12-Day Rwanda – Uganda – Gorilla- Chimpanzee Wildlife Hiking Safari

Posted by on January 6, 2017

12 days of Primates – Canoes – Hikes – Wildlife in Rwanda and Uganda

Experiential Adventurous 12 Day Rwanda – Uganda – Gorilla- Chimpanzee Wildlife Hiking Safari for Hiking Enthusiasts

 Begin your action filled experiential 12 Day Rwanda – Uganda – Gorilla- Chimpanzee Wildlife Hiking Safari in Kigali and end it by flying out from Entebbe in Uganda. In between Gorilla Trekking in both Rwanda and Uganda, Chimpanzee Trekking – Hiking through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Wildlife Game Drives – all without long drive times on this 12 day Rwanda – Uganda combined Safari.

This is an out-of the ordinary experiential adventure Safari, much of it off of the beaten track in Rwanda and Uganda. It is one of our more popular Hiking Safaris where you get out of the vehicle and hit the hiking Trails.

The Hiking Safari is adjustable to fit your budget and the length of time you have in Africa exploring both Uganda and Rwanda.

Day 1: Arrive at Kigali Airport – Volcanoes National Park:

 Your 12 Day Rwanda – Uganda – Gorilla- Chimpanzee Wildlife Hiking Safari begins as you arrive at Kigali International Airport and leave for Volcanoes National Park (Drive-Time 2 1/2 hours). If you arrive in Kigali late at night – we will arrange for lodging in Kigali and start the safari the following day. Lodging in Kigali can range from budget to luxury Hotels – the choice is yours.

Arrival Information:

Since you are traveling in both Rwanda and Uganda you will need an East African Tourist Visa – this has to be obtained from the first country you are entering in East Africa – which is Rwanda.

Yellow Fever Immunization Certificate – this is required in East Africa and you best get it in your country 30 days before arrival – it works for the rest of your life.  You need at least 10 days for the immunization to be effective.

On arrival at Volcanoes National Park we check into the lodge you have chosen – if you give us a category such as budget, moderate, upmarket – luxury  we can choose for you depending on your approval.


Lodging:  Lodging Choices near Volcanoes National Park

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner

Day 2: First Gorilla Trek -Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda:

 Early Morning Breakfast and we are off to park headquarter for the gorilla trek briefing, a cup of Rwandan coffee or tea and some delightful Intore dancing performed for you.

You will need a daypack, a packed lunch from the lodge that is provided, two liters of water.  Clothing – long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, light rain-jacket, hat with wide brim, gardening gloves to pull yourself up on branches, hiking boots with good traction and that are worn in.

You want your skin covered to protect against scratches from branches, stings from nettles, insects and more.  Often people simply dress wrong going gorilla tracking in Rwanda or Uganda.

You will be assigned to a gorilla group to trek and you are of with your guides and trackers..  Use a porter to carry your things and to keep your hands free to take pictures and ease the trek.

The gorilla trek itself is between 3 and 5 hours or longer – it is well worth it and the experience of a lifetime for you.  Simply a most amazing and most memorable experience and you will that experience twice, in two different countries and locations.

After the trek – time permitting – there is an optional village visit at Iby’ Iwacu Cultural village which is a great place to get a cultural insight into Rwandan life. The Cultural Village Visit must be booked ahead of time.

Lodging:  Lodging Choices near Volcanoes National Park

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 3: Golden Monkey tracking or the Dian Fossey Karisoke Research Center and Gravesite Hike – transfer to Uganda:

Breakfast and this morning you have a choice – Golden Monkey Tracking in the Bamboo Forest of the Virunga  Volcanoes – this is an exciting time with the lively golden monkeys – whose color and coat make them quite beautiful to behold up close in the Forest.  Like the Mountain Gorillas – the golden monkeys are habituated and are used to the presence of humans.  This is a guided hike with trackers and guides and is about 3 to four hours in length returning in time for lunch at the lodge.

