South Western Rwanda along the road on the shores of Lake Kivu. The stop over for lunch will be in Kibuye, a pretty town on the lake where you will enjoy stunning sceneries. Proceed in the afternoon to Cyangugu, on the Southern cost of the lake.
The small town is the gateway to Nyungwe Forest National Park. You will have dinner and overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge (C) or Gisakura Guest House (E). Full BoardnNOTE: Today’s journey might take up to 7 hours according to the conditions of the roadsn
Overnight at: Nyungwe Forest Lodge
|DAY 10||The primates of Nyungwe National Park|| |
After an early breakfast, at 6 am you enter Nyungwe forest for the chimpanzees trekking and other primates like the beautiful Angolan colobus. The park is spread for over 970 sq km of green hills, the largest uncontaminated piece of tropical forest in Eastern Africa.
Nyungwe hosts 13 species of primates, including the chimpanzee (more than 1000 individuals are recorded), the Rwenzori colobus, L’Hoest Monkey, the silver monkey, owl faced monkey, red tailed monkey, vervet monkey and olive baboon. Ensure you carry with you packed lunch and water for a picnic lunch. You will have dinner and overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge (C) or Gisakura Guest House (E). Full Board
Overnight at: Nyungwe Forest Lodge
|DAY 11||Bukavu – Butare – Kigali|| |
After breakfast you will drive back to Rwanda and take the road to Kigali. Lunch in Butare, the second town in Rwanda, considered the cultural capital, hosting the university and the National Museum. Very rewarding are the handicraft shops where are sold typical products made by Rwandan artisans, especially in the weaving and baskets.
As you proceed, a stop over is made in Nyanza, that in the past was the political capital and it hosts the antique Royal palace, entirely renovated for the visitors, displaying original items and pieces of history of the Mwami, the king. Arrive in Kigali for dinner and overnight at Umubano Hotel (C) or Golf Hills Residence Hotel (E). Full
Overnight at: Umubano Hotel
|DAY 12||Kigali||Kigali city tour and reserved for airport transfer.|
The price includes:
1. Water on board
2. Entrance fees, taxes
3. Chimpanzee permits (Kibale, Nyungwe)
4. Two Gorilla permits (Bwindi and Volcanoes)
5. English speaking Driver/Guide
6. Ground transportation by 4x4 tourist Land Cruiser open roof
7. Full board accommodation
8. Airport transfers