Tour duration: 20 days
Destinations visited: Rwanda; Kigali, &Volcanoes National Park. Uganda’s; Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth, Murchison falls & Kibale National parks, Rhino trekking plus a tour of Source of the Mighty River Nile.
This 20-day adventure safari features four of East Africa’s top travel experiences: gorilla trekking in Uganda &Rwanda, Cultural interactions, Big 5 game viewing and tour of the source of the mighty Nile – the longest river in the world.
It is an ideal safari for travellers who like their adventure served with plenty of comfort, exploration, good food, cultural interactions and great service. Tick off four of East Africa’s top bucket list travel experiences!
Day to Day Itinerary:
- Day 1: Arrival Kigali.
- Day 2 – 5: Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
- Day 5 – 8: Bwindi National Park in Uganda.
- Day 8 – 10: Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda.
- Day 10 – 12: Primate Capital of Africa.
- Day 12 – 14: Lake Albert.
- Day 14 – 16: Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda.
- Day 16 – 17: Rhinos + Kampala
- Day 17 – 20: River Nile paradise + Departure.
20 Days East Africa’s Primate Capital, Big 5 &River Nile Adventure
Day 1: Touchdown in Kigali
After landing at Kigali international airport, you will transfer by car into the city centre for check in at the award-winning Kigali Serena Hotel. The hotel is a popular attraction in Kigali and boasts some of the city’s best restaurants as well as a lavish spa – two much-needed luxuries after a long-haul flight. Spend the remainder of your day relaxing, dining or strolling through the hotel’s manicured grounds.
Day 2 – 5: City tour, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
Close Encounters: After a morning City tour of Kigali, a 3-hour road transfer ferries you from arrival in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, to the edge of Volcanoes National Park. Your home for the next three nights is a Conde Nast Top 100 Hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Set in the foothills of the majestic Virungas, the lodge has incredible views of the dormant volcanoes and surrounding countryside. Guest suites are spacious, ranch-chic cottages and the main lodge offers a beautiful communal space – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is an ideal base for exploring this unique and remote African wilderness.
Two treks; a gorilla trek & golden monkey trek are included in your stay. In the company of qualified rangers, you set off on foot from the park’s nearby offices to trek the lush, tropical mountains to see Rwanda’s rare mountain gorillas. Since these highly endangered creatures do not breed in captivity, encountering a silverback gorilla and his family in the wild is one of the most poignant and thrilling wildlife experiences in the world.
Soak up the Virungas scenery & culture: Spend the day searching for golden monkeys and other colourful rainforest inhabitants on guided walks through the park or on a hike to the top of the volcano. Specialized birding safaris can be arranged as well as historical tours and cultural visits to local villages. For those taking it easy, there are plenty of comfortable spaces to relax and appreciate the impressive scenery and in the evening there is live music and entertainment around the campfire.
Day 5 – 8: Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi National park in Uganda
Close Encounters: A 7-hour road transfer ferries you from the edge of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to Uganda’s Bwindi National park edge; your home for the next three nights is the luxurious Mahogany Springs Lodge. Set in the foothills of the majestic Bwindi Impenetrable forest, the lodge has incredible views of the dense forest and surrounding countryside. Guest suites are spacious, ranch-chic cottages and the main lodge offers a beautiful communal space – Mahogany Springs Lodge is an ideal base for exploring this unique and remote African wilderness. A gorilla trek; is included in your stay. In the company of qualified rangers, you set off on foot from the park’s nearby offices to trek the lush, tropical mountains to see Uganda’s rare mountain gorillas. Since these highly endangered creatures do not breed in captivity, encountering a silverback gorilla and his family in the wild is one of the most poignant and thrilling wildlife experiences in the world.
Soak up the Buhoma scenery & Batwa/pygmy culture: Spend the day trailing with the displaced Batwa pygmies who’ll share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. Enjoy an incredible day hike in the rain forest with Batwa guides, see how the pygmies lived and hunted for hundreds of years in the forests, learn about medicinal plants, and watch for other colourful rainforest inhabitants and birds. You can optionally hike to the Munyiiga waterfall. Specialized birding safaris can be arranged as well as historical tours and cultural visits to local villages. For those taking it easy, there are plenty of comfortable spaces to relax and appreciate the impressive scenery and in the evening there is live music and entertainment around the campfire.
Day 8 – 10: Mweya Safari Lodge.
Thousands of birds taking off and landing in relays… thousands of elegant birds call Kazinga Channel home. You will sleep in a luxurious cottage over facing the Kazinga channel at Mweya Safari lodge, which has blissful views across the Mweya peninsula.
