19 Day Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari (19 Days)
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19 Days Best Uganda Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife Safari

19 Day Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari (19 Days)

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19 Days Best Uganda Rwanda Gorilla and Wildlife Safari

Safari Route: Kampala Mburo Akagera Volcanoes Batwa Bwindi Bunyonyi Queen Kibale Semuliki Murchison Ziwa Jinja Kampala

The 19 Days Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari is an action packed African safari with Savannah wildlife game drives, the BIG 5 Game, gorilla trekking in Rwanda & Uganda, Golden Monkey Tracking in Volcanoes, Batwa community cultural exploration, Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale, source of the Nile river and lots of adventure.

Safari Highlights

  • The thrill of a game-walking safari and canoe rides at Lake Mburo National Park
  • An opportunity to stand in two hemispheres at the Equator for memorable photos.
  • Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes & Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
  • Hiking the volcanic mountains topped with beautiful crater lakes and enjoying the spectacular scenic view of the Virunga mountain ranges
  • An encounter with the Batwa (former forest dwellers) for a demonstration of their former hunting and trapping techniques, and how to make ointments from native plants to cure all manner of ailments.
  • A visit to a Batwa home to see the traditional huts used for grinding millet, cooking over an open fire and distilling local potent gin (Waragi)
  • Enjoying game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel.
  • The thrill of trekking the wild but habituated chimpanzees and other primates in their natural environment
  • A visit to the source of the Nile River at Jinja to see the spot where the Mighty River Nile begins its 6,700 Km journey through Sudan and Egypt into the Mediterranean Sea.
  • An opportunity to indulge in water sports such as white water rafting and kayaking at the world famous Bujagali & Itanda Falls along the Nile River as well as bungee jumping at the Source of the Nile
  • The rare treat at the beautifully created Lake Bunyonyi where you will enjoy cool canoe rides as you spot splendid varieties of birds and wildlife; marvel at spectacular scenic views and experience native cultural exposures.

The safari package includes:

  • Transportation by a 4wd vehicle
  • Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
  • Services of an English speaking driver/guide
  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Chimpanzee trekking permit
  • Rhino trekking permit
  • Park entrance fees
  • Ferry crossing fees
  • Game drives
  • Boat trips
  • Guided Nature walks
  • Cultural encounters

The safari package excludes air ticket, personal travel insurance, visa fees, drinks, cigarettes, tips, souvenirs and any other items of a personal nature.

TOUR DETAILS

Itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Lake Mburo National Park

You will set off the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari after breakfast for the Lake Mburo National Park in the western part of the country. You will have a stopover at the Equator for photos at this international landmark where the two hemispheres divide. You will continue the drive through the rolling hills and plains dotted with community homesteads and herds of the long horned Ankole cattle to Lake Mburo National Park. You will arrive in time for an afternoon boat ride to see aquatic based animals such as Hippos, Buffaloes and bird life. You will later retire to the lodge of your booking for dinner and overnight

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Mihingo Lodge
Midrange: Mburo Safari Lodge /Rakobo Rock
Budget: Eagles Nest Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Travel to Akagera National Park and Boat launch on Lake Ihema

You will have breakfast and drive to Akagera National Park in Rwanda arriving in the early afternoon. You will have lunch and later go for a boat launch on the beautiful Lake Ihema to see Hippos, giant crocodiles and a profusion of water birds that include the African fish eagle, papyrus Gonolek and the shoebill stork. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge booked for you.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Ruzizi Game Lodge
Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge
Budget: Akagera Game Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Full Day Game drive in Akagera National park

You will have an early breakfast and set off for the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari game drive in Akaera to catch up with the early risers plus large predators including lions and hyenas plus bushbuck, zebra, Elephants, giraffes, Buffaloes, cape elands, impalas, oribi and antelopes. You will return for lunch at the Lodge and then travel to Ruhengeri town near the Volcanoes National Park. You will have a tour of this town and also visit the vibrant local markets before retiring to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge / Gorillas Nest Lodge
Midrange: La Palme Hotel
Budget: Kinigi Tourist Guest House
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4: Travel to Kigali, Kigali City Tour and transfer to Volcanoes National Park

You will after an early morning breakfast, transfer to the city of Kigali. You will have a Kigali City excursion. You will visit the Genocide memorial site, the colourful markets and the craft centres. After, you will transfer to Volcanoes National Park. Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge / Gorillas Nest Lodge
Midrange: La Palme Hotel
Budget: Kinigi Tourist Guest House
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Cultural Experience in Iby’wachu cultural Centre

You will have an early breakfast and report at the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters for a briefing on the rules to be observed during Uganda Gorilla trekking. You will be allocated a Gorilla family to track and guides to lead you to the Gorillas. The tracking will take 2-5 hours. Once found, you will spend a maximum of one hour observing the gorillas in their natural setting. After the tracking you will visit the Iby’wachu cultural village to learn about the Kinyarwanda culture. Dinner and overnight will be as above.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Travellers Rest Hotel
Midrange: Kisoro Lodge
Budget: Kinigi Guest House
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6: Golden Monkey tracking and travel to Uganda

