17 day Uganda – Rwanda Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking – Wildlife Safari

Posted by on July 16, 2017

17 Days of Discovering the Pearl of Africa -and the Land of a Thousand Hills

An Adventurous 17 day Uganda – Rwanda Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking – Wildlife Safari

17 day Uganda – Rwanda Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking – Wildlife Safari – visiting Ziwa Rhino  Sanctuary – Murchison Falls Park – Kibale Forest – Queen Elizabeth Park – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest-Volcanoes National Park – Nyungwe Forest and Kigali – Fly into Entebbe Uganda and fly out of Kigali, Rwanda minimizing Drive Times for you.

Combine a Visit to Uganda with Rwanda on this 17-Day Experiential Adventure Safari in the heart of Africa. 17 Days of Authentic Africa with Primates not found elsewhere in East Africa, but only in Uganda and Rwanda. Experience the best Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda, the best Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale Forest, the power and beauty of the River Nile – the endless herds of Giraffe in Murchison Full with groups of 50 or more.

This 17-day Safari can be a budget, moderate or upmarket Safari, the choice is totally yours.  This is a private Safari where you have your own Driver-Guide and vehicle throughout.

Since May 6th – 2017 – Rwanda has double its permit prices for Gorilla Trekking – this translates into an automatic increase of this Safari by 750 USD per person.  Rwanda did this as part of its upmarket destination strategy, to increase funding for the conservation and of Gorillas and to aid local communities near Volcanoes National Park with infrastructure projects.  This after receiving complaints from clients has caused us in turn to offer a Money Saving Alternative option.  

Trek Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and instead of Trekking Gorillas in Rwanda in the Virunga Volcanoes do so in Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla Park where you replicate the Rwanda Tracking experience and save 900 USD on the 2nd Gorilla Trek in this Safari Itinerary.  


Day 1 – Arrival – Welcome to Uganda:

 You will be welcomed by your personal driver-guide who will be with you for the length of the Safari. He will help you with matters way beyond the safari and your guide not only to the parks but introduce to you Uganda and its culture.

Most arrivals from the US – Europe – UK are late in the evening or at night and clients prefer the short drive instead of a long one into two – for early arrivals we can make alternate lodging arrangements.

Arrival Notifications to be aware of:

Visiting Uganda and Rwanda you will need an East African Tourism Visa – The visa can be applied for online.  Cost is 100 USD. It can also be bought upon arrival in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport.

Yellow Fever Immunization Certificate is required – get it in your country of origin 30 days before your arrival here, 10 days would be the latest for it to be effective once your safari begins.

Depart from the airport for your night’s lodging.

Lodging:  Airport Guesthouse – budget –Banana Village Eco-Resort-moderate 2 Friends Beach Hotel – upmarket – other Entebbe Lodging Choices

Meal Plan: Bed and Breakfast

Day 2: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:

After Breakfast your 17-day Uganda – Rwanda Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking – Wildlife Safari begins with a  journey to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The drive into and through Kampala will be an eye opener, the traffic seemingly overwhelming, but in the midst of what appears as chaos there is some order and soon you will be through the city heading through small villages into the open countryside through the Luweero Triangle.

The Drive Time to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary from Entebbe is 4 hours depending on traffic.

We reach Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and check into the moderately priced Amuka Safari Lodge – budget lodging is available at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Guesthouse.  Amuka Lodge has beautiful cottage created with recovered wood from an old sawmill and tented material – delightful and so will the be lunch that has proven in the past to be a simple culinary delight.

During the afternoon it is off with guides to track Rhinos which is a most unusual experience anywhere where you get to see the Rhinos up close allowing for some great photos and up close viewing of these majestic animals.


Lodging: Amuka Lodge – mid-range- Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Guesthouse – Budget

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

 Day 3 – Murchison Falls National Park:

 After a delightful breakfast, we continue the journey to Murchison Falls National Park which is a 3 hour plus drive depending on the road conditions of the day.  However, it is a most pleasant and interesting journey and once we enter the park we continue to the River Nile where we have to cross with a vehicle ferry to the other side where most of the wildlife is found and lodges have easier access to wildlife Game Tracks.

Check into the Lodge of your Choice – lunch

During the late afternoon, your first game drive in Murchison Falls National Park, which is the largest National Park, Conservation area in Uganda.  On a game drive a Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger will join us and between your knowledgeable driver-guide and the ranger, there is not much you are going to miss.

On a game drive in Murchison Falls National Park, you will see large herds of Rothschild Giraffes and Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Buffaloes, Savannah Birds and various kinds of antelopes the latter in great numbers.


