Primates of East Africa (18 days)

Our 18-day trip brings you the primates of Uganda and Rwanda: You can see up to 20 primate species, including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, the rare golden monkeys, dent's monkeys, black and white colobus, red colobus, mona monkey, and Angolan colobus monkeys. In Queen Elizabeth National Park you can also see the animals of the savannahs including lion, elephant, buffalo, hippo and leopard.

This trip specifically includes: Kibale Forest National Park, Semuliki National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Highlights

Highlights

  • See the chimpanzees and 12 other monkey species in Kibale Forest
  • Experience the spectacular hot springs in Semuliki National Park
  • Boat trip on the Kazinga Channel with the biggest concentration of hippos and spectacular birds
  • See the Golden monkeys in Mgahinga National Park
  • Meet the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park in Uganda, and/or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
  • See the chimpanzees and 10 other monkey species in Nyungwe Forest
Photos

Photos

Route

Route

Day 1
Entebbe - Kampala
Day 2
Kampala - Kibale Forest
Day 3
Kibale Forest
Day 4
Kibale Forest
Day 5
Kibale Forest - Semuliki National Park
Day 6
Semuliki National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 7
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 8
Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable
Day 9
Bwindi Impenetrable
Day 10
Bwindi Impenetrable - Lake Mutanda
Day 11
Lake Mutanda and Mgahinga National Park
Day 12
Lake Mutanda Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)
Day 13
Volcanoes National Park
Day 14
Volcanoes National Park - Kibuye
Day 15
Kibuye Nyungwe Forest
Day 16
Nyungwe Forest
Day 17
Nyungwe Forest
Day 18
Nyungwe Forest - Kigali
Map Primates of East Africa (18  days)
Day to day program

Day to day program

Day 1

Entebbe - Kampala

Arrival at Entebbe airport. Your guide will be there waiting for you. Pick up and proceed to your accommodation.

Day 2

Kampala - Kibale Forest

After breakfast we drive to Kibale Forest. You can make a walk around the lodge in the afternoon. During this walk it is possible to see monkeys and birds. It is also possible to make a night walk through the forest to see the animals of the night, like bush babies (both activities optional).

Kibale Forest is a spectacular jungle, with 13 primate species! Including chimps, baboons, black and white colobus, red colobus, grey cheeked mangabey and L'Hoest monkey.

Day 3

Kibale Forest

Chimpanzee tracking in the morning or afternoon. Night walk through the forest in Chimps' Nest. Expect to see the animals of the night, including Galagos, Bush babies, Servals and Genet cats.

Day 4

Kibale Forest

Morning forest walk in Kibale Forest with many chances of meeting primate species and different birds on the way. Bigodi Swamp Walk in the afternoon. This gives you another chance to see the monkey species of Kibale Forest.

Day 5

Kibale Forest - Semuliki National Park

Transfer to Semuliki National Park with chances of seeing the Rwenzori mountains. Visit the Sempaya Hot Springs in the afternoon and search for monkeys in the forest.

Semuliki is a unique place and the only lowland jungle in East Africa, part of the Congo eco system.

Day 6

Semuliki National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park

Transfer to the Queen Elizabeth National Park. On our way we pass the equator. Game drive in the afternoon.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the best places in Uganda to see lions. Expect to see elephants, lions, many hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes and maybe leopards.

Day 7

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge in the morning. Afternoon boat trip on Kazinga Channel.

The Kyambura Gorge is a Gorge of 500 meters deep and up to 1 km wide. The gorge is forested and is inhabited by habituated chimpanzees.

The Kazinga Channel is one of the highlights of Uganda and has the highest concentration of hippos in the world.

Day 8

Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable

Nature walk in Maramagambo Forest in the morning and after transfer to Bwindi Forest National Park for an overnight.

Bwindi Impenetrable is a unique jungle, with many monkey species. Bwindi is one of the two places in the world where you can find Mountain Gorillas!

(Driving time depends on the area in Bwindi we stay).

Day 9

Bwindi Impenetrable

Gorilla tracking!!! Early morning departure with your ranger to search for one of the world's most interesting and endangered animal, the Mountain Gorilla! You will spend one hour with one of our closest relatives. An experience you will never forget.

Day 10

Bwindi Impenetrable - Lake Mutanda

Transfer to Lake Mutanda, one of the most beautiful places in Uganda. On a clear day you can see the 3 volcanoes in the distance. Relax at the lodge or do one of the following activities (one activity included): boat trip on the lake, walk along the lake or to the local people, go for a swim, or visit the pygmies.

