8 Day Rwanda and Uganda : Gorillas and Hiking

This 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari combines both gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park and Mountain karisimbi Climbing. Get an opportunity to cross over to Uganda for more Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  Also experience wildlife safaris in Lake Bunyonyi National Park in Uganda. All these are in this 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda .Safari. 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari

Brief Itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
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Brief Itinerary

DAY 1:  ARRIVE IN KIGALI & VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

DAY 2:  GORILLA TRACKING & DIAN FOSSEY KARISOKE RESEARCH CENTER

DAY 3:  MOUNT KARISIMBI CLIMBING

DAY 4:  MOUNT KARISIMBI SUMMIT & CROSSING THE RWANDA/UGANDA BORDER TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

DAY 5:  GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST

DAY 6: TRAVEL TO LAKE BUNYONYI

DAY 7:  LAKE BUNYONYI ISLAND BOAT TOUR & CULTURAL/NATURE HIKE

What is included in this 11 Days Rwanda Safaris;

Transport- tour vehicle, fuel and driver

Full board accommodation for the night(s)

Entrance fees.

All activities.

Bottled drinking water

What is not included in this 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari:

Visas

Air ticket

Personal expenses.

Cost for anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary.

Detailed Itinerary

 

We explore in detail the activities per day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari.

DAY 1:  ARRIVE IN KIGALI & VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

On the first day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, our Gorilla Cousins Rwanda tour guide will pick up at the Kigali International Airport and brief you on your upcoming safari.    Your journey will begin immediately you are in the vehicle in the parking lot; heading off to Volcanoes National park, a two and a half hour drive.  Time permitting, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will give you a tour of Kigali city; this will include the Genocide Memorial Center, the most famous attraction in the Capital City, as well as a local market and local handicraft workshop.

You will then drive the two and a half hours it takes to Volcanoes National Park and check in at your accommodation.  Dinner will be served at your lodge.

 

DAY 2:  GORILLA TRACKING & DIAN FOSSEY KARISOKE RESEARCH CENTER

After a very early breakfast on the second day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, your GORILLA SAFARIS RWANDA guide will take you to the Park headquarters where you will be receiving your orientation about Gorilla Tracking while on your Gorilla safari in Rwanda .  Upon arrival at the Park Headquarters, you will be served coffee and tea while you have the opportunity to watch a group of local entertainers, dancing and drumming.  Immediately afterwards, you will be assigned to one of the groups, headed by one of the Park Rangers.  The Ranger will then give you a briefing of the Gorilla Tracking and the Park etiquette.  You will then proceed to the track where you will begin your search for the Mountain Gorillas.

The Tracking of the Mountain Gorillas can take quite a few hours, as the Gorillas move about the park and, as a result, it may take some time to locate the specific group you are tracking; this can take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours.  When you do meet up with the Gorilla Family, you are permitted to spend up to one hour watching and photographing them.  Because of the uncertainty as to how long it takes, your accommodation will prepare a packed lunch for you to eat in the forest; you are not permitted to eat when with the Gorillas, so you should take your lunch either before or after you meet the Gorillas.  We have a section on our website dedicated to the Gorillas, their habitat, what you can expect when tracking them, and data on the different families that are living in the Park.  We suggest you consult this section prior to going on your adventure.GORILLA 7 - 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari

When you are finished the Gorilla Tracking adventure, you will return to your vehicle and re-unite with your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide, who will then take you back to the Park Headquarters where you will begin your walk on the trail to the Karisoke Research Center, located between Mount Visoke (a.k.a. Mount Bisoke) and Mount Karisimbi.   This is the place that Dian Fossey, the famous American Zoologist, conducted her research on the Mountain Gorillas.  Fossey was murdered and buried at the Center.  Visitors are welcome to come to the center to learn about the Gorillas and the history of the center itself.  The roundtrip from the Park Headquarters to the Karisoke Research Center takes 3 hours. Besides viewing the grave of Dian Fossey, the Center is a haven for information on Gorillas and other Primates living in the Rwandan forests.  There are tours to be taken at the center and many very informative people to enhance your Primate knowledge.

 

Before night fall, your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide will take you to your accommodation, where you will have dinner.  The lodges in the park usually arrange some form of local entertainment for their guests; usually in the form of dancing and drumming.

DAY 3:  MOUNT KARISIMBI CLIMBING

After an early breakfast on the third day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide will take you to the track where you can begin your 2-day climb of Mount Karisimbi; which is the 5th highest snow-capped peak in Africa, the highest of the peaks in the Virunga Range.  Mount Karisimbi sits on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Of camping gear is required for this journey.  Everything you will need for the 2 days will have to be brought with you, including food; porters are available to carry your gear.

