12 Days Rwanda Gorilla trekking & Uganda Wildlife Safari

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Overview

12 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Uganda Wildlife Safari; Rwanda and Uganda are neighbouring countries with mutual relations within East Africa. The two countries have tasted having and sharing much nature. This is demonstrated through the rolling landscapes of Southwestern and Northern Rwanda, both transferred on the stretches of the Central African tropical forests and experiencing the Albertine Rift Valley. This trip will expose you to Africa’s endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda and trek the rare golden monkeys. Cross to Uganda and experience the Batwa culture and Lake Bunyonyi and find the tree-climbing lions, game drives, boat cruises, chimpanzee tracking, and horse rides, among many others. This trip will start from Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport, cross borders to Uganda, and end at Entebbe International Airport.

Trip Summary for your 12 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Uganda Wildlife Safari

  • Day 1: Arrive at Kigali International Airport
  • Day 2: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park
  • Day 3: Gorilla Trekking
  • Day 4: Golden monkey tracking and transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for the Batwa trail
  • Day 5: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation
  • Day 6: Transfer to Ishasha of Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Day 7: Game drive and Boat cruise
  • Day 8: Chimpanzee tracking and Visit to Katwe Salt Lake
  • Day 9: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park and Night Game drive
  • Day 10: Horse riding and Boat ride
  • Day 11: Transfer to Kampala en route to Mabamba swamp
  • Day 12: City tour and flight back home

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Kigali International Airport

Upon your arrival at Kigali International Airport, an Early Trails Expedition representative will be ready to pick you up. This representative will be your driver guide for the rest of your days in Rwanda and Uganda. Please don’t worry- our driver guides are well-experienced with adventure and route knowledge. After a short briefing about your safari, your guide will drive you to your lodge. Later in the day, you may head out for a city tour, where you will visit great tourist centres like the Kigali Genocide Memorial and Inema Arts Centre. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation (midrange): Afrika Boutique Hotel

Day 2: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Today you will take a relaxed morning drive following breakfast to Musanze Northwards of Kigali city. It’s about a 4-hour drive, and after reaching the park, you may check in at your lodge, have lunch and head out to Karisoke to visit Dian Fossey’s tombs. This is the conservation centre with much information about the initiation of gorilla conservation by the British primatologist Dian Fossey. Return to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Accommodation (Midrange): Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge

Day 3: Gorilla Trekking

Following your energising breakfast, you will drive to the starting point at Volcanoes National Park at least 30 minutes before the trekking time. You will be briefed about gorilla trekking, grouped under the leadership of an armed ranger, and guided into the jungle for the day trek. The search for the gorillas can last for 30 minutes to 4 hours, walking into the rush, unmade path, sometimes moist and slippery grounds, until you find the gentle giants in the jungle. You will have one hour of watching and interacting with the gorillas. Afterwards, you will return to your lodge and rest. Dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Accommodation (Midrange): Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge

Day 4: Golden monkey tracking and transfer to Mgahinga to see the Batwa

Golden monkey trekking

This morning, you will head out to track the golden monkeys of the Volcanoes National Park. These primates are endangered and endemic to the Virunga forests and Mgahinga National Park. The track can last 30 minutes to 2 hours; finding them, you will have an hour in their presence.

After lunch, you will embark on your journey to cross the Rwanda-Uganda border and proceed to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, visit the Batwa people if time allows, and drive to Lake Mutanda for overnight and dinner.

Accommodation (midrange): Lake Mutanda Resort

Day 5: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation

Today you will be transferred to Lake Bunyonyi and spend the rest of the day exploring and enjoying the beautiful scenery of this popular tourist destination. You may take a boat ride to some of the islands, and the most exciting island is Punishment Island due to its story related to being an execution island for girls who got pregnant out of wedlock.

