Rwanda – Uganda Highlights And Cultural Experience | 12 Days
With this travel package, we conduct a thrilling road exploration of the natural wonders of Uganda and Rwanda. We will certainly appreciate nature as we drive through Rwanda’s rolling hills, dance to the tunes of Uganda’s pygmy people-the Batwa, get covered in the dense forests of Bwindi, come up close to the Mountain Gorillas and as we venture into the lion territories of Akagera and Murchison Falls National Parks.
This will be a moment to explore the two nations, discover the treasure that lies within, we will enjoy, relax, meet people and extend our hands out to them and create a positive impact! We will ultimately create lasting memories while in Uganda and Rwanda!
Day 1 — PICK FROM THE KIGALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND TRANSFER TO THE HOTEL
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be gladly received by the company representatives/guides who will brief you about the adventure and after take you to the hotel for your relaxation and overnight stay.
Day 2 — TRANSFER TO AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK FOR GAME VIEWING
Early morning, you will travel to Akagera National Park which is situated in the Eastern part of Rwanda.
Akagera National Park’s rolling highlands, savannah plains, and swamp-fringed lakes make up the largest protected wetland in central Africa and the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted animals and plants in Rwanda. Despite being a relatively small park at just 1,122 km², it is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including some rare species such as the shoebill and Sitatunga.
On arrival, you will enter the park and conduct a game drive. Expect great sightings of elephants, buffalos, giraffes, gazelles, spotted hyenas, impalas, lions, baboons, warthogs, bushbucks, topis, Oribis and leopards.
After three hours of wildlife sightings, you will embark on the journey heading back to Kigali for your overnight stay.
The drive time from Kigali to Akagera National Park is about 2 hours.
Day 3 — VISIT KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL AND CRAFT CENTERS
This day is reserved for you to explore Kigali city. You will visit Kigali genocide memorial Center which is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
After visiting the genocide memorial, you will visit several craft centers to appreciate more about African fashion and design.
Day 4 — TRAVEL TO MUSANZE OF THE NORTHERN REGION OF RWANDA; FOR THE IBY’IWACU CULTURAL EXPERIENCE IN RUHENGERI AND TRANSFER TO GISHENYI
After breakfast, you will embark on the journey to Volcanoes National Park by driving for about 2 hours. Along the way, you will enjoy magnificent sceneries of Rwanda’s rolling hills.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy a cultural experience that describes the true nature of the people of Rwanda. You will get a chance to meet local people in their local environment and appreciate their cultural and traditional lifestyles. You will learn about their social economic aspects and also appreciate how they survive on a daily basis. They will perform local songs and cultural dances which proudly present different aspects of traditions, norms and ways of living of the Banyarwanda. They will kindly invite you to participate!
After enjoying wonderful moments during the cultural experiences, you will proceed with the journey to Gisenyi.
The drive time from Kigali to Musanze to Gisenyi is about 4 hours.
Day 5 — BOAT RIDE ON LAKE KIVU AND COFFEE TOUR
This day is entirely reserved for you to explore Lake Kivu and the environs of the lodge. You will take a boat ride on Lake Kivu and also visit coffee plantations. You will meet local farmer’s groups who will gladly take you through all the stages of coffee production and processing. The aroma of the coffee is great and a group photo while sipping this coffee will be a great shot, let alone a great gesture made towards supporting the local community.
Day 6 — TRANSFER TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST-RUSHAGA AND BATWA CULTURAL EXPERIENCE
Early morning, you will travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda to experience yet another thrilling and the highlight of this safari which is gorilla trekking. Along the way, you will continue enjoying the beautiful scenery of this region which is characterized by terraced hills.
In the afternoon, you will go for a cultural interaction with the Batwa. The Pygmy- Batwa people are a traditionally hunter-gatherer group who lived within the forests and survived on small mammals and plants. After plans to conserve and gazette National Parks in the early 1990’s, the Batwa were forced to leave the forest and were no longer able to enter the park to gather food. They however remain in the environs and continue to practice their ancient culture to date. The Batwa communities remain largely marginalized and are one of the poorest communities in Uganda.
The drive time from Gisenyi to Bwindi- Rushaga sector is about 4-5 hours.
Day 7 — GORILLA TREKKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK/ COMMUNITY WALK
This safari day experience allows you to encounter with the gigantic gentle creatures – the mountain gorillas by hiking through Bwindi impenetrable forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests and contain almost 350 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s gorilla population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.
The trekking activity starts with briefing which is conducted by the specialized site ranger. During this briefing, rules and regulations guiding the trekking activity are passed on. The trekking is carried out in various groups and starts early in the morning when the gorillas are out looking for food.
Once you locate the gorillas with your ranger guide, you’re allowed to observe them for an hour and then after, walk back out of the forest.
