13 Days Uganda Congo Adventure

13 Days Uganda Congo Adventure will take you to Africa’s most celebrated gorilla trekking destination in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi forest gorilla trekking experience is the most exciting place and activity for any travellers to Africa. Bwindi forest is located in the southwestern part of Uganda close to Rwanda-Uganda border at the edge of the Rift Valley.  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.

Queen Elizabeth national park is located in the western part of Uganda offering the great experience of different Antelope species. Queen Elizabeth national park is home to the tree climbing lions in Uganda. The park is occupied by 2 great lakes – Lake Edward and Lake George which meet at a channel commonly known as the Kazinga channel. Queen Elizabeth national park has plenty of animals and other experiences to be enjoy while on your stay in Uganda ranging from wildlife, culture, boat cruise to nature walks for bird watching and chimpanzee trekking.

Kibale national park is Africa’s best chimpanzee trekking destination with guaranteed best views of the chimpanzees and other 12 existing primates in the park. It is also a home to 138 species of birds, 250 tree species and 60 species of forest wildlife including forest elephants, bushbucks, warthogs, giant forest hogs and buffaloes. 

Murchison falls national park is located in the north-western of Uganda offering the best experience of the big five game, even though the Rhinos cannot be found in any of the savannah national parks, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was put in place to reintroduce the experience of rhinos in Uganda after they were all killed during the reign of President Amin Dada. Murchison falls national park is divided by the River Nile which flowing through a narrow gorge causing a lot of force as the waters flow through a narrow gorge thus the most powerful falls in Africa – the Murchison falls.

In Congo, the trip features visiting Mount Nyiragongo which is the active volcano on the Virunga Mountain with active boiling lave. This 13 Days trip will start and end in Kigali Rwanda simply because Rwanda is the nearest place to access all the national park. It also requires an earlier arrival in Rwanda before your cross to Uganda to Bwindi forest.  It’s important to note that the Democratic Republic of Congo is not an East African country and therefore note that your Rwanda Visa expires immediately you cross into Congo so you will have to reapply for another while at the border and find it ready after the tour.

Safari highlights of the 13 Days Uganda Congo Adventure

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kigali – Hotel
  • Day 2: Transfer to Goma
  • Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
  • Day 4: Hike Mount Nyirangongo 
  • Day 5: Descend – Lake Kivu 
  • Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park 
  • Day 7: Bwindi Gorilla trekking experience 
  • Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park 
  • Day 9: Lion tracking/Game drive – Boat cruise along the Kazinga channel 
  • Day 10: Transfer To Kibale national park – Chimpanzee trekking 
  • Day 11: Transfer to Murchison falls national park 
  • Day 12: Morning game drive and boat cruise 
  • Day 13: Transfer to Kampala – Departure 

Detailed itinerary 

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali – Hotel

Upon arrival at Kigali airport, you will meet our company representative/guide who will be waiting to receive you and then transfer you to your booked hotel in Kigali. Dinner and overnight stay at Kigali Marriot Hotel for luxury/Des Mille Collins Hotel for mid-range/Step Town Motel for budget option. Meals based on half board

Day 2: Transfer to Goma in Congo

After early morning breakfast, meet your guide and embark on your journey to Gisenyi where you will cross from to Goma in Congo. It’s a 3-4 hours’ drive, keeping in mind you must be at the Gisenyi-Goma border by 11 am. While at the border, you will meet with your Congo guide who will drive you to the tourism office strategically located at the Grand Barrier border Post to receive Gorilla and Volcano permit that’s to be presented at the beginning of every trek. There after you will be transfer to Kibumba tented camp just near the trailhead of Nyiragongo volcano or Bukima tented camp – just outside Virunga national park boundary. 

Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park

After breakfast, report to Bukima patrol passport with your passport and permit details for registration and briefing. All treks in Virunga national park begin here. Later head into the forest with your ranger guide and expect to hike for 1 to 5 hours until you find the mountain Gorillas in Virunga national park

When you get to see them, you will be in awe inspired by their huge size and gentle nature as you watch them go about their daily business with mothers tending to the young ones and the juveniles making an effort to impress. You will stay up to 1 hour maximum and head back to the camp enjoy a late lunch and have the rest of the day at leisure, including time for nature walks and bird watching. Return to your accommodation for overnight stay

Day 4: Hike Mt. Nyiragongo Volcano

Wake up early for breakfast at your hotel and set off for Kibati Patrol post, where the Nyiragongo Volcano hike starts from. Hiking formally starts off at 9:00 am, with briefing about the hike and what to expect. You are advised to pack right for the hike, and to hire a porter. Start your hike with your guide and armed guards for your security. Hiking usually last the entire day, and the pace is determined by the groups’ fitness level. Please note that the group moves in one group and rests at the same time. When you reach the top, you will check into your cabins and in the night, go out to watch the beautiful sight of the boiling lava.

