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chimpanzee
bunyonyi
13 days Hidden secrets of Uganda and Rwanda

Tour Overview

One of the most incredible wildlife experiences you will ever encounter awaits you on this trip of a lifetime that combines Uganda – the Pearl of Africa – and remarkable Rwanda.

Coming face to face with endangered mountain gorillas is a truly unforgettable experience. Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park with its amazing selection of wildlife including tree-climbing lions. Crossing the border into Rwanda, discover Volcanoes National Park which is also home to the Gentle Giants. A visit to the genocide memorial in the capital city of Kigali gives a haunting insight into the dark past from which Rwanda has risen to become one of the cleanest, safest African countries.

Highlights


DAY 1 – ARRIVAL AT ENTEBBE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 

DAY 2 – ZZIWA RHINO SANCTUARY|RHINO TRACKING |TRANSFER TO MURCHISON FALLS

DAY 3 – MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK| MORNING GAME DRIVE |AFTERNOON BOAT CRUISE

DAY 4  – TRANSFER FROM MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK TO KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

DAY 5 – CHIMPANZEE TRACKING |TRANSFER FROM KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

DAY 6 – QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK | MORNING GAME DRIVE |AFTERNOON BOAT CRUISE AT KAZINGA CHANNEL

DAY 7 – MORNING GAME DRIVE |AFTERNOON TREE CLIMBING LIONS GAME DRIVE SEARCH

DAY 8 – TRANSFER FROM QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK TO BWINDI FOREST NATIONAL PARK

DAY 9- OFF TO SEE GORILLAS IN BWINDI FOREST & THE BATWA COMMUNITY VISIT

DAY 10 – RELAXATION AT LAKE BUNYONYI | COMMUNITY TOUR | LAKE BUNYONYI SWIM | CANOE BOAT RIDE  

DAY 11- DRIVE TO RWANDA | RUHENGERI

DAY 12- TRANSFER TO LAKE KIVU | LAKE KIVU ACTIVITIES

DAY 13 – DEPARTURE | TRANSFER FROM LAKE KIVU TO KIGALI AIRPORT

 

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL AT ENTEBBE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 

Let’s go!

The suitcases are packed, now we’re off. You land at Entebbe airport, where your tour guide will happily greet you and take you to the hotel.

The journey to your hotel covers approximately 5 kilometers with an estimated travel time of 15 minutes. Dinner and overnight will be at Boma Hotel Entebbe

DAY 2 – ZZIWA RHINO SANCTUARY|RHINO TRACKING |TRANSFER TO MURCHISON FALLS

The journey into the breathtaking nature of Uganda begins. You drive through numerous villages and beautiful landscapes to the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary where white rhinos that had been extinct in the wild were reintroduced to their original habitat since 1997. A short trek to the Southern White Rhinos awaits you. After this impressive experience, you continue your journey north, to Murchison Falls National Park.  The park hosts the most powerful waterfalls in the world – The Murchison Falls. You will proceed to your accommodation for the next two nights.

The journey covers approximately 370 kilometers with an estimated travel time of 6 hours. Dinner and overnight will be at Twiga Safari lodge.

DAY 3 – MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK| MORNING GAME DRIVE |AFTERNOON BOAT CRUISE

Today is reserved for safari experiences in Uganda’s largest protected area, Murchison Falls National Park. The park is divided by the Nile, and although the area south of the river is much larger, most animals live in the hilly savanna landscape of the smaller northern part. Good for you, because in the morning you get into the off-road vehicle for around three hours to look for amazing and breathtaking wildlife sightings like Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions and Leopards. There is also a particularly large population of Rothschild giraffes and the native Uganda Kob antelope which you might also spot on the game drive. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to observe the whole thing again from a different perspective with a chance of seeing what you might not have seen from the safari vehicle. A boat cruise on the Nile for about three hours to the bottom of Murchison Falls will most probably be the highlight of the tour. Watching the Nile squeeze through a 7 metre gap and the Wildlife busking by the river banks plus the sound of around 450 species of birds. Later you will visit the top of the falls.

The driving distance is 100 to 150 kilometers with a variable travel time. Dinner and overnight will be at Twiga Safari lodge.

DAY 4  – TRANSFER FROM MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK TO KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast, you leave Murchison Falls National Park and drive south along the Great Rift Valley. The route takes you past Lake Albert, the second largest lake in Uganda. When visibility is good, you can see as far as the Blue Mountains on the other bank, which are already in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The further south you go, the cooler and wetter the climate becomes. While on the way, you will have a stopover for lunch and then continue with your journey to the lodge for dinner and relaxation.

The Journey covers approximately 400 kilometers with an estimated travel time of 7 hours. Dinner and overnight at Turaco tree tops

DAY 5 – CHIMPANZEE TRACKING |TRANSFER FROM KIBALE FOREST NATIONAL PARK TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Begin your guided forest trek in search of chimpanzees. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good that you will encounter them today in the lush green forest. Perhaps you will also see other types of primates, including the red-tailed monkey. The hike will last approximate 2 – 3 hours while your expert guide shares the secrets of the forest’s flora and fauna. After lunch, a drive takes you past volcanic crater lakes to Queen Elizabeth National Park. After settling in at your hillside lodge overlooking the vast savannah plains of the park, take a late afternoon game drive, followed by dinner at the lodge.

