14 Day Uganda Rwanda Safari

Gorilla Tracking Trip, Uganda Rwanda Safari, Gorilla Families

14 Day Uganda Rwanda Safari: Golden Monkeys, Gorilla Tracking Trip, Chimp Habituation Expereince & Wildlfie Game Viewing Safari

Overview

Uganda is all about its friendly people and the diversity in landscapes and activities. This Uganda Rwanda Safari trip will show you the best of what Uganda and Rwanda has to offer. Chimpanzee and Golden monkey tracking in Kibale forest and Nyungwe forest one of the oldest forests in Africa! You will also go 2 times on Gorilla tracking in both Uganda and Rwanda. This tour is a unique experience for anyone who likes primates.

DAY 1: Entebbe

Arrive Entebbe airport, meet our staff and transfer to your hotel. Our staff will brief you about all the activities. Overnight will be at Anderita Beach Hotel, Papyrus Guesthouse Entebbe,, Gately Inn Entebbe

DAY 2: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park (5-6hrs)

You will have an early breakfast and drive to Murchison Falls National Park via the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will have the opportunity to trek the Rhinos. The sanctuary houses Uganda’s Rhino reintroduction project. There are 9 white rhinos and tracking is done on foot for 1 and half hours. You will continue to Masindi Town for lunch and later drive to Murchison Falls National Park. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking

  • Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge
  • Mid range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
  • Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chili
  • Meal Plan: Dinner

DAY 3: Game drive and Boat launch on the Nile

Incredible Uganda, Murchison Falls, Gorilla Trekking
You will wake up very early and set off at 6.30am for a sunrise game drive in the Nyamsika plateau to see the Cape buffaloes, Rothschild’s giraffes, Uganda kob, hartebeest and waterbucks. You may also spot oribi, bushbuck, Bohor reedbuck, shy sitatunga, bush duiker, warthog and bush pig plus large carnivores including lions, leopards and spotted hyenas. Chimpanzees and olive baboons head the list of six species of primates found in the park. Crocodiles and hippos will be seen along the banks of the Nile. Some of the more common birds that can be seen include goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill, cormorant, saddle-bill stork and the rare shoebill stork. You will return to your lodge for a late breakfast and some relaxation before you set off in the afternoon for a boat cruise on the placid Victoria Nile, upstream, to the base of the falls. En route you will see hippos, crocodiles, water buck and a wide variety of birds like the unusual shoebill stork. The boat stops just tens of meters from the “Devil’s Cauldron” for pictures to be taken of the photogenic and majestic Murchison Falls.

  • Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge/ Nile Safari Lodge
  • Mid range: Fort Murchison (in rooms)/ Murchison River Lodge
  • Budget: Fort Murchison in tents/ Murchison River Lodge in tents / Red Chili
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: Visit to the top of the fall and travel to Kibale Forest National Park

You will after your breakfast visit the “top of the thunderous Murchison falls”, where you will observe the River Nile squeezing itself in a 7 meter gorge before tumbling 40 meters down in a thunderous explosion and then flows down into a very peaceful river whose water banks are swarmed with a profusion of water and land animals as well as birds. You will thereafter set off on a 9 hour journey to Kibale Forest National Park.  The drive is through verdant countryside interpassing traditional homesteads and farms and via the towns of Hoima and Fort portal which rests in the shadow of the fabled Mountains of the Moon. You will have an opportunity to do a swamp walk upon reaching Kibale.  You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

  • Luxury: Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kyaninga lodge                                                                          
  • Moderate: Mountains of the moon/Kibale forest camp
  • Budget: Rwenzori travelers/Kibale forest camp/Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: Kibale – Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

Today we’ll accompany Kibale’s researchers in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to a “soft” habituation project with chimpanzees. You’ll learn to safely observe the chimps during their daily activities, so they get comfortable with human presence without changing their natural behaviors. You will be able to experience the chimp families as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed. Guided by biologists and researchers, we will enjoy unprecedented intimate access to these wild chimps for the entire day until they build their nests at bed time.