You will set off the fifth day of the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari after breakfast to track the rare Golden monkeys in Parc Nationale Des Volcanoes. The Golden Monkey is listed as “endangered” and the two newly habituated groups of about 40 individuals each are the only ones in Africa. You will also be able to see other primate species such as vervet monkeys, baboons, and a variety of bird species and butterflies. The guide will explain to you how these primates behave and about the about fauna and flora in this park. You will return to your lodge for lunch after which you will drive to the border and cross over into Uganda. You will check in at the lodge of your booking and have dinner and overnight.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Travellers Rest Hotel
Midrange: Kisoro Lodge
Budget: Kinigi Guest House
Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7: Batwa cultural Experience, Coffee tour, Canoe on Lake Mutanda and Congo Boarder Walk

You will have breakfast and set off for the Batwa Trail. The trail starts from the base of Mt Muhavura to Garama cave. This walk is conducted by Batwa guides who provide insights into their former forest life and culture. The Batwa once practiced a subsistence-hunter-gatherer life in the forest. They now live in the former farmland zone but in earlier times the cave lay deep in the forest when it was occupied periodically by the Batwa who used it as a council chamber and a retreat place after raiding their Bafumbira neighbours. You will have two options i.e. to visit the cave and be treated to a demonstration of the Batwa’s former hunting and trapping techniques and how they used to start a fire with sticks, gather honey and build the huts that they lived in or visit a local home – a series of traditional huts used for grinding millet, cooking over an open fire and distilling local potent gin, waragi. The highlight of this part of the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari might be experiencing a traditional healer who will demonstrate how to use native plants to make tea, ointments and powders to cure all manner of ailments. You will also go for Canoe trek on Lake Mutanda, go for a walk along the Congo boarder, then return to the Lodge for lunch and spend the rest of the day resting. Dinner and overnight will be as on the previous day.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Bird’s Nest/ Archadia Cottages
Midrange: Bird’s Nest
Budget: Bushara Island Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest and drive to Lake Bunyonyi

You will have an early morning breakfast and with a packed lunch move to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national Park headquarters to join other trackers in a briefing about the Uganda gorilla trekking rules at 7:30am. 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 sited. You will after the Bwindi Gorilla trekking follow the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari route with a drive to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale District arriving in the evening. You will have dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Bird’s Nest/ Archadia Cottages
Midrange: Bird’s Nest
Budget: Bushara Island Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Canoe trek, drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park via Ishasha sector , Evening game drive

Lake Bunyonyi is said to be one of the most beautiful places in western Uganda. It is the second deepest lake in Africa [900 meters deep] and also one of the few places in the country where it is considered safe to swim as it is bilharzias free. The landscape around the lake is made up of terraced hills protruding from the water’s edge. Bunyonyi means “place of little birds” and as the name suggests, there is plenty of birdlife around the lake. You will have a canoe ride on this river and explore 4-7 of the 24 small islands on this lake teaming with many water animals and various bird species.

There is also the option of going for a 2-3 hour walk [14 Kms] along the Lake Bunyonyi shores to enjoy the different viewpoints of this beautiful place. You will go through the villages of the local people to have an experience of how they go about their daily routine activities and be amazed by the way they skillfully cultivate the hill sides and how they care for their animals (cows) that are a prime source of pride. You will also hike to the most popular view point on the hills to see the exceedingly beautiful scenery of this part of the country. You will transfer to Queen Elizabeth via the Ishasha sector in search for the tree climbing lions and other animal species. You will do an evening 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 dinner and overnight.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Boat Cruise along Kazinga Channel

You will wake up early and with a packed breakfast and lunch set off for a dawn game drive to catch-up with the early risers and predators returning to their hideouts. You will most likely meet grazing Hippos, Elephants, and Lions, spotted Hyenas, bush buck, water buck, stripped jackal, comical warthogs and the elusive leopard. You will return to your lodge for lunch and in the afternoon go for a 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. The 42km channel 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 over 550 resident species. Dinner and overnight will be spent at your reserved lodge.

You will return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Mweya Safari Lodge / Katara Lodge / Jacana Lodge
Midrange: Simba Safari Camp in rooms / Buffalo Safari Resort/ Enganzi Lodge / Ihamba Safari Lodge
Budget: Kazinga Channel View Lodge / Simba Safari Camp in tents / Bush Lodge in tents
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Game drive and transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, Bigodi Swamp Walk

Day eleven of the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari after your morning breakfast, you will have an early morning Wildlife Game drive where you will see lions, leopards, giant forest hogs, Cape buffaloes, elephants, defassa waterbucks, Uganda Kob, topis and bushbuck among others. You will return to your lodge for lunch and in the afternoon transfer to Kibale National Park. After lunch you will go for a nature walk in the unique Bigodi swamp eco-tourism site where you will see uncommon plants, variety of monkey species and rare bird species such as the Great Blue Turacco, little Bulbul, RwenzoriTuraco and the Narina Trogon, among others. Your guide will provide detailed explanations on the forest fauna and flora to ensure that your walk is both informative and enjoyable. Dinner and overnight will be at your reserved lodge.

