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Holidays

The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari

Uganda, Rwanda
3 reviews
Available Departures: Jan, Feb, Mar, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Dec

14 days from

US$5,900

without flights
Wildlife
Guided Group
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Experience brilliant trekking with Chimps and Gorillas, and enjoy a wildlife safari, in Uganda and Rwanda

Trip Code: URG
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari

Highlights
  • Gorilla tracking in Bwindi or Mgahinga, with further opportunity in Rwanda's Virunga National Park
  • Rhino Sanctuary visit and Murchison Falls on the shores of the Nile
  • Chimp trek in Kibale, Ishasha tree climbing lions & game drives
  • Visit the lovely Lake Bunyonyi and Queen Elizabeth National Park

At a Glance
  • Group Size 2 to 14
  • 13 days wildlife/safari and activities
  • Max altitude 2500 m
  • Join In Entebbe, End in Kigali

Accommodation & Meals
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 13 Dinners
  • 12 nights Lodge
  • 1 nights Guesthouse
Overview

This fabulous wildlife safari holiday to Uganda and Rwanda focuses on tracking the endangered Mountain Gorillas as well as the wildlife highlights of these countries. Our adventure begins with a ‘Rhino Walk' at the Ziwa Sanctuary to see these beautiful and also endangered giants. We then move to the Murchison Falls National Park where we enjoy boat rides, game drives on the shores of the River Nile, and see the famous waterfalls. Hippos, elephant and giraffe are all found on the river banks and gives us a lovely start to this two-week wildlife holiday.We then track chimpanzees in Kibale National Park (loads of elephants here as well) with its splendid views over to the Rwenzori Mountains, and pop to the Bigodi Wetlands for some further monkeys and to see its prolific birdlife.


Continuing south we cross the Equator and enter Queen Elizabeth National Park for some classic game drives to see lion, leopard, buffalo, Kob, elephants and much more. We include Ishasha where the lions, unusually, hang out in the trees. From our hotel base on Lake Bunyonyi we track the gorillas in their forest habitat - a most humbling of wildlife experiences. A couple of days later we are in Rwanda in Virunga National Park, where we have a free day to take advantage of a list of further awesome wildlife to see - we can purchase a further gorilla permit and see them here, near Dian Fossey's famous hide-out in the forest. Or we can go see the golden monkeys, before we have time at Lake Kivu, Gisenyi and Kigali for a city tour and our flight home. These two countries are both beautiful, they contain some very special wildlife and this holiday will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

explore international

Explore International. This holiday is part of our Explore International range. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Everything in Africa is on a big scale, and to cover the ground necessary our journey includes a few long drives accompanied by Uganda's spectacular scenery. Such drives, including your game drives, can often be on dirt tracks, graded roads and also tar highways. Our toughest day will be when we are gorilla tracking and we could be in the forest between 2-6 hrs depending on their location. As gorillas don't follow paths and the terrain can be rough and steep. It might also be wet and muddy (but don't be put off the rewards are immense). The accommodation on this journey will range from lodges and hotels through to permanent tented lodges with en-suite facilities. The lodges usually have a bar and restaurant to relax at, and some have a swimming pool. This journey is suitable for the adventure traveller looking to experience some of Africa's most special safari experiences!

Why KE?

Make the most of your wildlife experience in one comprehensive holiday! A once-in-a-lifetime trip offering the opportunity to see gorillas in their natural habitat in both Uganda and Rwanda. Staying at local lodges with character and in amazing locations, you will get to enjoy the natural and wildlife wonders this twin-country itinerary has to offer and along with expert guides to make an unforgettable 2 week holiday.

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Itinerary

On arrival at Entebbe you will be met by the guide or a representative of the local agent. A transfer to the nearby accommodation is provided.

Accommodation

Guesthouse

Meals

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After a breakfast we depart heading northwards. We pass through Kampala, the capital of Uganda, as we drive to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. We arrive at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary just before lunchtime. This 7000 hectare private reserve was set up in 2004 with 6 rhinos, since then at least 9 baby rhinos have been born here. The sanctuary aims to work with the community to conserve the Rhino and support the reintroduction program. Currently this is the only place in Uganda where you find rhino. There were hunted and poached to extinction in 1982 in Uganda. The rhinos have 24hr surveillance from the anti-poaching team who work hard to ensure their safety in the sanctuary. On arrival we have an on foot rhino trek to see the Southern White Rhinos. We are taken by the well trained guides through the bush to where the rhinos are on the day of the visit. Here we get the opportunity to watch these magnificent, endangered animals in their natural habitat. A pretty awesome sight and extremely exciting - what a start to the trip! Leaving the park in the afternoon we continue our drive further north to Murchison Falls National Park. Overnight Murchison Falls National Park
Drive time: Entebbe to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary approx. 4hrs / Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to Murchison Falls approx. 2hrs 30mins

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

We have an early breakfast so that we can make the most of the best wildlife sighting conditions on our morning game drive in the park. Murchison Falls National Park is the largest, and one of the first parks in Uganda, it is also one of the most famous as the River Nile squeezes through a narrow gorge to produce the Falls. In the park we can see elephant, giraffe, buffalo, leopard, waterbuck, topi and lion, as well as several species of antelope (including the Uganda Kob) and bird species. On our game drive we travel through some beautiful and peaceful landscapes from sweeping savannah grasslands to the delta. We relax in the heat of the middle of the day and then in the afternoon we enjoy a 3hr boat journey on the River Nile to the splendid Murchison Falls. Along the banks of the river we hope to see elephant, giraffe and buffalo whereas in the river we may see the Nile Crocodile, hippo and several species of water bird. It is also possible that we see the rare shoe-billed stork on our boat journey this afternoon. In the late afternoon we return to our lodge. Overnight Murchison Falls National Park.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

