14 Days Burundi Rwanda – Uganda Cultural & Wildlife Safari

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Overview

This 14 Days Burundi Rwanda – Uganda Cultural & Wildlife safari is a Safari covering the 4 great lakes region will take you to Congo Kahuzi Biega National Park (Part of Congo which is safe and easily accessible from Kigali) where you will see the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Rwanda for Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys and Uganda for Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and the Big 5 animals.


Highlights

  • Visit Bujumbura – The Heart of Burundi
  • Visit the Karera Water Fall, Source du Nil, Gitega and the Gishora Drummers
  • Visit the Dr. Livingstone Site and the Pygmies
  • Canopy and Forest walks
  • Visit the Murambi Genocide Memorial
  • Kigali City Tour
  • Primates Trekking

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Bujumbura Airport, city tour – Transfer to your Hotel.

Our English/French-speaking guide will meet you at Bujumbura airport to start the 14 Days Burundi Rwanda – Uganda Cultural & Wildlife Tour

Greetings – short briefing about your Tour and start a short tour of Bujumbura which will include the visit to the mausoleum of Prince Louis Rwagasore a hero of independence of Burundi. We continue our way to visit the reptile park, Musee Vivante, The Buyenzi Muslim quarter, the Islam Culture Centre, City Hall, President’s Office, the Lake Tanganyika and its surroundings. We later climb to the Belvedere on top of the hill, a dominating point of Bujumbura offering a unique view over Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika. After the tour you will be transferred to your Hotel for check in, dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika  or Star Hotel Bujumbura

 

Day 2: Travel to visit the Karera Water Fall, Source du Nil, Gitega and the Gishora Drummers

In the morning, you will be picked from the hotel after breakfast, and drive off to the Source of Nile, and then Karera waterfalls. On our route, magnificent tea plantations and landscapes will make you carry your camera ready for pictures. After karera waterfalls, drive to Gitega, the second town and colonial capital of Burundi. Visit of Gitega National Museum with its collection of artefacts, Gitega city administrative offices,Catholic location of Mushasha.

In late afternoon you will enjoy the drummers at Gishora before you head to your Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Gishora drummers is one of the famous drum sites of Burundi. Gishora is perched on the top of a hill at 7km from the urban centre of Gitega and at 200m of Gitega-Ngozi route.

It was founded by King Mwezi Gisabo after his victory over the rebellious chief Ntibirangwa. This site was and always remains run by a local community called ‘Abatimbo’ descending from the ancient lineage of ‘Abanyigisaka’.These specialised families were ritualists and enjoyed huge privileges from the royal court. In Burundi, the drums were the pillar of the political power of the monarchy. They were made and beaten on special occasions by specialised families called ‘Abatimbo’ in important places, announcing great events of the country like the royal enthronement, the sowing festival, the funerals of the kings and gave the rhythm of regular seasons.

The site of Gishora also houses two ritual drums that were never beaten: Ruciteme (the one for whom we clear the forest) and Murimirwa (the one for whom we cultivate). The two names are intimately linked to the farming vocation and refer clearly to the fertility, characteristic of the king. We have also ordinary drums ‘Ingendanyi’ (retinue), which the Batimbo could beat on special occasions of the country.

Overnight: Tropitel Gitega Hotel or Helene Hotel

Day 3: Transfer to Nyungwe N. Park with en route Visit the Dr. Livingstone Site and the Pygmies.

Today we travel to Nyungwe national park in Rwanda, one of the Largest mountain rain forest in East and central Africa and a home for more than 11 species of primate including the Chimpanzees. On about 15 Kilometers south of Bujumbura we will stop a bit to visit “La Pierre de Stanley et Livingstone” the commemorating stone of the place where the famous explorer Stanley uttered the infamous Dr Livingstone, I presume on meeting the legendary Scotsman. This was on the 25th November, 1871.

Arriving in the South and about to get to the Boarder near the Kibira Forest we will go to visit the pygmies’ village of Busekera which is located on the southern edge of Kibira National Park, at about 5km from the crossroads of Bugarama. This population, who in former time lived on hunting and gathering, like most pygmies in central Africa, has remarkably changed their life style in Burundi. Although they settled near the forest, they no longer wear costume made from foliages of wild trees. Their size is neither less normal than the rest of Burundians.

Arriving in Nyungwe you will check in to your Lodge for Dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (High Mid Range) Gisakura Guest House

Day 4: Optional Nature Walk in Nyungwe N. Park, Colobus Monkey, Canopy, etc..

