Combine wildlife experiences and cultural excursions for an unforgettable 11-day journey through Uganda and Rwanda. Explore Uganda's national parks on a series of wildlife safaris, then trek into the jungle to see rare mountain gorillas in the wild. Support community and conservation efforts along the way with visits to local villages, farms, and markets, and spend a day with the Batwa people to learn about their sacred relationship with the forest. Your trip ends over the border in Rwanda, where you'll discover the thriving modern capital of Kigali.

Highlights

  • Spot hippos & crocodiles on a river safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Trek through the misty jungles of Bwindi to see gorillas in the wild
  • Learn about traditional forest life with the Batwa Pygmy people
  • Discover the sobering history & bright future of Kigali, Rwanda's capital
  • Support local communities with socially-conscious tours & experiences

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Uganda! Entebbe
Day 2 Rest & Relax on Lake Victoria Entebbe
Day 3 Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, Evening Game Drive Lake Mburo National Park
Day 4 Dairy Farm Visit, Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 5 Land & Water Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park Kasese
Day 6 Kalinzu Chimpanzee Trekking & Kasoga Walk Kasoga
Day 7 Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Bwindi National Park
Day 8 Gorilla Tracking & Batwa Pygmies Cultural Experience Mgahinga National Park
Day 9 Transfer to Uganda, Continue to Kigali Kigali
Day 10 Kigali City Tour & Local Community Encounters Kigali
Day 11 Depart Kigali Kigali

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!

The Victoria Mall in Entebbe

Welcome to Uganda! Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you'll be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your bast for the next two nights on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Day 2: Rest & Relax on Lake Victoria

A red-throated bee-eater, one of Uganda's many brilliant bird species

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, the rest of the day is at your leisure. Relax, rest up, and recover from the jet lag after your flight—tomorrow you set out on the first day of your safari adventure.

Day 3: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park, Evening Game Drive

Grey-crowned cranes at Lake Mburo

Today you'll embark on a scenic journey to Lake Mburo National Park. Stop for photos as you cross the Equator, and proceed to your lodge accommodations for lunch. Afterward, you'll set out on an unforgettable evening game drive, where you'll have the opportunity to see impalas, giraffes, zebra, elands, waterbucks, buffalo, and many bird species. 

Day 4: Dairy Farm Visit, Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Sweeping savannah in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Head to a nearby farm this morning with your local guide, where you'll learn about traditional farming in the region. Meet the resident long-horned cows and try your hand at milking (you can even take some milk for your breakfast!) 

Afterward, you'll continue your journey with a transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Set on the floor of the vast Rift Valley, the park is is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. Its diverse ecosystems include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes, and fertile wetlands, making it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species, and over 600 species of birds. The landscape of northern Queen Elizabeth comprises dozens of ancient craters carved into gentle rolling hills, against a backdrop of the majestic Rwenzori Mountains

Day 5: Land & Water Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Spot buffalo and hippos on today's water safari

This morning, you'll enjoy an exciting game drive in Queen Elizabeth. A popular route is the Kasenyi Sector, known for its numerous lions that prey on the large population of Uganda kob (antelope). If you are very lucky, you may spot a giant forest hog—Africa’s largest pig—or an elusive leopard!

In the afternoon, you will hop on a boat for a water safari on the Kazinga Channel, which connects Edward and George Lakes. The Uganda Wildlife Authority guides leading the trip will identify many of the channel’s 100 bird species. You’re likely to see African skimmers, great white pelicans, spoonbills, and a number of bee-eaters. Hippos wallow at the edge of the water, huge Nile crocodiles bask in the sun, and elephants often come down for a refreshing drink.

Day 6: Kalinzu Chimpanzee Trekking & Kasoga Walk

Track chimp families in Kalinzu

This morning's adventure takes you towards the Kalinzu Central Nature Reserve, a tropical forest known for its biodiversity. Here you'll find over 400 tree and shrub species, 379 bird species, including great blue turaco, cuckoos, and sunbirds, and a dizzying array of rare butterflies and moths. The forest is also home to six primate species, including blue, velvet, and colobus monkeys.

