5 DAY MOUNTAIN GORILLA, CHIMPANZEE, AND SAFARI EXPERIENCE.
DAY 1: WELCOME TO KIGALI RWANDA AND TRANSFER TO BWINDI -UGANDA
Our tour representative and your driver-guide will meet you at Kigali International Airport. Here we warmly welcome you for a 5-day gorilla, chimpanzee, and Queen Elizabeth Safari experience and provide you with a detailed briefing before we head off on a scenic 5 hours’ drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
En-route you will discover why Rwanda is called the Land of a Thousand Hills as the drive is very scenic and continues into Uganda. Arrive at your accommodation in time for check-in, a freshen up, and have your lunch before you head for your afternoon activity which is a visit to Batwa.
The Batwa are the original inhabitants of these forests, However today they are a displaced minority since the early 1990s. This cultural tour is a re-enactment but a very real one as many members still recall living as forest dwellers and these tours now help them earn income.
Their traditions and skills are practiced as well as pass on these traditions to the next generation. Their bush skills are definitely amazing.
After the Batwa, we return to your accommodation for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 2: THE UNIQUE RARE MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREK AND TRANSFER TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK.
Today is the big day and the highlight of the trip. Prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the rare Mountain Gorilla. For most people, this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a highlight for many visitors as this is where they will be visiting the home of the gentle giants. The Rare Mountain Mountain Gorilla
The park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests lie on the mist-covered hillsides. This magnificent forest dates back over 25,000 years, even surviving the last Ice Age (most forests disappeared).
The Bwindi forest has an incredible diversity of flora and fauna and is the only forest in Africa that can make claim to hosting both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. In fact, a 1/3 of the worlds’ population of gorillas live here divided into 15 habituated family groups.
Also, 5 other primate species, 120 species of mammal, over 220 butterflies, and 360 bird species call Bwindi home.
This is one of the three places to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas up close for your very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ moment in the world.
The gorillas you will trek belong to one of fifteen family groups that can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. Your trek will be an exciting (for some also challenging) journey along forested (sometimes slippery) slopes, entwined vines, bushes, and bamboo before you eventually reach the gentle giants.
En-route, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity. Think of dung, nests, and chewed bamboo shoots. The time to complete the gorilla trekking can be as little as 2 – 6 hours! Once the family of gorillas has been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour to observe them. Coming face-to-face with the mountain gorillas is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic part of your 5-day gorilla, chimpanzee, and Queen Elizabeth Safari experience tour you will definitely remember for the rest of your life.
After the trek, we return to your lodge for a freshen up and lunch before departing for the southern Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park which is about 90 minutes away.
At Ishasha we will have a game drive where you will have some sightings of the various animals like huge herds of Uganda cobs, elephants, lions, hippos, & warthog. Queen Elizabeth National Park is an Elephant lover’s dream & we are sure you will have plenty of close encounters. For the extremely lucky you might even catch a sight of the impressive but very shy leopard. After the game game drive you will retire to Ishasha Jungle Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 3 GAME DRIVE AND SUNDOWNER BOAT SAFARI IN QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Have your breakfast at leisure later be assisted to check out of your lodge with a packed lunch embark on your vehicle for your transfer to Kasenyi plains in Queen Elizabeth National with a game drive through Ishasha Sector.
Ishasha sector is only one of two places in the world where tree-climbing lions are found, the other being in Lake Manyara. Whilst all lions can climb trees these two prides are the only ones found to spend a majority of their time in trees. Seeing tree-climbing lions is usually a 50/50 chance of seeing them later you will proceed with a game to the southern part of the park where a lot shall be seen.
During this game, drive expect some sightings of the various animals like huge herds of Uganda cobs, elephants, lions, hippos, & warthog. Queen Elizabeth National Park is an Elephant lover’s dream & we are sure you will have plenty of close encounters. For the extremely lucky you might even catch a sight of the impressive but very shy leopard. Have your packed lunch and you will embark on your vehicle and transfer to Kazinga Channel Boat Safari.
Kazinga is thought to have the highest concentration of hippos in Africa and you will easily spot crocodiles, water buffalo and many species of birds. Elephants often come to the channel for a drink as well if you are lucky. This is wall to wall wildlife from a whole different perspective. Enjoy the stunning views as we return watching the sun go down on a magnificent day. It’s only a thirty minutes transfer to your accommodation for Dinner and Overnigh at Enganzi Lodge
DAY 4: CHIMPANZEE TREK IN KALINZU FOREST RESERVE
After an early breakfast, we shall head off to Kalinzu Forest Reserve for another Unique experience where the rangers will give you a trek briefing before we head off to find our closest living relative. The Kalinzu Chimpanzees are considered extremely reliable with a trekking success rate of over 95%. In Uganda today, Efforts to actually conserve the chimpanzees are extensively acknowledged and well supported. Actually, The Jane Goodall Foundation has played a major role in the overall conservation of not only these Chimpanzees but the Gorillas as well found in Uganda.
You will most likely finish around 11 am. From there be transferred to your lodge with a game drive through the park and will get to view most animals such as lions, forest hogs, buffalos, elephants, water bucks. You will arrive in time for lunch and later be assisted to check out of your lodge for a 6 hours transfer to Kigali via a game drive for dinner and overnight stay Ubumwe Grande Hotel
DAY 5: KIGALI CITY TOUR AND DEPARTURE
It’s the last day of your 5-day gorilla, chimpanzee, and Queen Elizabeth safari experience tour. Today after your breakfast, check out of your lodge embark on your vehicle for the final activities of your tour starting with a Walking Tour of Nyamirambo
This tour begins at the Women’s Centre with a quick Kinyarwanda language lesson, and an introduction to the Centre and its activities. It then weaves through Nyamirambo, one of Kigali’s oldest neighborhoods. Along the way guides lead participants into a women’s hairdressing salon where the adventurous type can get a free braid; into a family, compound to pound cassava leaves; by two mosques and a lookout view over Kigali; and into a tailor shop to feel the fabrics you’ll otherwise see styled on the streets. After the walk, you will return for a traditional Rwandan lunch with Aminatha who will get you involved in preparing lunch and teaching you traditional Rwandan cooking.
After your lunch, you will embark on your safari vehicle for your transfer for Kigali Genocide Memorial Visit.
Kigali Genocide Memorial.
This is an extremely moving, challenging, educational, and ultimately inspiring memorial and a great place to understand the cause, tragedy, and successful rebuilding post-genocide.
The reconciliation and rebuilding have been miraculous and these memorials are built to inform, educate and prevent such a tragedy to ever occur again.
The tour is very transparent and educational but very somber and humbling when you realize that over 250,000 deceased are buried on the site of the memorial. Guaranteed you will feel every emotion during this visit.
The most common question that goes through your mind is “would I be capable of that level of forgiveness if I found myself in this situation”. That’s a true inspiration.
After your visit to the Memorial you well proceed for a farewell dinner in one of the best famous restaurant and later transfer to Kigali International Airport in time for your departure.