Uganda Rwanda Primates Safari

You will encounter all the major primates of Africa

9 Days Uganda Rwanda Primates Safari

This 9 days Uganda Rwanda primates safari will begin from Kigali and finish in Kampala city. This safari will take you to volcanoes national park in the northwest of Rwanda where you will take part one in a life gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, and cultural tour in the nearby communities around the park. From volcanoes national park you will cross to Uganda and visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park where you will participate in another gorilla trekking activity to compare the experience and then connect to queen Elizabeth national park the second biggest national park in Uganda famous for tree-climbing lions. While in Queen Elizabeth national park you will do activities like game drives in Kasenyi and a boat cruise at Kazinga channel and this will allow seeing different wildlife species such as the big 4 mammals, aquatic animals, different bird species among others. You will end your safari with a visit to Kibale forest national park where you will view primate species like chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons during chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi swamp nature walk.

9 days Uganda Rwanda primates safari highlights

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to volcanoes national park

Day 2: Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park Rwanda

Day 3: Golden monkey trekking and cultural tour

Day 4: Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park

Day 7: Morning game drive and Afternoon boat cruise

Day 8: Transfer to Kibale forest national park and bigodi swamp nature walk

Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking and departure to Kampala

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to volcanoes national park

Upon arrival at Kigali international airport, you will be welcomed by an English-speaking guide from Africa adventure vacations who will brief you about the entire safari and then begin on your journey to Kigali for a city tour. During the city tour, you will tour places like the Kigali genocide memorial where you will know more about the brutal killing of people during the 1994 Rwanda genocide between the Hutus and the Tutsi. You will visit craft centers where you can buy souvenirs, handmade crafts, visit the local Kimironko market where you will interact with local vendors, and after go for lunch in one of the restaurants in the city. After lunch, you will start your journey to volcanoes national park in the northwest where you will have stunning views of the rolling hills, beautiful landscape, rolling hills, scenery among others, and on arrival you will check into your booked lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Five Volcanoes boutique hotel – luxury, Le bamboo gorilla lodge – mid-range, Villa gorilla – budget  

Day 2: Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park Rwanda

This is the highlight of your 9 days Uganda Rwanda primates safari! After early morning breakfast, you will get your packed lunch ready and meet your safari driver for a transfer to the park headquarters to catch up with the briefing about gorilla trekking. During the gorilla trekking briefing, you will be told about the rules and regulations of the activity. The park has 10 habituated gorilla families and briefing is done in groups of 8 where each group tracks one gorilla family per day. After the briefing, you will be given a park ranger guide to lead you into the forest because he knows very well about the trails in the forest.

Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park Rwanda takes 30 minutes to several hours depending on where the gorillas are located and during gorilla trekking, you will come across plant species, animals such as forest elephants, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, bushbucks, buffaloes, primates like vervet monkeys, mona monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, bird species such as barred long-tailed cuckoo, red-faced woodland warbler, white-tailed flycatcher, handsome francolin, Rwenzori turaco among others. Once mountain gorillas are found, you will be allowed to spend a full hour with them in their natural habitats which allow you to learn more about their lifestyle, watch them do their day to day activities like hunting, breast feeding, take photos, record videos among others. After a full hour with mountain gorillas, you will trek back to the starting point get driven to the park headquarters for your gorilla trekking certificate, and proceed to the lodge for evening relaxation, dinner and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Five Volcanoes boutique hotel – luxury, Le bamboo gorilla lodge – mid-range, Villa gorilla – budget

Day 3: Golden monkey trekking and cultural tour

On this day you will have a morning breakfast and get ready for your driver guide to transfer you to Kinigi park headquarters for a briefing about the dos and don’ts of golden monkey trekking. After the golden monkey trekking briefing, you will be grouped into 8 and given a ranger guide to lead you into the forest in search of golden monkeys. Golden monkey trekking in volcanoes national park Rwanda takes you 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on their location as they move from one place to another searching for food. Once you allocate the golden monkeys you will be given an hour to be with them allowing you to learn about their behaviors as you see them do their day-to-day activities, take photos, and record videos. After meeting eye to eye with golden monkeys, you will trek back to the starting point where you will meet your driver-guide ready to transfer you to the lodge for lunch.