Lunch and Dinner will be prepared by the guide that is leading the way up the mountain.  The hike is not an ordinary one, in that there are many wondrous things to see; several bird species as well as primates are a usual sight when climbing.  There are 4 belts of vegetation from the dense forest at the base of the mountain to the barren volcanic core at the summit.  During the rainy season one should expect muddy trails; although even in the dry periods, there is rain at these high altitudes.  There are many photo opportunities along the way and as climbs go in Africa, this is one of the most interesting in terms of the different terrain and the fauna that exists in every stage of the climb.

DAY 4:  MOUNT KARISIMBI SUMMIT & CROSSING THE RWANDA/UGANDA BORDER TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

After an early morning breakfast on the fourth day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, you will continue your ascent up to the summit, which is 4,507 meters above sea level.  The vistas at the top are quite extraordinary.   The descent takes approximately 6 hours.   When you get to the starting point, at the base, you will rejoin your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide who will then begin your trip to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.  The journey from the base of Mount Karisimbi to the Cyanika border crossing is about an hour and a half.

After going through Customs and Immigration, you will then drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda, another couple of hours.  En route you will stop and have lunch.  Your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide will take you directly to your accommodation where you will be able to rest up for the early morning coming up.

Dinner will be at your accommodation.

DAY 5:  GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST

After an early morning breakfast on the fifth day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide will take you to the Bwindi Park Headquarters for your Gorilla Tracking orientation.  You will be assigned to a particular Gorilla Family to track and when the paperwork is complete, you will be taken to the forest for tracking.  As it is unknown precisely where the particular Gorilla family that you are tracking is, it may take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to meet up with them.  When you do meet up with the Gorilla Family, you will be permitted to spend up to an hour photographing and viewing the Gorillas.

Your accommodation will prepare a packed lunch for you, which you may not eat when you are with the Gorillas; you should be prepared to eat your lunch either before or after contact with the Gorillas.  When your tracking is over, you will return to your vehicle and re-unite with your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide, who will take you back to your accommodation for a rest.

In the afternoon, you can spend the time resting or if you prefer, your guide can take you to a nearby community near your accommodation to meet the local people for a cultural encounter.  You will have the opportunity to see how the indigenous people of the forest live and make their livelihood.  It is also a chance to try some local foods that the people are preparing, using traditional recipes and techniques.

DAY 6: TRAVEL TO LAKE BUNYONYI

After breakfast on the sixth day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, you will pack your things and drive to Lake Bunyonyi, a 2-hour drive from the gates of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  The drive itself is quite a pleasant experience, through many villages; communities that earn their living from agricultural pursuits.  Here in the mountainous areas of Uganda the farming is done in a terraced format; there are small plots of different crops grown up the mountain sides.  You will get a good understanding of the difficulties that these farmers have to endure in terms of irrigation, soil erosion and simply harvesting their crops.

Your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide will take you directly to your accommodation on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi, the most beautiful lake in East Africa.  Here swimming and water sports are unhampered by hippos or crocodiles; the water itself is pure and does not have bilharzia, which is most common in most lakes in East and Central Africa.  This is an afternoon scheduled for rest and relaxation, either in the pool or lakeside.

Dinner will be served in your accommodation.

DAY 7:  LAKE BUNYONYI ISLAND BOAT TOUR & CULTURAL/NATURE HIKE

After breakfast on the seventh day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide will take you to where you can rent a wooden boat to go exploring on the lake.  You can choose from a motorized boat or a paddle boat; both are available with a guide.  There are many islands in the lake that are well worth visiting; most are occupied with local people, who are most welcoming.  It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a little African culture, enjoying some time with the island people.  The Batwa Pygmies are a very interesting group to spend some time with; enjoying their folklore and watching them prepare food with traditional tools.

When you have finished your scenic boat tour of the islands, you will meet up with your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide, who will take you back to your accommodation for lunch.  After lunch your guide will escort you to the shoreline road where you can go for a mixed cultural and nature walk; through forested areas along the shore, interrupted by small villages, where again you can encounter some of the indigenous people of the lake.

Before night fall on the seventh day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide will return you to your accommodation for dinner.

DAY 8:  LAKE BUNYONYI SWIMMING & RETURN TO KIGALI

After breakfast on the last day of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari, you will have a few hours to relax and enjoy the beach and lake before packing up your things and begin your return to Kigali.  Depending on your flight schedule, your GORILLA COUSINS RWANDA guide can give you a tour of Kigali, including the Genocide Memorial Center, commemorating the 1994 civil war that devastated Rwanda.  There are also local markets, museums and handicraft workshops that you can visit before your departure from Kigali International Airport.  The drive from Lake Bunyonyi to Kigali is about 3 to 4 hours (depending on the time spent at the border crossing).

 

End of your 8 Days Rwanda and Uganda Safari


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