KIGALI-THE STARTING POINT TO UGANDA GORILLA TOURS
Kigali International Airport is strategically situated in the heart of Kigali city- hence easily accessed by visitors on tight scheduled safaris. From Kigali Airport, it is 2 hours drive to Volcanoes national park, 1 hour drive to Akagera national park and 7 hours drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Kigali Airport also serves or handle tourists going to nearby countries like Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and above all Uganda- It is 3-4 hours drive from Kigali to Bwindi impenetrable forest National park- this is home to about 500 members of mountain Gorillas.
It should be noted that Gorilla trekking is the major tourist activity in Rwanda and Uganda according to Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) respectively. To that note, the two countries earns more revenue from Mountain Gorillas than any other tourist activity.
It is unfortunate that the distance from Uganda's Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi is so long (7-9 hours drive) and some times full day drive depending on traffic Jam, Bad roads especially in Ishasha sector where bridges collapse in rainy seasons- making the safari unbearable. To avoid some incidences, some visitors decides to use an alternative Kigali Airport to save time.
To that note, short safari- 2 days Uganda Gorilla trekking safari is now possible from Kigali through Gatuna or Katuna boarder to Southern Bwindi; Rushaga gorilla tracking trail, Ruhija tracking trail and Nkuringo trekking trail. Alternatively, visitors who are interested in Viewing and take photos of the mighty Virunga ranges, can use the road to Ruhengeri (northern province of Rwanda) Via Volcanoes National Park and enter Uganda through Kyanika Boarder.
The proposed 2 days Gorilla trekking safari from Kigali- Rwanda will run as below:
Day 1: Pick up – Kigali city tour- and transfer to the home of mountain gorillas (Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park- Uganda)
Early in the morning, we shall pick you from Kigali International Airport to start the trip with the city tour in which we shall visit the Gisozi genocide memorial site, Local art and craft shops, and fruit markets and so on. After lunch, we shall embark on the transfer to the home of mountain Gorillas in Uganda. The 3-4hrs drive to Bwindi impenetrable National park will take us through the majestic rolling hills that characterize much of Rwanda, enter Uganda through Cyanika or Katuna boarder, proceed through rolling hills, deep valleys and winding roads of the Kigezi Hills, famously known as the ‘Switzerland of Africa’, check in Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Gorilla safari Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Nshongi Gorilla Camp, Wagtail Eco safari camp, Trekkers Tavern, Nshongi Gorilla camp or Gorilla mist camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, relax in the evening with breathtaking view of the forest.
Day 2: Mountain Gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park
Wake-up for heavy breakfast, drive to park headquarters (with packed lunch and water) for a 30 minutes briefing about gorilla tracking. Thereafter, join your trackers and head up the slopes of the Forest to visit one of the habituated groups of gorillas. The trek is quite strenuous, so you should be able to hike for 2-5 hours on steep mountain trails before meeting gorillas camouflaged in thick vegetation. Enjoy their view and take photographs for a maximum of one hour. Return to the lodge for late lunch and hit the road back to Kigali Airport for your flight back home.
End of the safari
Visitors can as well extend their safaris to Visit other Uganda's tourist destinations like Lake Bunyonyi, Queen Elizabeth National Park- the second largest Uganda's national park hosting the big four game: Elephant, Lion, Buffalo and Crocodiles. From here, visitors can proceed to Kibale Forest National Park (home of chimpanzees), Semliki National Park, Lake Mburo National park among others.
After Uganda safaris, visitors can easily be transported to Kigali International Airport to catch their flights back home. Kigali Airport has note only promoted Rwanda tourism but also for Uganda.