15 day Primates safari combining Uganda and Rwanda offers visitors a chance to view and enjoy lots and lots of wildlife and bird species in their natural vicinity in both countries.
Day 1: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
Following your morning breakfast, you will be picked up by our company tour guide for a long drive to Murchison Falls National Park (Uganda’s largest park). En route to Masindi, have a stopover at the Zziwa White Rhinos Sanctuary; view some of the surviving white Rhinos, have lunch and proceed to Murchison Falls National Park. Once here, drive to the top of the falls and view the River Nile going through a narrow channel and falling off in a roaring sound. Dinner and overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge – luxury, Pakuba Lodge – midrange and Red Chili Rest Camp – Budget.
Day 2: Morning Game Drive and Launch Cruise
Rise early and with your cup of coffee, set out for a morning game drive through the Murchison grounds and catch a glimpse of the BIG 5 like the lions, hippopotami, elephants, hyenas, leopards and even tigers and several other game like giraffes, jackal, and bushbucks among others. After lunch, embark on a launch cruise to the bottom of Murchison falls while taking in wonderful birding views; Grey-crowned Crane, Black-headed Gonolek, Goliath Heron, Green-winged, Long-toed Plover and Saddle-billed Stork among others. Dinner and overnight at Paraa Safari Lodge – luxury, Pakuba Lodge – midrange and Red Chili Rest Camp – Budget.
Day 3: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park
Have breakfast and proceed with an early morning chimps hunt through the Paniyo Pabidi Forest Reserve and once done, you will proceed with a trip to Kibale Tropical Rainforest National park – East Africa’s Largest home for chimpanzees. You will reach Kibale in the evening and head out for a guided forest nature walk / visit the communities around the forest. During your guided forest walk, you may see Grey Cheeked Mangabey, Red Tailed monkey and Red Colobus. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight. Primates lodge (Luxury)/ Chimp’s nest (Midrange)/Chimpanzee Guest house (Budget).
Day 4: Kibale Chimpanzee Tracking and Bigodi Swamp Visit
Have morning breakfast and assemble at Kanyachu Kibale park headquarters for a briefing on your chimps tracking activity. Embark on your primates’ hunt where you will see chimpanzees, Varvet Monkey, L’hoest, Blue Monkey, Red-Tailed Monkey, Grey Cheeked Mangabey, and Black And White Colobus Monkey and many others. Midmorning return to your lodge for relaxation and have lunch and in the afternoon, take a walk to the Bigodi swamp community a renowned birders’ paradise in Uganda. Dine and rest at Primates lodge (Luxury)/ Chimp’s nest (Midrange)/Chimpanzee Guest house (Budget).
Day 5: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park – Afternoon Boat Cruise
Wake up early, enjoy your breakfast and set off for Queen National Park – one of Uganda’s major national parks. You will cross the Uganda Rwanda border via the Cyanika border. En route, drive through the Ishasha sector for the tree climbing lions, while enjoying the beautiful panoramic views of the countryside. You will reach just in time for lunch.
After lunch, get ready for your afternoon boat cruise along the Kazinga channel where you will enjoy large concentration of various wildlife and bird species such the hippopotami, crocodiles, elephants, buffalos etc. Dine and Rest at Enganzi Lodge (budget), Marafiki safari lodge (midrange) and Mweya safari alodge (luxury)
Day 6: Morning Game Drive, Chimpanzee Tracking at Kalinzu
Rise very early in the morning around 5:00 am for an early morning game drive to catch up with the early risers through the Kasenyi trail. Among the wildlife to expect; the Big Five – hippopotami, lions, hyenas, elephants, buffalos as they all return to their dens from their night’s hunt. Return to your lodge and after lunch; get ready for your chimps tracking through the Kalinzu forest reserve. Once you meet them, enjoy an hours’ stay with these creatures. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari lodge – luxury, Enganzi lodge – deluxe.
Day 7: Trip to Bwindi Forest National Park
This is your last day at QENP, have morning breakfast and get ready for your journey to Bwindi forest National Park. You will drive through the Ishasha sector looking out for the famous tree climbing lions in the tall fig and acacia trees, hippopotami washing up and play in the Ishasha water, buffaloes, leopards, Kob and topis. Later continue with your way to Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park – the Ugandan home to mountain gorillas. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla Resort or Mahogany Springs or Gorilla Forest Camp (Luxury)/Lake Kitandara or Buhoma Lodge (Midrange)/Buhoma Community Bandas or wagtail eco safari camp (Budget)
Day 8: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi – Batwa Pygmies
This is yet another interesting day of tracking mountain gorillas but from a different point of view. In the morning, have a cup of coffee and report to the park headquarters for a briefing on mountain gorilla trekking within Bwindi forest. Here you will be provided with highlights on the trekking rules and guidelines and what to expect on your expedition. Set off for your search, this may last between 1 hour to several hours depending on the day’s movement of the apes since they are always on the move searching for food, water and even shelter. In this wilderness, watch out for other interesting wildlife and bird species. On locating them, keep at 7 meters away, avoid direct eye contact, keep silent and get your camera ready for your interaction.
