9 Days Gorilla Safari in Uganda Rwanda

A 12 day safari which starts in Kigali and finishes in Kampala. This safari combines the best spots in Uganda and Rwanda, tracking the gorillas in both countries.

What To See

This safari traces the western Rift Valley, from the Virunga volcanoes to the Rwenzori mountains. Seeing some of the last remaining 700 mountain gorillas in the world is a fantastic experience and this safari takes you to three gorilla parks – PNV in Rwanda and Mgahinga and Bwindi in Uganda. It offers an opportunity to track gorillas five times, twice in PNV, once in Mgahinga/Nkuringo and twice in Bwindi. PNV in Rwanda has five habituated gorilla families and tracking most groups in the afro-montane forest usually takes only a few hours. You can also climb a volcano, visit the remains of Dian Fossey’s grave or visit the endangered golden monkey. Mgahinga, in Uganda, is a great place to appreciate the unique Virunga volcanoes and it has one habituated family. Sometimes this group moves across the border and you can track gorillas at Nkuringo in Southern Bwindi instead. You can also climb a volcano or go for a nature walk, visit the endangered golden monkey or go birding. Bwindi in Uganda has four habituated families and the gorillas there live in thicker tropical forest and tracking is more challenging as the hillsides are steeper. You can also go for nature walks to see birds, monkeys and orchids.

Continue to Ishasha (roads permitting) and go on the hunt for the tree-climbing lions lounging on old fig trees. Further north see the great game of Africa in Queen Elizabeth National Park – elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, and leopard. Track the fast moving and elusive chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge. See the rich wildlife and array of birds on the Kazinga Channel. Fly out from Entebbe.

On safari clients stay 3 nights at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, 2 nights at Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge, 3 nights at Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge and 3 nights at Mweya/Jacana.

A choice of three short safaris can be added at the end: Sipi and rafting (4 days), Chimps on Ngamba Island (3 days) or Wildlife in Murchison (4 days).

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 : Meet & Greet in Kigali – Depart for PNV, Rwanda
Met on arrival at airport Or Pickup from the Airport. Briefing on your safari. Take a Kigali City Tour: Visit the Gisozi Genocide Museum, Caplaki and a local Market. After lunch depart for PNV at 2pm. The journey north goes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the awesome volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. O/N: Muhabura Hotel or Kinigi Guest House (Budget) / Da Vinci Lodge or Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Midrange) / Mount Gorilla View Lodge or Five Volcanoes Lodge (Luxury)

Day 2: Gorilla Tracking in PNV, Rwanda
Transfer to the park headquarters. Go gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families however are more elusive and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. After the gorilla trek, return to the lodge for lunch. Go for the Ibywachu Cultural Experience at the Gorilla Guardian’s Village. O/N: Muhabura Hotel or Kinigi Guest House (Budget) / Da Vinci Lodge or Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Midrange) / Mount Gorilla View Lodge or Five Volcanoes Lodge (Luxury)

Day 3: Golden Monkeys
Our guide will drive you to the park headquarters. Go for golden monkey tracking in the Volcanoes National Park. Alternatively go for the Dian Fossey Trek to Karisoke Research Centre. O/N: Muhabura Hotel or Kinigi Guest House (Budget) / Da Vinci Lodge or Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Midrange) / Mount Gorilla View Lodge or Five Volcanoes Lodge (Luxury)

Day 4:Transfer to Uganda
Start on the journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South Western Uganda. Have a stopover at the Twin Lakes. Take photographs and enjoy the scenic views of the Virunga Region. Continue to Uganda via the Cyanika Border. [Clocks go forward one hour]. Continue to Southern Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Overnight at Rushaga Gorilla Haven (Budget) / Ruhaga Gorilla Camp (Midrange) / Chameleon Hill Lodge (Luxury)

Day 5: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Either go gorilla tracking again, this time in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The trek through Bwindi is one of the most rewarding adventures you can take. O/N: Rushaga Gorilla Haven (Budget) / Ruhaga Gorilla Camp (Midrange) / Chameleon Hill Lodge (Luxury)

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, leave for Queen Elizabeth National Park. Either drive via Ishasha, home of the tree climbing lion, roads permitting, or take the alternative route through cultivated expanses. Time permitting, go for an evening game drive O/N: Bush Lodge (Budget) / Enganzi Lodge (Midrange) / Mweya Safari Lodge (Luxury)

Day 7: Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Go for an early morning game drive to seek out wildlife, rest during the heat of the day and then go on an evening game drive. The game seen will depend on the season, the Kasenyi plains are good for lion and the Mweya peninsula for a variety of animals. Retreat to the lodge and have Lunch. Go for an afternoon boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel where the wildlife and a vast array of birds come to drink. O/N: Mweya/Jacana (FB).

Day 8: Travel to Kibale Forest National Park
Go for a morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, a tropical rainforest in Western Uganda. Relax at the lodge as you get prepared for the next day chimpanzee tracking adventure within the tropical rain forest. Overnight at Kibale Forest Lodge (Budget) / Chimpanzee Guest House (Midrange) / Kibale Primates Lodge (Luxury)

Day 9: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale

Transfer to Kanyanchu Information Centre. Get briefed about chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest. Track the fast moving and elusive chimpanzees, one of man’s closest relations. Kibale Forest has the highest chimpanzee population desnity in Africa. In the afternoon take a nature walk through the Bigodi Wetland. Overnight at Kibale Forest Lodge (Budget) / Chimpanzee Guest House (Midrange) / Kibale Primates Lodge (Luxury)

Day 10: Travel to Murchison Falls National Park

Travel to Murchison Falls National Park, the largest national park in Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best national parks for game viewing. You will travel through the Albertine Rift and there are lots of things to see in the area. Reach the park in the evening. Dinner and Overnight at Yebo Lodge (Budget) / Pakuba Safari Lodge or Murchison River Lodge (Midrange) / Paraa Safari Lodge or Chobe Safari Lodge (Luxury)

Day 11: Explore Murchison Falls National Park

After breakfast early morning, go for the game drives in the northern part of the Murchison Falls National Park. The game drive will reward with beautiful and a variety of wildlife in the park such as Elephants, Lions, leopards, buffaloes, Antelopes like bush bucks and water bucks, Kobs, warthogs and so on. Later on you will return to your lodge for lunch as you wait for the afternoon launch cruise along the Albert Nile. During the afternoon launch cruise, look out for water loving animals like crocodile along the river banks, elephants taking water, hippos and many bird species. Return back to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay at Red chill camp for budget. Dinner and Overnight at Yebo Lodge (Budget) / Pakuba Safari Lodge or Murchison River Lodge (Midrange) / Paraa Safari Lodge or Chobe Safari Lodge (Luxury)

Day 12: Return to Kampala
Morning game drive in Murchison Falls National Park. Embark on a return trip to Kampala. Have Lunch Enroute. Drop off at the hotel or Entebbe Airport.

End of the Tour