Those who prefer not to participate in the gorilla trekking can take a guided community walk to explore the surrounding locality.
Day 8 — TRAVEL TO KAMPALA WITH ENROUTE STOP OVER AT THE EQUATOR
After your awesome time with the gorillas in Bwindi, you will embark on the road trip to Kampala. This time we traverse the rolling hills and mountains of Mbarara-Masaka region. Great panoramic views and eye catching sceneries are present along this route.
You will make a stop at the equator crossing, take the best photo shots and engage in some of the activities and experiments that people normally engage in when they reach the equator. The experiments engaged in are not scientifically tested/proved but fun to watch. These experiments involve pouring water in the basin while observing how it swirls in opposite directions in the northern & southern hemispheres of the equator line.
While here, enter the Curio and Souvenir shops and get some mementoes to keep your memories about this awesome Africa safari.
The drive time from Bwindi-Rushaga to Kampala is about 8-9 hours including lunch break and a visit to the Equator.
Day 9 — RHINO TRACKING AT ZIWA RHINO SANCTUARY AND TRAVEL TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK WITH A VISIT TO THE TOP OF THE FALLS
The safari gets more interesting as we board the safari vehicles and head to the wilderness of Murchison Falls National Park. However, business at Murchison Falls must wait as we enter Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to experience life as Rhinos charge and use their prized horns to dig the ground and as well break tree branches. Rhinos are endangered species and not easily found in plenty like at this sanctuary! Brace yourself for this activity and keep your camera close for those moments to take photographs.
After tracking the rhinos, we proceed to Murchison Falls National Park where upon entering the park, you will visit the top of the falls. At the top of the falls, you will enjoy seeing how the Nile forces its way through a 7 m gorge creating a breath taking water falls.
The travel time from Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park is about 6 hours including time spent while tracking white Rhinos.
Day 10 — EXPLORATION OF MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL
You will begin your exploration of the park with a game drive in the northern circuit of the park. There you will encounter beautiful rolling plains. While in these plains you may view Lions, Giraffes, Hartebeest, Buffalos, and Elephants, Bushbuck, Spotted hyenas, Wild cats, leopards as well as many of the other mammals of the park. For the birders, this area supports the Secretary Bird, Black Chested Snake Eagle, Tawny and Marshal Eagles Carmine and Swallow Tailed Bee-Eaters among others.
In the afternoon, you will go for a boat trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls where you will view the Nile as it thunders through a small 7-meter gap down to the delta. This experience is breath taking and the mighty thunder of the falls should not be missed! The banks of the Nile are home to many animal and bird species. You may see huge Nile Crocodiles, Hippos and other wildlife that may come down to drink from this mighty river.
Day 11 — TRAVEL TO KAMPALA FOR A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE AT NAGGALABI-BUDDO
You will rise early and set off for Kampala. You will drive for about 5 hours and head directly to Naggalabi-Buddo in the periphery of Kampala City.
Naggalabi-Buddo is very much central to the Buganda Kingdom. This place hosts the coronation site where any prince who has to take over the seat as king of Buganda is crowned. You will be taken through treasure rituals and all processes the crown prince goes through before being crowned king. The structures such as the “Ennyumba Buganda”, the Mboneredde Tree-which is believed to have existed for over 100s of years, and the regalia at the site will greatly enrich you about Buganda, the history of the people of Buganda and how culture is so cherished by the people of Uganda.
Day 12 — MORNING CULTURAL-CITY TOUR AND TRAVEL TO ENTEBBE AIRPORT FOR DEPARTURE FLIGHT
The people of Uganda cherish their culture. We will rise early and head to Fort Lugard in Mengo. Here we will visit the cultural museum and learn more about ancient tools used by the people of Uganda. You will go through the cultural market where you will have a variety of crafts to buy as souvenirs. Depending on your departure time, you may do a further exploration of the city; visit Bulange- the political seat of Buganda and the Kabaka’s palace.
With the cultural/city tour, we will end our exploration of Uganda and Rwanda. We will set sights on Entebbe International Airport for the departure flight.
- Accommodation in mid-range eco lodges for 11 nights
- Meals throughout the safari duration
- Gorilla permit
- Ground transport aboard a 4×4 Toyota Hiace Safari Van
- Boat cruises as indicated in the itinerary
- Park entrance fees
- Vehicle entrance
- Services of an English speaking guide and driver
- Game drives as indicated in the itinerary
- Cultural experiences/visits
- Visa fees
- Air ticket
- All extras and optionals at the accommodation for example laundry, beverages
Price — US $ 4100 per person (For two people)
The price slightly increases if you decide to travel as a solo traveler. Conversely, the price payable per person reduces from the stated amount if the tour is booked by more than two people.