Uganda & Rwanda

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Download Uganda & Rwanda Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Entebbe

You are met upon arrival in Entebbe and transferred to your hotel. Entebbe is a pleasant and convenient city in which to start our journey. We meet this evening for dinner and orientation. Overnight in Entebbe.

 

Day 2: To Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, To Mabira forest reserve

This morning, we journey by speed boat on Lake Victoria to Ngamba Island, a sanctuary for chimpanzees. We learn about one of our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and also about the work that is done on the island. We can see the chimpanzees at close range, watch their behavior and their playfulness. We also observe one of their daily feedings. It is a real treat to see the chimps in this comfortable and intimate setting on Ngamba Island.

In the afternoon, we return to Entebbe and make our way to Mabira Forest Reserve where we can enjoy the lush surroundings. Here you can relax at your ecolodge or take a pleasant hike in search of primates and bird life in the later afternoon. Overnight in Mabira.

 

Day 3: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Today we drive to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. An experienced ranger will lead you on a hike to find the resident white rhinos. Unfortunately, rhinos were hunted to extinction in Uganda but are being re-introduced with the longterm goal of seeing them once again roam the grasslands of Uganda. It is a truly fascinating experience seeing these white rhinos up close. Following our rhino encounter, we continue on to Masindi. Overnight in Masindi.

 

Day 4: Murchison Falls

See and feel the rage and thunder of these magnificent falls from close range. Enjoy a picnic lunch from the upper view of these falls, before they flow into the Victoria Nile.

In the afternoon, enjoy a Nile boat journey with great birdlife viewing. Hippos and crocodiles are also common here and we keep a lookout for primates.  Our furthest point on the river is the base of Murchison Falls, giving us a different view of the falls. We return by boat to our lodge overlooking the Nile for dinner and a relaxing evening. Overnight in Murchison Falls National Park.

 

Day 5: Murchison Falls — game drives

Set out on your morning safari game drive. We take a ferry across the Nile before searching for elephants, lions, giraffes, hippos, baboons, several species of primate, numerous types of antelope and of course, excellent birding opportunities. Lunch back at the lodge.

Enjoy an afternoon boat journey along the Nile to the delta, passing hippos in the water; and gliding past riverbanks teaming with birdlife. At the delta, keep a watchful eye for the massive but elusive shoebill. Overnight in Murchison Falls National Park.

 

Day 6: Murchison Falls — morning game drive, free afternoon

Enjoy another morning game drive in Murchison Falls National Park to view the wild inhabitants who make this place their home. The park itself is part of the Great East Rift Valley. After our safari, we return to our lodge for lunch.

Enjoy a free afternoon to relax. Gaze out over the Nile from your luxury tent or relax by the pool, while surrounded by jungle. Overnight in Murchison Falls National Park.

 

Day 7: Kibale

Today we have a long drive to the mountainous tea plantation area of Kibale. As the elevation increases, the scenery becomes ever more spectacular. Pass by the many tea plantations, small rural towns and several crater lakes. Overnight in Kibale.

 

Day 8: Chimp Trekking and Swamp Walk

In the morning, we set out to enjoy one of our great ape encounters. We hike in Kibale National Park and have a rare opportunity to see chimpanzees in the wild — truly a special experience.

Enroute, we may see other inhabitants of the forest. After lunch, enjoy a swamp walk, where you  may  see other primates and various bird species. Overnight in Kibale.

 

Day 9: To Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast we drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. We enjoy our lunch at a hotel overlooking the Kazinga channel. We explore the Kazinga channel by boat, gliding past the banks full of birds, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, elephants and other park inhabitants. Overnight in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

 

Day 10: Ishasha

We depart for Ishasha in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Ishasha is known as the region where you can find the rare tree-climbing lions. Our drives are in the park so we can enjoy wildlife viewing while traveling to our next destination. Overnight in Ishasha - luxury tents on the banks of a river.

