Uganda Trekking Bike Safari
IN A NUTSHELL
This extensive and very active biking safari takes you to the amazing natural spectacles of Uganda, often described as the Pearl of Africa and The Land of the 1.000 Hills as Rwanda is also known. Here, you have the opportunity to discover natural wonders not found anywhere else on the planet: Island dotted Lake Mutanda with the Virunga Volcanoes as a backdrop and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park with the unforgettable opportunity of climbing volcanoes, tracking the endangered Golden Monkeys or visit the famous Mountain Gorillas.
This is where you will be tracking gorillas in their natural territory in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its expanse of ancient and undisturbed tropical forests and the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. Additionally, you will venture on Big Five game drives with the chance to observe the tree climbing lions of Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Our fifteen-day bike tour from Kigali, Rwanda to Entebbe, Uganda takes you around 1.200 kilometres across these two countries. Of the 15 days, you spend 7 in the saddle covering some 300 km in total with an average of around 40 kilometres each day. At a distance of 3-5 kilometres from the cycling group, an escort vehicle is always close at hand should you need or wish to take a break.
Our Made in Germany trekking bikes are never more than 2 years old but should you nonetheless encounter technical problems with your bike, our escort vehicle can bring a replacement bike of similar quality without delay. The help and assistance offered by our dedicated team is second to none and under these conditions, Rwanda and Uganda offer ideal destinations for cycling. Despite the fact that both countries are situated in Africa’s tropical, equatorial region, temperatures seldom exceed 30°C. And air humidity of max. 80% is, likewise, not too excessive. The reason behind these pleasant climatic conditions lies in the fact that 85% of Ugandan state territory is located at an altitude of over 1,000 metres above sea level.
The predominantly rural communities in Rwanda and Uganda are connected by a network of agricultural tracks located far away from any major roads. In Rwanda serpentine trails lead through a breathtaking labyrinth of high mountains and deep valleys, secluded rivers and picturesque lakes. Uganda, on the other hand, is characterised by the rich diversity of produce that flourishes there (coffee, tea, bananas, pineapples, maize, sugarcane), the plantations of which are easy to access via maintained tracks. Our Trekking Bike Safari offers an enjoyable and memorable trip through two contrasting countries. And your stay in Uganda furthermore includes a gorilla tracking adventure, game safari and a variety of other optional activities which will require a change from bike to car for wildlife related safety reasons.
Arrival in Kigali.
Transfer from airport to your accommodation in Kigali.
Kigali to Kibuye on Lake Kivu.
Bike inspection, briefing by tour guide and drive/ ride to Kibuye on Lake Kivu.Tour Info Total Distance 125 km By Motor Vehicle 70 km or 2 hours By Bike 55 km or 5 hours.
Kibuye to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu.
Scenic drive/ ride from Kibuye to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu.
Tour Info Total Distance 115 km By Boat 45 km or 3 hours By Bike 30 km or 4 hours By Motor Vehicle 40 km or 2 hours.
Gisenyi to Musanze and Parc National des Volcans.
Scenic drive/ ride from Gisenyi to Musanze and Parc National des Volcans.
Tour Info Total Distance 65 km By Motor Vehicle 35 km or 1 hour By Bike 30 km or 4 hours.
Parc National des Volcans.
Gorilla or Golden Monkey Tracking or Dian Fossey Hike.
Parc National des Volcans to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park/ South.
Scenic drive from Musanze to Bwindi NP and Lake Mutanda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park/ South-Lake Mutanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
Gorilla Tracking or Trekking the Virunga Volcanoes or Batwa Trail or Golden Monkey Tracking or Boat Tour on Lake Mutandaand Nature Walk to Kisoro.
Queen Elizabeth National Park/ South-Ishasha.
Game drive to the tree climbing lions of Ishasha.
Queen Elizabeth National Park/ North-Kazinga Channel.
Sunrise safari and boat tour on the Kazinga Channel.
Queen Elizabeth National Park/ North to Lake Mburo National Park.
Scenic drive to Lake Mburo and boat tour on the lake.
Lake Mburo National Park to Lyantonde.
Scenic drive/ ride through the Lake Mburo National Park.
Tour Info Total Distance 65 km By Motor Vehicle 20 km or 1 hour By Bike 45 km or 7 hours.
