8 Day Uganda and Rwanda Discovery, set Dates, from US$4,160pp plus permits

One of the most incredible wildlife experiences you will ever encounter awaits you on this trip of a lifetime that combines Uganda -the Pearl of Africa –and remarkable Rwanda. Coming face to face with endangered mountain gorillas is a truly unforgettable experience. Explore Queen Elizabeth National Park with its amazing selection of wildlife including tree climbing lions, enjoy a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel linking Lake Edward and Lake George, and trek gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: just some of the many reasons to visit Uganda. Crossing the border into Rwanda, discover Volcanoes National Park, where you can trek gorillas, take a forest walk in search of golden monkeys, or hike to Dian Fossey’s grave. A visit to the genocide memorial in the capital city of Kigali gives a haunting insight into the dark past from which Rwanda has risen to become one of the cleanest, safest African countries.

This journey includes flights as well as driving to experience the best of those two countries.

Start Accommodation Destination Basis Room Type Duration
Hotel No.5 Entebbe, Uganda B&B 1x Luxury Double Room 1 Night
Ishasha Wilderness Camp Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda FB+ 1x Framed Canvas, Luxury Tents 2 Nights
Buhoma Lodge Bwindi Impenetrable Forest,Uganda FB+ 1x Chalet 2 Nights
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda FB+ 1x Chalet 2 Nights

Key
B&B: Bed and Breakfast
FB+: Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Price

US$4,160.- pp plus US$600 Uganda gorilla permit, plus US$1,500 Rwanda gorilla permit, plus US$100 Golden Monkey permit for departure valid May 15, 2020, Single supplement  US$590

US$ 4,810.- pp plus US$ 700 Uganda gorilla permit, plus US$1,500 Rwanda gorilla permit, plus US$100 Golden Monkey Permit, Valid for departures July 3, Aug14 and Sep 11, 2020; Single supplement US$740

Note: Journey starts in Entebbe and ends in Kigali. You can choose to do gorilla tracking at either Uganda or Rwanda or both (advance booking mandatory). Golden Monkey tracking is optional as well.

Included

Accommodation and meals as per package, flights as per package,  Vehicle with english speaking local driver/guide throughout. Bottled water in vehicle, Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel, Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Park Entrance fees, Community visit at Ishasha, local drinks as Ishasha Wilderness Camp and Buhoma Lodge,

Excluded

International flight into Entebbe and out of Kigali. Gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking permits which must be purchased at time of booking to insure availability, visas, optional excursions, compulsory travel and evacuation insurance;

Day 1:           Hotel No.5, Entebbe      

Day Itinerary

On arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by a our representative and transferred to Hotel No 5.Set in the shores of Lake Victoria, Entebbe is a small town that is easy to explore on foot or local boda bodas(motorbike taxis). Explore the markets, hunt for souvenirsor crafts, meander through the Botanical Gardens or relax with a boat cruise on LakeVictoria. You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and clubs where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football and meet the friendly locals. Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe, Hotel No.5 is a stylish boutique hotel. With all luxurious rooms opening onto the garden and swimming pool, this is a great option for guests looking for an intimate stay in a tranquil setting. Make yourself at home –unwind beside the swimming pool, pamper yourself with a spa treatment, or work up a sweat in the hotel gym. Attention to detail , outstanding dining and an attentive guest experience are synonymous with Hotel No 5

Uganda

Once referred to as the “Pearl of the British Empire in East Africa”, visiting Uganda, being one of the most beautiful countries on the African continent is like visiting the Garden of Eden. Uganda is a land of contrasts.  In half a day you can drive from mist –shrouded volcanic mountains to hot, hazy savannah dappled with wildlife. Serene undulating lush hills of tea plantations give way to tangled jungle and rainforest with the musical accompaniment of chaotic, cacophonous birdlife. Uganda is alive with these contrasts: The tiniest sunbirds, iridescent in the morning light, the massive lumbering yet silent elephant, the chimpanzees crashing about the forest canopy, the majestic gorilla, chewing thoughtfully in  the bamboo thicket.  This is Africa the way it should be!

