This luxury safari takes you to the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda which are found in the Virunga ranges, enjoy game drives in different national parks, and also visit local communities to learn more about their culture.
Carry out city tours in Kigali and Kampala, stay in luxurious hotels and safari lodges. This tour, therefore will take you to the best of wildlife and you will have a chance to spot the big cats and big five mammals.
Day 1: Depart Kigali to Volcanoes national park and visiting the twin lakes
Depart to the home of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park and pass via the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo with amazing features like the shape, water among others, the view of these lakes is breath-taking. You can also take a canoe to explore the beauty of these lakes.
Proceed to Volcanoes national park, a journey that takes 2-3 hours where you will be covering a distance of 117km. The park is located in South Western Rwanda covering an area of 160sq.km a home of 10 habituated mountain gorillas, over 300 bird species such as long-crested eagle, grey throated tit, paradise flycatcher, red-faced woodland warbler, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori double collared sunbird among others and 23 tree species. Arrive in the evening at a luxury lodge and walk through the gardens.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking and visit Dian Fossey graveyard
After a spiced tea or coffee, you will head to the park headquarters to in other tourists for a short briefing. While here, you will be allocated to a group of 8 people to trek only one gorilla family, receive the instructions depending on the dos and don’ts while in the forest like not mimic, not using flashlights, not making noise among others.
Then the armed park ranger guide will escort you to the forest and start searching for these African residents. Trekking takes between 2-3 hours depending on the location of these apes but remember only an hour will be allocated to you in their presence after finding them.
You will then return to the headquarters and a certificate will be rewarded to you which will be followed with a drive back to the accommodation facility for lunch.
After, you will visit the Dian Fossey’s graveyard where you will learn the story of an American researcher who sacrificed her life to save most of these mountain gorillas.
The hike rewards you with several primates like olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, and many bird species. Return to the lodge for dinner late in the evening.
Day 3: Transfer to Mgahinga National park and Batwa community
Transfer to Mgahinga national park in Uganda immediately after breakfast. The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours that covers a distance of over 90km. the journey is rewarding as you pass through the mountains, valleys and highlands.
Mgahinga national park is well known for its gorillas, golden monkeys and Batwa community and these make the park a must-visit destination. It is also the smallest national park in the country and it covers an area 33. 7sq.km and it got its name from ‘Gahinga’ a local word meaning piles of volcanic stones.
After lunch, you will visit the Batwa community who live outside the forest but they were original inhabitants of the forest. Their story is amazing, as you tour around their caves and also get entertained as they perfume the dances and music. In the evening and check into a luxury lodge for your dinner.
Day 4: Golden monkey trekking and Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP
Wake up early and take your breakfast in a well-fascinated restaurant. Then drive to the park offices for short briefing about what to follow while trekking the golden monkeys. And among others are not making noise, avoid using flashlights for cameras and always to keep on tracks/trails.
Then you will head in the forest to search for these monkeys and while searching, you will meet other attractions like different bird species, more primates and many others. You will be allowed only an hour to be with these species as you take memorable photos.
After, you will trek back and meet your driver-guide at the park office where he will be ready to transfer you to Queen Elizabeth national park.
Queen Elizabeth national park is situated in western Uganda and it’s the second-largest national park in the country famous for its tree-climbing lions in Ishasha sector.
As you enter the park, you will be amazed and welcomed by abundant wild game such as the elephants, buffaloes, antelopes such as the Uganda kobs, warthogs among others. Then head to the safari lodge for your dinner.
Day 5: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise
Head for an early game drive in Kasenyi plains to be able to spot the early raisers like lions, leopards, jackals, spotted hyenas, and other animals like herds of buffalos, elephants, oribis, warthogs, and also bird species like an African mourning dove, swamp nightjar, grey-headed kingfisher among others. Catch up with a boat cruise in the afternoon that will take 2-3 hours.
The cruise will be on Kazinga channel where you will spot crocodiles, hippos, and different birds like the African fish eagle, swamp nightjar, grey-headed kingfisher and African elephants, buffalos among others. This will be an impressive and rewarding day.
Day 6: Drive to Murchison falls national park and after boat cruise
Drive to Murchison falls national after a leisure breakfast. The guide will drive you past Kibale forest and Hoima town where you’ll have a lunch stop over.
After lunch, you will to the park past Bulisa or Kachumbanyobo gates in Masindi. Drop off at your lodge in Murchison falls national park.
Day 7: Transfer to Kampala and a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary in Nakasongola
Transfer to Kampala with a morning game drive where you will spot several wildlife such as the lions, zebras, giraffes, warthogs among others.
Then drive towards Kampala and have a stopover at Kabalega’s dinner restaurant for en-route lunch, after proceed and visit Ziwa rhino sanctuary to trek the white rhinos. This will complete the big five mammal list. After the trek, you will head to Kampala and check in the luxurious hotel.
Day 8: Kampala city tour and transfer to Entebbe international airport
The day will start by taking breakfast and then a short Kampala city tour where you will visit the Uganda museum, local craft market, the Kabaka’s palace among others. Then after lunch, you will be dropped at the airport in Entebbe and this will be the end of the 8 days Rwanda and Uganda luxury safari.