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Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Day 1: arrive entebbe

Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in UgandaPaul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda

Arrival in Entebbe, Uganda, and transfer to the Cassia Lodge offering a panoramic view of Lake Victoria. Early arrivals will visit the Entebbe Wildlife Education Center or enjoy a first day of birding at the botanical gardens, good for spotting the Vervet, Red tailed, Black, and White Colobus monkeys. The Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) is a great place to learn about the animals of Uganda and the ecosystems in which they live. UWEC is not a zoo in the conventional sense, nor is it a safari park. It is a center for wildlife education where you can observe many indigenous species of wildlife in a semi-natural environment.

Meals
None
Lodging
Cassia Lodge or similar

Day 2: murchison falls national park

Murchison FallsMurchison Falls

After breakfast, drive north through the Luwero triangle to Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) with a stopover for lunch in the town of Masindi. MFCA comprises of Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu Falls, and Karuma FAlls Wildlife Reserves. Bisected by the Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls N.P. is the largest protected area in Uganda and contains three different ecosystems. This park has a variety of wildlife which includes lions, leopards, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, a variety of antelope, and chimpanzees as well as the largest population of crocodiles in Uganda. The park is also one of the best birding sites in all of Africa according to the African Bird Club and includes a large variety of birdlife including the rare Shoebill stork.

In the afternoon, you will board a ferry for the ride to your lodge, arriving in time for dinner. In the evening, there is a possibility of a night game drive with your guide.

Throughout this trip, there will be opportunities for additional hiking with our fantastic in-country naturalist guide and birder extraordinaire, Paul Tamwenya.  Ask us about options when you book your trip.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Paraa Safari Lodge or similar

Day 3: game safari at murchinson falls

Ferry across the NileFerry across the Nile

After an early breakfast, you'll cross the Nile by ferry around 7:00 am for a game drive up to the Albert Delta Point. Be on the lookout for lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, and antelopes such as the hartebeest, oribi, and Uganda kob.  Special birds to look out for here include the Shoebill and saddle-billed storks along with a variety of bee-eaters, lapwings, doves weavers and canarys. In the afternoon, a boat trip on the Nile takes you to the roaring waters at the base of the Murchison Falls, where you have the biggest concentration of hippos and crocodile on the river. Some of the crocs may exceed 20 feet in length. Scattered among the hippos and crocs, you will find birds such as the yellow-billed stork, Egyptian Plover, red-chested bee-eater, white-faced and fulvous whistling ducks, rock pratincole, wire-tailed wwallow, and goliath and purple herons. 

Return to your lodge for dinner followed by an optional night game drive with Paul.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Paraa Safari Lodge or similar

Day 4: drive to masindi via top of murchison falls

Red-chested SunbirdRed-chested Sunbird

Depending on the success of the last days' drives, today you'll have another chance to find what might have been missed or you can take a walk around the lodge or even relax or take a swim at the lodge pool. Afterwards, make the drive to Masindi via the top of the falls, enjoying the fantastic scenery along the way.In Masindi, enjoy a western Ugandan dance called "Entogoro" from the Banyoro people living around Masindi. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Masindi Hotel or similar

Day 5: safari to kibale national park

Elephant crossing the roadElephant crossing the road

Today, start after an early breakfast for a long drive to Kibale National Park with lots of stops for birds, animals, and photos along the way. You may encounter large congregations of olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus Monkey, and red-tailed and velvet monkeys. Kibale National Park is a popular habitat for 13 known primate species, including the closest living cousin of man, the chimpanzee. Dinner and overnight at Mountains of the Moon.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mountains of the Moon or similar

Day 6: primate tracking in kibale

Breakfast with slender-billed and yellow-backed weaversBreakfast with slender-billed and yellow-backed weavers

After breakfast, go chimpanzee tracking in Kibale. Primates you may also encounter include the L’Hoest’s, red colobus, gray-cheeked mangabey, and red-tailed monkeys, and the olive baboon. In the afternoon, visit Bigodi wetland, which is managed by the local community. This project was started by an American Peace Corps volunteer who was trying to develop ways for the local people to derive income by protecting their forest for ecotourism. These efforts have survived as a successful model which funds a school and employs local people as hosts, guards, and guides. Here, you might spot the elusive Sitatunga Antelope among the papyrus and several interesting species of birds such as the white-winged warbler, papyrus gonolek, and Carruthre’s Cisticola. Enjoy a traditionally-prepared lunch from the local group that manages this wetland. Return to your lodge in Kibale.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mountains of the Moon or similar

