One of the most incredible wildlife experiences you will ever encounter awaits you on this trip of a lifetime that combines Uganda – the Pearl of Africa – and remarkable Rwanda. Coming face to face with endangered mountain gorillas is a truly unforgettable experience.
A scheduled safari that has you experiencing some of the highlights of Uganda & Rwanda with opportunity to trek for Gorilla’s in both countries! With the added bonus of joining a group of fellow like-minded travellers and sharing costs.
This safari starts with a night in Entebbe to relax and recover from international flights and connections. The following day you will fly to north of Queen Elizabeth National Park where you will be met by your guide and embark on an afternoon boat cruise along the wildlife filled Kazinga Channel, before overnighting in your camp within the park. The following day will be a full day of game viewing inside Queen Elizabeth National Park with chances of finding the famous tree climbing lions of the area! From there driving to Bwindi Impenetrable National park where you will spend two nights in a luxury lodge. Here you have a full day of Gorilla trekking in Bwindi!
After that incredible experience, you will the following day head via Kisoro to Rwanda whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery on a long drive, before arriving at your lodge for 2 nights. You have the option here to do another Gorilla trekking experience or a Golden Monkey trek/forest walk in Volcanoes National Park. The finally on the last day you will make your way to Kigali Airport with a Kigali city tour and genocide museum tour en route.
- Includes domestic flight to reduce long journey by vehicle!
- Luxury accommodation, friendly hosts & professional guides!
- Enough time for 2 Mountain Gorilla trekking experiences!
- Game drives in the famous Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park!
- Community visits and cultural experiences!
- Chance to see the famous tree climbing lions in Ishasha!
- Explore both Uganda & Rwanda!
- Option to visit the Rwanda Genocide museum!
map and overview
Day 1: Arrival transfer from Entebbe airport -Overnight Hotel No 5 or similar.
Day 2: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Mweya/ Kasese – Afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel – Overnight Ishasha Wilderness Camp.
Day 3: Game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park – Sundowners on the plains -Overnight Ishasha Wilderness Camp.
Day 4: Drive to Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi, visiting the Ishasha Community Project en route – Overnight Buhoma Lodge.
Day 5: Gorilla trekking – Overnight Buhoma Lodge.
Day 6: Drive via Kisoro to Rwanda. Beautiful scenery on this long drive – Overnight Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.
Day 7 :Gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Or Golden monkeys/ forest walk – Overnight Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.
Day 8: Depart to Kigali airport, with Kigali city and genocide museum tour en route.
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to Hotel No 5.
Set in the shores of Lake Victoria, Entebbe is a small town that is easy to explore on foot or local boda bodas (motorbike taxis). Explore the markets, hunt for souvenirs or crafts, meander through the Botanical Gardens or relax with a boat cruise on Lake Victoria. You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and meet the friendly locals.
Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe, Hotel No.5 is a stylish boutique hotel. With all luxurious rooms opening onto the garden and swimming pool, this is a great option for guests looking for an intimate stay in a tranquil setting.
Make yourself at home – unwind beside the swimming pool, pamper yourself with a spa treatment, or work up a sweat in the hotel gym. Attention to detail , outstanding dining and an attentive guest experience are synonymous with Hotel No 5.
Transfer to airport for your short flight to Mweya, from where you will explore Queen Elizabeth National Park. This park set in the Great Rift Valley is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with its tree climbing lions and Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda.
Enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a 32-kilometre long natural channel linking Lake Edward and Lake George. Kazinga’s shores are dotted with herds of lazy buffalo, pods of hippos wallowing without a care, and countless bird species. Drift past local fishing villages, and soak up the peaceful tranquillity of this beautiful African day. (Cruise normally departs at 14h00, although this depends on availability when booking and is subject to change –no drinks/ snacks provided on boat)
The next two nights will be enjoyed at Ishasha Wilderness Camp, an intimate camp with just ten luxurious safari tents set on a tranquil river bank.
Day at leisure to enjoy game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, looking out for huge herds of buffalo, elephant and of course the famous tree-climbing lion typically found in the area.
Overnight at Ishasha Wilderness Camp including all meals and local drinks.
A 2-3 hour drive through scenic country brings you to Bwindi Forest National Park. Time permitting, you may visit a Community Project en route. Immerse yourself in Agartha’s ‘Taste of Uganda’tour – it’s a fun, educational experience for the inquisitive visitor who wonders how a rural Ugandan lady lives. Watch how the local crops are transformed into local staples such as millet porridge and kalo bread.
Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage site. Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa and home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies and 160 species of trees. The park contains an estimated one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site.
Set within the National Park, just steps away from the Gorilla Trekking headquarters, Buhoma Lodge offers cosy accommodation in wooden chalets with uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest. Well loved for its warm welcome and attentive service, Buhoma is an eco friendly lodge operating on solar power, constructed using sustainable local materials. Each of the ten wooden chalets offers a private verandah and enchanting forest views.
Awaken to chattering forest birds, and watch out for the occasional mountain gorilla that has ventured right in to visit the lodge. Overnight at Buhoma Lodge with all meals and local drinks included
One of the most humbling and enthralling wildlife experiences imaginable awaits your discovery. Coming face to face with an endangered mountain gorilla is something words cannot aptly describe. Please note that gorilla trekking is strenuous with treks ranging from 45 mins up to eight hours, at high altitudes in hot African conditions. The thrill of the hour you spend quietly observing these gentle giants once you find them is well worth the hike to get there! Although mountain gorillas are wild animals and it should be noted that sightings cannot be guaranteed, viewing success rates are well over 95%.