Accommodation options:
Up-scale: Ndali Lodge/ Kyaninga Lodge/ Kibale Forest Lodge/ Primate Lodge
Midrange: Kibale Forest Camp/ Mountains of the Moon Hotel
Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guest house/ Kibale Forest Camp in tents
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Chimp Tracking and travel to Semiliki Wildlife reserve

After breakfast you will be taken to the Kanyanchu tourism center at 08:00 am for a briefing on the Chimpanzee tracking rules and procedures. You will after the briefing set off to track the chimpanzees and on the way see various species of monkeys before finally catching up with the chimpanzees. The activity takes 2–5 hours and one hour is available for you to interact with the Chimps and take photos. You will check in at the lodge of your booking and have lunch. After, you will transfer to Semiliki Wildlife reserve. Dinner and overnight will be at your reserved lodge. Planned Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari accommodation and meals will be at the Semuliki Safari Lodge / Ntoroko Safari Lodge.

Accommodation options:
Up-scale: Ndali Lodge/ Kyaninga Lodge/ Kibale Forest Lodge/ Primate Lodge
Midrange: Kibale Forest Camp/ Mountains of the Moon Hotel
Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guest house/ Kibale Forest Camp in tents
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Game viewing in Semuliki National Park

You will have an early morning breakfast and head westwards to the Semliki Wildlife Reserve located in the basin of the Western Rift Valley with a stopover at the magnificent pressured waterfalls flying over the Nyakasura Mabere caves. Here you will learn about the historical and spiritual significance of the place to the local people. You will later drive to Semuliki National Park to visit the hot springs. Planned Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari accommodation and meals will be at the Semuliki Safari Lodge / Ntoroko Safari Lodge.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park, Visit the top of the falls

You will have breakfast and set off the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari route for Murchison Falls National Park. The drive is through a verdant rural countryside dotted with traditional homesteads and farmlands. You will have a lunch break in Hoima town and continue with the journey to Murchison Falls National Park arriving late in the afternoon. Upon arrival you will go straight to visit the magnificent ‘top-of-the-falls’ where you can marvel at the mighty Nile River squeezing itself in a 7 meter gorge before tumbling 40 meters down! From here we will proceed for check-in at the accommodation facility of your choice for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Baker’s Lodge Uganda / Paraa Safari Lodge
Midrange: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge / Pakuba Lodge
Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/Red Chilli Rest Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Game Drive and Boat Cruise

We start the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari sixteenth day with a savannah wildlife game drive on the northern bank of the Nile, with high chances of seeing giraffes, elephants, lions, cape buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck, oribi, bushbuck, bohor reedbuck, hyena and if you are lucky, the leopard. After this we return to the hotel/camp for relaxation till lunch. In the afternoon the safari will be continued with a boat cruise on the river Nile for game viewing at close quarters. The boat stops at the bottom of the falls just meters away from the Devil’s caldron where one can see the smoky falls at very close range. You will have the option of taking the challenging walk to the top of the falls, or simply take photos from the comfort of your boat before returning to the lodge for overnight.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Baker’s Lodge / Paraa Safari Lodge
Midrange: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge / Pakuba Lodge
Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/Red Chilli Rest Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Drive to Jinja, stopover at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary

You will have an early breakfast and drive to Jinja 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 one and half hours. You will after follow the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari route head for Jinja arriving in the evening. Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

Accommodation options:
Up-market: Baker’s Lodge / Paraa Safari Lodge
Midrange: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge / Pakuba Lodge
Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge / Murchison River Lodge/Red Chilli Rest Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Optional Activities in Jinja

You will after breakfast visit the source of the Nile and to enjoy some of the adventurous activities whose options include white water rafting, jet boating, horse riding along the Nile and a must see the source of the Nile, mountain biking, quad biking and bungee jumping. You will, after the rafting adventure. Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge of booking.

Accommodation: Kampala Serena Hotel
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Drive to Mabira, Kampala City Tour

You will after breakfast, drive to Mabira forest for birding and nature walk tour, continue to Sezibwa falls and afternoon, you will transfer back to Kampala for a city tour. You will visit the Kabaka’s palace, Kakaba’s Lake, the Uganda museum. You will retire to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Kampala Serena Hotel
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Drive to Mamba for Shoebill, Departure

You will after breakfast, transfer to Mamba for an early morning game drive in search for the shoebill. After, you will be transferred back to the Airport to catch up with your flight.

End of the Best of Uganda Rwanda Safari

When to go gorilla tracking - gorilla trekking in Uganda & RwandaBEST TIME TO GO

Gorilla Viewing: Gorilla trekking can take place at any time of year with April/May and November being wetter. However, be aware that rain occurs all year round. For general game viewing safaris, the best time to go is during the dry season (between June and September).

SAFARIS & TOUR ROUTES


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