Ugandas biggest tourist draw are of course the mountain gorillas with almost half of the world’s population located in one of East Africa’s most famous national parks, the World Heritage listed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.   There is nothing in comparison to the thrill to observing these magnificent, peacefull apes in their native environment. But they aren’t the country’s only great apes. Humankind’s closest relative, the chimpanzee, is found in several of areas of Uganda.

Parks with varied wild life covering different habitats, few tourists and friendly people make for a memorable experience well worth visiting. And as Uganda combines both Central African forests and East African savannahs , it is home to more than half of all Africa’s species of birds!

Entebbe

Situated on a peninsula in Lake Victoria, the former seat of Uganda’s government, Entebbe is just a short drive from the current capital and offers plenty to keep visitors amused. This charming town features tree-lined streets and serves as an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area. Tourists can look forward to spending days on beautiful beaches along the banks of Lake Victoria, stroll through the fields and forests of the magnificent Botanical Gardens, or pay a visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a haven for country’s orphaned chimps.

Overnight: Hotel No.5         View iBrochure

Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe, is the new and stylish boutique hotel, Hotel No.5. From the moment you arrive, you are warmly welcomed and cared for. With luxurious rooms opening onto the garden and swimming pool, this is a great option for guests looking for an intimate stay in a tranquil setting.

Make yourself at home – unwind beside the swimming pool, pamper yourself with a spa treatment, or work up a sweat in the hotel gym. For one of the most flavoursome dining experiences in Entebbe, carefully planned menus are paired to an international wine list, and served with pride.

Attention to detail and an attentive guest experience are synonymous with Hotel No. 5, making it the perfect choice for a restful stay in this busy town.

Luxury Double Room

The luxury double rooms are located on the second floor. Each room has a small outside sitting area facing the gardens and swimming pool, and an en-suite bathroom with shower. All rooms offer Wi-Fi internet access, a guest safe, flat screen television, direct dial telephone, filter coffee making facility and mosquito nets over the beds.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

Day 2:           Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park     

Day Itinerary

Transfer to airport for your short flight to Mweya, from where you will explore Queen Elizabeth National Park. This park set in the Great Rift Valley is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with its tree climbing lions and Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda.

Enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel, a 32-kilometre long natural channel linking Lake Edward and Lake George. Kazinga’s shores are dotted with herds of lazy buffalo, pods of hippos wallowing without a care, and countless bird species. Drift past local fishing villages, and soak up the peaceful tranquillity of this beautiful African day. (Cruise normally departs at 14h00, although this depends on availability when booking and is subject to change –no drinks/ snacks provided on boat) The next two nights will be enjoyed at Ishasha Wilderness Camp, an intimate camp with just ten luxurious safari tents set on a tranquil river bank.

Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

Surrounded by other wonderful parks in the western region of Uganda, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its rich biodiversity, wildlife and history. In the southern part of the park, the remote Ishaha sector is home to tree-climbing lions who spend long lazy days dozing in the pretty fig trees.  The Uganda Kob, which they watch from the branches, graze the plains. Around Lake Edward, enjoy fishing and more game watching – make sure to look out for chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles, and perennial and migratory bird species.

Activities

 Kazinga Channel Boat Cruise

Take a leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Passengers may encounter herds of elephant, buffalo and antelope, families of warthog, large groups of hippo, and crocodiles basking on the shore.  Kazinga’s shores are a haven for numerous birds, including many migratory species as they make their way south to warmer climates. The cruise also provides a spectacular view of the beautiful Mweya Peninsula and life in local fishing villages set along the banks.

Overnight: Ishasha Wilderness Camp    View iBrochure

Ishasha Wilderness Camp is an idyllic retreat for people who truly enjoy the wilderness, coupled with superb accommodation and exceptional service.

