Highlights of Uganda & Rwanda | 16 Days
The Highlights of Uganda & Rwanda Safari is designed for you the adventurous, the nature lovers, the strong and resilient; and you who can brave the test of traversing long distances in the wilderness.
In this safari you will traverse the treasured game parks of Kidepo, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda. You will also cross to Rwanda where you will get sights of various mountain ranges and end with a city tour to appreciate the history of people of Rwanda.
While traversing the aforementioned parks, you will be in the habitats of Cheetahs, Lions, Leopards, Buffalos, Giraffes, Elephants, hippos and other game animals that make the said parks treasured spots for nature lovers. The scenery in the safari destinations is also magical. The hike to the top of Murchison Falls will cause some extra adrenaline levels!! Make time to join this thrilling adventurous safari.
- Cross boarder ground travel aboard a customized safari van.
- Traversing the Kidepo wilderness game parks through the arid and rocky Karamoja area.
- Exploration of Murchison Falls National park with a hike to the top of the falls
Day 1 — Arrival at the Airport and transfer to the Hotel
Upon arrival at Entebbe Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by the company staff that will transfer you to your hotel in or around Entebbe town for overnight stay.
DAY 2 — Pick from the hotel and transfer to Kapchorwa with enroute visit to the source of the Nile River.
Early morning, you will be picked from the hotel and begin this memorable expedition whilst taking the Eastern route of Uganda with Kapchorwa as your destination for this day. On your way however, you will first have a detour to the source of the Nile River in Jinja town.
River Nile is the longest river in the world which starts from Lake Victoria and runs for a distance of 6853km before it pours its waters into the Mediterranean Sea. This safari will therefore give you an opportunity to visit the source of this international iconic physical feature. Along the way, you will enjoy spectacular views of the landscape which comprises of both natural forests and vast plantations of both sugarcane and tea. In addition, you will be able to see how the local people carry on with their daily economic activities.
After visiting the source of the Nile River, you will resume with your journey to Kapchorwa where you will arrive at later in the afternoon or evening for overnight stay. Take opportunity to discuss the Basoga, Bagisu and Bagwere cultures with the guide. These are the dominant tribes of this eastern route of Uganda.
Day 3 — Travel to Kidepo Valley National Park via Pian Upe Game Reserve
The third day of this Safari will be spent traversing the vast plains and semi arid Savannah of North Eastern Uganda with a motive of reaching Kidepo Valley National Park.
Observing that this is quite a long journey, you will reach the park in the evening and check in at your lodge. Kidepo Valley National Park is one of the wildest and most spectacular reserves in Africa with a landscape of small hills, rocky outcrops and inselbergs.
The temperatures in Kidepo are usually high, and this will certainly give you a good taste of adventure. While in Kidepo you can get stunning panoramic views of the Narus River Valley and wildlife such as Elephants, herds of Buffaloes, Jackals, Jackson’s Hartebeest, and Klipspringer among others.
The park is renowned for its exceptional variety of birds of prey. While there it is likely that you can spot Ostriches, Kori Bustards, Pygmy Falcons, Verreaux’s Eagles, Egyptian Vultures, Abyssinian ground Hornbills among others. While on the way, you will enjoy the beautiful views of the landscape and the wild game animals in the Pian Upe game reserve.
Day 4 — Game drive and cultural experience with the Karamajong people.
This day will start with a morning game drive to Kanangorok hot spring area. It is intended that you bisect the park such that you obtain more chances of encountering animals like the Hunting dog, Bat-eared Fox and other animals endemic to Kidepo National Park like the cheetah and the striped hyena.
After the game drive, you will have a cultural interaction with Karamajong people at Karenna or Kapedo. You will meet the local elders and have an opportunity to interact with them as they show you the kraals, the grinding stones and many more interesting items used by them.
The Karamajong are still traditionally attached to their culture and you will find out when you observe how they selflessly love and defend their cattle, their way of dressing and the nature of their houses.
Day 5 — Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
You will travel from Kidepo Valley on this day and head southwards to Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls is Uganda’s largest national park and is a home to over 400 birds’ species.
The park is also endowed with several attractions including mammal species with four members of the big five, the lion, the leopards, the elephants, and the Buffaloes.
Other species include bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks, warthogs, giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeest, hyenas, hippos and crocodiles among other resident creatures. You will start the day in the morning and transfer through Gulu- Uganda’s biggest town in the North.
You will continue the drive through the flat scenic landscape with local villages while enjoying the Ugandan countryside. You will arrive at Murchison Falls National Game Park in the afternoon and check in at your lodge.