Day 7: queen elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park

Journey through Uganda’s beautiful scenic areas with a potential clear view of the Mountains of the Moon, depending on the cloud cover. As you near your destination, stop for a game drive on the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park -  the second-largest national park in Uganda. In terms of diversity, this park is amazing - with 612 known species of birds. Special birds of this park include the harlequin and blue quails, red-capped lark, African Crake, broad-tailed warbler, martial eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, and the Amur Falcon. Primates include the olive vaboon, valvet monkey, and the tantalus monkey. In the Chambura gorge, you'll find chimpanzees, as well as the blue and red-tailed monkeys. In the afternoon, embark on a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel, where you'll get close to hippos, buffalos, and crocodiles. Elephants often swim here as well. The bird life is very rich and quite approachable, including saddle-billed stork, both species of pink-backed and great pelicans, and other migratory species. The striated heron, water thick-knee, three-banded plover, marsh, green, wood, and common sandpipers, gray-headed gull, and yellow-billed oxpecker are typically seen. Overnight at the charming Enganzi Lodge.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Enganzi Lodge or similar

Day 8: queen elizabeth national park

Crocodile on the bank of the NileCrocodile on the bank of the Nile

This morning, you'll enjoy a game drive in northern Queen Elizabeth National Park, exploring the diverse Eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters which are home to an incredible profusion of wildlife. The drive takes you along great views of the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop providing excellent opportunities to see lions, hyenas, and leopards. On a good day, you'll see the giant forest hog, cape buffalo, African Elephant, defassa water buck, Uganda Kob, and bush buck among others. In the afternoon, take a boat ride on the Kazinga channel to discover a vast array of Ugandan wildlife to possibly see big schools of Hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants as well as a variety of birds that roost along the channel.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Enganzi Lodge or similar

Day 9: bwindi impenetrable national park

Tree climbing lionsTree climbing lions

After breakfast, head out to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a wildlife safari. The seasonal Ishasha sector provides a good chance of seeing the area's tree-climbing lions. On a good day, you might also catch a glimpse of a leopard or two. Troupes of olive baboons also frequent the roads. Be on the lookout for other interesting savannah animals and birds, including the black-lored parrot, arrow-marked babbler, Ovambo Sparrow Hawk, African Cuckoo Hawk, stout, zitting, wing-snapping and trilling Cisticolas, brown snake eagle, Holub’s Golden Weaver, black cuckoo, and Blue-naped Mousebird. Overnight at the Bwindi Forest edge at the Gorilla Mist Camp for the next 2 nights. You'll stay in traditional style lodges with private baths.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Gorilla Mist Camp or similar

Day 10: gorilla tracking in bwindi

Muhare Group 6 (large male)Muhare Group 6 (large male)

Set off early with a packed lunch to Bwindi's park headquarters for a briefing prior to the gorilla tracking. The gorillas are gentle animals, and it is an unforgettable experience to locate, observe, and photograph their family groups. You'll be assigned a family group and it may require walking anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours to reach them, depending on where they've been located after sunrise. Game scouts are likely to have pre-located them and radioed back their location to your guide, but the animals are wide-ranging and don’t stick to the trails. Each encounter is different and has its own rewards. You are likely to enjoy a close view of the adults feeding, grooming, and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully-playful display. Gorilla tracking involves part or all of a day in the Impenetrable Forest. In rare instances, finding, reaching, observing, and returning from a group takes an entire day of rather difficult trekking through thick, sometimes muddy vegetation and hilly terrain.  You need to be physically fit if you wish to maximize your chances. Very occasionally, in spite of all efforts, the gorillas prove elusive. Depending on the time you return to the camp, you might be able to visit some of the communities around the gorillas' habitat or spend an evening birding around Buhoma. 

