Congo, Uganda and Rwanda

15 Days Congo Uganda Rwanda Safari

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Duration
15 days
Max People
100
Min Age
10+
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Description

This 15 Days Congo, Uganda and Rwanda safari package involves visiting some of the best national parks in Africa. The safari starts from Uganda and ends in Rwanda. The safari starts with a tour of Murchison Falls National Park (including Ziwa Rhino sanctuary), then Kibale national park, Queen Elizabeth National park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park among other Uganda safari destinations. After the safari in Uganda, travelers will cross to Rwanda to visit the Volcanoes national park and the then finally to Congo’s Virunga National Park.

While in Murchison Falls National Park, you will visit the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, go for a game drive, launch cruise and visit the top of the Murchison Falls. While in Kibale, the main activity will be chimpanzee tracking before transferring to Queen Elizabeth National Park. While at Queen Elizabeth, you will go for a launch cruise and two game drives including one to see tree climbing lions. From Queen Elizabeth you will go to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking and visiting the Batwa pygmies. You would then transfer to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda for relaxation, canoeing and birding before crossing to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. While in Rwanda, you will go for golden monkey tracking and another gorilla trekking expedition. The evenings in Rwanda will be spent visiting the Gorilla Guardians Village and the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. From the Volcanoes National Park, you will transfer to Lake Kivu for relaxation before crossing the next day to Virunga national Park to hike the amazing Nyiragongo Volcano. After hiking mount Nyiragongo and observing the boiling lava lake at the summit, you will cross back to Rwanda and complete your safari by touring the city of Kigali.

By the end of the 15 days Uganda, Rwanda and Congo Safari, you would have a great impression of the biodiversity in the three countries. The tour can be rearranged to start in Rwanda and end in Uganda.

The tour cost will include:

  1. Full time safari van with a pop-up roof for the best game viewing experience
  2. An experienced and English-speaking Guide
  3. Fuel for the entire safari
  4. Gorilla Permits for Rwanda and Uganda
  5. Chimpanzee trekking permits
  6. Golden Monkey permits
  7. Activities in Lake Bunyonyi
  8. Activities in Lake Kivu
  9. Game drives
  10. Boat cruises
  11. All activities mentioned in the itinerary
  12. Accommodation for 14 nights with meals and water
  13. Drinking Water and lunch when out of the hotel
  14. Pickup from Entebbe in Uganda and drop-off in Kigali Rwanda
  15. Park entrance fees
  16. Batwa cultural experience
  17. The Gorilla Guardians Village
  18. Kigali city Tour

The safari cost will exclude International flights, visas, insurance and personal expenses (cigars, beverages and wines).

PRACTICAL GUIDE

Gorilla, chimpanzee and golden monkey trekking requires that you have good hiking boots, hand gloves, a raincoat, light snacks and enough drinking water. You need to hire porters in case you have heavy luggage or cameras. It is also important to prepare mentally to deal with the challenges of tracking primates. Being in good shape will help though it is not a requirement as you can read from our article about gorilla trekking for the elderly. Do not forget to give tip to the Guides, Rangers and hotel staff if you have some lose change. Tipping will help encourage them after the great services they offer with often little pay. We recommend between $10 to $15 as tip or an equivalent in the local currency.

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Triangle: This is classed as a budget hotel but in reality, it offers high quality rooms and services. Hotel Triangle is situated in the very heart of Kampala city. They have different categories of rooms but each has free internet, Satellite TV, sofas, working tables, clean bathrooms, clean bedding and towels. You are entitled to modern and heavy breakfast with a lot of fruits. Other facilities in the hotel include meeting rooms with fresh local food, laundry services, a business Center, concierge service, security, a well-stocked bar, stationery, projectors and whiteboards.

Primates Lodge: Primates is a beautiful lodge offering both luxury and mid-range services. The lodge is owned by Uganda lodges. It is built in an area with beautiful natural surrounding with very professional staff. They offer 16 rooms of different categories. Some are standard cottages while others are luxury cottages. All rooms are well furnished with a lounge and free Wi-Fi. Other amenities include central lounge area, a dining terrace, a bar, a small library, room service, laundry services and an evening camp fire. Food is excellent and served by very friendly staff.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge: This luxury lodge is found 10 minutes away from the park entrance. It has 30 chalets which were built using local material. Each chalet is private and has a fireplace, free internet, modern bathrooms, a living room and a verandah. Other services include a bar, a restaurant, daily housekeeping, shuttle services, a large garden for relaxation and a picnic area. Most of the ingredients used for cooking are grown from the lodge gardens. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge stands out because it is a relatively affordable luxury lodge. If you are planning for gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, hiking the Virunga Volcanoes or visiting the grave of Dian Fossey, then this is one place you shouldn’t miss out.

