This 11 days Rwanda and Uganda gorilla tour will give you an experience of some of the prime wildlife experiences in both countries. The two countries host some of the remaining mountain gorillas found in the wild in the whole world. They each offer a different experience while on the gorilla and chimp trekking experiences because of the terrain and vegetation in the two countries. And lastly you will have an experience of Queen elizabeth national park for some big game experiences and to break the journey to Kibale national park.

Highlights on your 11 days Rwanda – Uganda gorilla tour

  • Chimp trekking in Nyungwe forest and Kibale forest
  • Canopy Walk
  • Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes and Bwindi impenetrable
  • Boat trips on Lake Kivu and Kazinga Channel
  • Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park

Itinerary for the 11 days Rwanda and Uganda gorilla tour

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali for the Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla tour

Today you start your 11 days Rwanda and Uganda gorilla tour. Kagera safaris driver guide will pick you up from Kigali international airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, you can take a Kigali city tour of selected sites before retiring to your hotel later on.

Meal plan – Dinner

Accommodation

  • Up market – Kigali Radisson Blu
  • Mid-range – Hotel Villa Portofino
  • Budget – Quiet haven Lodge

Day 2: Transfer to Nyungwe forest national park

nyungwe forest rwandaThis morning after an early breakfast, we start journey to Nyungwe forest national park for the chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk experience. Depending on your interest, we can have a stopover at Nyanza for the Kings Palace experience or ethnographic museum in Huye for an experience on the history and culture of the Rwandan people. Notice because of the journey ahead you can only stop at one of them so we arrive before dark. Depending on which site we stop at, we will organize to have lunch in that area before proceeding to ur lodge near the nyungwe forest for overnight.

Journey time – 6 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation 

  • Up market – Nyungwe forest lodge
  • Mid-range – Nyungwe top view lodge
  • Budget – Gisakura guest house

Day 3: Chimpanzee trekking and Canopy walk in Nyungwe forest

canopy walkway nyungwe forest

Chimpanzee trekking starts early morning, in fact you are expected to be at the briefing place at 5.00 am. This may require that you leave your hotel room as early as 4.30am. On arrival at the briefing point, you will assemble and listen to the ranger guide. After this, you will be assigned a trekking team to start at either Uwinka or Cyamudongo trail heads. The canopy walk will be right after the chimp trek or in the afternoon in case you prefer to rest before taking it depending on location of hotel/lodge.

Nyungwe forest is home to 13 primates and they offer colobus monkey trekking as a separate experience. If you are interested in botany, the flora in Nyungwe comes as an added bonus; you will also have a chance to view the other inhabitants of the forest.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Transfer to Volcanoes national park

In the morning after checking out from the lodge, we leave for volcanoes national park where we prepare for gorilla tracking the next day. The journey to the park is through the winding roads of Rwanda which indeed is a country of a thousand hills. Enjoy the scenery of Lake Kivu in the back drop as you drive up to volcanoes national park for a date with the gorillas.

Journey time – 6 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation 

  • Up market – Mt Gorilla view lodge
  • Mid-range – Le Bambou gorilla lodge
  • Budget – Grace place hotel

Day 5: Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park

Gorilla trekking is the ultimate bucket list experience for many people that travel to Rwanda. Volcanoes national park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range where gorilla tracking happens. After an early breakfast, we leave at 6:30 am for the briefing before beginning the gorilla trek at 7 am.

Enjoy the park with its different vegetation from the evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath. The highlight of your hike will be spending an hour with the remarkably peaceful gorillas as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting, and raising their young. Come prepared to get deep in the jungles for an experience of a life time.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Transfer to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable national park

Today we transfer to Uganda through the Cyanika border post to Bwindi impenetrable forest. The drive to the Ugandan border from Musanze is less than an hours drive. After crossing, we continue our trip through the rolling hills of Kigezi to our lodge for overnight in Bwindi impenetrable national park arriving later that afternoon.

