12 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Safari
12 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Safari – Overview
The 12 days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla trekking safari offers the perfect blend of Uganda and Rwanda which are apparently among the prime safari destinations in Africa.
On this safari, you will do gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes and Uganda’s Bwindi, boat trip on Lake Bunyonyi – the lake with 26 islands overlooking the beautiful Kigezi highlands, hike the Dian Fossey grave, explore the rich wild game of Queen Elizabeth National Park including the tree climbing lions, buffaloes, leopard, elephants, antelopes among others, water birds and animals on Kazinga channel, Crater scenic drive, chimp trekking in Kibale National Park, Bigodi wetland encounter, the Amabere caves tour and Fort Portal Crater hike plus the eventual Kampala city encounter with its rich heritage embedded in cultural, historical and religious attractions.
12 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Safari – Highlights
- Day 1: Drive to Volcanoes National Park
- Day 2: Undertake the first gorilla trekking activity in Rwanda.
- Day 3: Explore the Diana Fossey’s site.
- Day 4: Cross to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda.
- Day 5: Connect to gorilla safari haven of Bwindi – Uganda.
- Day 6: Undertake second gorilla trekking encounter in Uganda.
- Day 7: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the tree climbing lions’ region of Ishasha & do boat cruise.
- Day 8: Do game drive & Crater drive.
- Day 9: Another game drive & transfer to Kibale National Park.
- Day 10: Do Chimpanzee tracking & encounter Bigodi wetland
- Day 11: Visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves, Fort portal crater & transfer back to Kampala.
- Day 12: Encounter Kampala city
12 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla trekking Safari Tour – Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Drive to Volcanoes National Park
Before embarking on this 10 days Rwanda Uganda gorilla trekking safari, you will have first an early breakfast at your place of stay in Kigali after which you will transfer with the help of our guide to Volcanoes National Park 116km about 3 hours’ drive.
You will arrive early for Lunch and simple relaxation. In the afternoon, you will embark on the nature walk to the awesome twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera amidst magical bird sights and amazing scenery.
Accommodation: Virunga Lodge (Upmarket/luxury), Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Kinigi Guest House (Budget/basic).
Day 2: Undertake The First Gorilla Trekking Activity in Rwanda.
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 is designed 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 lodge for relaxation. In the late afternoon, you will pay a visit to the Iby’ iwachu cultural village to have a detailed encounter of the Kinyarwanda Culture.
Accommodation: You will spend a night at your previous lodge.
Day 3: Explore The Diana Fossey’s Site.
Wake up for breakfast before embarking on the hike to the Dian Fossey site. The hike involves passing through various vegetation zones and a relatively raised ascend before approaching the site of the leading gorilla conservationist that the world is gifted to have had.
Dian Fossey an American Primatologist lays in rest at the site and adjacent is her research station at Karisoke with a lot of collections about Mountain gorillas.
You will also see the tomb of her favorite silverback – Digit that lies closer to hers. Return for relaxation.
Accommodation: You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge
Day 4: Cross to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda.
After breakfast, you will set off from Volcanoes National Park area to cross to Uganda via the Virunga massif with its stunning views.
The drive to Lake Bunyonyi 134km about 5 hours’ drive involves the great scenery of the Kigezi highlands that has been dubbed the Switzerland of Africa.
You will arrive for Lunch after which you embark on the afternoon boat cruise to explore the Bunyonyi’s 26 Islands and the rolling hills that surround it.
The encounter also gives you an opportunity to see birds while the visit to the adjacent community is quite rewarding as it enhances your cross-cultural encounters.
Accommodation: Birdnest@Lake Bunyonyi resort (Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia Cottages (Midrange/Standard) or Byoona-magara (Budget/Basic).
Day 5: Connect To Gorilla Safari Haven of Bwindi – Uganda.
Embark on the scenic drive after breakfast through Kigezi highlands to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the north.
It is 110km about 4 hours’ drive. You will arrive early for Lunch and relaxation amidst the fresh soothing air from the pre-historic forest of Bwindi.
In the evening, you can take a community to the adjacent Batwa people – the forest hunter gathers humans that used to live I the forest of Bwindi before they were evicted to pave way for conservation. You will enjoy their stories and performances.
Accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp (Upmarket/Luxury), Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Buhoma Community Bandas (Budget/Basic).
Day 6: Undertake Second Gorilla Trekking Encounter in Uganda.
Wake up for an early cup of coffee, before gathering at Park Headquarters at Buhoma for briefing about the gorilla trekking activity at 08:00am always conducted by park rangers.
This gives highlights about 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 return to the lodge for relaxation.
Accomadtion: Spend an overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 7: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park Via The Tree Climbing Lions’ Region of Ishasha & Do Boat Cruise.
After breakfast, embark on the drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park and for 64km 2 hours of drive, you will enter the re-known Ishasha sector in the south of Queen Elizabeth National Park where you do a simple game drive to spot the tree climbing lions lying on the branches of fig trees in the mid-morning sunshine.
After this encounter, you will continue on the 97km, 3 hours’ drive to Mweya for Lunch and the Kazinga channel boat cruise at 03:00pm.
