16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda

16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda

Uganda Gorilla Safaris

Overview of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda

16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda and Rwanda begins in Kigali Rwanda and ends in Kampala Uganda. The safari includes Wild game viewing in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Park and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where the encounter with the Big five of land animals and other wild game are highly expected. It also features double Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park and Uganda’s Kibale National Park, double mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, cultural encounters in Nyanza palace, Butare National Museum and Batwa in Mgahinga and Adventure encounters like the Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk, the Island hopping on Lake Bunyonyi, Mount Rwenzori Climbing and hike to the falls.   This is one of the diverse long safaris that you can take in Uganda and Rwanda.

Safari Highlight of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda

Day 1 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Explore the Gisozi genocide memorial & drive to Akagera National Park

Day 2 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do game drive in the morning & boat cruise along Lake Ihema in the afternoon

Day 3 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Explore the National Institute of Rwandan Museums & the Nyanza Palace en route in Butare

Day 4 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do Chimpanzee Trekking in the morning & Nyungwe Canopy Walk in the afternoon

Day 5 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Gisenyi (Lake Kivu) via the Congo Nile divide trail

Day 6 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Recreational Lake Kivu experience in the morning and drive to Volcanoes National Park.

Day 7 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and drive to Uganda – Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Day 8 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do the Batwa heritage trail and drive to Lake Bunyonyi via the fascinating Kigezi Highlands

Day 9 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do Island Hopping exploring the lake of a thousand Islands in detail

Day 10 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park.  Undertake an Ishasha sector game drive in search of tree climbing lions & other wild game

Day 11 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Undertake game drive in the morning, Kazinga Channel boat cruise in the afternoon and drive to Kasese

Day 12 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do whole day Mount Rwenzori hiking and drive to Kibale National Park via the Ndali Kasenda Crater field

Day 13 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do chimpanzee trekking in the morning and Bigodi wetland walk in the afternoon

Day 14 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park. Long day drive through the verdant countryside

Day 15 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do game drive in the morning, Nile launch cruise in the afternoon and hike to the top of the falls

Day 16 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Kampala. Track white Rhinos on foot in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route

Detailed Safari Itinerary of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda

Day 1 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Explore the Gisozi genocide memorial & drive to Akagera National Park

After a relaxed breakfast at your place of stay in Kigali, you embark on the tour to the Kigali genocide museum where the counts of the remains of the Rwandese that lost their lives in the bloody genocide are gathered to commemorate the horrific event that befell this country arising out of an ethnic conflict. The museum details the cause and effect of this genocide. You retreat from the Museum tour and embark on the transfer to Akagera National Park 135km about 2 ½ hour’s drive exploring the Rwandan countryside with the possible views of the traditional long horned cows at Rwamagana before proceeding to Akagera for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Up market / Luxury: Ruzizi Tented Camp

Midrange / Standard: Akagera Game Lodge

Budget / Basic: Dereva Hotel

Day 2 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do game drive in the morning & boat cruise along Lake Ihema in the afternoon

boat-cruise-ihema1

The rolling savannah landscapes of Akagera National Park is the only habitat of its kind in Rwanda with a myriad of wild game suitable to be explored on a safari like this. The early morning drive through the park presents opportunity to explore the range of species including elephants, Masaai Giraffe, Buffaloes, Topis, Roan Antelopes, leopards, Lions, waterbucks among others. The wild game viewing encounter lasts 3 – 4 hours after which you retreat to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, you embark on the boat cruise on Lake Ihema.  The Akagera National Park features the most extensive protected wetland system in central Africa.  Lake Ihema one of the lakes in the park presents the likely views of Nile Crocodiles, Hippopotamus and water birds. Retire for dinner and overnight

Accommodation

Up market / Luxury:  Ruzizi Tented Camp

Midrange / Standard: Akagera Game Lodge

Budget / Basic: Dereva Hotel

 

Day 3 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Explore the National Institute of Rwandan Museums & the Nyanza Palace en route in Butare

Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park after breakfast. You drive though Kigali city and proceed to make a stop at Nyanza Palace which is the Royal palace of the Kingdom of Rwanda established by King Musinga and later his successor King Rudahigwa. The palace also features an ancient architectural hut along with the traditional Inyambo cows and the King’s equipment. The traditional performance can be arranged for you on optional arrangement. You proceed to Butare for lunch after which you embark on the tour to the Ethnographic Museum also known as the National Institute of Rwandan Museums which features a range of 100,000 artifacts becoming the largest in Rwanda if not in the region of East Africa.  The Museum depicts the heritage and history of Rwanda. You proceed to Nyungwe Forest National Park for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Up market / Luxury:  Nyungwe Forest Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel

Budget / Basic: Gisakura Guesthouse

Day 4 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do Chimpanzee Trekking in the morning & Nyungwe Canopy Walk in the afternoon

canopy-walk-and-chimp-tracking

After breakfast, gather at the Headquarters of Nyungwe Forest National Park for Chimpanzee trekking experience. The briefing commences at 8am after which you set out to the forest in search of these precious apes. The trek can last 2 – 5 hours and the direct viewing is limited to one hour for purposes of conservation. The trek through the moist deciduous forest of Nyungwe presents a lovely encounter with lush flora, impressive bird species, forest fauna before encountering the Chimpanzees as they forage, copulate, patrol, socialize among other interesting aspects. The forest is also a home to other 12 species of Primate including the largest grouping of Black and White Colobus Monkeys in Africa.    Retire for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, you embark on the Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk which is the first of its kind in the region of East Africa stretching to 40m and over 90m high presenting magnificent views of the forest   and its inhabitants. The walk can last for 2 hours after which you retreat to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation

Up market / Luxury: Nyungwe Forest Lodge

Midrange / Standard: Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel

Budget / Basic: Gisakura Guesthouse

Day 5 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Gisenyi (Lake Kivu) via the Congo Nile divide trail

Following a relaxed breakfast amidst the fresh air from the moist deciduous forest of Nyungwe, you embark on the transfer to Gisenyi Lake Kivu 294km about 7 hours’ drive exploring the magical views of the Nile Congo divide trail. You make a lunch stop at Kibuye one of the resort towns on Lake Kivu after which you proceed to Gisenyi arriving in the afternoon for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation

Up market / Luxury: Serena Hotel Lake Kivu

Midrange / Standard:  Water Front Resort Kivu

Budget / Basic: Paladis Malahide

Day 6 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Recreational Lake Kivu experience in the morning and drive to Volcanoes National Park.

The morning encounter at Lake Kivu can include engaging in any of the activities including the boat ride, the Catamaran, Wind Surfing, Beach sports, Sun bathing, cycling among others with those that include cost considered optional thus met personally. It’s a magical recreational experience at one of the largest lakes in Africa. In afternoon, you embark on the drive to Volcanoes National Park 110km about 2 hours drive arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation

Up market / Luxury:  Mount Gorilla View Lodge / Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge / Virunga Lodge

Midrange / Standard:   Hotel La Palme / Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge

Budget / Basic: Muhabura Hotel

Day 7 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and drive to Uganda – Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

gorilla-trekking-rwanda1

After a good breakfast at your lodge, you gather at the Volcanoes Park Headquarters Kinigi   for the gorilla trekking experience. The encounter commences at 8am in the morning with gorilla family allocation and briefing but an earlier arrival offers you chances of enjoying the magical performances of the Kinyarwanda dance troupe and a self served warm cup of coffee.  You embark on the hike through the jungle of Volcanoes on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes traversing the challenging landscapes, slippery surfaces, the dense jungle whilst enjoying the impressive bird songs and other jungle sounds. Your moment with the mountain gorillas is a lifetime exciting memory as you will view them forage, play, socialize, and care for the young among other aspects. The viewing is limited to one hour for conservation purposes though the entire trekking experience can last from 2 – 8 hours.  Return from the activity and embark on the transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park – Uganda enjoying the amazing sceneries of the Virunga Mountains and the overlooking views of the fascinating Kigezi Highlands

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury: Mount Gahinga Lodge

Midrange / Standard:  Travellers Rest Kisoro

Budget / Basic:  Amajambere iwacu Community Camp

Day 8 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do the Batwa heritage trail and drive to Lake Bunyonyi via the fascinating Kigezi Highlands

