Thousand Hills Safari

Destination: Rwanda

11 Feb, 2023

12 days remaining

This combined cross-country itinerary between Uganda and Rwanda gives you the opportunity to discover the Western Circuit of the Albertine Rift Valley of Uganda, following in Rwanda to Volcanoes National Park, Lake Kivu, and Nyungwe Forest National Park. We include in the group program the following activities: eco-tourism trekking of the chimpanzees in Kibale and Nyungwe; the eco-tourism gorilla trekking in Uganda; a choice of walk-in Volcanoes National Park. The activities on Lake Kivu are optional.


Day 1
Entebbe

On your arrival at Entebbe Intern. Airport in Uganda our representative will welcome you and transfer for overnight in BB in Entebbe at 

Overnight at: 2Friends Beach Hotel / Boma Hotel / Lake Heights Hotel. BB

Full Board. After breakfast your adventure in Uganda will begin driving northwest to Masindi and Murchison Falls National Park. First activity along the journey is the nature walk in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, the rhinos breeding project which has brought back to Uganda the endangered white rhinos and you will see them closely while walking freely.

Lunch at a restaurant. Proceed to Murchison Falls, the largest national park in Uganda, that offers beautiful sceneries of grassland acacia and palm trees savannah in the north and tropical forests in the south. You reach the river Nile at the beautiful Murchison Falls and you will have a view from the “top of the falls”. Before evening you check in to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

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Note: Today transfer is about 6 hours drive, part of it through dirt road within the park for a distance of about 350 km.

Overnight at: Twiga Safari Lodge / Pakuba Lodge / Bamboo Village Lodge.

Full Board. Early breakfast, you will depart for an early morning game drive using our safari vehicle to explore the savannah, in the region of the delta of the Nile on Lake Albert, Northern bank. Among other animals in the wild, you might find elephants, lions, buffalos, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, spotted hyenas and, very rarely, the leopards. Relax as you drive back to the lodge where you will have lunch.

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In the afternoon, another safari will be organized by boat along the river Nile to the base of the Murchison Falls. It is amazing the concentration of wildlife in the bank of the river Nile, including hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird’s species, like African eagles, pelicans, kingfisher, Egyptian geese and much more.

Overnight at: Lodge / Pakuba Lodge / Bamboo Village Lodge.

After breakfast you leave the National Park proceeding southwest along the Lake Albert and Rift Valley escarpment, which offers a lot of sceneries and view points. You pass via Hoima the capital town of Bunyoro kingdom and through tea, banana, coffee and cocoa plantations. Lunch en route in Bugoma forest at Bugoma Jungle Lodge where we also organize a short nature walk to appreciate this authentic site.

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By evening you reach Fort Portal, the capital town of Tooro kingdom on the shadow of Rwenzori Mountains, the biggest mountain range in Africa.

Overnight at: Turaco Tree Top Lodge / Chimpanzee Forest Guest House / Isunga Lodge / Kibale Guest Cottages.

Full Board. With early breakfast, set off for the chimpanzee tracking experience in the forest of Kibale. The activity starts as early as 8am or in the afternoon with a briefing from the head park ranger. Hot lunch at the lodge and afterwards take the activity visiting the eco-tourist site of Bigodi for community walk where you get closer to the inhabitant of the area surrounding the forest, meeting some of them and learning about history, traditions and customs. This experience is possible though the organization KAFRED, which provides local guides. It is also possible to plant a tree at the tree planting site under the project “One traveler, one tree, one forest”.

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In the evening transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park for dinner and overnight 

Full Board. In the early morning, after breakfast, long game drive along the tracks of the national park, in the Northern sectors and towards Lake George and Kasenyi village, using our safari vehicle. You might see lions, elephants, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, waterbucks, Ugandan kobs, perhaps the leopard though is shy and rare to be seen.

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Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, from Mweya peninsula you take the exciting safari by boat along Kazinga channel, one of the most popular sites in Uganda for its concentration of wildlife, bird’s life and opportunities for good photographs. Moreover, you will see plenty of hippos, buffaloes and elephants while drinking from the channel. By evening, there is a short transfer to the south of Queen Elizabeth Park in the Ishasha sector.

Overnight at: Ishasha Jungle lodge.

Full Board. After breakfast, morning game drive in the area of Ishasha which is famed with the tendency of lions climbing up in the acacia trees. After early lunch at the lodge, you leave the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth and proceed further south towards the area famed for its stunning dramatic beauty bearing one of Africa’s deepest Lakes. With the many islands on the lake and a chance to discover the indigenous tribe of ‘Twa’ by boat trip, Lake Bunyonyi offers the peace and tranquility of a dreamer’s heaven Lunch en route. You reach by evening the Lake Bunyonyi after Kabale town.

Overnight at: Arcadia Cottages Bunyonyi / Bunyonyi Safari Resort.

Full Board. After breakfast, you will enjoy one of the most extraordinary wildlife and birding experience by boat crossing the Lake Bunyonyi. With its forested and green islands, the lake is home to species of endemic birds and the guide will help you to spot many of them. Lunch at the lodge.

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In the afternoon, the journey proceeds to the area of Bwindi Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla NP. 

Overnight at: Ichumbi Lodge / Lake Mulehe Bwindi Lodge.

Full Board. After breakfast, in the morning you will have the top primates’ travel experience: the gorilla trekking in the forest in search for one of the habituated families of mountain gorillas. After the briefing from the park rangers, you follow them as they guide you through the forest’s trails. Bring with you water and packed lunch. It is not predictable the time you will spend to find the gorillas. You have one hour for observing the primates and their behaviors, while taking photographs.

