10 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari

Overview:

10 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari takes you to two destinations of Uganda and Rwanda. The safari tour is designed to en rich your safari experience in Uganda and Rwanda. The safari tour features wild game, primates, culture and scenery. Taking you through Kibale National Park dubbed the primate capital of the world for Chimpanzee trekking, Fort Portal crater field for amazing hiking encounter and tour to the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves, wild game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park with possibilities of seeing lions including tree climbing lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, buffaloes, Kobs, deffasa water buck, side stripped jackals, hyenas among other species, recreational  boat cruise on the 45km long Kazinga channel, trekking the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which has close to a half (400 out of 880) mountain gorillas, an overnight on the lake of a thousand hills - Lake Bunyonyi before crossing to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda along the beautiful Virunga ranges with impressive scenic sights, Kinyarwanda cultural heritage encounters at Iby’ wachu   cultural village, another gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes National Park and genocide memorial tours in Kigali city for a perfect combination that will generate memorable safari memories.

Safari Highlight:

Day 1: Transfer to Kibale National Park & do Fort Portal Crater Lake hike & visit Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves.

Day 2: Do Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi wetland encounter

Day 3: Visit Sempaya hot springs & Pygmies of Ntandi & transfer to Kasese (Visit Rwenzori Art foundation – the only bronze casting center in Africa & Ruboni wax & craft center.

Day 4: Whole day Rwenzori hiking

Day 5: Morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park & Kazinga Channel launch cruise.

Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & do Ishasha game drive en route (tree climbing lions).

Day 7: Do gorilla trekking & transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

Day 8: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park   & visit the iby’wachu cultural village

Day 9:  Do gorilla trekking & transfer to Kigali

Day 10: Do Kigali city tour.

Description:

Day 1: Transfer to Kibale National Park & do Fort Portal Crater Lake hike & visit Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves.

Depart after breakfast at 6:30am local time from your place of stay in Kampala for Kibale National Park 358km about 7 hours’ drive. You will drive through the country side landscapes with unique features like Mubende inselbergs, valleys and forested landscapes of Kyegegwa and Kyenjonjo. You will have lunch in Fort Portal town before continuing to visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves – the breast like features that date back in the pre historic era with great attachment to the Chwezi heritage. The breasts (Amabere) are believed by the locals to belong to Nnyinamwiru the daughter of Bukuku who was a self-imposed King of the Bachwezi. The maiden daughter cut her breasts in protest of being refused to breast feed her only son Ndahura who later became a prominent King of the Chwezi Empire. The encounter also involves the hiking the Fort Portal Crater field. The famous Kyeganywa hill rises in a conical shape and its summit presents great sight-seeing moments of the range crater hollows and crater lakes including Saaka, Bikere among others not forgetting the distant views of Mount Rwenzori on a clear day. Transfer to Kibale area for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Chimpanzee Guesthouse (Midrange/standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic)

Day 2: Do Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi wetland encounter

After breakfast, gather at Kanyanchu tourism center for briefing at 08:00am from the park rangers about the Chimp trekking conduct. Set off to this forest of Kibale after the short briefing in quest of Chimpanzees. The 2 – 5 hour trek will expose you amazing tree species and wildlife including other 12 species of primates like Colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, Red tailed monkeys and olive baboons. The sights of Birds cannot be avoided while their songs will offer you natural entertainment through the jungle. You will marvel at the Chimpanzees as the roll themselves on tree branches, munch fruits and make their pant – hooting calls. After utilizing your one hour, you will have a picnic lunch and return to the starting point for short relaxation and preparation for another activity. In the afternoon, you will visit the Bigodi wetland to encounter the swamp animals like Sitatunga and birds like Ruwenzori Turaco and an encounter with local people including the traditional healer.

Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Chimpanzee Guesthouse (Midrange/standard) or Kibale Forest Camp (Budget/Basic)

Day 3: Visit Sempaya hot springs & Pygmies of Ntandi & transfer to Kasese (Visit Rwenzori Art foundation – the only bronze casting center in Africa & Ruboni wax & craft center.

ntandi-pygmies

After an early breakfast, set off for Semuliki National Park 78km about 2 – 3 hours’ drive passing through Fort Portal town. The sights of mystical mountains of the moon – the Ruwenzori will welcome you at a distance before approaching Bundibugyo district and eventually Semuliki National Park. The Sempaya nature walk will see you traverse one of the pre-historic forests in East Africa that survived the last ice age and with great concentration of Guinea-Congo biome species. The walk which lasts between 2 – 4 hours takes you down to the female (Nyansimbi) and Male (Bitente) hot springs with the largest spring spouting up to 2m high. Here, you have to be careful as the emerging water has a temperature of more than 100 degrees Celsius and the pools that surround are also hot. You are free to boil some plantains and eggs which gets ready within a couple of minutes. The walk also exposes to chances of encountering the red-tailed monkey, grey cheeked mangabey and black and white colobus monkey. Upon return from this encounter, you will visit the Bambuti Pygmies at Ntandi about 5km from Sempaya along the Bundibugyo road. The Bambuti Pygmies have got close coloration to the Batwa forest people of south western Uganda and Rwanda not forgetting the Basua pygmies of Congo basin. The Bambuti of Ntandi are not forest dwellers but are short in height than an average person. You will return to Fort Portal for lunch after which you will transfer to Kasese region. You will visit the Rwenzori Art Foundation – the only bronze casting center in Africa to have a look at the process of various sculpture making and the final products. A fine cup of coffee can be arranged at the site before proceeding to visit the Ruboni craft & wax center to have a look at how the local people extract different products like candles from bees wax and also encounter the craft making process. It is an experiential and if interested you can have some time and participate in making if various crafts like baskets among others.  Proceed to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Ihamba Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Midrange) or Ruboni Community Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 4: Whole day Rwenzori hiking

Transfer early after breakfast to Mount Rwenzori (Nyakalengija) for the whole day Rwenzori hiking encounter. The hiking encounter exposes you to raised landscapes of Mount Rwenzori offering impressive scenic views of the ridges and glaciers and the rift valley flats below. It is a perfect one day active adventure exploring the legendary mountains of the moon as described the famous Greek geographer Ptolemy in 150AD towering to 5,109m above sea level making it the tallest mountain range in Africa and the third highest in Africa. Return from the activity at 5:30 pm and transfer to your lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation:   Ihamba Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Midrange) or Ruboni Community Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 5: Morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park & Kazinga Channel launch cruise.