Lyantonde to Kyotera. Scenic drive/ ride from Lyantonde to Kyotera.
Tour Info Total Distance 70 km By Motor Vehicle 40 km or 1 hour By Bike 30 km or 5 hours.
Kyotera to Lake Nabugabo.
Scenic drive/ ride from Kyotera to Lake Nabugabo.
Tour Info TotalDistance 72 km By Motor Vehicle 30 km or 1 hour By Bike 42 km or 6 hours.
Lake Nabugabo to Ssese islands, Kalangala.Scenic drive/ride from Lake Nabugabo to Kalangala and ferry crossing to the Ssese islands.
Tour Info Total Distance 72 km By Motor Vehicle 30 km or 1 hour By Bike 42 km or 6 hours.
Ssese islands to Entebbe.
Ferry crossing from the Ssese islands to Entebbe.
Departure from Entebbe.
Arrival in Kigali
On day 1 of your trekking bike safari, our experienced guide will collect you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Kigali.
Kigali to Kibuye on Lake Kivu
After breakfast you will take a look at your bikes and allocate / adjust them according to frame size to suit the leg length of each participant. Briefing and instructions from your guide. You depart Kigali along a well maintained tarmac road in the direction of Kibuye. Just after Gitarama (55 km) the group ‘gets in the saddle' and follows one of the numerous tracks that crisscross the Land of the 1.000 Hills and that Rwandans use to carry their agricultural produce (bananas, maize, potatoes) to sell at the weekly markets.
You'll encounter local cyclists riding Chinese bikes loaded with huge bunches of bananas weighing up to 200 kg who will be delighted to see Muzungus - white folks in general - travelling by bike too. This form of travelling offers an easy and enjoyable way to get to know the locals and it offers you the chance to savour the spectacular landscape.
Tour Info Total distance 125 km By Motor Vehicle 70 km or 2 hours on tarmac road By Bike 55 km or 5 hours on earth road with little traffic, dirt track in parts with uphill sections of between 250 and 500 m over a distance of 5 km.
Kibuye to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu
Your journey continues right after breakfast and in order to bypass the steep uphill and downhill sections of the first 45 km of the Congo-Nile Trail, you begin your day with a three hour boat trip that takes you to Nkora Market, the starting point to the daily cycling section leading to Gisenyi. On the shores of the lake you'll encounter local fishermen removing their catches of perch, catfish and tilapia from their nets after their night long fishing trips. Sweet potatoes, cassavas, coffee and tea grow in the fields. The scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. The eastern shore of Lake Kivu takes you through a serene landscape characterised by fertile, arable fields while in the west, on the Congo side of the lake the Virunga mountain range, towering at over 3,000 metres, rises like a huge grey wall blocking the view into the “mysterious Congo”.
The shore of Lake Kivu offers idyllic spots where you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the clear waters. Despite its depth of 480 metres, the lake boasts a pleasant water temperature all year round thanks to volcanic underground springs.
Tour Info Total distance 115 km By Boat 45 km or 3 hours By Bike 30 km or 4 hours on earth road with little traffic and uphill and downhill sections of between 600 and 700 m along the shore of Lake Kivu By Motor Vehicle 40 km or 2 hours on tarmac road.
Gisenyi to Musanze and Parc National des Volcans
You leave Lake Kivu in motorised vehicles and ascend around 800 metres on a good tarmac road. In a north-westerly direction the Virunga Mountains, a volcanic chain with a total of 8 summits lined together like a string of pearls, rise before us. During the dry months between June and August the highest summit - Mount Karisimbi - is capped with snow and therefore appears similar to the more famous mount ‘Kilimanjaro' in Tanzania. There are two options available today, depending on the fitness level and preference of participants, the easy route to Musanze along a quiet tarmac road or a somewhat more challenging earth road along the foot of the volcano range.
Tour Info Total distance 65 km By Motor Vehicle 35 km or 1 hour on tarmac road By Bike 30 km or 4 hours on tarmac road with little traffic and uphill and downhill sections.
Parc National des Volcans
Not only is Rwanda often described as the Land of a Thousand Hills but also as the self-styled Switzerland of Africa, with enchanted views of Lake Kivu and the higher elevations dominated by the Virunga Volcanoes, whose peaks are forever shrouded in mist and mystery, with the tangled jumble of tropical rain forest on its lower slopes home to the world famous Mountain Gorillas. The Parc National des Volcans is also home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo peaks) which are covered in rainforest and bamboo. Additionally, the park was also the base for world renowned zoologist Dian Fossey.
