Known for their outstanding natural beauty, incredible hospitality, and the rare mountain gorillas, Rwanda and Uganda are two of the must-see countries in East Africa. Over this expansive itinerary, you’ll see firsthand what makes them so special
During these months, the weather is generally warm and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 29°C (77°F to 84°F) during the day. The average rainfall per month ranges from 46mm (1.8”) to 86mm (3.4”). It is an ideal time to visit for wildlife safaris and gorilla trekking, as the drier conditions make it easier to navigate through the national parks.
This period experiences relatively higher precipitation, with rainfalls ranging from 86mm (3.6”) from September to November to averages of around 147mm (5.8”) from March to May. The rainforest landscapes become lush and vibrant during this time, but it’s important to note that travel conditions can be more challenging due to occasional heavy rains and muddy trails. However, the rainy season also offers unique opportunities for birdwatching and witnessing the spectacular waterfalls at their fullest.
In Uganda, game viewing in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park is excellent December through February and June through October. In November and March it is good, and it is fair in April and May.
For Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda’s northernmost park, wildlife viewing is better from September through May – the area’s dry season – as animals head for reliable water sources. From April through August, there is still a decent amount of wildlife and it’s the best period of the year for birding.
The weather during these is typically characterized by warm and sunny days, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 27°C (59°F to 81°F). These periods are considered excellent for visiting Rwanda’s national parks, such as Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking, as the dry conditions offer better visibility and ease of exploration. July’s rainfall is the lowest at just 11mm (0.4”), with June (19mm / 0.7”) and August (31mm / 1.2”) just a touch higher.
The rainfall and temperature remain relatively constant in Rwanda due to its position on the equator. Rainfall averages at least 77mm (3”) a month during this period, with a high in April of 154mm (6.1”). Afternoon temperatures are usually around 27°C/81°F, though they drop in popular regions like Nyungwe (21°C/70°F) and Volcanoes National Park (16°C/61°F).
In Rwanda, game viewing in Volcanoes/Nyungwe is excellent December through March and June through October. It is good in November, and fair in April and May.
Arrival in Kigali and transfer to your accommodation.
On the way to Nyungwe Forest we will stop in the town of Butare (Huye) where we will visit the National Museum of Rwanda for an insight into the cultural heritage of this fascinating country. After breakfast, we visit a tea plantation including an opportunity to try your hand at picking tea. Afterwards, we visit the tea factory. Optional activities can be booked, such as primate walk and bird watching, as well as various walks. Nyungwe also has a community centre called “Banda Community Village”, where you can try different food, basket weaving and banana beer. If time does not allow this visit or if beer production is not taking place, similar activities can be carried out in Uganda.
This morning we drive to Kibuye and visit Nyange church, a new church built as a memorial to the 3,000 people killed here when the original church was destroyed during the genocide. In the afternoon we take a boat trip on Lake Kivu where we’ll see the huge colony of fruit bats that form great clouds in the sky, and Amahoro Island, the island of peace. For our second day, we visit the L’Esperance children’s orphanage and village. The whole day will be dedicated to this visit.
After breakfast, we drive to Gisenyi. Visit a fishing village, enjoy a bath in the hot springs and visit the coffee island where you can see the whole coffee production process – and taste the coffee, of course! Later, there will be time to relax in the lodge or enjoy a walk along the shores of Lake Kivu.
We will drive from Gisenyi to the home of the mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park. There is also the possibility of a visit to see banana & sorghum beer production in Musanze, on the way to the national park. Today you can climb a volcano or visit the tomb of Dian Fossey. There are several ways to enjoy Kinigi’s cultural entertainment.
We say farewell to Rwanda and drive across the border to Lake Mutanda in Uganda. With the Virunga volcano as its backdrop, this is certainly a spot for some great scenic photos. A boat tour is possible. On your second day, we’ll have a very early breakfast, then go into Mgahinga National Park for Golden Monkey tracking, and you will be humbled by these primates of the Virunga Ranges. In the afternoon visit the indigenous Batwa people on a community walk
We’ll drive for a couple of hours to Lake Bunyonyi where you will have time to relax, take a nature walk, enjoy watching the abundant birdlife or maybe wander through the local market at Rutinda where many people still bring their produce by canoe. You could even try your hand at paddling a traditional dugout canoe or go swimming in the hippo, croc and bilharzia-free waters.
