16 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Safari

16 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Safari will take you to Africa’s most celebrated gorilla trekking destination in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi forest gorilla trekking experience is the most exciting place and activity for any travellers to Africa. 

Bwindi Impenetrable 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.

In Rwanda, this trip features visiting Volcanoes national park which is a home of the endangered mountain gorillas and Nyungwe forest national park on the other hand is a home to the wild chimpanzees and other primates of Nyungwe forest.  While in Congo, the trip features visiting Mount Nyiragongo which is the active volcano on the Virunga Mountain with active boiling lave. This 16 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.

Safaris Highlights of the 16 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Safari

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kigali
  • Day 2: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park
  • Day 3: Lion tracking/game drive and afternoon boat cruise.
  • Day 4: Chimpanzee/primate tracking and evening game drive/community tour  
  • Day 5: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
  • Day 6: Gorilla trekking experience
  • Day 7: Transfer to Ruhengeri (Rwanda) and cultural walk
  • Day 8: Golden monkeys tracking and transfer to Lake Kivu
  • Day 9: Transfer to Goma – Congo
  • Day 10: Nyiragongo Hiking
  • Day 11: Descend Nyiragongo & transfer to Gisenyi
  • Day 12: Explore Lake Kivu 
  • Day 13: Transfer to Nyungwe national park
  • Day 14: Chimpanzee tracking and waterfalls walk 
  • Day 15: Canopy walk and Transfer to Kigali 
  • Day 16: Kigali city tour – Departure

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali

Upon arrival at Entebbe international airport, you will be met by our safari guide and be dropped at your hotel in Kigali. You may explore a bit of Kigali city depending on your arrival time. Dinner and overnight stay at Des Mille Collins Hotel for mid-range/Step town Motel for budget/ Marriot Hotel for luxury 

Day 2: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park

You will wake up quite early, have breakfast and depart for your journey to Queen Elizabeth national park. It’s is the second largest Uganda national park after Murchison falls national park and its about 7-8 hours’ drive from Kigali city crossing Katuna border and having lunch en-route in Kabale town. Proceed to the park and arrive ther late afternoon, you may visit the crater lakes before you proceed to your lodge for check-in. Dinner and overnight stay at Parkview Safari lodge for Mid-range/Pumba cottages for Budget/Kyambura lodge for luxury

Day 3: Lion tracking/game drive and afternoon boat cruise.

Wake up as early as 6:00am, have lunch and connect for a lion experience, here you will get an opportunity to get close to a pride of lions without the struggle during the game drive. You will also be able to spot other animals like the available like the buffaloes, leopards, elephants and the different species of antelopes. Return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will go for a launch cruise along Kazinga channel where you will get an opportunity to see a number of bird species, hippos, crocodiles and the different land animals coming to drink from the lake shores. Return and relax at lodge as above

Day 4: Chimpanzee/primate tracking and evening game drive/community tour  

After breakfast early in the morning, you will depart for Chimpanzee tracking in Queen Elizabeth national park in either Kalinzu or Kyambura gorge with your tracking gears. The walk generally takes around 25 hours. After the activity, return to your lodge to rest as you spend the evening entertained by the local people around the park or drive for another game drive for the missed animals. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above

Day 5: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable national park

After breakfast, check-out of the lodge and transfer to Bwindi, drive via Ishasha sector for an opportunity to spot the tree climbing lions with en-route then after embark your 4-5 hours journey to Buhoma sector of Bwindi national park. Arrive in the park late afternoon and connect to your lodge for relaxation. Dinner and overnight stay at Buhoma Haven lodge/Agandi Uganda lodge for mid-range/Bakiga lodge for budget/Buhoma Lodge for luxury

Day 6: Gorilla trekking experience

Have breakfast and transfer you to park offices for briefing about Mountain Gorilla trekking by a local guide. The time taken is usually between 2-8 hours depending on the movement of the gorillas. Meeting the gorillas unexpectedly is one of the most captivating lifetime experiences. You will have a chance to observe and take pictures at very close range. You will observe adults feeding and groaning among themselves. After an hour with the long-awaited gorillas, your guide and rangers will lead you back to the starting point where your driver will readily be waiting to transfer you back to the lodge for a restful evening.

