12 Day Rwanda – Uganda Safari

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through Rwanda and Uganda on this 12-day safari tour. Begin your journey with a fascinating Kigali city tour, where you’ll learn about Rwanda’s rich history and culture. Then, trek through the lush rainforest of Volcanoes National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorillas. Encounter these magnificent creatures up close and observe their natural behaviors in their natural habitat.

Afterward, visit the twin lakes of Buhonda and Burera and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Golden monkey trekking is another highlight of this tour, giving you the opportunity to witness these playful creatures in their natural environment.

Explore the Karisoke Research Center and learn about Dian Fossey’s remarkable work with gorillas. Immerse yourself in Rwandan culture with a visit to Iby’Iwacu cultural village and experience local traditions and customs. Venture through Nyungwe National Park and take part in chimpanzee trekking and canopy walks. Witness these primates up close as they swing through the trees and play in the forest.

Continue on to Kibale National Park for another chimpanzee trekking experience before embarking on an evening and morning game drive and boat cruise at Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Finally, the tour concludes with an awe-inspiring gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi National Park.

This safari tour offers a perfect blend of cultural encounters, wildlife experiences, and natural wonders, providing you with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.




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Tour Plan

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali, Rwanda

The start of any adventure is always exciting, but arriving in Kigali, Rwanda to embark on a 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari is truly an extraordinary experience. As you step off the plane at Kigali International Airport, you will be greeted by the warm and friendly smiles of your tour guide and the local people.

After a brief introduction, your guide will transfer you to your hotel where you will have the chance to freshen up and relax after your journey. As you settle in, take a moment to appreciate the stunning beauty of Kigali, which is often referred to as the "land of a thousand hills." With its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture, Kigali is the perfect place to begin your adventure.

Day 2: Kigali city tour and Transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Day 2 of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda safari itinerary is a unique opportunity to explore two contrasting destinations that showcase the rich history and natural beauty of Rwanda. You will begin your day with a city tour of Kigali, the vibrant capital of Rwanda, which has undergone an incredible transformation since the 1994 genocide. Your first stop will be at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a somber but important site that commemorates the victims of the genocide and serves as a reminder of the country's painful past.

After paying your respects at the memorial, you will continue your tour of the city, visiting other interesting sites such as the Kimironko Market, Inema Arts Center, and Nyamirambo Women's Center. You will have the opportunity to interact with locals and learn about the rich culture and traditions of Rwanda.

In the afternoon, you will embark on a scenic drive to Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its population of endangered mountain gorillas. As you approach the park, you will be mesmerized by the stunning views of the rolling hills and verdant landscapes that Rwanda is famous for.

Upon arriving at the park, you will embark on a refreshing hike through the forest to visit the picturesque twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. These beautiful lakes are situated at the base of the Virunga Mountains and offer a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

After your hike, you will return to your hotel in the park where you can relax and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. This day is sure to be a highlight of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda safari itinerary, providing you with a unique blend of history, culture, and nature that Rwanda is famous for.

Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and a Visit to Kariosoke Research Centre

Day 3 of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda safari itinerary is sure to be a highlight as you embark on a gorilla trekking adventure in Volcanoes National Park. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is a truly unique and unforgettable experience that offers the opportunity to witness one of the world's most magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Rwanda's mountain gorillas, which are only found in the Virunga Mountains, are one of the rarest and most endangered species on earth, with less than 1,000 left in the wild.

This lush forest is home to several habituated gorilla families, and your experienced guide will lead you on a trek through the misty vegetation to find them. As you approach the gorillas, you'll be struck by their sheer size and power, yet their gentle nature will leave you awestruck. Watching them interact and go about their daily activities is truly a magical experience that will stay with you forever.

In addition to the unique and unforgettable experience of seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, gorilla trekking in Rwanda also contributes to the conservation of these magnificent creatures. The tourism revenue generated from gorilla trekking directly supports local conservation efforts, which include anti-poaching patrols, habitat protection, and community development programs.

