This 14-day comprehensive gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo is a combined safari and one of the best to do while on your visit to Africa and particularly in East Africa as it will take you to the most visited points and three major gorilla homing parks of Bwindi impenetrable National park of Uganda, volcanoes national park of Rwanda and Virunga national park of Democratic republic of Congo.
The safari will begin from Kampala city where you will spend a night in a hotel and transfer to Murchison falls national park having a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary and then have your morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise and proceed to Queen Elizabeth national park for a game drive and boat cruise at Kazinga channel. You will continue with the safari to Bwindi impenetrable national park for your first gorilla trekking and the Batwa cultural experience before driving to Ruhengeri of Rwanda for a cultural experience at Iby’iwachu cultural experience. Have your second gorilla trekking experience in volcanoes national park and after continuing with your tour to the Goma border of Congo prepare for your third gorilla trekking experience in Virunga national park after which head for a hike in Nyirangongo from where you will drive to Kigali a city tour and then drive to the airport for your flight.
Day 1: Arrival at the airport in Entebbe and transfer to the hotel in Kampala
Our professional safari driver guide will be waiting for you at the airport as soon as you arrive and will meet you and brief you shortly about the safari immediately after the briefing he will drive to the booked hotel in Kampala which is also the capital city of Uganda. Spend a night there for your meals and overnight stays.
Day 2: Transfer to Murchison falls national park
On this second day of your safari, begin with your breakfast at the hotel and after a drive head to Murchison falls national park. On your way to this park, have a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary for your Rhino tracking experience an activity that will last for 3–4 hours and on reaching these animals an hour will be given to you in their presence. After the trek proceed with the journey to Murchison falls national park and check in at your booked lodge for your meals.
Day 3: morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise
Enjoy your breakfast at your lodge and drive to the park for a morning, game drive an activity that will take you 3–4 hours to drive through the park. On this drive, you will have high chances of spotting some of the big five animals and a variety of other savannah animals such as giraffes, buffalos, African Elephants, olive baboons, hartebeests, lions, waterbucks, Uganda kobs and many more animals. Return to the lodge for your lunch.
In the afternoon prepare yourself for a boat cruise on the river Nile which will give you a fascinating experience of the Murchison falls. On this cruise, expect to encounter crocodiles, hippos and some bird species such as the long-tailed cormorant, kingfishers, pelicans and many more. Have a hike up at the top of the fall passing through the baker’s trail and have a chance of sitting at his stone. While at the top of the falls your driver guide will pick and drive you to the lodge for dinner
Day 4: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park
Begin your day with your breakfast at the lodge and then drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. On your way to the park, enjoy the beautiful grasslands and have a view of the volcanic explosion craters and more dark craters. Have photos here as you enjoy the scenic views of the natural setups. Check-in at your lodge for your meals.
Day 5: morning game drive and evening boat at Kazinga channel
Be served with your morning breakfast at the lodge and then drive heading to the park to have your morning game drive in Kasenyi plains. During this drive, expect to have a view of different numbers of animals including the Savanah elephants, buffalos, giraffes, antelopes, Uganda kobs and many more species that will add to your experience. Return to your lodge for lunch.
In the evening of this day, drive heading for an evening boat cruise which is done from Kazinga channel. During this boat cruise, you will have a look at densely populated hippos, crocodiles and other animals including the elephants and some of the small mammals which come to the channel to drink water. Report back to your lodge for dinner
Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable National park via Ishasha
Enjoy your breakfast at the lodge and then drive heading to Bwindi impenetrable national park the home of mountain gorillas passing through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park to the Buhoma sector in Bwindi. This route is the shortest route to Bwindi impenetrable national park and it will give you a chance of spotting the rare tree-climbing lions lazily hanging in the tree branches. Check-in at your lodge for your meals.
