17 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari

Overview:book-now-wildgorilla

The 17 Days Uganda Rwanda safari is a comprehensive package that starts in Uganda – Kampala and ends in Kigali – Rwanda. It involves rewarding encounters in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary that goes beyond Rhinos to nature walks and shoe bill canoe ride, Murchison Falls National Park with its rich game including giraffe, elephants, Jackson Hartebeest, Kobs, lions, among other wildlife, its powerful falls, the relaxing boat trip on River Nile up to the bottom of the falls, full day Chimpanzee habituation in Kibale Forest National Park alongside other 12 primate species, wild game encounters and relaxing boat trip in Queen Elizabeth National Park not forgetting tree climbing lions of Ishasha, recreational boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi to explore its 29 islands, double gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi and Rwanda’s Volcanoes with each generating a complete different experience, Colobus monkey tracking and Nyungwe canopy walk in Nyungwe forest – the largest mountain forest in East and Central Africa. Cultural encounters are incorporated to give a true taste of African tradition.

  • Safari Highlights
  • Safari day by day

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda
Day 2: Transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Day 3: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park & hike the top of the falls
Day 4: Game drive & boat cruise
Day 5: Drive to Kibale National Park
Day 6: Chimpanzee habituation
Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park & have Crater Lake drive
Day 8: Do game drive & afternoon boat drive
Day 9: Transfer to Ishasha (tree climbing lions) & do community walk.
Day 10: Transfer to Bwindi & do Buhoma village walk
Day 11: Do gorilla trekking
Day 12: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi & do boat cruise
Day 13: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park & visit the iby’wachu cultural village
Day 14: Do gorilla trekking
Day 15: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Day 16: Do Colobus Monkey tracking & do Canopy walk
Day 17: Transfer to Kigali city.

Day 1: Arrive in Uganda

Arrive in Uganda after your long or short haul flight. The main gateway – Entebbe International Airport is located on the Lake Victoria Peninsular with great views of the largest fresh water lake in Africa and second in the world. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our friendly guide who will transfer you to your respective hotel for relaxation and overnight. If it is an early arrival, you can take a city tour of Kampala city.

Accommodation: Kampala Serena Hotel (Upmarket/luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Buziga Country Resort (Budget/Basic).

Day 2: Transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

After breakfast at your hotel, embark on the transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary 182 km from Kampala. You will drive through the flat landscapes of Nakasongora area before branching off from the main road at Nakitoma to Ziwa. Upon arrival, you will embark on the on foot Rhino tracking where you will traverse the savannah landscapes of Ziwa before approaching this magnificent huge African game that only exist here in Uganda. The activity takes 2 – 3 hours and you can have a picnic lunch. Relax for a while after which you will embark on the evening nature walk which takes 2 hours starting at 16pm.

Accommodation: Amuka Lodge (Midrange/standard), Rhino Guest house (Budget/Basic).

Day 3: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park & hike the top of the falls

Wake up very early to take a shoebill canoe ride starting at 06am and stretching to 3 – 4 hours. You will enjoy the stunning views of the shoebill stork which is considered rare and endangered. The early morning canoe ride also exposes you to a range of water birds but more importantly the stunning sun rise views of the Lugogo swamp. It is a typical dawn in the real African marsh. Return to the lodge for breakfast and embark on the drive to Murchison falls National Park 135km about 2 -3 hours’ drive. You will make a stop in Masindi for lunch after which you will embark on the drive to Murchison. Upon arrival, you will hike the top of the falls to gain the great scenic views of Murchison falls as the Nile River makes its way through this 8m gorge falling 43m below to what has been termed as the Devils Cauldron. The roaring sound that surround the great plume of spray marked with a trade mark rainbow makes this site on of the great encounters you will ever have on your safari journeys.

