The Ultimate Uganda & Rwanda Small Group Wildlife Tour, Sept 2019
15 day tour
Including flights and transfers
Prices from

Tour Highlights

  • Gorilla & chimp tracking
  • Lions, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, antelopes, croc's
  • Birds and butterflies galore!
  • Wildlife conservation talks & presentations by rangers, guides, head wardens
  • Unforgettable landscapes
  • Authentic cultural experiences
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I'm enquiring about: The Ultimate Uganda & Rwanda Small Group Wildlife Tour, Sept 2019

The Ultimate Uganda & Rwanda Small Group Wildlife Tour, Sept 2019

Uganda      Rwanda

We are immensely proud to present this truly inspirational and immersive set, small group tour for September 2019. Our itinerary takes a maximum of 7 lucky participants on the journey of a lifetime - one which is filled with awe- inspiring wildlife encounters, stunning scenery and warm, hospitable people.

Apart from taking in an array of unforgettable wildlife sightings, the tour allows you to delve deeper into the relationship between the wildlife, the park authorities and the permanently resident communities. Spend time tracking endangered Mountain gorillas in Uganda and/or Rwanda, something with which few wildlife experiences anywhere in the world can compare. 

Learn about Mountain gorilla and wildlife conservation through the eyes of the local rangers, the guides, wardens and various specialists during talks, presentations, and discussions with the Gorilla Doctors/Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project; the Lion Monitoring/Uganda Carnivore Predator Programme, and the Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) organisation. Enjoy authentic cultural experiences with the Batwa in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and at the Ndere Centre in Kampala.


