On our 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya Tour you’ll see that, today, Uganda is a land visited for its incredible natural environment as opposed to being avoided for its man-made one.

In Kibale Forest National Park, we try to spot and identify some of the 12 species of primates that inhabit the area and when we enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, we can marvel at sterling views of the famous ‘Mountains of the Moon’ as we make our way through a diverse range of ecosystems.

Our expedition to catch sight of mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest continued on as we cross into Rwanda, where we visit the Parc National des Volcans, where the late Dian Fossey undertook her monumental conservation efforts. Worthy of a stay of at least a couple of days in duration, Parc National des Volcans allows us to track one of five families of gorillas in their natural habitats – truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya

Amboseli National Park

21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya Highlights

  • Day 11: Parc National des Volcans: Twin Lakes & Optional Activities
  • Day 12: Parc National des Volcans – Kigali
  • Day 13: Kigali, Rwanda – Fly to Nairobi, Kenya
  • Day 14: Nairobi – Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Day 15: Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Day 16: Ol Pejeta – Great Rift Valley – Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Day 17: Lake Nakuru – Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Day 18: Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Day 19: Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Day 20: Maasai Mara – Nairobi
  • Day 21: Departure

Detailed 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya

Day 1: Arrive in Entebbe, Uganda

Today we arrive at Entebbe International Airport (the airport serving the capital) and transfer to our lodge nearby

Accomodation:  Entebbe.

Day 2 Of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya: Entebbe – Murchison Falls National Park

This morning we travel by road northwards and stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, track the rhinos, and have lunch. We then proceed to Murchison Falls.

The falls mark the spot where the River Nile, on its journey from its source at Lake Victoria to join Lake Albert, is suddenly channelled into a gorge only six meters wide and cascades 43 meters below. The earth literally trembles at Murchison Falls — one of the world’s most powerful natural flows of water. Named them after Sir Roderick Murchison, president of the Royal Geographical Society, the falls also lend their name to the surrounding Murchison Falls National Park.

Day 3 Of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya: Murchison Falls Park

We begin the day with an early morning game drive on the Buligi, Albert or Queens tracks north of the river Nile. Here we have the chance to observe those animals closely associated with the African savannah like lion — leopard, giraffe, antelope, elephant, and warthog.

After lunch we have a cruise on the Nile River. The cruise takes to the bottom of the thundering falls where you will see huge crocodiles, hippo, buffalo, elephant and a variety of water birds like herons, cormorants, ducks, bee-eaters, kingfishers, skimmers, fish eagle and the rare shoebill.

We return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 Of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya: Murchison Falls – Kibale Forest National Park

Early this morning, as we exit the park, we will stop at the top of Murchison Falls for a view before we continue by road to Kibale Forest National Park, famous for its families of habituated chimpanzees. The park it is home to an astonishing number of 12 species of primates, the highest density in the world!

Day 5: Kibale Chimpanzee Viewing – Queen Elizabeth National Park

This morning we trek to see chimpanzees. Kibale National Forest has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa, and is one of the best places not only in Uganda, but in the world, to see chimpanzees. Kibale Park is connected to Queen Elizabeth National Park in the South, hence allowing wildlife to freely move. This park has a total population of approximately 1,450.

Then we’ll have a walk through the Bigodi Swamps. The Kibale Association manages the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary for Rural and Environmental Organisation, formed in 1992 with the aim of achieving social and economic development for local communities. While on our guided walk around the swamps, we can distinguish many from the approximately 137 bird species found here, including the Snowy Headed Robin Chat, Black and White Casqued Hornbill, Emerald Cuckoo and a variety of weavers, warblers, greenbuls and sunbirds. There is also an abundance of butterflies, and rich in vegetation, such as wild palms, polita figs and the dominant papyrus.

We depart Kibale by road for the Mweya Peninsula in Queen Elizabeth National Park, dominated on its northern border by the snowcapped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains — the famous ‘Mountains of the Moon.’ The varied ecosystems of this park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for Humanity, support a wide variety of species including elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard.

Day 6 Of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya: Queen Elizabeth National Park

This morning we embark on a game drive in open savannah covered by acacia trees on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. We will search for the typical tree climbing Lions (among other things), a population which is found only in this part of the country. It is impressive to see the animals while they are resting on top of the fig trees.

This afternoon we cruise up the Kazinga Channel, a narrow band of water connecting lakes Edward and George. This is one of the most memorable experiences of a visit to Uganda, offering an opportunity to cruise amid members of Africa’s largest hippo population. In addition to these giant semi-aquatic mammals, the launch affords unique opportunities to view other mammals and birds as they come to the water’s edge to drink and bathe. Birding is excellent, and we expect to see species ranging in size from the tiny, brilliant Malachite Kingfisher to the giant Goliath Heron.

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

We have a morning road trip through the Ishasha Plains and the East African Rift Valley to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with picnic lunches (+/-6 hours). We pass through high, forested hills and through deep-farmed valleys. The drive is reminiscent to what one would experience driving through central Europe — indeed this region of Uganda is often referred to as “Little Switzerland.”