Connect to the Ntebeko Visitor Centre at 8am to embark on the Batwa heritage trail experience exploring the ancient heritage of the Batwa people that are noted to be ancient forest keepers and depending entirely on it for survival. The 6 hour activity allows you to view the edible plants including the fruits and roots, the tree houses, wild honey collection techniques, hunting and the famous Ngarama cave where their festivities would be carried out. You retreat from the tour and embark on the transfer to Lake Bunyonyi driving along the magical Kisoro – Kabale road which is the most scenic road section in Uganda. Arrive in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:  Birdnest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort

Midrange / Standard:  Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort

Budget / Basic:  Byoona Amagara Island Retreat

Day 9 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do Island Hopping exploring the lake of a thousand Islands in detail

After a relaxed breakfast, you embark on the thrilling Island hopping experience exploring the main Islands of Lake Bunyonyi with great heritage attached to them. The lake features a count of 29 Islands among which include the Up side down Island (Bucuranuka) known to have turned upside down burying its inhabitants after refusing to give an old woman a sip of their prepared local beer. Others include the Punishment Island where the pregnant girls would be dumped and left to die for getting pregnant before marriage. Others like Kyahugye and Bushara Island present good nature walking experience. The boat cruise on the lake is also recreational and magical to encounter. It is a blissful day enjoying and relaxing at the lake.

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:  Birdnest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort

Midrange / Standard:  Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort

Budget / Basic:  Byoona Amagara Island Retreat

Day 10 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park.  Undertake an Ishasha sector game drive in search of tree climbing lions & other wild game 

tree-climbing-lions-ishasha

After breakfast, you embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park to the north. You drive through the interesting physical and human environments en route before approaching Ishasha sector where you will undertake a game drive in search of tree climbing lions. The region of Ishasha features the fig tree species with low lying branches that present an easy climb for the lions to enjoy the fresh air and the clear views of their prey down in the plains. The game drive also offers you possible sights of other wildlife like the Buffaloes, Elephants, the defassa water bucks among others before proceeding to the northern section of the park for an evening game drive along the way as you connect to the lodge for check in, relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:  Mweya Safari Lodge / Kyambura Gorge

Midrange / Standard:  Enganzi Game Lodge / Bush Lodge / Marafiki Safari Lodge

Budget / Basic:  Pumba Safari Cottages

Day 11 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Undertake game drive in the morning, Kazinga Channel boat cruise in the afternoon and drive to Kasese

After an early breakfast at the lodge, embark on the game drive in the Kasenyi plains for extensive wild game viewing. The savannah landscapes of Queen Elizabeth National Park feature a range of wild game including the big four of the African Big five namely; Lions, Leopards, Elephants and Buffaloes. The other magical wild game including the defassa waterbucks, the Topis, the Bushbucks, Uganda Kobs, Primates like Vervet monkeys and Olive Baboons among others which might be explored as well. The activity lasts 3 – 4 hours after which you retreat to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, you embark on the boat safari along the 45km long Kazinga Channel departing at 2pm.  The boat ride offers you chances of exploring the water dwelling species like the Nile Crocodiles and Hippos. The wild game like elephants, Buffaloes and a range of antelopes tend to be drinking on the channel shores. The 2 hour activity is a thrilling encounter contributing to lasting safari memories.  Retreat from the activity and transfer to Kasese to relax, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:  Equator Snow Lodge

Midrange / Standard:  Ihamba Safari Lodge

Budget / Basic:  Ruboni Community Camp

Day 12 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do whole day Mount Rwenzori hiking and drive to Kibale National Park via the Ndali Kasenda Crater field

mout-rwenzori-hike

Gather at Nyakalengija ranger post to set off for the adventurous day hike to the Rwenzori Mountains. The Rwenzori Mountains also known as the legendary Mountains of the moon rising to 5,109m above sea level is noted to be the third highest on African continent and the tallest mountain range on the continent since Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro are free standing. The snow caped mountain features impressive foothills and ridges that can be explored in a day hike. The views of the magical glaciers running down the mountain, the montane vegetation, the fauna and birds along with the remarkable views of the rift valley below, Kasese town, the lakes Edward and George among others combine to generate remarkable memories. Retreat from the activity and embark on the transfer to Kibale National Park for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:  Primate Lodge – Luxury Cottage / Ndali Lodge

