13 Days Uganda Rwanda Gorilla Safari

Overview

The 13 Days Uganda Rwanda Gorilla Safari features impressive wild game encounters in Uganda and the extensive primate viewing in Uganda and Rwanda. Tracking mountain gorillas in both Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park gives you a diverse trekking experience. The Big five encounters in Ziwa, Murchison, Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth National Parks feature tree climbing lions and land dwelling lions, Buffaloes, Elephants, Leopards, Rhinos not forgetting their impressive wild game like Rothschild giraffes, Impala, Jackson Hartebeest among others combine to derive ultimate safari memories. The historical boat cruise to the source of the Nile takes you back to ancient Roman times when the world made their way to Africa in quest of the source of this mystical river.

Safari Highlight

Day 1: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route

Day 2: Do morning game drive and afternoon Nile launch cruise and hike to the top of the falls

Day 3: Transfer to Kibale National Park. Whole day drive

Day 4: Do chimpanzee trekking in the morning, afternoon Bigodi wetland walk and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 5: Do morning game drive and afternoon Kazinga Channel launch cruise

Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Drive through Ishasha sector in search of tree climbing lions

Day 7: Do gorilla trekking and visit the Batwa Community in the evening

Day 8: Drive to Volcanoes National Park. Do a boat cruise on the twin lakes

Day 9: Do gorilla trekking and transfer to Lake Bunyoyi (Uganda)

Day 10: Do Island Hopping

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park and do an evening game drive

Day 12:  Do morning game walking safari and drive to Kampala

Day 13: Explore Jinja. Visit the Sezibwa Falls, undertake Mabira Forest Walk, visit the snake park and boat cruise to the source of the Nile

Detailed Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route

ziwa-rhinos

Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park 311km from Kampala about 5 hours’ drive excluding stops en route, You drive through impressive flat stretches of Nakasongora district before branching off at Nakitooma for 7km to Ziwa Sanctuary to track white Rhinos which are only found here in the whole of Uganda. You retreat from the activity, settle for lunch at Kabalega dinner and continue to Murchison Falls National Park arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Pakuba Safari Lodge (Midrange / Standard) or Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget / Basic).

Day 2: Do morning game drive and afternoon Nile launch cruise and hike to the top of the falls

Drive to the park’s northern section for a morning game drive offering impressive wild game viewing encounter.  The 3 – 4 activity takes you through the designated park tracks including Buligi, Queen, Albert and the entire delta area with possibilities of encountering the lions, elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Leopards, Jackson’s Hartebeest, waterbucks, Oribis, Kobs among others.  The open savannah grassland intercepted with scattered borasus palms also present a unique landscape worth viewing. Retreat from the activity and return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch after which you gather at Paraa jetty for afternoon boat cruise to the bottom of the falls. The 3 hour boat encounter opens you to the thrilling Nile waters in their relaxed flow as they join the Albert delta. The views of Hippos, Nile crocodile and shoebill stork might impress you along the adventure. Upon arriving on the bottom of the falls, you will embark on the hike to the top of the world’s powerful waterfall. The Nile River which is the longest in the world forces itself to pass through a less than 8m ravine before falling 43m below to what has been termed the devils cauldron forming a plume of spray marked by a thunderous roar and trade mark rain bow. During the hike, you will enjoy the sounds of the Nile as it splashes its head on the impermeable rocks that have stood in its way for centuries past. Retreat from the activity and connect to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Pakuba Safari Lodge (Midrange / Standard) or Heritage Safari Lodge (Budget / Basic).

Day 3: Transfer to Kibale National Park. Whole day drive

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kibale National Park driving through impressive countryside landscapes of Bulisa, Hoima and Kagadi. You enjoy impressive views of the Albertine rift where Lake Albert is located. A lunch stop can be made in Hoima and you arrive in Fort Portal in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Ndali Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (Midrange / Standard) or Rwenzori View Guesthouse (Budget / Basic)

Day 4: Do chimpanzee trekking in the morning, afternoon Bigodi wetland walk and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

chimp-trekking-kibale

Gather at Kanyanchu Tourism Center at 8am for briefing about the chimpanzee trekking conduct. You head to the forest of Kibale which provides shelter to 13 primate Species including the chimpanzees. The hike through impressive forested landscapes of Kibale with lush forest cover filed with counts of birds and primates. The chimp trekking activity tends to last 2 – 5 hours with one hour of direct encounter with the chimps. You marvel at these species as the munch fruit, socialize, mate, patrol, hunt and make their pant hooting calls. You take as many photos for lasting memories and retreat from the activity and get back to the starting point for a short relaxation where you can also take your packed lunch. After this encounter, you transfer to Bigodi wetland sanctuary for an afternoon wetland walk. The walk through this eco community initiative exposes you to the impressive wetland ecosystem with swamp dwelling animals like Sitatunga and impressive bird species like the Great Blue Turaco. After this exploration, embark on the drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park 157km about 3 hours’ drive through impressive scenic views of the Rwenzori Mountains. Arrive at the lodge in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Enganzi Game Lodge (Midrange / Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget / Basic).

Day 5: Do morning game drive and afternoon Kazinga Channel launch cruise

Drive to the rolling plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park with its extensive savannah grassland for amazing game viewing experience after breakfast. The drive through the Kasenyi tracks enables you to explore a range of game including the elephants, lions, buffaloes, leopards, water bucks, side stripped jackals among other species. The activity tends to last 3 – hours after which you will return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, you gather at Mweya jetty for an afternoon boat cruise starting at 2pm for Marasa and 3pm for UWA with the interval of 2hours to make a round trip for another turn. The encounter offers you opportunity of encountering the Nile crocodiles, the Hippos and water birds along the channel. The wild game also tends to come to the channel shores to quench their thirst. Retreat from that and do a game drive along the channel track as you connect to the lodge for overnight.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Enganzi Game Lodge (Midrange / Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget / Basic).

Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Drive through Ishasha sector in search of tree climbing lions

Embark on the drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the south of Queen Elizabeth National Park. You undertake a game drive in Ishasha sector in search of tree climbing lions that tend to lie on fig tree branches overlooking their prey in the plains. Continue on the drive to Bwindi for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange / Standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget / Basic)

Day 7: Do gorilla trekking and visit the Batwa Community  

batwa-community-tour

Gather at the respective park headquarters for briefing at 8am after which you will head to the mist in search of the critically endangered mountain gorillas.  The hills of Bwindi and its deep saddles are soaked by dense forest cover with mature trees and thick undergrowth that have earned it the Impenetrable name.  Hiking through these landscapes is very impressive too and a rewarding experience of its own. The activity tends to last between 2 – 8 hours inclusive of one hour direct encounter with these ancient apes. You marvel at them as they forage and socialize. Your pictures are the memorabilia that you can always look at to refresh the memories of this unforgettable experience. Retreat from the activity and transfer to the lodge for relaxation. In the evening, visit the Batwa Community to encounter one of the last groups of the short surviving people in the world and attend to their Impressive performances. Retreat from the activity for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange / Standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget / Basic)

Day 8: Drive to Volcanoes National Park. Do a boat cruise on the twin lakes

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Volcanoes National Park passing through impressive views of the Kigezi Highlands and the Virunga Volcanoes which is a chain of eight (8) volcanoes before arriving in Ruhengeri area. You explore the twin lakes in the afternoon, undertaking a thrilling boat cruise on either Lake Ruhondo or Lake Bulera. The cruise offers you magical scenic views. Retreat from the activity and get to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Mount Gorilla View Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Hotel La Palme (Midrange / Standard) or Muhabura Hotel (Budget / Basic)

Day 9: Do gorilla trekking and transfer to Lake Bunyoyi (Uganda) 

Gather at Volcanoes National Park headquarters Kinigi after breakfast at your place of stay to catch up with briefing at 8am local time. If you arrive early before, you have an opportunity to attend to the impressive Kinyarwanda dance performance and drinking a hot cup of Rwandan coffee till the briefing time. You attend to briefing our respective gorilla groups allocated to you on spot and then embark on the drive to trail heads of each gorilla family. You head to the slopes of the volcanoes in search of these critically endangered apes. You have one hour with them gain at them as they forage, socialize and the silverback demonstrating its manhood. The encounter tends to last 2 – 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements and the gorilla family allocated to you. Retreat from the activity and cross to Uganda where you will drive along the scenic Kisoro Kabale road before branching off at Muko to connect to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Birdnest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort (Upmarket/Luxury), Lake Bunyonyi Eco-resort (Midrange/Standard) or Byoona Amagara Island Retreat (Budget/Basic).

Day 10: Do Island Hopping

Embark on the lake exploration after breakfast. Lake Bunyonyi has 29 Islands that have inspired its naming as the lake of a thousand islands. The Island hopping encounter allows you to explore some of the main Islands including Sharps Island, Bucuranuka, Bushara, Kyahugye and Akampene all with impressive traditions and history while connecting to them using a local wooden engine boat. Retreat from the day activity to relax at the lodge, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Bird nest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort (Upmarket / Luxury), Lake Bunyonyi Eco-resort (Midrange / Standard) or Byoona Amagara Island Retreat (Budget / Basic).

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park and do an evening game drive

game-drive-in-lake-mburo

Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park 199km about 4 – 5 hour’s drive passing through impressive south western country side landscapes before approaching Mbarara town and eventually Igongo Cultural Center 1km past Mbarara for traditional lunch after which you will proceed for 33km to Lake Mburo National Park for an evening game drive. You drive through impressive park landscapes dotted with impressive acacia woodland and a range of grazers before retiring for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Mihingo Safari Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Midrange / Standard) or Eagles Nest (Budget / Basic).

Day 12:  Do morning game walking safari and drive to Kampala

Walk to the park for a thrilling game walking safari exploring the park landscapes that feature rolling savannah combretum in the open plains, acacia vegetation on the rolling hills and the rock Kopjes on most of the hill tops. The ancient Precambrian rocks that date back to 500 million years ago present impressive views and act a habitat for the rock dwelling animals like Klipspringer. The walk offers you possibilities of encountering Impala antelope which only exist in Lake Mburo NP, Rothschild Giraffes, Burchell’s Zebra Topis, warthogs, water bucks among other wildlife. The activity tend to last 3 – 4 hours after which you will embark on the transfer back to Kampala 240km approximately 3 – 4 hours’ drive. You make a stop at the Equator crossing Kayabwe for amazing photo shots and then you continue to Kampala.

Accommodation: Sheraton Kampala Hotel (Upmarket / Luxury), Humura Resorts (Midrange / Standard) or Buziga Country Resort (Budget / Basic).

Day 13: Explore Jinja. Visit the Sezibwa Falls, undertake Mabira Forest Walk, visit the snake park and boat cruise to the source of the Nile

After breakfast, you embark on the tour to Jinja. You begin with the Sezibwa Falls which is unique feature with lots of cultural attachment inclined towards the Baganda traditions, undertake the Mabira Forest Walk which is among the major rain forests of Uganda with great counts of bird species and primates, visiting the reptile village in Jinja where the count of reptiles can be seen and the recreational and yet historical boat cruise to the Source of the Nile River. Retreat in the evening and transfer to Kampala to mark the end of the tour.

End of Safari