The journey covers approximately 120 kilometers with an estimated travel time of 2 hours. Dinner and overnight at Elephant Hab Safari lodge

DAY 6 – QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK | MORNING GAME DRIVE |AFTERNOON BOAT CRUISE AT KAZINGA CHANNEL

Today’s agenda is to explore Queen Elizabeth National Park. The country’s oldest and second largest national park and UNESCO biosphere reserve is a popular safari destination. Around 100 mammals and more than 500 bird species feel right at home here. You go on an extensive game drive to look for elephants, buffalo and various species of antelope. Be vigilant, because where antelopes live, lions, leopards and hyenas are not far away. You will then be transferred back to the lodge where you will be served lunch and then proceed to the docking area for your Kazinga Channel boat cruise experience. While on your afternoon boat cruise, you will see various animals both in water and on land for example hippos, elephants, crocodiles, various bird species and many more.You will then be transferred back to the lodge for dinner and relaxation.

The driving distance is approximately 150 kilometres. with a variable travel time. Dinner and Overnight at Elephant Hab Safari lodge

DAY 7 – MORNING GAME DRIVE |AFTERNOON TREE CLIMBING LIONS GAME DRIVE SEARCH

Round two in Queen Elizabeth National Park: Anyone who could not get enough yesterday has a second chance today. You will drive to Ishasha which is the southern sector of the park. This part of the park is famous for its residents – the Tree Climbing lions. On a game drive,  you once again have the opportunity to observe the park’s colorful wildlife with the major focus being the tree climbing Lions. Again, as nature dictates and traverses over a wide area, the sightings are not 100% guaranteed.

The driving distance is 100 to 150 kilometers. The travel time is variable. Dinner and overnight at Enjojo lodge 

DAY 8 – TRANSFER FROM QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK TO BWINDI FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Today you go on a very interesting journey from Queen Elizabeth National Park towards Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in southwest Uganda; close to the borders with Rwanda and the Congo. You drive through a beautiful part of the country that is also known as the “Switzerland of Africa”. The landscape changes from savannah to swamp to rainforest, always with the backdrop of the Virunga Mountains. The path leads past villages and small towns until you finally take a break in one of these places. In the late afternoon you will reach your accommodation near the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Can you hear the gorillas yet? Relax a bit in your accommodation and get some rest before you head out in search of our furry relatives tomorrow.

The Journey covers approximately 320 kilometers with an estimated travel time of 6 hours. Dinner and overnight at Lake Mulehe Safari lodge

DAY 9- OFF TO SEE GORILLAS IN BWINDI FOREST & THE BATWA COMMUNITY VISIT

This is a unique opportunity to see the gorillas in the wild – just a few meters away from you. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the briefing area where you will be allocated a gorilla family and with your packed lunch, your group will be guided through the rough terrain of the rainforest in search of one of the park’s gorilla families. The trek will last up to 7 hours depending on the location of the animals. When a gorilla family is found, you will be allowed an hour in their company to watch them eat, preen and play. Later trek back to the briefing area where you will be awarded certificates of participation and back to the lodge. In the afternoon, you will visit the batwa community and learn their history and way of life.

The driving distance is 50 to 70 kilometers. The travel time is variable. Dinner and overnight at Lake Mulehe Safari lodge

DAY 10 – RELAXATION AT LAKE BUNYONYI | COMMUNITY TOUR | LAKE BUNYONYI SWIM | CANOE BOAT RIDE  

Wave goodbye to the gorillas again before continuing on to Lake Mburo National Park today. You should wake up late after yesterday’s activities. Take your breakfast and check-out. Our guide will begin the journey to the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the most naturally beautiful places to visit in Uganda. It is one of the deepest lakes in Africa and hence not suitable for those with no swimming skills. What really makes the lake special are the surrounding green vegetation, forests and the 29 islands. Lake Bunyonyi is a favorite for honeymooners and those who want a cool place to rest after a long safari in Uganda. It is one of the best places to go for birdwatching in Uganda and is a bird sanctuary in its own right.

In the afternoon you may choose to go on different activities; a boat cruise and hop from island to island, swim in a bilharzia free lake, visit a nearby village or laze away as you watch the day go by. This is a great place to recharge your energies after the last 9 days.

The Journey covers approximately 80 kilometers with an estimated travel time of 2 hours. Dinner and overnight at Birdnest Resort Bunyonyi.

DAY 11- DRIVE TO RWANDA | RUHENGERI

Wake up early, take breakfast. You should now be ready to hit the road into “the land of a thousand hills”. The route to Rwanda from Uganda has got amazing scenery and landscape which should keep you engaged. Upon arrival at Volcanoes National park. you will visit the Ellen deGeneres Gorilla Campus or the Gorilla guardians that is a community of edx-poachers that have been extensively sensitized to embrace living in harmony with wildlife. You will learn their ways of living and participate in one of their signature dances.

The Journey covers approximately 80 kilometers with an estimated travel time of 2 hours. Dinner and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

DAY 12- TRANSFER TO LAKE KIVU | LAKE KIVU ACTIVITIES

Morning optional activities like Golden Monkey tracking or a 2nd Gorilla trek. Otherwise, drive from Ruhengeri to lake Kivu where you will do a boat cruise or you can do a kayaking ride booked separately.

The journey covers approximately 80 kilometers. The travel time is 2 hours. Dinner and overnight at Kivu Paradis Resort

DAY 13 – DEPARTURE | TRANSFER FROM LAKE KIVU TO KIGALI AIRPORT

You will wake up and have breakfast at your own time as you prepare for the journey to Kigali. The journey to Kigali will offer you a chance to marvel at the beautiful countryside of Rwanda with thousands of green hills, tea plantations, the local people, town centers and distant views of the Virunga Volcanoes. Lunch will be in Kigali before going for a tour of the city. The tour includes visiting one of the genocide war memorial center, main city market and gift shops for souvenir.

You will then be transferred to the airport for departure or to your hotel in Kigali.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Lunch

 

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