This Safari starts in Uganda and ends in Rwanda

Day 1: Kampala to Kibale Forest National Park

LeaveKampalaafter breakfast and drive westward through fascinating countryside toFortPortaltown which lies in the shadow of theRwenzoriMountains. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes much ofUganda. ArriveFortPortalin time for Lunch.

After lunch, proceed toKibaleForestNational Park, which is a short drive from town. On arrival at the forest, you will enter a completely different world… some serious monkey business. Although the main purpose of the visit is to see the chimpanzees, the forest is home to 12 other primate species including the White Colobus Monkey, the Red Tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Red Colobus and the Blue Monkey. The bird life in the forest is also abundant and includes the beautiful Great Blue Turaco. Visit the “Top of the World” for sundowner and stunning view of the Rwenzoris and the Park.

Dinner and over night at Mountains of the Moon/Kyaninga Lodge/Ndali Safari Lodge/ Primate Lodge (High end), Chimpanzee Guest House (Mid range) or Chimps Nest (Budget). Meal Plan B, L & D

Day 2: Chimp Tracking In Kibale Forest National Park.

 Early morning coffee and you transfer to the UWA Headquarters inKibaleForestNational Parkto reach by 7.00 a.m. The guides will provide information not only on chimpanzees and primates but also on small organisms that inhabit this forest. It is worth noting that chimpanzees share 98.7% of our genes, and there are approximately 5,000 chimpanzees inUgandaleft in the wild. You start tracking a short distance from the UWA Office and the walk in the forest will also reward you with other primates like Grey cheeked Mangabeys, Colobus monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, birds and butterflies.

After lunch, you go for the Nature walk inBigodiSwamp. This is a 2-3 hours walk through the swamp, passing some local villages. You will see many different monkey species and plenty of bird life. The swamp is host to over 200 bird species, including the most popular bird for tourists here, the Great Blue Turaco.

Dinner and over night at Mountains of the Moon/Kyaninga Lodge/Ndali Safari Lodge/ Primate Lodge (High end), Chimpanzee Guest House (Mid range) or Chimps Nest (Budget). Meal Plan B, L & D


Day 3: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Begin your morning with a visit to the Nyakasura falls inFortPortaland “Amabere ga Nyina Mwiru” (Stalagmites and stalactites).  Thereafter drive South West intoQueenElizabethNational Park, with great views of the toweringRwenzoriMountainson your right all the way to Kasese. Proceed toMweyaPeninsulasightseeing and game viewing en route. Arrive atMweyaPeninsulain time for the afternoon Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel which connects Lakes Edward and George. Here you will see Hippo,Buffalo, Elephant and a host of birds. There are 638 recorded bird species in the Park.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge or Jacana (High end), Enganzi, King Fisher, Katara Lodges (Mid range) Simba Camp (Budget)

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Early morning Coffee/Tea and go for dawn game drive along the Kasenyi Track where most of the big game can be seen in abundance. Visitors will encounter elephants, buffalo, water bucks, warthogs, lions, Uganda Kob, a variety of birds and some rarer animals like giant forest hog. Visit Kichwamba Escarpment for a Community/Nature Walk along the Escarpment overlooking the Western Rift valley in which lies QueenElizabethNational Park. This is an opportunity to see how the rural folk live. Here you will see spectacular crater lakes and participate in community activities like crop harvesting, local food preparation and local gin brewing.

You will go for an evening game drive in the Explosion Craters sector. In addition to spectacular features in this area, you will see more game and plenty of bird life. Visit the salt lake where you will interact with the local community as they harvest “rock salt”.

Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge or Jacana (High end), King Fisher, Katara Lodge (Mid range) Simba Camp (Budget). Meal Plan B, L & D

Day 5:Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

 After breakfast, you pick your packed lunch and travel toBwindiImpenetrableForestNational Park. The drive takes you through Ishasha, the southern part of Queen Elizabeth which is famous for the tree climbing lions. To escape from the heat during the day, the lions learned how to climb the fig trees. If you are lucky you might spot a few. Arrive Buhoma (Bwindi) late afternoon. In the evening you may go for a  community walk in the villages around Buhoma.

Dinner and overnight stay at either Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany Springs or Buhoma Lodge (High end), Engagi Safari Lodge or Lake Kitandara camp (Mid range) or Buhoma Community Rest Camp/Bwindi View Bandas (Budget). Meal plan: (B, L, D)
Day 6: Gorilla Tracking.

Begin the day with breakfast ready for tracking, which begins at 8:00 am with a briefing from the UWA staff. Ensure to carry along with you a rain jacket, drinking water, snacks or packed lunch, jungle boots etc. The guides will lead you inside the jungle to see the shy Primates, perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on earth. The tracking may take between 2 and 6 hours depending on the group you booked, but it is worth the effort.

BwindiImpenetrableForestboasts both Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees – the only forest inAfricawhich can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primates, 113 species of mammals, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds. Depending on the time you return from tracking, you can spend the afternoon on a community walk around the local communities living around the park, or a nature walk in the forest.

Dinner and overnight stay at either Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany Springs or Buhoma Lodge (High end), Engagi Safari Lodge or Lake Kitandara camp (Mid range) or Buhoma Community Rest Camp/Bwindi View Bandas (Budget). Meal plan: (B, L, D)

Day 7: Transfer to Mgahinga National Park, Kisoro

After breakfast, drive through Bwindi forest to Nkuringo, which lies in the Southern Sector of Bwindi N.P. En route, you will have an opportunity to see an array of birds, especially in the Ruhija area. Bwindi offers some of the finest montane forest birding in Africa, a key destination for any birder visitingUganda. Here you will find 23 ofUganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics including globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing. Other birds include the Francolin, Cinnamon-chested-Bee eaters, Green Tinker bird, Mountain and Yellow–streaked Green buls, Mountain Masked and Chestnut–throated Apalises, Red faced Woodland Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Ruwenzori Batis and White tailed fly catcher among others.

