8 days Rwanda Uganda culture, gorillas and wildlife

Overview

The 8 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla & Wildlife safari involves double gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This double trek allows you to generate two different gorilla trekking experiences that have remained a desire for many world travellers. The safari also stretches to include the impressive wild game including Uganda’s savannah park of Queen Elizabeth existing on the Albertine rift flats marked by rolling savannah combretum dotted with a range of wild game including lions also tree climbing lions exit, leopard elephant, buffalo and a range of antelopes among others. The recreational encounter at Lake Bunyonyi and the tour to the Gisozi memorial combine to generate ultimate Africa safari memories.

Safari Highlights

Day 1: Visit the Gisozi genocide museum & transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Day 2: Do Mountain gorilla trekking & relax

Day 3: Do golden monkey tracking & cross to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation

Day 4: Do morning boat cruise & transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Day 5: Do Mountain gorilla trekking & visit the Batwa Community in the evening

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & drive through Ishasha sector in search tree climbing lions

Day 7: Do morning game drive & an afternoon boat cruise

Day 8: Morning Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge & transfer to Kampala

Description:

After a thrilling breakfast, embark on the tour of Kigali city. You will drive through impressive Kigali landscapes with very tidy and green streets that generate a fume of freshness that is not common in many cities of the world. You will visit the Gisozi genocide memorial where great counts of the remains of the Rwandese people especially the Tutsi and the moderate Hutus are kept in memory of the bloody genocide that hit Rwanda in 1994. From here, you will embark on the 116km transfer about 2 ½ hours’ drive to Volcanoes National Park. The drive offers impressive scenic sights of the country side landscapes with rolling hills that have earned Rwanda the dub as the land of a thousand hills before arriving in Ruhengeri in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

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

Day 2: Do Mountain gorilla trekking & relax
gorilla-trekking-volcanoes-rwanda

Wake up in the morning for a cup of coffee at your place of stay after which you transfer to Kinigi Park Headquarters in Volcanoes National Park for the gorilla trekking encounter. At 8am, you catch up with the briefing exercise by the park rangers about the gorilla trekking conduct. In this session, you will be allocated a specific gorilla family that you are going to track and in case of special concern such as mobility issues, you can notify the responsible personnel to allocate you a suitable family.  For the sake of the adventurous ones, you can also notify the responsible personnel to allocate you a more strenuous and challenging gorilla family to track. After this encounter you head to the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes where the Park is located in search of the critically endangered mountain gorillas which only thrive in the Virunga Massif and the famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the neighboring Uganda. The activity which may last between 2 – 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements will involve a 1 hour of direct encounter with gorillas coupled with unlimited opportunity to take as many photos as you wish after which you will descend back to the gorilla trekking point. The gorilla trekking in Rwanda is most times brief as the gorilla families tend to be closer to the starting point. After this encounter, retreat to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

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

Day 3: Do golden monkey tracking & cross to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation

After breakfast, embark in the golden monkey tracking starting at 8am at the Kinigi park headquarters. The golden monkey trek is one of the thrilling encounters that you can have while on safari in Rwanda and Uganda. The golden monkeys are among the critically endangered primate species that are only thriving in the Virunga massif on global scale. They have impressive skin colors that have got a golden patch on their back thus attractive to look at. After this encounter which tends to last for about 4 hours, you will retreat to the lodge for lunch and then cross to Uganda passing through magical sights of Virunga ranges. Upon crossing to Uganda in the shadows of Virunga ranges, you will be welcomed by the rolling hills of Kigezi known as Kigezi Highlands – the Switzerland of Africa. Branch off at Muko from the main Kisoro – Kabale road which is very scenic to drive along Lake Bunyonyi known as the lake of a thousand islands connecting to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Birdnest @Lake Bunyonyi Resort (Upmarket/Luxury), Lake Bunyonyi Eco-resort (Mid-range/Standard) or Byoona Amagara Island Retreat (Budget/Basic).

