10 Days Rwanda & Uganda Primates Safari
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali
Arrival in Kigali, the busy capital of Rwanda. Our guide picks you up from the airport and transfers you to your hotel.
Your hotel has a relaxed atmosphere and tranquil setting among lush gardens; it is hard to believe the hotel is actually located so close to the heart of Kigali. The hotel offers visitors an easygoing charm and friendly welcome.
Day 2: Visit Genocide Memorial, crafts markets and lunch at Hotel Rwanda
At 0800hrs, you can visit the genocide memorial and education center, which opened in 2004, years after the genocide. It is a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant children’s’ memorial, and a history of the tragedy.
Or visit some of Kigali’s craft markets, leather and fabrics on offer. Prepare to haggle and drive to Ruhengeri for overnight.
All activities today are at your own expenses.
Day 3: Gorilla Tracking
An early start for a special day – tracking the mountain gorillas!
This is the first gorilla tracking that is inclusive in the program
From the lodge, your drive is about 30 minutes to the office Rwandaise du Tourime et des Parc Nationaux (ORTPN). The head-ranger of the ORTPN will divide you into groups. The gorillas you will track belong to one of seven habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.
Cul tours and Safaris purchases the permits in advance but is unable to specify which groups to track (it is the head-ranger to decide on this).
From the ORTPN office your driver will take you as close as possible to the starting point of your tracking.
Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorillas habitat. En-route, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots.
The time taken to track gorillas can be as little as a half an hour to as much as 8 hours! Once the gorillas have been located, you will be allowed a maximum of 1 hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Rwanda’s own ‘gorillas in the mist’.
Day 4: Golden Monkey day Trekking and drive to Uganda
To day you track the rare and endangered Golden Monkeys. Despite the prolific numbers present, golden monkeys are shy, very quick and known to hide in the tops of the trees. Keep your cameras and binoculars ready!
Sometimes the hike to the golden Monkeys is tough. It might take you 2 hours or even up to 6 hours; every tracking is different.
After the tracking, you continue your journey into Uganda, the ‘Pearl of Africa’.
Please note: All dollar notes to be used in Uganda must be dated from 2001; older notes will not be accepted.
Notes of USD 50 and 100 have best exchange rate.
A short stop at the border post in Kisoro and you continue for about 1½ hours to your accommodation; a lodge overlooking lake Mutanda and the volcanoes on the border with Rwanda. You will sleep in one of their nice self-contained safari tents.
Day 5: Gorilla Tracking
Today prepare yourself for a second (or third) encounter with the Mountain Gorillas! Bwindi impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees- the only forest in Africa which can make this claim a fact. It also hosts five other species of primates,120 species of mammals, over 200 butterflies, and 350 species of birds.
Day 6: Drive to Queen Elizabeth
After breakfast, you pick up your packed lunch and proceed to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth N.P. This area is called Ishasha and is famous for its tree climbing Lions. To escape from the heat during the day, the lions learned how to climb the fig trees. If you are lucky, you might spot a few.
Of course you go for a game drive in Ishasha.
After the game drive, you continue with your journey to the northern part of Queen Elizabeth N.P. It is the perfect location for those who want to experience the tranquility of unspoiled Africa, untouched by mass tourism. Bush lodge unique charm is in the atmosphere of intimacy and welcoming surrounding provided to the guests.
Day 7: Game Drive in the Morning and Boat Trip in the Afternoon
Early rise for breakfast at 0600hrs ahead of a long game drive in time to see sun rise. You will search for all the wildlife in the park such as elephant, Buffalo, lion, water-buck, leopard, Uganda Kob, Warthog etc.
The park has prolific game including gazelle, Uganda Kob, Warthog, and Water-buck; lions are sighted both in and at entrance to the park. Be prepared for huge numbers of elephant and buffalo and keep your eyes peeled for a lazing leopard in the sunshine.
In the afternoon you will take a boat safari along the natural Kazinga channel. Here you will appreciate the wildlife diversity and hippos (more than you can possibly imagine), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, warthog, crocodile, bathing elephant, Lion, Leopard and a range of beautiful birds.
Day 8: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park
After a relaxed breakfast, time has come to leave Queen Elizabeth N.P. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes much of Uganda.
Fort Portal is a cozy small town in the west of Uganda famous for its many tea plantations. It is nice to walk around town, visit the markets and have en-route lunch (lunch is not inclusive).
From Fort portal it takes you only 1 hour to Kibale Forest N.P. On arrival at the Forest, you will enter a completely different world. Some serious monkey business! Although you are here specifically for the Chimpanzee, the Forest is home to 12 other primate species including: the red tailed monkey, Olive baboon, black and white colobus Monkey, Red colobus and the Blue Monkey. 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 a meandering herd of Forest Elephant.
You will stay in a cottage, privately situated in the forest with a spacious bedroom and en-suite bathroom.
Day 9: Chimpanzee Trekking
At 0800hrs, you will transfer to the UWA headquarters in Kibale Forest National park (which is 3 minutes walking from the Lodge). Currently in Uganda, there are approximately 5000 Chimpanzees left in the wild.
This will be a very special experience to track the Chimpanzees and the walk takes 2-4 hours depending on the luck of the day and you will stay with them for one hour. Incidentally, did you know Chimpanzees share 98.7% of our genes?
Swamp walk in the afternoon to spot different species of monkeys like: red Colobus, red tailed and black and white colobus. Walking through people’s homesteads, coffee plantations, viewing different species of butterflies and many others.
Day 10: Drive to Entebbe (Flight)
Depending on the time your flight leaves, you might still have time to explore Kampala and/or Entebbe.
You can choose to spend some time in Kampala or immediately travel to Entebbe.
Time permitting, you can visit the Botanical Gardens Entebbe, eat a nice pizza at the beach of Lake Victoria or just relax at the swimming pool of one of the resorts.
Your drive/guide will take you to Entebbe Airport to catch your flight home.