Day 8: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (Gorilla Trekking)

Bwindi, a World Heritage Park, is home to just over half of the world’s last surviving mountain gorilla population of 1,000 individuals. Today’s trek* can take from one to six hours, sometimes more, at elevations in excess of 2270 m (7,500 ft) and over rough terrain. Although the hike can be physically demanding, the anticipation of the exciting experience ahead is invigorating, and the beauty of the forest and its inhabitants is fascinating. Your gorilla permits are included in the tour price.

The area around Bwindi is an excellent place for watching primates and birds and you may catch a glimpse of the noisy but evasive Chimpanzees or the beatiful Hornbills and Turacos. The forest is home to 120 species of mammals, 346 species of birds, 202 species of butterflies, and 163 species of trees, making it one of the richest ecosystems in Africa.

Day 9: Bwindi, Uganda – Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

On day 9 of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya, Today we travel by road +/- 6 hours via Kisoro to Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda, a journey that takes us through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape.

“In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat,” wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest – the Virungas”. Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range–home of the rare mountain gorilla — and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.

Day 10: Parc National des Volcans (Gorilla Trekking)

Early this morning we drive to the park headquarters where we are briefed by your 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya  guides of the Parc des Volcans before we start our gorilla trek. This 13,000-hectare national park protects the Rwanda sector of the Virunga Mountains, a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes which straddle the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bamboo forest is interspersed with alpine moorland, grassland and marsh.

Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you will get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families however are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day… especially when wet and muddy.

The Mountain Gorillas in the Parc National des Volcans are part of a worldwide population of just 740 individuals. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to one of several habituated family groups. For up to five years each, these groups have undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually brought them to tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day and allowed a few privileged visitors to interact with them in the wild.

The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. However, experienced guides will accompany us on our tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts. Because of this, the time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as 1 hour to as much as 8 hours before one returns to base. Once the gorillas are located, our group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them.

Please remember that the mountain gorillas are a wild animal and are not enclosed in any form and free to move as they please. For this reason actual sightings of the gorilla groups cannot be guaranteed.

Day 11: Parc National des Volcans (Twin Lakes & Optional Activities)

On Day 11 of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya, This morning you have some options. You may choose to take a trek up to the grave of Dian Fossey and the remains of the Old Karisoke Research Station (additional cost; rate included in your pre-trip notes). For those who loved the book and/or the movie ”Gorillas in the Mist” the Dian Fossey trek could be a good option. Over the course of the morning you follow in her footsteps as you trek to Dian Fossey’s grave and the many graves belonging to the poached gorillas, including that of Digit. Please note that this involves a 30 minute (each way) drive to the trail head and a 60-90 minute moderately-steep hike (one-way). Please also note that if you choose this option, you will return too late to participate in the Twin Lakes excursion described below.

For a more leisurely experience (that allows you to go to the Twin Lakes as described below), trekking to the Golden Monkeys is highly recommended (additional cost – possibly also available tomorrow morning before departure). A short walk to the edge of the forest to see the endangered Golden Monkeys is a rare treat; watching these unique primates play and perform in the forest is mesmerizing.

This afternoon we offer an excursion to two scenic lakes usually referred to as the Twin Lakes; Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo, fed by rivers and a lake in Uganda. The twin lakes area is very scenic, with steep and intensively farmed hills surrounding the pristine dark blue waters. They offer magnificent views over the whole of the Virunga Volcanoes (weather-permitting).

It is strongly advised that these options are pre-booked and confirmed at time of purchase of the main tour to ensure availability. We regret that sometimes, due to the number of vehicles we ultimately have at our disposal, it may not be possible to accomplish all options listed. This situation will become clearer once we know the number of participants on your tour (approximately 60 days prior to departure).

Day 12: Parc National des Volcans – Kigali

On day 12 of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya, Today we drive back to Kigali. In Kigali we will have a brief look at Kigali and the Genocide Museum, opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. While the genocide occurred as a result of a complex series of factors, it can only be seen as an absolute tragedy to Rwanda and its people. Time spent at the Genocide Museum is moving and important in understanding the sheer courage and resilience of this beautiful, tiny nation.

Day 13: Kigali, Rwanda – Fly to Nairobi, Kenya

On Day 13 of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya Tours, Today we fly to to Nairobi, Kenya. Part of Maasai land when the British arrived, Kenya’s modern capital grew with the development of the railway. Derived from a Maasai word meaning “Cold Water,” Nairobi is a pleasant mix of colonial British with modern and traditional African influences. Please note that this Flight is included!

Day 14: Nairobi – Ol Pejeta Conservancy

On Day 14 of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya Tours, Today we travel from Nairobi, through the “White Highlands,” so called because of the large number of Europeans who settled here, northwards to the lower slopes of Mt Kenya, rising to 5199 m (16,728 feet), Africa’s second highest peak. Our drive will take us into the Central Highlands, the heartland of the Kikuyu people. This is a very fertile region, well-watered, intensively cultivated, and thickly forested. The land was coveted by the Europeans who began arriving in ever-increasing numbers once the railway through the area was completed. The settlers established coffee and tea plantations on the eastern slopes of Mt Kenya and cultivated wheat on the western slopes.