After lunch, you will go for a cultural tour to the neighboring Iby’Iwacu cultural village. And during this cultural tour you will meet with local people get to interact with them which allows you to learn about their culture, way of living, visit farmlands, learn how local beer is made from banana, taste the local beer, taste different local foods, get entertainment from women as they perform Kinyarwanda dance, drama, songs, listen to old traditional stories among others. After the cultural tour, you will meet your driver-guide for a transfer back to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Five Volcanoes boutique hotel – luxury, Le bamboo gorilla lodge – mid-range, Villa gorilla – budget

Day 4: Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

After breakfast on the 4th day of your 9 days Uganda Rwanda primates safari, you will check out of the lodge and meet your driver guide to transfer to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park located in the southwestern part of Uganda. The journey from volcanoes national park takes you 3 to 4 hours driver passing via Cyanika border in Kisoro or katuna border in Kabale district. On your way to the back, you will have a stopover for lunch and you will have great views of the rolling hills in Rwanda, beautiful scenery, landscape, hills, terraced farmlands, smiling people among others. On arrival at the park, you will proceed to your lodge for check-in, relaxation, dinner, and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge – luxury, Buhoma Haven Lodge – mid-range, Buhoma Community Rest Camp – budget

Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

After early morning breakfast, you will carry your packed lunch and other things you need for gorilla trekking and meet your driver guide who will transfer you to the park headquarters for a gorilla trekking briefing about the rules and regulations. After gorilla trekking briefing you will be grouped not exceeding 8 and you will be allocated a gorilla family to trek and a ranger guide to lead you into the jungle in search of mountain gorillas. In Bwindi impenetrable forest national park gorilla trekking takes 30 minutes to several hours depending on where to gorillas are located and the speed at which you are trekking.

During the gorilla trekking, you will have great views of the park, see different plant species, birds such as Rwenzori batis, handsome francolin, animals like bush pigs, forest elephants, buffaloes, warthogs, primates such as vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, l’hoests monkeys among others. Once the mountain gorillas are allocated you will be given one hour to spend with them in their natural habitats and during this one hour, you will learn about their behaviors, lifestyles, watch them do their daily activities, take photos, and record videos. After spending some good time with gorillas you will trek back to the starting point and meet up with your driver guide for a drive to the park headquarters for your trekking certificate and a transfer to the lodge for evening relaxation, dinner, and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge – luxury, Buhoma Haven Lodge – mid-range, Buhoma Community Rest Camp – budget

Day 6: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park

You will have a relaxed breakfast, check out of your lodge and meet your driver for a transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park. Queen Elizabeth national park happens to be the second-largest national park in Uganda and one of the most visited. The journey to Queen Elizabeth national park takes you 3 – 4 hours and on your way, you will have a stopover at ishasha sector where you will have an opportunity to look out for tree-climbing lions resting on acacia/fig tree branches believed to climb trees due to various reasons such as running away from biting insects, ground heat, clearing the view for prey among others. After the game drive in ishasha you will have an en-route lunch and later continue with your journey to Queen Elizabeth national park. Upon arrival, you will have beautiful views of animals as you continue to your lodge for evening relaxation, dinner, and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mweya safari lodge – luxury, Parkview safari lodge – mid-range, Pumba safari cottages – budget

