Set off on a once-in-a-lifetime journey into the lush hills of Uganda and Rwanda to encounter chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in the wild and oh did I mention they are the last ones remaining in the wild? Stay in stunning Eco-lodge with spectacular views, rewarding game drives in the tropical savannas teaming with numerous wildlife among which are some of Africa’s big five, prolific displays of bird life include the Albertine rift endemics, water birds on the numerous lakes rivers, springs and swamps that characterize the countries and not forgetting spectacular boat rides that are highly rewarding with both bird and animal life. Come on lets traverse the hills and mountains ,valleys, forest, sparkling lakes and rivers, golden savanna lands and the swamps among other places to experience the glorious splendor of birds and animals that have for long remained a well kept secret. See you there with our friendly passionate and local guides.
This day you arrive at Entebbe international airport where you will be met by a Journeys Uganda Safari guide who will lead you through the Apes and Aves Uganda- Rwanda Safari. Depending on your time of arrival he may brief you about your safari there after transfer you to the lodge for check in. We shall check in at Cassia Lodge or papyrus guest house. BB
After breakfast we shall transfer to Kibale National Park the haven of primates in Uganda. The journey is averagely on a paved road, through a variety of habitats that includes forests, savannahs, wetlands, and gardens, that all result in beautiful sceneries and sightings, before stopping en-route for lunch, expect primates like the Varvet, Blue, Red Colobus and Colobus Guerreza, olive baboon is common as we approach Fort Portl through Kibale forest- Sebitoli area, rich birding here with probable sightings of the White Headed Wood Hopoe, Joyful Greenbul, Yellow Spotted, Yellow Billed, Hairy Breasted and Grey Throated Barbet, Pink-footed Puffback, Dusky and Olive Long Tailed Cuckoo, Black Billed Turaco, Golden Crowned Wood-pecker, Red Headed Malimbe, Luhdur’s Bush shrike, White Breasted Nigrofinc, keep eyed open in the skies as we might see the Cassin’s and Crowned Hawk Eagle, Later on we continue to the primate arcade where we check in at Chimpanzee Guest House. FB
Kibale is home to 13 species of primates and there besides our close cousins, the chimpanzees, there are other primates likely to be encountered in the due course of our hike through the forest. These include: red colobus, L’hoest’s, Black-and-white colobus, red tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mongabey and other primate species. Birding in the forest is also very rewarding and you could encounter White-naped Pigeon, African Gray Parrot, Black Bee-eater, Hairy-breasted, Yellow Spotted and Yellow Billed Barbet, Chestnut-winged, Purple-headed, Waller’s and Narrow Tailed Starlings, Blue-throated Brown and Superb Sunbirds, White-collared Olive back among others, the greatest ave to look out for today will be the Green Breasted Pitta!! We later drive back to our lodge for dinner and overnight stay. Dinner and overnight at Chimpanzee Guesthouse. FB
This morning, after breakfast we transfer to the second largest national park of Uganda birding as we drive towards the shores of Lake Edward. We check in to Lodge then head for an evening game drives looking for numerous birds that inhabit the surrounding shrub and lakeshore like the African Hopoe, Green Winged Pytilia, African Golden Breasted Bunting and later in this drive we look out for the Black Shouldered, Swamp, Square Tailed and Pennant-winged Nightjars back to Simba Safari Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.for species like the long crested eagle, Brown and Banded Snake Eagle, among other species. This day we cross the equator line before getting into Queen Elizabeth National Park.Here we shall be in the western arm of the Albertine Rift Valley where we shall do a Crater Lake drive before checking in to our lodge. Dinner and overnight at Marafiki Lodge. FB
This morning after a cup of coffee we drive to Kasenyi sector for a game drive searching for animals like buffaloes, kobs, waterbucks, warthogs and on lucky days cats like lions, leopards, hyenas among others. We then get back to the hotel for breakfast as we prepare for an afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga Channel. The channel stretches about 40 kms joining two lakes George and Edward which lie of the floor of the great East African Rift Valley and one being a Ramsar site. Dinner and overnight at Marafiki Lodge. FB
today after breakfast we shall transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable forest the home of the gorillas. We shall carry a packed lunch as the drive is through Queen Elizabeth National Park and there are lots of amazing wildlife encounters all leading us to the Ishasha sector where we shall be searching for the famous tree climbing lions a characteristic common in the lions here after they feed or when it gets hot on the ground and there are lots of biting insects and ants . Birding today will expose us to many savanna rarities and the sky is a big habitat today for eagles like Tawny and Martial, Banded and Brown Snake Eagles, Plain Backed and Grassland Pipit, Yellow Throated Long-Claw, White Backed, Ruppel’s Griffon and Lappet Faced Vultures among others Dinner and Overnight stay at Gorilla Mist Camp or Buhoma Community Bandas. FB
Whole day here after breakfast will be gorilla tracking. With a packed lunch, we shall assemble at the briefing point to get the dos and don’ts while gorilla tracking and understanding more about these great apes an their habitat before we interface with them. The trekking lasts from 2 hours depending on the luck of the day searching for these close relatives, once found, you will spend 1 complete hour almost in a dream but it is a real experience, we shall later retreat and leave the gorillas in their safe haven and heat back to our starting point. Not all make it there, there will be a congratulatory message after the tracking then we later get to our lodge where we shall spend our night and have dinner. Dinner and Overnight stay at Gorilla Mist Camp or Buhoma Community Bandas. FB
Assuming we spent the night Ruhija, we shall start early birding to Mubwindi swamp majorly searching for the Albertine Rift Endemics with a key focus on the African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Collard Apalis, Stripe Breasted Tit, Strange Weaver, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike, Purple Breasted, Regal and Blue Headed Sunbird among others. The Cassin’s Hawk Eagle and Mountain Buzzard and high on our list today, keep your eyes out whenever there is an open sky. We later get back to our lodge for dinner and overnight stay. FB
We start early on this day for more forest species we might have missed the previous day as we transfer to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, there are lots of secret birding spots known by your guide before you get out of the forest and you will be looking out for the Bar Tailed Tragon, Barred Long Tailed Cuckoo, Doharty’s Bush-Shrike, Black Billed Weaver, Sharpe’s Starling, Black Headed Waxbill and further up the road, cultivated areas provide feeding opportunities for many seed eaters like the Streaky and Thick-billed, African Citril and Cape Canary. We have many chance of seeing primates like the I’heost’s, Red Tailed, Blue and the Black and White Colobus Monkey the Noisy Chubb’s Cisticolas will mock us from deep within the bracken all way to Rwanda.
There are so many special birds at these elevations that we do not want to rush through, we continue with our drive through the Kanab gap. A good marsh area holds Common and Lesser Moorhen, Hotentot Teal, African Rail. There are enjoyable views of the scenery referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Africa. We shall cross the border and checkin at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Gorilla Hotel in Musanze. FB
Early this day we get to Volcanoes National Park to go for Golden Monkey tracking and later get back to our hotel for relaxation as we prepare for a visit to the cultural site at Iby’wachu village. Dinner and overnight Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Gorilla Hotel in Musanze. FB
We transfer to Kigali the capital of Rwanda, visit the genocide museum and local markets for our last shopping before getting to Kigali International airport for your flight back home.