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Home » Uganda Rwanda Safaris: Gorillas, Wildlife & Community Trips » 12 Days Rwanda Uganda Safari, Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife Viewing Safari Tour

12 Days Rwanda Uganda Safari, Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife Viewing Safari Tour

12 Days Rwanda Uganda Safari – Overview.

12 days Rwanda Uganda safari tour is a 11 nights/12 days Uganda Rwanda safari trip offering double gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. This Uganda Rwanda safari starts in Kigali – Rwanda and ends in Kampala – Uganda.

The 12 days Uganda Rwanda safari trip will take you for the chimpanzee trekking experience of Nyungwe together with its famous canopy walk which is the first of its kind in East Africa and the third in Africa, recreational encounters on Lake Kivu, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes, and Bwindi National parks, wild game viewing including tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, scenic drives through the crater area, cultural encounters at Igongo cultural Museum and 1520 AD eclipse monument and horseback safaris in Lake Mburo National Park.

12 Days Rwanda Uganda Safari – Highlight.

  • Day 1: Do Kigali city tour.
  • Day 2: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park.
  • Day 3: Do chimpanzee trekking & canopy walk.
  • Day 4: Transfer to Lake Kivu (Gisenyi area).
  • Day 5: Encounter Lake Kivu & transfer to Volcanoes National Park.
  • Day 6: Do Gorilla trekking.
  • Day 7: Do Batwa heritage trail & transfer to Bwindi National Park.
  • Day 8: Do gorilla trekking.
  • Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & do a boat cruise.
  • Day 10: Do game drive & crater area drive.
  • Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo & visit Igongo cultural center en route.
  • Day 12: Do horseback safari & transfer to Kampala.

12 Days Rwanda Uganda Safari – Detailed Itinerary.

Day 1: Do Kigali City Tour

Kigali – the capital of Rwanda is a lush city free of traffic and pollutant noise. It is a cozy environment that one may not expect in African cities.

In its calmness, it has got rich heritage which is highly shaped by the effects of the 1994 genocide. After breakfast, you will embark on the tour of this city visiting sites like the Gisozi genocide memorial, presidential Palace museum which was the home of the then president Juvenal Habyarimana who lost his dear life in a plane crash, and the remains of Falcon 50 lay in the compound to justify this tragedy.

The tour also takes you to tour the Natural History Museum, craft centers in Kigali, Kigali down town, Hotel Des Milles Collines – the scene for the movie Hotel Rwanda among other Kigali city landscapes.

Accommodation: Kigali Serena Hotel (Upmarket/luxury), Hotel Chez Lando (Mid-range/standard) or Murugo Rwanda Hostel (Budget/basic).

Day 2: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Nyungwe forest National Park 268km about 6 hours’ drive excluding stops en route.

The journey passes through the farmed landscapes of southern Rwanda with stops in Butare to visit the ethnographic museum, Nyanza palace, and Murambi genocide memorial site.

You will have lunch en route in Butare before proceeding on your journey to Nyungwe Forest in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel (Mid-range/Basic) or Gisakura Guest House (Budget/Basic).

Day 3: Do Chimpanzee Trekking & Canopy Walk

After breakfast, embark on the Chimpanzee trekking experience that starts at 08:00 am. You will set off to the montane forest of Nyungwe which is praised to be among those few forests that survived the last ice age in search of man’s close relative – the common chimpanzee.

The 2 -5 hours trek is very interesting as it involves passing through the jungle, hiking steep landscapes, and descending on the same terrain amidst bird sights and other wildlife including monkeys.

Upon encountering Chimpanzees, you will marvel at their intelligent tactics, how they gather fruit, swing in tree branches, socialize, and their general characteristics for one full hour.

After this, you will return to the lodge for relaxation. In the afternoon, you will embark on the rewarding Nyungwe canopy walk that takes you through the views of the Nyungwe forest canopy that is filled with birds and primate species like monkeys.

