Day 1 - Pickup & Welcome
We pick you from Kigali (Rwanda) or Entebbe/Kampala (Uganda) and Drive to Kisoro. For Kigali the optional stop will be the Genocide Museum in Kigali and/or the famous Hotel Rwanda. The drive will take about 3 hours and will lead you along the most beautiful landscapes of Eastern Africa including breathtaking looks at volcanoes, mountain massifs & the rainforest. For Kampala our optional stop will be the Equator. After arriving in Kisoro check-in at our accommodation and some time for yourself to get fresh and prepare for your adventure. You will meet your tourguide who is going to be leading you through your experience in Uganda. Now we will take you for a little tour through the community. Here we will follow your personal preferences. Amongst the options is a walk through the village around Kisoro followed by a little hike to enjoy the view at Lake Mutanda and catch a glance at the neighbouring countries Rwanda & Congo, a coffee tour where you learn how coffee is produced in this region of Uganda, a visit to a local school or a walk to the Congolese boarder where you will have the chance to enter one of the caves that were once inhabited by the Pygmeas of Uganda - the so called Batwa. Afterwards returning to your accommodation and spending the evening enjoying a nice dinner and engaging in conversation with your tour guide where you can learn more about the life in and the people of Uganda.
Day 2 - Lake Mutanda - Island of the Dead
This Day will take you around the beautiful nature of Lake Mutanda with its lakeside forests and wetland habitats. Apart from Mountain Gorillas the landscapes around the lake ar home to a variety of species that you can only find here. If you are lucky you will be able to track seldom birds including ibis, kingfisher birds and the grey-crowned crane, Uganda's national bird. We will use a boat that will take you around the lake and if you're lucky you will have the chance to spot not only birdlife but also several frog species, chameleon and lizards or other reptiles. The African clawless otter is doubtlessly one of the highlights of Lake Mutanda. You will love those playful animals - it's a pure joy to just watch them enjoying themselves. After your cruise we will reach the Island of the Dead. As cruel as the history of this place may seem to outsiders, it is part of the history of this area and needs to be understood if one wants to get the bigger picture of how communities functioned in this part of Africa and also where certain customs and the historic view on life originates from. Nevertheless we are taking a look back in time so it should be clear that the Ugandans of today are not at all barbarians but future-oriented people. In the afternoon we will return to your accommodation where you will have time to rest. Should you be interested in doing one of our other activities now, feel free to let us know. We accommodate every level of activity and we will happily cater for your preferences.
Day 3 - Kabale - Orphanage (alternatively Volcano Hike)
On the third day we are going on a special trip. After breakfast at 7am we will drive through the mountains into the city of Kabale. In Kabale you will meet your tour guide for the day. He will take you to a village in the mountains at Lake Bunyoni where you will visit a community that has not been in touch with commercial tourism (That's why we only visit in groups of max. 6 people). We are the first to organize a tour to the orphanage of the village where about 40 children of the surrounding communities daily find a shelter and access to very basic education and meals. Our tour guide will explain the circumstances under which those children grow up to you and you will participate in a typical day of these kids. Afterwards and when the children have gotten used to the visitors we will spend more time actively engaging with the kids so that you will have the opportunity to share what you have brought - This is not mandatory as your interest and friendliness will in any case be a gift to those kids. As marginalized members of society and often not well taken care of by their custodies many of the children just get one meal a day at the orphanage. Giving them food should therefore really not be seen as a form of interference but as an essential act of humanity that helps sustaining the health and the lives of the children. From our own experience we know that this trip is (especially mentally) exhausting as most of the participants of our tours will not yet have seen that level of poverty. We nevertheless consider this one of the essential experiences of our tour that will be remembered and in one or the other case will hopefully lead to a sponsorship or donation. We will gladly assist in connecting donors and benificiaries at all levels during and after the trip. After visiting the village we will pass Lake Bunyoni where we will take our lunch. We will then drive back to Kisoro. If you are not interested in visiting the orphanage yourself please let us know - we can alternatively offer a Volcano hike to one of the 3 volcanoes in the Virungas (Mount Muhabura, Mount Mgahinga or Mount Sabyinyo).