Day 4: Do morning boat cruise & transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, embark on the boat cruise on the lake of a thousand islands amidst the rolling hills of Kigezi. The boat will enable you explore the major islands and the history behind them. The boat can take 5 hours before returning to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, you will embark on the drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via the fascinating views if the farmed Kigezi Highlands arriving in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Gorilla Mist Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget/Basic).

Day 5: Do Mountain gorilla trekking & visit the Batwa Community in the evening 

batwa-community-uganda

After your early morning breakfast, your driver guide will drive you to the Park head Quarters in your respective gorilla trekking region for briefing about the do’s and don’ts of gorilla trekking in Bwindi. You will meet other trekkers in the headquarters and you will be divided in groups of eight individuals who are allowed to visit one particular gorilla habituated group. After briefing, UWA experienced ranger guide will lead you to the trail heads where gorilla trekking starts from and you will entre in the thick dark impenetrable forest to start searching for the mountain gorillas. It can take you like 2-8 hours to encounter mountain gorilla and once up close, you will be allowed to spend one magical hour with these stunning apes. During this time you can decide to sit down listen to gorilla crumble, study how these apes go about their daily activities and you can take as many photos as possible. When the one hour is done, you will walk back to the park headquarters and finally after the whole mountain gorilla encounter in Uganda’s Bwindi you will drive back to your lodge for relaxation after which you will embark on the tour of the Batwa community in the neighborhood. The Batwa people are among the last groups of short surviving people in the world. They were initially forest dwellers but were evicted to enhance biodiversity conservation. Thus they have got a rich and undisturbed heritage that will make your evening memorable. The impressive dance performances and stories will occupy the rest of the evening. Retire for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Chameleon Hill lodge (Luxury/upmarket) or Gorilla Mist Camp (midrange/standard) or Broadbill Forest Camp (Budget/basic).

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park & drive through Ishasha sector in search tree climbing lions

After breakfast embark on the transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park 309km from Rushaga, 218km from Ruhija and 160km from Buhoma. The drive will take you through impressive rural landscapes of Kihihi and Kanungu before approaching Ishasha in the south of Queen Elizabeth National Park. You can make a lunch stop at Savannah Hotel if the time for it finds you there. Continue to undertake a game drive in the rolling savannah plains of Ishasha dotted with short fig trees with low lying branches that are a favorite for lions to climb. Having a chance of encountering the famous tree climbing lions of Ishasha is very rewarding. The Ishasha sector also has other counts of wild game including elephants, buffaloes and Antelopes. Continue to the northern parts of Queen Elizabeth NP for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

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

Day 7: Do morning game drive & an afternoon boat cruise
queen-elizabeth-np-game-drive

Wake up for an early morning 3 - 4 hour game drive though the Kasenyi tracks where you will have chances of viewing a range of wildlife. Some of these include; lions, elephants, Buffaloes, Antelopes, jackals, among others. You will marvel at them as they gather what to put in their stomachs and others taking a rest. The savannah landscape in which they thrive is an attraction in its self. Return to the lodge for relaxation till lunch time after which you will gather at Mweya for a launch cruise on Kazinga channel at 3:00pm. The 2 hour launch cruise takes you through the offers of the 45m long Kazinga channel including possibilities of encountering the Nile crocodiles, Hippos, abundant bird life and a range of wild game quenching their thirst along the channel waters. Return to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Game Lodge (Mid-range/Standard) or Pumba Safari Cottages (Budget/Basic).

Day 8: Morning Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura gorge & transfer to Kampala

After an early cup of coffee, you will connect to Kyambura gorge for a thrilling chimpanzee trekking. The activity starts at 8am and involves hiking the walls of the gorge traversing the lush tropical forest cover which exists below sea level with the views of the flowing river in the gorge floor. The encounter with Chimpanzees is one of those rewarding encounters hat you an ever ave while on an African safari. The chimpanzees roil themselves on tree branches; make pant hooting calls, socialize among others which make them interesting to look at. Retreat from chimpanzee trekking which tend to last 2 - 5 hours to embark on the 417km journey about 7 hours’ drive to arrive in Kampala in the evening to mark the end of your safari.

End of Safari