You see them playing, eating, teasing each other, sleeping and nurturing their young ones peacefully in your presence. After this amazing encounter, retrieve to the starting point, meet your guide and return to your lodge. In the afternoon, go for the Batwa cultural visit. They are the early human dwellers of the Bwindi forest whose lifestyle depended on the forest but were sent out by the conservation program. Learn about their culture, hunting skills, traditional dance and drama, songs and poetry among others. Later return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
Upon rising, have breakfast and set off for Lake Bunyonyi. En route, watch out for the beautiful scenic view of the country side. At the Lake Bunyonyi shores- other birders’ paradise, you can engage in bird watching, fishing, etc. Dinner and overnight at Bunyonyi Overland camp – Budget, Bunyonyi safari resort – mid range and Bunyonyi overland resort – luxury.
Day 10: Transfer to Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park)
Set out for a morning boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi with your cup of coffee; enjoying beautiful birding sights and the green islands. Have lunch in the afternoon and head out for Rwanda via Kisoro, reaching Volcanoes national Park in the evening. Dinner and overnight at Kinigi Guest House (Budget)/Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Midrange)/ Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury)
Day 11: 2ND Mountain Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park – Iby’wacu Visit
This is your second day of tracking mountain gorillas which will be done from Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Breakfast and briefing at the Kinigi park office; get a porter for your backpack, walking sticks to ease movement over the steep and slippery slopes during the hunt. This may last for a few / several hours depending on the movement of the gorillas. When you meet the gorillas, enjoy an hour with them, take photographs and videos while maintain a distance of 7 meters away from the animals to avoid any problems with the dominant silverback (the group’s overseer /leader and protector). At the end of this amazing encounter, return to the starting point; link up with your guide to bring you back to your hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, set out for Iby’wacu cultural village that will give you a total insight into Rwanda’s heritage. Retrieve to your hotel late evening for dinner and overnight.
Day 12: Transfer to Nyungwe forest National Park
Have breakfast at your hotel and get ready for your transfer to Nyungwe forest National Park. Driving southwest, you will take in the beautiful scenic views of the hilly and ever green country side. The drive from Kigali to Nyungwe forest takes 5 hours. Nyungwe forest is a haven for primate watching in Rwanda rewarding you with clear views of chimps, baboons, colobus and velvert monkeys also a birder’s haven. En route, visit the Butare national museum, Murambi genocide ground and the King’s palace in Nyanza town. You will arrive at Nyungwe Park in the evening; Dine and rest at Nyungwe forest Lodge/Nyungwe top view lodge/Gisakura hotel.
Day 13: Chimpanzee Tracking and Forest nature/ canopy walk
In the morning, have your breakfast and assemble at Nyungwe forest park offices for briefing and guidelines on the chimps tracking exercise, once done, head to the head trail where there hiking starts off from and embark on your hunt for chimps through the woods. On your hunt, look out for other primates like the silver monkeys, baboons, velvert monkeys and various bird species. On meeting the chimps, have an hour interacting with them in their natural vicinity while taking photographs and videos. At the end of this encounter, retrieve to your starting point and return to your hotel. Later, after lunch, engage in either a guided forest nature walk or a canopy walk. Dinner and overnight your lodge.
Day 14: Transfer to Lake Kivu
On your last day at Volcanoes National Park, have breakfast at leisure and later hit the road for your transfer to Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest fresh water lake found in Gisenti province. Driving south west wards, you will enjoy wonderful views of the Murambi Genocide memorial site, Nyanza and Butare King’s palace. Later arrive at the Lake Kivu shores in the evening just in time for dinner and Overnight.at Lake Kivu Serena hotel (Luxury) / Palm gardens resort (Deluxe) / Paradise Marahide (Budget
Day 15: Morning Boat Cruise to Nyamirundi Island
Rise to the morning breeze of Lake Kivu, have breakfast and go for an amazing morning boat ride along the L. Kivu waters bringing you to the Nyamirundi Island – a renowned Coffee making Island. Here you will explorer the coffee making process from the harvesting, drying, processing, and parking of the finished product. Later, retrieve ashore for your return to Kigali.
End of Safari