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8 Nights Uganda and Rwanda Primates and Wildlife safari

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Overview

This safari takes you to Uganda and Rwanda iconic wildlife and spectacular landscape destinations while educating yourself through cultural encounters. You will also have an opportunity to experience a double mountain gorilla trekking in both Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwanda’s volcanoes national park.

You will kick off this tour with a visit to Kibale Forest National Park home to Uganda’s largest population of Chimpanzees and one of the top birding spots in the country. Enjoy a walk-through Bigodi Swamp and see wild chimpanzees’ exciting chimp walk.

From here you will then proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park known for its abundant wildlife, including African elephants, African buffalos, Ugandan kobs, hippopotamus, topi, waterbuck, warthog, and giant forest hog, Nile crocodile, leopard, spotted hyena, chimpanzee, and lion.

A visit to Bwindi impenetrable national park is next and will offer you the ultimate gorilla adventure experience of coming face to face with these highly sought-after primates as the park is home to half of the world’s remaining gorilla population of 459 gorillas.

Round off this epic Wildlife excursion by crossing the border to Rwanda for your second gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park, home of the endangered mountain gorilla and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp, and heath.

This safari starts in the Ugandan capital Kampala and ends in Kigali’s Rwanda capital.

Summary of your Trip
  • 2 Nights Kibale Forest Camp (Kibale National Park) | Uganda
  • 2 Nights Marafiki Safari Lodge (Queen Elizabeth National Park) | Uganda
  • 2 Nights Ishasha Wilderness Camp (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) | Uganda
  • 2 Nights Le bamboo gorilla lodge (Volcanoes National Park) | Rwanda
Price Includes
  • All ground transportation in a Safari land cruiser - open roof with all fuel
  • Full time driver guide with all his associated expenses
  • Full board accommodation as per above itinerary.
  • 2 Gorilla permits per person, 1 Chimpanzee permit per person
  • Boat cruise, Game drives, Ferry crossing
  • Top of the Falls Hike
  • Drinking water in the vehicle
  • Park fees and government taxes.
Price Excludes
  • Visas and International Air tickets
  • Covid-19 PCR Tests
  • Travel/medical/ baggage insurance
  • Driver guide gratuities
  • Drinks/laundry (unless specified)
  • Dining rooms tips
  • Porter age
  • Telephone bill
  • Any items of a personal nature
Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1Arrival at Entebbe Airport and Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park

Driving time: ± 6h30mns (± 337 kms)

You will be collected from a Hotel in the Capital Kampala or welcomed at Entebbe Airport by our representative who will facilitate seamless arrival formalities. Thereafter you will be briefed on your travel arrangements. You may opt if time permits, for Uganda City Orientation by visiting the Genocide Memorial Centre, local markets, and coffee and craft shops if time permits, before starting the journey to Kibale Forest National Park in Western Uganda. On the way, you will have a stopover at the Equator to take photos, and buy souvenirs.

A second stop will be observed along the way at Igongo Cultural village for lunch. After lunch, back on the road with stunning views of the crater lakes, Rwenzori ranges, tea plantations, and beautiful scenery among others.

Arrive in the afternoon, check in at your lodge, relax and enjoy the amenities on offer.
Dinner and overnight at your lodge

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Activities and Services: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, Igongo Cultural village
scenery viewing.
Included: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, Igongo Cultural village, Park entrance
fees

Day 2Full Day Kibale Forest National Park – Chimpanzee tracking & Bigodi swamp walk

After breakfast at your lodge, transfer to the starting point of your Chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale Forest National Park which is reputed to have the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the Chimpanzee, man’s closest relative. Kibale’s 1450 chimpanzees represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate. Kibale is also home to the rare I’Hoest’s monkey.

Other primates include the black and white Colobus, Blue monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Red-tailed monkey, and Olive baboon to mention but a few. So you will enjoy guided nature walks in the tropical rainforest in search of wild chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and many others. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, visitors stand a good chance of hearing and seeing our distant cousins as they gloom and bond with one another.

After chimpanzee tracking, you will return to the lodge, and you can choose from the optional activities at the lodge. After lunch, head to Bigodi for an afternoon swamp walk. Bigodi was established by a local development organization to protect the 4sq-km Magombe Swamp that’s home to around 200 species of birds (highlights include papyrus gonolek, White-winged warbler and great blue turaco). The highlight of this tour is catching a glimpse of the great blue turaco. The swamp is also good for spotting butterflies and primates, with eight different species here, including grey-cheeked mangabey. Experienced local guides who interact with the guests and make the trip both enjoyable and exciting lead the 2-3 hour guided walk.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Activities and Services: Kibale Forest Chimp Tracking; Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
Included: 1 Chimpanzee permit per person; Bigodi swamp walk

Day 3Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park – Game Drive & Boat Cruise

Driving time: ± 2 hours (around 157 km)

Breakfast then embark on a three-hour eventful drive heading east following the mystical Rwenzori Mountain Range. Your expert driver-guide will take you through the game park where you might spot some animals. You will then reach your lodge right on time for lunch, and enjoy your hot meal. Later in the afternoon take a unique 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel into Lake Edward. This excursion passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and this launch/cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching, and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colourful and stupendous, with well over 550 resident species in this world-renowned National Park.

After the activity, you will head for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Marafiki Safari Lodge
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Activities and Services: Game Drive & Boat cruise on Kazinga channel
Included: Game Drive & Boat cruise on Kazinga channel; Park entrance fees

Day 4Full Day Queen Elizabeth National Park – Game Drive – Tree Climbing Lions

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forests, rivers, swamps, lakes, and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Have an early morning game drive where you have an opportunity to view the massive Rwenzori as a backdrop, which provides excellent opportunities to spot lions, leopards, giant forest hogs, Cape buffalo, elephants, and defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, topi, and bushbuck. The game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are memorable methods of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife. Be sure to have your camera ready for these amazing sightings! Later, have an afternoon game drive as you transfer to Ishasha Plains – sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park to spot some tree-climbing lions.