The 90m long and 40m high Nyungwe canopy is an exciting adventure to undertake on Rwanda safari.

Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 4: Transfer to Lake Kivu (Gisenyi Area)

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Lake Kivu (Gisenyi area) 294km about 6 – 7 hours’ drive from Nyungwe Forest National Park.

The drive takes you along the scenic views of Lake Kivu that stretch from Cyangungu through Kibuye town up to Gisenyi to the north.

The farmed hillsides of Rwanda and the views of the Nile Congo divide reward you with great scenic views en route. You will have lunch en route and arrive in Gisenyi in the evening for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (Upmarket/luxury), Hotel Gorillas Lake Kivu (Mid-range / standard) or Paladise Malahide (Budget/Basic).

Day 5: Encounter Lake Kivu & Transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Wake up for a relaxed breakfast on the shores of Lake Kivu – the largest water body in Rwanda. The calm waters of Lake Kivu that are free from crocodiles, hippos, Bilharzia, and gas outbursts provide a basis for a range of recreational activities.

Activities include; swimming, water sports like Kayaking, windsurfing, catamaran and Jet ski, boat cruise, cycling, hiking among others.

You have all the chances of participating in any of these activities. In the evening drive to Volcanoes National Park 110km about 2 hours from Gisenyi.

Accommodation: Mount Gorilla View Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), La Palme Hotel (Mid-range/Standard) or Muhabura Hotel (Budget/Basic).

Day 6: Do Gorilla Trekking

Wake up very early for breakfast such that by 8:00 am, you are already at the park headquarters –Kinigi for briefing and eventual gorilla trekking experience.

During this session, you are allocated to a gorilla family to track, and if, with a special case, rangers can be consulted for special arrangements.

You will head off to the volcanic lush vegetation in search of gorillas. The trek is quite thrilling as you go through amazing landscapes amidst bird sights and other wildlife crossings including monkeys, wild pigs, and if lucky wild elephants.

The trek takes 2 – 8 hours as gorillas are unpredictable thus packed lunch is required. The jungle sounds will accompany you up to that long waited moment of direct contact with gorillas.

You will see them as they forage, play, socialize, and sometimes charge. The state of wonder that will engulf your heart could leave your camera film with no space for other encounters.

The full one hour is enough to optimize this experience after which you will retreat to the starting point to embark on the transfer to Uganda – Mgahinga National Park.

Accommodation: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Mucha Lodge (Mid-range/standard) or Amajambere iwachu camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 7: Do Batwa Heritage Trail & Transfer to Bwindi National Park

After breakfast, set off for the Batwa heritage trail a half-day activity that takes you through the forests of Mgahinga in the company of the indigenous Batwa guides as they interpret every forest landscape and what it meant in their traditional life. T

he hike stretches up to the Garama cave the ancient dwelling of the Batwa – one can call it their capital in the forest of Mgahinga volcanoes.

The cave is a natural shelter that always provided a refugee for the Batwa in times of danger. You will listen to the sorrowful songs being sung by the Batwa women taking you through the course of their tradition; it is a rich taste of the fading typical African culture.

Return from this activity and embark on the transfer to Bwindi. You will pass by Lake Mutanda for amazing scenic views of this lava dammed lake and the Virunga Volcanoes where the three countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo inter-join.

Accommodation: Chameleon hill (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Valley Lodge (Mid-range/standard) or Wagtail (Budget/Basic).

Day 8: Do Gorilla Trekking

The second gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi, Uganda offers a different experience from that of Rwanda. The terrain involved and the environment make it a different encounter altogether.

You will wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at the Park headquarters Rushaga for briefing at 08:00 about the conduct of gorilla trekking.

You will head to the forest after briefing in search of these apes and though the trek is a bit challenging, it is one of those activities that you will never forget to have done in Uganda.