Read more about this tour

Day 1
06 Sept 2019: London Heathrow - Kigali
Fly from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Kigali, Rwanda.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel where you will stay overnight with breakfast included.
Accommodation: Heaven Boutique Hotel
Day 2
07 Sept 2019: Kigali - Parc National des Volcans
After breakfast, your dedicated, experienced and professional, English-speaking driver-guide/tour-leader will meet you at the hotel. You will be taken to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, an intensely moving experience. Created by the Kigali City Council in partnership with the UK-based Aegis Trust, the centre contains an exhibition of the Rwandan genocide, as well as an exhibition of other genocides around the world.
Afterwards, you will be transferred in your comfortable 4WD vehicle to Parc National des Volcans, about 3hrs drive northwards. Visit the headquarters of the Gorilla Doctors/Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in Musanze/Ruhengeri. This enjoyable and very interesting introduction to Gorilla conservation entails a 1½hr lecture/slideshow by one of the Gorilla Doctors staff. The core of the Gorilla Doctors work is gorilla health monitoring by means of visually observing habituated gorilla groups on a regular (monthly) basis to check for signs of illness or injury. Only if deemed essential, will a sick or injured gorilla be treated.
Also taken into account are observations of the trackers working for the national parks, and organizations such as the Karisoke Research Center of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International: they see the gorillas daily and are trained by the Gorilla Doctors to note signs indicative of illness or injury. Concerns are reported back to the veterinary team, which performs in-depth visual health checks.
After the presentation, you will be transferred to your lodge where you will stay for two nights with all meals included.
Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Day 3
08 Sept 2019: Rwanda Gorilla Tracking or Golden Monkey Tracking!
After an early breakfast, you will be taken to the park HQ for a briefing at 07:00 on conduct during gorilla tracking. You will then be allocated to a team of experienced ranger-guides who will take you into Parc National des Volcans, to seek out one of the resident, habituated Gorilla groups.
Time taken to reach the Gorillas varies from as little as 45mins to a few hrs. They may be in bamboo habitat or in closed forest. Once the Gorillas are located, you will be allowed a max of 1hr with them. This is one of the most memorable and awe-inspiring wildlife experiences to be had anywhere in the world – superlatives simply fail to convey just how impressive it is. During the excursion, you may see other forest wildlife such as L’Hoest’s monkeys, Black-fronted duiker, Forest squirrels and various birds unique to the Albertine Rift, notably colourful Rwenzori turacous.
You don’t have to be an athlete to take on Gorilla tracking, but you do have to be prepared to traverse fairly steep, rough and uneven terrain for what could be a lengthy period of time. Rangers and porters always go at the speed of the slowest walker, and you will be able to make several stops for drinks or snacks.
For those who elect not to track Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, you have an opportunity to track the Golden Monkeys:
After the briefing at the Park HQ, set off to seek these endangered monkeys which are unique to the Albertine Rift. The Virunga Volcanoes harbour the only remaining viable breeding population. You will venture through open farmland and search high in the dense bamboo groves. Here, the Golden monkeys feed on bamboo leaves, insects and on ripe fruit when available.
Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Day 4
Day 4
09 Sept 2019: Parc National des Volcans - Lakes Chahafi & Kayumbu - Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
After breakfast, you will be transferred via the Uganda/Rwanda Cyanika border post to the boundary of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southern Uganda.
En-route, you will make a stop at Lakes Chahafi and Kayumbu, to savour beautiful, rural countryside. In the shadow of the Virungas, these lakes and the surrounding forests, wetlands and farmlands offer tranquility in a bucolic setting where few tourists venture. Watch people moving their cattle, fishing on the lakes and pushing their bicycles carrying charcoal for miles. From the simple Lake Chahafi Resort, it is possible to walk around part of the lake in search of resident Otters, and to explore a Papyrus swamp.
Covering only 33.7km2, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park. Many regard its location on northern slopes of three extinct volcanoes - Mt Muhavura (4,127m a.s.l), Mt Sabyinyo (3,634m a.s.l), and Mt Gahinga (3,474m a.s.l) – as the most scenically impressive in the country. The volcanoes are three of the six which mark the southern limit of the Albertine Rift Valley and are divided between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their slopes contain various habitat types varying according to altitude and the peaks provide a dramatic backdrop to a gorgeous location. The park is of salutary cultural significance to the original forest inhabitants, the Batwa.
By late afternoon, you will have another penetrating cultural experience: you will meet the Batwa during the Batwa Settlement Walk, something which has been gaining in popularity due to its authenticity. A 45min walk through picture-perfect, fertile rural countryside, will bring you to the temporary homes of the Batwa. Joined by an official translator and mediator between the Batwa and the management of Mt. Gahinga Lodge, guests have the opportunity to ask the Batwa questions. This is not a staged: you can ask challenging and contentious questions relating to their (the Batwas’) forced eviction from the forests and the unfulfilled promises on the parts of the Ugandan government and the Uganda Wildlife Authorities (UWA). Expect honest and sometimes shocking replies.
Time permitting, you have the chance to visit the Batwa Vocational Centre to see the inspiring educational work being conducted by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) with the Batwa. VSPT has donated some land on which the Batwa learn to cultivate potatoes and wheat. Additionally they are taught sewing and craft-making skills. They are encouraged to sell their products and handicrafts to generate income for medication and food.
Finally, you reach your beautifully located lodge where you will stay overnight with all meals included.
Accommodation: Mount Gahinga Lodge
Day 5
10 Sept 2019: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park - Lake Mutanda - Nkuringo, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After breakfast, transfer to Kisozi Caldera, not far from the lodge. Here you can take an easy to moderate walk to the top of the small hill, after which, travel to Lake Mutanda, where you’ll be taken for an enjoyable and relaxing canoe tour (1 - 2hrs). Traditional dugout canoes are used and life jackets are provided. During a short walk through local farmland (an approx. 1 - 2hrs) your guide will inform you about the resident ethnic groups and various aspects of rural life.
Finally, travel through Ntungamo and Rubuguri and the spectacular valleys that surround Rushaga to your lodge where you will stay for two nights, all meals included.
Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Day 6
11 Sept 2019: Uganda Gorilla Tracking!
You have the chance to make a second visit to the Mountain gorillas today, but this time in Uganda. After signing in and being briefed, you will be accompanied by experienced trackers and a ranger to visit one of the resident, habituated groups of Mountain gorilla, the icon of Bwindi, if not of the whole of Uganda.
Permits are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Day 7
12 Sept 2019: Nkuringo - Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, you will be transferred a short distance to Nteko village, the start point of an amazing walk through Bwindi forest to the Buhoma sector of the national park. En-route to Nteko, pass breathtaking vistas of the hills, valleys, mountains, villages, and the plains in Democratic Republic of Congo and the North Kivu region.
Set to become one of the most popular walks on offer in Uganda, the 5hr ‘Ivy Trail’ gives guests the chance to encounter various forest-dwelling species of monkey and wonderful birdlife. Take in stunning mountain and canopy views as you descend steeply, crossing the Ivy River into the rainforest. Aside from being a lovely walk through the forest, this route is a crucial in that it links local villages to the westernmost part of the country. It enables areas such as Nkuringo, Rushaga, Lake Mutanda, Kanaba Gap, Echuya Forest, Kisoro and surroundings to be connected, alleviating the need to drive 8 - 10hrs on rough, bumpy, and winding mountainous roads. As this is also effectively a transfer from one lodge to another (from Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge in Nkuringo to Bwindi Lodge in Buhoma) a porter will accompany each guest to carry your daypack.
Along the walk, you should see resident people coming back from the market in Nteko to the Buhoma section of the park, many carrying goods on their heads. Upon exiting the Bwindi forest at Buhoma village, enjoy lunch at Bwindi Lodge, overlooking the rainforest canopy. After lunch, visit the Conservation Through Public Health’s (CTPH) Gorilla Health and Community Conservation Centre, headed by Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. ‘Dr Gladys’ as she is affectionately known, started the veterinary unit at Uganda Wildlife Authority, and was the first full time gorilla veterinary doctor in Uganda. CTPH was founded in 2003, when scabies in gorillas was traced back to people resident around the park who have very little access to health care and to education about hygiene and disease prevention. So CTPH set about building a Gorilla Research Clinic, which then became the Gorilla Health and Community Conservation Centre. There, guests receive a behind- the- scenes briefing about gorilla health monitoring, gorilla conservation; community well-being and livelihood. You will learn about work under way with community health, which is essential to prevent diseases being transmitted between humans and gorillas.
Afterwards, meet your driver-guide and 4WD vehicle for the transfer north to the remote Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park (approx. 3hrs drive). During this drive, landscapes change from lush green, fertile and mountainous terrain to hot, dry, and flat savannah country.
Ishasha is an alluring, quiet off-the-beaten track game viewing area and is renowned for its tree-climbing lions. Upon arriving in Ishasha, take a late afternoon game drive en-route to your lodge where you will stay overnight with all meals included.
Accommodation: Enjojo Lodge
Day 8
13 Sept 2019: Ishasha - Mweya, Queen Elizabeth National Park
An enjoyable early morning guided nature walk along the Ntungwe/Ishasha River is followed by a sumptuous bush breakfast surrounded by Ishasha’s wildlife (weather permitting).
After breakfast, explore Ishasha, driving over the plains in open savannah searching for herds of Buffalo, Uganda Kob, and Topi, as well as the tree-climbing Lions amongst the many Wild fig trees that dot the landscape. You also visit the Uganda Kob mating grounds, a preferred hunting area of the Lions.
By mid-afternoon, make a game drive northeast to the Mweya sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park (an approx. 3hr drive), and onto your lodge where you will stay for two nights with all meals included.
Accommodation: Elephant Plains Lodge
Day 9
14 Sept 2019: Uganda Carnivore/Lion Monitoring Programme & Kazinga Channel Boat Trip!
This morning, you will be meet researchers of the Uganda Carnivore/Lion Monitoring Programme and join them in their research vehicle for a unique wildlife experience that focuses mainly on the Lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
During this activity, you help to track the carnivores via radio-telemetry in order to monitor their movements into conflict ‘hot zones’, where they face the danger of encountering resident people and livestock. You will learn how the results help to formulate recommendations for appropriate management of carnivores in the national park, and you learn how this assists the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in conflict mitigation, as well as wildlife rescue and relocation operations. You will also learn about the importance of involving community-based activities to increase local participation in wildlife conservation.
In the afternoon, enjoy a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, a channel connecting Lakes Edward and George. The Kazinga Channel is home to one of the greatest concentration of Hippo in Africa and herds of Elephant, Cape buffalo, Defassa waterbuck, Bushbuck, Ugandan kob, Warthog, and other mammals come to drink at the waters edge. Birdlife is abundant.
Accommodation: Elephant Plains Lodge
Day 10
15 Sept 2019: Mweya, Queen Elizabeth National Park - Semliki Wildlife Reserve
After an early morning breakfast, you will travel to Semliki Wildlife Reserve for a boat trip on scenic Lake Albert, one of the best sites in which to seek the iconic and dinosaur-looking Shoebill. In the afternoon, you take a lovely game drive.
Finally, you enjoy sundowners in style and rest in your lodge where you will stay overnight with all meals included.
After dinner, you will be taken for a night game drive.
Accommodation: Semliki Safari Lodge
Day 11
16 Sept 2019: Semliki Wildlife Reserve - Kibale Forest National Park
An early morning game walk in Semliki Wildlife Reserve will be followed by a sumptous bush breakfast. Travel to Kibale Forest National Park, one of the best places to track Chimpanzees on the continent. Along the way, you get the chance to enjoy panoramic views of the Rwenjuba and the Ndicho Crater Lakes.
Make an afternoon visit to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, where people enjoy the boardwalk trail for birds, monkeys (notably Red colobus) and butterflies. It is managed by Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED), a community based environmental organization formed in 1992 with the aim of achieving social and economic development for local communities. With the generated income KAFRED has been able to maintain the tourism infrastructure and support community projects.
Tonight, you check into your conveniently located lodge where you will stay for two nights, all meals included.
Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp
Day 12
17 Sept 2019: Chimpanzee Habituation Experience & Chimpanzee Trek!
This morning, you have the rare opportunity of enjoying a half day ‘Chimpanzee Habituation Experience’ in Kibale Forest National Park. Departing the lodge at approx. 06:00, you accompany Kibale’s researchers during their activities in the forest, and learn about their work to habituate Chimpanzees. You follow the Chimpanzees throughout the morning, a fascinating experience! Look out for various species of monkeys, and a wealth of birdlife.
This afternoon, staying in the forest, you venture out on an afternoon Chimpanzee trek. Once with the fully habituated Chimpanzees, you stay with them for a maximum of 1hr.
This evening, you can take a guided night walk in search of the forests’ nocturnal wildlife.
Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp
Day 13
18 Sept 2019: Kibale Forest National Park - Kampala
After breakfast, travel to Uganda’s capital, Kampala, an approx. 6hr drive.
As this is a Wednesday in Kampala, you will be taken to the Ndere Cultural Centre. Enjoy an evening’s entertainment watching the multi-award winning Ndere Troop performing a repertoire of wonderful, authentic Ugandan dances and songs accompanied by various indigenous percussion, string and wind instruments. Dinner will be a BBQ buffet.
After the event, you will be transferred through the city to your hotel where you will stay overnight with breakfast included.
Accommodation: Le Petit Village Hotel
Day 14
19 Sept 2019: Kampala - Entebbe
This morning, you will be transferred to the Social Innovation Museum near Mpigi. Here you will be taken on a guided tour with the community, learning about how the youth are engaged in creating incredibly inspirational projects and being assisted in terms of developing social enterprises.
After a very interesting experience, you will be transferred to Papyrus Guesthouse in Entebbe, where you have the use of day rooms and enjoy a farewell dinner.
In the late evening, you will be transferred to Entebbe Airport (15-min drive) to bid your guide/tour leader farewell and to check in for your overnight flight back to London Heathrow
Day 15
20 Sept 2019: London Heathrow
Today, you will arrive back into London Heathrow (LHR) (or selected other UK Airports)