Here, you have the sensational opportunity to venture on an exhilarating track to the Mountain Gorilla's natural habitat of shady bamboo thickets and relish sensational views of lush green rainforests, alive with the cacophonous calls of varicoloured birds.
Nothing however can prepare one for the impact of encountering a mountain gorilla close up, twice the size of an average man, yet remarkably gentle and tolerant of human visitors.
Dian Fossey Trekking:
And for those further interested in the scientific work of Dian Fossey, a trek to her former Karisoke base in the saddle area between Mount Visoke and Mount Karisimbi adds a historic dimension to the adventure.
Golden Monkey Tracking:
Alternatively, you can venture into the forests of the Parc National des Volcans to track the rare and endangered Golden Monkeys.
Parc National des Volcans to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:
After a hearty breakfast, the safari continues across the border to Uganda and on to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Lake Mutanda, dotted with islands and fringed by lush, green mountains which offer a spectacular natural backdrop.
The earth road winds its way round countless bends high above steeply sloping valleys on the sides of which the fields have, in places, been terraced to enable farming. The view of the horizon to the south is blocked by the black cones of the Virunga Volcanoes, towering at heights of over 4,000 metres and playing peek-a-boo with the white clouds in the blue sky. On a clear day the 360° panoramic vista is nothing short of phenomenal and therefore, plenty of short stops are a must to capture a photo of the volcanoes, rainforests, green fields and villages.
Additionally, this day offers extraordinary views of serene hills and tranquil lakes in the vicinity, such as the view of Lake Mutanda and the Virunga Volcanoes from the Chameleon Hill Lodge.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
Today's activity represent another major highlight of your Ugandan safari as you can visit once more the world famous Mountain Gorillas. On this tracking adventure, you will have the exhilarating opportunity to visit the Mountain Gorilla's natural habitat on the mountain slopes covered bamboo and lush green rainforests.
You can choose from the following options:
Today, you have another opportunity to venture on an exhilarating track to the Mountain Gorilla's natural habitat.
Golden Monkey Tracking at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
Or you can venture into the forests of the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to track the rare Golden Monkeys. They are considered the smallest of the primates and are an endangered species. Named after their golden color, with black limbs and a crown on their head, these monkeys are a lovely species to observe and can only be found in three countries worldwide. While trekking along the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes, through the dense bamboo forests, keep your eyes up to help the rangers spot the red brown fur of these beautiful monkeys.
Motor boat and visit the mysterious Skeleton Island:
Where you can visit the ancient burial grounds of the local tribes. Another worthwhile stop is Python Island which is inhabited by large water pythons. Back on shore you will walk through farmland and villages to Kisoro town. Meet the beautiful and hospitable people of Uganda, have a chat with them and enjoy harmony of village life.
The Batwa Trail project was initiated by the Batwa Forest People of southwestern Uganda and has been implemented with support from the International Gorilla Conservation Programme in partnership with the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Batwa guides take visitors on a day long hike along the mountain trails in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to share with them the secrets of this primeval forest and the opportunity to experience the extraordinary life and culture of the Batwa people.
Alternatively, you can venture on an exhilarating climb on either one of the three Virunga Volcanoes that are situated on the Ugandan side of the border. The climbs vary in degrees of difficulty and lengths.
Whichever you choose, the experience is a memorable event indeed:
This is the second highest of the volcanoes and represents the border region between Rwanda and Uganda. It offers fantastic views of at least 5 of the volcanoes in the area and the climb itself is considered demanding, is often very steep and may take a day to achieve.
Should you choose to try your climbing luck on this volcano, this can be demanding and sometimes difficult, so you need to be fit for a good long climbing session. The volcano is about 3.645 meters high and the climb may take 7 to 8 hours.
At 3.474 meters, Mount Gahinga is the smallest of three and therefore also the easiest and fastest to climb.
Queen Elizabeth National Park/ South-Ishasha:
Another highlight of your visit awaits you during a game drive to Ishasha which is in the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and with that the opportunity to see the rare and unique tree climbing lions. Legends have been built around the tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park and spotting one of the cats is a very special experience indeed as there are only two places in the world where you can find tree climbing lions.