Alternatively, embark on an afternoon visit to the bat and hunters cave where we take a close look at the bats, rock python, and forest cobras at a supplement of $30 per person. The same walk will provide a chance of seeing birds, primates, tree species, etc.

Accommodation: Marafiki Safari Lodge
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Activities and Services: Ishasha Sector
Included: Game Drive; Search -Tree climbing lions; Visit the Bat Cave (optional) Park
entrance fees

Day 5Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Driving time: 6-7hours (± 265 kms)

After your breakfast, pack up your bags and take a morning game drive through the park for your final visit with the wildlife before heading out of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and on to Bwindi. The drive takes you through the Switzerland of Africa area known as the Kigezi with a lunch stop en route.
Highlands with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, arriving in the evening. Check into the lodge for dinner and your overnight stay.

Accommodation: Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Activities and Services: Transfer Game Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Included: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Day 6Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Batwa Cultural Visit

After an early breakfast, depart to the starting point for a briefing about your gorilla trekking adventure after which you will be led by experienced gorilla trackers on the slopes of the volcanoes. You will start from the site where the gorillas were encountered the day before and from there the gorilla tracking begins. Although the hike can be physically demanding, the anticipation of the exciting experience ahead is amazing, and the beauty of the gorilla forest and its inhabitants are fascinating. One of Africa’s major highlights is when you encounter these gentle apes. It is a humbling experience to stand just meters from man’s distant cousins as they eat, rest, play, and bond with their young ones.

Follow the mountain gorillas as they range freely in the impenetrable forest and discover their gorgeous natural habitat and the many species, they share it with. You are allowed an hour with the gorillas before finally sloping down back to your lodge.

If your trek was relatively short, you may have a guided nature walk around the lodge and the Batwa surrounding communities in the evening at a supplement of $80 per person.
The Batwa People are hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food, and medicine thanks to ancient knowledge passed down through many generations. They were the first people to inhabit the tropical rainforest and used to stay with mountain gorillas in harmony, it has been once their home for centuries. They used to eat the same food as mountain gorillas considering gorillas as part of their forest family.

Visit the Batwa tribe listen to ancient legends and traditional songs and learn a thing or two about their daily lives and traditions. Return to the lodge where you will enjoy dinner with fellow travellers before retiring to your room, relaxing and getting to sleep to the sounds of nature. You may opt for Gorilla Habituation on a supplement of $900 per person – here you will be sure of meeting and spending enough time with the Gorillas.

Accommodation: Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Activities and Services: Gorilla Tracking/Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Included: 1 Gorilla permit per person; Batwa Community visit (Optional)

Day 7Cross the Border into Rwanda to Volcanoes National Park

This morning the excitement mounts as we will depart this morning via the Cyanika border to Rwanda.
From the border, we will drive into Volcanoes National Park (not too far from the border).
On your arrival, you may opt to go straight and check in or decide to check out the legendary Dian Fossey’s resting home. That little lady made it her mission to protect the mountain gorillas from savages and let the world know about the treasure we had buried deep in our African jungle, so a visit to her grave is warranted, take a knee!

Should you decide to check in straight, you will be checked in and directed to the lodge where you will spend your night. Later you will take your meals and then go for an evening nature walk to visit the Musanze caves. In these caves, you will get to see the aircraft, and the locals demonstrating the traditional way of living, and cultures to mention but a few. From there you will get back to the lodge have dinner and then rest.

Accommodation: Le bamboo gorilla lodge
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Activities and Services: Road transfer to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park
Included: Road transfer to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Evening nature walk and
community visit (Optional)

For the following morning, there are 2 Options:
Option 1: partake in a double Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park – which means that you would have already secured a Rwanda’s gorilla permit at a cost of US$1,500 per person
Option 2: Track the endangered golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park. These little cute monkeys light up the jungle with golden cuteness. Also, you will be taking a nature hike into the jungle, so watch out for the outstanding jungle features and let your wild spirit float free in the African rainforest jungle.

Day 8Second Gorilla Trekking and Ibyiwacu Cultural Centre

The Rwanda gorillas are not as difficult to trek as Uganda’s, the terrain is much flatter and with less bush, great for photography. So, partaking in a second gorilla trekking excursion will allow you to learn more about our closest cousins and will go home full of memories to share with future generations.

You will have your morning breakfast, then set off to the park headquarters to have a briefing with the trained tour guide about the rules and regulations of trekking gorillas. From there you will be divided into groups of 8 members where you will set off into the jungle and start the trekking. Once you get the gorillas, you will be given ample time to stay with these beautiful primates and take photos. From there, you will get back to the lodge, freshen up, have lunch and then relax for some time to prepare for an evening nature walk in the Ibyiwacu culture centre where you will get to see the traditional dances, the cultural foods of the Rwanda people, the houses and the lifestyle of the Rwanda people. From there, you will get back to the lodge, have dinner and then rest.

Accommodation: Le bamboo gorilla lodge
Meal Basis: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Activities and Services: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Wildlife Authority
Included: 1 Gorilla permit, evening nature walk, Ibyiwacu culture centre

Day 9Transfer to Kigali International Airport

Driving time: ± 3hours (± 119 kms)

As all good things always come to an end, your 8 Nights -9 Days Uganda and Rwanda Primates and Wildlife safari come to an end. After an early breakfast, we will start the drive to Kigali International Airport. On arrival at the airport, you will be dropped off to connect with your onward International flight back home.

Included: Road Transfer to Kigali International Airport

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