Meals
Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Gorilla Resort or similar

Day 11: cross into rwanda to the cyanika border

Saddle-billed storkSaddle-billed stork

Today you'll move from the lower forest ecosystem to the seldom-visited higher forest in Bwindi. In scrubby areas beyond Buhoma, your knowledgeable guide, Paul, will lead the search for the birdlife that make this forest their home such as the red-necked wryneck; brown-backed scrub-robin; bronze, copper and variable Sunbirds; baglafecht, and black-necked, and Holub’s Golden weavers. Further along the road, pass through Kitahurira or “The Neck," another well-known wildlife locale in search of more bird species such as the black goshawk; bronze-naped pigeon; cinnamon-chested bee-eater; Cassin’s Honeyguide; Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike; the enigmatic Chapin’s Flycatcher; pink-footed puffback; and the rare tiny sunbird.

Farther up the road, cultivated areas provide feeding opportunities for many seed-eating birds and mammals. You'll have excellent chances of seeing the L’Hoest’s, red-tailed, and the black and white colobus monkeys. This is also the habitat of the beautiful dusky twinspot and the African Stonechat, streaky, and thick-billed seedeaters. There are so many special birds at these elevations that you will have the chance to take your time throughout so you can identify as many of the diverse populations as possible with your guide's help. 

Later, you'll drive through the Kanab Gap to a marshy area habitat that is home to common and lesser moorhenn, hotentot teal, African Rail, and more. Along the way, there are amazing views of the scenery, referred to as the "Switzerland of Africa."  Arrive at Ruhengeri, Rwanda, where you will spend the next three nights.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar

Day 12: parc national des volcans

You may also see chimps, in addition to gorillasYou may also see chimps, in addition to gorillas

Today you'll have an opportunity to do another Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans. (Gorilla tracking permits must be reserved at time of booking for $750 per person and are limited pending availability.) Tracking the gorillas through the lush forested slopes of the Virungas is a wonderful experience comparable to, yet distinctive from Bwindi in Uganda. If you are lucky, you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Like Uganda, some gorilla families are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. Individuals opting not to track the gorillas will have various options available to them including a nature hike, hiking to Dian Fossey's tombs, Visoke Crater, or visiting a local village.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar

Day 13: golden monkey tracking & ibya wachu

Augur BuzzardAugur Buzzard

In the morning, you will have a short drive to the park headquarters for a briefing, and then head out for a golden monkey tracking adventure. This trek is not as difficult as the gorilla tracking. Little is known about the mannerisms of the golden monkeys except for the fact that they live in social groups, usually of approximately 30 individuals. It is an amazing opportunity to see them feed on fruits, leaves and insects. Afterwards, you'll have a chance to explore the cultural village of Ibya Wachu - a demonstration cultural village that was started by one of the park wardens to show case how the Rwanda Kings lived and a place that has helped many former poachers appreciate conservation of the gorillas. Return to your Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar

Day 14: kigali city & depart rwanda

Our VehicleOur Vehicle

After breakfast, you will depart for Kigali. Along the way, marvel at the energy and industriousness of the Rwandan people. Roads are in good condition, streets are clean, schools are open (depending on time of year), and construction seems to be taking place everywhere.  While the terrible experience of the genocide has not been and will not be forgotten, you will get the sense that Rwandan people want to move forward to create a society that learns from mistakes. In Kigalii, you'll have a brief tour of the city including a visit to the market, a pottery project, handicraft shops, the Franco-Rwandan cultural center, and the very impressive and moving Genocide Memorial.

Later, transfer to the airport in time for your homebound flight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$7,495
- $9,795
2-3 travelers: $9,795 4-5 travelers: $7,795 6-10 travelers: $7,495 Uganda Gorilla and Chimp Permits Included Rwanda Gorilla Permit - add $750
Single Supplement:
$900
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Feb 17-Mar 2, 2017
Feb 25-Mar 10, 2017 Special departure - ask for itinerary
Jun 23-Jul 6, 2017
Jul 14-27, 2017
Aug 18-31, 2017
Dec 8-21, 2017
Feb 16-Mar 1, 2018
Jun 15-28, 2018
Jul 13-26, 2018
Aug 14-27, 2018
Dec 7-20, 2018

Need to Know

See Journeys’ FAQ about Mountain Gorillas for detailed information on the animals and the logistics for visiting them.

