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18 Days East African Primates, Big Cats & Big 5 Safari

This safari will take you to the most interesting and rewarding places such as national parks, game reserves, communities neighboring these protected areas and many more. Some of the activities that you will take part in include gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, community walk, boat cruise and game drives, lion tracking, Rhino trekking and many more. This tour will take you to 5 countries that are rewarding with stunning views, big gems such as the big five animals, watching beautiful bird species, enjoying the scenery covered with endless plains, different hills and many more. There are great moments you can enjoy, such as the annual wildebeest migration, wild animals giving birth if you’re lucky, sunrise and set, border crossing and many more others. This tour will begin in Kigali Rwanda and it will end in Arusha Tanzania with the option of alternation since it’s a tailor-made safari.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali and transfer to Volcanoes national park

On arrival on this first day of your safari, be picked up by the assigned driver guide who will take you through a briefing about this memorable safari in East Africa. Begin the safari with a transfer to Volcanoes national park home to the rare primates and these are mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park is also a great historical site for protecting the endangered mountain gorillas, habituation process of the gorillas started in this park in the whole of Africa. Arrive after a 3 hours drive and this will mark the end of the day after checking in the lodge.

Day 2: Golden monkey trekking and Iby’iwachu cultural village tour

Embark on your first-day adventure on this 18 Days East Africa Tour which will begin in the morning with a briefing exercise. The park ranger well-armed will take you into the forest together with other fellow trekkers (no limited number like those for gorilla trekking). On meeting the golden monkeys which will be in the bamboo trees, you will be advised to use flashlight cameras since these primates will tend to draw closer.

After an amazing adventure which will last for 6 to 7 hours including an hour that is spent in their presence, trek back for lunch and immediately head for a community tour where you will visit the Iby’iwachu cultural village. This will be a great idea to learn about the Banyarwanda culture through traditional music and dances, language, and dress code and, they practice conservation techniques for protecting the gorillas and other wildlife species in the park. Late evening, head to the lodge and have your meals plus overnight stay.

Day 3: Travel to Kahuzi-Biega national park

Leave Volcanoes national park which is located in the Virunga Mountains and head to Kahuzi-Biega national park a renowned national park for protecting the rare gorilla subspecies called the eastern lowland gorillas which are the largest species of gorillas. Kahuzi-Biega national park gets its name from the two mountains of both are found on the park premises and these are none other than Mt Kahuzi and Mt Biega. The road trip will involve crossing the border which involves going through the immigration process and the driver guide will help you through that. Arrive in the evening and check in the accommodation facility booked depending on your budget.

Day 4: Lowland gorilla trekking adventure

Begin the adventure day of lowland gorilla trekking by having breakfast and then briefing where the dos and don’ts to follow will be stipulated such as don’t feed wild animals, keep a distance of about 10m from the gorillas, avoid using flashlight cameras, don’t eat, smoke or even drink in the presence of gorillas and many more others. Begin the trek with the help of the park guide ranger and a porter who will carry your luggage. The overall trek last between 2 to 8 hours but only an hour will be spent in the presence of the gorilla. The guide ranger will be in a position to explain the difference between the mountain gorillas of Virunga mountains and the eastern lowland gorillas. Head back to the lodge for leisurely evening time.

Day 5: Head to Bwindi National Park via Kigali

Leave Kahuzi-Biega national park in the morning and transfer to Bwindi National Park a home of almost half of the remaining mountain gorillas that live together with other small primates like the black and white colobus monkeys, varvet monkeys, also bird species of almost 250 species. The road trip is amazing as you will pass in the land of a thousand hills-Rwanda and then cross the Katuna border with alot of ease from the driver guide since he will take you through the immigration process. On arriving late evening, take a shower after checking in at a lodge as you wait to dine.

Day 6: Gorilla trekking adventure and leisure

Wake up excited and take your breakfast which will be followed by a briefing where the does and don’ts will be told. These will be the same as the one in Kahuzi-Biega national park and after being allocated to a gorilla family to trek. You will be given a park ranger guide to take you to the forest and during the search, meet other attractions like the bird species, primates, plants and many more. On meeting a family of these beautiful and gentle primates, you will spend an hour in their presence and this will create memories. Trekking is difficult since it involves walking long distances, hiking since the species of gorillas live in mountains and even there is no demarcated trail and which means that you pass in the bush to follow their movements. After the experience, head back to the lodge for a leisurely evening.

Day 7: Head to Queen Elizabeth National Park, game drive in the Ishasha sector

Head to Queen Elizabeth National Park a savannah grassland protected area famous for the tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector. The driver guide will take you through this great sector for lion tracking together with elephants, buffalos, and antelopes. The tree-climbing lions will be seen resting and at the same time eyeing the prey. You are advised to always follow the guide’s instructions to be able to enjoy your experience. After the experience, head to the lodge for your dinner and accommodation.

Day 8: Game drive and boat cruise adventure

This amazing day will begin with an early morning game drive together with a park ranger guide well-armed for protection in case of wild animal attack and again to take us to the best spotting points. The game drive will offer you a chance to spot early raisers such as spotted hyenas, lions, jackals, leopards, cheetahs and many more such as elephants, buffalos and warthogs. This adventure will last for 2 hours and then head back to the lodge for breakfast, leisure which will be followed by an afternoon boat cruise on the mighty Kazinga channel. This will grant you an opportunity to spot wild animals and water-loving birds which include both migratory and native. Hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, fish eagles, kingfishers and many more won’t be missed. Take a drive back to the lodge while enjoying the savannahs with their wildlife.

