8 Days Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla & Chimpanzee Safari Adventure

Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla & Chimpanzee Safari Adventure

Destinations: Kigali | Volcanoes National Park | Bwindi Impenetrable Forest | Kibale National Park | Entebbe

Overview

Gorilla Trekking and Chimpanzee safaris are for those of us interested in meeting the creatures who share such a huge part of our DNA. Take on this safari to meet with the friendly locals and track the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. The treks are full of wonder and the joy of new discovery and insight, although it is often hard to know whether the gorillas and chimpanzees enjoy it more than the humans.

Highlights of this Safari

  • Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park –Rwanda
  • Second Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Uganda
  • Chimp tracking in Kibale National park.
  • Rwanda’s Genocide Museum and Ibyiwatu Cultural Performance
  • Optional activities available: Diane Fossey's grave visit, hiking the Virungas & crater lakes hike.

Tour Itinerary

Day one: Arrival in Kigali and transfer to the hotel for the overnight.

Upon arriving at the airport you will be warmly welcomed by your guide from Africa Sceneries, who will then give you a short briefing and transfer you to your hotel in Kigali town.

Overnight: Mille Colline Hotel / Flamingo Tree Village.

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day Two: City tour Kigali – Volcanoes National Park

After breakfast set out to explore Kigali, by visiting the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, which was opened in 2004. It’s a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant Children’s Memorial, and a detailed description of the darkest hour in Rwanda's recent history. You will also visit some of Kigali’s craft markets to browse amongst the pottery, carvings, batik, weaving, sculpture, musical instruments, leather and fabrics on offer. Prepare to use your haggling skills! After lunch, you will depart for Volcanoes National Park. The two-hour drive through the rolling hills of Rwanda takes you to the base of the magnificent volcanoes of the Virunga mountain range. Arrive at the lodge in the evening and relax and get ready for the following day’s gorilla tracking.

Accommodation: Mountain gorilla view.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day Three: Gorilla tracking in Parc de national.

Morning transfer to the visitors’ reception by your guide for a briefing a before beginning the Gorilla trekking. Ascending the slopes of the Virungas, you will be immersed in the dense, lush rainforest. The vibrant birdcalls and squabbles of the golden monkeys will eventually bring you to the gorillas in their natural habitat. Starring into the eyes of these gentle giants is a truly once in a lifetime experience. Once the gorillas are located you are allowed to spend up to an hour with the remarkably peaceful gorillas despite their size and appearance. Watch them go about their daily life, feeding, playing with their young and resting. Return to the lodge in the afternoon where you can go for an optional Ibyiwatu Cultural group performance. You will be entertained, and learn more about Rwandan culture, music, dance, and drama. Or take a visit to the twin lakes before returning to the lodge in the evening.

Accommodation: Mountain gorilla view.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day Four: Parc de national- Bwindi Forest Impenetrable Forest

After breakfast, you will cross the Uganda border via Cyanika and continue to the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for two nights. Bwindi Forest is a World Heritage Site and it is a magnificent swathe of forest that crosses the Albertine Rift Valley. This ancient rainforest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age – is one of the most biologically diverse in Africa. Bwindi has at least 90 mammal species, including 11 different primates. Arrive at the lodge in the evening and get ready for the following day’s gorilla tracking.

Accommodation: Mahogany Springs Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day Five: Gorilla trekking –Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

In the morning, you venture out on a trek into the dense and tangled rainforest past beautiful water falls with sunlight filtering through the dense foliage of the jungle canopy. Today’s activity represent another major highlight of your safari as you are going to track the world famous Mountain Gorillas. On this tracking adventure, you will have the exhilarating opportunity to visit the Mountain Gorilla’s natural habitat of shady bamboo thickets and relish sensational views of lush green rainforest, alive with the cacophonous calls of varicolored birds. Nothing can prepare one for the impact of encountering a mountain gorilla close up, twice the size of an average man, yet remarkably gentle and tolerant of human visitors. Actual trek times can vary; these are wild animals after all. If time permits there are a diverse range of activities which are unique to Bwindi which you can participate in during the afternoon.

Relax in the evening or go for any optional activities below and overnight at your lodge.

Optional activities include;

Village Walk: Overlooking the imposing hillsides of Bwindi Impenetrable forest, with the mist swirling over the summits, this is one of the most dramatic settings for your cultural tour! Among others, meet a traditional healer, who not only treats the sick, but uses his knowledge to conserve and educate about the various medicinal plants.

Batwa trail: While on this tour, you get to learn more about the indigenous people of Bwindi. The dense forests at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes were home to the Batwa people: hunter-gatherers and fierce warriors who depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine thanks to the ancient knowledge passed down for generations.

Accommodation: Mahogany Springs Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Day Six: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest- Kibale National Park

After breakfast we will transfer to Kibale forest National park, passing via Ishasha famed for the tree climbing lions arriving in the evening. Kibale is home to an extraordinary thirteen species of primates, including chimpanzees, red colobus, and L’Hoest monkeys. Kibale National Forest has also recorded over 355 bird species, and a range of other mammals including the elusive forest elephant.

Accommodation: Primates Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 7 – Chimpazee Tracking- Bigodi Wetland Walk

Early morning go for Chimpanzee tracking along the network of forest trails. You will observe and follow the chimpanzees as they go about their daily activities, feeding, and grooming. Your guide takes you into the forest and you wait, listening for the telltale hoots and screeches that give away the noisy gang’s location. Part of the thrill as you walk in the forest tracking the chimpanzees is the scenery and sounds of birds, insects, monkeys, and other inhabitants of the forest. It can take up to an hour to get close to these extremely mobile primates, but once you stop and watch the thrill of seeing habituated chimps squabbling and swinging from the trees is an exhilarating experience. Later in the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit Bigodi wetland which is rich in bird species, vegetation, and wildlife. This is also a great opportunity to support local tourism initiatives which benefit social and economic development in the area.

Accommodation: Primates Lodge

Meal Plan: Brekafast, Lunch & Dinner

Day Eight: Fort Portal – Entebbe- Departure

After breakfast, proceed to Entebbe stopping en route for lunch. Transfer to your hotel or to the airport for your return flight.

End of Safari