Day 1: ARIVAL
Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, meet our guide and transfer to check-in at Boma Guest Hotel (BB).
Day 2: NGAMBA CHIMPANZEE ISLAND
Receive briefing and finalise arrangements for visiting the island with JGI management at their offices in Entebbe. Boat from Entebbe pier to Ngamba Island. Watch the feeding of the chimpanzees. Time permitting walk to a neighboring village or bird watching. [Approximate cruising time: 45 minutes for fast boat; 1 ½ hours for traditional boat]
This tour visits Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary on Lake Victoria. Situated 23km off shore from Entebbe, the Sanctuary was set up by a group of concerned organisations including Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and Jane Goodall Institute among others, to offer a facility for now over 33 orphaned chimpanzees to co-habitat in a near natural environment. From Entebbe there are regular trips to the Chimp Island. Travelling is either by a modified traditional Ssese canoe sitting up to 25 participants, or a faster motor boat sitting 8 persons. The beautifully forested tropical island is almost 100 acres in size and boasts over 50 different types of vegetation that the chimps utilize. Two main tourist activities are offered: chimp viewing from a raised wooden platform; or a walk to the chimp forest for closer contact with the legendary primates. Chimp walks in the forest require some medical conditions to be fulfilled: Vaccination against -Hepatitis A&B, Measles; Meningococcal meningitis (menomune vaccine); Polio; Tetanus; Yellow fever. A negative TB test before arrival is also required. Minimum age for the walks is 18 years, Maximum age is 65 years, but the latter category is also dependant on size and fitness level of the person. Clients stay at the Ngamba Island Camp, a 4-tent mid-range Camp directly overlooking the Lake. The entrance fees paid goes towards looking after the chimpanzees. return to Entebbe main land O/N: Boma Guest Hotel (BB).
Day 3: ENTEBBE - MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Leave entebbe for Murchison Falls game park through Luweroto the meandering Victoria Nile and the dramatic Murchison Falls in the National Park. Murchison falls national park is the biggest in the country, a stunning beautiful home for wildlife. The Murchison Falls, is a point where the 50 metre wide Nile is forced through a narrow cleft in the rocks, dropping down with a thundering roar and a beautiful rainbow. The three-hour launch trip to the bottom of the Falls is unforgettable, both to experience this mighty river and to see the wildlife and birds that bask on its banks.
Experience the mighty River Nile thundering down a narrow opening and go for a game drive searching for the park's big game and birds. O/N: Paraa Safari Lodge (FB).
Day 4: MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
An early morning game viewing north of the Nile. Launch trip to the bottom of the mighty exciting Falls, with crocodiles, hippos and a vast array of birds including the rare shoebill stork, lounging on the banks of the Nile. Evening game drive. O/N: Paraa Safari Lodge (FB).
Day 5: MURCHISON - KIBALE
Take the long drive to Fort Portal, through Hoima with Lake Albert in the distance. Drive past green fields and tea plantations scattered across the region. Reach Kibale late. [Approximate driving time: 9 hours] O/N: Ndali Lodge (FB).
Day 6: CHIMPANZEE TRACKING
You will go for guided nature walk in Kibale Forest with the highest number of primates in Africa, including red, black and white colobus, blue monkeys and baboons and a large number of chimpanzees. A chimpanzee walk provides a high possibility of seeing and hearing the noisy chimps and other primates playing around through the forest. Various birds over 300 species are recorded in the forest. An afternoon walk in Bigodi wetland gives the opportunity of seeing the unusual birds, baboons, chimps and other primates which live around the swamp. O/N: Ndali Lodge (FB).
Day 7: KIBALE - SEMLIKI & QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
Early morning depart for Semliki National Park. Visit the hot springs and do a game safari in the park. Lunch at Semliki Lodge. In the afternoon, leave for Mweya in Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing via the Rwenzoris, or Mountains of The Moon as they are sometimes called.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is located in the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley, is centred around Lake Edward, Lake George and the Kazinga channel rich in wildlife and birds. Over 500 bird species are present, including the shoebill stork, the black bee-eater, 11 different species of kingfisher and several falcons, eagles and flamingos which can be seen on a launch cruise alongside game, especially hippo, buffalo, elephant and chimpanzees can be tracked in Kyambura george. O/N: Mweya Safari Lodge (FB).