Midrange / Standard:   Kibale Forest Camp / Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Budget / Basic:  Rwenzori View Guesthouse

Day 13 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do chimpanzee trekking in the morning and Bigodi wetland walk in the afternoon

After early morning breakfast, embark on the memorable Chimpanzee trekking encounter in the natural habitat of primate Capital of the world – the Kibale Forest National Park. The Park is proud of 13 primate species including the world endangered species of the Chimpanzees which have been fully habituated increasing the chance of encountering them to 90%. The chimp trekking encounter in the primates Capital starts at Kanyanchu tourism center at 8:00am local time in the morning and the experienced Uganda Wildlife Authority Park rangers are dedicated to lead you throughout the whole rewarding processes of trekking the Chimps in their natural Habitat. The trek exposes you to stunning flora, other primate species including black and white colobus monkey and birds before meeting face to face with the chimps. The Chimpanzees will lure you in a state of amazement as they swing through the branches, make pant hooting calls, play with each other, and imitate your body language along with other features that will make your one full hour with them a memorable experience of its own. The activity can last 2 – 5 hours after which you transfer to Bigodi wetland Sanctuary for an afternoon wetland walk. The Sanctuary is noted to be the most successful community tourism initiative in the whole of Uganda with a blend of culture and wetland conservation where a range of primates including Black and White colobus, the Swamp dwelling Sitatunga antelope and 138 species of birds are known to thrive. The walk can last 2 hours after which you connect back to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:  Primate Lodge – Luxury Cottage / Ndali Lodge

Midrange / Standard:   Kibale Forest Camp / Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Budget / Basic:  Rwenzori View Guesthouse

Day 14 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Murchison Falls National Park. Long day drive through the verdant countryside

game-drive-murchison

After breakfast, embark on the 441km drive about 8 – 9 hours transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. You drive along the beautiful Ugandan countryside exploring the local settlements and the physical features. The lunch stop will be made in Hoima and then you proceed to Murchison arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:   Paraa Safari Lodge / Bakers Lodge

Midrange / Standard:    Murchison River Lodge / Fort Murchison

Budget / Basic:  Heritage Safari Lodge

Day 15 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Do game drive in the morning, Nile launch cruise in the afternoon and hike to the top of the falls

The game drive in Murchison Falls National Park is carried out in the northern section of the park and if you slept in the southern section of the park, you cross with the ferry at 7am which is the same as those that would have slept outside the Park since the park gates are open at 7am. The game drive is an exciting one taking a range tracks including the Buligi track, the Queen’s track, Albert track, exploring the Delta Area and extension to the Pakuba Area presenting rich possibilities for viewing Elephants, Rothschild Giraffes, the Buffaloes, the Jackson’s Hartebeest, the Lions, leopards, the Uganda Kobs, Oribis among other species. The drive lasts between 3 – 4 hours after which you return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. In afternoon, you gather at Paraa jetty to catch up with the Nile launch cruise departing at 2pm to the bottom of the falls. The cruise to the bottom of the falls features views of the calm Nile River which bisects the park on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. The aquatic views like Nile Crocodiles and Hippos along with birds like Shoebill Stork may not be missed. Upon arriving at bottom of the falls, you embark on the hike to the top of the World’s powerful Murchison Falls. The hike exposes you to the views of the Nile river squeezing itself to make a way through a less than 7m ravine falling 43m to what has been termed as the Devil’s Cauldron marked by a thunderous roar, plume of spray and trade mark rainbow. Connect with the guide on top of the falls to drive to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation:

Upmarket / Luxury:   Paraa Safari Lodge / Bakers Lodge

Midrange / Standard:    Murchison River Lodge / Fort Murchison

Budget / Basic:  Heritage Safari Lodge

Day 16 of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda: Drive to Kampala. Track white Rhinos on foot in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kampala 311km about 5 hours drive. You make a stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track the southern white Rhinos thriving in the savannah thicket at the center of Uganda. These species had faced extinction in 1983 but were re-introduced in 2005 under the breed and restock programme. The trek is very thrilling and if had got the chance of viewing the other Big four, then the encounter with Rhinos would complete the Big five Safari experience. Proceed on the drive to Kampala to mark the end of the tour.

End of the 16 Days Gorilla and Wildlife Safari in Uganda & Rwanda

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