Kristina's African Safaris
RWS2 Classic Rwanda and Uganda
A 12 day safari which starts
in Kigali and finishes in Kampala. This safari can also be done on a private
basis. [One PNV gorilla permit is included in the cost but the other gorilla
trackings require a supplement to be paid at time of booking.]
This safari traces the
western Rift Valley, from the Virunga volcanoes to the Rwenzori mountains.
Seeing some of the last remaining 700 mountain gorillas in the world is a
fantastic experience and this safari takes you to three gorilla parks – PNV in
Rwanda and Mgahinga and Bwindi in Uganda. It offers an opportunity to track
gorillas five times, twice in PNV, once in Mgahinga/Nkuringo and twice in Bwindi.
PNV in Rwanda has five habituated gorilla families and tracking most groups in
the afro-montane forest usually takes only a few hours. You can also climb a
volcano, visit the remains of Dian Fossey’s grave or visit the endangered
golden monkey. Mgahinga, in Uganda, is a great place to appreciate the unique
Virunga volcanoes and it has one habituated family. Sometimes this group moves
across the border and you can track gorillas at Nkuringo in Southern Bwindi
instead. You can also climb a volcano or go for a nature walk, visit the
endangered golden monkey or go birding. Bwindi in Uganda has four habituated
families and the gorillas there live in thicker tropical forest and tracking is
more challenging as the hillsides are steeper. You can also go for nature walks
to see birds, monkeys and orchids.
Continue to Ishasha (roads
permitting) and go on the hunt for the tree-climbing lions lounging on old fig
trees. Further north see the great game of Africa in Queen Elizabeth National
Park - elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, and leopard. Track the fast moving and
elusive chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge. See the rich wildlife and array of birds
on the Kazinga Channel. Fly out from Entebbe.
On safari clients stay 3
nights at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, 2 nights at Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge, 3
nights at Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge and 3 nights at Mweya/Jacana.
A choice of three short
safaris can be added at the end: Sipi and rafting (4 days), Chimps on Ngamba
Island (3 days) or Wildlife in Murchison (4 days).
Day 1 SATURDAY
Met on arrival at airport and
transfer to Kigali. Briefing on your safari. After lunch depart for PNV at 2pm.
The journey north goes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that
characterise much of Rwanda’s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the
awesome volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. O/N: Volcanoes
Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 2 SUNDAY
Go gorilla tracking in Parc
National des Volcans (subject to permit availability at the time of booking).
Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the
Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas,
spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch! Some
gorilla families however are more elusive and tracking can take a full day,
especially when it is wet and muddy. O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 3 MONDAY
Either go gorilla tracking
again in Parc National des Volcans (on payment of supplement at the time of
booking), or visit the golden monkeys or drive to Gisenyi, visit Ross Carr's
orphanage and Lake Kivu or climb the Visoke/Muhavura volcanoes, or trek to Dian
Fossey's grave, or visit the local school, community projects or walk to Lake
Bulera. O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 4 TUESDAY
In the morning either relax or
walk near the Lodge, visit the golden monkeys or trek to Dian Fossey's grave.
After lunch transfer to Uganda [Clocks go forward one hour]. O/N: Volcanoes
Mount Gahinga Lodge (FB).
Day 5 WEDNESDAY
Either go gorilla tracking
again, this time in Mgahinga/Nkuringo, (on payment of supplement at the time of
booking), or climb the Muhavura or Gahinga volcano, or go for a nature walk,
visit golden monkeys in Mgahinga. O/N: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (FB).
Day 6 THURSDAY
Drive to Bwindi through the
Switzerland of Africa, with the road winding through many hills and valleys,
with distant views of the volcanoes and lakes. Alternatively look for monkeys
and birds near the river by the Lodge or go for a community walk. O/N: Volcanoes
Bwindi Lodge (FB).
Day 7 FRIDAY
Either go gorilla tracking (on
payment of supplement at the time of booking), walking up steep densely forested
hills before finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation.
An inspiring moment! Tracking in Bwindi requires stamina and can often take most
of the day. Alternatively go for a leisurely nature or community walk. O/N:
Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (FB).
Day 8 SATURDAY
Either go gorilla tracking
(subject to permit availability at time of booking), walking up steep densely
forested hills before finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the
vegetation. An inspiring moment! Tracking in Bwindi requires stamina and can
often take most of the day. Alternatively go for a leisurely nature or community
walk. O/N Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (FB).
Day 9 SUNDAY
Leave for Queen Elizabeth
National Park. Either drive via Ishasha, home of the tree climbing lion, roads
permitting, or take the alternative route through cultivated expanses. Time
permitting, go for an evening game drive O/N: Mweya/Jacana (FB).
Day 10 MONDAY
Go for an early morning game
drive to seek out wildlife, rest during the heat of the day and then go on an
evening game drive. The game seen will depend on the season, the Kasenyi plains
are good for lion and the Mweya peninsula for a variety of animals. O/N: Mweya/Jacana
Day 11 TUESDAY
An excursion to Kyambura gorge
nearby to track the fast moving and elusive chimpanzees, one of man's closest
relations. The chimp population is quite mobile and viewing is unpredictable but
the walk is enchanting. Alternatively go for a nature walk in Maramagambo Forest
to see other primates and to visit the bat cave and the blue lake. In the
afternoon take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel where the wildlife and a
vast array of birds come to drink. O/N: Mweya/Jacana (FB).
Day 12 WEDNESDAY
Drive to Kampala; enroute stand
on the Equator, bargain at the roadside markets and see the royal drum makers.
Freshen up in day rooms at Windsor Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe until transfer
to the airport for return flight (HB).