After early breakfast report to the park reception for registration and start one of the following options:

Black and White Colobus Trekking

There are large troops of black and white colobus monkeys ( Colobus angolensis) residing in Nyungwe Forest. These primates often travel in groups of over 300 individuals. Angola Colobuses in this park are the biggest troops of this species recognized in the world! Walking through a montane rainforest and being surrounded on all levels by these active and cheeky monkeys is not to be missed.

Canopy Walkway

Is located in the middle of Igishigishi trail and is the biggest walkway in East Africa which is, at its highest point, situated at 90 above the ground, which should enable trekking tourist to gain inside of the upper tree level as well as their inhabitant such as different primate, birds and Orchids. The whole process of planning and building the canopy took at least five years during which there were mainly 25 men constantly involved in the construction process.

Forest Walks

Extensive networks if a well-maintained walking trail leads you through the forest to various waterfalls and viewing points. There are a variety of trails:

Coloured Trails – these are left over from the late 1980’s when an early attempt to develop tourism in Nyungwe was made. There are seven trails through the forest each marked by a particular colour. The trails range in length from the 1km Grey trail to the 10km Red trail. All the trails are well-maintained and offer the chance to see a diversity of primate and bird species.

Waterfall Trail – this trail takes between 3-6 hours depending on how often you stop enroute. It is a very pleasant walk through the tree-fern covered ravines, across several bubbling streams until you reach a pretty waterfall. Monkeys are often seen along the way and the steep slopes allow for good views into the canopy, making this trail a favourite among the birders as it is very rewarding for true forest interior birds, with a good chance of spotting Albertine rift endemics, such as the Rwenzori turaco.

Kamiranzoru Trail – this trail is 4km and takes about 3 hours. This trail is different from the other forest walks because it takes you through the low laying marshy areas which are rich in orchids and localised swamp associated bird species.

Bigugu Trail – this is the toughest trail and you need to be relatively fit as it leads you up the Bigugu peak. The Bigugu peak is 2,950m high and is the highest point in Nyungwe Forest, offering fantastic views of the landscape.

Overnight: Nyungwe Forest Lodge or Gisakura Guest House

Day 5: To Kigali – Visit the national Museum en route & the ancient King Palace

After a leisure morning breakfast, transfer to Kigali Via Butare. The Journey which takes about 6 ½ hrs drive. Visiting enroute, the famous National Museum at Butare and the ancient King´s Palace at Nyanza. The museum was donated in 1989 by the Belgium government with some ethnic collection, the design and concept all realized in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren; Belgium.

Ethnographic objects are grouped together according to the theme giving premium information on the daily life. Traditional ceramics and basketry are still manufactured and belong to the finest handicrafts of the region. The National Museum remained surprisingly untouched during the civil war in 1994. Have Lunch in Butare and if time allows you can also visit the Murambi Genocide Memorial and this is one of the genocide museums that really witness the true reality about the Rwandan Genocide.

Arriving in Kigali in earlier evening you will check in to your Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Overnight: The Manor Hotel

Day 6: Kigali City Tour – Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park.

After a morning breakfast you will first do the city tour of Kigali and after all, visit the Genocide memorial site; a grim reminder of senseless massacre of innocent’s live in 1994. Learn about Rwanda’s History from pre-colonial times to 1994 genocide and how Rwanda dealt with the past. We continue with our tour to see the new developments in Rwanda; the recovery has been incredible, a testament to humankind’s resilience. Later we head to visit the old Kigali, the art and crafts market, the business and administrative quarter.

After tour, we head to the Volcanoes National Park in Uganda via chanika boarder through the northwest part of Rwanda at the volcanoes. The drive is through beautiful rolling hills, awesome landscape, bypassing coffee, tea and banana plantations on a comfortable paved road and is approximately 3 hours from Kigali to your lodge. Check in to your lodge for Dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Le Bamboo Lodge

Day 7: Golden Monkey Trekking – Transfer to Bwindi National Park /Uganda

After an earlier morning breakfast at around 6:40 AM, you will report to the park ranger station ready to go for the Golden Monkey trekking.

The golden Monkey trekking are the most endangered primates with in the forest. Golden Monkey trekking is another activity you can do to enjoy the wildlife at Volcanoes national park. The Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti) is a subspecies of the “Blue Monkey” endemic to high altitude

forests of the Volcanoes National Park. They are so playful and always inquisitive about anything! They mostly live in bamboo vegetation and normally the easiest trek which takes between 1 – 2 Hours.

