Uganda Rwanda Gorillas & Wildlife Safari – 7 Days
This 7 Day Uganda Rwanda Gorillas & Wildlife Safari will start in Kigali and end in either Kigali or Kampala. You will track Gorillas in both Uganda and Rwanda, track Golden monkeys in Rwanda, visit the Karisoke Primate Research Centre established by Dian Fossey, have a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park and finish with chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura gorge of Queen Elizabeth.
- The thrill of trekking Mountain Gorillas in the challenging forest terrain and the humbling experience of coming face to face with them as they feed, play, rest and bond with their young
- Learning about the great work of the American primatologist who pioneered the initiatives to protect and conserve Mountain Gorillas in the volcanic mountains.
- Trekking and watching the delightful Chimpanzees and Golden monkeys as they make acrobatic manoeuvres 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.
Day 1: Travel to Kibale & Bigodi Swamp walk
Day 2: Chimps trekking in Kibale Forest & Boat launch on Kazinga Channel
Day 3: Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park & Transfer to Bwindi
Day 4: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Forest & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Day 5: Golden Monkey Trek & Cultural Tour
Day 6: Gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park & Visit Primates research centre
Day 7: Kigali City Excursion
Day 1: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park & Bigodi Swamp Walk
You will depart Kampala in the morning after breakfast and travel westwards through Uganda’s beautiful green countryside to Kibale Forest National Park. The journey will take 6-7 hours through the savannah grasslands dotted with lots of banana & Tea plantations, traditional homesteads and picturesque landscapes.
You will get to Kibale Forest National park in the late afternoon and go for a nature walk in the Bigodi Swamp where you will go through swampy grassland, local communities and some 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. Alternatively, you can opt to go sightseeing in the scenic beauty of crater lakes characteristic of this region. You will after the walk transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Day 2: Chimp Trek in Kibale & Boat launch on Kazinga Channel
You will, after breakfast, head to Kibale Forest to trek the primates. The activity begins at 8.00 am with a briefing on the rules for trekking the chimpanzees after which you set off to search for them in the forest. The exercise takes half a day and along the way, you will see other primates such as Grey cheeked Mangabeys, Phoestes, Red-Colobus and the Blue-tailed and Red-tailed monkeys swinging in the tree branches of this thick forest.
Your guide will give you informative briefings on the lifestyles of the primates you will be coming across and on the plants as well as on the insects and butterflies in this forest to ensure that the trek is not only informative but enjoyable as well. You will return to the lodge for lunch and later transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Day 3: Morning Game drive, Ishasha Sector & transfer to Bwindi
You will set off early (about 6.30 am) for a morning game drive, an awesome experience to spot the animals in their natural habitats. Expect to see the famous Big Five; elephants, Buffalos, Lions, Bush bucks, Kobs, Giant forest hogs, Hyenas leopards, antelopes, and Waterbucks as well as birds. You will later transfer to the Ishasha sector of the 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.
It is also home to many buffaloes, elephants, and rare shoebill storks. You will have lunch at one of the lodges in this part of the park and drive south to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
En route, you will see the great countryside, bamboo forests and great views of the scenic landscape characteristic of the western rift valley. You will arrive in the late afternoon and retire to your booked lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi, Batwa Cultural Experience & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
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 2-8 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 sighted. You will return to the lodge for a short rest and later set out to visit 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.
In the evening you will transfer to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Dinner and overnight will be at a lodge booked for you in Ruhengeri town adjacent to the park.
Day 5: Golden Monkey Trek & Cultural tour
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 the lodge for lunch and some rest.
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 retire to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Gorilla trek, Visit Karisoke Research Centre & transfer to Kigali
You will have an early breakfast and after which you will be driven to the Park headquarters for a briefing at 8:30 am about the rules on Gorilla tracking. You will be allocated a Gorilla family to track and guides to lead you to the Gorillas.
The tracking experience will be a 2-5 hour experience after which you will be returned to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will hike to Karisoke Research Centre which features an exhibit on Mountain Gorillas and the conservation efforts pioneered by Dian Fossey.
It also shelters the Dian Fossey artefacts, a 3D interactive model of the Virunga Mountains and casts of real gorilla nose prints. Overall, the centre adds a perfect learning opportunity to the facts that people barely know about Mountain Gorillas.
Day 7: Transfer to Kigali & City Tour
You will have breakfast and transfer to Kigali for a city excursion during which you will visit the Genocide memorial sites where the remains of the victims are buried.
These memorial sites will include Gisozi, Nyamata church, Rwanda Hotel, and the Presidential Palace Museum which was the place of residence for the Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, at the time of the genocide. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your booking.
END OF SAFARI
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
- Gorilla permits
- Chimpanzee permit
- Airport transfers
- Safari vehicle
- Fuel for the entire trip
- Drive accommodation and Meals
- English Speaking driver guide
- Accommodation as per the itinerary
- All park fees
- Bottled drinking water
- International airfares
- Tips and expenses of personal nature