The other choice you have is to hike up and see the ruins of the Karisoke Research Center that Dian Fossey established here in Rwanda during her long stay in the country during which she was a spokesperson and advocate for the conservation of the endangered Mountain Gorillas.  She protected the gorillas against poachers and others that wanted to encroach on the habitat of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda.  At the end of the day she paid the final price – her life was taken as she was murdered.

After Lunch we drive across the border into Uganda – we set our clocks forward by one hour to Eastern African Time.  We are headed for the exclusive up-market Chameleon Hill Lodge  on a ridge overlooking Lake Mutanda and the Virunga Volcanoes, studded with emerald islands, the perfect setting for an African scenic sunset. The other choices are Mutanda Lake Resort – Moderate – Travellers Rest Hotel in Kisoro.

Lodging:  Chameleon Hill Lodge – upmarket, Lake Mutanda Resort – moderate, Travellers Rest Hotel – budget

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 4:  Walking -Canoeing – Hiking from Kisoro to Nkuringo:

 Early Breakfast and off to Kisoro where your canoe and hike to Nkuringo – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest begins.  The total trek today is 8 hours in length and combines Hiking – canoeing in a wooden dugout canoe, and hiking up to Nkuringo from Lake Mutanda.  This is one of the most scenic hikes in the gorilla highlands of southwest Uganda.

A packed lunch should be with you- granola bars come in helpful – your luggage will be taken by driver-guide and vehicle to Nkuringo to meet you there in and take you to Rushaga for Lodging.

Dress wise – many will wear shorts – tank tops and the like – look at your guides and you will most likely notice long-trousers, long-sleeved shirts and hiking boots, many Ugandans choose rubber boots also called gumboots, or wellies. Protection on hikes is the key, sun-protection lotion and insect repellent come in hand today (RID from Australia is especially good).

The trails from Kisoro to Lake Mutanda is twenty minutes long and then it is paddling across lake to the landing site from where to hike up to Nkuringo begins.

The journey on the lake is in a traditional dugout canoe made from a log as it has been for hundreds of years in this area where modernity with power boats and sleek boats has not made too many inroads.

The lake is studded with many islands and most of them have banana plantations on hem, water birds will abound on your journey across the lake and as you paddle or are paddled along you will see birds including Hadada Ibis, Crested Cranes and Black headed herons to name a few,

A lunch and coffee break is taken at Mutanda Lake Resort before the onward and upward hike begins of four hours plus to Nkuringo Gorilla Camp.  The scenery along the journey through villages and hamlets become most interesting.  You will also learn of local customs, local herbs used in traditional healing, customs, cultural ways and the natural wonders through which you are trekking.

Late afternoon we reach Nkuringo where you are met by our Driver Guide and taken to your lodge


Lodging:  Gorilla Valley Lodge – Moderate – Gorilla Safari Lodge – upmarket – Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge – Luxury

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

Day 5: Uganda Gorilla Tracking – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

An early breakfast and we are off to Nkuringo or Rushaga for Gorilla Tracking.  The Nkuringo Gorilla Group is the toughest group to track in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest since the journey begins with 600 meters down at the beginning of the trek and 600 meters up. There are however easier groups to track in the area and there are 5 habituated gorilla groups for visitors in the area.

The clothing and equipment are the same as in Rwanda and a porter will be available for you to carry your things.  This is a win-win, you have freedom of hands and the Ugandan has a family income.

The second gorilla trek is again three to five hours long and once again you have one hour with the gorilla family – the second great primate adventure in Africa for you.

Gorilla Habituation Experience Option:

Instead of 1 hour with the Gorillas on a Trek – you can spend 4 hours with the gorillas on an all-day Gorilla Habituation Experience Trek.  Permit Cost for the Habituation Experience is 1,500 USD.


Lodging:  Gorilla Valley Lodge – Moderate – Gorilla Safari Lodge – upmarket – Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge – Luxury

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

 Day 6:  Nkuringo to Buhoma  Hike – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

 Early breakfast and you are off for your six hour plus hike through the ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – This journey is actually shorter time-wise in some instances than it is to drive by vehicle from Nkuringo to Buhoma.