Day 6 — Game drive, boat cruise and hike to the top of the falls
This day of your Safari gets you to encounter with the natural establishment of Murchison Falls National Park. Murchison Falls National Park is greatly endowed with animals, birds, the Nile River and forests that will certainly give you beautiful lasting memories about wild life.
This park is Uganda’s largest and the oldest national park. It’s a home to 76 species of mammals and 451 birds. Like earlier stated, it is bisected by river Nile, has the mighty breath taking Murchison falls and spectacular views of water. It is a park that you will always wish to explore.
You will begin your exploration of the park with a game drive in the northern circuit of the park. There you will encounter beautiful rolling plains. While in these plains you may view Lions, Giraffes, Hartebeest, Buffalos, Elephants, Bushbuck, Hippopotami, Spotted hyenas, Wild cat, lion, leopard as well as many of the other mammals of the park. For the birders, this area supports the Secretary Bird, Black- chested Snake Eagle, Tawny and Martial Eagles Carmine and Swallow-tailed Bee-Eaters among others.
In the afternoon, you will go for a boat trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls where the Nile thunders through a small 7-meter gap down to the delta.
This experience is breath taking and should not to be missed! The banks of the Nile are home to many species. You may see huge Nile Crocodiles, Hippos and other wildlife that may come down to drink from this mighty river. You may see the pre-historic Shoebill, Saddle-billed stork and many other birds.
After docking at the shores, you will undertake a hiking experience to the top of the falls. While hiking, you will enjoy sighting this marvelous falls from different angles and it’s from the top where you will enjoy seeing the Nile River forcing its way through the narrow gorge.
Upon completion of this fascinating expedition, you will be transferred to your lodge for relaxation and overnight sleep in preparation of the next day’s activities.
Day 7 — Shoebill search and relaxation
This day is dedicated for the search of the prehistoric shoebill and your relaxation at the lodge. In the morning, you will embark on the boat that runs to the delta to look for the shoebill. While on the boat, you will be in position to see various animals that frequent the river banks and other species of birds.
After a successful search of the shoebill, you will return to the lodge to relax for the rest of the day in preparation of the long drive scheduled for the next day to Kibale Forest National Park.
Day 8 — Travel to Kibale Forest National Park
On this seventh day of the safari, you will embark on the journey in the morning to Kibale Forest National Park and this is a long drive which might take several hours with enroute lunch from Hoima town.
While on the journey, you may opt for occasional stopovers to enjoy views of beautiful sceneries like the Rift valley escarpment on Lake Albert. Also, this travel gives you an opportunity to have an insight about the typical African village setup in the far countryside and various plantations.
On arrival, you will instantly start enjoying the natural breeze and beauty of the place and its environs. You will be able to see Blue monkeys and Black and White colobus monkeys which occasionally frequent the surrounding areas to your lodge. The various sounds in the forest and nearby thickets from the birds’ calls and animals will create a new tune to your ears.
In the evening after dark while lounging at the lodge verandah, you will continue to see and sense various primates roaming around especially beneath the lodge’s floodlights.
Day 9 — Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
This day starts with opportunity to encounter with Man’s closest cousins – chimpanzees in the forest of Kibale. The activity starts with briefing where
instructions on how to track chimpanzees are passed on. The forest is only accessible on foot and the walk will provide you with the opportunity to also see a variety of other primates and animals as well as birds and a variety of butterflies, and other insects. Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98.7% of their DNA composition with humans.
They are sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very interesting traits are their abilities to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes.
While in the forest, keep walking until you hear their calls and you will stop immediately when you spot one chimpanzee- an old female foraging peacefully in the canopy. When you move slowly and carefully a little closer without being noticed, more of the troop will come into view with a dozen chimps scattered across the trees. For conservation purposes, you will be allowed in the forest after locating the chimps a maximum of one hour and then after walk out of the forest.
A successful track of the chimpanzees will give you beautiful and thrilling lasting memories about Uganda and her natural endowments. After a successful track of these primates, you will leave for Queen Elizabeth National Park and while on the way, you will enjoy the spectacular views of the splendid Rwenzori ranges. The drive from Kibale to Queen Elizabeth National park describes the iconic image of East Africa. It stretches from the thick vegetation to the open savannah and the short golden grass and clumps of strange trees. Upon arrival, check in at your lodge and relax.
Day 10 — Game drive and Launch cruise on Kazinga channel
You will start the day with a game drive which will expose you to a variety of different animal species which are habitat to this park. The Park has several spots of well-maintained game viewing tracks where there are high chances of seeing animals such as elephants, buffaloes, lions and a variety of antelopes among others.
