Rwanda Gorilla Naming Ceremony & Uganda

Encounter the culture, history and wildlife of Rwanda and Uganda on a 9-day adventure that’s as moving as it is fun. Take part in an incredibly important gorilla naming ceremony in the name of conservation in Musanze, look out for big-ticket wildlife on game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, search for mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park, meet a Gorilla Doctor in Kisoro, and learn about Rwanda’s devastating history in Kigali. The experiences you’ll have on this adventure will stick with you for a lifetime.

9 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: YGSUS
Style: Original
Theme: Festivals and Events


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

  • 1 breakfasts
  • 1 lunches

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.

  • Experience one of the world’s most important celebrations of conservation success; a naming ceremony for the baby gorillas born in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park over the past year.

  • Discover the diverse wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park on exciting game drives, and an optional boat cruise around the lake, and learn how human-wildlife conflict is being tackled with anti-crop raiding techniques.

  • Spend one night in beautiful Gisenyi on the north shore of Lake Kivu. Take a boat cruise around the lake spotting birdlife and visiting some of the small islands.

  • Be joined by a field veterinarian from The Gorilla Doctors for an exclusive fireside chat at our lodge, knowing that a proportion of your trip cost goes back to supporting the important work they do.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Kigali

Welcome to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda since it gained independence in 1962. Most associate Rwanda with the 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 at 6 pm.

Day 2: Musanze

Wake early this morning for an incredibly special day. Depart Kigali and drive to Musanze (approximately 2.5 hours), where the Kwita Izina ceremony will take place. Based off a centuries old traditional that sees Rwandans naming their children in the presence of their family and friends, the Kwita Izina ceremony gives a name to a newborn gorilla. Created to bring attention to the importance of protecting mountain gorillas and their habitats, the naming ceremony helps to monitor each individual gorilla while showing thanks to those who take part in their conservation. Today you’ll follow the event’s schedule, so be prepared to go with the flow and be ready to join the celebrations! You can expect to see famous singers, performers, top traditional dancing groups and formal speeches, followed by informal celebrations.

Day 3: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Your journey continues as you leave Rwanda and cross the border into Uganda, driving on to Queen Elizabeth National Park (approximately 6.5 hours). This incredibly biodiverse park is home to 10 primate species including chimpanzees, 95 mammals including big game, and 618 bird species. On arrival, 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! Later in the day you’ll return to your simple safari lodge located within the park and overlooking the Kazinga Channel.

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park (Ishasha Sector)

This morning there is the 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. Then, game drive to Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, looking out for the famous tree climbing lions along the way. In Ishasha you’ll 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. After your visit, head to a comfortable eco-lodge frequented by big herds of elephants, buffaloes and antelopes.

Day 5: Kisoro

Head further south as you travel to Kisoro (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.
Your accommodation tonight offers breathtaking views of Lake Mulehe and the Virunga Mountains. Soak up the panoramic views from your veranda as the sun sets.
This evening we will be joined by a field veterinarian from The Gorilla Doctors for a fireside chat.The Gorilla Doctors are the only organization in the world dedicated to saving the mountain and eastern lowland (Grauer’s) gorilla species one gorilla patient at a time using veterinary medicine and science. They monitor the health of gorilla groups to ensure the early detection of disease and injury, and stage medical interventions when gorillas suffer from human-induced or life-threatening trauma or disease. Learn more about their fascinating work during this unique and special experience.

Day 6: 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 7: Gisenyi

Cross the border back into Rwanda and drive on to Gisenyi (approximately 2.5 hours), 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 day getting to know Gisenyi and the colonial-era mansions and bars that sit by the lake.

Day 8: Kigali

Travel back to Kigali this morning (approximately 3 hours). 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.

Day 9: Kigali

With no further activities planned for today, your adventure comes to an end after breakfast.