After your gorilla trekking adventure, you will visit the Kariosoke Research Centre, founded by the renowned primatologist Dr. Dian Fossey. This research center was established to study and protect the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The center also conducts research on other primate species and the local ecosystems. Visiting the center is an opportunity to learn about the important work being done to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitat.

Overall, Day 3 of your Rwanda-Uganda safari itinerary promises to be a day filled with adventure, education, and unforgettable experiences.

Day 4: Golden monkey trekking and transfer to Lake Kivu

Day 4 of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary offers a unique opportunity to experience the rare and captivating golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park. Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda is a truly unique and memorable experience that combines adventure and wildlife in a stunning natural setting. As one of the rarest and most endangered primate species in the world, the golden monkey is a fascinating creature that can only be found in the Virunga Mountains, a chain of volcanic mountains that straddles the border between Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Trekking through the lush rainforests of the Virunga Mountains, visitors have the opportunity to witness these playful and curious primates in their natural habitat, darting through the trees and leaping from branch to branch in search of food. With their distinctive golden fur and expressive faces, golden monkeys are a joy to watch and photograph, and visitors can spend up to an hour observing them up close.

As visitors make their way through the forest, they will be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the wilderness, from the vibrant greenery and towering trees to the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves underfoot.

After your unforgettable morning adventure, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture with a visit to Iby’Iwacu village. Iby'Iwacu cultural village is a fascinating showcase of traditional Rwandan life and culture, offering visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the country's rich heritage. Located near the famous Volcanoes National Park, the village is home to a community of locals who are committed to preserving their cultural traditions and sharing them with the world.

Here, you can interact with the friendly locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and even participate in traditional activities like dancing and weaving. These experiences not only provide a fascinating glimpse into traditional Rwandan life, but also support the local community by generating income and creating employment opportunities.

As the sun begins to set, you will then embark on a scenic drive to Lake Kivu, where you will be treated to breathtaking views of the glittering water and surrounding hills. Relax and unwind at your lakeside accommodation, taking in the tranquil beauty of this stunning location.

Overall, Day 4 promises to be an exciting and memorable addition to your Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary, combining adventure, culture, and natural beauty in a way that only this incredible part of the world can offer.

Day 5: Lake Kivu boat ride and transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Day 5 of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary promises to be an exciting and unforgettable experience as you embark on a boat ride on the magnificent Lake Kivu. This freshwater lake, located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is not only one of the African Great Lakes but also one of the world's deepest and most scenic lakes.

As you sail along the crystal-clear waters of Lake Kivu, you will have the opportunity to take in the stunning scenery of the surrounding hills and mountains that make up the stunning Rwandan landscape. You may also catch a glimpse of some of the local fishermen who use traditional methods to catch fish and earn their livelihood on the lake.

After your boat ride, you will continue your journey to Nyungwe Forest National Park, where you will spend the next two nights exploring the lush rainforest and its incredible wildlife. This park, which covers over 1,000 square kilometers, is home to over 13 different primate species, including chimpanzees, as well as a variety of bird species and other wildlife.

During your stay in Nyungwe Forest National Park, you will have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities, including guided nature walks, chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, and cultural tours to nearby local communities. With its stunning scenery and incredible wildlife, Nyungwe Forest National Park is truly a nature lover's paradise and a highlight of any Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary.

Day 6: Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park

On Day 6 of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary, you will embark on a thrilling chimpanzee trekking expedition in Nyungwe Forest National Park. This stunning rainforest is a haven for primates, and the chimpanzees are undoubtedly the stars of the show. As you trek through the dense vegetation, you will be mesmerized by the breathtaking scenery and the enchanting calls of the chimpanzees.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the few places in the world where you can still find wild chimpanzees. These intelligent creatures are our closest living relatives, sharing 98% of our DNA. As you trek through the forest with your experienced guide, you will witness their incredible agility and watch them swing effortlessly through the trees.