Lodging: Bwana Tembo Camp– Moderate or Budget – other lodging Choices in Murchison Falls Park.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 4 – Murchison Falls National Park:


We are off for our second game drive – and again besides your driver-guide, a Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger is with us guiding you to where the animals are so that you have the best opportunity for viewing and picture-taking.  There is nothing like seeing some lion cubs with their mother, Giraffes grazing, and Elephants moving across the savannah.

There is an abundance of wildlife found here such as Leopards, warthogs, hyenas, buffalo herds, antelopes of various kind – you will be amazed by your experience and of course, there are lots of various Savannah birds to see along the game drive.


After lunch, it is one of the highlights of your Murchison Falls National Park Safari, the boat launch trip on the Nile.  You will move up toward Murchison Falls viewing crocodiles, an abundance of hippos, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, lots of birds including the fish eagle, storks and so much more. The boat moves gently up the river so that you do not miss anything

 The river banks in places are filled with Nile crocodiles basking in the afternoon sun, just down from there, you can see pods of hippos frolicking in the water of the Nile. Certainly sights such as are rarely seen and you will enjoy and experience them.

At the bottom of the waterfall we disembark and take a guided hike to the top of the falls – quite an experience as the ground shakes from the power of the waterfall and the mist from the fall refreshes you.

The Falls are an awesome display of the power of nature.  The river is 50 meters wide above the falls, moves down through a 7-meter gorge and falls down 43 meters, the sound is deafening and the sight makes one realize how powerful nature can be.  Murchison Falls is the most powerful waterfall in the world and you are hiking up the side of it.

At the top of the falls you are met by your driver-guide and we cross the Nile by ferry returning to the Lodge you have chosen.

Lodging: Fort Murchison – Moderate or Budget – other lodging Choices in Murchison Falls Park.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

 Day 5 -Drive to Kibale Forest:


We start early and cross the Nile with the first ferry at 7 am and head south toward Fort Portal which will take us about 8 hours depending on the current road conditions.  This is the longest drive of the safari, fortunately, there are some beautiful places to see as we travel along.

We stop for lunch in the town of Hoima at the Kon Tiki Hotel and we continue our journey.

Lodging Choices abound in the Kibale Forest area from Budget to Luxury Lodges that are further afield from the park.  You have the choice of the lodging below.

We have included Kibale Forest Camp which offers both moderate and budget lodging and is near to the park.


Lodging: Kibale Forest Camp – Moderate and Budget – Isunga Lodge – low moderate price- Papaya Lake Lodge – Luxury other Lodging Choices including upmarket

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 6 – Chimpanzee Habituation:

 Early Breakfast and off for Kibale Forest for the Chimpanzee Habituation Experience.

Things you will need for the all-day chimpanzee habituation experience include a day-pack, jeans, long-sleeved shirt, light rain-jacket, hiking boots, 2 liters of water, a packed lunch from the lodge, a hat will come in handy.

You are met by your guide and taken into the forest to where a group of chimpanzees are being habituated by researchers, Rangers, and others.

This is an all-day experience where you will not only observe the chimpanzees but the forest itself, the birds, butterflies, mammals, other species of monkeys.


Lodging: Kibale Forest Camp – Moderate and Budget – Isunga Lodge – low moderate price- Papaya Lake Lodge – Luxury other Lodging Choices including upmarket

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

  Day 7 – Queen Elizabeth National Park:

 Breakfast and we depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park and check into the Lodge of your choice – Budget – Moderate – Upmarket.  It will take us about 2 1/2 to reach Queen Elizabeth National Park and before we check into Mweya Safari Lodge we take the scenic Katwe Explosion Crater Drive.

The Katwe Explosion  Crater Drive is 27 kilometers of scenic wonders.  It is the highest point of Queen Elizabeth Park with splendid views of the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, the Western Rift Escarpment with the vast Savannah below, Lake George and Lake Edwards connected by the natural Kazinga Channel – there are about 12 explosion craters, made famous recently by a picture in National Geographic.

The explosion craters do not attract much wildlife but you will see elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and birds.  Some of the craters are lakes, while are others are covered by Savannah grass or forests.

 Check into the Lodge of your choice


Rest and late afternoon game drive across the candelabra euphoria tree studded savannah, the vehicle has a pop-up roof so that you can stand and take better pictures if you use a bean bag you can steady the camera for better pictures.

Hopefully, you will see lions, leopards, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, elephant herds, buffaloes, various species of antelopes, savanna birds, hyenas, monitor lizards, an occasional rock python and lots more.


Lodging: Enganzi Game Lodge – moderate, Bush Lodge – Budget – Moderate – other Lodging Choices from Budget to Upmarket -a great affordable upmarket Lodge is Kasenyi Safari Camp.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

 Day 8 – Queen Elizabeth National Park:


You can begin your game drive at the crack of dawn which is about 6:30 am here – that is also the time you can pick up a Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger wildlife guide. Mornings are also a time where you see more of the predators return from their night of prowling and there is nothing like a Savanna Sunrise .