The 2 – 8 hours activity involves hiking up the hills, descending down the valleys, walking through swamps, and maneuvering the way through thickets that have formed the background of this Impenetrable forest before coming in direct contact with gorillas.

The one full hour is at your disposal to maximize your experience with gorillas as you they forage, play, socialize, and also gaze at you in a sign of welcoming and saying goodbye.

The experience is a rewarding and worthy undertaking. Your picnic lunch will take you through the activity after which you will descend to the lodge for relaxation.

In the evening, you can visit the communities in the Rubuguri area to have a taste of the surrounding people.

Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & do Boat Cruise:

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 309km from Rushaga (Bwindi).

The early departure will help you arrive in Ishasha in the mid-morning to have chances to see tree climbing lions lying on tree branches.

Continue to Mweya for an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. Starting at 3:00 pm, the 2-hour boat trip exposes you to a range of water birds, aquatic animals like Nile crocodiles and Hippos, wild game drinking on the channel side including elephants, buffaloes, and antelopes. Retire in the evening for overnight.

Accommodation: Mweya safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Lodge (Mid-range/standard) or Simba safari Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 10: Do Game Drive & Crater Area Drive

Wake up very for a cup of coffee before setting off for the game drive activity in the Savannah game park of Queen Elizabeth.

The early departure at 06:00 gives you an opportunity to see night hunters like hyenas getting back to their hiding places and early risers setting off to look for what to eat.

The drive through the Kasenyi tracks gives a probable opportunity to see a range of games including; Lions, buffalo, elephants, elusive leopard (if too lucky), antelopes among other wildlife.

Return to the lodge after this 3 -4 hour game drive and relax till lunchtime. After lunch, you will embark on the crater drive in the afternoon for amazing scenic viewing.

The range of explosion craters lay in a sequence justifying the work of the earth processes that characterized the area.

Crater lakes like Lake Nyamunuka, Lake Murumuli, and Lake Kitagata can be seen on this drive. Retreat for overnight.

Accommodation: You will have dinner & overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 11: Transfer to Lake Mburo & Visit Igongo Cultural Center En route

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Lake Mburo National Park 180km about 4 hours’ drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park.

You will stop en route at Igongo Cultural center 12km from Mbarara town for lunch and paying a visit to the Igongo’s Erijukiro cultural museum to have a look at different collections (artifacts) from all tribes of South Western Uganda.

The amazing works of art and the craft shop will make this stop interesting. You can also visit the 1520 AD eclipse monument which commemorates the total eclipse that befell Ankole during that time. You will continue on your drive for the next 33km to Lake Mburo National Park for overnight.

Accommodation: Mihingo Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Mid-range/standard) or Eagles Nest (Budget/Budget).

Day 12: Do Horseback Safari & Transfer to Kampala.

Wake up early for a horseback safari within the park. Options range from ½ hour to 1hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours with picnic breakfast.

You will enjoy this ride in the famous Warukiri valley in the company of well-informed guides and instructors.

The horse ride safari offers you a great opportunity to draw closer to wild game than when in a safari vehicle. Animals like Buffaloes, Impala, Zebra, Bush-bucks, Topi, Eland may be seen on this activity.

Return to the lodge for short relaxation after which you will embark on the return journey to Kampala 240km about 3 – 4 hours excluding stops en route.

On this journey, you make a stop at the equator to participate in the water experiments that will make you believe the dividing line between the southern and northern hemispheres.

The site is also good for photography. Continue for the next 77km to arrive in Kampala city in the evening.

End of The 12 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Safari.

Getting There

Safari Inclusions

Airport transfers Transportation by safari van Accommodation and meals as per itinerary Gorilla permits, one per person to be paid in advance Driver allowances En-route lunches Visit the equator and igongo cultural Center.

Safari Exclusions

personal nature expenses of excludes: laundry, tips to local guides, telephone, porter fee while trekking, Air fare, Visa, drinks, personal insurance, personal shopping bills and cigarettes.