17 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari (Mount Rwenzori, Bwindi, Queen & Volcanoes)
17 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari is one of the most incredible tours to do on your Uganda Rwanda Gorilla tours. Mountain Rwenzori hiking safaris takes you to hike Africa’s third highest point – Margarita peak. Mount Rwenzori national park is one of Uganda’s national parks with the most fascinating and unique attraction as it is the only place in Uganda to find snow. It is also known as “The Mountain of the Moon” with a peak at about 5,109 meters above sea level. Mount Rwenzori is blesses with a wide range of flora and fauna as you climb all the way through different vegetation zones with plenty of giant lobelias, flowers, tress, bamboo forest and some montane cloud forests and other vegetation. Climb through meandering rivers and valleys, creating a significant Rwenzori hiking experience. Hiking Rwenzori Mountain is a worldwide opportunity to see nature at its best. Rwenzori hike to the central circuit tour takes 6-8 days trek on the Rwenzori Mountain on Uganda mountain climbing adventure.
Your 17 Days safari is also blended with wildlife and primates experience featuring visit to Queen Elizabeth national park, second largest national park in Uganda and home to the climbing lions in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth national park is located on the Leeward side of Mount Rwenzori making the moisture and the wind dry. The park is blessed with about 93 different animal species and 900 registered bird species. It is also close to the Kazinga channel that connects the 2 lakes of George and Edward.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is one of Uganda’s oldest national park with diverse rainforest of over 25,000 years ago and contains about 400 plant species. Bwindi Impenetrable national park inhabits half of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas in the world and it is divided into 4 sectors including; Buhoma sector which is the oldest trekking sector, Rushaga sector which has the largest number of gorilla families, Ruhija sector and finally Nkuringo sector. Bwindi forest also shelters some species of mammals including the forest elephants and the different species of antelopes. The park is also rich with different bird species including Albertine Rift endemics.
Volcanoes national park is Rwanda’s home for the endangered mountain gorillas. The park is located on Virunga Mountains shared with Uganda and Congo. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park is different from other parks because it is quite easier to find the gorillas even with the steep hills of Virunga Mountains. There are about 10 habituated gorilla families for visitors to see. Apart from gorilla trekking, Volcanoes national park is also a home to the endangered golden monkeys and other primates, a few of the forest animals, about 200 different bird species and a Mountain hiking destination. Your Uganda Rwanda Safari will end in Kigali City of Rwanda which is known to be one of the best cities in Africa with great scenic views and organisation.
Highlights of the 17 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari
- Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe airport – Kampala
- Day 2: Transfer to Kasese – Mount Rwenzori national Park (Appx. 9 hours)
- Day 3: Climb – to Nyabitaba through Bakonjo homestead:
- Day 4: John Matte hut
- Day 5: Bujuku Hut
- Day 6: Mount Stanley
- Day 7: summit Margherita;
- Day 8: Climb Mt Stanley to Guy Yeoman Hut
- Day 9: Climb Nyabitaba
- Day 10: Nyabitaba to Nyakalengija
- Day 11: Lion tracking/morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise
- Day 12: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
- Day 13: Gorilla trekking experience
- Day 14: Transfer to Musanze – Volcanoes national park)
- Day 15: Golden monkey tracking – Community tour
- Day 16: Transfer to Kigali city
- Day 17: Departure
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe airport – Kampala
Upon arrival at Entebbe international airport, meet your safari who will be with you throughout the whole safari. Meet and greet then transfer to your booked hotel in Kampala city. Depending on your time of arrival, you will get time to explore Kampala city visiting some of the main Kampala attractions like the Gadaffi mosque, Art and craft markets, Uganda Museum, Uganda Independence monument to mention a few. Dinner will be served at your hotel stay at
- Luxury accommodation: Kampala Serena Hotel/Sheraton Hotel
- Mid-range accommodation: Fairway Hotel/Skyz Hotel Nakuru
- Budget accommodation: Forest Cottages
Day 2: Transfer to Kasese – Mount Rwenzori national Park
After breakfast at your hotel, check-out of the hotel and embark on your journey to Kasese district, home of the Rwenzori Mountain ranges in Uganda. It’s a 8-9 hours’ drive via Mubende – Fort portal highway with en-route lunch break and visit the crater lakes in Fort portal town before you proceed to Kasese which is about 2-3 hours from Fort portal town. Upon arrival in Kasese town, continue to your booked accommodation for dinner and overnight stay with scenic views of the Rwenzori mountain ranges.
- Budget option: Springs International Hotel
- Mid-range option: Magherita hotel
- Luxury option: Equator Snow lodge
Day 3: Climb – to Nyabitaba (2,650 meters) through Bakonjo homestead:
Have breakfast and then drive to Nyakalengija trailhead (1600m) where you will start hiking up to Nyabitaba hut; walking through the banana sambas on the side of the steep foothills, past the typical Bakonjo homesteads! Follow the trail along the Mubuku River, through landslides and up and down rocks and bluffs, Cross the Mahoma River and climb steeply through break fern slopes and podocarpus forest to Nyabitaba Hut for overnight.
Day 4: John Matte hut (3,350 meters)
From Nyabitaba follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From the Nyamileju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. You will reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for Dinner and Overnight at the Hut.
Day 5: Bujuku Hut
After John Matte Hut, the trail drops to cross the Bujuku River. The upper Bigo Bog gives way to Bujuku Lake, with views of Mt Baker to the South and Mt Stanley to the west. Bujuku Hut, well located in the shadow of Mount Baker and Mount Speke, is set in a narrow valley below Steinmann pass.