(Driving time to Lake Mutanda depends on the area in Bwindi we stay.)

Day 11

Lake Mutanda and Mgahinga National Park

Visit Mgahinga National Park to see the Golden Monkeys.

Mgahinga National Park is part of the Virunga Volcanoes and borders Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Apart from Mountain Gorillas, the stars of Mgahinga are the golden monkeys, a subspecies of the Blue Monkey.

Day 12

Lake Mutanda Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)

Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. It is possible to visit a pygmy village on the way (optional).

Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga Mountains, covering 3 countries: Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Together with Bwindi this is the only place in the world to see the Mountain Gorillas.

Day 13

Volcanoes National Park

Optional activities for today: Do a second gorilla tracking (must be booked in advance to be sure), visit the golden monkeys, make a nature walk in the national park, climb a volcano, visit Dian Fossey's Grave, or visit the Twin Lakes, Lake Ruhondo and Lake Burera (all activities optional).

Day 14

Volcanoes National Park - Kibuye

Transfer to Kibuye by the shores of Lake Kivu. Relax at the shores of this beautiful lake. It is possible to make a walk along the lake or visit a vising village or make an optional boat trip on the lake.

Day 15

Kibuye Nyungwe Forest

After breakfast we drive to Nyungwe Forest for an overnight.

Nyungwe is one of East Africa's largest forests. It is home to 11 primate species including chimpanzees. Other attractive monkeys to see: Angolan Black Colobus, Mona Monkey, Blue Monkey, L'Hoest Monkey and Owl Faced Monkey.

Day 16

Nyungwe Forest

Go for Chimpanzee tracking in the morning! See them feeding, walking around and swinging the trees. The chimpanzees are our closest relatives! During this walk you are also able to see other monkey species and birds. Optional visit of a tea factory in the afternoon.

Day 17

Nyungwe Forest

Today we make a beautiful waterfall walk in search for monkeys (especially Angolan Black Colobus and Mona Monkey. It is also possible to do the canopy walk (optional).

Day 18

Nyungwe Forest - Kigali

After breakfast drive to Kigali for your flight. Go for a City tour if time allows.

Accommodations

Accommodations

Medium Budget
High Budget
Day 1
Entebbe - Kampala
Medium Budget: Forest Cottages (BB) or Nanjing Motel (BB)
High Budget: Cassia Lodge (FB)
Day 2
Kampala - Kibale Forest
Medium Budget: Chimps` Nest (BB)
High Budget: Primate Lodge (FB)
Day 3
Kibale Forest
Medium Budget: Chimps` Nest (BB)
High Budget: Primate Lodge (FB)
Day 4
Kibale Forest
Medium Budget: Chimps` Nest (BB)
High Budget: Primate Lodge (FB)
Day 5
Kibale Forest - Semuliki National Park
Medium Budget: Rwenzori View Guesthouse (BB)
High Budget: Mountains of the Moon (FB)
Day 6
Semuliki National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park
Medium Budget: Kasenyi Safari Camp (BB)
High Budget: Mweya Safari Lodge (FB)
Day 7
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Medium Budget: Kasenyi Safari Camp (BB)
High Budget: Mweya Safari Lodge (FB)
Day 8
Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable
Medium Budget: Depends on the group of gorillas you will be tracking (BB) *
High Budget: Depends on the group of gorillas you will be tracking (FB) *
Day 9
Bwindi Impenetrable
Medium Budget: Depends on the group of gorillas you will be tracking (BB) *
High Budget: Depends on the group of gorillas you will be tracking (FB) *
Day 10
Bwindi Impenetrable - Lake Mutanda
Medium Budget: Lake Mutanda Resort (BB)
High Budget: Lake Mutanda Resort (FB)
Day 11
Lake Mutanda and Mgahinga National Park
Medium Budget: Lake Mutanda Resort (BB)
High Budget: Lake Mutanda Resort (FB)
Day 12
Lake Mutanda Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)
Medium Budget: Muhabura Hotel (BB)
High Budget: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)
Day 13
Volcanoes National Park
Medium Budget: Muhabura Hotel (BB)
High Budget: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)
Day 14
Volcanoes National Park - Kibuye
Medium Budget: Moriah Hill Resort (BB)
High Budget: Moriah Hill Resort (FB)
Day 15
Kibuye Nyungwe Forest
Medium Budget: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel (BB)
High Budget: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (FB)
Day 16
Nyungwe Forest
Medium Budget: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel (BB)
High Budget: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (FB)
Day 17
Nyungwe Forest
Medium Budget: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel (BB)
High Budget: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (FB)
Day 18
Nyungwe Forest - Kigali
Medium Budget: Flight (End of service)
High Budget: Flight (End of service)