16 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Safari
16 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Safari

Day 7: Transfer to Ruhengeri (Rwanda) and cultural walk

After early morning after breakfast, depart the Bwindi for Rwanda. You connect to Cyanika boarder to proceed to Volcanoes national park with en-route lunch. Later evening, you will take a cultural walk to Iby’iwachu Cultural Village-a Non-Profit umbrella organization that aims at improving the lives of reformed poachers and communities around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through provision of conservation incentives, supporting community enterprise development and livelihood based projects. It’s a rewarding place where you will be guided around the place as you enjoy the Kinyarwanda traditions including the Intore dance, traditional ceremonies and a guided community walk.  Retreat and return to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay at 5 Volcanoes Gorilla lodge for luxury/Le Bambou Gorilla lodge for mid-range/Hotel Muhabura for budget

Day 8: Golden monkeys tracking and transfer to Lake Kivu

After early morning breakfast, transfer to the park headquarters for briefing from the park warden about the endangered golden monkeys. After connect to the tracking starting point and enter the forest to search for the rare golden monkey. This activity can take about 1-5 hours and is done at closer view of the other primates in the park like the red tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys among other. After viewing the rare golden monkeys for an hour while taking pictures and studying their behaviors, return to the base and meet your drive.

You will have lunch then drive northwest to Gisenyi. Check-in your lodge to rest. Dinner and overnight stay at Palm garden resort for budget/Paradise Malahide for mid-range/Kivu Serena Hotel for luxury

Day 9: Transfer to Goma – Congo

After breakfast, depending on the agreed time with the Congo guide, you will be transferred to Gisenyi border to cross to Goma in Congo. From there you will check in at the tourism boarder at the Grand Barrier to get a volcano permit thereafter transfer to your hotel where you will relax for the evening. Dinner and overnight stay at Linda Hotel for budget or mid-range/Lac Kivu for luxury

Day 10: Nyiragongo Hiking

You will depart your hotel in Goma early morning and report to Bukima to start your Nyiragongo hike with overnight at the summit where you will enjoy exciting views of the lava lake.

Day 11: Descend Nyiragongo & transfer to Gisenyi

You will descend Nyiragongo back to Bukima by 11am and depart Congo to cross back to Rwanda in Gisenyi tour. Connect to check-in your lodge, have lunch and rest for the day. Dinner and overnight stay at Paradise Malahide for mid-range/Kivu Serena Hotel for luxury

Day 12: Explore Lake Kivu 

After breakfast, explore Gisenyi town and do some water activities, enjoying the sandy shores and taking boat trips to the island of the lake, a town tour and relaxing at the shores as you enjoy the breeze. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above

Day 13: Transfer to Nyungwe national park

After early morning breakfast at the lodge, you will embark on your journey to Nyungwe national park. This is a 5-6 hours’ drive to Nyungwe national park with lunch en route. Nyungwe forest is the oldest and largest rain forest in East Africa. Arrive in the park and connect to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay at Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel (mid-range)/Gisakura Visitors Centers for budget

Day 14: Chimpanzee tracking and waterfalls walk 

Enjoy breakfast and go for briefing about the endangered chimpanzees before entering the forest in search of the active and playful fellows in Nyungwe forest. The Chimpanzees are much easier to spot as they jump from one tree to another, chattering and laughing. Chimpanzee tracking usually takes about 3 hours. On finding them, spend an hour while taking pictures and videos.  You will then return to your accommodation for lunch.

After lunch, you will return for a forest walk to the waterfalls walk. Return to the lodge to rest. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above

Day 15: Canopy walk and Transfer to Kigali 

Have breakfast, connect for a canopy walk – walking trail that will take you walk on a swing bridge 50 meters in length that is suspended from large trees. You will be able to see the amazing rainforest with a bird’s eye view, spotting wildlife moving about below you. Thereafter, embark on a 7 hours’ drive back to Kigali city with en route visit to Nyanza king’s palace and Rwanda national museum in Huye and Murambi genocide museum. Arrive in Kigali late evening and connect to your hotel to rest. Dinner and overnight stay at Des Mille Collins Hotel for mid-range/Step town Motel for budget/ Marriot Hotel for luxury

Day 16: Kigali city tour – Departure

Wake up at leisure, have breakfast and drive out of the hotel and visit the craft shops and the Kigali genocide memorial. Have lunch and connect to the airport for your return flight to your next destination. 

End of the 16 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Safari

book a gorilla trip