Kristina's African Safaris
UGS1 Classic Uganda and Rwanda
A 12 day safari which starts in Entebbe and finishes in Kigali. This
safari can also be done on a private basis. [The Bwindi gorilla permit
is included in the cost but the other gorilla trackings require a
supplement to be paid at time of booking.]
A safari that traces the western Rift Valley in the heart of Africa,
starting with game viewing on the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth
National Park - elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, and leopard. Track the
fast moving and elusive chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge. In Ishasha go on
the hunt for the tree-climbing lions lounging on old fig trees. See the
rich wildlife and array of birds on the Kazinga Channel. 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 – Bwindi
and Mgahinga in Uganda and PNV in Rwanda. It offers an opportunity to
track gorillas five times, twice in Bwindi, once in Mgahinga/Nkuringo,
and twice in PNV.
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. Mgahinga, in Uganda, is a great place to appreciate
the unique Virunga volcanoes and it has one habituated family. When this
group sometimes moves across the border, tracking at Nkuringo in
Southern Bwindi is possible. You can also climb a volcano or go for a
nature walk, visit the endangered golden monkey or go birding.
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. At the end of the safari fly out
Clients stay 3 nights at
Mweya/Jacana, 3 nights at Volcanoes Bwindi
Lodge, 2 nights at Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge and 3 nights at
Volcanoes Virunga Lodge.
A choice of two safaris can be added at the end – Primates and
Birds in Nyungwe Forest (4 days), Wildlife and Birds in Akagera (3
(Days shown are for scheduled safaris only)
Day 1 MONDAY
Arrive at Entebbe Airport, probably the friendliest in Africa, welcomed by a
Volcanoes guide. Briefing on the great African adventure. Set off on the
southbound road at 10am. On the way see the royal drum makers, stand on the
Equator, bargain at the roadside markets. Descend to the Queen Elizabeth
National Park, keeping an eye out for game. O/N: Mweya/Jacana (FB).
Day 2 TUESDAY
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 (FB).
Day 3 WEDNESDAY
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
Day 4 THURSDAY
Start for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Either drive via Ishasha, home of the tree
climbing lion, roads permitting, or take the alternative route through
cultivated expanses. Time permitting, go for a guided nature walk. O/N:
Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (FB).
Day 5 FRIDAY
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 6 SATURDAY
Either go gorilla tracking again (on payment of supplement at the time of
booking subject to permit availability) or go for a guided nature walk in the
thick forest rich in birds, butterflies and monkeys. Alternatively go for a
stroll around the Lodge or for a community walk. O/N: Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (FB).
Day 7 SUNDAY
Leave for Mgahinga. Make brief stops at places of interest including Kanaba Gap
to view the dramatic Virunga volcanoes and the beautiful terraced hills.
Proceed, via the frontier town of Kisoro, up the mountain to Mgahinga at 2,300m.
O/N: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (FB).
Day 8 MONDAY
Either go gorilla tracking again, this time in Mgahinga/Nkuringo (on payment of
supplement at time of booking), or climb the Muhavura or Gahinga volcanoes, or
go for a nature walk or visit golden monkeys in Mgahinga. O/N: Volcanoes Mount
Gahinga Lodge (FB).
Day 9 TUESDAY
Either relax or walk near the Lodge, or do one of the activities in day 8 in the
morning (except gorilla tracking) and transfer to Rwanda after lunch. [Clocks go
backward one hour]. Stroll around the Lodge, or simply take in the panoramic
sunset over the volcanoes. O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 10 WEDNESDAY
Go gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans (on payment of supplement at
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
Day 11 THURSDAY
Either go gorilla tracking again in Parc National des Volcans (on payment of
supplement at 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 12 FRIDAY
Leave for Kigali. Time permitting, go for a tour of the city including a visit
to the market, a pottery project, handicraft shops, the Franco-Rwandan cultural
centre and the genocide memorial. Transfer to the airport. (HB).