Great Rift Valley Adventure

9 nights / 10 days - Primates of the Great Rift Valley

This 10-day safari will take you to trek chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, see the tree-climbing lions and wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park, look for the ‘Lost Chimpanzees of Kyambura Gorge’, and trek the majestic mountain gorillas in Mgahinga.


Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga National Park

Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge and Kibale National Park

Game Drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park

See the famous Tree-climbing lions of Ishasha

Enjoy Exceptional wildlife viewing on a boat cruise on Kazinga Channel

Birding in the Kyambura reclaimed wetlands

Day 1: Arrival

Arrive in Uganda at Entebbe Airport where a Volcanoes Safaris representative will assist you to your hotel. Overnight at Hotel No. 5 (dinner, breakfast)

Transfer from your hotel to Entebbe airport where a representative will assist you with your domestic flight to Kasese airstrip, where you will be welcomed by your expert Volcanoes Safaris guide.

Drive for approximately 1 hour to Kibale Lodge, near Kibale National Park. Visit the Rwenzori Sculpture Foundation on the way and learn about the cultural partnership with Volcanoes Safaris to display sculptures relating to the traditional clans of Uganda around the lodge.

Kibale lodge has stunning panoramic views of the snow-covered peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains to the west, and the Queen Elizabeth plains and the Kazinga channel to the south. In the afternoon visit a local school as part of the Roots and Shoots program which aims to build women leaders in conservation, in partnership with Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust and the Jane Goodall Institute. Enjoy pre-dinner cocktails on the terrace overlooking the magnificent Rwenzoris. Flying time between 1 to 1.5 hours, driving time 1 hour. Overnight at Kibale Lodge (lunch, dinner)

Day 2: Kibale Forest

Spend the morning trekking the exuberant chimp families in Kibale forest, the Primate Capital of the World. Seeing the chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above is a thrilling experience. The forest quickly becomes alive with their noisy calls.

In the afternoon, go birding in the Bigodi Wetland. The reserve is abundant with butterflies, plants, animals and birds, including the elusive Red Colobus monkeys and Sitatunga antelope. Spectacular species including the Great Blue Turaco and rare Papyrus Gonolek will be of great interest to birders. Overnight at Kibale Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 3: Kibale

After breakfast, go for a second chimpanzee trek in Kibale. Look out for the other wonderful primates, mammals and birds, including Olive Baboons, nocturnal Bushbabies and the elusive Red Colobus monkey. The dense forest is famous for some of the world’s best birding, with a vast diversity of species including the Great Blue Turaco, the beautiful Papyrus Gonolek and the rare Green Breasted Pitta.

Return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon visit the nearby Sadhguru School, supported by Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust. Overnight at Kibale Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4: QENP

Depart for Kyambura Gorge Lodge and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Drive through the park on the way to the lodge and look for lions, leopard, elephants, buffaloes and large herds of Uganda kob.

In the afternoon take a wildlife boat cruise on the Kazinga channel, home to one of the greatest concentration of hippo in Africa and herds of elephant, buffalo and other animals come to drink at the water’s edge.

After your boat cruise, harvest honey with the Kyambura bee-keeping cooperative or go on a gorge walk to see birds, monkeys and other wildlife. Overnight at Kyambura Gorge Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5: Kyambura

Enjoy an early breakfast and set out for a morning game drive. The Kasenyi plains are excellent for sighting lions, leopard, elephant and buffalo. The Mweya peninsula is one of the best places to look for leopards, which live in the dense, scrubby thickets. Go on your game drive with a member of the Kyambura Wildlife Team and learn about the Kyambura Lion Monitoring Project.

After lunch, walk from the lodge along the wonderful Fig Tree Trail and hike directly down into Kyambura Gorge, to search for the ‘Lost Chimpanzees of Kyambura’. The gorge is an extraordinary natural environment and forms a stark contrast to the surrounding grasslands. Here you can track one of our closest animal relatives: the chimpanzee. This group of isolated chimps are quite mobile and viewing can be unpredictable but the walk itself is exciting and enchanting. Overnight at Kyambura Gorge Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 6: Kyambura

After a bush breakfast overlooking the park, hike for a second trek in the Kyambura Gorge. As well as search for the chimpanzees, explore the magical gorge and enjoy the surprises of a walking safari. Your guide will help you track footprints and understand about the diverse wildlife living in and around this unique natural habitat.

Check camera traps in the gorge as part of the Kyambura Carnivore Survey and look through photos and film of any animals captured last night.

After lunch participate in the Kyambura Gorge Eco-tourism Project, run by Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT). Try roasting coffee with the Kyambura Women’s Coffee Cooperative, go birding in the Kyambura reclaimed wetlands, and plant a tree seedling in the wildlife buffer zone.
In the evening participate in an informal wildlife storytelling, BBQ and movie night at the Kyambura Community and Conservation Centre with the lodge guides, wildlife monitoring team staff, and members of the local community. Overnight at Kyambura Gorge Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 7: Virunga

Transfer to Kasese Airstrip for an early morning flight to Kisoro. Transfer by road for 1 to 2 hours to Mount Gahinga Lodge. The lodge is located at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes and on the edge of Mgahinga National Park.

In the afternoon visit the Gahinga Batwa Village and experience the culture and history of one of Africa’s oldest tribes. On your tour, you will visit their new village and community centre and can participate in the Batwa Heritage Tour to gain insight into their traditional life as hunter gatherers in the forest. Enjoy your pre-dinner cocktails on the terrace with stunning views of the Volcanoes or warm yourself inside by the cosy fire. Overnight at Mount Gahinga Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Day 8: Gorillas

After enjoying an early breakfast, set off gorilla tracking. Trekking through the steep, densely forested hills and then finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged moment.

After a climb of between one and three hours the moment you find the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged one. You will spend one hour in the company of the majestic and gentle mountain gorillas before returning to the lodge in time for a late lunch.

Gorilla trekking requires stamina and can sometimes take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy.

Relax after your day’s tracking experience and enjoy a complimentary spa treatments and massages, including the famous Rungu massage at Gahinga Spa and Sauna. Overnight at Mount Gahinga Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Day 9: Virunga

After breakfast, trek into the foothills of the Virunga mountains to see the endangered golden monkeys. Characterized by its bright golden body, cheeks and tail, with contrasting black limbs, crown and tail end, these playful primates are a pleasure to watch. In the afternoon enjoy relaxing at the lodge and visit the Batwa Heritage Trail and Vocational Centre.
Overnight at Mount Gahinga Lodge (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Day 10: Onward travels

Transfer from Mount Gahinga Lodge to Kisoro airstrip for your morning or afternoon return flight to Entebbe and connect in time for your international flight. Approximate Travel Times: Flying 1 to 2 hours; Driving 1 hours. Please book international flights departing after 8pm (Breakfast at the lodge)

* Contact us for availability and rates. (VOLSaf)