16 Days Uganda Rwanda Comprehensive Safari

Overview

The 16 Days Uganda Rwanda Comprehensive Safari gives you an opportunity to explore Uganda and Rwanda in detail. The safari commences in Kampala Uganda and ends in Kigali Rwanda offering a blend of wild game, culture, primates, recreation and scenery. The safari features Sipi Falls, Pian Upe Game Reserve, Kidepo Valley National Park along with Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable, Volcanoes and Nyungwe National Parks. The safari also features heritage tours to the Karimojong people of Uganda and the Kinyarwanda traditions in Butare. The recreational encounters on Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Kivu combined with boat cruise along the Nile River and Kazinga Channel derive ultimate safari memories.

Safari Highlight

Day 1: Transfer to Sipi Area. Do Sipi Falls hike

Day 2: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park. Do a game drive in Pian Upe game reserve en route

Day 3: Do morning game drive and afternoon Karimjong Community tour

Day 4: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

Day 5: Do morning game drive and afternoon Nile launch cruise and hike to the top of the falls

Day 6: Transfer to Kibale National Park. Whole day drive

Day 7: Do chimpanzee trekking in the morning, afternoon Bigodi wetland walk and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Day 8: Do morning game drive and afternoon Kazinga Channel launch cruise

Day 9: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Drive through Ishasha sector in search of tree climbing lions

Day 10: Do gorilla trekking and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation

Day 11: Do sun rise boat cruise and transfer to Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

Day 12: Do gorilla trekking and transfer to Gisenyi – Lake Kivu

Day 13: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Drive along the Congo – Nile divide trail

Day 14:  Do morning chimpanzee trekking and afternoon Nyungwe canopy walk

Day 15: Transfer to Huye (Butare). Visit the National Institute of Rwandan Museums and the Nyanza Palace

Day 16: Transfer to Kigali City and visit the Gisozi genocide memorial

Detailed Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Sipi Area. Do Sipi Falls hike

sipi-falls-hike

Transfer to Sipi Area after breakfast at your place of stay in Kampala. You will drive through the cosmopolitan town of Jinja before proceeding to traverse the impressive landscapes of eastern Uganda marked by extensive wetland system long with plantations of sugarcane and Rice.  You arrive in time for lunch after which you embark on the Sipi falls hike. The hike to the Sipi falls offers you rewarding trek through the challenging steep slopes with the views of the falls and the neighboring hills not forgetting the Bagisu farmlands. Retreat from the activity in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Sipi River Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Lacam Lodge (Midrange / Standard) or Crowns Nest Camp site (Budget / Basic)

Day 2: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park. Do a game drive in Pian Upe game reserve en route

After breakfast, embark on the drive to Kidepo Valley National Park to the north western corner of Uganda. You undertake a thrilling game drive en route in Pian Upe game reserve with possibilities of encountering a range of predators including leopard, jackals, Civets, Spotted Hyenas and Servals. You also have possibility of encountering primates like Patas monkey, Olive baboon and vervet monkey. Other wild game like, Cape buffalo, Topi, blue and common duiker, Common eland, Klipspringer, Günther's dik-dik, Ugandan Kob, Bohor and mountain reebuck and Waterbuck among others. Following this activity, embark on the transfer to Kidepo arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Apoka Safari Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Nga’ moru Wilderness (Midrange / Standard) or Apoka Rest Camp (Budget / Basic)

Day 3: Do morning game drive and afternoon Karamjong Community tour

game-drive-kidepo

Embark on the drive in the rolling savannah landscapes of Kidepo Valley National Park with possibilities of encountering a range of wild game including the lions, Cheetah, Burchell’s Zebra, Rothschild giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants and a range of antelopes. The drive through the Narus Valley offers you impressive views of this wild game. The stretch to the Kidepo Valley offers you impressive views of the Kidepo River which tends to reduce in volume in the dry season presenting an impressive sandy river. The area is also a common dwelling ground for the Ostrich which is found here in the whole of Uganda.  Retreat from the 3 – 4 hour game drive and return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, embark on the tour of the Karimojong community tour that gives you opportunity to explore the heritage of Karimojong people. The impressive homesteads of the Karimojong with their well-built Manyatta villages and their life centered on cattle keeping present a remarkable experience. You can also attend to their impressive musical performances along with art and craft. Retreat form the activity for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Apoka Safari Lodge (Upmarket / Luxury), Nga’ moru Wilderness (Midrange / Standard) or Apoka Rest Camp (Budget / Basic)