Day 4 - Drive to and Accommodation in Kibale Forest
Today we are going to drive you to Kibale Forest. We are going to start this quite early so that we can leave latest at 7am. The drive will take you inwards into Uganda where you will pass the town of Mbarara and then up north in the direction of Kasese and Fort Portal. The distance is around 350km and depending on road quality and traffic this could take up to 5.5 hours. Nevertheless you will be observing the fascination landscapes on the way as well as you will get a bigger picture of country life across Uganda as we will be passing many smaller communities on the way. We will reach your accommodation at the boarder of Kibale Forest around lunch time. After awaking your spirits with a nice meal we will go for a hike in the forest where you will depending on your luck be able to observe the fascinating and colourful birdlife and if see bushbuck, bushpig, African buffalo, African golden cat, L'Hoests monkey, colobus monkey or even elephants (they also inhabitate the forest). After you have enjoyed the wildlife and most probably also the sheer peace of the forest we will return to your accommodation. The rest of the day you will be at your disposal. After taking your dinner you will enjoy a peaceful night in the rainforest, listening to the everlasting noises of the birds and animals - drifting away into a world free from troubles and problems.
Day 5 - Chimp Trekking & Drive to Kisoro
You will wake up to an early morning and set off at 6am for chimpanzee habituation in Kibale Forest that is arguably Africa’s largest surviving hardwood forest. The forest is home to 13 primate species, birds and many other forest animal species. Your group consist of max. 6 people and will assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 8am. Chimpanzees are man’s closest cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate’s species. Therefore chimp tracking has rules that we will explain in detail upfront. During the hike more primates like black and white columbus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, grey cheecked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater and mammals like elephants can be seen. You will receive some provisions for the road as we are not sure after what time we will find the chimps in the rainforest and we don't want you to be hungry during this breathtaking adventure. After you return from the chimp trekking you will have time to refresh. Your driver will then already be waiting for you to take you back to Kisoro.
Day 6 - A Day without obligations
Knowing we have put a lot of activities in this trips schedule we are leaving this day at your disposal. Today you can simply relax, read a book or, should you be more active decide what activity you want to engage in today (together with us). We have a wide variety of offers that you can choose from and you can be sure that your needs will be catered for. We end this day with a cultural evening where we will prepare a Barbeque for you and give you an introduction into the local Batwa culture meeting the Pygmeas of Uganda.
Day 7 - Gorilla Trekking
You start of your day early at 6am with a nice breakfast. After packing your sandwich (as nature is unpredictable trekking the Gorillas can take anything between 30 minutes and 3 hours - we will therefore prepare some sandwiches, snacks and drinks for you) we will start our drive to the entry of Mgahinga National Park. There are roughly about 770 Mountain Gorillas left and they all live in this area between Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Mgahinga is located at the foothills of the Virunga Mountain Range. It is a less popular spot for trekking Gorillas. It is home to the Nyakagezi Gorilla Group. As the group is fairly mobile we are constantly communicating with our trekking team that is following the Gorillas on a daily base so we can make sure that you get to see the animals. Should there anyhow be no trace of the Nyakagezi Group we will make sure that you will join one of the more popular trekking groups in the area around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Nevertheless we will know that upfront and will do our best to secure your less touristy experience in Mgahinga. Once you have spent an hour with the animals (that is the max. time humans are allowed to spend with the impressive primates - remember Gorillas are sensitive and at serious risk of catching human disease. A simple cold can be lethal for the animals so we need to minimize the risk we are exposing those primates to) we will hike back through the rainforest and to the Mgahinga Basecamp. Here you will receive your trekking certificate and we will transfer you back to your accommodation. Depending on how long the trekking is going to take you will now have time to explore the area, make use of one of our additional tour offers or simply relax and enjoy the landscape - easing down this seldom experience you had the chance to be part of.
Day 8 - Goodbye and Transfer to Kigali
The eighth day will depend on the time of your flight out of Kigali. Should you have enough time we will take you through one of our activities mentioned above. Else we will drive you back to Kigali. In case you want to spend your last hours in Kigali before we drop you at the airport you should let us know about this in time so we can cater for this. Options you have are a city tour through Kigali, a visit to the Genocide Museum,etc. We also offer certain day activities should you depart from Entebbe/Kampala.