Highlights
  • Visiting the top of Murchison Falls
  • Game drives in Murchison Falls National Park
  • A boat cruise on river Nile
  • Visiting the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary
  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
  • Tour of Kigali City
  • Boat cruise and relaxation in Lake Kivu
  • Visiting the Genocide memorial site in Kigali
  • 1st Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
  • 2nd gorilla trekking in Rwanda
  • Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Spotting Tree climbing lions
  • Boat trip at the Kazinga channel
  • Visiting Lake Bunyonyi
  • Golden Monkey Tracking
  • Visiting the lakes of Ruhondo and Burera
  • Visiting the Gorilla Guardians village
  • Visiting the Batwa Pygmies of Uganda
  • Visiting Lake Kivu
  • Hiking Mount Nyiragongo

Tour Plan

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Day 1 Arrival and pick up from the airport – Transfer to your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala

Our company Guide will be waiting for you at the airport on arrival. He will introduce himself to you and brief you about the tour. From there, he will drive you to your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala. If you arrive early in the morning or afternoon, the driver can take you for a tour of either Entebbe or Kampala city.

Dinner and overnight will be in Kampala Serena hotel (luxury), 2 Friends Beach Hotel and Hotel Triangle (budget).

Day 2: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park – track Rhinos at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary

Wake up, take breakfast and set off early morning for Murchison Falls national park. Along the way, marvel at the beautiful Uganda countryside and bypass the Luwero war triangle. Luwero was where the current National Resistance Movement operated a guerilla war before taking over power. Before reaching the Murchison Falls National Park, you will stop to track white rhino at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. White Rhinos are a critically endangered species and were wiped out of Murchison falls national park due to poaching. The sanctuary was founded to save the few remaining Rhinos with hope that they will one day be reintroduced to the major national parks.

After watching the rhinos, you will be taken for lunch at Amuka lodge and then continue to Murchison falls national park. On arrival, you will immediately go to the top of the Murchison falls where you will take photos of this great waterfall from the very top. Continue to tour around the waterfalls and hear the roaring sound of the great river Nile as it squeezes through a narrow gorge before dropping. From the waterfalls, the driver will take you to the hotel for check-in, refreshment and relaxation.

Overnight at Red Chili Rest Camp (budget), Pakuba Lodge (Mid-range) and Paraa Safari Lodge (luxury).

Day 3: Early morning Game drive and a boat cruise along the river Nile

You will wake up early for a very eventful day. Take breakfast and head for a game drive along the southern banks of the river Nile. During this morning drive, you will have several opportunities to spot four of Africa’s Big 5 which include Elephants, Lions, Leopards and Buffalo. You will enjoy the beautiful views of the African Savannah and also spot various primates, Hartebeest, giraffes, Bushbucks, hyenas, Jackals, the Uganda Kob and so much more. After this morning game drive, you will head out for lunch and rest at your lodge.

In the afternoon, head out for a launch cruise along the river Nile that starts from down the river and ends at the bottom of the falls. The river Nile has the largest concentration of crocodiles and hippos in the world and here at the Murchison falls section of the Nile, you will be able to see these two massive creatures up-close. The river bank is a gathering point for most of the park animals and so prepare to be treated to an amazing collection of wildlife from the safety of your boat. Bird lovers will be excited to see a large collection of both resident and migratory species. Some of the bird species to look out for include the rare shoebill stork, Goliath Heron, Black-headed Gonolek, African Skimmer, Long-toed Plover, Fish Eagle, Saddle-billed Stork and Grey-crowned Crane.

Overnight at Red Chili Rest Camp (budget), Pakuba Lodge (Mid-range) and Paraa Safari Lodge (luxury).

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale National Park

You should rise up early to take breakfast and prepare for the long journey to Kibale National Park. Along the way, marvel at the undulating Uganda countryside with changing landscape and busy locals in the markets. Look out for the intriguing long-horned ankole cattle grazing along the roadsides. You will stop for lunch in Fort Portal and tour the town. Fort Portal is a strategically located in an area with great weather and green vegetation throughout the year. You will also visit the headquarters of the Toro Kingdom before heading to the nearby Kibale National Park.