 

Day 11: Ishasha

We enjoy 2 game drives today, including a drive to the delta, providing another opportunity to see the shoebill, and also the region where we hope to find the tree- climbing lions. After several days of game viewing, relax at our luxury tents located at a beautiful spot on the banks of the river. Overnight in Ishasha.

 

Day 12: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest — Pygmies

This morning we depart  for  Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. In the afternoon, we take a walk through a rural village, learning about the herbs and medicines from the local medicine man and also meeting some of the Pygmies who live in the region. The Pygmies are the smallest people on earth with males averaging 4’8” and women averaging 4’6”. Overnight in Bwindi.

 

Day 13: Gorilla Trekking

Today is easily one of the highlights of the entire journey as we trek up the side of the mountain to spend time with one of the resident gorilla families who make Bwindi forest their home. The reward is great, but there are certainly some challenges along the way.

We start in the morning with a briefing at the Park Headquarters about what the trek will involve and the etiquette of observing and photographing gorillas. Tracking wild animals can be a challenging physical activity. Eight people are permitted per group and a total of 24 people per day in Bwindi as there are 3 gorilla groups. Depending on which gorilla group you will visit, your trek may take anywhere from 1-7 hours. Local gorilla trackers follow the location of each of the gorilla groups. People are assigned to visit one of 3 groups based on their hiking abilities, the terrain and the distance the gorilla group is from park headquarters. Once we find the family group we will have 1 hour to observe and enjoy them.

Our trek starts by climbing along the switchbacks going up the side of the mountain. The climb may be upwards along relatively good paths or we may forge a new path. Every trek is different but be prepared for steep and dense areas, good paths or no paths. To assist with your trek, ElderTreks provides you with a local trekking guide or porter who will give you a hand along the way. This will surely make your trek more enjoyable and easier, while also supporting the local community. The local economic spin-off is important as it encourages the entire local community to support the efforts to protect the gorillas and their habitat. This education and support is important for both locals and visitors alike. Payments/tips for the porters are included.

Today’s visit with one of the Bwindi resident gorilla families will likely be one of the wildlife highlights in your life. Few things can compare with the playful fighting of the young gorillas, a mother gorilla caring for her baby, or the adrenaline rush of seeing the massive silverback giving the term ‘alpha male’ a whole new meaning. After your gorilla encounter, return to your guesthouse and spend the rest of the day reliving your experience. Overnight in Bwindi.

 

Day 14: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

We will spend some time in the Village, or go on a forest walk today or relax at the lodge, or do some curio shopping all of which can be organized on the day. Overnight in Bwindi.

 

Day 15: To Rwanda

From Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, we will depart in the morning after breakfast and drive to the border at Kisoro to enter Rwanda. We drive via beautiful mountainous forests, and through local villages to reach this bustling little border town. On a clear day, you should be able to see the row of Volcanoes, lining up along the border like sentries!

Entering Rwanda, it is a relatively short drive to your lodge. Settle in for the balance of the afternoon, or possibly go for a short walk in the area. Once again, the views of the Volcanoes in the early evening can be quite spectacular. Overnight in Rwanda.

 

Day 16: Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

After an early breakfast, depart for a day of mountain gorilla tracking. You will be transported by vehicle to the start point at the ORTPN offices, to meet your gorilla mountain trekking guide. A short briefing will follow by either a transfer, or a walk, to the allocated gorilla family.

As with Bwindi in Uganda, the hike can vary in length and terrain, but be prepared for an average of 3-4 hours hiking, plus of course the hour spent watching the gorillas. Return to the lodge for a hot shower and to relax! Overnight in Rwanda.

 

Day 17: Kigali

Drive to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda… the roads are good, but quite busy with pedestrians! The rest of the day in Kigali and we will have time to visit the Genocide Museum, as well as other historical sites of interest. Overnight at Kigali.

 

Day 18: Kigali

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

 
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