Accommodation: Paraa Safari Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Murchison River Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Red Chili Rest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 4: Game drive & boat cruise

Wake up very early for a cup of coffee and then head to Paraa ferry crossing at 7:00am to the northern sector of the Park where game drives are carried out. The possible sights of various wildlife including; elephants, buffalo, Jackson hartebeest, Kobs, lion, leopard, giraffe among other wildlife will leave you with a taste of African savannah wilderness. The activity takes 3 – 4 hours after which you will return to the Paraa ferry crossing at 11:00am to go back to your lodge for relaxation and memory sharing. After your stimulating lunch, gather at the Paraa for an after boat cruise on the Nile at 02:00pm. This boat trip has got captains and guides who have cruised on this waters for years and will be glad to share with every piece of information that you would wish to gather on this trip including any bird species and wildlife both aquatic and land that might present its self. The shoebill stork can be luckily seen on this boat while the great sights of Nile crocodiles – the second largest reptile in the world and the Hippos would make up your trip up to the base of the falls. The boat takes 3 hours after which you will have marked the end of your day’s adventures.

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

Day 5: Drive to Kibale National Park

The drive to Kibale National Park is not an ordinary journey; it involves driving through the lush country side dotted by amazing features of earth movements including the Albertine rift valley. The farmed landscapes bring out the typical African villages that you have always heard of or wished to see on your safari like this safari in Uganda. Kibale is 441km about 9 hours’ drive from Murchison Falls National Park. The lunch stop will be made in Hoima town dubbed the oil city and continuous drive will see you arrive in Fort Portal and Kibale in particular in the evening overlooking the mystical Ruwenzori Mountains famously known as the mountains of the moon.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Chimpanzee guesthouse (Midrange/standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 6: Chimpanzee habituation

After taking a heavy early breakfast, you will gather at Kanyanchu Tourism Centre at 06:00am to set off for the full day Chimpanzee habituation experience. Unlike Chimpanzee trekking which involves one hour encounter with chimps, the chimpanzee habituation takes full day as you will have chances of seeing chimps as they get out of their nests, setting out to feed, watch their social moments, playful tactics, and their amazing sounds until they form new nests in the evening for overnight. It is a comprehensive Chimpanzee encounter that you can have while on safari in Uganda.

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

Day 7: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park & have Crater Lake drive

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 157km about 4 hours’ drive from Kibale. The journey offers the scenic views of the magical Mountains of the moon that stand high up in the clouds at an elevation of 5,109m above sea level towards the west. You will arrive in Queen Elizabeth National park early for lunch after which 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.

Accommodation: Mweya safari lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi lodge (Midrange/standard) or Simba safari camp (Budget/basic).

Day 8: Do game drive & afternoon boat drive

Wake up very for a cup of coffee before setting of 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 hynas 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 game 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 lunch time. After lunch, you will gather at Mweya for a recreational afternoon launch cruise leaving at 03:00pm taking 2 hours exploring the magical offerings of Kazinga Channel including the sights of water birds and wild game drinking on the channel side, the Nile crocodile and the Hippos. The 45m channel that stretches from Lake George to Lake Edward has tranquil waters that always give pleasure and psychological satisfaction to any traveller on Uganda safaris. Retire from the boat at 5 pm for overnight.

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

Day 9: Transfer to Ishasha (tree climbing lions) & do community walk.

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to the tree climbing lions haven of Ishasha in the south of Queen Elizabeth 97km about 3 hours’ drive from Mweya. You will arrive in the midmorning and drive through the Ishasha wilderness in search of tree climbing lions that tend to rest in tree branches in the midmorning sun. The encounter is very thrilling as it one of those rare activities that you can have in a lifetime. Have lunch in Ishasha and relax for a while. In the evening, you will take a community tour to the Ishasha community uplift group to learn how the local people have positioned themselves to develop sustainable livelihoods around the park. The local traditions are also still alive. Retreat for overnight.