Chimpanzee Habituation in Kibale National Park

Chimpanzee in Kibale National Park

Kibale Forest hosts at least 1,500 chimpanzees out of the 4,950 found in Uganda, making this the largest concentration of chimps in Africa. The park is also home to 10 other primates including diurnal species like the Red Colobus Monkey, Blue Monkey, Red-tailed monkey, Gray Checked Mangabeys, and Vervet Monkey, as well as many other animals. Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

  • Luxury: Ndali lodge/Primate lodge/Kyaninga lodge                                                                          
  • Moderate: Mountains of the moon/Kibale forest camp
  • Budget: Rwenzori travelers/Kibale forest camp/Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: Mountains of the Moon, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mongoose Tracking

At 09:00 AM, we begin our drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, enjoying the majestic views en route of the snow-capped 16,000-foot Rwenzori Mountains – the famed “Mountains of the Moon”.

Queen Elizabeth National Park holds huge concentrations of wildlife including predators such as the famous tree-climbing Lions, Leopard, Serval cats and Spotted hyena. Other mammals include elephant, cape buffalo, hippo, a variety of antelope, warthog, giant forest hog and 10 species of primates including vervet monkeys, black and white colobus and olive baboon. The park’s bird species number more than 600, amongst the highest in Africa. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.

In the afternoon we’ll join a research team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority to track banded mongoose, a highly social mongoose which are closely related to the better known meerkat. As the research team embark on their daily monitoring activities, you are awarded plenty of time to observe the mongoose troupes as they normally go about life. See how they engage teamwork, hunt prey and defend each other. Observe family/group hierarchy among other amazingly interesting mongoose behaviors.

Like meerkats, each mongoose group or family sleeps together in a communal underground den, changing between den sites every 3-5 days. They emerge at sunrise and forage together in the morning and afternoon before returning to the den at sunset. Take as many photos as you wish before heading back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

  • Luxury Lodge: Mweya Safari Lodge: Katara Lodge/ Jacana Lodge 
  • Mid-range /moderate: Bush Lodge (in rooms) / Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge                                                                             
  • Budget facility: Kazinga Channel View Lodge/ Simba Safari Camp in tents/ Bush Lodge in tents  
  • Meal Plan: Lunch, Dinner.

DAY 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Game drive and Lion Experiential, Boat Safari

See a different face of the park as we venture off road with a research team to track lions and contribute to a valuable lion research project in the Ishasha Sector. The researchers’ Landcruiser is fitted with radio-collar-receiving equipment. You get a full briefing on the animals with opportunity for as much lion photography as you can manage.

After a leisurely lunch on the Mweya Peninsula we’ll enjoy a two hour boat safari along the Kazinga Channel. This affords the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray and buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.

  • Luxury Lodge: Mweya Safari Lodge: Katara Lodge/ Jacana Lodge 
  • Mid-range /moderate: Bush Lodge (in rooms) / Simba Safari Camp in rooms/ Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge/ Ihamba Safari Lodge     
  • Budget facility: Kazinga Channel View Lodge/ Simba Safari Camp in tents/ Bush Lodge in tents  
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

DAY 8: Queen Elizabeth / Ishasha – Tree Climbing Lions / Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After breakfast we drive further south through stunning savannah grasslands as we head to the southern sector of the park – Ishasha. This is the best area to see the famous tree-climbing lions draped from low hanging limbs of fig trees. Next we visit the Kob Mating Ground—a defined area specifically used by these stunning antelopes for challenging other males, enticing females and mating. Finally we’ll pass through beautiful savannah grasslands as we head towards the breathtaking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Ishasha Tree Climbing Lions, Queen Elizabeth National Park Safari

Ishasha Tree Climbing Lions, Queen Elizabeth National Park

While most of today’s forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi’s vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles for over 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 species of mammals including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi’s most famous resident, the mountain gorilla. Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics – species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.

  • Lower Budget: Buhoma community Rest camp / Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp / Travellers Rest Hotel Kisolo / Gorilla Valley Lodge
  • Moderate: Gorilla Resort Bwindi /Gorilla Safari Lodge / Silver Back Lodge / Lake Kitandara Camp / Chameleon Hill Lodge / Lake Mutanda Resort.
  • Up market: Mahogang Lodge / Buhoma Lodge / Rushanga Gorilla Satari Lodge.
  • Meal plan: Dinner.  

DAY 9: Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

We have an early morning entry into the mountain gorillas’ sanctuary. The rainforest is spectacular, and heavily vegetated with dense landscapes crisscrossed by numerous animal trails, allowing access for gorilla tracking teams. This park is best known for the fascinating gorillas, where the time taken gorilla tracking and terrain varies according to the movements of these fantastic apes.

