9 Days Rwanda – Uganda Total Gorilla trekking Adventure Safari experience

This is a once in a lifetime moment to enjoy total gorilla trekking adventure experience on three different occasions both in Rwanda and Uganda on 9-days home of mountain gorilla safari.

Combine with the great Lakes safari and special hike through the ancient tropical rainforest gives one a special and unique African experience through the wild.

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 in most cases, it will not be hot due to the elevation.

Day 1: Arrive at Kigali Airport and transfer to Volcanoes National Park:

On Arrive at Kigali International Airport we will leave for a two- and half-hour drive to Volcanoes National Park. If you arrive in Rwanda in the evening before the start date, we will arrange a night’s stay in Kigali for you.

If you are staying in Kigali the night before the 9-day Rwanda-Uganda Total gorilla trekking adventure safari experience, we will pay a visit to the Genocide Memorial site in Kigali – have an optional lunch (not included in price) at Hotel des Mille Collines – Hotel Rwanda and afterwards transfer to Volcanoes National Park.

Note that: You will need to get an East African Tourism Visa – Application needs to be made with the first country you are entering in East Africa.

Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate – this is required – it is suggested that you receive the immunization 30 days prior to arrival for it to be valid.

Dinner and Overnight Options;

  • Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
  • Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge or La Palme Hotel or Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge
  • Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House or Muhavura Lodge, Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner

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

Early Morning cup of tea and we are off to park headquarter, you will be briefed about gorilla trekking etiquette, a cup of Rwandan coffee or tea and some charming Intore dancing performed for you.

Best pack for today, a packed lunch provided by the lodge, two litres 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 wrongly going gorilla tracking in Rwanda and Uganda.

You will be assigned to a gorilla group to trek and you are off with your guides and trackers. For up-market safaris, we supply a porter to carry your things and to keep your hands free to take pictures.

The trek itself is between 2 to 6 hours or more – it is well worth it and a once in a lifetime adventure experience. Simply a most amazing and most memorable experience and you will that experience twice, in two different countries and locations.

After the trekking experience, if 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 way of life. The village visit must be booked ahead of time.

Dinner and Overnight Options;

  • Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
  • Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge or La Palme Hotel or Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge
  • Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House or Muhavura Lodge, Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner

Day 3: Golden Monkey tracking

Breakfast and this morning you have a choice – Golden Monkey Tracking in the Bamboo Forest of the Virunga Volcanoes – this is quite an exciting time with the lively golden monkeys – whose color and coat make them one of the most 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 three to four hours in length returning in time for lunch at the lodge.

Lunch – and 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 Lake Mutanda and check into the lodge you have chosen.

Dinner and overnight around Lake Mutanda Lodging area, Meal Plan: full board

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

Early morning Breakfast and off to the biggest town of the region Kisoro where your canoe and hike to Nkuringo. 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 is advised – granola bars come in handy, your luggage will be taken by driver-guide and vehicle Nkuringo to meet you there in cottage for the night.

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 handy today (RID from Australia is especially good).

The trail from Kisoro to Lake Mutanda is twenty minutes long and then it is paddling across lake to the landing site from where the hike up to the Nkuringo area 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 on and upward hike begins, ofour 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 our destination where your driver-guide will meet you as you arrive in Nkuringo area on your hike and take you to the lodge you have chosen.

Dinner and overnight at Travelers Rest Hotel, Lake Mutanda Resort, 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 Trekking. 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 at the end. There are however easier groups to track in the area with 5 habituated gorilla groups for visitors in the area.

The clothing and equipment is the same as in Rwanda, however here a porter is highly recommended and will be available for you to carry your back bag, pull and push you where you are stuck or slippery spots in the jungle. This is a win-win, you have freedom of hands and the local conservationist has a family income.

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

Optional Gorilla Habituation Experience: Instead of Gorilla Trekking we can change the safari to a gorilla habituation experience in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Forest. The price for a Gorilla Habituation Experience all day Trek – 4 hours with a gorilla family is 1,500usd.

Dinner and overnight at Clouds Safari Lodge, Bwindi Gorilla Safari Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp. Meal Plan: full board

Day 6: Hiking from Nkuringo to Buhoma – 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 Nkuringo 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.

During the late afternoon we reach Buhoma where you check into the Lodge of your choice – look for a list below.

Enjoy dinner at the end of a long hike either at Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge or Haven Lodge; Meal Plan: Full board

Day 7: Third Gorilla Trek – Buhoma Area:

Early Breakfast and by now you know the routine for gorilla trekking and should have become an expert at it and know what works best for you and makes the trek most enjoyable for you.

There are 3 Gorilla groups at Buhoma and 2 45 minutes away at Ruhija – 5 gorilla groups in all. One group in Buhoma – the Rushegura Group has the tendency over being overly friendly and visit some of the lodges in the area at times.

When you return from your third Gorilla Trek – take a break or you can take the optional Batwa Community Walk in Buhoma where you learn about food and drink, traditional medicine, meet villagers, enjoy a dance by the Batwa people and more.

Dinner and overnight at at Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge or Haven Lodge; Meal Plan: Full board

Day 8: Lake Bunyonyi – Birdnest Resort – Relax & Chill Out:

Following Breakfast, we leave for Lake Bunyonyi to relax and chill out along one of Africa’s finest Lake Bunyonyi and stay at the Birdnest Resort overlooking the Lake – swimming pool – great food with a Belgian Touch – enjoy the day from the deck or balcony of your room. 3 hour plus drive time

Tur some of the local crayfish – known far and wide for its unique and fresh taste – caught that morning in the lake.

You can swim here in the lake or pool and enjoy the tropical sun for a spell, get caught up on your safari journal and more.

Lunch and Dinner at Birdnest Resort   Moderate – Birdnest Eco-Overseas – Budget, Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 9: Lake Bunyonyi – Departure for home from Kigali International Airport:

Depending on your departure time – we leave Birdnest Resort along Lake Bunyonyi. For an evening flight, we can leave after lunch and reach Kigali Airport in time. You lose one hour at the border since Rwanda is on Central African Time.

Enjoy Rwanda – the Land of a Thousand Hills and Uganda the Pearl of Africa as the 9-day Gorilla-Canoeing-Hiking-Safari-Rwanda-Uganda comes to an end. There are not many adventure packed safaris as this one. A once in a lifetime experience.Save

Safari package includes: All activities – except where it says optional, All Gorilla permits – lodging, All meals, Driver guide, Customized 4×4 tourist Vehicle, fuel for entire adventure safari, Canoeing, hiking and boat ride at lake Bunyonyi.

Safari package Excludes; International Air ticket, Visa fees, alcohol or soft drinks at lodges, tips, laundry, Cigarette smoking.