Legend: BB = Bed and Breakfast / HB = Half Board / FB = Full Board
 

* Depending on the group of gorillas you will be tracking we will choose where to sleep in Bwindi. There are 3 areas for Gorilla tracking in Bwindi: Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo.

Lodges we use for Medium Budget:

  • Buhoma: Buhoma Community Rest Camp (BB)
  • Ruhija: Gorilla Mist Camp (BB)
  • Nkuringo: Nshongi Gorilla Resort (BB) / Wagtail Eco Safari Camp (BB)

Lodges we use for High Budget:

  • Buhoma: Mahogany Springs (FB) / Buhoma Lodge (FB)
  • Ruhija: Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge (FB)
  • Nkuringo: Nkuringo Gorilla Safari Lodge (FB)
Prices

Prices 2017

Prices per person, in USD, based on double/twin sharing

 

  Medium Budget High Budget
Based on private group of 6 persons 2.640 4.390
Based on private group of 4-5 persons 2.915 4.715
Based on private group of 2-3 persons 3.535 5.325
     
Gorilla Tracking Low Season
(Apr-May-Nov)
High Season
Gorilla Permit per person for Uganda 450 600
Gorilla Permit per person for Rwanda 750 750
     
Options Medium Budget High Budget
Single room Supplement 555 700
Upgrade to Full Board per person per day 30 n.a.
Upgrade chimpanzee tracking to chimpanzee habituation experience (full day with the chimps) 70 70

 

  • Some lodges may ask for seasonal surcharges for the  Easter and Christmas Holidays

 

 

Includes

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodations with meals mentioned
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Private 4x4 custom built safari vehicle with knowledgeable driver/guide and fuel
  • Entrance fees to the included National Parks
  • The following activities: bird watching, game drives, boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest, Bigodi Swamp Walk, Chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge, Maramagambo Forest walk, nature walk in Bwindi, one activity in Lake Mutanda, Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga and Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Visa for Uganda and Rwanda
  • All optional activities
  • Insurances
  • Meals not mentioned and beverages
  • Tips and personal expenses such as laundry and communication
Travel info
Health Uganda

The Government of Uganda requires mandatory proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination for travelers 1 year of age and above. Travelers should possess a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate (vaccine received at least 10 days ago) prior to entry into Uganda. Travelers who do not meet this requirement must be vaccinated at the Airport (with possibility of isolation as determined by the Aiport health authority) prior to entry into Uganda at the travelers own costs.

Furthermore all required inoculations must be recorded by your health practitioner on a valid vaccination certificate. You must carry this document with you throughout the tour. All visitors should take malaria prophylactic drugs. We also advise that you bring a mosquito repellent with you. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for up to date requirements, inoculations and personal recommendations!

Normally you need the following vaccinations (but please always consult a doctor):

  • Yellow Fever
  • DTP
  • Hepatitis

For Malaria you need to take tablets,  Malarone or Lariam. Malarone is mostly used (please always consult a doctor).

Hygiene is not at the same standard as in your home country, so we advise you to bring a disinfectant cream with you. Always drink bottled water instead of tap water.

Health Rwanda

A certificate proving that you have received a yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. Furthermore all required inoculations must be recorded by your health practitioner on a valid vaccination certificate. You must carry this document with you throughout the tour. All visitors should take malaria prophylactic drugs. We also advise that you bring a mosquito repellent with you. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for up to date requirements, inoculations and personal recommendations!

Normally you need the following vaccinations (but please always consult a doctor):

  • Yellow Fever (you must have this can even be checked on arrival, especially when flying within East Africa)
  • DTP
  • Hepatitis

For Malaria you need to take tablets,  Malarone or Lariam. Malarone is mostly used (please always consult a doctor).

Hygiene is not at the same standard as in your home country, so we advise you to bring a disinfectant cream with you. Always drink bottled water instead of tap water.