Day 5: Descend down the Volcano – Lake Kivu

You will have breakfast before you descend back to starting point of the hike, Kibati by 11:00am. Here, you will connect to meet your driver / guide Rwanda to spend the evening at leisure in Gisenyi at the Lake shores of Lake Kivu. Dinner and overnight stay at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel/Paradise Malahide/Palm Garden Hotel

Day 6: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park

After breakfast, check-out of the lodge and transfer to Uganda crossing via Cyanika border. It’s a bout 4-5 hours’ drive with ne-route stop at the immigration office at the border and lunch in Kisoro town. Proceed to your booked accommodation in one of the sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Dinner and overnight at Buhoma Lodge for luxury/Buhoma Haven Lodge for mid-range/Buhoma community rest camp

Day 7: Bwindi Gorilla trekking experience 

Wake up early, have breakfast, and connect to the forest with your packed food and water. The briefing from the park warden about the gorillas starts at 8 am where your will be guided on highlights about the way of life of the gorillas you will be tracking. The hike can take anything from 2-8 hours depending on the location of the gorillas. Once you reach the gorillas, you are allowed to spend one hour with them as you stand 6 meters away. Return to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stat at lodge as above

Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park – Ishasha game drive/Coffee Tour

After breakfast, meet your guide and drive to Queen Elizabeth national park. It’s a 5-6 hours’ drive via the Ishasha sector where you may get an opportunity to spot the tree climbing Lions with en-route lunch in Ishasha sector. Later afternoon, connect to Kyambura coffee plantation for a coffee tour. Dinner and overnight stay at Kyambura Gorge Lodge for luxury/Parkview Safari Lodge for mid-range/Pumba Safari Cottages for budget

Day 9: Game drive – Boat cruise along the Kazinga channel 

After breakfast early morning, go for a loin tracking experience and game drive at Kisenyi area where you will spot a good number of wildlife including Elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes and all species of antelopes. Lion tracking is an experience where you are guaranteed to see the lions.

After enjoying your lunch at the lodge, go for your boat trip along the Kazinga channel for yet another wildlife/bird watching experience as you cruise on lake Edward/George.  Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above

Day 10: Transfer To Kibale national park – Chimpanzee trekking 

After breakfast, transfer to Kibale forest national park. It’s a 3-4 hours’ drive from Queen Elizabeth national park. Upon arrival, proceed to the park head office then enter the rainforest to start searching for the chimpanzee, this will take 2-5 hours to find the chimpanzees. On seeing them, you will spend 1 hour with the chimpanzees while taking pictures. Later afternoon, visit the Bigodi swamp to find a variety of birds and other primates. Return to your booked accommodation for dinner and overnight stay at Chimpanzee Cottages Guesthouse for Mid-range option 

Day 11: Transfer to Murchison falls national park

After breakfast at the lodge, embark on your journey to Murchison falls national park. It’s a 7-8 hours’ drive with en-route lunch. Proceed to your booked lodge for dinner and overnight stay at Paraa Safari lodge for luxury option/Pakuba Safari Lodge for mid-range/Heritage safari lodge for budget option

Day 12: Morning game drive and boat cruise 

Early morning breakfast and then go for a morning game drive at the delta where you may spot various animal species like elephants, giraffes, lions, Uganda kobs among others. Return and have lunch then at 2 pm, you will go for a launch cruise at the bottom of the Murchison Falls along River Nile, enjoy streaming views of hippo and serried ranges of crocodile along the sandbanks, as well as large numbers of different species getting down to drink & bathe.

After the boat cruise at the bottom of the falls, you will hike up the top of the falls where you will be picked up by your driver to return to your lodge. Dinner and overnight at lodge as the above

Day 13: Ziwa Rhino tracking and transfer to Kampala – Departure 

After breakfast at the lodge, check-out of the park and connect for rhino tracking in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. Tracking takes 2-3 hours, have en-route lunch, and drive back to Kampala and connect to Entebbe airport for your flight back home.

End of the 13 Days Uganda Congo Adventure

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