Accommodation: Arcadia Cottages

Day 6: Transfer to Ishasha of Queen Elizabeth National Park

Tree climbing lions at Ishasha
Tree climbing lions at Ishasha

Following the well-served morning breakfast, you can board your safari vehicle for a drive to the Ishasha sector, South of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Reaching the section with lunch en route, you will take a game drive through the scenery diversity of Ishasha in search of the rare tree-climbing lions. The ample opportunity of finding tree-climbing lions remains only at Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Ishasha sector. Then, you will drive to Kasenyi and check in at your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation (midrange): Irungu Forest Safari Lodge

Day 7: Game drive and Boat cruise

With your breakfast served this morning, you will drive into the wild. The game drive at Kasenyi is advantageous. Expect to see animals like lions, antelopes, buffalos, elephants, warthogs, and many more. Additionally, there are countless bird species throughout various driving tracks. After about 3 hours, you will return to your lodge for relaxation.

You will have lunch in the afternoon and then drive to Mweya Peninsular for a boat cruise. This fantastic adventure is a tremendous opportunity to watch more animals, like those coming to the channel banks, draw water. The aquatic life is seen either soaked in water or lousily relaxed at the water banks. Then, you will drive back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation (midrange): Irungu Forest Safari Lodge

Day 8: Chimpanzee tracking and Visit Katwe Salt Lake

This morning, you will drive Eastwards of Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kyambura Gorge. This is another exciting chimpanzee tracking spot in Uganda. The gorge is a depression of the rift valley, forming a tropical section surrounded by a wider golden savannah. Chimpanzees are habituated, and trackers have an opportunity for close-up encounters. The track into the gorge can last between 2 to 3 hours, including watching the chimpanzees.

Visit to Katwe Salt Lake
Salt mining at Katwe Salt Lake

Then you will return to your lodge and relax, take an evening drive to Katwe Salt Lake and watch the salt mining activities at the Lake. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation (midrange): Park View Safari Lodge

Day 9: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park and Night Game drive

Today following your delicious breakfast, you will drive to Lake Mburo National Park. The drive is about 6 hours, with lunch in Mbarara. Reaching the park, you will relax while waiting for the exciting night hours. At 7 pm, after having your dinner, you will head out for a guided night game drive. You will carry torches as you enter the jungle for memorable encounters. This drive is an opening to find cats actively hunting, especially leopards and lions. Several animals, including zebras, buffalos, elands, and Impalas, usually congregate for protection. Then, you will return to your lodge for a goodnight’s sleep.

Accommodation (Midrange): Arcadia Cottages

Day 10: Horse riding and Boat ride

After a delicious breakfast, you will head out for a horse ride, an exciting experience that brings you close to nature and its treasures. The absence of lions and elephants in Lake Mburo makes this adventure easy and comfortable. The horse rides take various trails and rates according to the guest’s desires. After the horse ride, you will refresh with lunch and take an afternoon boat ride on Lake Mburo. The ride will have various animal encounters, including buffalos, hippos, etc. Lastly, return to your lodge for relaxation and dinner.

Accommodation (Midrange): Arcadia Lodge

Day 11: Transfer to Kampala en route to Mabamba swamp

You will check out in the morning after breakfast to Mabamba Swamp for a shoebill search; the drive will have a stopover at the Equator for photographs. Then continue to the Mabamba Bay Ramsar site, where you will get a canoe ride for the shoe bill search before you proceed to Kampala for an overnight stay.

Accommodation (Midrange): Golf Course Hotel

Day 12: City tour and flight back home

Today, you will take a walking safari or a drive to the Uganda Museum to learn and enjoy many untold stories about Uganda. You will have a chance to visit the Gaddafi Mosque, the largest mosque in East Africa. You will climb up at the mosque for a perfect scenic view of Kampala. Then with lunch on the way, you will drive to Entebbe International Airport for your flight back home.

Our driver guide will say goodbye to you on behalf of Early Trials Expedition Uganda. Then, you will take your flight back to your home. After this trip, we believe you will become our ambassador in your home country.

End of your 12 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking & Uganda Wildlife Safari

Trip inclusive:

  • 4×4 safari vehicle with a professional safari guide
  • All trip fuel with unlimited mileage in the national park. (including airport picks and drop)
  • All meals and soft drinks
  • All Park entrances
  • All planned trip activities
  • One Gorilla permits
  • One Chimpanzee permits
  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary

Exclusive:

  • Visa and air ticket
  • Laundry
  • All hard drinks
  • Souvenirs
  • Tips
  • All international flights