18 Days Magnificent Uganda – Rwanda Tour

The Magnificent Uganda - Rwanda Tour - African Valley

The Magnificent Uganda – Rwanda Tour

Overview

This 18-day Uganda and Rwanda tour takes you to the most prized game parks and tourist hot spots in the region namely Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Bunyonyi, Parc National de Volcanoes in Rwanda, Lake Kivu, and Lake Mburo National Park. In these parks and tourist places you will enjoy fantastic game drives and boat launches, memorable primate encounters, nature walks and beautiful scenery. The tour does not miss out on the memorial sites in Kigali and an experience at the Equator.

Exquisite and evocative, East Africa’s mountain gorilla troops always dance to their own beat. Each is different, and showcase contrasts in size, social structure, behavior, and emotion. On this luxury gorilla trekking safari, you will visit three distinctive troops in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. With luxurious accommodation perched high above the canopy, this is an immersive 17-night itinerary is full of gorilla subtleties and wildlife complexities.

Safari Highlights

  • Game drive in Murchison Falls National Park
  • Boat launch on the Nile River
  • Chimp trek in Kibale forest National Park
  • Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Boat launch on Kazinga channel
  • Boat ride and nature walk around Lake Bunyonyi
  • Gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park
  • Boat cruise on Lake Kivu
  • Cultural exposure at Iby’wachu Village
  • Visit to the Memorial sites in Kigali
  • Game drive and boat cruise on Lake Mburo
  • Equator experience

Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Uganda

You will be met at Entebbe Airport by our safari guide who will transfer you to the hotel reserved for you in Kampala. Dinner and overnight will be at this hotel.

Day 2: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park

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. The entire journey takes 6-7 hours. 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 in Murchison Park and Boat launch on the Nile

You will have an early start (6.30am) and set off at 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 as well as various species of birds. You will return to your lodge for a late breakfast and some relaxation before setting off in the afternoon for a boat cruise on the placid Victoria Nile 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 dotted with 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 dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

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

Day 5: Chimp trekking and nature walk in Kibale Forest
After breakfast you will report at the Kanyanchu Tourist Centre at 08.00 am for a briefing on the rules of chimpanzee tracking. Kibale Forest National Park has the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the Chimpanzee, a very delightful ape. The trek takes 2-3 hours and it will provide you with the opportunity to see a variety of other primates and animals as well as birds, and a variety of butterflies.  You will after the trek transfer to Queen Elizabeth national Park. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking.

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

Day 6: Game drive and boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park

After your morning breakfast, you will have an early morning Game drive where you will see the lion, leopard, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephant, defassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, topi and bushbuck among others. You will return to your lodge for lunch and in the afternoon go for a 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This is a 42km channel that joins Lake Edward and Lake George. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful, with well over 550 resident species. Dinner and overnight will be spent at your reserved lodge.

  • 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: Travel to Lake Bunyonyi
You will have breakfast and then drive to Lake Bunyonyi. The lake lies close to the border with Rwanda, and is said to be one of the most beautiful places in western Uganda. It is the second deepest lake in Africa and also one of the few places in the country where it is considered safe to swim as it is bilharzias free. The journey takes 6-7 hours and you will have your lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight will be at one of the many lodges near the lake.

  • Lower: Bushara Island Camp
  • Moderate: Bird’s Nest 
  • Up-market: Bird’s Nest/ Archadia Cottage
  • Meal Plan: Dinner

Day 8: Boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Lake Bunyonyi has 26 islands which can be explored on boat. These islands are surrounded by the magical Kigezi highlands whose terrain and the level of their temperature has justified them as the Switzerland of Africa. The 5 – 6 hour boat ride offers you impressive views of the Lake flora and various bird species on the shores. Along the shores are the local Bakiga and Batwa communities that will be amazing to interact with and learn about their history, culture and traditions. You will thereafter travel to Volcanoes National Park. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your 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: Dinner 

Day 9: Gorilla tracking
You will have an early breakfast and be driven to Park headquarters at Kinigi to join other tourists for a briefing on Gorilla tracking at 08:00am. You will, after the briefing, be divided into groups of 8 persons and allocated guides to lead you into the forest in search for the respective Mountain Gorilla families.  The trekking may last for 2 –5 hours and upon encountering the gorillas you will be allowed to stay with them for a maximum of one hour. You will return to the hotel for lunch and in afternoon be taken to either visit the Iby’wachu cultural village to learn about the Kinyarwanda culture or take a nature walk to the twin lakes. You will spend the night at your previous lodge.

  • 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 10: Travel to Lake Kivu, Boat cruise

You will, after breakfast, go for a boat cruise on Lake Kivu to see water animals such as crocodiles and hippos as well as birds endemic to this region. You will meet the fishermen who will explain to you how they go about their trade and allow you to participate in the fishing. You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

  • Budget: Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Drive to Kigali

You will have an early breakfast after and embark on the 116 km journey of 3 hours to the city of Kigali for a city tour. You will visit the Kigali Genocide memorial site, the Nyamata church, and the Presidential Palace Museum before retiring to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

  • Budget facility:  Step cape Motel
  • Meal plan: Dinner

Day 12: Travel to Lake Mburo

You will have an early breakfast and cross back into Uganda. You will go to Lake Mburo National Park centered on a series of swamp-fringed lakes rich in bird life while its green acacia woodland harbors wildlife like the Zebra, warthog, Elands, Impala among others. You will have lunch in Mbarara town and continue the drive to the park. In the afternoon you will go for a 2 hour boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to the water animals that include crocodiles and hippos. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

  • Luxury: Mihingo Lodge/ Mantana Lake Mburo Camp/ Arcadia Cottages
  • Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/ Rakobo Rock
  • Budget: Eagles Nest Camp
  • Meal Plan: Dinner

Day 13: Game drive & nature walk in Mburo park

You will take an early morning game drive through the park in search of plain game like zebra, hippos, crocodiles, eland, antelope, impala and a variety of birds. You will return to your lodge for breakfast and then take a guided nature walk in the park. This walk takes you to the Salt Lick Area which offers a chance to see at least four different species of animals at one point while they lick the salty soil. You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

  • Luxury: Mihingo Lodge/ Mantana Lake Mburo Camp/ Arcadia Cottages 
  • Moderate: Lake Mburo Safari Lodge/ Rakobo Rock
  • Budget: Eagles Nest Camp
  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Travel to Kampala

You will have breakfast and set off on your return journey to Kampala. You will have a stopover at the Equator where you will have an opportunity to stand in two hemispheres at the same time and take some photos. You will arrive in Kampala in the late afternoon for a well deserved overnight rest.

Day 18: Transfer to Entebbe for your departure flight

You will have breakfast and depending on the time of your flight transfer to Entebbe Airport for your departure flight.

This safari package includes;

  1. Transportation (type of car ) 4WD min van with pop up roof for excellence safari view.
  2. Gorilla permit

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