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
2-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Trip Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Top Travel Destinations for 2017

Where will your adventures take you in 2017? For curious explorers eager to see the world, it can be hard to narrow down travel options. So, the team at Journeys International has …

Gray-crowned Crane
Gray-crowned Crane
Red-chested Sunbird
Red-chested Sunbird
Murchison Falls
Murchison Falls
Ferry across the Nile
Ferry across the Nile
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Crocodile in the Nile
Crocodile in the Nile
Muhare Group 6 (large male)
Muhare Group 6 (large male)
Elephant crossing the road
Elephant crossing the road
Breakfast with Slender-billed and Yellow-backed Weavers
Breakfast with Slender-billed and Yellow-backed Weavers
Bushbuck
Bushbuck
Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)
Seek out the Shoebill Stork (photo by Tom Tarrant)
Elusive Narina Trogon (male breeding plumage, photo by Patty McGann)
Elusive Narina Trogon (male breeding plumage, photo by Patty McGann)
Look for the area's unique tree-climbing lions (photo by Cody Pope)
Look for the area's unique tree-climbing lions (photo by Cody Pope)
Zebra and other hoofed mammals are common in the park
Zebra and other hoofed mammals are common in the park
Baboon grooming its young
Baboon grooming its young
Augur Buzzard
Augur Buzzard
Safari Vehicle
Safari Vehicle
Saddle-billed stork
Saddle-billed stork
Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda
Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda

Primates and Parrots in Uganda and Rwanda

Queen Elizabeth and Volcanoes National Parks, Murchison Falls, Kibale, and Bwindi

overview

Many naturalists claim that Uganda and Rwanda offer experiences that are richer and more diverse than the great wildlife safari destinations of Tanzania, Kenya, and Botswana. Mountain Gorillas are the featured species of these countries, and you will have the necessary permits to see them up close. But there is so much more.  The valley of the upper Nile, the vast savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and many smaller sanctuaries protecting lakes, rain forests, and volcanic landscapes hold more species of plants, primates, birds, and other animals than any comparable region on the continent.

Our goal on this trip is to explore and understand this richness in the company of an exceptional naturalist guide, Paul Tamwenya. Paul knows virtually all of the birds by vocalization and sight, and has superb vision for finding distant mammals.  He is a charismatic leader who is known and respected throughout Uganda and Rwanda. In two weeks, you will sample all the major habitats of Uganda and Rwanda. 

The emphasis will be on seeing and photographing as many birds and animals as possible, but will also afford the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of many friendly people representing different tribes who will be your hosts.  Expect early morning starts, opportunities to explore on foot, and small comfortable hotels and lodges located close to interesting natural areas.  Most tourists visiting Uganda and Rwanda focus just on the locations where chimps and the Mountain Gorillas occur.  We will have several chances to see the gorillas close up (see Will's 2009 Gorilla Video), but the main emphasis will be active exploration of your naturalist-guide’s favorite sanctuary haunts species of birds and other animals.

Ask about special departure pre-tour and post-tour extensions availabe that allow a visit Paul's village or an opportunity to see the Golden Monkeys.  

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Many naturalists claim that Uganda and Rwanda offer experiences that are richer and more diverse than the great wildlife safari destinations of Tanzania, Kenya, and Botswana. Mountain Gorillas are the featured species of these countries, and you will have the necessary permits to see them up close. But there is so much more.  The valley of the upper Nile, the vast savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and many smaller sanctuaries protecting lakes, rain forests, and volcanic landscapes hold more species of plants, primates, birds, and other animals than any comparable region on the continent.

Our goal on this trip is to explore and understand this richness in the company of an exceptional naturalist guide, Paul Tamwenya. Paul knows virtually all of the birds by vocalization and sight, and has superb vision for finding distant mammals.  He is a charismatic leader who is known and respected throughout Uganda and Rwanda. In two weeks, you will sample all the major habitats of Uganda and Rwanda. 

The emphasis will be on seeing and photographing as many birds and animals as possible, but will also afford the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of many friendly people representing different tribes who will be your hosts.  Expect early morning starts, opportunities to explore on foot, and small comfortable hotels and lodges located close to interesting natural areas.  Most tourists visiting Uganda and Rwanda focus just on the locations where chimps and the Mountain Gorillas occur.  We will have several chances to see the gorillas close up (see Will's 2009 Gorilla Video), but the main emphasis will be active exploration of your naturalist-guide’s favorite sanctuary haunts species of birds and other animals.