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By evening, cross the border of Rwanda from Cyanika.

Overnight at: Da Vinci Lodge / Le Bamboo Gorilla Lodge.

Full Board. This morning after breakfast we organize one trekking in Volcanoes National Park. This activity can be a choice between visiting the tombs of Dian Fossey and the mountain gorillas at the Old Karisoke Center on Mount Visoke; or taking the golden monkey trekking to see this endemic endangered primate. Both activities ought to be booked in advance. Any of the activities booked starts at 7am with a briefing from the head park warden of RDB. Take caution to carry drinking water and a packed lunch box.

After the trekking, if time allows, we recommend visiting one of the ecotourism projects in the local communities, including the Iby'Iwacu Cultural Village (Gorilla Guardians) in Kinigi, a way to see people's lives, traditions and customs more closely and also to be able to attend the Intore dances.

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Later in the afternoon, the journey continues to Kibuye in the direction of South Western Rwanda along the road on the shores of Lake Kivu. 

Overnight at: Rwiza Village Hotel.

Full Board. After breakfast, optional activities on Lake Kivu: Kayaking on the Lake, Boat cruise to the Napoleon Island, half day cycling tour along Lake Kivu. All optional activities can be booked privately or in group and booked in advance.

Lunch in Kibuye. By afternoon you leave Kibuye in the direction to Cyangugu, on the Southern coast of the lake. The small town is the gateway to Nyungwe Forest National Park.

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Note: Any optional activity ought to be booked in advance at a supplement. Today transfer can be up to 3 hours’ drive.

Overnight at: Emeraude Lake Kivu Resort.

Full Board. With packed breakfast, at 6 am you enter Nyungwe forest for the trekking to see the chimpanzees and other primates like the beautiful Angolan colobus. The park is spread for over 970 sq km of green hills, the largest uncontaminated piece of tropical forest in Eastern Africa. Nyungwe hosts 13 species of primates, including the chimpanzee, the Rwenzori colobus, the Hoest Monkey, the silver monkey, owl faced monkey, red tailed monkey, velvet monkey and olive baboon. Ensure you carry with you water and picnic breakfast. Hot lunch at the lodge and afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight at Emeraude Lake Kivu Resort.

Half Board. After breakfast you will drive to Kigali. Lunch in Butare, the second town in Rwanda, considered the cultural capital, hosting the university and the National Museum. Very rewarding are the handicraft shops where are sold typical products made by Rwandan artisans, especially in the weaving and baskets. As you proceed, a stop over is made in Nyanza, that in the past was the political capital and it hosts the antique Royal palace, entirely renovated for the visitors, displaying original items and pieces of history of the Mwami, the king. Arrive in Kigali for your flights at Kigali International airport.

Note: Today's transfer can be up to 5/6 hours’ drive for 260 km. When necessary, we add one night in Kigali with the corresponding supplement.

 

POSSIBLE EXTENSION:

Akagera National Park 2 days 1 night

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Note: The extension to Akagera National Park requires a pre-night in Kigali on day 13 with a supplement.

Full Board. After breakfast, depart eastwards to Akagera National Park. With 1085 square km of protected area, the park is named after the river Akagera which marks the border between Rwanda and Tanzania. This is a vast savannah, also characterised by the presence of important lakes, like Lake Ihema the biggest, Lake Hago and Kivumba. From 2010 many developments took place in the park, including the fencing of some areas and the reintroduction of lions. Today Akagera NP has become a positive example in Africa of good management of natural resources, also with attention to benefit local communities out of conservation practices. 

After lunch at the lodge, we arrange a boat trip on the Lake Ihema, a very rewarding experience to see animals like the large number of hippos, the huge Nile crocodile and many water birds. Dinner and overnight at Mantis Akagera Game Lodge (supplement for Ruzizi Tented Lodge) with view on the Lake Ihema.

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Note: The distance is about 3 hours drive for about 120 km.

Half Board. Early morning depart for game drive along the trails of Akagera National Park. Among the game present in the park, there are the Burchell's Zebra, elephants, topi, giraffes, impalas, and buffaloes. Lunch and in the afternoon drive back to Kigali. Transfer to Kigali Airport.

Please contact us to get flight itinerary for this package.


The price includes:

  • ‘Akagera’ Aviation Emergency Evacuation while in Rwanda
  • One trekking in Volcanoes National Park
  • Entrance fees, taxes
  • Boat excursions
  • Gorilla permit in Uganda
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest NP and Nyungwe NP
  • English speaking Driver/Guide
  • Ground transportation by 4x4 tourist Land Cruiser
  • Full board accommodation excluding drinks
  • Airport transfers
Next tour dates
  • 11 Feb 2023 12 days
  • 11 Mar 2023 40 days
  • 22 Apr 2023 82 days
  • 13 May 2023 103 days
  • 10 Jun 2023 131 days
  • 23 Jun 2023 144 days
  • 01 Jul 2023 152 days
  • 15 Jul 2023 166 days
  • 05 Aug 2023 187 days
  • 12 Aug 2023 194 days
  • 09 Sep 2023 222 days
  • 14 Oct 2023 257 days
  • 11 Nov 2023 285 days
  • 09 Dec 2023 313 days
  • 30 Dec 2023 334 days



Accomodation

Sanctuary

Lake Heights

Boma Hotel