We take the Ivy River Trail which starts in Nuringo and ends up in Buhoma.  The journey ascends and descends through the ancient rainforest with some excellent scenic areas that you will encounter.

You will come across monkeys, duikers, bush pigs, birds of various species, some of them endemic to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. There is of course the montane vegetation, trees, shrubs, flowers and lots of butterflies.

For most avid hikers this is sheer bliss to hike through this forest that the ice-age missed and the platonic shifts in earth did no disturb the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest area.

Late afternoon we reach Buhoma in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where we check into the


Lodging:  Choosing a Lodge in the Buhoma Area of Bwindi

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

Day 7: Ishasha – Queen Elizabeth Park:

Breakfast and a leisurely 1 1/2 drive to the Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth Park – Home of the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha.

There are three lodges either in or near the park ranging from budget to upmarket. You can choose the one you would like below.  Ishasha Wilderness Camp is the most favorite lodge, however it also the most costly, many see it worth the experience of staying there.


After lunch we take our game drive during your African safari thus far.  A game drive is about three hours in length and in our  case we are in search of the tree-climbing lions – however there is other wildlife that we will come across such as leopards, elephant herds, buffaloes, antelopes including the Topi and savannah birds.  There is always much to see and the vehicle has a pop-up roof for better game viewing and picture-taking.

A Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger accompanies us on game drives and between the driver-guide and UWA ranger – there is not much you will be missing on a game drive across the Savannah Plains of Ishasha.

The lions that are found in the trees during the day-time sleep the day away (up to 15 hours) in between the night’s hunt.  There are theories as to why they sleep the day away in trees – some have to do with insects, others a cultural twist and more.

In Uganda we also have tree-climbing lions in Kidepo Valley National Park in the northeast of the country.


Lodging:  @The River Lodge – Budget – Moderate – Ishasha Jungle LodgeIshasha Wilderness Camp – upmarket

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

Day 8: Mweya Region of Queen Elizabeth Park -Mweya Safari Lodge – Tent:

Breakfast and morning game drive in the Ishasha Region for a second look at the Tree-Cl;imbing Lions and other wildlife found here. After the game drive we take the 2 hour drive to the Mweya region of the park where we check into the lodge you have chosen.


Afternoon Game Drive in the Mweya area – Lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes of various kinds, bush pigs, warthogs.  Each game drive is a discovery of something new, even if you have seen the animals before.

We take a slow game drive, and since you are the only one’s in the vehicle you call the shots and tell us when to stop for best photos and sights.

In the distance you can see the Rwenzori Mountains of the moon towering over it all and it make a wonderful backdrop to the savanna you are on.


Lodging: Lodges to choose for you in the Mweya Area of Queen Elizabeth Park

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

Day 9: Mweya Region of Queen Elizabeth Park:

Breakfast and morning game drive -each game drive is different, even though you might see some of the same animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes.  It is the scenery that is different on each drive making each drive unique.

Options instead of Game Drive – not included in price:


 3 pm in the Afternoon – it is time for one of the highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park – the Kazinga Channel Boat Safari.

Here you venture toward Lake Edward on Kazinga Channel which is a natural channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake George.  Along it you have one of the highest concentration of hippos in Africa.

There are however also crocodiles, elephant herds that you will see, buffaloes, antelopes, hundreds of various water birds, monitor lizards, and in the late afternoon one might find some predators that are coming to water before the night hunt.

Kazinga is one of our clients most favorite activity in Queen Elizabeth Park


Lodging: Lodges to choose for you in the Mweya Area of Queen Elizabeth Park

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

Day 10: Kibale Forest – Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary:

Breakfast and we continue to Kibale Forest which is East Africa’s best spot for Chimpanzee tracking. It is also home to 13 different primates which is over 25% of all species found in Africa.  Kibale Forest – is where the Central African Jungle meets East Africa – Kibale Forest is also an excellent spot for birding with over 350 species – there are also over 200 species of butterflies that can be found here.