Journey time –  depending on the gorilla group you are tracking (3 hrs, 4 hrs 6 hrs)

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation 

  • Up market – Nkuringo gorilla camp
  • Mid-range – Gorilla valley lodge
  • Budget – Rushaga gorilla camp

Day 7: Gorilla trekking in Uganda

uganda gorilla trekkingEarly in the morning, the driver guide will pick you up from the camp and drive to the park office at 7 am for briefing and then begin gorilla trekking at 8 am. The head ranger guide will give general briefing and later distribute into different groups depending on the gorilla group you will track. In your group, you might receive further briefing before setting off with your team of guides and porters.  Even if you are an experienced hiker, you are advised to take along a porter to help especially on the steep slopes as you hike and also carry your lunch pack. The trek can take anything from minutes to several hours depending on where the gorillas nested the previous night. The experience is unforgettable spending an hour watching these amazing creatures.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Transfer from Bwindi forest to Queen Elizabeth national park 

kazinga channelWe leave for Queen Elizabeth national park via the Ishasha sector (depending on Bwindi sector) which is home to the famous tree-climbing lions. We arrive in time for the afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga channel, which connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Our likely sightings include buffaloes and elephants that come for an afternoon drink together with hippos and crocodiles that make it their home. There is a bird sanctuary on the channel with several species of birds which will keep you on the look out as your guide describes each of them and some of their characteristics.

After this experience we take a short game drive as we drive to your lodge for over night.

Journey time –  depending on the gorilla group you are tracking (2 hrs, 4 hrs 6 hrs)

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation 

  • Up market – Mweya safari lodge
  • Mid-range – Park view safari lodge
  • Budget – Marafiki lodge

Day 9: Transfer from Queen Elizabeth NP to Kibale national park

In the morning after checking out from the lodge, we start the day with an early morning game drive towards the mating ground of the Uganda Kob in the Kasenyi plains in search of the lions. We look out for Lions, warthogs, elephants, Kobs, water bucks,  buffaloes etc. After this experience, we start journey to Kibale national park. We shall have a stopover for lunch either in Kasese or a picnic with our packed lunch from the lodge.

Journey time –  2 hrs

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation 

  • Up market – Papaya Lake Lodge
  • Mid-range – Primate Lodge
  • Budget – Kibale forest lodge

Day 10: Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park

chimpanzee in kibale forest national parkKibale national park covers an area of about 795 km2. It is one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forest being home to 12 primates. After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kanyanchu visitor center for a briefing before the chimpanzee trekking. You will then be divided into smaller groups and joined by your ranger guide depending on the chimp community to visit. While on this trek, you might encounter other primates like the black & white colobus monkey, grey cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkey etc. and several butterflies.

Lunch will be at the lodge after trekking or Tinka’s homestead that offers traditional local foods. After lunch, visit Bigodi swamp an initiative by the community to conserve the swamp and trees with several primates and birds.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11: End of your Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla Tour

After breakfast, your Kagera safaris driver guide will transfer you to Kampala proceeding to Entebbe airport for your outbound flight . This will mark the end of your Rwanda and Uganda gorilla safari. We hope you had an amazing time in the wild watching the various primates, mammals and birds. You are welcome back to explore these countries.

Tour includes 

  • Ground transport per 4X4 vehicle
  • Park entrance fees
  • Game drive
  • Boat trip
  • Chimpanzee trekking permits
  • Gorilla trekking permits
  • Bottled water
  • Full board accommodation
  • Service of an English-speaking driver guide
  • All mentioned activities except for the optional ones

Tour excludes

  • Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
  • Tips to porters, site guides and driver/ guide
  • Insurance
  • Optional activities

Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking tips 

  • Mountain gorillas live at high altitude you should pace yourself while on the trek and drink enough water.
  • Recommended clothing is long trousers and long sleeved sweaters or shirts while in the forest to avoid insect stings.
  • Waterproof hiking boots are essential and rain gear useful.
  • Carry your day pack with lunch or some snacks. Eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas or chimpanzee is forbidden – designated time and place will be communicated.
  • Photography is permitted, although you must not use flash
  • Porters are available to help you carry your day pack for a small charge.

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