The beautiful panoramas are matched by the peerless game viewing, especially when you have a game drive and boat safari where you have the best chance of seeing all the Big 4 in a single game drive. It is an exquisite and unique environment; the minerals from ancient volcanic action fertilize the grasses, making for lush grazing for thousands of plains game. Back at Mweya Safari Lodge, put your feet up, lean back and enjoy an iced drink as you watch the sun sink below the horizon.
Morning and evening game drives to see the superb resident wildlife and big cat sightings. Your safari includes a dawn hot-air balloon flight over Queen Elizabeth National Park– one Africa’s most iconic experiences. For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. Lion tracking is a new and unique experience which allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park.
You’ll indulge in an afternoon boat safari along the Kazinga Channel- a natural channel which connects Lake Edward to Lake George. Possible sightings include an Amazing diverse collection of the African animal Kingdom which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe plus a variety of colorful species of Water birds like Crested Eagles, Pelicans and Cormorants. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.
Day 10 – 12: Africa’s primate Capital!!
Your vacation through Uganda & Rwanda should end on an absolute high by including a visit to the ‘primate capital of Africa’- Kibale forest: a lush forest that gives you a sense of being in a completely different world… some serious monkey business! The forest is home to at least 12 Primate Species including: the Red Tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Black and White Colobus plus Blue Monkeys. The bird life in the forest is also prolific and includes the beautiful Great Blue Turaco. If you are very lucky, you may even catch a Glimpse of the meandering herd of Forest Elephant.
You are guided by an expert tracker who intimately and intuitively understands the sights, sounds and signs of the forest to find these creatures referred to as “our cousins”. Spending an hour watching them is like staying by yourself through the prism of millennia; an awe-inspiring experience!
A community walk/birding excursion (2-3 hours) that will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the Great Blue Turaco!
Chimpanzee habituation tracking; instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking, you can opt for a full day chimpanzee habituation experience where you will trail the chimpanzees closely all day, have very close encounters with them as they go about their daily activities. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go.
Be sure to relax your eyes on the vivid green tea plantations as you enjoy a guided tour on the tea farms.
Day 12 – 14: On the shores of Lake Albert.
You’ll stay at the cozy Lake Albert Lodge. The main lodge with pool and thatch cabanas faces Lake Albert with magnificent views of the Blue Congo Mountains to the West. In addition to excellent game viewing either by horse back or by walking safari, the staff at Lake Albert Lodge will go out of their way to create breath-taking memories for you. Take a romantic dinner literally under the stars, the Milky sky shimmering above you as the lack of light pollution makes it shine brightly. Then, rise after dawn to enjoy one of Africa’s most timeless bush breakfasts in Kabwoya Wildlife reserve: Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve’s biggest attraction is not so much the wildlife but the collective scenic wonder of everything found in this little piece of heaven.
Morning and night game drives to see the resident wildlife, and birds. Ride into the savannah on horseback and meet big groups of Uganda Kob, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Warthogs and more. You can approach the animals much easier on horseback! Great experience, especially early morning riding and sunset riding. For the more adventurous make use of our quad bikes and go for an extreme ride. Optionally, a walking safari accompanied by our experienced guides brings you up close and personal with nature. Fossil Hunting is another unique activity available for everybody of any age, especially kids.
Day 14 – 16: the dramatic Murchison Falls
Having rested at the scenic Lake Albert lodge, the excitement is palpable as you gear up to have a romance with the mighty River Nile, in Murchison Falls National Park an ancient land located in the Albertine rift valley, home to the famous Murchison Falls, which approaches you with a thunderous sound. At the top of the Falls, the view is amazing- the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below.!! You cross the Mighty River Nile with a ferry to the Northern side from where you have an excellent game viewing. Be on the lookout for animals starting and ending their day: nocturnal creatures scuttling into burrows to sleep and their diurnal counterparts waking up, some, like elephants, engaging in complicated and endearing ‘good morning’ greeting rituals, predators hunting for their next meal, crocodiles basking by the Nile and hippos lurking in water holes.
Morning and evening game drives to encounter the superb resident wildlife and big cat sightings.
You’ll indulge in an afternoon boat safari on the River Nile to the bottom of the Murchison Falls. Possible sightings include an Amazing diverse collection of the African animal Kingdom which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe plus a variety of colorful species of birds.
Day 16 – 17: Rhino trekking & Kampala.
Bid your Big 5 Safari farewell as you wing your way to Zziwa Rhino sanctuary – this Rhino reserve is a true success story after the extreme poaching that killed the last rhino in Uganda in 1982. Doing this guided trek gets you “up close and personal” to these special beasts that are among “Africa’s Big five.”
You’ll wind down in the vibrant Kampala- a city that never sleeps!
