This 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari involves visiting the very best travel destinations in Rwanda and Uganda. The safari starts from Uganda and ends in Kigali Rwanda but can be changed to start from Rwanda.  The first stop will be in Uganda’s Murchison falls national park, then to Kibale National park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Bunyonyi and Bwindi impenetrable national park for gorilla trekking. Visitors will then cross to Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park for a second gorilla trekking experience, golden monkey tracking, cultural visits and a city tour. Let’s discuss a little bit about each of the national parks and the other destinations.

Murchison Falls is the largest national park in Uganda. It is the only park where you can spot all the big five mammals. Before reaching the park, you will stop at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for a chance to track white rhinos. Other activities in the park include visiting the top of the falls, a game drive and a launch cruise. From there, you will transfer to Kibale National Park. Kibale is arguably the best place to track primates in the East Africa.

13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari Highlights

Day 1: Pickup at the airport – transfer to a hotel in Entebbe or Kampala

Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park – track Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary – Visit top of the falls

Day 3: Morning Game drive – Boat cruise along the river Nile

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale National Park

Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking – Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park

Day 6: Early morning game drive – Kazinga Channel Launch cruise

 

Day 7: Game drive at Ishasa sector – Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

Day 8: Trekking with Uganda Gorillas – Batwa Pygmies visit

Day 9: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi –  Canoeing, nature walks, island hopping and relaxation

Day 10: Complete activities in Lake Bunyonyi – Transfer to the Volcanoes national park

Day 11: Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda – Iby’iwacu Cultural Village tour

Day 12: Golden Monkey Tracking – Visit Lake Burera and Ruhondo

Day 13: Transfer to Kigali – City Tour – Departure

Detailed 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari

Day 1: Pickup at the airport – transfer to a hotel in Entebbe or Kampala

Depending on your arrival time, Your 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari will receive you at the airport and brief you about the tour. From there, he will take you straight to your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala. If you arrive early, the driver will take you for a tour of Entebbe or Kampala.

Main Destination: Kampala

Accommodation: Hotel Triangle (budget), Malakai Eco Lodge (Mid-range) and Kampala Serena hotel (luxury). 

Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park – track Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary – Visit top of the falls

13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Uganda

You will wake early, take breakfast and begin your 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari journey to Murchison falls national park. The journey takes about 4 hours and this is the time to check out the Ugandan countryside, small towns and the local people working in their farms. Expect to make stops in some of the towns or the main markets. There will also be a 2 hour stop at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. The sanctuary was established to protect Uganda’s last rhinos. Poaching for ivory in Murchison falls national park and many of Uganda’s national parks led to the extinction of rhinos in the wilds. The sanctuary is now a breeding and research Centre. There is hope that in the near future, some of the rhinos at the sanctuary will be re-introduced into the wild. While at the sanctuary, look out for primates, antelopes and birds. Your lunch will be at Amuka lodge after tracking the Rhinos.

After lunch, you will then proceed to the Murchison falls national park in a journey that takes one hour. Once you arrive near the park, you will be taken straight to the top of the Murchison falls. The Murchison falls is one of the most amazing waterfalls in Africa. It is formed at a point where the river Nile forces its way through a narrow gorge before dropping in mighty roar. Take as many photos of yourself at the falls because it will be one of the highlights of your tour. After marveling at the photos and taking photos, the driver will take you to your hotel cor check-in.

Main Destination: Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation: Red Chili Rest Camp (budget), Pakuba Lodge (midrange) and Paraa Safari Lodge (luxury).

Day 3: Morning Game drive – Boat cruise along the river Nile

You will wake up very early to prepare for an eventful day full of activities. Take your breakfast and head for the southern banks of the river Nile. While out in the park for the game drive, look out for 4 of the big five – buffaloes, lions, leopards and elephants. You should also see hyenas, giraffe, jackal, hartebeest, bushbucks, jackals, the Uganda Kob, other mammals and primates. You will head back to the lodge for lunch and rest before going for an afternoon launch cruise that will take you to the bottom of the Murchison falls this time. Along the river banks, you will see many of the park animals drinking along the river banks. This time lookout for hippopotamus and crocodiles. The Murchison falls has one of the largest concentration of crocodiles and hippos in Africa. There are also countless resident and migratory birds. Among the bird species to look pout for are the Black-headed Gonolek, the rare shoe-bill stork, the African Skimmer, Long-toed Plover, the Fish Eagle, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Grey-crowned Crane among many others.

Main Destination: Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation: Red Chili Rest Camp (budget), Pakuba Lodge (midrange) and Paraa Safari Lodge (luxury). 