Our intimate gorilla tracking experience allows to be accompanied by the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Bwindi gorilla habituation team for the entire day, allowing you to have a minimum 4 hours in the presence of a mountain gorilla family – since regular permits only allow 1 hour, this is 4 times the amount of time spent up close with Gorillas – more than any other safari operator!  During this time you will be able to experience the gorilla family as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed until they build their nests at bed time.

The thrill of spending time with and observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving adventure that will leave you with long lasting memories. Spending more time with them than the norm means you are assured of the best possible experience, with 4 full hours for better photography, researcher access for more questions, and enough time to experience more intimate and unusual behaviors. The gorillas are shy and peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact with each other.

The gorilla tracking activity can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. Once the gorillas are sighted, you will be guided to within 6 meters of the gorillas, and be able to sit all around them while gazing into their big round eyes as the researchers note health, behavior and other characteristics. Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

  • Lower Budget: Buhoma community Rest camp / Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp / Travellers Rest Hotel Kisolo / Gorilla Valley Lodge
  • Moderate: Gorilla Resort Bwindi /Gorilla Safari Lodge / Silver Back Lodge / Lake Kitandara Camp / Chameleon Hill Lodge / Lake Mutanda Resort.
  • Up market: Mahogang Lodge / Buhoma Lodge / Rushanga Gorilla Satari Lodge.
  • Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner. 

Day 10: Golden Monkey Habituation in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
After breakfast transfer to the Mgahinga National Park headquarters for briefing and later begin the hike over the volcanic terrain in search for Golden Monkeys in the bamboo forests. Mgahinga National Park shares boarders with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo. The park is also the most scenic as it stands at three volcanoes of Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo.

Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

  • Budget: Mount Gahinga Rest Camp or The Travellers Rest
  • Meal Plan: Lunch, Dinner. 

Day 11: To Volcanoes National Park

Today you shall drive northeast to the town of Musanze close to the Virunga Volcano range. This beautiful area represents the gateway to the gorilla tracking.

Your lodge for tonight is located near the national park. The spacious rooms are nicely decorated and will give you a homely feeling. You can warm yourself at the fireplace in the restaurant area. From here you will start your Gorilla tracking tomorrow.

  • Luxury lodge (Up-market): Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Gorillas Nest Lodge
  • Moderate: La Palme Hotel or Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge
  • Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House or Muhavura Lodge.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Second Golden Monkey Tracking in Volcanoes National Park

Golden monkeys trekking takes place in Volcanoes national park and at the same time 7:00 just like gorillas. These rare species are also listed as endangered – and Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkeys troops that are available for visiting by tourists in the park, both of which make about 80 members.

Golden Monkey Habituation in Mgahinga National Park

Golden Monkey in Mgahinga National Park

Golden monkeys in Rwanda live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and habituation has helped them to overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.

Trekking golden monkeys and gorillas is a similar experience – in a small group of no more than eight people, and you can spend one hour with the monkeys once you find them.

They are very active creatures, and jump from tree to tree which is really interesting and a little difficult to photograph!
The golden monkey trek is worth going for while in Volcanoes National Park and if you’re interested in wildlife, this is a rare and delightful experience not to be missed! Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

  • Luxury lodge (Up-market): Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Gorillas Nest Lodge
  • Moderate: La Palme Hotel or Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge
  • Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House or Muhavura Lodge.
  • Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Second Gorilla Tracking

Today you will start early! From the lodge, you drive into the park about 30 minutes to the Office Rwandais du Tourisme et Des Parc Nationaux (ORTPN). The head ranger of the ORTPN will divide you into groups based on interest and fitness. From here your driver/guide will take you as close as possible to the starting point of your tracking.

Today you will track one of the habituated Gorilla groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. The time taken to track the gorillas can take as little as half an hour to as much as 8 hours!

Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorillas’ current location. Your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Once the gorillas have been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Rwanda’s own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

  • Luxury lodge (Up-market): Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Gorillas Nest Lodge
  • Moderate: La Palme Hotel or Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge
  • Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House or Muhavura Lodge.
  • Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Departure

Today after a relaxed breakfast you shall be transferred by your driver/guide back to Kigali. Depending on your departure flight you can visit the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, which opened in 2004. It’s a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant Children’s Memorial, and a detailed description of the darkest hour in Rwanda’s recent history in time to catch your flight back home.

Your driver/guide will take you to the airport in time for your flight home. Sadly, this is where you say goodbye to Rwanda.

Enquire about this safari now!

%d bloggers like this: