East African Tour: Gorillas, Game in Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and Uganda (18 Days)

Cultural Tour of Bujumbura, visit Kibira National Park or Source of the Nile, Queen Elizabeth Park, Semliki, Murchison Falls and Ngamba Chimpanzee Island in Uganda: Game, chimps and Launch cruises (19 Days)


Day One: Arrival and Ngamba Chimp Island

On your arrival, you will be met by our smiling Driver guides and then transfrred to check-in and overnight Airport Guest House on a Bed & Breakfast basis.

Day Two: Ngamba Chimpanzee Island

From Entebbe there are regular trips to the Chimp Island with 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 mainland and overnight Boma Guest Hotel on a Bed & Breakfast basis.

Day Three: Kampala City Tour

Kampala is a fascinating, exciting city and with this tour we aim to help you explore it in the best way possible: the way the locals do. You can tailor your tour to suit your needs and personal interests to help you make the most of your short stay in this amazing city and with the benefit of the knowledge of our local guides, even the journeys to Kampala’s many attractions will be an adventure.The Kasubi Tombs – the traditional royal tombs of the Kabakas of Buganda – are a fine example of Ganda architecture. Then there are the colorful Nakasero fruit and vegetable market, the general goods market and the crafts market. There are a number of interesting buildings in the city, including the buildings that housed the colonial administration, the Parliament, the museum and buildings of different religious faiths and the Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine, where 22 martyrs were burnt alive in the late 19th century.

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Day Four: Murchison Falls national Park

Leave for Murchison Falls through Luwero, passing through a huge expanse of green and pleasant land. The meandering Victoria Nile and the dramatic Murchison Falls make this National Park, the biggest in the country, a stunning beautiful home for wildlife. The park is also associated with many of nineteenth century explorers searching for the white water. The terrain is dominated by rolling savannah and tall grassland, with thick bush and woodlands in the higher and wetter areas, and closed canopy forest in the Rabongo area. O/N: Paraa Safari Lodge on a Full Board basis.

Day Five: Murchison Falls National Park

Today, you will have an early morning game viewing north of the Nile.  In the afternoon, you will go for a 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 Six Murchirson Falls to Kibale

Take the long drive to Fort Portal, through Hoima with Lake Albert in the distance. Look out for tea plantations scattered across the region. Reach Kibale late. [Approximate driving time: 9 hour(s)] O/N: Nyinabulitwa Resort (FB).

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Day Seven: Kibale Forest National Park

A guided nature walk in Kibale Forest, which has 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. O/N: Nyinabulitwa Resort (FB).

Day Eight: To Semliki and Queen Elizabeth national park

Have an Early morning breakfast and then depart for Semliki National Park. Look out for Sempaya hot springs and do a game safari in the park. In the afternoon, leave for Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing via the Rwenzoris. 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. In the Kyambura Gorge, chimpanzees tracking. Around Ishasha, go on the hunt for the famous tree-climbing lions which lounge nonchalantly in the upper branches of old fig trees. O/N: Simba Safari Camp (FB).

Day Nine: Queen Elizabeth National Park

You will be taken to early morning game drive to catch up with the early-risers and then return for lunch. In the afternoon, you will have a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel is a rewarding experience as you look out for game, especially hippo, buffalo, elephant and a vast array of birds. Evening game drive. O/N: Simba Safari Camp (FB).

Day Ten: Queen Elizabeth National park – Kisoso

Start your morning with a 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 days gorilla visit. Dinner and overnight at Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro (FB).

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Day Eleven: Gorilla Tracking

You will be picked from your hotel and transferred to Congo Park Headquarters to track gorillas in Parc National des Volcans de Djomba (permit included in the safari cost). Gorilla tracking through the forest, hills and swamps can be tough, arduous and tiring, sometimes taking up to 8 hours in the forest. But coming face to face with the great primates is well worth the effort. Late lunch on return. [Approximate driving time: 4 hours] Dinner and overnight at the Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro (FB).

Day Twelve: TO Parc National des Volcans

Transfer to Kinigi in Rwanda via Cyanika boarder. Finalize boarder clearance arrangements to Rwanda. 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 (FB).

Day Thirteen: To Gisenyi In Parc National des Volcans

Go for the second gorilla tracking (on payment of US$750 gorilla permit supplement at time of booking). After lunch, Drive to Gisenyi, a town on Lake Kivu. [Approximate driving time: 1 hour] Overnight at Stipp Hotel or Serena Kivu Sun (FB).

Day Fourteen: Niragongo Volacano, Congo

You will be picked up and we make arrangements to cross to Goma to see the Nyiragongo volcano. Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. The visit shows the fantastic capabilities of the local population to overcome this natural catastrophe!

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 Fifteen: Kigali City Visit

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 center and a genocide memorial. [Approximate driving time: 4 hours] O/N Mille Collines Hotel (BB).

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Day Sixteen: Kigali to 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 Hotel (FB).

Day Seventeen: TO Bujumbura

Leave for Bujumbura, Burundi, via Kanyaru border. 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 (BB).

Day Eighteen: Kibira National park and Fly out

Visit Kibira Forest National Park, for a guided nature walk in this park of few animals species. Yo will then be transferred to the airport for your afternoon flight.

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On safari price, Add: USD 750 Additional Gorilla permits Rwanda @ USD 750 per person USD 110 Visas for the Second visit to Congo and back to Rwanda @ USD 110pp (the first visit for gorillas was included in first cost, second visa charges for Nyiragongo volcano not included) USD 60 Visas to Rwanda from Uganda @ USD 60 per person USD 50 Visas to Burundi @ USD 50 per person USD 420pp Two additional days/nights Kampala/Kigali with entrance fees, accommodation and ground transport USD 130pp Third additional day/night in Kampala/Entebbe with accommodation and ground transport.

Overal Tour Price includes:

  • a safari car for the itinerary stated (an Executive Coach that takes up the passengers with their luggage),
  • an English-speaking safari guide,
  • accommodation on a shared basis,
  • boat/launch cruises as stated,
  • park fees,
  • Ngamba chimpanzee fees for Ngamba
  • gorilla permit for Congo
  • Chimpanzee permits for Kibale Forest.
  • In Kampala, Entebbe or Kigali or Bujumbura the prices include bed and breakfast only. On safari the prices cover full board.

Safari prices do not include

  • airfares to Uganda/Rwanda/Congo/Burundi,
  • Additional gorilla permit Rwanda ($500)
  • entry visas (Uganda $50; Rwanda $60; Congo $50; Burundi $50)
  • airport taxes,
  • travel insurance,
  • all personal expenditure such as tips, telephone calls, laundry and drinks

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FLIGHTS FOR TOURS AND SAFARIS TO BURUNDI Safaris start and end either in either in Bujumbura (Burundi); or Kigali in Rwanda, or Kampala in Uganda. There are regular flights to Bujumbura (Burundi) and Kigali (Rwanda) out of Nairobi with Kenya Airways and Rwandair Express. Clients can make their own arrangements to arrive in Bujumbura or Kigali on the day of, or the day before, their safari starts. For more on flights, please click the link shown.

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