Pricing Information & Dates

15 day tour, from £6840 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Guide
Price Includes
DATES: 06 - 20 SEPTEMBER 2019
Group Size: Minimum 4 - Maximum 7

* Return international flights from London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) to Kigali; Entebbe to London Heathrow (or selected other UK airports) in Economy Class seating
* Accommodation in double or twin rooms
* All meals as listed
* All transfers and comfortable, 4-wheel drive transportation
* Services of your dedicated, professional, experienced, English-speaking Ugandan driver-guide as tour leader.
* All excursions and activities as per itinerary
* 1 Uganda Gorilla permit per person
* 1 Rwanda golden monkey tracking permit per person
* All National park/wildlife reserve entry permits and park guide and scout fees
* Bottled mineral water

Single Room Supplement: £840
Price Excludes
* Uganda Visa (US$50, must be applied for online in advance), and Rwanda Visa (US$30, purchased upon arrival into Kigali Airport)***
* Any meals not mentioned on the itinerary
* Drinks
* Items of personal nature (travel insurance, phone calls, laundry)
* Tips

***You might prefer to apply for an 'East Africa Tourist Visa' this costs US$100 and it must be applied for online, in advance from the Rwanda High Commission/Embassy
Price Notes
Additional Costs: (optional items)

* £1,135 per person: Rwanda gorilla tracking permit (instead of the Rwanda Golden monkey tracking permit)


Tour Route Map

  1.   Kigali
  2.   Volcanoes National Park
  3.   Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  4.   Bwindi
  5.   Queen Elizabeth National Park
  6.   Semliki Valley
  7.   Kibale Forest
  8.   Kampala, Entebbe & Jinja

Accommodation on this Tour

Elephant Plains Lodge
Elephant Plains Lodge
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Elephant Plains Lodge The new Elephant Plains Lodge is located in the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park commanding panoramic vistas of the savannah plains, its wildlife and Lakes Kikorongo......
Enjojo Lodge
Enjojo Lodge
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Enjojo Lodge This relatively new property just 5 minutes from Ishasha Gate, is a convenient centre for various interesting and enjoyable activities.The 'safari house' which accommodates up to......
Heaven Boutique Hotel
Heaven Boutique Hotel
Heaven Boutique Hotel Only a 15min drive from the international airport, and located in a quiet neighbourhood in Kigali's city centre with wonderful views of the city, the Heaven Restaurant &......
Kibale Forest Camp
Kibale Forest Camp
Kibale Forest, Uganda
Kibale Forest Camp Kibale Forest Camp is located on the periphery of the southern perimeter of the national park. It is an affordable, clean, and comfortable camp set in lush tropical forest......
Le Petit Village Hotel
Le Petit Village Hotel
Kampala, Entebbe & Jinja, Uganda
Le Petit Village Hotel ...
Mount Gahinga Lodge
Mount Gahinga Lodge
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda
Mount Gahinga Lodge Nestled in Uganda's most remote and stunning south-western section of the country, this cultural sanctuary is located in foothills of Mt Gahinga and Mt Sabyinyo......
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Situated fifteen minutes drive from the Volcanoes National Park this is the ideal lodge to base yourself in for the Rwanda gorilla tracking experience.Set on a large plot......
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Bwindi, Uganda
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge Perched on Nteko Ridge overlooking the distant peaks of the Virungas to one side and the forest-clad slopes of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to the other side, this......
Semliki Safari Lodge
Semliki Safari Lodge
Semliki Valley, Uganda
Semliki Safari Lodge Semliki Safari Lodge offers some of the finest accommodation in Uganda. The eight large thatched tents have four-poster beds, Persian carpets, hand-carved furniture, a private......

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