Golden Monkeys are very sprightly creatures, and leap from tree to tree which is really entertaining, if a little difficult to photograph! We recommend setting your camera to a fast shutter-speed to allow for low light in the dense undergrowth and to better your chances of capturing the golden monkeys on film. In the Virunga volcanoes we have 2 Habituated families of Golden Monkeys, one group comprises around 80 – 100 members and has its home at the foot of Mt Sabyinyo.

After the Golden Monkey Trekking you will be transferred to Bwindi National Park. Proceed to Uganda on your 14 Days Burundi Rwanda – Uganda Cultural & Wildlife Tour

We will make our scenic journey through the beautiful terrain of the rolling hills of Kabale and Kisoro with terraced landscape; an area referred to as the “Switzerland of Africa” heading to Bwindi via Cyanika Border.

The Journey from Volcanoes to the Bwindi national Park/Uganda takes approximately 3 – 4 hours including border crossing.

Arriving at the lodge you will check in to your Lodge for Dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Nkuringo Gorilla Camp or Chameleon Hill Lodge

Day 8: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Wake up for an early morning breakfast and at around 6:00AM, we head to the Rushaga park rangers Head quarter. Assemble at the park headquarters for your Gorilla Trek experience, briefing from the park rangers about the dos and don’ts while with the gorillas.

Today, your gorilla trek is sure to be the highlight of your tour. We will be at the ranger station by around 7:30am, where we are allocated guides and briefed before heading into the forest. We will track one of the six habituated Gorilla groups in Uganda. Move in a company of experienced ranger guides through the forest while searching for mountain gorillas. Only eight people are able to track each habituated group. Time taken while searching for these great apes, rangers between 2 to 6 hours depending on the movement of the gorilla groups as their territory can range up to 40km. The park rangers and guides will clear the way and assist you through the forest. Once the gorilla group is located you will spend an hour with them as they feed, rest and play.

Habituation of a gorilla group takes a minimum of two years, with daily visits to allow the gorilla group to tolerate human presence. It is only when the gorillas are completely comfortable with human presence that tourists are allowed to share the daily hour of contact with them.

Sitting with the mountain gorilla is one of the most amazing wildlife experiences you will ever have. A dominant male silverback can weigh over 200 kilos and is the largest living primate. He will control our meeting as well as deciding when his group will eat, sleep and move on. His females care for their young with affection and playfulness but also with discipline. They are very curious, and are capable of making over 25 different vocalizations, including chuckling and purring. Communication also includes posturing, chest beating and if all else fails – the charge! The privilege of spending an hour with this family group is an experience that will never leave you. After your hour is up, you wind your way slowly out of the forest and back to the camp to swap stories about your amazing experience.

For the gorilla trek please bring walking boots, or waterproof trainers and socks. You need to wear long pants whilst walking in the bush due to stinging nettles. Layers are best, as conditions in the tropical rain

forest can change from hot to wet and cold in an instant. Start with a long sleeved t-shirt and long pants thick socks and boots, add a fleece and rainproof jacket and you should be right for all conditions. Volcanoes National Park where the gorillas reside is a high altitude rainforest so come prepared for all conditions.

After the Gorilla trekking, you will go back to your Lodge and the reminder of your Day is at leisure.

Overnight: Nkuringo Gorilla Camp or Chameleon Hill Lodge

Day 9: Travel to Lake Bunyonyi

After a leisure morning breakfast we head to Lake Bunyoni; The scenic journey through the beautiful terrain of the rolling hills of Kabale and Kisoro with terraced landscape which is referred to as the “Switzerland of Africa”.

The journey from Bwindi to Lake Bunyonyi will take around 2 Hours and upon arrival at Bunyonyi you will check in to your lodge an after you will take village walks and Learn about the life skills of the local population, farming activities and enjoy the surroundings of the lake.

Later in the afternoon you can take a dugout canoe to discover the world of Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi means a place of small birds. You will have a chance to relax and swim if you are a good swimmer as this is one of the world’s deepest lake. It is free of Bilharzia, no crocodiles so it is a pleasant moment for swimming.

Overnight: Arcadia Cottages or Bunyonyi Overland resort

Day 10: To Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Today we drive to Queen Elizabeth through the Ishasha sector of this park to search for tree climbing lions, the Uganda Kob, elephants, etc and later we proceed to the Northern – Mweya sector of Queen Elizabeth national Park.