Day 4 Of 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari: Transfer to Kibale National Park

After yesterday’s activities, wake up at your leisure, take breakfast and checkout. Your 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari guide will then begin the journey to Kibale National Park. Enjoy seeing Uganda’s picturesque landscape and smiling locals along the way. You will bypass towns, lakes, rivers, forests, peasant farms and countless little bridges. The journey will take you up to Fort Portal for lunch and after that go for a tour of the town.  The town is small but located in an area with great weather and green scenery. You will go see the headquarters of the Tooro Kingdom during the town tour before continuing to your lodge.

Main Destination: Kibale National Park

Accommodation: Chimpanzee Guest House (budget), Primates lodge (Midrange) and Kyaninga Lodge (Luxury).

Day 5 Of 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari: Chimpanzee tracking – Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park

On Day 5 Of 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari, Wake up and take a quick cup of coffee before heading to the park headquarters for briefing about what to expect during chimpanzee trekking. The park has about 1500 individual chimps but only 4 groups are habituated. The chances of spotting chimps are very high here compared to any other place in East Africa. Chimps are more mobile and dramatic compared to gorillas. The dominant male has a hard time controlling his group members. Because they are very loud, their location can be known even before approaching them. Chimps also spend more time on top of trees unlike gorillas.  After tracking chimpanzee for 3-5 hours, you will be taken back to the lodge for lunch and rest. Late in the afternoon, you will embark on the 2 hours’ drive to Queen Elizabeth national park.

Main Destination: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation: Simba safari camp (budget), Park view lodge (mid-range) and Mweya Safari Lodge (luxury). 

Day 6 Of 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari: Early morning game drive – Kazinga Channel Launch cruise

You should wake up very early and pack your breakfast or coffee as you head out for the morning game drive. The early morning game drive is designed to allow tourists catch sight of nocturnal animals retreating back to their dens a busy night. You will also get to spot the early rising mammals and birds. Prepare your camera to take photos of leopards, lions, buffaloes and hippos rushing back after grazing outside the lakes during the night. Bird lovers will be greatly impressed with a great collection of both resident and migratory birds.

After the game drive, you should be driven back to the lodge for lunch and rest. At around 2:00 pm, the guide will take you for a Launch cruise at the Kazinga Channel. The channel separates lake Albert and Lake George. It is a great bird sanctuary and is where most of the wildlife gather for a drink especially during the dry season. The sheer number and variety of animals available along the water banks will surprise and impress you greatly. Look out for crocodiles, hippos, elephants, antelopes and buffaloes.

Main Destination: Kazinga Channel

Accommodation:  Simba safari camp (budget), Park view lodge (mid-range) and Mweya Safari Lodge (luxury).

Day 7: Game drive at Ishasa sector – Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

You should wake up to a full breakfast before checking out.  Your 13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari guide will take you for one more game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park. The game drive will be carried out in the Ishasa sector which is world famous for tree climbing lions. After spotting several mammals and the tree climbing lions of Ishasa, it’s time to begin the journey to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Lunch will be taken from a suitable place along the way to Bwindi. Once you arrive, check in and ensure that you rest early and prepare for gorilla tracking the next day.

Main Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Accommodation: Rushaga Gorilla Camp (Budget), Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) and Chameleon Hill Lodge (luxury).

Day 8: Trekking with Uganda Gorillas – Batwa Pygmies visit

After early morning breakfast, head out for the briefing at the park headquarters. You will briefed on the rules and regulations of tracking mountain gorillas and particularly how to behave around the gorilla family. Other topics include history of the park, number of gorilla groups, packing list and what to expect. You will be assigned a gorilla family based on your age, physical fitness and preferences. The criteria for allocating gorilla groups is important because some of the groups live in deeper sections of the forest. After all is cleared, you will head into the forest for gorilla tracking along with the park rangers and your porters. Once you meet the gorillas, stay calm and do not make sudden movements. The park guide will let you know when to take the photos. You have one hour with the gorillas, so take your time observing them. Watching a group of mountain gorillas is the ultimate wildlife experience. Whereas there are over 250,000 western lowland gorillas remaining (many found in the zoos), only about 1,000 mountain gorillas remain in the wild. Not everyone gets a chance to see them in their lifetime.  After the one hour has elapsed, it’s time to head back to the starting point.

Along the way, watch out for the birds, forest mammals and other primates. Our guide will meet you at the starting point to take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest. In the afternoon, you will be taken to visit the Batwa pygmy community. These were once inhabitants of the Bwindi impenetrable forest before constant conflict with wildlife forced the government to relocate then to their current home. There are several of projects started to help the Batwa pygmies adapt to their new home and life but they have now been wholly successful. Apart from learning about the history of the Batwa and their hunting skills, you will be treated to cultural performances.

Main Destination: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Accommodation: Rushaga Gorilla Camp (Budget), Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) and Chameleon Hill Lodge (luxury).

