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22/08/2022

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7 Days Best of Uganda & Rwanda: CHIMPS & GORILLAS

 

Day One: Entebbe– Queen Elizabeth

 

Travel time: 385km approx. 6 Hours

Activities of the Day: Arrival and transfer to Queen Elizabeth and a game drive if possible.

This morning you will be picked up by a Churchill safaris representative at the Airport in Entebbe and then transferred to Queen Elizabeth National park stopping en route to look at the Royal Drum makers, and stand on the equator, where you will be able to be in both hemispheres simultaneously.  You will continue through the verdant country side arriving at your lodge in the late afternoon.

Queen Elizabeth National Park boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game park or reserve in the world.   Uganda’s second largest National Park, the 1,978 sq km has everything from open savannah to rain forest.   Queen Elizabeth has over 100 mammal species, and an astounding 606 bird species, making it a premier safari destination. Arrive in the park in the late afternoon and if possible, go for a game drive in the early evening.

 

Accommodation options:

High end accommodation: Kyambura Game Lodge: The lodge has been built using locally sourced, environmentally friendly materials that were fitted and made by local community workmanship. Accommodation is provided in seven spacious and tastefully designed self contained grass-thatched cottages, with views to the park, running hot and cold water and a private wooden balcony perched over the rolling savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park. All cottages are located in a shrubbery surrounding which offers both environmental conservation and privacy for our guests. We have a swimming pool adjacent to the campfire where a local traditional dance is often performed by the Banyaruguru troupe.

 

Mid range accommodation: Kasenyi Safari Camp is strategically located on the rim of Lake Bunyampaka in the Kasenyi savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The camp has a thatched dining, four spacious en-suite tents with private decks and canopy roofs. Many animals like the Lion prides, hippo, leopard, buffalo, elephant, waterbuck, Kob, hyena & wart hog frequent the camp during day & at night. The sounds of howling hyenas & roaring lions will make your night come alive.

 It is ideal for game drives, chimp tracking, boat cruise on the Kazinga channel, nature walks and cultural tours
http://www.hammerkop.com/kasenyi.php

Meal plan: Full board


Day Two: Queen Elizabeth National park.

 

Activities of the day: Chimpanzee tracking and optional boat trip on kazinga channel.
In morning after breakfast, you will head for Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura gorge which will occupy your entire morning.

In the late afternoon take an optional cruise along the Kazinga Channel(price not inclusive in quote), home to one of the largest concentrations of hippopotamus, as well as herds of elephants, buffalo, and other wildlife that come to drink from the river. The Kazinga also attracts a tremendous variety of bird species including the African Eagle, Open-Billed Stork, and Pied Kingfishers.

 

Other Optional Activities:

Queen’s Pavilion: Just 800 metres from the equator monument, and overlooking a thrilling landscape of crater lakes is the Queen´s Pavilion, a community-run internet café. This is the perfect spot to revive yourself after an early morning safari with a cup of Ugandan tea or coffee. Listen to the elephants trumpeting on the dry plains below and enjoy the savannah views.

Katwe Salt Walk: This tour offers a unique insight into the fascinating process of salt mining, as well as providing an alternative income for Katwe. During the tour you will see community members at work, cross the mud walkways and enter one of the traditional grass huts used to shelter and store tools. The nearby bird sanctuary lake offers a chance to see flamingos from October to May.

Kikorongo African Art Workshop:Traditional crafts hold a special significance in Ugandan villages. Small baskets of groundnuts as a sign of friendship; a calabash on top of a house to ward off evil spirits or a traditional healer´s woven purse filled with natural remedies. Kikorongo Women Community invites you to learn their traditional skills during this fascinating workshop.

Uganda community Carnivore Program: Leopard Village" – Here you will get to meet the carnivores and the local community of Queen Elizabeth National park. This is a Community based program found in a village called MUhokya on the way from Kasese before entering Queen Elizabeth National park.

This community-run socio-economic development initiative supports cultural and wildlife conservation through ecotourism.  The goal is that this initiative will assist in the conservation of the area's wildlife and support the villagers as they regain their traditional custodianship of the local wildlife and other natural resources.  Villagers will gain some economic benefit which will help offset the costs associated with living with carnivores, which prey on livestock, and herbivores such as elephants which destroy crops.  It will also educate tourists about Uganda’s conservation challenges and rich cultural traditions.

It can be done as short visit or a long visit as they have a number of activities that take place on site. We charge $100 per person as a donation to the community and also to help cater for the costs involved or $50 for half a day.

Overnight at Kyambura game lodge or Kasenyi safari Camp

Meal plan: Full board

 

Day Three: Queen Elizabeth-Bwindi

 

Travel time: 4.5 Hours

Activities of the Day: Morning game drive then proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest via Ishasha.