Day 7: First gorilla trekking and Batwa cultural experience
Wake early in the morning and enjoy your breakfast at the lodge and after head for your favorite activity, gorilla trekking. Drive to the park offices for payment, briefing on how to behave while trekking and getting divided into groups of 8 people who are recommended to trek one particular group. After the briefing, an armed warden will lead you to the park for trekking an activity which usually takes 2–8 hours but depending on the movement and location of these giant animals and reaching the gorilla unexpectedly is one of the fascinating experiences. An additional will be given to you in their close range for you to take some photos. After the ranger guide will lead you back to the starting point for your trekking certificate.
In the evening of this day, drive heading for a Batwa cultural experience where you will have a look at the once forest inhabitant’s music, dance, drama, and art and have a taste of their cultural meals and performances. Optionally buy their locally made crafts as souvenirs to make you remember your experience with these people. Drive back to your lodge for dinner.
Day 8: Transfer to Ruhengeri and a cultural experience
On the 8th day of your safari, have your breakfast at the lodge and immediately after the breakfast, drive heading to Ruhengeri in Rwanda passing at the Cyanika border that will connect you to volcanoes national park. Check in at your lodge and be given your lunch and in the evening head for a cultural experience at Iby’iwachu cultural village which is an association aimed at improving the livelihoods of the former poachers in volcanoes national park by providing them with incentives.
The place is interesting and rewarding as you will have a guided walk around and be explained all the information about the traditions and culture of the Kinyarwanda in form of songs, dances, drama, art and crafts. Retreat to your lodge for your dinner.
Day 9: Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park
Enjoy your morning meals at the lodge and then head for your second gorilla trekking experience this time in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park. Finalize your payments at the park headquarters and be briefed shortly about the experience. An armed ranger guide will be ready to lead you to the starting point and begin your experience. The trek usually lasts for 2–8 hours depending on their whereabouts, movement, and location weather condition. As soon as you reach them, an hour will be given to you in their presence learning and examining some of their behaviors. Drive back to the headquarters for your gorilla trekking certificate and then drive to your lodge for your meals
Day 10: Transfer to Goma border Dr. Congo
Have your peaceful meal in the morning at your lodge and then drive heading to the Goma border of Congo for registration and meeting your driver guide for a short briefing about the safari after embarking on a journey to a tourism body strategically located at the grand post station and getting your gorilla and volcano permits that you will present to the officials before the beginning of each trek. Move to your lodge for your meals near the trailheads to Nyirangongo.
Day 11: Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
On this 11-day of your 14 days comprehensive gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, have your breakfast at the lodge and drive to Bukima patrol post a point where you will finalize your payment, registration, briefing and presenting your permits and passport. After, a ranger guide will later meet you and take you to the forest and start trekking, expect to hike until you reach these primates for 1–7 hours and immediately after reaching them, an hour will be given to you in the presence of these animals as you are wondering about their huge size and other related behaviors. Report to your lodge for your meals and night stays.
Day 12: Nyirangongo Hike
Wake up early in the morning and be given a well-served breakfast and drive heading for a hike in Nyirangongo where you are expected to be at 8:00 am and meet your ranger guide who will take you for a hike up at the top of the volcano where you will have a look at the lava boiling. You will be served your meals and spend a night in the wooden shelters at the top of the world’s active volcanos.
Day 13: Descend from Nyirangongo and proceed to Gisenyi of Rwanda.
On this day of your 14 days comprehensive gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, we shall descend the volcano at Kibati where you will meet your driver guide who will drive you back to Kigali city. It is important to note that your Rwandan visa expired immediately after crossing to Congo, so you need to reapply for your new visa and find it secured at the border for your tour. Drive to your hotel in Kigali for your dinner and night’s stays
Day 14: Kigali city tour and fly back home.
Be served a delicious meal at the hotel in Kigali city after which drive around the city where you will visit the Kigali genocide memorial center and have a look at the 1994 victims which lasted for 100 days that left over 800,000 people dead. Have a look at the weapons used in the genocide and be told about how the genocide started with some videos and audio. After the visit, Drive to the airport in the evening and fly back home.