This guided round trip for a small group of 4 to 12 people has been put together with great attention to detail and offers a perfect mix between discovery and relaxation, including deeper insights away from the usual round trip routes. Benefit from our insider knowledge and immerse yourself deeply in the country on this trip. According to Countryaah, Rwanda and Uganda are countries of Eastern Africa.
On this very varied round trip in a small group, you will discover the highlights of Rwanda and Uganda and have the opportunity to climb Nyiragongo in the Congo. Spend Christmas with the gorillas and celebrate the New Year at Murchison Falls. Rwanda and Uganda – both countries with a difficult past. Today you can find warm people here, the rare mountain gorillas and breathtaking landscapes. Look forward to hikes, safaris and boat trips where you will encounter one or the other wild animal. Prepare for unforgettable encounters during a mountain gorilla hike. You will experience a great variety of landscapes: from savannahs to tropical rainforests to refreshing lakes in the middle of the volcanic landscape.
Day 1: Arrival Kigali
In the afternoon / evening arrival at Kigali airport. You will be picked up and taken to your hotel. Upon arrival, enjoy a group welcome drink at the hotel.
Day 2: Kigali – Lake Kivu
After breakfast visit to the capital of Rwanda and visit the impressive Genocide Museum to learn more about the past of Rwanda.
Onward journey to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu. A great panorama of deeply cut bays, steep mountain ranges and offshore islands awaits you. Swim in the refreshing water or stroll to the nearby villages.
Day 3 – 4: Lake Kivu / Ascent of the Nyiragongo volcano
For days 3 and 4 there are two options. The whole group meets again at noon on the 4th day in the border town of Goma. Then on to the Volcanoes National Park, home of the mountain gorillas. Visit the Gorilla Doctors in the Volcanoes National Park. This is a once in a lifetime experience. The Gorilla Doctors will give you deep insights into Dian Fossey’s activities and gorilla protection.
3rd day and morning 4th day
Spend a leisurely day and a half at the lake. Discover the lake with its islands on a boat trip, unwind and optionally you can hike the England of the Nile Trail.
early morning transfer across the border to the Democratic Republic of the Congo; today is a real adventure. At 3,468 meters high, the Nyiragongo, one of the most beautiful and active volcanoes in the world, towers over the dense jungle of the Virunga National Park. A five-hour hike to the rim of the 1.2 km wide crater reveals the fiery lava lake deep inside. Sitting at the edge of the crater at night, the red boiling lava and the smoking caldera will cast a spell on the traveler. The overwhelming views both day and night make this an unforgettable experience. Later you will spend the night in simple huts on the edge of the giant crater high above the active lava lake.
Morning, 4th day
After breakfast, descend from the volcano. You will be taken to the border where you will meet the group again.
Day 5: Volcanoes National Park – Lake Mutanda – Nkuringo
Early breakfast and travel to Kisoro. Hike past villages to Lake Mutanda. This is one of the most scenic hikes in the Gorilla Highlands in southwest Uganda. You then cross the lake in a wooden dugout canoe. There will be a lunch break at the lake before continuing by car to the Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge.
Day 6: Gorilla Tracking Nkuringo
On Christmas Day, after breakfast, you will be taken to the headquarters of the national park, where you will receive information about the do’s and don’ts with the gorillas. Then it goes into the forest, where the actual gorilla tracking will begin. The beauty of this rainforest is spectacular. The dense forest is criss-crossed by numerous animal trails that provide access for tourists. The thrill of watching these gentle and endangered giants is a great and exciting experience.
Day 7: Batwa Community in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
In the afternoon, walk to the Buniga Forest Trail Walk, an informative project by USAID and the local Batwa community. The Batwa tribe was forced to leave their home in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1991 when it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for gorillas only. They had lived in the forest as nomadic hunters and gatherers for millennia, in perfect balance with the surrounding flora and fauna. Moving out and suddenly living in communities with a completely different way of life has proven to be a huge challenge. They now survive as best they can and make a living explaining their previous forest life and rich heritage.
Day 8: Nkuringo – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Today you drive along the Nteko Ridge to the junction of the Ivy River Trail and start an unforgettable hike through the forest. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a huge unique nature reserve. Monkeys, duikers, bush pigs and some of the world famous bird species of Bwindi, as well as numerous butterflies can be spotted. If you are lucky you might even meet gorillas. Upon arrival at the park headquarters in Buhoma, meet your driver and travel on to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP)
Full day for safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park and a boat trip on the Kazinga Canal. The canal is a 22 miles long waterway that connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Here you can spot wild animals and birds on the riverside. Crocodiles have only recently been spotted back in the English Channel. They had actually been missing for 8,000 years after being eliminated from Lake Edward by poisonous ash from native volcanoes.
QENP is one of the oldest parks in Uganda, officially established in 1952. The park was originally known as “Kazinga National Park” before it was renamed in 1954 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. QENP is home to 95 species of mammals, more than any other park in Uganda, and 619 species of birds.
Day 10: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Kibale National Park
Game drive through the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and onward journey to the lodge in Kibale National Park via the city of Fort Portal. Afternoon hike to the “Top of the World”. There you can enjoy the fantastic view of the Rwenzori Mountains, crater lakes, tea plantations and villages.
Day 11: Chimpanzee Tracking Kibale NP
In the morning chimpanzee migration. The density and diversity of primates in Kibale National Park is the highest in all of Africa. The best known of its 13 species are the chimpanzees, our closest relative. Other primates include the black and white colobus, red-tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, gray cheek mangabey, bush baby, and potto.
Afternoon excursion to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. This refuge is a bird watcher’s paradise – experienced bird watchers can spot up to 50 new species on a bird list. To date, 138 species of birds have been recognized in the bird sanctuary, including the Great Blue Turaco. Bigodi is also regularly visited by various primate species from the nearby national park.
Day 12: Kibale National Park – Murchison Falls National Park
Early in the morning you travel to Murchison Falls National Park. The park is located at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the Bunyoro escarpment plunges into the vast, palm-fringed savannah. The park is divided into two parts by the Victoria Nile. The “mythical” river plunges 45 m from the Rift valley wall and thus forms the Murchison Falls – the heart of the park.
Day 13: Murchison Falls NP
You have all New Year’s Eve to discover this unique national park. Early morning safari en route to the Victoria Nile Delta and a boat trip in this spectacular area full of birds and wildlife.
Afternoon boat trip to Murchison Falls (with the option of disembarking and walking to the top of the falls). If you are lucky you can see elephants, giraffes, buffalo, crocodiles, antelopes. Game drive on the way back to the lodge.
In the evening you can say goodbye to the old year together with the group.
Day 14: Murchison Falls NP – Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Entebbe / flight home
In the morning, continue to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – in Nakasongola. This is the only place in Uganda where southern white rhinos can be tracked. In 1983, both black rhinos and northern white rhinos were declared extinct across Uganda. The purpose of the NGO Rhino Fund Uganda is to bring the rhinos back into the country through a breeding and release program.
In the afternoon drive to Entebbe. You will be taken to the Papyrus Guest House for dinner and freshening up / changing. Then transfer to the airport, where it is time to say goodbye to East Africa.
Day 15: Arrival in Switzerland
Arrival in Zurich around noon.