17 Day Uganda/Rwanda and Zanzibar Tour

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Uganda

Uganda, or the ‘Pearl of Africa’, as it was famously dubbed by Winston Churchill, is characterised by relatively dry and flat savanna in the north, with verdant mountains in the West, and vast dense and remarkably lush forests in the central region. The nation is home to an astonishingly diverse range of African wildlife including the highly endangered mountain gorilla which can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. A popular spot for wildlife watching is Queen Elizabeth National Park, which hosts four of the Big Five, a flock of flamboyant flamingos and the rare tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. Outdoor enthusiasts can get their adrenaline fix with plenty of whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, quad biking and horse riding facilities on offer. Add to this some friendly locals, a burgeoning cultural scene, and a capital city full of lively bars, clubs and restaurants, and it is easy to see why Uganda has gained itself a reputation as 'Africa's friendliest country'.

Entebbe

Days 1 - 2

Situated on a peninsula in Lake Victoria, the former seat of Uganda’s government, Entebbe is just a short drive from the current capital and offers plenty to keep visitors amused. This charming town features tree-lined streets and serves as an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area. Tourists can look forward to spending days on beautiful beaches along the banks of Lake Victoria, stroll through the fields and forests of the magnificent Botanical Gardens, or pay a visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a haven for country’s orphaned chimps.

Accommodation

The Boma Hotel Entebbe

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Entebbe

Murchison Falls National Park

Days 2 - 4

Stretching from the shores of Lake Albert, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest National Park. The Nile River flows through the middle of the park creating the impressive Murchison Falls which is the park’s major attraction. The landscape features dense rainforest, undulating savannah and a diversity of abundant wildlife. Visitors can enjoy prime game-viewing along the Buligi Circuit. The forests are home to numerous primates, including Chimpanzees, and near the river, buffalo, elephants and Rothschild-Giraffes can be seen. Other commonly spotted wildlife include: lions, antelope, waterbucks, hippos and crocodiles.

Accommodation

Twiga Safari Lodge

Hoima

Days 4 - 5

Located on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, the Ugandan town of Hoima lies about 30 kilometres from Lake Albert and serves as a gateway to all the attractions of the lake and the Murchison Falls area. The town features dusty streets lined with colourful buildings and is surrounded by lush green hills. Hoima is set at the heart of the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. Visitors can look forward to visiting the Nyamyarro Museum displaying its 1000-year-old ornately decorated traditional throne, discover the Mparo Tombs, a historical burial ground and explore the Katasiha Fort situated just two kilometres from Hoima Town.

Accommodation

Hoima Cultural Lodge

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Hoima

Kibale Forest National Park

Days 5 - 6

Located in southern Uganda, Kibale Forest National Park is said to be home to the highest density of primates in Africa. Although the highlight of the park is the habituated chimpanzees, the treetops are alive with all manner of monkey including: red-tailed monkey, L’Hoest's monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, red colobus and black and white colobus monkeys are all spotted here. When you’re not searching for monkeys there are over 300 bird species and an incredible 250 species of butterfly to keep you busy. Visitors can look forward to chimpanzee tracking, birding tours and guided nature walks.

Accommodation

Kibale Guest Cottages

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Kibale Forest National Park

Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

Days 6 - 8

Surrounded by other wonderful parks in the western region of Uganda, the Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its rich biodiversity, wildlife and history. In the southern part of the park, the remote Ishaha sector is home to tree-climbing lions who spend long lazy days dozing in the pretty fig trees. The Uganda Kob, which they watch from the branches, graze the plains. Around Lake Edward, enjoy fishing and more game watching - make sure to look out for chimpanzees, elephants, crocodiles, and perennial and migratory bird species.

Southern Queen Elizabeth National Park

Days 8 - 9

As previously described

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Days 9 - 11

Located in southwestern Uganda, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest. It is world-renowned for its excellent gorilla-sighting opportunities. The rugged landscape features dense jungle, cascading waterfalls, sparkling mountain streams, deep valleys and steep ridges. This untouched forest has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its breathtaking natural beauty and unique ecological significance. Aside from the amazing gorilla interactions, there are other drawcards such as a network of forest walks, over 340 species of bird to spot and a variety of butterflies. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes.

Accommodation

Mahogany Springs Lodge

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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Rwanda

The first thing that springs to most people’s minds when thinking of Rwanda is its turbulent political history. But today’s Rwanda is a far cry from the nation it was in the mid-90s: the country has emerged from the shadows and has much to offer visitors, most notably the tracking of endangered mountain gorillas in the lush Virunga National Park, which extends across the peaks and jungle-covered slopes of the volcanic Virunga Mountains. Other major tourist attractions include expansive Lake Kivu, ancient Nyungwe Forest with its rich population of primate species, and the game-rich savannah lands of Akagera National Park.

Volcanoes National Park

Days 11 - 12

Bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo in Rwanda, the Volcanoes National Park is best known as a sanctuary for the region’s rare mountain gorillas. Visitors flock here to experience a face to face encounter with these intriguing creatures. The park is set high on the jungle-covered slopes of the volcanic Virunga Mountains. Highly regulated treks through the reserve allow visitors to spend an hour at a time with these incredible primates in their natural habitat. While the gorilla’s are without a doubt the main drawcard, visitors can also look forward to exploring a network of scenic hiking trails, visiting the tomb of the world-famous Dian Fossey and the Karisoke Research Centre, and enjoying a beautiful day hike to the crater lake on Mount Bisoke.

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Volcanoes National Park

Tanzania

The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!

Stone Town

Days 12 - 14

Situated on the beautiful island of Zanzibar, Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of the island and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is famous for its winding alleys fringed by grand architecture, bustling bazaars, sultan’s palace, mosques, the House of Wonders, gardens and the extravagant merchants’ houses with their remarkably ornate doors. Stone Town is home to over fifty mosques, six Hindu Temples, a Catholic and an Anglican Cathedral. Visitors can also look forward to visiting the Old Fort along the waterfront, pay a visit to the Palace Museum, and sampling local cuisine at Forodhani Gardens a local seaside market. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a sunset dhow cruise.

Accommodation

Kisiwa House

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Stone Town

Makunduchi

Days 14 - 17

Located in the Zanzibar South Region near the southeastern tip of Unguja Island, the Tanzanian town of Makunduchi is comprised of two separate parts. Old Makunduchi, a small fishermen’s village along the picturesque coast and New Makunduchi situated just one-kilometre inland, which is home to Soviet-style buildings and more modern shops. Makunduchi is best known for the Mwaka Kogwa, an annual festival celebrating local Shirazi heritage. Visitors venture here to soak up the rich history and culture of this little town, watch local fishermen launch their boats, discover the coral caves, explore the ancient shrines, and relax on the pristine white-sand beach lapped by calm crystal-clear waters. Don’t miss the opportunity to view the baobab forest near the colonial lighthouse.

Accommodation

Villa Fleur de Lys

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Makunduchi
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