Head back to Buhoma Lodge for a complimentary massage after your trek, or explore the surrounding Bwindi community. Optional activities that may be enjoyed in and around the park include forest walks, visits to a local school or orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.
Overnight at Buhoma Lodge with all meals and local drinks included
From Bwindi, we drive through the ‘Little Switzerland of Africa’ along winding mountain roads, and through rural villages, to the border of Rwanda, Kisoro. Here, on a clear day, the Virunga’s can be seen ‘standing sentry’ along the border – a row of massive, dormant volcanoes watching over the region. It’s a long day – approx 7-8 hours on the road with a +- 1 hour border crossing.
Crossing into Rwanda, we continue to our Gorilla Trekking base, and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge on a full board basis
Trekking gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park is a very similar experience to that in Bwindi – just as challenging, equally memorable. If you’ve opted not to trek today, take a hike to Dian Fossey’s grave or enjoy forest walk with Golden Monkeys. You will only be able to enjoy one of these activities (as they all take place in the morning) and pre-booking is essential.
Overnight Mountain Gorilla View Lodge on a full board basis.
After lunch, we drive to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, a bustling, clean and safe city. Optional visit to the haunting Genocide Museum. Drop off at airport – please book a late flight home or overnight in Kigali.
|8 Day Uganda & Rwanda Safari||2023|
|Per person sharing HIGH season|
Single room supplement
|USD 5525 including flight EBB- Kasese (USD300)|
|Gorilla permits excluded||USD 700 per permit (Uganda)|
USD 1500 per permit (Rwanda)
Or Golden Monkeys USD100
|Guided Forest walk & Park Fee Bwindi||USD 70|
|Community Visit – Buhoma||USD 30|
|Batwa (Pygmies) Community Visit||USD 85|
- Airport transfers in Entebbe and Kigali
- Vehicle with English speaking local driver/ guide throughout
- Bottled water in safari vehicle
- 1 x overnight Hotel No.5 including breakfast
- Domestic flight from Entebbe to Mweya/ Kasese
- Boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
- Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- All park entrance fees
- 2 x overnights Ishasha Wilderness Camp on a full board basis including local drinks
- Community visit en route from Ishasha to Bwindi
- 2 x overnights Buhoma Lodge on a full board basis including local drinks
- 2 x overnights Mountain Gorilla View Lodge full board basis
- Full liability insurance cover
- Compulsory emergency evacuation insurance in Rwanda USD 15
- 24 hour emergency contact
** Please note that the cost of the flight Entebbe – Mweya is based on estimated airfare. Exact available airfare at time of booking will be recalculated and advised. Baggage allowance 15kgs in a soft bag.
- Gorilla tracking permits which must be pre purchased at time of booking.
- Flights, visas and medical requirements
- Optional excursions, drinks, tips, visas, items of a personal nature.
- Gorilla trekking permit – Uganda USD 600 per person Bwindi
- USD 700 per person from July 2020
- Gorilla trekking permit – Rwanda USD 1500 per person Rwanda
- Guided forest walk Bwindi including park fees: USD 75 per person Bwindi
- Ishasha Community visit Bwindi: USD 30 per person Bwindi
- Batwa Pygmies visit: USD 85 per person Bwindi
- 2nd Gorilla trek including purchase fee: USD 670 per person Bwindi
- USD 770 per person from July 2020
- Bush breakfast at Ishasha: USD 40 per person Ishasha
- Golden Monkeys: USD 100 per person Rwanda
- Dian Fossey Grave Hike: USD 75 per person Rwanda
GORILLA TREKKING AREAS & PERMIT ALLOCATIONS – UGANDA
On scheduled departures, we typically buy permits for Buhoma & Ruhija, which are accessible from Buhoma area. One of the Buhoma families, and the Ruhija families, require a road transfer to the start point. This does not deviate from the enjoyment of the trek (and could be considered as enhancing your trip as you are seeing a different part of the region). Furthermore, your permit may be organised for day 3, or 4, of your safari. It will depend on availability at the time of purchase.
POPULAR TRIP EXTENSIONS:
- MURCHISON FALLS: River Nile, game drives, chimpanzee trekking, fishing, bird-watching. Suggested add on 3-4 nights.
- KIBALE: Chimpanzees and other primates, forest walks, crater lakes. Suggested add on 2 nights.
- JINJA: Source of the Nile, adventure activities including white water rafting, quad biking. Suggested add on 2-3 nights.
- ENTEBBE: City life and local craft shopping, boat cruises or fishing on Lake Victoria, Botanical Gardens, Uganda Wild Life Education Centre/ Ngamba Island.
Yellow fever inoculation is compulsory & malaria prophylactics are recommended. For gorilla trekking it is imperative that you are healthy and free of any disease or virus – officials do have the right to refuse entry if you are found to have or show any signs of communicable illnesses. Should you opt to spend time participating in any UWEC Wildlife Integration programme, you may require additional inoculations and health clearances.
Most nationalities require a visa to enter Uganda and Rwanda. For this itinerary, an East African visa (USD 100) is required. All visitors who require a visa should apply through the online application system prior to arrival at https://visas.immigration.go.ug. Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after return date of travel, or 12 months in the case of UK nationals, and have at least 3 blank pages in it.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Is compulsory for all guests travelling.
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