- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park Uganda
- Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
- Cruise on Kazinga Channel
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
Uganda / Rwanda: Scheduled Safari
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 Fosseys 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.
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by a Wild Frontiers 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 souvenirs or crafts, meander through the Botanical Gardens or relax with a boat cruise on Lake Victoria. 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.
Overnight at Hotel No.5 (www.hotelnumber5.com) or similar, with breakfast included.
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.
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.
Overnight at Ishasha Wilderness Camp including all meals and local drinks.
A 2-3 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.
Overnight at Buhoma Lodge with all meals and local drinks included (www.ugandaexclusivecamps.com)
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 45 mins 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.
Overnight at Buhoma Lodge with all meals and local drinks included
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 base, and overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge on a full board basis.
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.
Overnight Mountain Gorilla View Lodge on a full board basis.
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.
|2020 Scheduled Dates||2021 Scheduled Dates|
|15 May (Friday) (UG-RW-8) – LOW SEASON RATE||11 June (Friday) (UG/RW-8)|
|03 July (Friday) – (UG-RW-8)||07 July (Wednesday ) (UG/RW-8)|
|14 August (Friday) (UG-RW-8)||06 September (Monday) (UG/RW-8)|
|11 September (Friday) (UG-RW-8)|
|Gorilla trekking permit – Uganda||USD 600 per person (USD 700 per person from July 2020)||Bwindi|
|Gorilla trekking permit – Rwanda||USD 1500 per person||Rwanda|
|Guided forest walk Bwindi including park fees||USD 75 per person||Bwindi|
|Ishasha Community visit Bwindi||USD 30 per person||Bwindi|
|Batwa Pygmies visit||USD 85 per person||Bwindi|
|2nd Gorilla trek including purchase fee||USD 670 per person (USD 770 per person from July 2020)||Bwindi|
|Bush breakfast at Ishasha||USD 40 per person||Ishasha|
|Golden Monkeys||USD 100 per person||Rwanda|
|Dian Fossey Grave Hike||USD 75 per person||Rwanda|
** Please note that the cost of the flight Entebbe – Mweya is based on estimated airfare. Exact available airfare at time of booking will be recalculated and advised. Baggage allowance 15kgs in a soft bag.
Please note – various gorilla trekking options are available on this itinerary. Please specify your permit requirements at time of booking.
GORILLA TREKKING AREAS & PERMIT ALLOCATIONS – UGANDA
On our scheduled departures, we typically buy permits for Buhoma & Ruhija, which are accessible from Buhoma area. One of the Buhoma families, and the Ruhija families, require a road transfer to the start point. This does not deviate from the enjoyment of the trek (and could be considered as enhancing your trip as you are seeing a different part of the region). Furthermore, your permit may be organised for day 3, or 4, of your safari. It will depend on availability at the time of purchase.
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, bungi jumping, quad biking. Suggested add on 2-3 nights.
ENTEBBE: City life and local craft shopping, boat cruises or fishing on Lake Victoria, Botanical Gardens, Uganda Wild Life Education Centre/ Ngamba Island.
Yellow fever inoculation is compulsory & malaria prophylactics are recommended. For gorilla trekking it is imperative that you are healthy and free of any disease or virus – officials do have the right to refuse entry if you are found to have or show any signs of communicable illnesses. Should you opt to spend time participating in any UWEC Wildlife Integration programme, you may require additional inoculations and health clearances.
Most nationalities require a visa to enter Uganda and Rwanda. For this itinerary, an East African visa (USD 100) is required. All visitors who require a visa should apply through the online application system prior to arrival at https://visas.immigration.go.ug. Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after return date of travel, or 12 months in the case of UK nationals, and have at least 3 blank pages in it.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Is compulsory for all guests travelling with Wild Frontiers.