Day 9: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi –  Canoeing, nature walks, island hopping and relaxation

You should wake up late after yesterday’s activities. Take your breakfast and check-out. Our guide will begin the journey to the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is one of the most naturally beautiful places to visit in Uganda. It is one of the deepest lakes in Africa and hence not suitable for those with no swimming skills. What really makes the lake special are the surrounding green vegetation, forests and the 29 islands. Lake Bunyonyi is a favorite for honeymooners and those who want a cool place to rest after a long safari in Uganda. It is one of the best places to go for birdwatching in Uganda and is a bird sanctuary in its own right. You will go on a boat cruise and hop from island to island or laze away as you watch the day go by. This is a great place to recharge your energies after the last 8 days.

Main Destination: Lake Bunyonyi

Accommodation: Bunyonyi overland Resort (budget), Bunyonyi safari camp (Midrange) and Bunyonyi resort (luxury).

Day 10: Complete activities in Lake Bunyonyi – Transfer to the Volcanoes national park

Wake up early, take breakfast and go for more relaxation and exploration of Lake Bunyonyi. You should now be read ready to hit the road into Rwanda. Ensure that you have all your papers ready and the Rwanda visa. If you don’t have the Rwanda visa, it can be got from the border crossing in only 15 minutes. The route to Rwanda from Uganda has got amazing scenery and landscape which should keep you engaged. Once you reach your hotel, you will check in, shower and relax around the lodge as you prepare for the second gorilla trekking.

Main Destination: Volcanoes National Park

Accommodation: The 5 Volcanos Lodge (Luxury), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Kinigi Guest House (Budget).

Day 11: Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda – Iby’iwacu Cultural Village tour

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda begins with briefing at the Volcanoes national park at 7:00 am. Wake up very early to take your breakfast before the driver comes to pick you. There are 10 habituated gorilla families in Rwanda. Gorilla tracking can be challenging but the reward and excitement is difficult to put in words. All I can say is that one hour spent with the gorillas in the wild will never forget your mind. Once with the family, you could spend hours just watching the little ones roll around and play. Mountain Gorillas are playful and may try to come close to you. Do not be tempted to touch. Always remain calm and follow instructions from the park guide. This is also the time to observe any differences in behavior compared to the gorilla family you visited in Uganda. After the one hour with the gorilla group has elapsed, you should now head back to the park offices. Our guide will take you to the lodge for lunch and rest.

Later in the afternoon, you will go visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village located in Musanze – just around the volcanoes national park. The Centre is now known as the Gorilla Guardians village. It started as a Centre were former poachers would sell them mechanize to tourists but the government of Rwanda so an opportunity. It was revamped and has now become one of the best cultural centers in East Africa. Expect to be entertained with cultural dances and songs. You may be required to participate and dress in local robes as you take photos.

Main Destination: Volcanoes National Park

Accommodation: The 5 Volcanos Lodge (Luxury), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Kinigi Guest House (Budget).

Day 12: Golden Monkey Tracking – Visit Lake Burera and Ruhondo

You will wake up for early morning breakfast before setting off to the Volcanoes National park offices for briefing on golden monkey tracking. The park Guides/Rangers will lead the way as you track the cute but endangered golden monkeys. Once you reach the troop, you will see them feeding on low tree branches. Golden monkeys are very playful primates. They love being photographed and don’t care if you use flash. The Park Rangers will share with you everything there is to know about the monkeys and their chief threats – Man and eagles. Once you are done observing the monkeys, out Guide will take you back to the lodge for lunch. In the evening, you will be taken for a tour of the beautiful twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.

Main Destination: Lake Burera and Ruhondo

Accommodation: The 5 Volcanos Lodge (Luxury), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Kinigi Guest House (Budget).

Day 13: Transfer to Kigali – City Tour – Departure

You will wake up and have breakfast at your own time as prepare for the journey to Kigali. The journey to Kigali will offer you a chance to marvel at the beautiful countryside of Rwanda with thousands of green hill, tea plantations, the local people, town centers and distant views of the Virunga Volcanoes. Lunch will be in Kigali before going for a tour of the city. The tour includes visiting one of the genocide war memorial centers, the presidential palace museum, main city market and gift shops for souvenir. You will then be transferred to the airport for departure or to your hotel in Kigali.

Main Destination: Kigali

End of Tour

13 Days Rwanda Uganda safari Inclusions & Exclusions

Price Includes:

  • A Driver/Guide who is experienced and speaks good English
  • Accommodation and meals for 12 days
  • Park Entry fees
  • Gorilla Permits for Rwanda and Uganda
  • Chimpanzee permits
  • Golden Monkey permits
  • Activities in Lake Bunyonyi
  • Cultural Encounters with the Batwa pygmies and at the Gorilla Guardians Village
  • Drinking water and lunch while traveling or outside the hotel
  • Pickup in Kampala/Entebbe and drop-off at your desired location in Kigali

Price Excludes:

  • International flights (From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour.
  • Tips (Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day).
  • Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • The government imposed increases in taxes and/or park fees.

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