The thatched central lounge and dining area provides a cosy and relaxed space for guests, although meals are often served ‘al fresco’ beside the river. In the evening, the outdoor fireplace beside the river is the perfect place for guests to relax over sundowners and share their day’s experiences.

Each of the ten spacious framed canvas rooms, privately nestled along the riverbank, is comfortably furnished and feature en-suite bathrooms. Wake to the delicious aroma of morning coffee served on your private verandah.

Resident troops of Black-and-White Colobus and Vervet monkeys abound and if you are lucky you’ll spot Henry, the lone hippo, wallowing lazily below our viewing deck. Game roams freely through camp, with Elephant making frequent guest appearances.

Designed to respect and complement the environment, this low impact, eco-sensitive camp is really something special, and after a few days unwinding here, you may well not want to leave.

Framed Canvas, Luxury Tents

Each of the ten framed, spacious canvas tents, set in a wooded area beside the Ntungwe river, is comfortably furnished, with an en suite bathroom offering running water, hot water ‘bush’ showers and a flushing eco-friendly toilet. The appeal of camping that doesn’t compromise on comfort. A spacious patio outside each tent allows guests to take a bit of downtime, read a book or just stretch out while taking in the sights and sounds around them.

Basis

Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 3:           Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park     

Day Itinerary

Day at leisure to enjoy game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, looking out for huge herds of buffalo, elephant and of course the famous tree-climbing lion typically found in the area.

Activities

Game Viewing in Queen Elizabeth Park

Basis

Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 4:           Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest    

Day Itinerary

A2-3 hour drive through scenic country brings you to Bwindi Forest National Park. Time permitting, you may visit a Community Project en route. Immerse yourself in Agartha’s ‘Taste of Uganda’tour –it’s a fun, educational experience for the inquisitive visitor who wonders how a rural Ugandan lady lives. Watch how the local crops are transformed into local staples such as millet porridge and kalo bread. Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest,a World Heritage site. Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa and home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies and 160 species of trees. The park contains an estimated one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site. Set within the National Park, just steps away from the Gorilla Trekking headquarters, Buhoma Lodge offers cosy accommodation in wooden chalets with uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest. Well loved for its warm welcome and attentive service, Buhoma is an eco friendly lodge operating on solar power, constructed using sustainable local materials. Each of the ten wooden chalets offers a private verandah and enchanting forest views. Awaken to chattering forest birds, and watch out for the occasional mountain gorilla that has ventured right in to visit the lodge

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is where you have the best chance of spotting a mountain gorilla family going about their business. Once you have your permit you are led across the rugged terrain and though the awe inspiring jungle to where the gorillas were seen the day previously and then you track them down. Aside from the amazing gorilla interactions there are numerous forest walks and 346 species of birds to track down, many of which are amazingly coloured.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of Africa’s  most ancient habitat. With an altitude span of 3,800’ to 8,550’ this antiquity has produced  an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, even by normal rainforest standards. And we do mean rainforest; up to 8.2 feet  of rain falls here annually.

Activities

Taste of Uganda

Overnight: Buhoma Lodge             View iBrochure

Nestled at the gateway to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Buhoma Lodge is one of only two lodges set within the national park, and is the perfect lodge of choice when embarking on your bucket-list Gorilla trekking adventure.

Renowned for its warm welcome and attentive service, guests love the homely ambience of this Africa inspired lodge. Constructed using sustainable materials, the elevated central lounge, bar and dining area (serving delicious multi-course meals) offers a cosy spot for guests to unwind, and offers amazing uninterrupted views over the forest. The crackling fireplace adds a mystical atmosphere to cooler evenings.

Tranquil and cosy, the ten spacious eco friendly wooden chalets offer a private escape. Fall asleep to the sounds of the forest and awaken to chattering birds and monkeys as day breaks. Enjoy morning tea/coffee on your private verandah with sweeping views over the primal forest– what better way to start the day. With Buhoma set just steps away from the trek start point, gorillas have been spotted popping in for an occasional visit, while our resident L’Hoest’s monkey troup visit the gardens in front of the lodge almost daily, much to the delight of our guests.