Day 17 – 20: The Promise of the Nile…
Your Adventurous vacation ends on an absolute high: leaving the Gorillas, Big 5 and other primates behind, you take off for vibrant Jinja – Uganda’s second largest town/colonial industrial hub and home to source of the Mighty Nile. You will stop in the lush Mabira tropical rain Forest for an exhilarating canopy Super Sky way.
Experiencing the Mabira Forest canopy makes you behave like monkeys! In Jinja, you will spend 3nights at The Haven – beautiful cabanas flanked by lush gardens overlooking the river with breathtaking views of the Nile rapids and excellent opportunities for watching birds and local fishermen paddling dugout canoes.
White water rafting , horseback safari along the Nile, Quad-biking , Whitewater kayaking on the Nile, sundowner cruise on the Nile, tour the source of the Nile, Big Game mini-golf, A visit to Jinja market, Village walk and Sport fishing on the Nile. You can optionally skip all the adventure and choose to leisurely wind down or relax by the Nile with a book in hand.
After three days by the Nile and 17 days exploring African jungles & the diverse Savannah, it is time to bid this paradise farewell. You have woken at dawn, dined under the stars, explored the longest river in the world, followed the game and marveled at gorillas – where else in the world could you experience all this?
This marks the end of what we hope will be an adventurous trip- Thank you very much!!
Sun Africa Expeditions Terms & Conditions
PLEASE be reminded that the luggage allowance on our inbound schedule flights is strictly 15KGS PER PERSON and that SOFT BAGS are highly recommended, if not essential. In light aircraft the baggage area and weight allowance is limited. Hard Samsonite type suitcases do not fit into the cargo compartment easily, if at all. Due to limited space available for storage in safari vehicles, we strongly recommend use soft duffle bags rather than hard suitcases.
A binding contract will come into existence once Sun Africa Expeditions and yourself agree on the itinerary and quote provided for the same. The booking will then be considered confirmed when an invoice is issued. Your contract for the services chosen will be direct with the relevant supplier(s). Your supplier contact will be governed by the laws of the country in which the supplier is located and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of that country.
Reservations, Payment and Deposits
When Sun Africa Expeditions has accepted your booking, the date of the confirmation invoice activates the terms and conditions of the contract. Confirmation of services is subject to payment of a non-refundable deposit of 15% of the total invoiced amount. The balance is to be paid not later than 30 days prior to commencement of the services. When bookings are made within 30 days prior to the departure date, full payment is required immediately on written confirmation.
All bookings are subject to availability at the time of booking and cannot be guaranteed except for scheduled departures.
Prices are quoted in US dollars. All prices are subject to change without prior notice. Should prices or costs from suppliers increase due to inflation, currency depreciation and fuel surcharges, then Sun Africa Expeditions will not have any other option than to pass on the same to you. All suppliers reserve the right to increase prices at any time of the year when costs increase outside the control of the supplier. Please note that when the clients’ itinerary overlaps two seasons, the price will be prorated over the two seasons.
Rates include but are not limited to the following services specified in the itinerary. Accommodation with meals, tours, transport, driver/guide, park entrance fees, hotel taxes and service charges.
Rates exclude (Unless otherwise specified), Medical Air Rescue services, Porter-age, domestic Air Charters, Visa fees, beverages, laundry, telephone calls, scheduled flights, gratuities and all expenses of personal nature.
NB: Flying doctor services are Optional at USD 25 per pax (Subject to change and vendor terms & conditions).
Child rate: – is only applicable to one or two children under 12 years sharing a room with 2 adults. In the case of 02 children sharing a room with parents, the two children will share a bed, as most hotels/lodges cannot accommodate a fourth bed. 01 child sharing a room with 01 adult will be charged full adult rate.
Single Room Policy
Single rooms are available at supplementary cost but the suppliers do not guarantee singles. Single rooms are scarce and cannot be guaranteed even if paid for at twin sole use rate. Where this occurs an appropriate refund will be made by the supplier to the client. Suppliers will only allow a maximum of 3 single rooms per group at a single room rate except for high end luxury camps where single rooms are limited to only 02 singles.
Should you wish to cancel your confirmed booking, you must advise the company in writing.
Reservations that are cancelled, reduced in length of stay or reduced in numbers (hereinafter collectively called a CANCELLATION) are subject to Cancellation and No Show fees if cancelled within 30 days of the arrival date:
55 days to 41 days prior to arrival: 25%
40 days to 22 days prior to arrival: 35%
21 days to 15 days prior to arrival: 50%
14 days to 07 days prior to arrival: 65%
06 days to 03 days prior to arrival: 80%
Within 48 hours and after commencement of holiday: 100%. Once the holiday has commenced no refund will be made. The figures expressed are percentage of the total tour price.