Once the chimpanzees are spotted, visitors can observe them from a safe distance as they forage for food, groom each other, and interact with their young. Watching their intelligent and complex behavior is a reminder of the incredible diversity of life on our planet and the importance of protecting these magnificent animals and their habitats. Along the way, trekkers may also encounter other wildlife, including colorful birds, playful monkeys, and majestic butterflies.

But chimpanzee trekking is not just about seeing these fascinating primates up close. It is also about supporting conservation efforts and protecting their habitat. By choosing to go on a chimpanzee trek, you are contributing to the conservation of these endangered animals and their forest home.

After your chimpanzee trekking adventure, you can take a guided nature walk in the forest. This is an opportunity to learn more about the diverse flora and fauna of Nyungwe Forest National Park, and to appreciate the delicate balance that exists between all living things in this unique ecosystem.

Overall, Day 6 of your Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary promises to be a thrilling and unforgettable experience. From the awe-inspiring chimpanzees to the stunning natural beauty of Nyungwe Forest National Park, this is a day that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Day 7: Canopy walk and Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda

On Day 7 of your Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary, get ready to elevate your wildlife experience to new heights with a thrilling canopy walk through Nyungwe Forest National Park. As you traverse the treetops on suspended bridges, you'll have a unique perspective of the lush rainforest ecosystem below and the diverse wildlife that calls it home. As you walk along the suspended bridge high above the forest floor, you can feel the sway of the bridge beneath your feet and hear the sounds of the wildlife around you.

After the canopy walk, you'll embark on a scenic drive to Kibale Forest National Park, one of Uganda's most biodiverse areas and a must-visit destination for primate enthusiasts. During your two-night stay in the park, you'll have the opportunity to trek through dense forests in search of chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and other primates. The forest is also home to over 300 species of birds, making it a birdwatcher's paradise.

As you take in the sights and sounds of Kibale Forest, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of conservation efforts in protecting these incredible creatures and their habitats. With unforgettable experiences like primate treks, Day 7 is sure to be a highlight of your unforgettable 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary.

Day 8: Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

Day 8 of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary promises an unforgettable adventure as you explore the lush Kibale Forest National Park in Uganda. Your main activity for the day is chimpanzee trekking, a thrilling and educational experience that takes you deep into the forest in search of our closest primate relatives.

As you embark on your chimpanzee trek, you'll be accompanied by experienced guides who will share their knowledge about these fascinating animals and their behavior in the wild. The trek itself is a scenic journey through the forest, with opportunities to spot other wildlife such as monkeys, birds, and butterflies along the way.

Once you find the chimpanzees, you'll have a chance to observe them up close and learn about their social structures, feeding habits, and conservation status. You'll be amazed by their intelligence, playfulness, and human-like behaviors, from grooming and playing to using tools and communicating with each other through a variety of vocalizations.

After your chimpanzee trekking adventure, you can continue exploring the forest on a guided nature walk. This is a great opportunity to learn about the unique flora and fauna of Kibale Forest National Park, including rare species of trees, plants, and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. You'll also have a chance to interact with local communities and learn about their traditional ways of life and conservation efforts.

Overall, Day 8 of your Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary promises to be a highlight of your trip, filled with adventure, learning, and unforgettable experiences.

Day 9: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park and evening game drive

Day 9 of the 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary promises to be an unforgettable experience as you transfer to the world-renowned Queen Elizabeth National Park. As you embark on your journey after breakfast, the excitement builds up as you anticipate the fascinating wildlife encounters that await you.

Upon arrival, you will embark on an exhilarating evening game drive that will take you deep into the heart of the park. Here, you will have a unique opportunity to observe a diverse range of wildlife species in their natural habitat, including majestic elephants, powerful lions, imposing buffaloes, and elusive hyenas.

The vast savannah plains of the park provide the perfect backdrop for your game drive, offering panoramic views of the stunning African landscape. As you venture deeper into the park, your senses will be heightened by the sounds, sights, and smells of the wild, creating an immersive experience that will leave you in awe.