On arrival

On arrival on the airport our guide will be there waiting for you. During safari we use custom made safari vehicles, custom made for an optimal view of the wildlife. Safari vehicles (and small aircrafts) provide limited space for luggage. It is therefore recommended to travel with light bags since bulky suitcases will overload and might be difficult to be taken on board.

Visa Uganda

The Government of Uganda has introduced the online visa application system with effect from 01 July 2016.

When you are visiting Uganda you must apply for a visa online:

  • Go to the website https://visas.immigration.go.ug/
  • Please make sure you have the following documents in .pdf, .jpeg, .png or .bmp format: a copy of your passport, copy of recent passport size photograph and a vaccination certificate (Yellow Fever)
  • Fill in the form (normally you need an “ordinary” visa, single entry)
  • When you send the form you will immediately receive a tracking code. This code helps you to keep track of how far your application has progressed. You can check its status from this webpage
  • The Ugandan authorities will send you a letter in the email after they have approved your application (please check you SPAM folder too)
  • Print this letter and bring it with you when you arrive at the overland border or at Entebbe International Airport. You need this letter to be allowed to purchase the entree visa there for USD 50.

Some nationalities do not require a visa, please check this in advance.

Visa Rwanda

For Rwanda the visa procedure is very different and very strict. When you are visiting Rwanda you must take these steps.

First go to this webpage: https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=203. You are now on the website of the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration. Here you find the necessary information about the ‘Class V-1(s) Single Entry Visa-Online Visa’ which is suitable for most people who travel to Rwanda for holiday purposes. Please read the information on the website carefully.

Nationals of Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America will be issued with entry visa valid for a period up to 30 days and pay for a visa (USD 30) upon arrival without prior application.

On this webpage you will see a link to the online application form through which you can apply for the visa you need. Fill this form in its entirety. You will be asked to mention your entry point. Normally we use entry point number 5 (Cyanika) when you are coming from South-Western Uganda. This is the border crossing near Volcanoes National Park. When arriving in Kigali by plane, you will use entry point number 1 (Kigali International Airport). You are also requested to attach an invitation letter. This letter will be send to you by your Kazinga Tours contact person. When you send the form you will immediately receive a tracking code. This code helps you to keep track on how far your application has progressed. You can check its status from this webpage: https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=27. The Rwandan authorities will send you a letter in the email after they have approved your application (please check you SPAM folder too). Print this letter and bring it with you when you arrive at the overland border or at Kigali International Airport. You need this letter to be allowed to purchase the entree visa there. It is your own responsibility to arrange your visa(s) correctly and in time, but if anything is unclear of course we will be glad to assist you.


Note:  This information is subject to change! Always consult the Rwandan embassy in your country if you are not sure.

Note: The Rwanda website is offline every now and then, if so, please try again later.

Money

In most of the cities it is possible to withdraw money from an ATM. Travelers Cheques are not widely accepted and it is very difficult or impossible to pay by credit card outside the cities. The US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of preference. We advise to bring some Dollars for daily expenses and tips.

Dollar bills should not be older than 10 years.

Currency Rwanda

The unit of currency is the Rwandan Franc. Please check the latest exchange rates before you go to your destination. This will be a guideline. Please note you will get a better exchange rate in the bigger cities.

AMREF Flying Doctors


We advise you to apply for a Flying Doctors membership. The membership provides a quick and reliable air evacuation and medical care if needed.

AMREF Flying Doctors offers 2 covers (Annual and Tourist). You can choose between the Maisha Silver (Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar), Maisha Gold (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi) or Maisha Platinum (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia).

Please check out the AMREF Flying Doctors website for more information and to become a member.

Language in Uganda

Educated Ugandans are generally fluent in English, which is the official language in Uganda. Next to English there are about 30- plus different indigenous languages.

Language in Rwanda

The official languages of Rwanda are French and English, the local language is Kinyarwanda.

Climate Uganda

Uganda is a tropical country, with higher temperatures at lower altitudes (Kampala, Murchison Falls, Kidepo and Bundibugyo).

Areas around Bwindi, Mgahinga, and Lake Bunyonyi are generally cooler.

When to visit Uganda

Uganda can be visited at any time throughout the year. But please keep in mind that mountain hikes, gorilla tracking and other forest walks are more challenging during the rainy seasons (March - May and October - November).

For birders the rainy season is considered to be the best time to visit Uganda.

Rainy season means it rains more often, but not every day and not the whole day.