Day 4: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

Following your morning breakfast, you embark on the transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. You drive through impressive northern Uganda landscapes passing through Kitgum and Gulu before arriving in Murchison 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 5: Do morning game drive and afternoon Nile launch cruise and hike to the top of the falls

murchison-falls-drive-gamedrive

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 6: 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 7: Do chimpanzee trekking in the morning, afternoon Bigodi wetland walk and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

bigodi-wetland-tour-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 8: 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 9: 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 10: Do gorilla trekking and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation

gorilla-trekking-bwindi-impenetrable-forest

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 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 11: Do sun rise boat cruise and transfer to Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

Undertake a recreational boat cruise after a relaxed breakfast to explore the lake of a thousand Islands. You cruise amidst the scenic Kigezi Highlands and the views of a range of Islands that are within the lake. Lake Bunyonyi has 29 Islands. You retreat from 4 - 5 hour activity and retreat to the lodge for lunch after which you embark on the transfer to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda driving along magical views of the Virunga Volcanoes before arriving at the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

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

Day 12: Do gorilla trekking and transfer to Gisenyi – Lake Kivu 

Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park.

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 transfer to Gisenyi - Lake Kivu 110km about 2 hours’ drive. Arrive on the romantic beaches of Lake Kivu which is the largest lake in Rwanda. You have options of undertaking a sun set boat cruise, swimming or other water sports like wind surfing. Alternatively, you can do sun bathing on the shores. Retire from dinner, relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Serena Hotel Lake Kivu (Upmarket / Luxury), Hotel Gorillas Lake Kivu (Midrange / Standard) or Paladise Malahide (Budget / Basic)

Day 13: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Drive along the Congo – Nile divide trail

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park 294km about 7 hours’ drive. You drive along the Congo Nile divide trail which presents rewarding views of Lake Kivu en route and the resort towns of Kibuye. Arrive in the afternoon for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation:  Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel (Midrange/Standard) or Gisakura Guesthouse (Budget/Basic).

Day 14:  Do morning chimpanzee trekking and afternoon Nyungwe canopy walk

canopy-walk-and-chimp-tracking

Gather at the park headquarters at 8am for briefing and eventual chimpanzee trekking. You head to the forest of Nyungwe which is one of the largest montane forests in East and Central Africa hiking through impressive forest landscapes marked with lush flora, beautiful birds and butterflies. You eventually come across the chimps as they munch fruit, patrol, socialize and make their pant hooting calls. The activity tends to last 2 – 5 hours including of one full hour of direct encounter with these apes. Retreat from the activity and relax at the lodge up to lunch time. In the afternoon, you connect to Uwinka visitor center to undertake the famous Nyungwe canopy walk which is considered the first of its kind in East Africa and the third on the African continent. The 90m long and 40m high walk way offers you impressive views of the forest and its inhabitants including birds, primates and butterflies. The canopy walk tends to last 2 hours after which you retreat to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel (Midrange/Standard) or Gisakura Guesthouse (Budget/Basic).

Day 15: Transfer to Huye (Butare). Visit the National Institute of Rwandan Museums and the Nyanza Palace

After a relaxed breakfast, embark on the drive to the Cultural city of Rwanda – Butare. Upon arrival in Butare, you visit the Ethnographic Museum which is one of the largest museums in East Africa with a wide range of historical and cultural collections. You will proceed to visit the Nyanza palace which was the home of the traditional Rwandan monarchy and proud to have sheltered two Kings namely King Musinga and his son King Rudahigwa. You explore the traditional Inyambo cows which are beautiful long horned cattle that resemble the Ankole long horned cows of Uganda. They are unique and they surprisingly make a parade. You can visit the Butare University which in the largest in Rwanda and take a town drive before retiring for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Barthos Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Hotel Faucon (Midrange/Standard) or Shalom Guest House (Budget/Basic).

Day 16: Transfer to Kigali City and visit the Gisozi genocide memorial

Following your breakfast at the lodge, embark on the transfer to Kigali city. Upon arrival, you will tour the Gisozi genocide memorial to pay tribute to the counts of Rwandese that lost their lives during the bloody genocide that befell the country in the year 1994. The Gisozi site is a collection of the remains of some of the victims. There is a detailed themed interpretation of the entire genocide occurrence. Retreat from the activity to mark the end of your safari.

End of safari