Day 1 Kampala
Your tour guide will pick you up from the airport in Entebbe. You will have the chance to draw money at an ATM before you will check in at the first accommodation, where you will hear a welcome talk.
Day 2 Kampala – Kibale Forest National Park
Today you will go to the Kibale Forest, a lovely starting point for chimpanzee tracking. It passes through beautiful landscapes, past tea plantations and the lush green nature, which is characteristic of Uganda. While you are here to especially see chimpanzees, please notice, that there are more than a dozen species of monkeys living here, including the red-tailed monkeys, baboons and the Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys. Furthermore the bird life of the Kibale Forest is unique and diverse and if you are very lucky, you might also spot a herd of elephants, who weave their way through the forest.
Day 3 Kibale Forest National Park
In the early morning you have the opportunity to go on an exciting chimpanzee search or you can participate on a memorable hike through the Bigodi swamp. A third option would be a hike around the crater lake. Kibale Forest has the largest number of primate species in the world, the chimpanzees included. Nowadays, there are about 4,950 wild chimpanzees in Uganda, which makes it an unique area for observations (still there is no guarantee!). During your guided walk through the forest you will learn a lot about the diverse flora and fauna of Kibale Forests.
Alternatively you can opt to take a swamp walk (about 2-3h). This excursion will take you through pasture land, small villages, passing tea areas and some gorgeous scenic backdrops, where the local people will welcome you with an enthusiastic wave. It is normal to meet up to three or four different kinds of monkeys on this hike, but the highlight of the tour is certainly the view of the Great Blue Turaco!
Day 4 Kibale Forest National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park
Your last activity at Kibale is an unforgettable crater lake hike. Pass through villages while wandering around a beautiful lake. At lunch time you say good bye to the forest and take a short drive to Queen Elizabeth Park, where the next highlight awaits you: An optional boat cruise on the Kazinga channel. Here you will see many hippos (more than you can probably imagine!). You will also see a variety of animals that come to the water to drink or to take a dip. and you will certainly discover lots of beautiful birds. This boat trip will undoubtedly be a highlight of your tour!
Day 5 Queen Elizabeth National Park – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Another highlight awaits you: Ishasha, which is located in the southern part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. This area is famous for tree climbing lions, a phenomenon which, was observed at only one other place worldwide, apart from the Ishasha National Park. Scientists cannot explain the behavior of these lions, because the lions have no genetic differences. Therefore they believe that the lions in Ishasha climb the trees to relax and escape the sun, during the hottest time of the day. You have a good chance to discover the lions up in the trees. You will continue your journey to reach another exciting attraction - the home of the mountain gorillas, the Southern part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The paths taken are pretty bumpy, but the breathtaking scenery along the way pays off. You will pass expansive lakes, foothills and tropical rainforests.
Day 6 Bwindi Impenetrable National park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: optional activities
Batwa Trail (Mgahinga National Park)
Golden Monkeys (Mgahinga National Park)
Volcanoe Climbing (Mgahinga National Park, e.g Mt. Sabinyo)
Today is the big day! Prepare yourself for an encounter with Bwindi's gentle giants: the rare mountain gorillas. For most visitors, this is the highlight of their Uganda trip!
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the living space for both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. It is the only forest in Africa, where these two species share their territory. In addition, it is home to five other primate species, 113 mammal species, over 200 butterfly species and 360 species of birds. The gorillas that you will see today belong to one of the ten gorilla families worldwide who accept the presence of humans. Your tour will be a very special, exciting journey - along the wooded slopes, tangled vines, bushes and bamboo plants before you finally get to the gorillas. On the tour, your ranger will show you the gorilla’s traces of previous activities, such as droppings, nests and nibbled bamboo shoots. You will learn a lot about the Ugandan Giant.
Please note: It may take 1-2 hours to find the gorillas but sometimes even up to 7 hours until you get back to the camp! If the gorillas are located, the walking group can spend up to 1 hour with the them. It is an emotional, tantalising and very impressive experience to see a gorilla face to face. There is also a fantastic and unique opportunity to get close to the "Gorillas in the Mist" of Uganda.