Climate Rwanda

Rwanda is a tropical country, with higher temperatures at lower altitudes (Akagera).

Areas around Nyungwe, Lake Kivu and Volcanoes National Park are generally cooler.

When to visit Rwanda

Rwanda can be visited at any time throughout the year. But please keep in mind that mountain hikes, gorilla tracking and other forest walks are more challenging during the rainy seasons (March - May and October - November).

For birders the rainy season is considered to be the best time to visit Rwanda.

Rainy season means it rains more often, but not every day and not the whole day.

What to wear Uganda

Daytime temperatures are generally warm to hot, so bring lots of light clothing. Evenings are cooler, especially at high altitudes (areas around Bwindi, Mgahinga, Lake Bunyonyi and Kabale) so carry a couple of sweaters too.

Those who intend to do mountain hiking will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should pack accordingly. Do not forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a waterproof jacket.

During safaris we advise to avoid black and dark blue clothes (because they can attract tsetse flies).

If you are planning on doing a community walk or visit the local people, we advise you to wear appropriate clothing. For example women putting on long skirts and a top that covers the shoulders

What to wear Rwanda

Daytime temperatures are generally warm to hot, so bring lots of light clothing. Evenings are cooler, especially at high altitudes (areas around Volcanoes National Park and the Virungas), so carry a couple of sweaters too.

Those who intend to do mountain hiking will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should pack accordingly. Solid walking shoes and sturdy clothing are ideal for forest walks.

When you are doing gorilla tracking some gardeners gloves are handy because of the thick vegetation and thorns.

Do not forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a waterproof jacket. During safaris we advise to avoid black and dark blue clothes (because they can attract tsetse flies).

If you are planning on doing a community walk or visit the local people, we advise you to wear appropriate clothing. For example women putting on long skirts and a top that covers the shoulders.

What to bring

A valid passport is mandatory (passport must be valid for at least 3 months after re-entry) and visa requirements for all countries you are planning to visit should be checked before you travel.

To make the most of your visit to the game reserves and national parks, we advise you to carry binoculars and field guides.

Photographers will need a zoom lens for wildlife (70-300 or more). Please make sure to carry enough memory cards with you. Toiletries and other essentials can be bought in the cities.

A torch (flashlight) can proof to be very useful

Electricity Uganda

We advise you to take an international adapter with you for your electric equipment. The system used in Uganda is the British system. In most lodges it is possible to charge your batteries.

Electricity Rwanda

We advise you to take an international adapter with you for your electric equipment. The system used in Rwanda is the Western European system. In most lodges it is possible to charge your batteries.

Driving Uganda

Driving in Uganda is on the left-hand side.

Visitors without experience of African roads are advised to travel with a 4x4 vehicle driven by a knowledgeable driver/guide, rather than self-drive.

Driving Rwanda

Driving in Rwanda is on the right-hand side.

Visitors without experience of African roads are advised to travel with a 4x4 vehicle driven by a knowledgeable driver/guide, rather than self-drive.

Stopover Points

Please mind that washrooms along the road are sometimes not to European standards, for example squatting toilets, no flushing toilets or no toilet paper available. Like the locals say: T.I.A. This Is Africa.

Facilities and accommodations

Bathroom facilities and accommodations can be more basic when traveling on a medium to low budget. In the eco lodges mind that the water reserves are limited and in most cases there are no sockets in the room, but you can always charge your devices at the reception.

Tipping

Tipping will always be appreciated. It is normal to tip 5-10% in hotels and restaurants. Guides, drivers and carriers should always be tipped. Indication: for carriers USD 1-3 and for your driver/guide USD 5-15 per day, depending on the group size, number of days and your satisfaction.

Further information Uganda

The Bradt Travel Guide is the most detailed guidebook for Uganda. The Lonely Planet (East Africa), Footprint Guides and Spectrum Guides produce other guidebooks. For wildlife, the best guidebook is ‘Watching Wildlife East Africa’ from the Lonely Planet. For birding, the best guidebook is ‘birds of East Africa’. It is advisable to get the most updated copy.

Further information Rwanda

The Bradt Travel Guide is the most detailed guidebook for Rwanda. The Lonely Planet produces another guidebook (Lonely Planet East Africa). For wildlife, the best guidebook is ‘Watching Wildlife East Africa’ from the Lonely Planet. For birding, the best guidebook is ‘birds of East Africa’. It is advisable to get the most updated copy.