Day 1: Arrival Entebbe. Entebbe and Ngamba Chimpanzee Island. Arrive Entebbe International Airport at night with British Airways, met by our smiling guide and transfer to check-in and overnight Boma Guest Hotel on a Bed and Breakfast basis.
Day 2: Ngamba Chimpanzee Island. Receive briefing and finalize arrangements for visiting the island with JGI management at their offices in Entebbe. Boat from Entebbe pier to Ngamba Island. Watch the feeding of the chimpanzees. Time permitting walk to a neighboring village or bird watching. Approximate cruising time: 45 minutes for fast boat; 1½ hours for traditional boat. This tour visits Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary on Lake Victoria.
Situated 23 km off shore from Entebbe, the Sanctuary was set up by a group of concerned organizations including Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and Jane Goodall Institute among others, to offer a facility for now over 33 orphaned chimpanzees to co-habitat in a near natural environment. From Entebbe there are regular trips to the Chimp Island. Traveling is 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 dependent 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 and Breakfast basis.
Day 3: Kampala City Tour. Kampala, the capital of Uganda, is spread over a number of green hills and takes its name from Kasozi k'impala, "the hill of antelopes". The city grew around the court of the Kabaka (king) of Buganda with British colonial officials settling on adjoining hills. It is a charming green city, with its many gardens and attractive views of the surrounding countryside and Lake Victoria. There is a wide range of hotels and restaurants. The Kasubi Tombs - the traditional royal tombs of the Kabakas of Buganda - are a fine example of Ganda architecture.
Then there are the colourful 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. Other interesting places include: The Bahai Temple - the only one in Africa; and Kabaka's man-made Lake in Rubaga. Barkcloth, basketware, pottery, gourds, kikoi cloth, carving, traditional weapons and musical instruments are some of the souvenirs available for purchase.
Excursion Itinerary: The Parliament, the museum and buildings of different religious faiths, the Namugongo Martyrs' Shrine, the colourful markets, Bahai Temple and the Kasubi tombs are the main places of interest. Traditional crafts can be bought. There is a wide range of hotels, restaurants and leisure centres. Overnight Bougainviller Hotel or Hotel Africana in Kampala.
Day 4: 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.
The highlight of the park is the Murchison Falls, where the 50 metre wide Nile is forced through a narrow cleft in the rocks, dropping down with a thundering roar and a beautiful rainbow. The three-hour launch trip to the bottom of the Falls is unforgettable, both to experience this mighty river and to see the wildlife and birds that bask on its banks. Experience the mighty River Nile thundering down a narrow opening go in search of the park's big game and birds. Overnight Fort Murchison on a Full Board basis.
Day 5: Murchison Falls National Park. An early morning game viewing north of the Nile. 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. Overnight Fort Murchison on a Full Board basis.
Day 6: Murchison to Kibale. Take the long drive to Fort Portal, through Hoima with Lake Albert in the distance. Drive past green fields and tea plantations scattered across the region. Reach Kibale late. Approximate driving time: 9 hour(s). Overnight at Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse on a Full Board basis.
Day 7: Crater Lakes in Kibale and Chimpanzee Visits. 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. Bird life is also fabulous, with over 300 species recorded in the forest. An afternoon walk in Bigodi wetland gives the opportunity of seeing the unusual birds, baboons, chimps and other primates which live around the swamp. Visit crater lakes. Overnight at Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse on a Full Board basis.
Day 8: Semliki and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Early morning depart for Semliki National Park. Visit the hot springs and do a game safari in the park. Lunch at Semliki Lodge. In the afternoon, leave for Mweya in Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing via the Rwenzoris, or Mountains of The Moon as they are sometimes called. The magnificent Queen Elizabeth National Park, in the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley, is centred around Lake Edward, Lake George and the Kazinga channel, a waterway linking the two lakes rich in wildlife and birds. The Rwenzori mountains act as a stunning backdrop.
The park's vegetation varies from semi-deciduous tropical forest to green meadows, savannah, crater lakes and swamps. 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. The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel is rich in game, especially hippo, buffalo, elephant and a vast array of birds. 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. Overnight at Simba Safari Camp on a Full Board basis.
Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park. Early morning game drive. A boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel is a rewarding experience. Evening game drive. Overnight at Simba Safari Camp on a Full Board basis.
Day 10: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kisoro. 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 day's gorilla visit. Dinner and overnight at the Travellers Rest Hotel Kisoro on a Full Board basis.
Day 11: Gorilla Tracking in Congo. Early transfer 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 on a full board basis.
Day 12: Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda. Transfer to Kinigi in Rwanda via Cyanika boarder. Finalise boarder clearance arrangements to Rwanda (note: Clocks backwards one hour) Drive the one hour to Ruhengeri. Enjoy the rolling hills for which Rwanda is well known. Approximate driving time: 2 hours. Overnight at the Gorilla Volcanoes Hotel (FB).
Day 13: Second Gorilla Trek, Drive to Gisenyi. In Parc National des Volcans: Go gorilla tracking (on payment of US$500 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 on a Full Board basis.
Day 14: Nyiragongo Volcano, Congo. After breakfast, either drive to, or you will have an enjoyable speed-boat trip to Idjwi Island in Congo for a morning visit (on payment of $200 supplement per person). The trip is not only an encounter with local people; fishermen, fishing villages but also with the residents of Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets. Idjwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 40 km in length and with an area of 285 km², it is believed to be the largest inland island in Africa, and the eighth largest in the world.
Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometres separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island's southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometre from a promontory of the Rwandan coast. Or 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. Overnight at Stipp Hotel or Serena Kivu Sun on a Full Board basis.
Day 15: Kigali City Tour. 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 centre and a genocide memorial. Approximate driving time: 4 hours. O/N Chez Lando Hotel (BB).
Day 16: 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. Overnight Shalom House on a Full Board basis.
Day 17: Bujumbura. Leave for Bujumbura I Burundi, via Kanyuru boarder. Arrive in time for Half day tours in Bujumbura, to visit the Snake and 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 on a Bed and Breakfast basis.
Day 18: Kibira National Park, Burundi. Visit Kibira Forest National Park, for a guided nature walk in this park of few animals species. Time permitting, visit the Explorers Memorial, a huge rock in the Suburbs of Bujumbura commemorating the meeting between explorers Livingston Stanley in 1871. Dinner and overnight at Club du Lac Tanganyika Hotel on a Bed & Breakfast basis.
Day 19: Fly out. Half day tours in Bujumbura as on Day 17 above (if City tour was not done on Day 17). Transfer to airport in time for check-in for your flight.
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