Switch off your flashlight in the Ngarama Cave, as ghostly singing begins to echo in the pitch darkness. Making fire requires team work! Watch your Batwa guides create fire to smoke out bees. See a traditional Batwa grass hut - quick to build and to demolish - which was essential for this nomadic culture. Enjoy the lively dance at the cave´s entrance as the Batwa women sing a traditional song to welcome their guests. Walk through the pristine Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, with spectacular views of the Virunga Volcanoes
During this moving cultural encounter tour, the Batwa demonstrate hunting techniques; gather honey; point out medicinal plants and demonstrate bamboo cups. Guests are finally invited to the sacred Ngarama Cave, once home to the Batwa King, where the women of the community perform a sorrowful song which echoes eerily around the depths of the dark cave and leaves guests with a striking and moving sense of the richness of this fading culture. This is a truly unique experience for visitors to learn about the traditional culture of the indigenous people.
Golden Monkey Tracking
At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park you are escorted by guides in small groups and hike to the Montane bamboo forest in the foothills of the majestic volcanoes. Golden Monkey tracking is a lively experience, not to be missed by those desiring to track chimpanzees and gorillas in Uganda. The viewing is kept to an hour and you get a close up look at the golden monkeys in their natural habitat. You can see them frolic in the bamboo forest, mothers carrying their children, feeding on bamboo leaves and totally at ease while you are there.
Day 7 Bwindi Impenetrable Nationalpark – Volcanoes National park (Rwanda)
Today you will cross the border into Rwanda. Be inspired by the stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes. Today's destination is the Volcanoes National Park. The park is about 125 km2 and protects the Rwandan part of the Virunga mountains. The Virunga massiv includes six “silent” (Rwanda and Uganda) and two active volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is part of an approximately 450 km2 of a cross-border protected area with the Virunga National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The park protects, at an altitude of 2.400-4.500 m, the tropical rain forest on the slopes of the freestanding volcanoes. Between 2.500 and 3.000 m you find mainly bamboo, and the cloud forest is predominant with Lobelia and Senezias. At about 4.000 m is the Afro-alpine arid zone. The National Park is in an agriculturally intensive and densely populated countryside. The Parc National des Volcans is famous worldwide for its mountain gorillas and the American primatologist Dian Fossey, who dedicated her life to the study and conservation of these animals. The film "Gorillas in the Mist" described the commitment and the life of the scientist. The park was closed in 1994 in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda, but reopened in 1995. Visits to the mountain gorillas are still the main reason for a trip to the park. It also offers birds (about 180 species), volcano ascents (eg Mount Visoke with its crater lake at 3,711 m), Golden Monkey trackings or visits of the tomb of Dian Fossey Gorilla and of the gorilla cemetery.
Day 8 Volcanoes National park
In the morning you can either hike to the grave of the American researcher Dian Fossey or visit the endangered Golden Monkeys. The Dian Fossey hike is a truly moving experience when you are on the gorilla cemetery and look down at Dian's grave. Part of the tour is a visit to the ruins of the Karisoke Research, where Dian Fossey operated her studies. Alternatively, you can go on an adventurous search for the "small primates" - the Golden Monkeys, which are on the red list of endangered animals. They migrate through different vegetation zones, always with the Virunga Mountains in the background. Your ranger will be in contact with the trackers who already have left hours before to locate the monkeys. For the energetic, there is the opportunity to climb a volcano accompanied by a park ranger.
Day 9 Volcanoes National park - Lake Kivu
Today there is only a short distance to travel, which means you can sleep in. After a leisurely breakfast you drive to Lake Kivu. Directly at the lake is your accommodation, which is surrounded by nature and a beautiful landscape. In the evening, you are lulled to sleep by the sounds of the water on the shore and in the morning wake up to the birds singing. The hotel's restaurant offers tasty and locally inspired dishes changed daily. Enjoy your meals on the shore of Lake Kivu, surrounded by fragrant flowers. Alternatively, there is the possibility of eating your dinner watching the stunning sunset in a boat on Lake Kivu, as a candlelight dinner or a picnic on the private little island Akeza. Nearby you will find natural hot springs where you can take a bath. The lake is perfect for fishing, swimming, and hiking in the scenic countryside, boat trips to idyllic coves and islands and much more. On some evenings there will be a traditional dance performance for you, with unique drum solos and intense colours and costumes.
Day 10 Lake Kivu - Kigali
Transfer to Kigali with the opportunity to visit the local market, the "Hotel Des Mille Collines" and the Genocide Museum, which was opened in 2004.
Transfer to the airport and return flight back home