This Midrange across the border-thrilling Safari is all about a memorable once in a lifetime Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking expedition. A must do for all adventurous traveler!
Day 1: ENTEBBE/KAMPALA.
Upon arrival at Entebbe Airport; meet our representative, greet and transfer to your hotel/lodge.
Day 2: TO KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
Today you will drive to Fort Portal in western Uganda. The route is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside, which characterizes so much of Uganda.
On arrival at Kibale forest, you will enter a completely different world… some serious monkey business! Although you are here specifically to track Chimps, the forest is home to at least 12 Primate Species including the Red Tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Black and White Colobus plus Blue Monkeys. The bird life in the forest is also prolific and includes the beautiful Great Blue Turaco. If you are very lucky, you may even catch a Glimpse of the meandering herd of Forest Elephant.
Depending on how you feel, refresh, relax then feel free to embark on an evening birding/community excursion. Your swamp walk (1- 2 hours) will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot 3 or 4 different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the Great Blue Turaco bird!
Optional activity: Chimpanzee Habituation tracking:
You can choose to do the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day and you will be 100% sure to have a very close encounter with your closest relatives. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go.
Day 3: CHIMPANZEE TRACKING – TO QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK.
08:00 am Your Chimpanzee tracking excursion will commence. Kibale Forest boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins- the Chimpanzees. At this moment, in Uganda, there are approximately 4,950 Chimps left in the wild, which makes this forest a perfect and best place to spot chimpanzees in Africa! During the excursion, your ranger will point out the other species living in the forest, including birds, flora, and fauna.
After lunch, you will embark on a Safari route that traces the Western Rift Valley in the heart of Africa to the South West of Uganda through many hills, surrounded by small villages, picturesque green tea plantations and beautiful landscapes of Fort Portal. This part of Uganda is characterized by the presence of numerous crater lakes of volcanic origin fairy–like surroundings and the charming Green Tea plantations. Proceed to Kasese District- home of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the oldest& second largest National Park in Uganda, It is located at the base of the massive Rwenzori Mountains, adjacent to lakes Edward& George, covered by Savannah plains that provide an abundance of Game viewing like; Elephants that trumpet when you get too close, lazy Leopards laying in the sun, abundant Gazelle and buck, Lions, Buffaloes, Hippos and others. You will arrive at your lodge late in the afternoon.
Day 4: QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK. GAME DRIVE & LAUNCH CRUISE
6.30a.m Early morning cup of Coffee, go for a game drive in time to see the sunrise. You will search for all the wildlife in the park; Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, Warthog, etc.
2:00 pm you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel- a natural channel which connects Lake Edward to Lake George. View Buffaloes, Elephants, Waterbucks, Crocodiles and the highest concentration of Hippos plus a variety of colorful species of Water birds like Crested Eagles, Pelicans and Cormorants – an Amazing diverse collection of the African Animal Kingdom which comes to the waterhole to drink or bathe. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.
Optional activity: Hot Air Balloon Safari:
Experience the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth NP in a new, unique way. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, as you silently fly over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Admire the herds of buffaloes, elephants and enjoy the serene tranquility of the African bush…
You will take off early at dawn for a balloon flight that lasts for approximately 1 hour. Rise as the suns rise and float in whatever direction the winds of the morning take you. Fly higher than the trees and hills and enjoy the best of Uganda, with many great photo opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.
After a smooth landing, you can celebrate this amazing adventure with a glass of sparkling juice before returning to your lodge to continue your safari.
Optional activity: Lion Tracking.
For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of the lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings, and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology – and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions!
The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.
The experiential tourism activities currently available are; Mongoose Tracking, Lion Tracking, Hippo Census, and Bird Counts. The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.
Experiential tours last between one and three hours. They usually take place in the early morning or evening, or occasionally at night. All activities must be booked through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya at least 24 hours in advance.
Day 5: ISHASHA – TO RWANDA VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast head out through Kihihi town to the beautiful wilderness of Ishashaplains that are a part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. A game drives through the open savannah of Acacia on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley will enable you view ‘Tree climbing Lions’ and other wild animals.
You’ll proceed to the breathtaking; evergreen mountain country deep to the southwestern border of Uganda and Rwanda. You will see a great countryside of bamboo forest and have great views of landscape as you bid farewell to Uganda and enter into Rwanda.
Arrive at Ruhengeri, the base for Gorilla trekking at the Parc National des Volcans. The town itself is located only 25km from Uganda border and relatively a small city of about 70,000 people. The constant flow of humanity is quite remarkable. The Town has great views of the surrounding volcanoes. People are very friendly here and although a former Belgian colony (and thus French-speaking), many people speak English here. Refresh and relax at your lodge in preparation for the big day tomorrow.
Day 6: Gorilla trekking
0630 hrs: Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park HQs
0700 hrs: Registration, where the park staff determines which group of gorillas you will visit.
Once the trekkers are put into groups, each group’s Lead Guide briefs the trekkers of the trekking procedures as well as the “do’s and don’ts” while in the presence of gorillas. After the briefing, trekkers return to their respective vehicles for the drive up the mountain to the starting point. Porters may be hired for the trek to carry your backpack and gear.
Trekking can take from two to six or more hours if the gorillas move before the park rangers locate them the next morning. The guides stop frequently to allow trekkers a chance to rest and take photos along the way.
Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!
After lunch, depart on scenic drive North Westwards through the beautiful terraced hillsides that display Rwanda’s landscape all the way to Kigali.
Day 7: Depart Kigali
Depending on your time of departure, you can optionally enjoy a City Tour of Kigali.
The history of Rwanda dates back centuries; Kigali has been a part of it for 100 years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare.
Visit the Kandt museum; see old Kigali and the craft centers then visit the genocide memorial site. Learn about Rwanda’s history from pre-colonial times to the 1994 genocide; learn about other genocides in the world and how this country has dealt with that past. Tour more and see the new developments in Rwanda; the recovery has been incredible, a testament to humankind’s resilience. Transfer to Kigali International Airport for your departure flight.
This marks the end of what we hope will be an adventurous trip-Thank you very much!!
Price (USD) Per Person Including 4×4 Jeep
I. If 1 pax traveling @US$$5,172
II. If 2 pax traveling @US$3,804
III. If 4 pax traveling @US$3,384
IV. If 6 pax traveling @US$3,210
Price (USD) per Person including 4×4 Safari Minibus
I. If 1 pax traveling @US$$4,794
II. If 2 pax traveling @US$3,618
III. If 4 pax traveling @US$3,246
IV. If 6 pax traveling @US$3,120
Please observe our Additional checklist for Gorilla Tracking