Each game drive is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours in length and one is different from the last.  Nothing is predictable.

Options – not included in Price:  Hot Air Balloon Safari – begins at sunrise and is about 1 1/2 hours long seeing the wildlife from above – Bush Breakfast following.  Lion Tracking Research with researchers from the Carnivore Project.


3 pm: A Boat Safari ride on Kazinga Channel with the highest concentration of hippos in Africa.  At one time there were too many hippos and their grazing denuded the surrounding grasslands.

There are also crocodiles (crocodiles had been absent for a few thousand years but started to show up in the 1950’s and have increased in numbers), countless of birds on the shore and overhead and in the water of the channel.  This is a pleasant boat ride where you can get some great pictures of elephants, antelopes, predators in late afternoon and buffaloes on the shore.  Hopefully, you will get an open-mouthed hippo shot with your camera.

Dinner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Lodging: Enganzi Game Lodge – moderate, Bush Lodge – Budget – Moderate – other Lodging Choices from Budget to Upmarket -a great affordable upmarket Lodge is Kasenyi Safari Camp.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

 Day 9 Ishasha Plains – Queen Elizabeth Park:


 We drive 2 1/2 hours south and turn off at the Ishasha region of the Park – the unvisited portion of Queen Elizabeth Park – here we go on a game drive to see the tree climbing lions of Ishasha – the best place in Africa to see tree-climbing lions.

Ishasha is not only the place for tree-climbing lions but much other wildlife for you to see such as large herds of elephants, topi antelopes, buffalo herds, leopards – normally singular and much more in this region of Queen Elizabeth Park.

Check into the Lodge of your choice – the best is Ishasha Wilderness Camp Lodge along the Ntungwe River, more than a lodge but an experience.

Afternoon Game Drive in search Tree-Climbing lion who here spend most of the day sleeping in the fig-trees and some acacia trees.  It is a sight to behold and you will certainly enjoy them sleeping the day away.  Often one also finds some Leopards up in the trees, normally with their last kill which they dragged up there for safe-keeping out of reach of hyenas and other animals.

There are also large elephant and buffalo herds one can find here.  Ishasha is also home to a large group of Topi Antelopes, lions that do not spend the day in trees, and along the lakeside swamps, one can spot shoebill storks all creating a most fantastic game drive that is out of the ordinary.

Dinner – which is a most festive occasion here at Ishasha Wilderness Tented Camp.

Lodging: @The River Lodge – Budget – Moderate – Jungle Lodge – Moderate – Ishasha Wilderness Camp – luxury.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

  Day 10 – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

Breakfast and another game drive in search of the tree climbing Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Antelopes, Buffaloes, and the other wildlife that we come across on our final Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth Park.

After the game drive, we continue the 1 1/2 hour drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – the Buhoma Area and check into the Lodge of your choice.

There are many to choose from – ranging from Budget to Luxury.


Afternoon Optional – not included in price – Village walk where you see local food harvested and prepared, local gin and beer made, a traditional healer, a homestead, school, craft making, music, and dancing.


Lodging: Depends on where we obtain Permits for the Gorilla Trek – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Lodging

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

  Day 11 – Gorilla Trekking:

Early breakfast – pick up a packed lunch from Buhoma Lodge, you will need a Daypack, 2 liters of water, jeans, long-sleeved shirt, hat, sunglasses, gardening gloves made of cotton to assist you in pulling yourself up on branches and vines, a hat also comes in handy.  A light Rain-jacket and light hiking boots are best for your Gorilla Trek adventure.  You can buy a walking stick and use a porter to carry your things if you so with – the latter two are optional and not included in safari price.

The Gorilla Trek can be 5 plus hours depending on which group you are tracking – gorillas move daily and before you even go on the trek – pre-trackers are out there locating your gorilla family that you have been assigned to.

Gorilla Habituation Experience Option:

Instead of being one hour with the Mountain Gorillas – you can be on an all-day trek Gorilla Habituation Experience and spend 4 hours with a gorilla family.  Changes would have to be made to your itinerary since it takes place in the Rushaga Area of Bwindi.


Lodging: Depends on where we obtain Permits for the Gorilla Trek – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Lodging

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


12 – Lake Bunyonyi:

Early Breakfast and we take the 4 hours plus drive to one of Uganda’s most scenic Lakes – Lake Bunyonyi and stay at the Belgian owned Birdnest Resort where you will find excellent food, including fresh crayfish from the Lake, presented in every imaginable way possible.  Great Rooms with views of the lake and its 29 Islands.