Drive-time to Kibale Forest is 2 hours plus.  We check into the lodge you have chosen.  There are many choices from budget to luxury.  There is one lodge inside of the park – Primate Lodge that offers upmarket and moderate lodging.  Quality Lodging outside of the Park is found in Kibale Forest Camp where budget and moderate lodging is offered.  The upmarket lodges such as Kyaninga Lodge, Ndali Lodge and Papaya Lodge are all 45 minutes drive-time to the park.


We take a guided walk in the Bigodi Wetlands sanctuary which is a jungle swamp and you cross the various sections by wooden board walks.  Here you can see various flora and fauna that is jungle reminiscent.  It is a great place for birding which includes the great blue Turaco.  Primates can be found here, including chimpanzees at times.

Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary is also home to the semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelope and other mammals – simple a great place to explore and discover near Kibale Forest.

Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary is one of the only Jungle Swamps in Uganda.  This is the area where the West African Jungle meets East Africa and the vegetation, plants, flowers, underbrush, trees and Palms are worth a visit in themselves. Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary is simply a great experience for visitors to Uganda.


Lodging: Lodging Choices in and around Kibale Forest

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

 Day 11: Kibale Forest Chimpanzee Habituation Experience:

Early morning breakfast and a packed lunch for the day – you will need a day-pack preferably waterproof.  Long-Trousers and long-sleeved shirt, rain-jacket or poncho, wide brimmed hat, hiking boots, 2 liters of water, snacks.  The idea is protect yourself against nettles, thorns, brush, branches, insects and more.

The Chimpanzee Habituation Experience begins early in the morning and last until late afternoon.  You are with scientists and researchers, trackers and have your own guide with you during the day.  You will see a lot more than Chimpanzees during your day with them, Kibale Forest is home to 13 species of primates in total and you normally see about 5 of them.

This experience is way beyond chimpanzee tracking since you are with the chimpanzee group all-day instead of one hour.


Lodging: Lodging Choices in and around Kibale Forest

Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner

Day 12:Departure from Entebbe Airport for Home:

Breakfast – departure for Entebbe Airport – drive time 5 hours – lunch can be had along the Beach in Entebbe air Goretti’s Restaurant.

In case of late departure a day-room can be arranged and overnight for early morning departure the following day.

Enjoy your time in Rwanda – the Land of a thousand Hills and Uganda – the Pearl of Africa.

Changes can be made to this safari in regards to activities and or lodging stays in accordance to your personal preferences.

Departure arrival time for Entebbe should be 3 hours prior to flight from Entebbe.  There is a restaurant in the airport departure lounge for your convenience.

We can also arrange for dinner along Lake Victoria in Entebbe.

Thank you for going on Safari with Kabiza Wilderness Safaris.

 Safari includes:  All activities – except where it says optional – all permits – lodging, transport, food except alcohol or soft drinks at lodges, tips, laundry excluded.

Best Hiking Safaris in Uganda:

Here are the best Hiking Safaris in Uganda – some include Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking while other simply get you out of your vehicle into the African Wild.

This includes hikes in the Savannah Parks, Hikes in Tropical Rainforests, exploring the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountain of the Moon including a three-day hike into the Rwenzoris called the Mahoma Trail.

Take a look at hiking Safaris that we offer in Uganda, they are gaining in popularity as11 Plugin Update more and more want to get out of the Vehicle in the African Bush.

Hiking Tips and Advice:

Hiking and Nature Walks in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest takes some preparation, wearing the right clothing, boots, shoes more.

Preparing for a hike or nature walk will make it a lot more rewarding for you.  We can also help you if you have any questions and we would also love to assist you in creating an itinerary that not only includes gorilla tracking, but other activities such as outlines above and a hike in or through the forest just might be right for you.

Hiking in Uganda is simply different from what you may be used to – many hikes are in various rainforest – the altitude is higher and in many cases it will not be hot due to the elevation.

If you are interested in this Experiential 12 Day Rwanda – Uganda – Gorilla- Chimpanzee Wildlife Hiking Safari – please contact us.