The 2-hour boat ride gives you impressive sights along this unique 40m channel that connects Lakes George & Edward including; the Hippos and Nile crocodiles in the water, wild game drinking on the channel side and splendid water birds. Retire for overnight.
Accommodation: Mweya safari Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Enganzi Lodge (Midrange/standard) or Simba safari Camp (Budget/Basic).
Day 8: Do Game Drive & Crater Drive.
Depart at 06:00am to encounter the rewarding Queen Elizabeth National Park game drive through the Kasenyi tracks.
This early departure will expose you to the early risers and the night hunters retreating to their hiding places including the rare leopard, side stripped jackal, hyena, and owls among others.
The morning game drive will also expose you the herds of elephants, buffaloes, pride of lions, warthogs and a range of antelopes.
You will retire from the game drive at 10:00am and embark to the lodge for a relaxed late breakfast and relaxation.
In the evening, you will embark on a scenic drive through the crater area to have the amazing views of the explosion craters that were left behind by the volcanic forces.
Some of these crater hollows were filled with water to form lakes and the absence of outlets made some of them to become completely salty such as the Katwe salty lake.
Day 9: Another Game Drive & Transfer to Kibale National Park.
Do another early morning game drive to view the wildlife species that you could have missed on your first drive. You will also enjoy repeated sights of the wild game that dwell in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
After the game drive, you will return to the lodge for relaxation till lunch time after which you will embark on the drive to Kibale National Park.
The drive is quite rewarding with the splendid views of Rwenzori Mountains and the Rift valley features before arriving in Kibale in the evening. It is 157km about 4 hours’ drive.
Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Chimps nest (Midrange/standard) or Chimpanzee guest house (Budget/Basic).
Day 10: Do Chimpanzee Tracking & Encounter Bigodi Wetland
After a heavy breakfast, gather at the tourism center at Kanyanchu at 08:00am to have a short briefing before setting off to the forest in quest of the great chimpanzees.
It is such amazing encounter that will not only expose you to chimps but also to other 12 primate species, range of birds and amazing flora that are medicinal or trees whose age is overwhelming.
The one-hour contact with Chimps is very rewarding as you look at Chimpanzees rolling through the tree branches, munching their fruits, socializing and young chimps demonstrating their playful tactics.
The activity takes 2 – 5 hours. After the chimp trekking encounter, you will embark on the drive to Bigodi wetland sanctuary to explore into the swamp birds like Ruwenzori Turaco, swamp animals like Sitatunga, community walk to the traditional healer and local school.
Accommodation: You will have dinner and Overnight at your previous lodge.
Day 11: Visit The Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru Caves, Fort portal Crater & Transfer Back to Kampala.
After a thrilling breakfast, embark on your whole encounter of the magical offerings of Fort Portal area.
You will visit the Amabere g’ Nnyinamwiru caves which is a cultural landmark that is traced back to the Chwezi era marking the breasts of Nnyinamwiru, the daughter of Bukuku who was denied the opportunity of breastfeeding his only son Ndahura a re-known Muchwezi ruler who expanded the Chwezi dynasty to annex much of the great lakes region.
The trip also exposes you to the crater lakes including; Saaka, Bikere and Kigere which are overlooked from the impressive Kyeganywa hill.
You will come back to Fort portal town for lunch after which you will embark on the transfer to Kampala. You will arrive in the evening after 300km about 6 hours’ drive from Fort Portal town.
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Cassia Lodge (Midrange/standard) or The Lodge (Budget/Basic).
Day 12: Encounter Kampala City.
After breakfast, embark on the city tour of Kampala visiting the historical attractions like the Uganda Museum and monuments, Cultural attractions like Buganda Kingdom palace, Kasubi tombs and Kabaka’s lake, Religious attractions like the Namugongo Martyrs shrine, Namirembe & Rubaga Cathedrals, Baha’i temple and Gadhafi National Mosque, Markets like Owino and Nakasero to mark the end of your 12 days Rwanda Uganda gorilla trekking safari.
End of The 12 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Safari
General Safari Inclusions
- Gorilla Permit (for gorilla trekking safaris)
- Chimpanzee Permit (for chimpanzee trekking safaris)
- Full Board Accommodation on Safari
- Transportation in either 4X4 Safari Van or 4X4 Safari Land Cruiser all with Pop up roof & AC
- Professional English Speaking driver guide. Any other foreign language speaking guide can be arranged on request.
- Entrance fees to the tourist sites including Protected areas mentioned
- Activity fees of the tourist activities mentioned
- Bottled water while on safari
- Border crossing fees (for cross border safaris)
General Safari Exclusions
- General tips for the driver guide, site guides and service staff at the lodges
- Laundry Services
- Other Beverages / drinks of personal nature like Alcohol
- International Flights (Arranged on request)
- Domestic Flights (Arranged on request)
- Optional Activity fees
- Other extras not mentioned in the Itinerary
- Airport Transfer (Arranged on request)
- Accommodation in Kampala or Kigali unless it is part of the Itinerary (Arranged on request)