Today after breakfast, you will proceed to Bwindi via Ishasha, home to the famed tree climbing lions.  The lions are located in the Southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and are best seen in early hours of the morning.

Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for two nights. Home to over half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. Interacting with these gentle giants is one of the most moving experiences that Africa has to offer and should not be missed! The ancient rainforest of Bwindi spans 321 sq km and   boasts 90 mammal species, a range of primates, as well as 23 Albertine Rift endemic bird species, including the African Green Broadbill, the Bar Tailed Trogon and many others.

Relax in the evening and get ready for the following day’s gorilla tracking.

Accommodation options:

High end accommodation: Mahogany Springs is a luxurious lodge which offers privacy and serenity blended with optimal comfort in a spectacular setting. All the rooms at Mahogany Springs are suites.  The Superior Suites can be Twin, Double or Triple. These suites are spacious with large double doors and beautiful windows. Each Suite has its own private exquisitely designed terrace with panoramic views of the surrounding area. All suites have large en-suite bathrooms with a gorgeously designed open terracotta shower. www.mahoganysprings.com

 

Medium class accommodation:  Silverback lodge - The 12 room property, the largest tourist facility at the Buhoma park entrance and just steps away from the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, is the fourth property Marasa Africa now owns in Ugandan including Chobe and Parra Safari lodges at the Murchisons Falls, Mweya Safari Lodge at the Queen Elizabeth National Park and now Bwindi, the jewel in the crown of Uganda’s tourism industry.

“Silverback Lodge, the largest property in Buhoma, comprises of 12 self-contained rooms overlooking nearby Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to Mountain Gorillas, other primates, including chimpanzees, 346 species of birds and 163 species of trees,”.

Meal plan: Full board

 

 

Day Four: Bwindi

Activities of the day: Gorilla tracking for the day, and other possible optional activities in the afternoon or evening.

This morning you will set off for gorilla trekking. Hiking through the thick, verdant, rainforest to eventually come across the gorillas in their natural habitat, is an amazing and unforgettable experience. Actual trek times can vary; these are wild animals after all.  If time permits there are a diverse range of activities which are unique to Bwindi which you can participate in during the afternoon.

In the afternoon, you could rest awhile or head out again for other optional activities as shown below at an additional fee.

Optional Activities:

Batwa Trail: During this moving tour, the Batwa demonstrate hunting techniques; gather honey; point out medicinal plants and demonstrate how to make bamboo cups.
Guests are then invited to the sacred Ngarama Cave, once home to the Batwa King to be entertained by traditional music and dance.

 

Bwindi Community Hospital:  Started by a Canadian doctor BCH revolutionized health care for the Batwa and the Bwindi community. This free hospital tour provides insight into the region and issues that the local community member’s face.

Village walk (community visit): Overlooking the imposing hillsides of Bwindi Impenetrable forest, with the mist swirling over the summits, this is one of the most dramatic settings for your cultural tour! Among others, meet a traditional healer, who not only treats the sick, but uses his knowledge to conserve and educate about the various medicinal plants.

Waterfall Walk:  Walk along the Congolese border and Bwindi to see the magnificent waterfalls and the incredible scenery.

Overnight at Silverback lodge or Mahogany Springs lodge.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

Day Five: Bwindi - Ruhengeri (Volcanoes National Park)

 

Activities of the day: Breakfast, transfer to Rwanda (Ruhenjeri) having lunch enroute.

Today you will continue to Rwanda arriving in the afternoon. Relax in the evening and get ready for the following day’s second gorilla tracking or you can go for the optional Ibyiwatu Cultural group performance, where you will be entertained, and learn more about Rwandan culture, music, dance, and drama.

 

Accommodation options:

High end accommodation: FIVE VOLCANOE SBOUTIQUE HOTEL: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is a five star accommodation which is set just along the road heading to Kinigi – Volcanoes national park head office.

The lodge offers relaxing high end accommodation, with beautiful views of the rolling hills of the Land of a thousand hills. Accommodation comprises of 13 bedrooms (double/twin), a VIP cottage. Each facility is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV, refrigerator and kettle. Other facilities include; restaurant, a pool, a traditional sauna and a steam sauna are awaiting your visit and our staff is looking forward to make your stay a pleasant one. http://www.volcanoesnationalparkrwanda.com/accommodation/five-volcanoes.html

 

Medium class accommodation: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge is one of the finest safari lodges in Kinigi, Ruhengeri. The lodge is located at the base of the Volcanoes National Park, home of mountain gorillas. Le Bambou is cozy and  leaves you a pleasant stay. The Lodge is perfect for business travelers, outdoors enthusiasts, and travelers exploring Musanze and Volcanoes National Park. It is minutes away from gorilla tracking, volcano hiking, cave exploration and more. Experience all that Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge has to offer and make us your home away from home! http://lebambougorillalodge.com/

 

Day Six: Rwanda

 

Activities of the day: 2nd Optional Gorilla tracking in Parc de national/ any other activity.

