8 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari Gorilla Trekking & wildlife trip is a package that is designed to offer you an opportunity to explore primates, wildlife, and scenery in Uganda and Rwanda. The trip starts in Kampala – Uganda and ends in Kigali – Rwanda. You undertake a Chimpanzee trekking experience in Kibale National Park where you have chances to encounter the largest populations of habituated chimpanzees in the region alongside other 12 species of primate, Bigodi wetland walk for birds and swamp animals like Sitatunga, rewarding game drive, and boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park where you have chances of encountering lions, buffaloes, elephants, Antelopes, Hippos and Nile crocodiles in Kazinga Channel and a wider pool of birds. The double gorilla trekking in Uganda‘s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and in Rwanda`s Volcanoes National Park will give you a different taste of trekking these critically endangered apes in different terrain and environment. The mixture of these safari products qualifies this Uganda Rwanda trip-worthy undertaking.
Day 1: Transfer to Kibale National Park
Day 2: Do Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi wetland encounter
Day 3: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & do crater drive
Day 4: Do game drive & boat cruise
Day 5: Transfer to Bwindi & visit tree climbing lions en route.
Day 6: Do gorilla trekking
Day 7: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park & caves walk
Day 8: Do gorilla trekking & transfer to Kigali city.
After breakfast, embark on the drive to Kibale National Park 358km about 7 hours’ drive from Kampala. You will enjoy the scenic views of the farmed hillsides of Uganda not forgetting the views of Mubende inselbergs and unclear views of Lake Wamala. You will have a stop in Mubende for lunch and to visit the Nakayima tree an ancient Chwezi heritage site that has turned into a worshiping shrine for the locals. Continue on your drive to Kibale and arrive in the afternoon for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Chimpanzee guesthouse (Mid-range/standard), or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).
Wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at Kanyanchu tourism center at 08:00 am for a short briefing after which you will head to the forest in quest of Chimpanzees – the man’s closest relative. The trek involves passing through the jungle of Kibale dubbed the primate capital of the world with over 13 species of primates some of which you will luckily come across during your Chimpanzee trekking including colobus monkey, vervet monkey, olive baboon, Red-tailed monkey among others. The enchanting songs of Birds will keep you entertained in this 2 – 5 hour trek. One full hour is at your disposal to explore the Chimpanzees in detail and ascertain the external considerations as to why they are dubbed man’s close relative. Watch them as they eat fruits, play, socialize and swing in tree branches as you take as many photos as you can. Return to the center after having had your picnic lunch. Encounter Bigodi wetland sanctuary in the afternoon to take the rewarding swamp walk with amazing bird sights including the Rwenzori Turaco and swamp animals like Sitatunga. The communities around Bigodi offer a close touch of tourist–host interaction.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 157km about 4 hours’ drive from Kibale. The journey offers 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 (Mid-range/standard), or Simba safari camp (Budget/basic).
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 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 lunchtime. After lunch, you will gather at Mweya for a recreational afternoon launch cruise leaving at 03:00 pm taking 2 hours exploring the magical offerings of Kazinga Channel including the sights of water birds and wild game drinking on the channel side, 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 traveler on Uganda safaris. Retire from the boat at 5 pm overnight.
Accommodation: You will have dinner and overnight at your previous lodge.
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to the gorilla trekking haven of Bwindi (Rushaga) 309km about 7 – 8 hours’ drive from Mweya. You will pass through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park where you have chances of spotting tree climbing lions lying on tree branches in the mid-morning warm sunshine. Proceed to Bwindi in the evening and check to your lodge for relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation: Chameleon hill (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Valley Lodge (Mid-range/standard) or Wagtail (Budget/Basic).
It is this long waited for the 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 Rushaga for a 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.
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Volcanoes National Park 93km from Rushaga. You will drive along with the stunning views of Virunga Volcanoes that connect the three countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The scenic views of Lake Mutanda – re-known lava dammed lake gives you the taste of the influence of volcanic activity in the formation of land form features. Continue on the drive to arrive in Volcanoes National Park for lunch and short relaxation after which you take on a caves walk activity to marvel at this natural feature with great historical significance in traditional Rwanda as they provided a refugee for the Kings and storage for supplies during times of war. Retreat for overnight.
Accommodation: Mountain View Gorilla Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), La Palme Hotel (Mid-range/standard) or Muhabura Hotel (Budget/Basic).
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 another 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 embark on your 116km journey about 3 hours’ drive to Kigali city to mark the end of this safari.