During the game drive, you will drive across the savannah and see how it changes color with the rising sun. Elephants normally come out of silhouette, antelopes gather in staggering numbers, and huge lumbering hippos charge towards the water. You will be searching for the giants and getting up close to those that dominate the landscape.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy a boat cruise on the spectacular Kazinga Channel which connects Lake Edward to Lake George. The boat ride along the banks will give you an opportunity to see yawning hippos in water and you will see large herds of Uganda kob drinking water with their black and white spiraled horns making it suitable for fabulous photos. You will also be in position to see Nile crocodiles sunbathe on the banks while elephants disappear beneath the water poking their trunks up like snorkels. Spending the day on a boat safari is a very relaxed introduction to a true African safari as you can just sit back and absorb all of the encounters along the water.
The channel also attracts several water birds like the Pelicans and the African Fish Eagle. Taking a boat cruise will therefore avail you with a chance to get into close encounter with such animals in addition to enjoying your time.
After this fun thrilling expedition, you will relax at your lodge and have dinner before retiring to your respective rooms for overnight.
Day 11 — Transfer to the southern sector – Ishasha for tree climbing lions
Early morning, you will be transferred to the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park- Ishasha in search of elusive tree climbing lions which are habitat to this sector. These tree climbing lions are normally seen resting in branches of fig trees cunningly waiting to pounce on the small animals such as antelopes, mongoose and others. The game drive within this sector will certainly avail you with this thrilling opportunity.
Day 12 — Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Rushaga
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park for the highlight of this safari which is gorilla tracking. Bwindi is home to almost half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world and your encounter with these gigantic will certainly give you lasting memories about your safari.
On arrival at the lodge, you will check in and relax in preparation for the next day’s activities.
Day 13 — Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Batwa cultural experience
Early morning, you will go gorilla trekking. This amazing activity takes you through the densely forested steep hills until you finally meet these tranquil gorillas within the green plant cover. It is such a wonderful yet memorable encounter.
While entering the forest, you will first walk on a handmade trail but then you will veer off to follow tracks left by forest elephants. The canopy will envelop you completely with rare and exotic flora found on every side. This is a challenging trek since it involves hiking through steep ascents and tangled trails.
Gorilla trekking groups are assigned on fitness levels, so you can request a shorter or longer hike depending on your preferences. For many, the chance to travel in such exotic forest makes a longer hike worthwhile with some troops four hours away from the trailhead. Others might prefer to meet the gorilla troop closest to the trailhead.
Once gorillas are identified, you will be allowed a maximum time of one hour within their vicinity and then after walk out of the dense forest. Your time with the gorillas will certainly create a long lasting memory about your visit to Uganda.
In the evening, you will enjoy a cultural experience with the Batwa. The Batwa are former inhabitants of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest who lived a purely rudimentary type of life which involved food gathering and hunting but for the conservation purposes, they were relocated outside of the forest and are trying to adapt to a new life.
You will be able to interact with them as they showcase their traditional hunting skills, fire making and traditional dance.
Day 14 — Transfer to Kigali – Rwanda through the Northern Province
On this day of your safari, you will leave Uganda and transfer to the Republic of Rwanda through the Northern Province. This northern district of Rwanda has spectacular views especially those of the Virunga Mountains. You will drive through Ruhengeri and Musanze and along the way; you will enjoy beautiful scenery of the country side which comprises of rolling hills.
Upon arrival in Kigali, you will check in at your lodge for relaxation and overnight stay.
Day 15 — Kigali city tour
On this second last day of your safari, you will undertake a city tour around Kigali city. You will visit a few selected sites which include, Genocide Memorial, craft centers, and Kandt National Museum. This city tour will apprise you of the history of Rwanda and the social-economic transformation of the country before and after the genocide. After the city tour, you will retreat to the hotel to relax for the entire evening.
Day 16 — Transfer to the Airport for departure flight
After having spent two peaceful and comfortable nights in Kigali city, you will be picked from your hotel and driven to Kigali International Airport to enable you catch up with your flight back. This day therefore concludes your African tour which had started in Uganda.
- Chimpanzee tracking permit
- Park entrance fees
- Boat rides
- Karamajong cultural experience
- Batwa cultural experience
- Ferry crossing
- Vehicle entrance fees
- Ground transport
- Bottled water in the safari vehicle
- Tour guide services
- Vehicle park fees
- Kigali city tour
- Game drives
- Gorilla trekking permit
- All extras at the accommodation that is, drinks, telephone, laundry among others.
- Tips to the tour guide
- Charges for the porters during gorilla trekking
- Flight tickets
Price — US $4257 per person (For two people)
The price slightly increases if you decide to travel as a solo traveler. Conversely, the price payable per person reduces from the stated amount if the tour is booked by more than two people.