Lunch and afterward you can swim in the Bilharzia free lake or in the swimming pool – take a ride in a dugout canoe or simply relax and chill out after the gorilla trek.

There are many activities that can be done here from Hiking to Biking with boating in between.

Dinner on the Lake

Lodging: Birdnest Resort – moderate Birdnest Overseas is closer to Budget pricing. – other lodges are available from budget to moderate.  Birdnest Resort, however, remains the best.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

 Day 13 – Volcanoes National Park:

Breakfast and we cross the border into Uganda heading for Volcanoes National Park and your home for the next two nights at Lodges that you have chosen below


Iby’Iwacu Village Visit – an amazing afternoon of discovery and learning about Rwandan Culture and history. Your time here benefits the local community and it is a way of giving back. We must pre-book Village Visits for you.


Lodging: Lodging Choices from Budget to Luxury – Volcanoes National Park.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

 Day 14 – Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla Trek:

Early Breakfast – packed lunch – day-pack-2 liters of water – hiking boots – jeans – long-sleeved shirt – rain jacket  – hat and any other items that you feel you need along for your gorilla trek.

At the orientation, you are assigned to a Gorilla Family Group and your trek begins ad can last from a few hours to all day long – however, that one hour with your gorilla family is more than worth the expense and the physical effort that goes into a gorilla trek.

The experience of being in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas and see them interact and play with one another – mother caring for her toddlers and it is simply unforgettable.


Lodging: Lodging Choices from Budget to Luxury – Volcanoes National Park.

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 15 – Nyungwe Forest

 Early morning Breakfast and we are off for the Golden Monkey Trail-head.  After an orientation, you are off into the Bamboo Forest Zone to track the playful Golden Monkeys which like the Mountain Gorillas are an endangered species only found in the Virunga Volcanoes.

They are quite beautiful and it is a pleasure to observe them.  They are habituated like the Mountain Gorillas and only small groups are allowed to track them. You spend one hour with the Golden Monkeys and return to the starting trailhead.


After Lunch, we take the 2-hour plus drive to Nyungwe Forest where we check into the Lodge of your choice

Nyungwe Forest is one of the largest tropical forests with an abundance of primates – there are 13 of them, birds, butterflies, plants and trees, even 154 species of orchids.  Simply a most amazing forest and the lodge is the perfect place from which to explore Nyungwe Forest.


Lodging: Nyungwe Forest Lodge – Luxury – Nyungwe – Top View Hill Hotel – Moderate

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 16- Nyungwe Forest – Nyungwe Forest Lodge – Forest Canopy Walk:

Early Breakfast and you are off for a guided Forest Walk where you track Colobus Monkeys (largest troops of  Colobus monkeys ever recorded) and other species. The guides are most knowledgeable in plants, birds, and the various species of primates and wildlife found here.

Lunch at the Nyungwe Forest Lodge

The Canopy Walk is presently the only one of its kind in East Africa,  in all of Africa there are only three canopy walks.  Here you are 50 meters up and see primates such as blue monkeys, birds, even butterflies from above.

The Canopy Walk is above a steep valley and stretches 90 some meters across the massive Nyungwe Forest, certainly a most unusual, memorable activity that you will not soon forget.

Lodging: Nyungwe Forest Lodge – Luxury – Nyungwe – Top View Hill Hotel – Moderate

Meal Plan:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

  Day 17 Kigali – Departure:

Breakfast and we head for Kigali.


We visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial where 250,000 murdered Rwandan are interned – their lives were taken during the 1994 Genocide that took upward to 1 million Rwandan lives. This is a deeply moving, sacred place.  The inside of the Memorial holds the stories of victims, pictures, faces, letters and more.

We then proceed to the Natural History Museum which was the house of Dr. Richard Kandt – who was the first colonial resident from Germany when Rwanda was a German Colony.  He is credited with starting Kigali as a town in 1907.

Visit Craft market and see some interesting Rwandan souvenirs, arts, and crafts.

Depart for Kigali International Airport as the 17 days Uganda – Rwanda Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking – Wildlife Safari comes to an end. A Combined Uganda – Rwanda Safari where you land in Entebbe and fly out of Kigali.  The safari can be adjusted to your liking, including the kind of lodges that you prefer.

Included in Safari: Lodging -Food, 4 Wheel Drive Safari Vehicle, Fuel, English Speaking Driver, Bottled Drinking Water on all Drives, Park Entrance fees and cultural site entrance fees, Permits as applicable, Guide for Tracking and Game Drives.

Not included in Safari price:  Air Travel  Visa Costs, Laundry, Tips, Drinks, except those included in lodging meal price.

17 day Uganda – Rwanda Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking – Wildlife Safari – If you have any questions or are interested in this Safari – please contact us.