Chalet

Our ten comfortable chalets have been designed with the forest in mind, by using eco-friendly materials and applying eco-friendly building standards. The chalets may have been built with consideration for the forest, but comfort hasn’t been compromised on.

Inside the spacious chalets you will find large, comfortable beds and everything you need to make yourself at home. The well-appointed and roomy en-suite bathroom with flush toilet contains a rain shower with a copious supply of hot water and equipped with locally produced natural ranges of complementary bathroom amenities. Some chalets also offer a bath-tub for relaxation and enjoyment after the day’s activities.

Basis

Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 5:           Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest    

Day Itinerary

One of the most humbling and enthralling wildlife experiences imaginable awaits your discovery. Coming face to face with an endangered mountain gorilla is something words cannot aptly describe. Please note that gorilla trekking is strenuous with treks ranging from 45mins up to eight hours, at high altitudes in hot African conditions.The thrill of the hour you spend quietly observing these gentle giants once you find them is well worth the hike to get there! Although mountain gorillas are wild animals and it should be noted that sightings cannot be guaranteed, viewing success rates are well over 95%. Head back to Buhoma Lodge for a complimentary massage after your trek, or explore the surrounding Bwindi community. Optional activities that may be enjoyed in and around the park include forest walks, visits to a local school or orphanage or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.

Activities

Gorilla Tracking
See more information about gorilla trekking here.

Optional

Batwa Community Walk US$75
Bwindi Village Walk US$30

Batwa Community Walk

Since their removal from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest when it was designated a National Park , the Batwa Pygmies are living mostly on the fringes of existing villages, or in remote areas just outside the forest, where farming is difficult.

The Batwa tribe members are gradually learning to live in fixed agrarian communities now that their nomadic forest existence is no longer possible. Outreach programs are working to help them maintain their ancient traditions and culture while building their new lives.

Pygmy people are ancient dwellers in the forests, they were known as The Keepers of the Forest.

Bwindi Village Walk

Embark on a community walk through the local villages surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Optional activities include visits to traditional home, local orphanage and school, banana alcohol brewing demonstrations and even meeting traditional medicinal healer. This three to four hour walk is easily tailored to your individual schedule and interests.

Basis

Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 6:           Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Volcanoes National Park      

Day Itinerary

From Bwindi, we drive through the ‘Little Switzerland of Africa’ along winding mountain roads, and through rural villages, to the border of Rwanda, Kisoro. Here, on a clear day, the Virungas can be seen ‘standing sentry’ along the border –a row of massive, dormant volcanoes watching over the region.It’s a long day –approx 7-8 hours on the road with a +-1 hour border crossing. Crossing into Rwanda, we continue to our Gorilla Trekking or Golden Monkey Trekking  base, and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.

Rwanda

Rwanda is an amazingly beautiful country and success story of Africa.  Known as the “Land of Thousand Hills”, it features mostly highlands and hills at altitudes from close to 4,000 feet to 14,786 feet of Mt. Karisimbi in the northwest.  Due to its elevation, Rwanda’s climate is comfortable and temperate year round. The country is one of the cleanest in Africa with good infrastructure, shiny new buildings and a government the locals say isn’t corrupt. Many streets in Kigali’s city center are paved, complete with boulevards lined with grass and palm trees. Rwanda looks prosperous compared to neighbouring countries. More importantly, with the genocide behind them, there is optimism, peace and hope among the people who smile and sometimes hold hands in public to show unity, no matter what gender.

