Primates and Wildlife of Rwanda and Uganda

tours / Adventure

Primates and Wildlife of Rwanda and Uganda information and booking

  • Duration
    13 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
    Adventure touring
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

  • 13 day trip
  • 3 day walks
  • 12 nights hotels/lodges
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).


  • Tracking Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park
  • Tracking rare Golden Monkeys in their natural habitat
  • Game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Kazinga Channel
  • Searching for the elusive chimpanzees in the Kibale Forest
  • Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Murchison Falls

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This itinerary is perfectly crafted for animal lovers with hikes into the natural habitats of the Mountain Gorilla, Golden Monkey and chimpanzees of Rwanda and Uganda. After some exploration of Rwanda's capital Kigali we drive north to the Volcanoes National Park to discover the rare Golden Monkeys, a delightful entree to the following days' hike through the Virunga Mountains in search of gorillas. Tracking the mountain gorillas is an unequalled jungle trek experience culminating in the thrill of standing within metres of a family, often including the imposing male silverback. Rwanda and Uganda are also known for the colourful cultures and pretty lakes around where many of these communities live and Gisenyi is a fine example of this. Continuing north to the Queen Elizabeth National Park we will enjoy game viewing along the Kazinga Channel with its vast numbers of hippos. Close to Kibale we undertake a trek into the forests once again to spot chimps before including some time at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Finally a Nile River cruise showcases the impressive Murchison Falls whereafter our trip concludes in Entebbe.

What's included

  • 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 8 dinners
  • English speaking local guide
  • Accommodation in good 3 star and occasional 4 star hotels or lodges
  • Transportation in specialised safari vehicles
  • National park fees and permits valued at us$1250
  • All activities specified in the itinerary
  • Arrival and departure transfers (days 1 & 13 only)


Day 1 Arrive Kigali
Upon arrival in Kigali, you will be met by your driver-guide who will be with you for the full duration of your safari in Rwanda & Uganda. Transfer from the airport to the group hotel. There will be a briefing on your forthcoming safari in the late afternoon or evening depending on arrival time.
Day 2 Kigali city tour, drive to northern Rwanda
After breakfast we will undertake a short morning tour of Kigali, including a visit to the genocide memorial. Afterwards we will make our way to Ruhengeri (re-named Musanze) at the foot of the beautiful and pristine Volcanoes National Park, approximately 2.5 - 3 hours drive. This was the region where Dian Fossey amazed the world with her research of the magnificent mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Following Dian Fossey’s work and David Attenborough’s famous documentaries, the mountain gorillas have inspired travellers from all over the world to experience one of nature’s greatest interactions. Anyone who has witnessed the mountain gorilla’s of East Africa will strongly agree that it is a once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten. Tonight we sleep in a comfortable lodge in the foothills of the Virunga Mountains.
Day 3 Golden Monkey trek
As a warm-up for our gorilla trek, we will have an early start to search for the equally rare and endangered Golden Monkey. These primates are unique to this region of East Africa and the Volcanoes National Park, where there is a troupe numbering about forty. Little is known about these beautiful monkeys and experts are only recently able to put together the basic details about their routines and lifestyles. They can be quite difficult to spot. With our expert local guides and trackers we search for them in the thickets of bamboo where they like to spend most of their time. Be prepared for rain, mud and giant stinging nettles – long trousers, gloves and a waterproof jacket will help. It will be necessary to take your own water and snacks – eg. chocolates, biscuits or sweets – with you in case you have to trek for a while before finding the monkeys. Approx trek time: 3-5 hours. After your visit to the Golden Monkeys, return to the road head where your driver-guide will be waiting for you. Transfer back to the lodge for a late lunch. Rest of the day is at leisure.(PLEASE NOTE: Days 3 & 4 may be swapped around depending on gorilla permit availability.)
Day 4 Gorilla trekking
Another early start as we trek deep into the forest in search of the mountain gorillas. While gorilla tracking you will be accompanied by a guide and usually two trackers, and allowed no more than one hour with your allotted gorilla family. To find your family group the guide will lead you to where the gorillas were sighted on the previous day and then literally track them through the forest. The terrain is very rough, often over steep slopes covered with matted vegetation. Be prepared for rain, mud and giant stinging nettles – long trousers, gloves and a waterproof jacket will help. It will be necessary to take your own water and snacks – eg. chocolates, biscuits or sweets – with you in case you have to trek for a while before finding the gorillas. Approx trek time: 3-8 hours. After our trek and humbled by this incredible experience, return to the road head where your driver-guide will be waiting for you. Transfer back to the lodge for a late lunch. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 5 To Lake Kivu, Gisenyi
After breakfast, we will drive to Lake Kivu (approx 75km; 2 hours) which is one of Africa's mighty fresh water inland lakes. The lake covers a total surface area of some 2,700 square kms and stands at a height of 1,460m (4,790 ft) above sea level. The lake bed sits upon a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity in the area, and making it particularly deep: its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft) is ranked eighteenth in the world. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains, and the hotel is located on a white sandy beach. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 6 Cross to Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today we will head to the Ugandan border, where you will cross near the Ugandan town of Kisoro. Drive on scenic and winding roads to Uganda's most famous national park - Queen Elizabeth National Park - arriving at our lodge for dinner and overnight. Approx drive time: 7-8 hours.
Day 7 Game drive, Kazinga Channel
Today you will go on a morning game drive in the park with your driver-guide, and return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will do a cruise (1 hour) on the Kazinga channel with sightings of hippos and abundant birdlife. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 To Kibale, chimp trek
After breakfast we will drive north (approx 3-4 hours) through the lush and ever green tea growing areas of Uganda, passing the snow capped Rwenzori mountains - also called the Mountains of the Moon. After check-in at the hotel and lunch (own expense), we will undertake a trek in the Kibale Forest looking for the elusive chimpanzees. Kibale Forest offers the best chance in Africa to see these fast moving primates, although there is no guarantee that you will be lucky and spot them as they are much harder to trek for than the Gorillas and Golden Monkeys. Approx trek time: 3-5 hours.
Day 9 To Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary via Kampala
Today is a long driving day (approx 8-9 hours), via the outskirts of Uganda's capital Kampala, to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary - the only place in Uganda where you can see rhinos as they were poached to extinction. NB - as accommodation is very limited and basic at Ziwa, you may be staying in rooms with shared bathrooms/toilets.
Day 10 Rhino walk, to Murchison Falls National Park
This morning we will go on a rhino walk at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. To see these animals "on foot" is a truly amazing sight. Afterwards we will drive north to Murchison Falls National Park (approx 4-5 hours), arriving at the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 11 Game drive, Nile River cruise
The large wildlife biodiversity in Murchison Falls National Park contains 76 types of mammals and 451 different birds. The River Nile, on its journey from Murchison Falls, attracts a whole host of different wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos and water birds. Other animals include lion, warthogs, buffalo, rare aquatic sitatunga antelope (also called the diving antelope), giant forest hog, Uganda kob, topi, waterbuck, elephant and leopard. In the morning we will go on a game drive in the park. In the afternoon there will be a boat trip on the Nile to the bottom of the truly amazing Murchison Falls. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 12 To Entebbe
After breakfast we will drive (approx 5-6 hours) via the capital Kampala to the town of Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 13 In Entebbe, trip concludes
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Entebbe airport where the trip concludes.