Wake up very for a cup of coffee before setting of for the game drive activity in the savannah game park of Queen Elizabeth. The early departure at 06:00 gives you an opportunity to see night hunters like hyenas getting back to their hiding places and early risers setting off to look for what to eat. The drive through the Kasenyi and channel tracks gives a probable opportunity to see a range of game including; Lions, buffalo, elephants, elusive leopard (if too lucky), defassa water bucks, Uganda kobs, Oribis, side stripped jackal among other wildlife. Return to the lodge after this 3 -4 hour game drive and relax till lunch time. After lunch, you will gather at Mweya for a recreational afternoon launch cruise leaving at 03:00pm taking 2 hours exploring the magical offerings of Kazinga Channel including the sights of water birds and wild game drinking on the channel side, the Nile crocodile and the Hippos. The 45m channel that stretches from Lake George to Lake Edward has tranquil waters that always give pleasure and psychological satisfaction to any traveller on Uganda safaris. Retire from the boat at 5 pm for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Lodge (Midrange/Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget/Basic).

Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & do Ishasha game drive en route (tree climbing lions).

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to the gorilla trekking haven of Bwindi south (Rushaga) 309km from Mweya. You will pass through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and do simple game drives in search of the unique tree climbing lions that tend to rest on fig tree branches during day time – something that you can only find in Queen Elizabeth National Park Ishasha sector – Uganda and Lake Manyara National Park in southern Tanzania. Proceed with the journey, have lunch en route and arrive in Rushaga late in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Valley Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Wagtail Eco- Safari Camp (Budget/Basic)

Day 7: Do gorilla trekking & transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

It is this long waited date when you will come across the critically endangered mountain gorillas that only exist in Bwindi and Virunga Volcanoes. You will wake up early for a heavy breakfast before gathering at the Park headquarters Buhoma for briefing at 08:00 about the conduct of gorilla trekking. You will head to the forest after briefing in search of these apes and though the trek is a bit challenging, it is one of those activities that you will never forget to have done in Uganda. The 2 – 8 hours activity involves hiking up the hills, descending down the valleys, walking through swamps and maneuvering the way through thickets which have formed the background of this Impenetrable forest before coming in direct contact with gorillas. The one full hour is at your disposal to maximize your experience with gorillas as you them forage, play, socialize and also gaze at you in a sign of welcoming and saying good bye. The opportunity to take as many photos as you can is availed to you while asking questions to your guide about these apes is up to your discretion. The experience is rewarding and worth undertaking. Your picnic lunch will take you through the activity after which you will descend to the starting point and embark on the transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Birdnest @Lake Bunyonyi (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Midrange/Standard) or Byoona Amagara Island Retreat (Budget/Basic).

Day 8: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park   & visit the iby’wachu cultural village

ibyichu-cultural-encounter

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Volcanoes National Park 120km driving along the Virunga Volcanoes with magnificent scenic views. Arrive early for lunch after which you will visit the Iby’ iwacu cultural village to encounter the heritage of Rwanda. You undertake a community walk guided by a community member to different sites including the replica of the King’s palace where the story about the Kings of Rwanda is told and you have the opportunity of being crowned as a king for minutes, encounter about eight traditional Kinyarwanda dances by all community groups including; men, women, children and youths, visit the traditional healer who uses traditional medicine to cure diseases, encounter Batwa pottery making experience, art and craft making by local women and encountering the banana brewery making process. Retire in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Mount Gorilla View Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), La Palme Hotel (Midrange/Standard) or Muhabura Hotel (Budget/Basic).

Day 9:  Do gorilla trekking & transfer to Kigali

Wake up for an early cup of coffee, before gathering at Kinigi Park Headquarters for briefing about the gorilla trekking activity at 08:00am always conducted by park rangers. This lasts 30min- 1 hour to detail the dos and don’ts while trekking gorillas. After briefing, you will traverse the jungle in search of the splendid mountain gorillas in the company of the park ranger guide which stretches between 2 – 8 hours. You will walk through the luxuriant vegetation, climb raised gradients, ascend down the valleys before you encounter the great mountain gorillas as they munch their food and get astonished by the young gorillas playing and demonstrating their tactics which will prompt you to use up your camera space unknowingly. Your one hour with gorillas is done and it is time for you to trek back to the starting to transfer to Kigali city 116km about 3 hours’ drive for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Kigali Serena Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury),

Day 10: Do Kigali city tour.

After breakfast, embark on Kigali city tour. You will visit the Gisozi genocide memorial site to pay tribute to counts of Rwandese who lost their lives on the bloody 1994 genocide. You will also visit the Presidential Palace Museum which was formerly the home of Juvenal Habyarimana who was the Rwandan President at the time of genocide. The encounter to the Hotel des Milles Collines where the movie Hotel Rwanda was shot may not be missed. Explore the down town Kigali to see the way of life of the urban Rwandese and visit the art and craft centers in town have an encounter with Rwandan Art.

End of safari.