Ask about special departure pre-tour and post-tour extensions availabe that allow a visit Paul's village or an opportunity to see the Golden Monkeys.  

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive entebbe
    Paul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in UgandaPaul Tamwenya, Journeys senior naturalist guide in Uganda

    Arrival in Entebbe, Uganda, and transfer to the Cassia Lodge offering a panoramic view of Lake Victoria. Early arrivals will visit the Entebbe Wildlife Education Center or enjoy a first day of birding at the botanical gardens, good for spotting the Vervet, Red tailed, Black, and White Colobus monkeys. The Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) is a great place to learn about the animals of Uganda and the ecosystems in which they live. UWEC is not a zoo in the conventional sense, nor is it a safari park. It is a center for wildlife education where you can observe many indigenous species of wildlife in a semi-natural environment.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Cassia Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: murchison falls national park
    Murchison FallsMurchison Falls

    After breakfast, drive north through the Luwero triangle to Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) with a stopover for lunch in the town of Masindi. MFCA comprises of Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu Falls, and Karuma FAlls Wildlife Reserves. Bisected by the Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls N.P. is the largest protected area in Uganda and contains three different ecosystems. This park has a variety of wildlife which includes lions, leopards, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, a variety of antelope, and chimpanzees as well as the largest population of crocodiles in Uganda. The park is also one of the best birding sites in all of Africa according to the African Bird Club and includes a large variety of birdlife including the rare Shoebill stork.

    In the afternoon, you will board a ferry for the ride to your lodge, arriving in time for dinner. In the evening, there is a possibility of a night game drive with your guide.

    Throughout this trip, there will be opportunities for additional hiking with our fantastic in-country naturalist guide and birder extraordinaire, Paul Tamwenya.  Ask us about options when you book your trip.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Paraa Safari Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: game safari at murchinson falls
    Ferry across the NileFerry across the Nile

    After an early breakfast, you'll cross the Nile by ferry around 7:00 am for a game drive up to the Albert Delta Point. Be on the lookout for lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, and antelopes such as the hartebeest, oribi, and Uganda kob.  Special birds to look out for here include the Shoebill and saddle-billed storks along with a variety of bee-eaters, lapwings, doves weavers and canarys. In the afternoon, a boat trip on the Nile takes you to the roaring waters at the base of the Murchison Falls, where you have the biggest concentration of hippos and crocodile on the river. Some of the crocs may exceed 20 feet in length. Scattered among the hippos and crocs, you will find birds such as the yellow-billed stork, Egyptian Plover, red-chested bee-eater, white-faced and fulvous whistling ducks, rock pratincole, wire-tailed wwallow, and goliath and purple herons. 

    Return to your lodge for dinner followed by an optional night game drive with Paul.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Paraa Safari Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: drive to masindi via top of murchison falls
    Red-chested SunbirdRed-chested Sunbird

    Depending on the success of the last days' drives, today you'll have another chance to find what might have been missed or you can take a walk around the lodge or even relax or take a swim at the lodge pool. Afterwards, make the drive to Masindi via the top of the falls, enjoying the fantastic scenery along the way.In Masindi, enjoy a western Ugandan dance called "Entogoro" from the Banyoro people living around Masindi. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Masindi Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: safari to kibale national park
    Elephant crossing the roadElephant crossing the road

    Today, start after an early breakfast for a long drive to Kibale National Park with lots of stops for birds, animals, and photos along the way. You may encounter large congregations of olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus Monkey, and red-tailed and velvet monkeys. Kibale National Park is a popular habitat for 13 known primate species, including the closest living cousin of man, the chimpanzee. Dinner and overnight at Mountains of the Moon.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mountains of the Moon or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: primate tracking in kibale
    Breakfast with slender-billed and yellow-backed weaversBreakfast with slender-billed and yellow-backed weavers

    After breakfast, go chimpanzee tracking in Kibale. Primates you may also encounter include the L’Hoest’s, red colobus, gray-cheeked mangabey, and red-tailed monkeys, and the olive baboon. In the afternoon, visit Bigodi wetland, which is managed by the local community. This project was started by an American Peace Corps volunteer who was trying to develop ways for the local people to derive income by protecting their forest for ecotourism. These efforts have survived as a successful model which funds a school and employs local people as hosts, guards, and guides. Here, you might spot the elusive Sitatunga Antelope among the papyrus and several interesting species of birds such as the white-winged warbler, papyrus gonolek, and Carruthre’s Cisticola. Enjoy a traditionally-prepared lunch from the local group that manages this wetland. Return to your lodge in Kibale.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mountains of the Moon or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: queen elizabeth national park
    Queen Elizabeth National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park

