This 7 Days (6 Nights) Safari takes you to Uganda and Rwanda for the ultimate gorilla trekking experience in game viewing. The trip starts in Kampala and ends in Rwanda. Please note that this same trip can start in Kigali and ends in Uganda.
- Game Viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Launch Cruise along the Kazinga Channel
- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and the Virunga Region
Day 1: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today, we journey through Uganda’s beautiful scenic areas with a potential clear view of the Rwenzori Mountains, depending on cloud cover, as we get closer to our first stop. Queen Elizabeth is the second largest national park in Uganda. In terms of diversity, this park is amazing. Having arrived at lunch time, after your lunch and refreshment, embark on a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel [it links Lakes George and Edward] where you get close to hippo, buffalo, and crocodiles. Elephants often swim here as well. The bird life is very rich and quite approachable, including the Saddle-Billed Stork, Malachite Kingfisher, both species of Pink-backed and Great Pelicans, and other migratory species. After the boat trip, return to your loge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2: Morning Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Wake up to a cup of coffee/tea and head out on a morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Return to your accommodation for lunch, a siesta or you can explore around the lodge. Later in the evening, embark on an evening game drive in search of elephants, lions, buffalo, bushbuck and a host of other mammals. As we drive back late in the evening, we keep our spot lights out in the open, looking out for nocturnal mammals like the leopard and aardvark and nocturnal birds such as the nightjar. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.
Day 3: Transfer to Kisoro
After breakfast, begin your transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides good chances for seeing tree-climbing lions, unique to this area. On a lucky day, you might also catch a glimpse of a leopard. Troupes of Olive Baboons also frequent the roads while we are on the lookout for interesting savannah animals and birds. Arrive in Kisoro late. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.
Day 4: Track Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi
Set off early, with packed lunch, to the park headquarters for a briefing prior to setting off to track and observe gorillas. It is an unforgettable experience to observe and photograph these highly-intelligent, gentle animals. Reaching the family group to which we are assigned may require walking anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours. Game scouts are likely to have pre-located them and radioed back their location to your guide, but the animals are wide-ranging, they move their nests nightly, and they don’t stick to the trails.
Each encounter is different and has its own rewards. You are likely to enjoy the close view of adults feeding, grooming, and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully-playful display.
Gorilla tracking involves part or all of a day in the forest. In rare instances, it can take an entire day of very hard trekking to locate, reach, observe, and return from a group. You need to be physically fit if you wish to maximize your chances. Very occasionally, in spite of all efforts, the gorillas prove elusive. Depending on the time at which we return, we might have an optional visit to the communities around the gorillas’ habitat or birding. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5: Transfer to Parc Volcanoes
The day begins with sightseeing around Bwindi before driving to Rwanda. Experience Uganda’s breathtaking scenery and feel the wonders of nature as you will see big terraced hills, big valleys, big everything including nice people and forests! Thereafter drive to Rwanda as you enjoy the rolling hills for which Rwanda is well known to Ruhengeri. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.
Day 6: Track the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park
With breakfast out of the way, you will depart for the headquarters of the Park where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about these endangered Great Apes. Having a face to face close encounter with Mountain Gorillas is a heart-warming experience, and tracking them through the damp misty undergrowth gives you a sensational experience that you will never forget and brings you to the reality of our close kinship and the fact they are endangered melts hearts.
American zoologist George Schaller, one of the first people to study gorillas in the Virunga volcanoes, once said: ‘No one who looks into the eyes of a gorilla, gentle and vulnerable, can remain unchanged. After the trek and spending the mandatory one hour with them, return to your lodge for an afternoon siesta or relaxation in and around the lodge. Dinner and overnight at your booked accommodation.
Day 8: Dian Fossey’s Grave
This morning you will trek to Dian Fossey’s grave that on Mt. Karisimbi and Karisoke. Fossey is an American primatologist who did a lot of work that led to the realization that the Mountain Gorillas are endangered and needed protection. Alternatively, you can track Golden Monkeys to encounter the rare and endangered monkeys that only dwell in the Virunga volcanoes.
The activity takes about 4 hours and starts at 08:00 hours from the park headquarters – Kinigi. Have Lunch. Transfer to Kigali. On your way to Kigali, several stops will be made to admire the scenery. Drop off at the hotel or Airport.
End of the Tour