The Ishasha sector is notably recognized for its resident Tree climbing lions that are an exceptional attraction and one among the highlights on all safaris taken within Queen Elizabeth National park. In the southern section of this park, the Lions are now and again spotted hanging on braches of huge fig trees whereas the Uganda Kob (which are the major food to these lions) graze in the plains of the Ishasha sector.

The Ishasha sector is located near the fur most south-western rim of Queen Elizabeth National Park which is not only the most well-liked park but also the most traveled to national park within Uganda. The landscape in this section of the magnificent park is considerably different from that found in other parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Ishasha Sector within QENP is habitat to the internationally renowned tree-climbing lions which are actually unique to this very place. The males of these exceptional lions have black manes.

Visitors t that go to Queen Elizabeth National Park normally end up visiting the Mweya section of Queen Elizabeth National Park – with fewer ventures to the  south which is approximately only two hours drive

to the splendid Ishasha sector of this national Park. This region not only unveil its resident Tree- Climbing Lions but as well a great diversity of wildlife.

Overnight: Mweya Safari Lodge or Bush Lodge

Day 11: Morning Game Viewing – Afternoon Sunset Boat Cruise

Be up for breakfast at 6.30 and start the morning game drive at 7.00am. It is a good opportunity for great wildlife sightings. Drive along the Kasenyi game trails to spot lots of elephants, buffalos, warthogs, lions, antelopes, waterbucks and bushbucks. After more than three hours of great wildlife sightings return to the lodge to relax and have lunch.

After lunch you go for the two-hour boat ride on the Kazinga channel. This is the highlight of a Queen Elizabeth tour as you get chance for the best wildlife sightings at a close range. Expect to view lots hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, buffalos, elephants, and lots other animals that come to channel to cool off the afternoon heat, drink water, eat fresh grass and some to take refuge from predators. The channel also has a concentration of bird species.

After the boat ride you retire back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Mweya Safari Lodge or Bush Lodge

Day 12: To Kibale Forest National Park

After a Leisure morning breakfast we will drive around 2 and half Hours though Queen Elizabeth looking around variety wildlife on the way to Kibale crater valley also called “The Best in the West”. Arrival for Lunch and an afternoon relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Rwenzori Mountains, the legendary “Mountains of the Moon”, the Kibale Fores – an outstanding tropical rainforest environment, you’ll see sensationally beautiful crater lakes, you marvel at the magnificent kindness.

Afternoon relax and enjoying the nature of this beautiful paradise.

Kibale National park covers an area of about 795km and its acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forest.Its a habitat to many forest wildlife and among these include the primates along with chimpanzees.The forest occupies the northern as well as the central part of the park. Kibale in the northern part has a peak of about 1590m above sea level.The northern part is also well known as the wettest area with an annual rainfall of about 1700mm

Overnight: Primate Lodge or Chimps Nest Lodge

Day 13: Chimpanzee Trekking – Transfer to Kampala

You will have to wake up early in the morning, have your breakfast and report for briefing before 8 am. It will be an exciting early morning walk through Kibale forest as you search for the chimpanzees and other primates with the help of a ranger. These are a interesting animals to see, very organized and very much more like human being which is why they are called man’s closest cousins. At the park, you will see primates like l’hoestes, red colobus,blue-red tailed and gray cheeked mangabey.

After the trek, we will drive to Kampala with stopping at the Mpigi Royal drum makers en route if time permit us where you will be able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through generations. The journey from Kibale Forest to Kampala takes around 5 – 6 Hours.

You will be arriving to your Lodge in the late evening for dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Speake Hotel or Cassia Lodge

Day 14: Transfer to Entebbe – Check Out

Today is your Day for packing, shopping and get ready to be transferred to the Entebbe airport for your outbound flight.

Includes:

  • Park entries
  • Services of an English driver-guide
  • Transportation in 4×4 van customized for safari
  • Fuel for the whole round trip
  • Accommodation and meal plan as above
  • Airport transfers
  • Game drives and boat cruise to the bottom of the falls.
  • Drinking water on board.

Excludes:

  • International airfares.
  • Tips and gratitude
  • Expenses of personal nature like alcoholic drinks.
Start date1 Pax2 Pax3 Pax4 Px5 Pax6 Pax
Any date$1750$1150$933$825$760$720

Single room Supplement is USD 45.00 per person willing to stay alone in a single room.

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