8 Day Uganda Rwanda Tour Holiday
This 8 Day Uganda Rwanda Tour Holiday offers the opportunity to track Mountain gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda, enjoy a cultural gala at the Iby’iwachu cultural village, hike the Bisoke Volcano or visit the Dian Fossey Centre, and have a memorable boat ride on the legendary Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda. The safari will also take you on a cultural trail of the Batwa forest people who formerly lived inside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest before it was gazetted as a National Park and to visit a genocide memorial site in the city of Kigali.
- The thrill of being before a family of Mountain Gorillas in the wild and watching as they communicate, feed, play and bond with their young
- Trekking and watching the delightful Chimpanzees as they make acrobatic maneuvers in the tree branches
- Watching the colourful cultural gala of the Rwandese people at Iby’iwachu cultural village
- Taking a boat ride around the beautiful islands in Lake Bunyonyi and sightseeing the mesmerizing scenic views surrounding the lake
- Learning about the life of the former forest people during a Batwa cultural trail in Mgahinga National Park as they demonstrate their former hunting and survival skills in the forest
- Learning about the great pioneering work of the American primatologist who pioneered the initiatives to protect and conserve Mountain Gorillas in the volcanic mountains.
- Listening the horrific tales of the genocide that occurred in the 1990s in Rwanda
Day 1: Travelling to the Volcanoes National Park and visit to the Twin Lakes
Day 2: Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park and visit to Iby’iwachu cultural village
Day 3: Hiking the Bisoke volcano / Visiting Dian Fossey center and transfering to Mgahinga National Park in Uganda
Day 4: Batwa cultural trail and travelling to Lake Bunyonyi
Day 5: Boat ride / sightseeing around Lake Bunyonyi and travelling to Bwindi Forest
Day 6: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Day 7: Travelling to Kigali
Day 8: Visiting a Genocide memorial site in Kigali and departure
Day 1: Drive to Volcanoes National Park
You will start your 8 day Uganda Rwanda Tour Holiday by travelling to the Gorilla haven in the Volcanoes National Park, 116km away from Kigali. The drive is approximately 3 hours through the lush green country side of undulating hills many of which have been cultivated with skill.
You will have lunch upon arrival and after a short rest go for a sightseeing of the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.
Day 2: Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park
You will have an early breakfast and join other tourists at the Kinigi Park headquarters at 08:00am for a briefing on the gorilla tracking rules. You will be allocated a Gorilla family to track and guides to lead you to the Gorillas. The trekking is a strenuous exercise through thick jungle on steep terrain that is uneven, wet and often muddy for as many as 2-5 hours, depending on the location of the Gorillas. Once sighted, you will spend a maximum of one hour with the Gorillas.
You will return to the lodge to refresh and later go out to visit the Iby’iwachu cultural village for a Kinyarwanda cultural gala. You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Hike to Bisoke volcano or Visit to Dian Fossey center
After an early breakfast, you will be taken either to hike Mount Bisoke 3,711m above sea level or visit the Dian Fossey Centre to pay tribute to the famous American Primatologist (Dian Fossey) who pioneered the initiatives to protect and conserve the endgered Mountain Gorillas. The Bisoke Volcano has two stunning cones that were formed after the volcano eruption of 1957 and contains an amazing crater Lake (Ngezi) about 11km from the summit.
A walk around the volcanic cones gives you a stunning view of the Virunga ranges in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The hike takes about 7 hours after which you will cross over to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
Day 4: Batwa cultural trail and travel to Lake Bunyonyi
You will have your breakfast and afterwards go for the Batwa cultural experience. The Batwa trail exposes you to the interesting demonstration of the hunting techniques of these forest people; the honey gathering, the preparation of medicinal herbs for treatment of diseases and the technology of making Bamboo cups.
The trail also involves a visit to the sacred Garama cave which used to be a place of refuge (hiding) for the Batwa after invading and stealing from the neighbouring communities. You will be moved by the sorrowful songs of women echoed by the walls of this light deprived cave that is a reminder of their ancient heritage.
After the Batwa trail the Uganda Rwanda Tour Holiday guide will drive you 94km to Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 5: Boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi
After your breakfast you will be taken for the memorable boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi. This beautiful lake has 26 islands surrounded by great scenic hills covered a lush green flora which is a perfect habitat for many unique species of birds. In the afternoon you will be driven to Uganda’s gorilla trekking haven of Bwindi.
Day 6: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi
You will have an early rich Uganda Rwanda Tour Holiday breakfast and be driven to the Park Headquarters in Rushaga for a briefing about the Gorilla tracking rules. After the briefing, you will set off with trained guides to search for the gorillas. Tracking gorillas in Bwindi is quite challenging as it involves moving over rugged terrain of steep slopes and valleys which in the rainy season can be very slippery. The tracking can take 2 – 8 hours before you come across a gorilla family and you have a maximum of one hour to stay with them.
In the evening you can opt for a community walk among the Bakiga people that live near the park or simply relax at the lodge till dinner time and overnight.
Day 7: Drive back to Kigali
After breakfast you will transfer to Kigali about 4 hours’ drive from Bwindi. This part of the Uganda Rwanda Tour Holiday journey is quite charming with scenic views of Kigezi highlands, Virunga Volcanoes and undulating hills of Rwanda. You will have lunch in Kigali and after a short rest be taken to the Genocide memorial at Gisozi to pay tribute to the victims of Rwandan genocide.
Day 8: Visit memorial sites in Kigali
You will after breakfast visit the Genocide memorial sites where thousands of innocent people lost their lives during the genocide of the mid 1990s in Rwanda and listen to the horrendous narratives of how people were cruelly put to death.
You will have lunch and later visit the Presidential Palace Museum before retiring for dinner and overnight.
End of the Uganda Rwanda Tour Holiday
Requirements for this Safari
- A Visa – you can apply for the visa online or very easily get one at the point of entry into the country (airport)
- Chimpanzee and Gorilla trekking permits – You can apply and secure these on line but experience has shown that it is better coordinated when you send money to the tour firm to handle it for you at no extra cost to the standard fee
- Travel &Health insurance – This should be arranged by you in your home country before you travel.
- Physical fitness
The Safari package includes:
- Full board accommodation as per the itinerary
- 4WD safari vehicle
- Bottled drinking water
- Chimpanzee and Gorilla trekking ($1500) permits
- Boat trips
- Services of an English Speaking Driver/guide
- Community visit fees
- Guided nature walks
- Return airport transfers
The Safari package excludes expenses of a personal nature such as:
- Other drinks apart from bottled water
- Tips to local guides
- Telephone expenses
- Porter fees while trekking Gorillas and chimpanzees
- Personal insurance