Remarkable Rwanda & Gorillas of Uganda


Rwanda and Uganda are often-overlooked travel destinations – but as an intrepid traveller, you won’t want to miss this nine-day journey through their wild landscapes, rich in history and wildlife. Learn about the devastating events that took place in Rwanda, a beautiful country that's continuously striving to move forward. Combine this with the incredible scenery and diverse animal life of Uganda and an unforgettable adventure searching for mountain gorillas, and you’ll experience the full spectrum of emotions and physical challenges.

9 days, from

$4,504

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

3
Trip code: YGSU
Style: Original
Theme: Wildlife

Details

Countries Visited:  Rwanda Uganda
Accommodation: Hotel (3 nights), Safari Lodge (5 nights)
Transportation: 4WD vehicles
Included Meals:

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 3 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • With gorilla permits included in the price of the trip, seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Uganda's steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence.

  • Learn about Rwanda's devastating history with a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, and see what life looks like today with a tour of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.

  • Get to know the diverse wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park on a series of 4x4 game drives and an optional boat cruise around the lake.

  • You won’t even have to get out of bed to enjoy wildlife and wonderful views – Safari lodges and Eco Camps deliver epic scenery, and wild visitors like Elephant, Buffalo, and Hippo to your doorstep

  • Meet members of the Ishasha community for a look at rural life in Uganda, visiting an organic farm and medicine garden and learn how human-wildlife conflict is being tackled with anti-crop raiding techniques

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Kigali

Welcome to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda since it gained independence in 1962. Most associate Rwanda with the horrific genocide that took place in 1994, but this is a country that has been striving to rebuild its economy for years and offers so much to the intrepid traveller. And though the past won't, and shouldn't, be forgotten, the future of Rwanda's tourism is looking bright thanks to its welcoming people, an abundance of lakes and the beautiful Virunga Mountains. Your adventure begins by meeting your fellow travellers and local leader at 6pm.

Day 2: Kigali

After breakfast this morning, visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which was opened in 2004 to mark the 10th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi people. It serves as both a museum, detailing the history and consequences of Rwanda's genocide, and a place for people to grieve for lost friends and family. This afternoon, take some time out from the devastating history with a local lunch and an afternoon city tour, including a trip to the craft market. Explore the Nyamirambo neighbourhood, one of the liveliest parts of Kigali. Home to most of the city’s Muslim population, there are several beautiful mosques to discover here, and in a city that mostly shuts down after dark, the colourful streets of Nyamirambo are alive long into the night.

Day 3: Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)

Say goodbye to Kigali and drive on to Gisenyi, located on Lake Kivu's northern edge. Kivu is one of of Africa's Great Lakes – Rwanda's largest and Africa's sixth-largest – and is a natural border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Take a boat cruise around the lake spotting birdlife and visiting some of the small islands. After your leader can help you choose how to spend the rest of the afternoon, maybe take a trip to Napoleon Island to go hiking and encounter birds and its large colony of fruit bats. Alternatively, spend the afternoon getting to know Gisenyi and the colonial-era mansions and bars that sit by the lake.

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Your journey continues as you drive on to the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Named after the Queen of England in 1954 following her visit, the park is home to 618 bird species which is the 6th highest diversity in the world and the highest in Africa, in addition to 10 primate species including Chimpanzees and 95 mammals including big game.

On arrival, enjoy some lunch then head out on a 4x4 Game drive in search of the varied wildlife within the park – a keen eye and a little patience is sure to reward you with some memorable sightings!

Head back to our simple safari lodge located within the Park overlooking the Kazinga Channel

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Wake up for another exciting day in Queen Elizabeth National Park with another 4x4 Game Drive. Be on the lookout for any sightings you may have missed yesterday, and if you’re really lucky you might be able to spot leopards or lions.
This afternoon you have opportunity to see the park from a different perspective with an optional cruise down the Kazinga Channel, linking Lake Edward to Lake George. You’ll be joined by local guides who will fill you in on everything you could want to know about the landscape and the animals who live within it – be on the lookout for hippos basking on the shore, as well as crocodiles, herds of elephants and abundant birdlife. You’ll also have the option to arrange a trek through the forest to view chimpanzees – this will take place really early, arriving back in time for the morning game drive, so be sure to speak to your leader to get it booked in ahead of time.

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park (Ishasha Sector)

This morning we make our way to Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here you meet some local residents to learn more about rural life in Uganda. Visit a local organic farm, medicine garden and homestead and learn how its owner is tackling human-wildlife conflict with his anti-crop raiding techniques. You’ll also meet a local Mukiga woman who will share her story while showing you how to sort, pound and grind millet to make porridge and other Bakiga meals.

This part of the park is famous for its tree climbing lions, so be on the look out as you make the game drive towards our ecolodge in the northern sector of the park frequented by herds of elephants, buffaloes and antelopes!

Day 7: Kisoro

Today, drive out of the Queen Elizabeth National Park on your way to the southwest tip of Uganda (approximately 6 hours). The journey is like a game drive in itself, with the chance to spot zebras, antelopes, baboons and monkeys out the window. When you arrive at the corner of Uganda, where the border touches Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, you’ll be based in Kisoro, which provides access to seven different gorilla groups located in Mgahinga, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Nshongi.

Day 8: Kisoro (Gorilla Trek)

Join a local guide and trackers as you climb through the rugged, mountainous terrain of Bwindi National Park in search of mountain gorillas. A quick lock of eyes with these creatures is a truly primal moment and visits are strictly controlled to minimise disturbance. Make no mistake, tracking gorillas is no walk in the park – it's called Bwinidi Impenetrable National Park for a reason. It can be wet, muddy, strenuous and uncomfortable, but the indescribable elation at coming across a group of gorillas is worth the effort. Spend a mesmerising hour with the gorillas as they eat, sleep, groom and play as the male silverback watches over them, then return to the lodge for dinner and to reflect on this incredible experience.

Day 9: Kigali

After breakfast this morning, it’s time to make the journey back to Kigali (approximately 4 hours). With no further activities planned, your adventure comes to an end upon arrival in Kigali.