Day 9: Transfer to Kibale National Park and visit Isunga cultural community Association

Leave the premises of Queen Elizabeth National Park and transfer to Kibale National Park-the primate capital of the world with 13 primates and the chimpanzees become the most attractive in this amazing protected area. This park is also home to unique bird species such as the great blue turacos, the green-breasted pitta and many more. The road trip will take you through the Ndali Kasenda crater lakes a journey taking about 2 hours. On arrival, take a community walk in Isunga which will comprise visiting the tea plantations, coffee farms and crater lakes like Lake Nyabikere (Lake of Frogs). Check-in at the accommodation facility and this will mark the end of the day.

Day 10:  Chimpanzee tracking and visit Amabere Ga’Nyinamwiru

Head for Chimpanzee tracking and this will begin with a briefing exercise which is very important since it will be a guideline to you and protect the wildlife. Among the rules given are don’t feed wild animals, keep a distance from chimps, don’t mimic, and don’t litter the park premises and many more. You will then head into the forest to begin the search for these great primates. The meeting will be a great opportunity of spotting our fellow cousins who share 98% of our blood DNA. Tracking will last for about 5 hours and this will include an hour spent while in the presence of the chimps. After the experience is rewarded with a certificate and then heads to the lodge for lunch.

Take an afternoon tour to Amabere Ga’Nyinamwiru caves in Fort Portal where you will learn about how the stalactites and stalagmites are formed both historically and geographically. Enjoy the Nyakasura falls and you can take a natural shower. You can opt to take a hike and view 3 craters and lakes or the driver guide can take you for a short drive and this will be the end of the day after a drop off at the lodge.

Day 11: Transfer to Murchison falls National Park

Leave Kibale or Fort Portal this morning with a drive through the tea plantations, forests and other farmlands to Murchison falls National Park. This is a historical park and known to be the only national park homing four of the big five, having the most powerful waterfall in the world hence the name of the park originates. These falls are located on the world’s longest river, R. Nile which separates the park into two parts one having savannah grasslands and another one being a forested area. Arrive and head to the top of the falls which will be an option to take memorable photos and then check in the accommodation.

Day 12: Game drive, boat cruise and hike top of falls (optional)

Wake up on a game drive which will last for 2 hours enjoying the savannah’s wildlife such as lions, leopards, buffalos, warthogs, elephants and many more. The game drive will reward you will a great time to explore to spend on the hippo pool which is home to hippos on this point, you can opt to take bush breakfast tea or fruits. In the afternoon, head for a boat cruise on the Albert Nile part of the river Nile where you will encounter hippos, crocodiles and others birds species. Enjoy the Murchison falls from the bottom and you can opt to take a short hike to the top of the falls which will reward you with a gaze on the rainbow which is formed when water squeezes itself in a narrow gorge. Check in the accommodation for your dinner.

Day 13: Transfer to Kampala (stopover at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary)

Head to the capital city of Uganda the Pearl of Africa-Kampala with a stopover at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary for Rhino trekking. This experience takes about 2 hours where you will meet the Ugandan rhinos in the jungle. Learn about these rhinos and their story of how they were depleted during the regime of Idd Amini Dada. Proceed after enjoying the amazing hot lunch to Kampala and check in at the hotel in either Kampala or Entebbe.

Day 14: Fly to Masai Mara national reserve and game drive

Head to Entebbe International Airport for a flight at Nairobi Kenya and then another connecting flight to Masai Mara national reserve. The park is a home to the big five and you will immediately embark on an evening game drive where wildlife will be spotted such as rhinos, baboons, warthogs, leopards, elephants, cheetahs, and many more. The game drive will end after 2 hours and then head to the booked accommodation.

Day15. Full-day game drive

Have a great time exploring the beautiful plains or Mara through a full-day game drive. Explore great moments and if it’s a month of migration, meet the wildebeest migration together with the zebras. This is one of the world’s wonders as moves in millions while others are being fed by crocodiles, lions, and other predators. You have an option of visiting the Masai community and learning more about this great African culture who are related to the Karamajongs of norther Uganda.

Day 16: Cross to Serengeti National park in Tanzania

Have breakfast and cross to Serengeti a journey that will take an almost full day. Serengeti is a magical savannah in Tanzania and Africa at large. This is where the wildebeest begin their way to Masai Mara national reserve of Kenya. There is a lot u you will enjoy while in this park such as the endless plains, wild animals, great moments and many more. Arrive in the evening and check in the accommodation booked.

Day 17: Full day in Serengeti national park

Like in the Masai Mara Nation reserve, spend a full day in the jungle of Serengeti national park and take a game drive with a picnic lunch. Animals to meet are hyenas, leopards, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, giraffes, cheetahs, baboons, Crocodiles which are in the marshes of Mara River, birds like Rock Pigeon, Speckled Pigeon, Dusky Turtle-Dove, Mourning Collared-Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Ring-necked Dove, Laughing Dove and many more. Meet the wildebeest migrating to Masai Mara national reserve. Head to the lodge for your accommodation.

Day 18: Transfer to Arusha and fly home

End your safari Wil a drop-off at the airport on your arrival to Arusha and the driver guide will wish you a safe journey home.

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