Our destination is Sweetwaters, a luxury tented camp clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a non-profit organization supporting endangered species, tourism and community outreach. Ol Pejeta is East Africa’s largest Black Rhino sanctuary, the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees, and holds some of the highest predator densities in Kenya.

This afternoon we’ll enjoy our first game drive within the conservancy.

Day 15: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

On Day 15 of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya Tours, Ol Pejeta is a mosaic of grass plains, wooded grassland, and acacia woodland and evergreen thicket extending for over 350 square kilometers. The conservancy boasts an astounding variety of animals, including the “Big Five.”

We will have morning and afternoon game drives today, as well as a chance to visit the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary — the only place in Kenya where this highly endangered and remarkably intelligent species can be seen. The facility was initially established to receive and provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa. Here the chimpanzees are carefully nursed back to health so they can enjoy the rest of their days in the safety of a vast natural enclosure.

Day 16: Ol Pejeta – Great Rift Valley – Lake Nakuru National Park

This morning we travel to Lake Nakuru, a shallow soda lake in the Rift Valley. The Rift Valley was created millions of years ago under the strain of enormous volcanic eruptions which resulted in a giant split in the earth’s surface from Syria to Mozambique. Lava flowed into the valley, forming escarpments on either side of the gigantic trough which can be up to 80 km (50 miles) wide, big enough to be visible from space. At the lake, depending on the water levels, we may have the opportunity to see flamingos, in addition to the over 340 species of birds that have been recorded in the Rift Valley!

Lake Nakuru is very shallow and can fluctuate up to five metres (12 feet) each day. When the water is low, you can see a white band of crystallized soda along the shoreline. This is also one of the best places in Kenya to view the rare White Rhino as we explore the park on our afternoon game drive.

This, and other Rift Valley lakes, have been known in the past for huge numbers of flamingos; however, this can be very “hit and miss” owing to seasonal variations in rainfall and water level, and the increasing frequency of drought. The best we can do is hope for the best!

Day 17: Lake Nakuru – Maasai Mara National Reserve

Early this morning we depart from Lake Nakuru National Park and continue our journey through the Rift Valley, passing by Lake Naivasha and nearby Mount Longonot, a relatively young volcanic reminder of the Rift’s violent past. We arrive at our lodge (via bad road) in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in time for lunch.

The Maasai Mara is a natural extension of the Serengeti eco-system and has an amazing concentration of wildlife. The largest population of lions in Kenya is found here, along with large herds of plains game. The Maasai Mara may also be the best place in Kenya to view cheetah. Later this afternoon we enjoy another game drive.

Time-permitting, we may be able to visit a Maasai village to witness the local way of life and meet its residents. If time does not permit, we will attempt this visit the village on our way back to Nairobi.

Day 18: Maasai Mara National Reserve

The Maasai Mara National Reserve consists of rolling grassland and is located at the northern end of the Serengeti Plain. Considered the best of Kenya’s parks, it is on the pathway of the yearly wildebeest migration, which comes north from Tanzania about the end of June and returns to Tanzania around the end of September. “The Mara” sustains all of the “Big Five” — lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo — as well as an astonishing wealth of herding animals and other wildlife. You can see the stately Maasai men and youth along the road tending their cattle and goats.

We have a full day in the reserve, with morning and afternoon game drives. In the Mara you will also have an optional opportunity to ascend over the northern Serengeti at daybreak in a hot air balloon (optional expense). From over 300 m (984 feet) above, you will be able to view the vast land and the myriad animals that inhabit the Maasai Mara. Today or tomorrow are the best days to participate in this activity – details sent upon booking.

Day 19: Maasai Mara National Reserve

We enjoy another full day with game viewing in Maasai Mara. Depending on the season and current game locations and viewing conditions, we may divide our day into morning and afternoon drives, or take our lunches with us in order to venture further into the reserve if conditions warrant.

Day 20: Maasai Mara – Nairobi

After breakfast we depart for Nairobi. En route, just outside the capital, we visit the Karen Blixen Museum. Baroness Karen Blixen-Finecke emigrated from Denmark to Kenya in 1918 and, in 1937, wrote under the pseudonym, Isaac Dineson, “Out of Africa.” The novel tells the tale of the Baroness’s experiences on a Kenyan farm. Her home is now a museum, restored to the style in which she maintained it.

Day 21: Departure

Departure from Nairobi.

End of 21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya Tour

21 Days Uganda Rwanda Kenya Tours Inclusions & Exclusions

Price Includes:

  • Park fees (For non-residents).
  •  All activities (Unless labelled as optional)
  •  All accommodation (Unless listed as upgrade).
  •  A professional driver/guide
  •  All transportation (Unless labelled as optional).
  •  All Taxes/VAT
  •  Roundtrip airport transfer
  •  Meals (As specified in the day-by-day section).
  •  Drinking water(On all days)
  • Flight from Kigali Rwanda to Kenya
  • Two Gorilla Permits

Price Excludes:

  • International flights(From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour.
  • Tips (Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day).
  • Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • The government imposed increases in taxes and/or park fees.
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