Day 6: Mount Stanley
Leaving Bujuku, the trail climbs the steep slopes west of the lake, passing through the magical Groundsels Gully as it ascends to Scott-Elliot Pass at 4372m. At the head of the gully a metal ladder takes you over a steep section after which the trail splits into two. The right leads up to Elena Hut and Mount Stanley on a steep trail over large boulders. The left path leads to Scott. Elliot passes and down to Kitandara Lakes.
Day 7: Summit Margherita – 5,109 meters
When climbing Margherita peak , continue to the base of the Stanley Glacier. It can be a four to seven hour walk to the summit of Margherita. It is only for the physically fit and is a technical climb which requires roping up, crampons and appropriate equipment for cold, windy and icy conditions. It is best to attempt the final climb in a minimum group of 4- two climbers and two guides; climb on to the glacier, cross the Stanly Plateau and proceed with the ascent. Returning to Scott- Elliot pass, descend to the Kitandara Hut for overnight, past the Kitandara Lakes.
Day 8: Climb Mount Stanley to Guy Yeoman Hut – 3,260 meter
From Kitandara, the trail ascends steeply up the headwall, spreading out from the base of Mount Baker and continuing along the south side of the mountain to Fresh field pass. From the pass, the long muddy descent continues, passing the rock shelter at Bujangolo, the base camp for the historic expedition by the Duke of Abruzzi in 1906.
Day 9: Climb Nyabitaba -2,650 meters
The path down can be slippery and muddy with little to hold on to and requires careful balancing over the vertical mud or steep rock. An overnight stop at the Nyabiaba Hut
Day 10: Climb Nyakalengija – Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park
Descend Nyabitaba and continue via Nyakalengija taking about 3 hours. At Nyabitaba start the 40 minutes trial to see Lake Mamoha and back to the hut for descending to the Park headquarter. Upon reaching the park headquarters, meet your safari guide and transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park. It’s about 2 hours’ drive from Mount Rwenzori national park. When you reach your booked lodge, check-in, have lunch and relax for the rest of the day with excellent views of the mountain. Dinner and overnight at
- Budget option: Pumba Safari lodge
- Mid-range option: Parkview Safari lodge
- Luxury option: Mweya Safari lodge
Day 11: Lion tracking/morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise
You will wake up early, have breakfast and transfer for your lion tracking experience, this activity is only done in Queen Elizabeth national park, where visitors are guaranteed of viewing lions. Also enjoy an en-route game drive with expectation of seeing more animals including antelopes, warthogs and white Colobus monkeys just to mention a few.
In the afternoon after lunch, you will go for a launch cruise along Kazinga channel where you will get an opportunity to see a number of bird species, elephants and buffaloes, hippos and crocodiles at the lake shores. Return to the lodge and relax, dinner and overnight
Day 12: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
After breakfast, check-out of the lodge and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park. It’s a 5-7 hours’ drive depending on your gorilla trekking sector with en-route lunch. Drive via Ishasha sector for chances of seeing the tree climbing lions as your proceed to Bwindi park. Check-in your lodge for dinner and overnight stay at
- Budget option: Buhoma Community Rest Camp
- Mid-range option: Buhoma Haven lodge
- Luxury option: Buhoma Lodge
Day 13: Gorilla trekking experience
After an early morning breakfast, drive to the park headquarters at 7 :00 am for briefing about the park and its habitants and also you will be advised on your expectations during trekking and be allocated a gorilla family to trek. Bwindi impenetrable national park has the world’s largest population of the mountain gorillas with four different sectors with each having more than three gorilla families. After briefing, drive to the starting point of the trek and enter the forest with your provided armed range guides to search for the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking may take about 2- 8 hours depending on the movement of the gorilla up and down the hilly jungle, and on meeting them, stay with the gorillas for a maximum of one hour, before you descend back to the starting point where your driver will be waiting for you to return and relax at the lodge for dinner and overnight stay
Day 14: Cross to Rwanda – Musanze to Volcanoes national park
Meet your driver after breakfast and embark on your journey to cross to Rwanda, Musanze home of Volcanoes national park. Have en-route lunch in Kisoro town before entering Rwanda via Cyanika border. Musanze is about 3 hours’ drive from Kisoro town in Uganda close to the border with exciting views of the Virunga Mountains. Volcanoes national park is located on Virunga Mountains that are shared in Uganda and Congo and it is where we find the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in Rwanda. Have Proceed to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay at
- Luxury option; Bisate Lodge/Sabinyo Safari lodge
- Mid-range option; Le Bambou Gorilla lodge
- Budget option: Hotel Muhabura
Day 15: Golden monkey tracking – Community tour
After breakfast, transfer to the park headquarters for briefing about the golden monkeys. Volcanoes national park is also a home to the fascinating Golden monkeys, the park shares boarders with Virunga national park in Congo; it also has the most scenic as it stands at 3 volcanoes of Muhavura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo. Later you will begin hiking over the volcanic terrains in search of the monkeys in the bamboo forest. It may take you 2-6 hours to find them depending on their location and you will be given 1 hour to spend with them while taking pictures before to return to your lodge for lunch.
Later afternoon, visit the Ibya cuwa community village for a cultural experience of the Banyarwanda. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above
Day 16: Transfer to Kigali city
After breakfast, meet your safari guides and transfer to Kigali city. It’s a 2-3 hours’ drive from Volcanoes national park to Kigali city. Upon arrival, have lunch and later enjoy Kigali city tour visiting the Kigali genocide memorial site, Kimoronko market and other interesting sites as advised by your guide. Dinner and overnight stay at
- Budget option: Step Town Motel
- Mid-range option: Des Mille Collins Hotel
- Luxury option: Marriot Serena Hotel
Day 17: Departure
Depending on your departure flight schedule, wake up at leisure, have breakfast and check-out of the hotel to be dropped off at Kigali international airport for your onward flight back home.
End of the 17 Days Uganda Rwanda Safari