Map of Remarkable Rwanda & Gorillas of Uganda including Rwanda and Uganda

Uncover beauty and tragedy in Rwanda and Uganda

Rwanda is oft-missed destination that every human should visit. Not only will you learn about the devastating events that took place here, you'll also witness a beautiful country that's continuously striving to move forward. Combine this with the incredible scenery and diverse wildlife of Uganda, topped off with an unforgettable adventure searching for the mountain gorillas of Uganda and you've got a trip that can sometimes be physically and emotionally challenging, but will be talked about for the rest of your life.


Start
Kigali, Rwanda
Finish
Kigali, Rwanda
Destinations
Rwanda, Uganda
Style
Original
Theme
Wildlife
Code
YGSU
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • 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

Is this trip right for you?

  • Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid. But the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. A top tip is to pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs.

  • You may also want to check out Gorillas & East Africa Safari if you have more time to explore in East Africa.

Itinerary

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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until tonight's important welcome meeting at 6pm. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these to give to your leader.
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.
Included Activities
  • Kigali - City Tour
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Centre
Optional Activities
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Audio Guide - USD15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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.
Included Activities
  • Gisenyi – Boat Cruise and Island Visit
Optional Activities
  • Gisenyi - Napoleon Island Boat Trip & Hike - USD120
  • Gisenyi - Morning Town Visit - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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.
Included Activities
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - Kazinga Channel boat cruise - USD30
  • Kalinzu Forest - Chimpanzee trekking - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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!
Included Activities
  • Ishasha - Community Tourism Project Visit
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

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.
Included Activities
  • Bwindi National Park - Mountain Gorilla Permit & Trek
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Don’t forget to carry your rain gear, packed lunch, plenty of water, gloves, hat, and water proof bag for protection of your camera in case of rain
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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please do not book international flights out of Kigali until after 3pm.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

4WD vehicles

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Safari Lodge (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Kigali - City Tour
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Centre
  • Gisenyi – Boat Cruise and Island Visit
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Ishasha - Community Tourism Project Visit
  • Bwindi National Park - Mountain Gorilla Permit & Trek

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Remarkable Rwanda & Gorillas of Uganda trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip starts in Kigali on Day 1 at 6pm. This allows time after the welcome meeting to explore Kigali.
This trip finishes upon arrival in Kigali on Day 9. Please do not book any flights until after 3pm in the afternoon.
3. This trip requires a higher non-refundable deposit (AUD1000, USD1000, EUR800, NZD1250, GBP650, CAD1000, ZAR8000, CHF900) in order to secure the included gorilla permit. Please note that we need to confirm availability of a gorilla permit if you are booking within 45 days of departure. The additional deposit paid at time of booking will be credited to the final balance of your booking.
4. If you like the sound of this trip and also want to experience the annual Gorilla Naming Ceremony in Rwanda check out trip code YGSUS on the website for a special, festival departure.

Essential trip information

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