Day8: QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK
Early morning game drive. A boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel is a rewarding experience. Evening game drive.O/N: Mweya Safari Lodge (FB).
Day 9: QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK - KISORO
Drive to Kisoro, stopping at Kanaba Gap to view the spectacular Virunga volcanoes and eye-catching terraced hills. Continue directly to Kisoro. We may drive via Ishasha, weather conditions permitting where you may see tree-climbing lion - or drive through farmland to Kisoro. [Approximate driving time: 6 hours]. On arrival, hand in passports for boarder clearance to Congo, for the next day's gorilla visit. O/N: Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro (FB).
Day 10: GORILLA TRACKING
Early transfer to Gahinga Park Headquarters to track gorillas in Mt. Mgahinga gorilla park or South-western Bwindi (permit included in the safari cost). Gorilla tracking through the forest, hills and swamps can be tough, arduous and tiring, sometimes taking up to 9 hours in the forest. But coming face to face with the great primates is well worth the effort. Late lunch on return. O/N: Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro (FB).
Day 11: KISORO - PARC NATIONAL DES VOLCANS RWANDA
Transfer to Kinigi in Rwanda via Cyanika boarder (Visa fees $30). Finalise boarder clearance arrangements to Rwanda (note: Clocks backwards one hour) Drive the one hour to Ruhengeri. Enjoy the rolling hills for which Rwanda is well known. [Approximate driving time: 2 hours] O/N: Kinigi Guest House or Mt. Gorillas view lodge(FB).
Day 12: GORILLA TRACKING
Go for gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans ( US$750 gorilla permit supplement included in the cost). After lunch, Drive to Gisenyi, a town on Lake Kivu. [Approximate driving time: 1 hour] O/N: Stipp Hotel or Serena Kivu Sun (FB).
Day 13: NYIRAGONGO VOLCANO, CONGO
After breakfast go to Idjwi Island in Congo for a morning visit (on payment of $200 supplement per person). The trip is not only an encounter with local people; fishermen, fishing villages but also with the residents of Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets. Idjwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 40 km in length and with an area of 285 km², it is believed to be the largest inland island in Africa, and the eighth largest in the world. Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometres separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island's southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometre from a promontory of the Rwandan coast.
The Nyiragongo volcano (3470 m) erupted on the 17th of January 2002 and destroyed part of Goma town. Most of Goma's 400 000 inhabitants escaped the advancing lava flows crossing the border into neighbouring Rwanda. The eruption destroyed the homes of 120 000 people and caused between 70 and 100 victims. O/N: Stipp Hotel or Serena Kivu Sun (FB).
Day 14: KIGALI CITY TOUR
Drive to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is an attractive city spread over many hills for which Rwanda is well known. The City has a pleasant, buoyant air and its people are some of the most friendly in the world. The markets, the handicraft shops and the genocide sites are some of the main places of interest. The range of hotels and restaurants is steadily increasing. Time permitting, visit the Nyabugogo market, the Moslem quarter in Nyamirambo, the Franco-Rwanda cultural centre and a genocide memorial. [Approximate driving time: 4 hours]
O/N: Mille Collines Hotel (BB)
Day 15: KIGALI - BUTARE
After breakfast you will depart for Butare the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions. In Butare, visit the Botanical Gardens and a cultural museum. O/N: Ibis (FB).
Day 16: BUTARE - BUJUMBURA
Leave for Bujumbura I Burundi, via Kanyuru boarder. Arrive in time for Half day tours in Bujumbura, to visit the Snake & Culture Museum; the Islam Culture Centre; City Hall; President's Office and the main attraction of the City: Lake Tanganyika.
Dinner and overnight at Club du Lac Tanganyika Hotel on a Bed & Breakfast basis.
Day 17: DEPARTURE
Half day tours in Bujumbura city and the suburbs. Transfer to airport in time for check-in for your flight.