Today you set off for gorilla trekking in Parc des Volcans.  Ascending the slopes of the Virungas, you will be immersed in the dense, lush rainforest.  The vibrant birdcalls and squabbles of the golden monkeys will eventually bring you to the gorillas in their natural habitat.  Starring into the eyes of these gentle giants is a truly once in a lifetime experience.

Returning in the afternoon you can go for the optional Ibyiwatu Cultural group performance, where you will be entertained, and learn more about Rwandan culture, music, dance, and drama.  Or take a visit to the twin lakes before returning to the lodge in the evening.

Overnight at Five Volcanoes boutique hotel OR Le Bambou Hotel.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

Day Seven:  Ruhengere – Kigali and fly out

Activities of the Day:

Today your safari will continue to Kigali. The two-hour drive through the rolling hills of Rwanda takes you via the base of the magnificent volcanoes of the Virunga mountain range. Once in Kigali, you will explore the city by visiting the Genocide Museum and the Caplaki Crafts Center.

 

In the afternoon,  head to the airport for your flight home.

END OF SAFARI

NOTE: Gorilla tracking is dependent on the permits availability at the time of your booking. Gorilla permits in all parks are on a very high demand and we advise that you book them as early as possible.

Walking and Trekking Safaris

A taste of what to expect…
Day 1: Nairobi
Upon your arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met by a member of our &BEYOND team and transferred by road to The Emakoko, in Nairobi National Park. Enjoy your evening at leisure giraffe and sky line nairobi, nairobi national park, nairobi city scape

Day 2-4: Laikipia, Karisia Walking Safari
From Wilson Airport take a scheduled flight to Nanyuki Airport. On arrival, you will be met by your Samburu team from Karisia Walking Safari and you will be taken to the starting point of your four days walking safari through the Laikipia and Samburu District in North central Kenya
A Walking Safari is the ideal means by which to travel through Kenya. Escape the constraints of a vehicle and lose yourself in Kenya’s stunning wilds. Learn the finer details of the bush and experience the traditional lore of your local Samburu guide
Swim in the cool waters of Africa’s rivers and spend warm nights beneath unbelievably starry skies
Climb to the top of rocky outcrops to admire vast views of endless open spaces and feel your sense reawaken as your nostrils fill with the scent of Africa’s dust
An ancient and rugged wilderness, Samburu is intersected by the Ewaso Ng’iro River, which flows through the heart of the reserve, creating an oasis of palm tree groves and thick forests. This is the land made famous by conservationists George and Joy Adamson, who raised Elsa the lioness here, as documented in the book and movie Born Free. Hike along the banks of the river until the dusk sets and then enjoy an al fresco dinner around a blazing campfire before settling into your sleeping bag for the night.
Fall asleep gazing onto a kaleidoscope of constellations in the velvety dark sky
Immerse yourself in one of the Samburu tribe’s most significant traditions. Fall in step with the Samburu warriors as they lead their cattle to a dry river bed in the early morning. With water a precious resource in this dry and desolate land, the warriors dedicate the day to digging deep wells for drinking water for their livestock. Watch as the tall warriors strip naked and begin to sing as they dig. Deep and resonant, the melody creates a hypnotic rhythm that the tribe works to as one. Each warrior’s herd will recognise and respond to their master’s voice, using it to locate their particular well.
walking with a maasai in laikipia on a kenya safari by lewa safari camp
night sky samburu
Camel Ride laikipia

Day 5-6: Masai Mara National Reserve
After breakfast, you will be driven to the local airstrip for your scheduled flight to Masai Mara. On arrival, you will be met by a representative from &BEYOND Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and transferred to the lodge
Explore the wilderness on foot and get a different perspective on every aspect of the African river, from its smallest insects and plants to the immense river creatures after which the trail is named. Set off from your lodge in the company of an experienced Maasai naturalists, who can predict the behaviour of any wildlife that you meet, interpret ever birdcall and introduce you to the natural uses of the a multitude of plants. The trail dissects a variety of landscapes, from plains to riverine forest, open grasslands and scrubby bush. The hike takes from one to three hours.
Game drives in the Masai Mara are unforgettable due to the abundance of wildlife and the spectacular landscapes. With gently rolling hills and wide open plains, this is the quintessential African safari experience. Travellers can expect to encounter large numbers of animals year round, with big herds of elephant, buffalo and other plains game. It is also common to see predator interaction.
kichwa tembo masai mara airstrip welcome
Superior view of the Masai Mara plains at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo on a luxury safari in Kenya
Dining under open skies at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in Kenya

Day 7: Departure
Say fond farewells and take your flight to Nairobi where you will connect to your onward international flight
07 Days | From USD 8,650
Per person sharing