Cancellation: Although it rarely happens, and Sun Africa Expeditions will do their utmost to avoid doing so. Sun Africa Expeditions must reserve the right to cancel tours and other arrangements. Where your holiday is cancelled (other than due to your default in payment) due to unavoidable circumstances beyond our control e.g. Natural disaster or over booking, Sun Africa Expeditions will offer you the choice of purchasing an alternative holiday.
The expression “force majeure” means any event which the supplier(s) in question could not have foreseen or avoided even with all due care. Such events may include war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, government action and all similar circumstances outside the suppliers’ control. In these circumstances the suppliers shall not be liable to pay any compensation or otherwise be responsible for any expenses or losses you incur where supplier is forced as a result to cancel, delay, curtail or change your holiday arrangements in any way or where the performance or prompt performance of the supplier’s contractual obligations is prevented or affected. Complaints
In the unlikely event that a tour member has a dispute whilst on safari this must immediately be brought to the attention (and put on record) of the local representative, Hotel, Lodge or Camp management. It is likely that the tour member’s complaint will be satisfactorily resolved there and then. If, however, this is not the case and the tour member wishes to pursue the matter on their return from safari, it is essential the complaint be communicated in writing to Sun Africa Expeditions within 21 days of the end of tour quoting tour reference, destination and departure date.
Responsibility of Sun Africa Expeditions
Sun Africa Expeditions acts only as the Agent for the suppliers and shall not in any event be liable for any negligence, breach of contract or acts of omission on the part of suppliers, their employees or any other Agent, it shall be the responsibility of all customers including (without limitations) Tour members, Tour Operators and Travel Agents, to read and familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of suppliers. Sun Africa Expeditions liability for its own negligence or breach of contract shall be limited to the Tour price.
Safari Minibuses, Cars, Land Cruisers and coaches will be provided according to the route and number of participants. Sun Africa Expeditions reserves the right to employ services of sub-contractors. Multi-lingual driver guides are provided on request. For flying packages, clients will share vehicles with other guests booked at the hotel. For exclusive use, please check with Sun Africa Expeditions for supplements, which will be subject to availability.
The hazards of travelling in Africa may inevitably rise to some risks and dangers. It is therefore a condition of booking that all tour members must have sufficient and appropriate travel insurance for the duration of their tour. Such insurance (which is not supplied by Sun Africa Expeditions) should fully cover all personal requirements including death, personal injury, medical expenses, and repatriation in the event of accident or illness, cancellation or curtailment of the tour members’ personal property.
Any special requests (e.g. for single rooms or particular diet) must be notified in writing when the booking is made. Whilst the supplier will endeavour to meet such requests they cannot be guaranteed and any failure to comply will not be a breach of contract.
Sun Africa Expeditions services include flight re-confirmation and airport assistance within Africa if clients are provided all services by Sun Africa Expeditions. In cases whereby Sun Africa Expeditions is providing part of the services and the clients have other arrangements of their own, then Sun Africa Expeditions will only reconfirm where forwarding address or contacts are provided.
Demand for safaris can be high and may lead to shortage of lodge/hotel accommodation. All bookings will be confirmed, but no occasions changes may be necessary. Hotels/Lodges/camps, here specifically named are given as an indication of the category and rooms may be reserved at similar lodges/ hotels/camps. We undertake to advise you of any changes known to us prior to departure, but the possibility of change without notice, must be acceptable when booking. Where ever possible we book rooms with private baths showers throughout on the basis of two persons sharing a double room. Single rooms are available at supplementary cost but neither single rooms nor rooms with private bath/shower can be guaranteed.
Safari minibuses cars, four wheel drive vehicles or coaches will be provided according to the route and number of participants. The right is reserved to employ the services of subcontractors. Multi-lingual chauffer/guides are provided. Occasional mechanical problems, changes of lodge or adverse road conditions may in turn lead to a change of routing or game viewing without prior notice being given. We reserve the right to offer substitutes of equal value or to cancel the operation of any tour. In practice, very few itineraries are affected but a little flexibility on your part will ensure the tour is unique and rewarding.
Website and Brochure Description
Descriptions of accommodation facilities and services in our brochures are shown in good faith, it is however possible that certain facilities or services may be unavailable or limited due to maintenance , adverse weather, local conditions, seasonal restrictions etc.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this website/e-brochure at the time of printing, regrettably errors do occasionally occur. You must therefore check all details of your holiday booking with your travel agent or supplier at the time of presentation.
The company cannot therefore accept responsibility for any information not contained in this brochure, being confirmed verbally by its staff or representatives unless subsequently reconfirmed in writing by the company.