Whether you are a seasoned safari-goer or a first-timer, the evening game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park is an unmissable highlight of the 12-day itinerary. So, grab your binoculars, sit back, and prepare to be enchanted by the wonders of the African wilderness.

Day 10: Morning game drive and boat safari on Kazinga channel

Day 10 of the 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary promises to be a truly captivating experience as you embark on a morning game drive followed by an afternoon boat safari on the Kazinga channel.

Starting with the morning game drive, you will have the opportunity to witness the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park in all its natural glory. As you navigate through the vast expanse of the park, you may spot majestic elephants, stealthy leopards, graceful antelopes, and fierce lions in their natural habitat. The thrill of spotting these animals in their natural habitat is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Later in the afternoon, as you make your way to the Kazinga channel, you will be welcomed by the serene beauty of this natural waterway. The Kazinga channel is home to an array of aquatic animals such as hippos, crocodiles, and waterbucks, as well as a diverse range of bird species. As you take a boat safari along the channel, you will have the opportunity to observe these creatures up close and personal, creating a truly immersive wildlife experience.

Overall, the combination of the morning game drive and afternoon boat safari on Kazinga channel makes for an exciting day filled with the beauty and wonder of nature. This is a day that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart and mind, making it a highlight of your 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary.

Day 11: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Day 11 of the 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary offers an exciting adventure for travelers as they transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to over half of the world's remaining population of endangered mountain gorillas. The drive itself is a scenic journey that takes you through rolling hills and lush vegetation, giving you a glimpse of the natural beauty, that Uganda has to offer.

Upon arrival at Bwindi, travelers will have the unique opportunity to engage in a cultural encounter with the Batwa community. The Batwa are a marginalized indigenous tribe that once lived in the Bwindi forest before it was gazetted as a national park. This encounter allows visitors to learn about the Batwa's traditional way of life, their beliefs, and their challenges, as well as experiencing their dances and music.

The cultural encounter is not only an enriching experience for travelers, but it also helps support the Batwa community's efforts to preserve their cultural heritage and improve their livelihoods. It is a chance for visitors to give back to the local community while enjoying a memorable and authentic cultural experience.

Overall, Day 11 of the Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary provides a perfect blend of adventure and cultural immersion, making it an unforgettable part of the trip.

Day 12: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Transfer to Entebbe International Airport

Embark on a thrilling 12-day Rwanda-Uganda Safari itinerary, filled with exciting activities that will leave you with unforgettable memories. One of the highlights of your journey is gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - an experience that is sure to take your breath away. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to get up close and personal with some of the world's most fascinating creatures. Located in southwestern Uganda, Bwindi is home to approximately half of the world's remaining mountain gorillas, making it one of the best places in the world to see these majestic primates in their natural habitat.

As you venture through the dense forests of Bwindi, you will encounter one of the most majestic creatures on earth, the endangered mountain gorilla. The trek itself is not for the faint of heart, as it involves hiking through steep and dense terrain for several hours. However, the reward is well worth the effort, as you will get to spend an hour in the presence of a gorilla family, observing their behavior and interactions with each other. As you observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat, you will be struck by their incredible intelligence and peaceful demeanor.

During the trek, you will also have the opportunity to witness the incredible biodiversity of Bwindi, which is home to over 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, and more than 220 species of butterflies. The park's dense forests are also home to various primates, including black-and-white colobus monkeys and chimpanzees.

But gorilla trekking is just one of the many exciting activities on this itinerary. From exploring the vibrant culture of Rwanda to tracking chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park, every day of your journey promises new adventures and experiences.

As your final day of the itinerary draws to a close, you'll reflect on the incredible journey you've been on and the memories that you will carry with you for a lifetime. And as you transfer to Entebbe International Airport for your departure flight, you will feel a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, knowing that you've experienced the best that Rwanda and Uganda have to offer.

This itinerary offers an excellent opportunity to see some of the most iconic wildlife and natural wonders of both Rwanda and Uganda. However, please note that it's just one possible itinerary and can be customized to your specific preferences and interests.

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