    Journey through Uganda’s beautiful scenic areas with a potential clear view of the Mountains of the Moon, depending on the cloud cover. As you near your destination, stop for a game drive on the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park -  the second-largest national park in Uganda. In terms of diversity, this park is amazing - with 612 known species of birds. Special birds of this park include the harlequin and blue quails, red-capped lark, African Crake, broad-tailed warbler, martial eagle, African Skimmer, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, and the Amur Falcon. Primates include the olive vaboon, valvet monkey, and the tantalus monkey. In the Chambura gorge, you'll find chimpanzees, as well as the blue and red-tailed monkeys. In the afternoon, embark on a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel, where you'll get close to hippos, buffalos, and crocodiles. Elephants often swim here as well. The bird life is very rich and quite approachable, including saddle-billed stork, both species of pink-backed and great pelicans, and other migratory species. The striated heron, water thick-knee, three-banded plover, marsh, green, wood, and common sandpipers, gray-headed gull, and yellow-billed oxpecker are typically seen. Overnight at the charming Enganzi Lodge.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Enganzi Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: queen elizabeth national park
    Crocodile on the bank of the NileCrocodile on the bank of the Nile

    This morning, you'll enjoy a game drive in northern Queen Elizabeth National Park, exploring the diverse Eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters which are home to an incredible profusion of wildlife. The drive takes you along great views of the massive Rwenzoris as a backdrop providing excellent opportunities to see lions, hyenas, and leopards. On a good day, you'll see the giant forest hog, cape buffalo, African Elephant, defassa water buck, Uganda Kob, and bush buck among others. In the afternoon, take a boat ride on the Kazinga channel to discover a vast array of Ugandan wildlife to possibly see big schools of Hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants as well as a variety of birds that roost along the channel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Enganzi Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: bwindi impenetrable national park
    Tree climbing lionsTree climbing lions

    After breakfast, head out to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for a wildlife safari. The seasonal Ishasha sector provides a good chance of seeing the area's tree-climbing lions. On a good day, you might also catch a glimpse of a leopard or two. Troupes of olive baboons also frequent the roads. Be on the lookout for other interesting savannah animals and birds, including the black-lored parrot, arrow-marked babbler, Ovambo Sparrow Hawk, African Cuckoo Hawk, stout, zitting, wing-snapping and trilling Cisticolas, brown snake eagle, Holub’s Golden Weaver, black cuckoo, and Blue-naped Mousebird. Overnight at the Bwindi Forest edge at the Gorilla Mist Camp for the next 2 nights. You'll stay in traditional style lodges with private baths.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Gorilla Mist Camp or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: gorilla tracking in bwindi
    Muhare Group 6 (large male)Muhare Group 6 (large male)

    Set off early with a packed lunch to Bwindi's park headquarters for a briefing prior to the gorilla tracking. The gorillas are gentle animals, and it is an unforgettable experience to locate, observe, and photograph their family groups. You'll be assigned a family group and it may require walking anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours to reach them, depending on where they've been located after sunrise. Game scouts are likely to have pre-located them and radioed back their location to your guide, but the animals are wide-ranging and don’t stick to the trails. Each encounter is different and has its own rewards. You are likely to enjoy a close view of the adults feeding, grooming, and resting as the youngsters frolic and swing from vines in a delightfully-playful display. Gorilla tracking involves part or all of a day in the Impenetrable Forest. In rare instances, finding, reaching, observing, and returning from a group takes an entire day of rather difficult trekking through thick, sometimes muddy vegetation and hilly terrain.  You need to be physically fit if you wish to maximize your chances. Very occasionally, in spite of all efforts, the gorillas prove elusive. Depending on the time you return to the camp, you might be able to visit some of the communities around the gorillas' habitat or spend an evening birding around Buhoma. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Gorilla Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: cross into rwanda to the cyanika border
    Saddle-billed storkSaddle-billed stork

