The Nile, Savannah & Rwanda Gorillas Safari

The Nile, Savannah & Rwanda Gorillas Safari Adventure – 10 Days

Overview

This 10 Day The Nile, Savannah & Rwanda Gorillas Safari takes you to the Murchison Falls National Park for game drives and boat cruise and to the primate world at Kibale National Park for Chimp trekking.  The safari takes you to Queen Elizabeth National Park for game drive and boat launch and to Lake Bunyonyi for scenic views and boat rides.

This is the most popular safari for tourists interested in visiting Uganda and Rwanda. In Uganda you will trek chimpanzees and gorillas; do game drives and nature walks; and conduct a cultural tour among the amazing former forest people. In Rwanda you will do Gorilla trekking, watch a colourful cultural gala, enjoy relaxing activities at Lake Kivu and visit Genocide memorial sites in Kigali.

Safari Highlights

  • The thrill of trekking Mountain Gorillas in the challenging forest terrain and the humbling experience of coming face to face with the giant apes as they feed, play, rest and bond with their young
  • Trekking and watching the delightful Chimpanzees and Golden monkeys as they make acrobatic maneuvers in the tree branches
  • Being amazed by the wealth of knowledge the former forest people (the Batwa) have on native medicinal plants; hunting and gathering; trapping animals; and predicting the weather.
  • Watching the exhilarating colourful cultural gala of the Rwandese people at Iby’iwachu cultural village
  • Viewing the awesome scenic features of the volcanic landscapes
  • Listening to heartrending accounts of the astonishing genocide that occurred in Rwanda in the late 1990s.

Activity Schedule

Day 1: Travel to Murchison National Park
Day 2: Game drive and Boat Launch on the Nile River
Day 3: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, Visit Crater Lakes
Day 4: Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale, Bigodi Swamp Walk & transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 5: Game drive in Queen Elizabeth and Boat cruise on Kazinga Channel
Day 6: Game drive in the Ishasha sector and travel to
Day 7: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi, cultural tour & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Day 8: Golden Monkey tracking, Iby’wachu cultural village & transfer to Lake Kivu
Day 9: Optional activities on and around Lake Kivu and transfer to Kigali.
Day 10: Kigali city excursion and departure





Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Murchison National Park

We shall start this The Nile, Savannah & Rwanda Gorillas Safari Adventure by travelling North West of Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park. This journey takes 6-7 hours. You will make a stopover at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track white rhinos.

The Rhino trek will be for one hour after which we shall continue the journey to Murchison Falls National Park, arriving in the late afternoon.  Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking. 

Day 2: Game drive and Boat Launch on the Nile River

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 River. 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 lunch and some relaxation before you set off in the afternoon for a boat launch 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 rare 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.  You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Visit to the top of the falls, Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park

You will after your breakfast set out to visit the “top of the thunderous Murchison falls”, where you will observe the Nile River 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 in the backdrop of the fabled Mountains of the Moon. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

Day 4: Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale, Bigodi swamp walk & Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast you will go for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park, where the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa is exceptionally represented. The most famous of its 13 species is the Chimpanzee known to be a delightful ape. It is also a home of species like the rare I’Hoest’s monkey, the black and white Colobus, Blue monkey, Grey cheeked mangabey, Red tailed monkey, Olive baboon among others.

The walk takes 2-3 hours after which you will return to your lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will go for a guided nature walk in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary through swampy grassland, local communities and beautiful scenery. It is usual to spot 3 or 4 different primate species during this walk and to see a variety of rare bird species and other smaller mammals.

The sanctuary offers great birding opportunities and nature walks. Bigodi is also a rich cultural heritage site where you can mix with the local people to learn about their traditional activities and lifestyles.

You will later transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking.

Day 5: Game drive in Queen Elizabeth and Boat cruise on Kazinga Channel

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 42kms 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.

Day 6: Game drive in the Ishasha sector and travel to Bwindi

You will after breakfast move to the Ishasha sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for the tree climbing lions that lounge in the tree branches while keeping a close eye on herds of Uganda kob, their favourite prey.

This area is also home to many buffaloes, elephants as well as the rare shoebill. You will spend the whole morning game driving in this part of the park and in the afternoon transfer to Bwindi Forest National Park.

Day 7: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and cultural tour

You will have an early morning breakfast and move to the Park headquarters to join other trackers in a briefing about the Gorilla trekking rules at 7:45 am. You will trek through thick creepers and undergrowth with your guides to find the Gorillas, which can take you 1-8 hours. The steeply forested landscape is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access by tourists.

You will have one hour to stay with the Gorillas once found. In the afternoon you will go for a walk among the Batwa, a community of former forest people who used to stay in the forest before it was gazetted as a National Park.

You will learn about their life and culture as a forest people and be amazed by the wealth of knowledge they have on native medicinal plants, hunting, trapping animals and predicting the weather.

You will later transfer to Volcanoes National park.

Day 8: Golden Monkey trek, Iby’wachu cultural village & transfer to Lake Kivu

You will have breakfast and then assemble at the Park headquarters for a briefing on the Golden monkey tracking rules before going out to track them in the forest. The trekking will take 1-2 hours after which you will return to your lodge for lunch and some relaxation. In the afternoon you will visit the Iby’wachu cultural village where you will learn about the fascinating culture of the Rwandese people depicted through folk songs, storytelling, music, dance, and drama.

You will later transfer to Lake Kivu. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking in Kibuye Town. 

Day 9: Optional activities on and around Lake Kivu

You will have your breakfast and head for Lake Kivu, the perfect place to chill out after the tiring Gorilla and Golden monkey trekking and hiking of the volcanoes. For most people, it is simply a place to relax and rebuild energy.

You can take a nature walk, go birding on a boat ride, explore some islands, visit the nearby hot springs, go fishing, or visit the Congo boarder. You can also visit the Ndaba Falls or take a walk around Kibuye town to acquaint yourself with the lifestyles of the inhabitants.

You will later transfer to Kigali City. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your booking.

Day 10: Kigali City excursion

You will have an early breakfast and set off on the 116 km journey of 3 hours to Kigali. You will visit three Genocide memorial sites to pay homage to the more than one million people lost their lives during the genocide.

These will include Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site, the Nyamata church, and the Presidential Palace Museum. You will later transfer to the Airport for your departure flight.

END of the 10 Day The Nile, Savannah & Rwanda Gorillas Safari Adventure


Requirements for this Safari:

  • Uganda & Rwanda Visas which can be got on arrival at the Airports
  • Chimpanzee, Gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking permits (paid for in advance through our company)
  • Travel & Health insurance arranged for from your home country
  • Proof of Yellow fever vaccination (certificate)
  • Physical fitness

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Services of an English speaking driver guide
  • Fuel for the whole trip
  • Accommodation and meal plan as per the itinerary
  • All park entrance fees
  • Drinking water while in the vehicle

Cost excludes

  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Chimp trekking permit
  • Golden Monkey trekking permit
  • Pre and post tour accommodation in Uganda or Rwanda
  • International airfares
  • Uganda & Rwanda Visa
  • Items of personal nature such as tips, drinks, and laundry

Request a quote for this safari

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