Dinner and overnight at Chimpanzee Guest House (budget), Primates Lodge (Mid-range) and Kyaninga Lodge (Luxury).

Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking at Kibale National Park – Head to Queen Elizabeth park

After the rest yesterday, wake up very early for breakfast and head to Kibale National Park headquarters for briefing on chimpanzee trekking. The head guide will let you know all about chimpanzee in Kibale including how to conduct yourself and what to carry along. The activity takes between 3 to 5 hour and although Kibale forest is famous for chimpanzee tracking, there are other things that will interest you. The forest is a birders paradise but other 12 primate species and even more mammals call the park home. Once find the primates and complete spending the one hour with them, you will head back to your hotel for lunch and rest.  The guide from Mission Africa Safaris will transfer you to Queen Elizabeth national park in the evening. The journey from Kibale to the Queen Elizabeth National Park takes 2 hours and if time allows, you will stop on the way to spot crater lakes or visit some ancient caves.

Overnight stay at Simba safari camp (Budget), Park view lodge (Mid-range) and Mweya Safari Lodge (Luxury).

Day 6: Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park – Boat cruise at the Kazinga Channel

Wake up early for what is going to be an exciting and eventful day. Our guide will pick you up and take you for an early morning game drive in the Kasenyi plains. Come along with packed breakfast or coffee to take during the game drive. The intention of this early morning game drive is to give visitors a chance to spot nocturnal animals returning back to their dens after hunting during the night. This is the best time to spot Leopards and even Hippos rushing back to the water after grazing away during the night. You will spot early risers like birds and buffaloes, lions, hartebeests, primates and countless other creatures.

After all is done, you will head back to the lodge for lunch and rest before the next activity. At 2.00 pm, you will be transferred to the Kazinga Channel for a late afternoon boat cruise. The Kazinga Channel is a collection point for most of the wild life and one of the very best places to view wildlife in Africa. Expect to spot, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, resident and migratory birds. If it doesn’t rain, we believe you will remember your time at the Kazinga Channel as one of the highlights of your safari.

Overnight stay at Simba safari camp (Budget), Park view lodge (Mid-range) and Mweya Safari Lodge (Luxury).

Day 7: Game drive in Ishasa sector – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park

You will wake up to take breakfast and be ready for another game drive to spot tree climbing lions at the Ishasa sector of Queen Elizabeth national park. We expect you to see certain creatures you may have not seen this during this final game drive in queen Elizabeth national park. After this game drive, you will be transferred to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in time to rest and prepare for gorilla tracking the next day. Lunch will be taken at a suitable restaurant along the way to Bwindi.

Dinner and overnight at Tarvan Trekkers Bwindi (Budget), Bakiga Lodge (Mid-range) and Chameleon Hill Lodge (luxury).

Day 8: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park – Visiting the Batwa Pygmies

After early morning breakfast, head to the park offices for briefing on gorilla trekking at 7:00 am. The Head Guide will let you know what to expect during the activity, what to carry along and how to behave once you are with the Ugandan gorilla family. You will be assigned a gorilla family before heading out to the park based on your age and overall fitness. Most gorilla trackers prefer hiring porters to help with extra luggage and we hope you will do the same. The length of Gorilla tracking depends on the location of the gorilla group you are following. Once you are with them, take as many photos as you can because you are only allowed one hour observe them.  Mountain Gorillas can be very playful, curious and some will come close to you. Listen to the guides instructions and always stay calm. The requirements and rules for gorilla trekking will guide you while with the gorilla family.

After completing the activity, you should head back to the starting point where you will meet the company driver waiting to take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest. The afternoon is time to visit the Batwa Pygmy community. These former inhabitants of Bwindi forest were relocated outside the park to avoid conflicts with forest creatures and allow for the implementation of gorilla conservation programmes. There cultural dances, activities and history will fascinate you as will information about the failed projects initiated to help them adjust to life outside the forest.

Dinner and overnight at Tarvan Trekkers Bwindi (Budget), Bakiga Lodge (Mid-range) and Chameleon Hill Lodge (luxury).

Day 9: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi – Relaxation, canoeing and Island Hopping

Wake up at your own time after yesterday’s amazing activities and have late breakfast. After checking out, the guide will drive you to the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is small but perhaps the most naturally beautiful Lake in Uganda. It is frequented by tourists and lovers who want to get away from the busy city life. The atmosphere is romantic, cool, serene and quiet. We believe this is the place for you to relax after 8 days visiting several places in Uganda. Relax and watch the local people fishing and swimming along the lake. You will go for a boat ride later in the evening and hope from island to island. The Lake Bunyonyi is one of the top destinations for birdwatching in Uganda and has a mixture of bird species that will impress any birder.