    Today you'll move from the lower forest ecosystem to the seldom-visited higher forest in Bwindi. In scrubby areas beyond Buhoma, your knowledgeable guide, Paul, will lead the search for the birdlife that make this forest their home such as the red-necked wryneck; brown-backed scrub-robin; bronze, copper and variable Sunbirds; baglafecht, and black-necked, and Holub’s Golden weavers. Further along the road, pass through Kitahurira or “The Neck," another well-known wildlife locale in search of more bird species such as the black goshawk; bronze-naped pigeon; cinnamon-chested bee-eater; Cassin’s Honeyguide; Petit’s Cuckoo-shrike; the enigmatic Chapin’s Flycatcher; pink-footed puffback; and the rare tiny sunbird.

    Farther up the road, cultivated areas provide feeding opportunities for many seed-eating birds and mammals. You'll have excellent chances of seeing the L’Hoest’s, red-tailed, and the black and white colobus monkeys. This is also the habitat of the beautiful dusky twinspot and the African Stonechat, streaky, and thick-billed seedeaters. There are so many special birds at these elevations that you will have the chance to take your time throughout so you can identify as many of the diverse populations as possible with your guide's help. 

    Later, you'll drive through the Kanab Gap to a marshy area habitat that is home to common and lesser moorhenn, hotentot teal, African Rail, and more. Along the way, there are amazing views of the scenery, referred to as the "Switzerland of Africa."  Arrive at Ruhengeri, Rwanda, where you will spend the next three nights.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: parc national des volcans
    You may also see chimps, in addition to gorillasYou may also see chimps, in addition to gorillas

    Today you'll have an opportunity to do another Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans. (Gorilla tracking permits must be reserved at time of booking for $750 per person and are limited pending availability.) Tracking the gorillas through the lush forested slopes of the Virungas is a wonderful experience comparable to, yet distinctive from Bwindi in Uganda. If you are lucky, you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Like Uganda, some gorilla families are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. Individuals opting not to track the gorillas will have various options available to them including a nature hike, hiking to Dian Fossey's tombs, Visoke Crater, or visiting a local village.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: golden monkey tracking & ibya wachu
    Augur BuzzardAugur Buzzard

    In the morning, you will have a short drive to the park headquarters for a briefing, and then head out for a golden monkey tracking adventure. This trek is not as difficult as the gorilla tracking. Little is known about the mannerisms of the golden monkeys except for the fact that they live in social groups, usually of approximately 30 individuals. It is an amazing opportunity to see them feed on fruits, leaves and insects. Afterwards, you'll have a chance to explore the cultural village of Ibya Wachu - a demonstration cultural village that was started by one of the park wardens to show case how the Rwanda Kings lived and a place that has helped many former poachers appreciate conservation of the gorillas. Return to your Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: kigali city & depart rwanda
    Our VehicleOur Vehicle

    After breakfast, you will depart for Kigali. Along the way, marvel at the energy and industriousness of the Rwandan people. Roads are in good condition, streets are clean, schools are open (depending on time of year), and construction seems to be taking place everywhere.  While the terrible experience of the genocide has not been and will not be forgotten, you will get the sense that Rwandan people want to move forward to create a society that learns from mistakes. In Kigalii, you'll have a brief tour of the city including a visit to the market, a pottery project, handicraft shops, the Franco-Rwandan cultural center, and the very impressive and moving Genocide Memorial.

    Later, transfer to the airport in time for your homebound flight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$7,495
- $9,795
2-3 travelers: $9,795 4-5 travelers: $7,795 6-10 travelers: $7,495 Uganda Gorilla and Chimp Permits Included Rwanda Gorilla Permit - add $750
Single Supplement:
$900
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Feb 17-Mar 2, 2017
Feb 25-Mar 10, 2017 Special departure - ask for itinerary
Jun 23-Jul 6, 2017
Jul 14-27, 2017
Aug 18-31, 2017
Dec 8-21, 2017
Feb 16-Mar 1, 2018
Jun 15-28, 2018
Jul 13-26, 2018
Aug 14-27, 2018
Dec 7-20, 2018

Need to Know

See Journeys’ FAQ about Mountain Gorillas for detailed information on the animals and the logistics for visiting them.

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
2-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Trip Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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