Queen Elizabeth National Park/ North-Kazinga Channel.
You will first venture on an exhilarating search for the chimpanzees in the valley of the Kyambura Gorge with the further opportunity of observing a great number of tropical bird species in their natural habitat. The stunning Kyambura Gorge, also called the ‘Valley of Apes', is located in the far eastern corner of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and is about 1 km across at its broadest point and 100 m deep.
Thereafter, you will go on a game drive through the park with the opportunity to see an amazing variety of wildlife up close.
The park is home to 95 species of mammals and over 500 species of tropical birds as well as the world's largest concentration of hippos. And in the afternoon, you will experience an exciting boat cruise on the famous Kazinga Channel, a 32 km long natural link between two of the largest lakes in the area, Lake Edward to Lake George, as it meanders through the lush park with its abundance of wildlife. Be assured that Kazinga will be one of the highlights of your safari.
Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Mburo National Park
A speedy overland journey through central Uganda takes you to Lake Mburo National Park where you have the opportunity to spot zebras, topis, buffalos and water bucks. A sunset boat trip on Lake Mburo completes the day's activities. Crocodiles, hippos and African fish eagles appear offering classic photo opportunities against the backdrop of the evening sun.
Lake Mburo National Park to Lyantonde:
Back in the saddle at last! After breakfast on the shores of Lake Mburo, you begin a circular tour through the national park. Warukiri, Kazuma, and Ruroko Tracks are the mysterious names of the serpentine trails through the humid marshlands, across acacia-covered high ground and up to stunning hilltops offering breathtaking 360° panoramic vistas. Beyond every bend, behind every bush there might be zebra, an impala or a topi. Those who are fit enough can climb to the Kazuma Hill lookout and experience one of the most fascinating spots Uganda has to offer.
Tour Info Total distance 65 km By Motor Vehicle 20 km or 1 hour on earth and tarmac road By Bike 45 km or 7 hours on hard mud road with little traffic but stony in places.
Lyantonde to Kyotera:
Today the day tour takes you along quiet earth roads and isolated trails through an area of rural Uganda. As a cyclist, smiling locals may ask you to dismount your bike and buy a few bananas, a young man wearing an Obama T-shirt will want to chat with you, or a middle aged lady might invite you to enjoy a cup of tea at her roadside stall. Such a level of openness and friendliness towards guests can only be experienced in these off-the beaten track areas.
Tour Info Total distance 70 km By Motor Vehicle 40 km or 1 hour on earth road By Bike 30 km or 5 hours on good earth roads with little traffic and an isolated dirt track after about 3 hours.
Kyotera to Lake Nabugabo:
A hard-packed earth road with little traffic leads you through what is known as the ‘Vegetable Gardens of Uganda'. Maize, bananas, pineapples, sweet potatoes, coffee, tomatoes, cabbages and avocados grow along the roadside. Far away from any hustle, bustle and traffic, you can enjoy the feeling of riding freely over the gently undulating terrain.
A ‘secret' trail takes you finally to Lake Nabugabo. Free from bilharzia and effluent and just 4.5 metres deep, the lake is home to indigenous tilapia and lungfish and offers a wonderful opportunity for a swim after an intensive day's cycling.
earth road By Bike 42 km or 6 hours on earth road with little traffic and adventurous final section through floodplains.
Lake Nabugabo to Ssese Islands:
In the morning you can enjoy some relaxation and a dip in the lake before you continue the tour along the ‘Tank Trail' (the secret behind the name will be disclosed when you get there) to the ferry and then across Bulaga Island. In front of you now lies the final trekking bike section. The earth road leads through small villages, virgin forests and freshly planted palm plantations - all situated on the high ground of the island.
Far below the waves of Lake Victoria glisten in the sunshine, whetting your appetite for a refreshing dip when you get to your accommodation. Evening dinner amid an idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Tour Info Total distance 55 km By Motor Vehicle 20 km or 1 hour on earth road By Bike 35 km or 6 hours on earth road with little traffic.
Ssese Islands to Entebbe Departure:
In the morning a 4 to 5 hour car ferry trip takes you from the Ssese Islands to Entebbe. A trip to Uganda wouldn't be complete without crossing at least part of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake and the second largest lake in the world. Covering an area around the size of the Republic of Ireland and supporting around 30 million people in neighbouring countries, the lake serves primarily as the ‘source' of the Nile providing water to regions as far north as South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.