Accommodation: Ishasha Wilderness Camp (Upmarket/luxury), Savannah Resort Hotel (Midrange/standard) or @the river Ishasha (Budget/Basic).

Day 10: Transfer to Bwindi & do Buhoma village walk

After breakfast, embark on the drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 63 km about 2 hours’ drive from Ishasha. You will arrive early for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, you will undertake the Buhoma village walks to immerse deeper into the cultures of Uganda. You will enjoy the local methods of farming, banana plantations, traditional homesteads, local craft centers and attend the traditional performances of both the Batwa and the Bakiga. Retire for overnight.

Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp (Upmarket/luxury), Engagi Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Bwindi View Bandas (Budget/Basic).

Day 11: Do gorilla trekking

It is this long waited date when you will come across the critically endangered mountain gorillas that only exist in Bwindi and Virunga Volcanoes. You will wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at the Park headquarters Buhoma 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 which 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 them forage, play, socialize and also gaze at you in a sign of welcoming and saying good bye. The experience is rewarding and worthy undertaking. Your picnic lunch will take you through the activity after which you will descend back to your lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your lodge

Day 12: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi & do boat cruise

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Lake Bunyonyi 122km about 3 hours’ drive. You will arrive in the mid-morning and embark on 5 – 6 hour boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi which has been labeled the lake of a thousand islands. The Lake Bunyonyi encounter is designed to maximize your relaxation and is entirely recreational which will allow you recap all the memories that you have so far gathered on this safari. The tranquil waters of the lake and the surrounding views of Kigezi highlands dubbed the Switzerland of Africa combine to make this day a total complete experience. Other options include; hiking, mountain biking, swimming and community tours before resting for overnight.

Accommodation: Birdnest@Lake Bunyonyi resort (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Midrange/standard) or Byoona Amagara (Budget/Basic).

Day 13: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park & visit the iby’wachu cultural village

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park 120km about 3 – 4 hours’ drive from Lake Bunyonyi. You will traverse through the amazing views of Virunga volcanoes where three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo adjoin. You will arrive early for lunch after which you will visit the iby’wachu cultural village where the traditions of Rwanda are explored in detail. You will be given a guided community walk through homesteads, royal huts featuring the traditional architecture, practices like King coronation – remember you can be crowned an African King for minutes, local cuisine and art and craft. Return to the lodge for overnight.

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

Day 14: Do gorilla trekking

Wake up very early for breakfast such that by 8:00am, 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 arrangement. 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 crossing 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 drive to your lodge for relaxation. If time permits, you can go for a caves walk in the evening to wonder about the structure of these natural houses.

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

Day 15: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park

After breakfast, embark on this long journey drive to Chimp trekking haven of Nyungwe National Park 338km about 9 hours’ drive from Volcanoes National Park. The drive involves amazing scenic views of Lake Kivu en route and farmed hill sides of Rwanda. You will have lunch en route and arrive in Nyungwe National Park in the evening for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Hotel (Upmarket/luxury), Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel (Midrange/standard) or Gisakura guest House (Budget/Basic).

Day 16: Do Colobus Monkey tracking & do Canopy walk

After breakfast, set off for colobus monkey tracking in Nyungwe forest where you have chances of encountering the largest grouping of colobus monkeys in Africa. The colobus monkeys appear in their white and black coat and their appearance makes them unique and worth of trekking. The colobuas monkey tracking on Rwanda safari is beyond colobus monkeys as it involves trekking through the jungle full of birds and other wildlife species, the raising landscape of this mountain forest add spice to this colobus monkey tracking experience. It takes 2 – 5 hours and involves one full hour encounter with Colobus monkeys. 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 17: Transfer to Kigali city.

After breakfast, embark on the drive to Kigali city 268km about 6 hours’ drive excluding stops en route. You will stop en route in Butare for lunch and visit the Nyanza palace and Butare Ethnographic museum after which you continue on your drive to Kigali city.

End of safari:book-now-wildgorilla

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