Arrive in Nkuringo late afternoon for a Cultural Village Walk. This guided walk takes about 3 hours. The walk introduces you to a number of interesting sites such as typical rural homesteads, a banana beer brewing site, a local traditional healer ‘witch-doctor’, a school and the Batwa, who are the indigenous inhabitants ofBwindiForest. The money paid for the walk is given to the community to support sustainable livelihood activities. Proceed to Kisoro.

Overnight  Nkuringo Lodge

Meal plan:   Full Board (dinner, breakfast, packed lunch)

Day 8: Mgahinga National Park, Kisoro

Today you have a choice of activities.

Mountain Climbing: After breakfast you drive to the starting-point of the volcano hike in Mgahinga N.P.  Here, you have a choice to climb one of the 3 volcanoes which are on the border ofUganda andRwanda namely;Mt.Muhabura (4127m),Mt.Sabinyo (3645m), orMt.Gahinga (3474m). Mt Muhabura is most spectacular and can be seen from anywhere around Kisoro. The typical cone-shaped mountain provides some of the best views in the country. Much of the climb passes a rocky surface covered by grasses and small shrubs. When you are at the top, you will have the view of the other Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth N.P, Bwindi forest and the peaks of theRwenzoriMountains. The hike takes approximately 8-9 hours round trip covering 12 km.

Cultural Village Walk:  For those who are not able to scale the volcanic mountains, you have an option for aCulturalVillage walk.  From Kisoro town, a local guide will take you through the gardens and villages of the Bafumbira and Bakiga tribes and here you will learn a lot about how these people live, work, cook, etc. you will have an opportunity to taste the local dishes traditional prepared in clay pots.

The Batwa Trail: The dense forests at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes was home to the Batwa people: hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine thanks to ancient knowledge passed down for generations. The Batwa Trail is located in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park,  where the Batwa people, a group of indigenous people, used to reside.  This nature walk tour introduces visitors to this African tribes’ life.  Visitors will learn about the Batwa’s cultural heritage during this cultural encounter experience.  The funds from this tour are part of a give back program that supports the indigenous people’s cultural heritage by helping them purchase new land, provide education and books.
During this moving tour, the Batwa demonstrate their unique cultural heritage through various activities and discussions, such as hunting and bamboo cup demonstrations.  Medicinal plants and their usage are pointed out as well.  Guests are finally invited to the sacredNgaramaCave, once home to the Batwa King, where the women of the community perform a sorrowful song which echoes eerily around the depths of the dark cave, and leaves guests with a moving sense of the richness of this fading culture

Accommodation:   Nkuringo Lodge

Meal plan:   Full Board (dinner, breakfast, packed lunch)

 Day 9: Transfer to Rwanda

 After breakfast, you drive toRwanda, through Kyanika border and Ruhengeri.

You arrive atKigali, the busy capital ofRwandain time for lunch. After lunch, visit the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, which opened in 2004, 10 years after the genocide. It is a dignified tribute to the victims, including a Children’s Memorial, and a history of the tragedy.  Please be aware that this visit can be quite shocking. Alternatively you can choose to exploreKigalitown and also visit some ofKigali’s craft markets, and see an array of pottery, carvings, batik, weaving, sculpture, musical instruments, leather and fabrics on offer.

Overnight at Hotel Des Mille Collines

Meal plan: Full Board (dinner, breakfast, packed lunch)

Day 10: Gorilla Tracking in Volcanoes National Park

 After breakfast you transfer to Volcanoes National Park. VolcanoesNational Parklies in North Western Rwanda and bordersVirungaNational Parkin the Democratic Republic of Congo andMgahingaNational ParkinUganda. The National Park is known as a haven for the mountain gorilla. On arrival at the starting point of the gorilla tracking, you will be briefed by the Park officials before you begin your gorilla tracking. The Gorillas you will track belong to one of seven habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. Unlike in Uganda, Trek Africa Eco Tours purchases the permits in advance but is unable to specify which groups to track (it is for the head-ranger to decide on this).

Tracking the Gorillas can take an hour or 6 hours depending on where the gorillas spent the night. The bamboo forest will drip around you as you first hear the breaking of bamboo signalling the group is near. Once the Gorillas have been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a Mountain Gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal withRwanda’s “Gorillas in the Mist”.

Depending on the group you have tracked, you may still have enough time to take a nature walk in the National Park, visit the golden monkeys, or visit Dian Fossey’s Grave.  It is also possible to visit the Twin Lakes Ruhondo and  Burera .

Overnight at Hotel Des Mille Collines or Le Bamboo Hotel

 Meal plan: Full Board (dinner, breakfast, packed lunch)

Day 11: Nyungwe Forest National Park

 Nyungwe is one ofEast Africa’s largest forests, with 13 monkey species, including chimpanzees. Make a walk through the forest in search of chimpanzees, monkeys and birds, or do the waterfall trail.

Overnight at Hotel Des Mille Collines or  Gisaruka Lodge

 Meal plan:  (Dinner, Breakfast)

Day 12: Transfer from Nyungwe Forest N.P to Kigali

 Transfer from Nyungwe Forest National Park to Kigali Air Port for your outbound Flight.

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