Rwanda’s tourism is best known for it’s gorilla trekking.  It’s hard to find the words to describe the sensation of looking into the eyes of a wild mountain gorilla standing so close you could touch it (but of course you won’t to avoid transmitting diseases). It’s a “bucket-list” experience not to be missed and Rwanda is a good place for doing it. Another fantastic primate-viewing area as well as a birders hotspot is Nyungwe Forst National Park.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park, referred to by locals as PNV, is best known as a sanctuary for the regions rare mountain gorillas. The Park is part the Virungas mountains which form the border between Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo and are one of the most beautiful sights in Africa. Approximately 480 mountain gorillas live in the Virunga complex and reside at an altitude range of 7,500’ to 14,700’. Rare golden monkeys, a subspecies of blue monkeys,  can also be tracked here. This corner or northwestern Rwanda is a breath-taking unforgettable place where culture and adventure intersect. 

Overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge         

The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is perfectly situated for gorilla tracking in Rwanda. The 30 individual cottages have been built on 4 acres of land on the slopes of Mt Sabinyo. The stone and thatch cottages each have en-suite facilities, a small lounge with a fire place and a private veranda. The cottages are of a good size and are well positioned to give them privacy from each other. Being at altitude, it can get cold therefore each cottage has a fireplace in the room. Located very close (about 15 minutes) from the main headquarters of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park (Parc National de Volcans), this is a very handy base from which to explore the area and organise treks to see the Golden monkeys and, of course, the mountain gorillas. This is a great location with superb views of the volcanoes

Basis

Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 7:           Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Volcanoes National Park      

Day Itinerary

Trekking gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park is a very similar experience to that in Bwindi –just as challenging, equally memorable. If you’ve opted not to trek today, take a hike to Dian Fossey’s grave or enjoy forest walk with Golden Monkeys. You will only be able to enjoy one of these activities (as they all take place in the morning) and pre-booking is essential.

For more information on the difference in gorilla trekking see here.

Activities

Volcanoes National Park Golden Monkey Trekking

Optional

Diane Fossey Grave Hike

Volcanoes National Park Golden Monkey Trekking

Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offers Golden monkeys trekking. This unique experience allows guests in groups of up to eight to look for and discover golden monkeys within their natural habitat.

The monkeys are incredibly active and enjoy showing off for tourists and researchers that they encounter daily. The monkeys can be found closer to the base of the volcano and enjoy eating the bamboo vegetation in the area.

Dian Fossey Tomb

Dian Fossey played a key role in creating awareness around the plight of the mountain gorillas in the 1970s and early 80s. This challenging 1.5-hour hike to reach her grave provides ample opportunities to view forest hogs and elephants, as well as a number of primates. Fossey’s house still stands today, with her grave adjacent to it. She rests here next to her favourite gorilla friend Digit as well as 20 other gorillas.

Basis

Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 8:           End of Itinerary  

Day Itinerary

After lunch, we drive to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, a bustling, clean and safe city. Optional visit to the haunting Genocide Museum. Drop off at airport –please book a late flight home or overnight in Kigali as option.

Optional

Kigali Genocide Memorial & Museum

Kigali Genocide Memorial & Museum

Located just outside of Kigali City Centre in the Gasabo district, Kigali Genocide Memorial & Museum was created by a joint partnership of the Kigali City Council and the UK-based Aegis Trust. The centre is an extremely moving, challenging, educational and ultimately inspiring as well as a great place to understand the cause, tragedy and successful rebuilding post-genocide.

The memorial hosts a tour which is transparent and educational but very sombre and humbling when guests realise that over 250,000 deceased are buried on the site of the memorial.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

Date Flight Airline Departure Airport Time Arrival Airport Time Class Ref
  Scheduled   Entebbe International Airport [EBB]   Kasese Airport [KSE]      

POPULAR TRIP EXTENSIONS:

MURCHISON FALLS:River Nile, game drives, chimpanzee trekking, fishing, bird-watching. Suggested add on 3-4 nights.

KIBALE:Chimpanzees and other primates, forest walks, crater lakes. Suggested add on 2 nights.

JINJA:Source of the Nile, adventure activities including white water rafting, quad biking. Suggested add on2-3 nights.

ENTEBBE:City life and local craft shopping, boat cruises or fishing on Lake Victoria, Botanical Gardens, Uganda Wild Life Education Centre/ Ngamba Island

Comments are closed.