Dinner and overnight at Bunyonyi resort (luxury), Bunyonyi safari camp (Mid-range)and Bunyonyi overland Resort (budget).  

Day 10: Complete activities in Lake Bunyonyi – Transfer to the Volcanoes national park in Rwanda

You will wake up refreshed to take late breakfast and complete any activity in Lake Bunyonyi before embarking on the long journey to Rwanda. Enjoy the journey and the beautiful countryside of Uganda and Rwanda. Lunch will be taken from a suitable restaurant or hotel along the way. You should reach early at the Volcanoes national park and rest so as to be ready for your second gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda the following day.

Dinner and overnight at The Garden Place Hotel (Budget), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury).

Day 11: Mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda – Visit the Iby’iwacu cultural village

Wake up and take your breakfast before heading for the briefing at the park headquarters in Kinigi. Rwanda has 10 habituated gorilla families and but you will be assigned one based on your overall fitness and age. Some gorilla families live further away from the park offices and may require more hours of tracking to find them. Use the time to ask as many questions as you can about the gorillas, forest creatures and the park. Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park takes between 2 to 6 hours but you only have one hour to observe the primates. After one hour with the gorilla family, you will return to the starting point where you will meet our guide to take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest.

In the evening, you will be taken tovisit the Iby’iwacu cultural village in Musanze which is close to the volcanoes national park. The Centre’s name has been changed to the Gorilla Guardians Village. It started as a place where former poachers would sell artifacts and other products to tourists but the government revamped it. The village is now a modern Centre offering high quality cultural entertainment for tourists who have come for activities at the volcanoes national park. While at the Centre, expect traditional dance performances in which you will be requested to take part in.

Dinner and overnight at The Garden Place Hotel (Budget), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury).

Day 12:Golden Monkey Tracking in Rwanda – Visit the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo

You will start the day early and take breakfast before going to the volcanoes national park offices for the briefing on golden monkey tracking. Hire a porter if you have extra luggage or heavy equipment. Golden monkey tracking in Rwanda doesn’t take so long compared to gorilla trekking. After some time, hiking in the forest, you will spot troops of golden monkeys on top of trees and some on the ground. Take as many photos of these cute but endangered primates. Afterwards, head back to the lodge for lunch and rest before going for an evening drive to visit the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera.

Dinner and overnight at The Garden Place Hotel (Budget), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury).

Day 13: Transfer to Lake Kivu in Gisenyi

Wake up at your own time and start the day with breakfast at your hotel as you get ready to set off from the Volcanoes national park to Lake Kivu in Gisenyi. Lake Kivu is the biggest fresh water lake in Rwanda and Congo. Visitors frequent the lake because of its natural beauty. It’s a beautiful place to be and the government of Rwanda has made good work of not only promoting but developing tourism infrastructure along the lake shores. Once you arrive at your hotel, you will have lunch overlooking the lake. In the afternoon, you will be taken for a boat ride on the lake as you tour the various islands. After the boat ride, you can go back to the lodge for swimming and relaxation.

Dinner and overnight at Palm Resort Gardens (Budget), Paradise marahide (Mid-range) and Lake Kivu Serena hotel (Luxury).

Day 14: Transfer to Goma in Congo – Mount Nyiragongo Hiking

You will wake early to take breakfast before being transferred to the Congo border. After being cleared by border officials, you will cross to Congo and meet the Virunga National Park team. The team will drive to Kibati village which is the starting point for hiking Mount Nyiragongo volcano. Hiking to the top of the summit will take between 4 to 6 hours depending on the overall fitness of the group. No one is left behind until the final section of the hike. The Nyiragongo volcano is the only place in the world where tourists can pay to see a lava lake up-close. It’s safe to observe the lava lake as the volcano has shown no signs of erupting in recent years. Dinner and overnight will be in cabins at the summit.

Day 15: Descend the Volcano and transfer to Kigali for departure

In the morning, you will begin your descent from the volcano and be driven back to Goma town arriving by midday. You will then cross back to Rwanda and drive back to Kigali reaching by 3pm. On reaching Kigali, you will have a tour of the city. The tour includes visiting the Gisozi genocide war memorial site, the city markets, the presidential palace museum and artisan shops for souvenir. After the city tour, our company driver will transfer you to the airport for a departure or to your hotel if you are still around.

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