The wonder visit to Kiyebe village day! Today you will visit Kiyebe, the complete wonder village. This is perhaps one of the most remote, and traditional village in Uganda. It is the only village with no access through by road as its main rough mountainous road only stops at the small trading centre called mukyogo a name originating from the only community elephant pond in Uganda. You can plant your own tree, collect honey from the beehive and then if you want, enjoy local and national beers with the villagers. You will also have great local food that is fresh and organic and the dancing and singing of this community is nothing you can even imagine. It’s impossible to miss a visit to this village. On your next day, it’s time to put your boots on and grab a sturdy walking stick, today is a once in a lifetime experience: Gorilla tracking! It is one of the best Ugandan travel experiences you can have. You will be hiking up in the mountains which can take between 2 to 6 hours depending on how far the gorillas are.
After breakfast, we drive to Ishasha, one of the few regions in Africa where lions can be spotted climbing trees and lounging on branches. Therefore, make sure that during the game drive you are not only looking out over the savannah, but also have your eyes focused up in the trees!
Today we get up early and continue our search for the tree climbing lions. After breakfast, we drive to the northern part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. If time permits, we can also visit Katwe Salt Lake. On our second day, you will go for the Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge. Hippos, buffalo, crocodiles and many species of birds can be spotted during the afternoon boat trip on the Kazinga Channel.
After an early breakfast, we drive to the Ruwenzori Mountains for a one-day hike. On the Kilembe Trail you get an insight into the flora and fauna of this unique mountain range. After, we drive to Fort Portal for the night.
As we negotiate the twists and turns of the road, the landscape changes, eventually opening out into a magnificent view across Semuliki National Park. After visiting the park and the hot springs, we drive to Kibale National Park. The next day, you will be hiking off the beaten track, through the jungle in search of chimpanzees. Once you find them, it will be a fascinating experience as you watch them play, feed and swing through the trees, which is highly entertaining. Primate and bird watching will be the highlights of the afternoon walk in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.
We continue to Murchison National Park, home to buffalo and elephants as well as gentle, graceful giraffes. With a bit of luck, we’ll also see lions and leopards on our evening game drive.
Our next day here starts with an early morning game drive and a relaxing afternoon boat ride along the Victoria Nile River where you will encounter animals gathering on the riverbanks and an abundance of crocodiles and hippos. The boat will take you close to bottom of the thundering Murchison waterfall, where the powerful river Nile forces its way through a gap only 7 metres wide and over 43 metres high.
Then on our final morning, we’ll start the day with another boat trip, this time heading the other way to explore the Nile delta. Keep your eyes peeled for the prehistoric-looking Shoebill stork. An afternoon game drive follows.
We start the day with a morning game drive before heading to Ziwa Sanctuary for an afternoon walk with the rhinos or relaxation around the lodge.
After breakfast, we set out on a rhino tracking expedition. This special experience brings you very close to the rhinos, and you will be able to learn about the steps being taken to protect this endangered species. After, we head to Entebbe.
On your next day, we will drive to Mabamba swamp to search for the shy, prehistoric-looking shoebill. In the afternoon we will return to Entebbe and explore the birdlife along the shores of Lake Victoria.
For the last day of your Ugandan tour we’ll spend it in Entebbe and the surrounding area. After a farewell dinner (maybe some famous Lake Victoria grilled fish) and drinks, we will drop you at the airport for your flight home. As your plane takes off, we hope you are already starting to plan your next African safari adventure.
Our tailor-made trips are designed to offer you the best possible value to make your East African safari experience a memorable one. As a boutique tour operator, we are happy to personalise your trip budget and package according to your needs.
Please treat all pricing as a guide only, as customisations made to this itinerary, style of travel, and number of guests may raise or lower the overall cost. All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice. Single supplements may apply.
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