Day 7: Morning game drive and Afternoon boat cruise

After early morning breakfast, you will meet up with your driver-guide for a morning game drive/lion trekking experience in the kasenyi plains. The game drive starts early morning and you should expect to see wildlife species such as lions, elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, leopards, bushbucks, forest fogs, waterbucks, warthogs, bird species such as yellow-throated long crow, grey craned cranes, African white-backed vulture, red throat spurfowl, African wattled plover, African white-backed vulture, black-headed gonolek, black-billed bustard among others. After the game drive, you will drive to Katwe crater lake where you will meet local people and interact with them about how they earn a living through extracting rock salt from the lake and selling it to traders. After the lake Katwe carter lake tour, you will get back to your lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon you will go for a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel a large water body connecting lake George and lake Edward. The boat cruise lasts for 2 – 3 hours and in these hours you will have an opportunity to take clear photos, see large concentrations of hippos and crocodiles in the water, other animals on the lake shores such as elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, Uganda kobs, buffaloes among others, fishermen, water birds such as long-tailed cormorant, saddle bill stork, yellow-billed stork, African shoebill, black crake, cormorants, fish eagle, kingfisher among others. After the Kazinga channel boat cruise, you will meet your driver guide to drive you back to the lodge for evening relaxation, dinner, and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mweya safari lodge – luxury, Parkview safari lodge – mid-range, Pumba safari cottages – budget

Day 8: Transfer to Kibale forest national park and Bigodi swamp nature walk

After morning breakfast, you will check out of your lodge and meet your driver for a transfer to Kibale forest national park. The journey from Queen Elizabeth national park to Kibale takes you about 3 hours’ drive and, on your way, you will have beautiful views of mountain Rwenzori, crater lakes, tea plantations, landscapes among others. Upon arrival at the park, you will check-in at your lodge and get some lunch.

After lunch, you will for to Bigodi swamp for a nature walk where you will have beautiful views of colorful bird species such as papyrus gonolek, great blue turaco, blue breasted kingfisher, western nectar, white-spotted flufftail, primates such as blue monkeys, l’hoests monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, trees and plant species among others. During the nature walk, you will walk to the surrounding communities and interact with locals, learn about their culture, tradition, way of living, get entertained by local people through music, dance, and drama among others. After the nature walk, you will drive back to the lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ndali Crater Lodge – luxury, Isunga Lodge – mid-range, Kitojo Guest Cottages – budget

Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking and departure to Kampala

On the last day of your 9 Days Uganda Rwanda primates safari, you will have an early morning breakfast and meet your driver for a transfer to Kanyanchu Visitors Center for about the rules and regulations of chimpanzee trekking. Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale is done in groups of 6 with each group allocated its own chimpanzee family to trek and a park guide who knows very well about the trails. After the briefing, you will head out into the forest and start looking for chimpanzees which will take you 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on their location because they like moving from one place to another searching for food.

During trekking, you will meet some primates of the park such as vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoests monkeys, bird species like a crowned eagle, African pitta, purple breasted sunbird, black-capped Apalis, collared Apalis, tree species, animals such as giant forest hogs, buffaloes, elephants among others, once you have found the chimpanzees you will be allowed to spend an hour with them in their natural environment which gives you a chance to take photos, record videos, learn more about their habits and behaviors, watch them, go about their daily activities among others. After an hour with chimpanzees, you will trek back to the starting point where you will meet your driver-guide for a transfer back to the lodge for lunch.

After enjoying your lunch you will check out of the lodge and meet your driver-guide to begin on your journey to Kampala city with a stopover at the equator in Kayabwe where you will take photos, buy souvenirs to take back home, handmade crafts, and get a chance to stand in two hemispheres of the world at once. From the equator, you will drive to Entebbe international airport to end your 9 days Uganda Rwanda primates safari

Meal plan: Breakfast and Lunch

Tour includes 

Gorilla trekking permits

Chimpanzee trekking permit

Golden monkey trekking permit

Ibyi’iwacu cultural tour

Kigali city tour

Park entrance fees

Boat cruise at kazinga channel

Bigodi swamp walk

Cultural tour

An English-speaking driver-guide

Accommodation

Transport

Drinking water

Tour excludes

Air flight tickets

Visa

Optional activities

Personal expenses

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