Today you will be tracking one of the forest's most remarkable residents and our closest relatives: chimpanzees. These great apes are incredibly fun to watch as they play and fight in the trees. Your experienced guides will introduce you to the members of the chimp families that inhabit the forest, and there will also be plenty of opportunities to see different species of birds and plants along the way.

In the afternoon, you'll visit the Kasoga Community Experience for a walk around a fishing village on the banks of Lake George Ramsar. Along the way, you'll learn about traditional fishing practices and canoe-making, meet community members, and see more wildlife up close.

Day 7: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Morning mist at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Today, you will make your way to the amazing Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a UNESCO Natural Heritage site and one of the richest biological and botanical regions in the world.

The forest covers an area of 205 square miles (331km²) at the southwestern edge of the western Rift Valley. Bwindi’s most-revered species are the approximately 400 wild mountain gorillas that reside within—making up about half of the world population of these gentle apes. For this reason, Bwindi Impenetrable is one of the best places on the planet to come face to face with the species.

Day 8: Gorilla Tracking & Batwa Pygmies Cultural Experience

Young gorillas playing in Bwindi National Park

Rise bright and early today for a gorilla tracking adventure! Before beginning the trek, park rangers will brief the group to ensure your safety and that of the great apes. The trek usually takes three to six hours, so make sure to bring along a good pair of walking boots or shoes.

The rangers will guide you through the village gardens and into the jungle-like forest. Follow them through the thick bush as they hack through the dense undergrowth with a machete as you search for gorillas. As part of anti-poaching efforts, the apes are under 24-hour monitoring, so you’re almost guaranteed to see them! 

Once you have located a gorilla family, you will be asked to leave all your belongings on the side and approach the gentle giants with only your camera. It is advised that you keep a distance of 23 feet (7 m) from the apes to reduce the risk of transmitting human diseases to them. This also helps the guides interpret the animals' behavior and easily retreat if danger is perceived.

Settle in and watch the gorilla families in their natural environment: feeding, playing, interacting with each other, or just sleeping. The gorillas are usually quite curious to see humans as well! 

In the afternoon, you'll return to camp for some downtime before embarking on the Batwa Pygmy Cultural Experience. This educational center was created to pass down the customs and history of the displaced Batwa people to their children, and visits from tourists help support the community's healthcare and education. Learn how the people of this forest hunted with bows and arrows, help prepare a typical meal, discover the forest's many medicinal plants, and listen to traditional songs and stories.

Day 9: Transfer to Uganda, Continue to Kigali

Rwanda's welcoming, modern capital of Kigali

After an early breakfast, you'll say your goodbyes to Uganda and continue your journey to neighboring Rwanda. You'll go through border formalities as you cross the border at Gatuna, then proceed to the capital of Kigali.

Your evening is free to relax at your hotel or go for a sunset walk in the beautiful Kigali town center. 

Day 10: Kigali City Tour & Local Community Encounters

A walkway at Kigali's Genocide Memorial

Peacefully nestled along picturesque hilltops, Kigali is a thriving African city located in the geographic center of the country. The city is clean and safe, with extremely welcoming people. Visitors can enjoy exploring the great cultural activities—including several award-winning museums, a burgeoning music scene, and some of East Africa’s most memorable dining experiences. 

On today's city tour, you'll visit important landmarks like the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, which documents and pays tributes to the victims of the 1994 genocide, and the CAG Museum, commemorating the Campaign Against Genocide Plan. Continue to Kimironko Market to experience one of the largest markets in Kigali, where you'll meet local vegetable vendors, sample succulent fruit, and experience a truly authentic slice of African life. The tour concludes with a stop at Gayaha Gifted Hands, a craft co-op that supports the community through art and design.

Day 11: Depart Kigali

Goodbye, Rwanda!

Enjoy a final African sunrise this morning and a leisurely breakfast before transferring to the Kigali International Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Uganda & Rwanda Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Uganda and Rwanda? Check out these other Uganda and Rwanda itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.