Depending on your time of departure, you have the option for a day room at the Papyrus Guesthouse in Entebbe.
Time to say goodbye as you transfer to the airport and your flight home.
MAP OF ROUTE
PRICE & SERVICES
The price here presented is for mid range accommodation provided for the duration of the safari described in this document.
The price options for budget and luxury accommodation are available on request.
Price per person sharing in a double/ twin room:
- 2 people travelling from US $ 9.612,00
- 3 people travelling from US $ 8.822,00
- 4 people travelling from US $ 8.426,00
- 5 people travelling from US $ 8.189,00
- 6 people travelling from US $ 8.031,00
- 7 people travelling from US $ 7.918,00
Single supplement from US $ 1.587,00
Features Included in Safari Price:
- All airport transfers, ground transportation and fuel as per the itinerary
- Transport in a 4x4 minibus with safari roof (other options on request)
- Charter or scheduled local flights where applicable and listed in the itinerary
- All park and conservation fees including for the vehicle, driver/ tour guide and clients.
- English speaking Rwandan driver/ tour guide (other languages on request)
- Accommodation and meal plan as specified
- Activities as per itinerary
Features Excluded in Safari Price:
- All international flights, all flights not specifically listed in the itinerary
- A 4x4 wheel drive vehicle such as a Land Cruiser
- Cost of visas
- Travel, medical and personal insurances
- Gratuities and personal requirements
- Gorilla permits Rwanda (US $ 750,00 pp)
- All other ‘Optional Activities' listed in the itinerary (prices on request)
Our passion for Africa and efforts to furnish you with the very best Creative Destination Management are defined by the objective to provide exceptional quality, intensive and unforgettable experiences as well as pleasurable moments, that in every detail and attention to superior services are a dream come true and a feast for the senses.
Our passion, commitment and dedication to provide you with memorable adventures is as limitless as the magical vistas of the African continent ...
Your Across Africa Creative Destination Management Team
T's & C's
- This is a proposal only and subject to availability. If components of this itinerary are not available at the time of booking, we shall endeavour to offer suitable alternatives.
- Gorilla and Chimpanzee tracking permits are not included. Please note that
- Gorilla permits of US $ 600,00 per permit in Uganda and/ or US $ 750,00 per permit in Rwanda and US $ 150,00 for Chimpanzee permits in Kibale, Uganda need to be paid together with the deposit. The price for these permits is nonrefundable, however in case of cancellation, we shall endeavor to resell excess tickets through the available ofﬁcial channels.
- The appointed driver/ tour guide will accompany clients throughout the safari, assist them with check-in at accommodation and share his knowledge of ﬂora and fauna.
- A language speciﬁc tour guide is available against a surcharge.
- A 4 x 4 wheel drive vehicle such as a Land Cruiser is available against a surcharge.
Where applicable for charter or scheduled local ﬂights, the following baggage restrictions apply:
- 15 kgs on all ﬂights in small, soft-sided bags.
Abbreviations for the meal plan are as follows:
- BB = Bed & Breakfast.
- DBB = Dinner, Bed & Breakfast.
- FB = Full Board.
Terms and Conditions of our Services Payments Deposit:
- 25% of the total safari price within 7 days of conﬁrmation.
- Balance: full balance due 45 days (6 weeks) prior to arrival.
- Reservations: made within 45 days or less prior to arrival: Immediate full prepayment due.
- Cancellations: received within 30 days before safari date 20%
- 29 to 23 days before safari date 25%
- 22 to 15 days before safari date 40%
- 14 to 08 days before safari date 55%
- 07 to 03 days before safari date 65%
- 02 days before safari date 95%
- No Show 100 % Changes Without Prior Notice Tariffs quoted are valid for 2015 wherever possible.
Not all service providers release or guarantee their rates well in advance and therefore the itinerary price may be subject to changes without prior notice.
Factors that can not be anticipated and may inﬂuence this cost calculation include, but are not limited to, supplier increases (including gorilla permits and park/conservation fees), government tax increases, fuel price increases, unforeseeable itinerary amendments due to circumstances beyond our control, availability restrictions, etc.