Today we have a long transfer as we drive to Kibale National Park, passing the Ugandan Rift Valley Escarpment. Much of our drive is along the savannahs and past various smaller parks and reserves as we head southwest parallel to Lake Albert. We pass many small villages and the countryside presents a rich tapestry of colours, from the vibrant dress of the local people to the varied greens and browns of the lush farmland and forest which we pass through. There are many roadside markets along this road and we will have the chance to stop off and meet the Ugandan people and check out the produce that is for sale. Tea and banana plantations are amongst the most important types of agriculture. We arrive in Fort Portal the last town before Kibale National Park where we check into our accommodation. Our accommodation is a guest farm outside of the town in very peaceful surroundings, here we stay in self-contained bungalows. The gardens include a mini rain forest which is home to a family of black and white colobus monkeys and grey vervet monkeys, there are also a large number of birds here. We spend a peaceful afternoon here, and after a swim in the pool you can take a little walk around the forest before some pre-dinner drinks with stunning views of the Rwenzori Mountains. Overnight outside Fort Portal.
Drive time: Approximately 8 hours

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Lodge

Meals

B D

After an early breakfast, we make the short transfer southwards through a beautiful tract of countryside, dominated by a string of spectacular crater lakes. It is just a 30 kilometre (20 mile) drive to the Kanyancu Reception Centre, our gateway to the Kibale Forest National Park, which is home to around a dozen different species of primates. There are black and white colobus monkeys, red colobus and galagos here. However, the main attraction of Kibale is its several hundred chimpanzees. After a briefing, we will set off for a 2 to 3 hour guided walk in the forest. The chimpanzees are usually to be found feeding at the top of one of the giant fig trees. Kibale Forest also has a relatively large population of elephants and incredible numbers of butterflies and birds. In the afternoon we visit and walk in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary home to many different species of the monkeys and some visiting chimps from next door Kibale. It is also a haven for birds, namely the splendid Great Blue Turaco - with its bright blue and yellow feathers, black mohican and yellow beak. Time permitting we have a community visit this afternoon. We walk through a local village and chat with the people and visit the school. We then transfer back to our accommodation near Fort Portal. Overnight outside Fort Portal.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

We cross over the Equator (stopping for some photos at the sign) and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. On arrival in the afternoon we have a game drive and check into our lodge for the next 2 nights.
Drive time: Approximately 2-3 hours

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

We have an early start today for a game drive in the park. Aiming to cover a cross-section of the park habitats, we should be able to see many of the most impressive wildlife species, notably; elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, topi, waterbuck, giant forest hog and Uganda kob. After a stop for lunch, we will take a trip by motor launch down the Kazinga/Mweya Channel (the natural waterway between Lake Edward and Lake George), which is an excellent way to get close to the rich animal and bird life. We can expect close encounters with hippos, crocodiles and elephants. It is said to contain the world's largest concentration of hippos in the world! Amongst the bird species are pelicans, saddlebill storks, African skimmers, fish eagles and the Ugandan national bird, the crowned crane. A tremendous experience and possibly a highlight of the whole trip! We then return to our lodge. Overnight Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

After breakfast we check out of our lodge and drive to the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here we arrive in Ishasha which is famous for its tree climbing lions. There are only 2 populations of lions who do this on a day-by-day basis, with the other in Lake Manyara NP in Tanzania. The reason they do it is unknown, some say to get away from the tsetse flies on the ground, others says to get away from the heat and find a breeze - however what we do know is that they are easier to find when they are in the trees than amongst the grasses! They are usually lazing around on the branches in the afternoon, snoozing or looking at the Kob grazing on the plains. Lions are such beautiful wild animals. They have such grace and presence, let's hope we'll see them here in the trees. We check into our hotel nearby. Overnight Ishasha.
Drive time: Approximately 3hrs (not including game drive)

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

Known by the locals as the most beautiful place in Uganda, Lake Bunyonyi actually means a 'place with many small birds'. Along the journey we pass many agricultural terraces which cover the Ugandan mountains in this area. This area is called 'Switzerland of Africa'. The lake is the second deepest in Africa. Depending on our stops along the way we have some time to relax at the accommodation. The accommodation here is superb, with a swimming pool overlooking the lake and a truly relaxing atmosphere. This is our base for our Gorilla Tracking….which we look forward to tomorrow. Overnight Bunyonyi.
Drive time: Approximately 3 - 4 hrs

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

These days there are many things which are classified as 'once in a lifetime experiences' - but honestly, today really will be. Tracking the Mountain Gorillas must be one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on earth. The trek will take between 2 to 6 hrs, and you should expect a tough day, but the rewards are huge. Once we have found the gorillas we spend some time quietly observing them, an hour can go very quickly. Our expert rangers will take us to the gorillas and give us details about them and the surrounding flora and fauna. To find the gorilla family group the guide will lead you to where they were the day before and then track them through the forest. As these gorillas don't follow paths the terrain can be rough and steep. It might also be wet and muddy - these gorillas may not make it easy for you - of course it can be a totally different experience, we just like to prepare you for the worst conditions. It will help to have long sleeves, long trousers and even gloves. Another tip is to bring some snacks and water in case it's a long walk. We have one hour with our gorillas once we have found them. Compared to the chimpanzees the gorillas are calm as the lie in the sun cleaning each other and eating bamboo. A magical experience. Overnight Bunyonyi.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

Today we say farewell to Uganda and drive into Rwanda. It's around an hour's drive to the border. After completing the paper work, the first sign in Rwanda states "We warmly welcome you" with an iconic statue of a family of 3 gorillas. Rwanda is fondly known as the 'Land of Thousand Hills'. The landscape is pretty stunning as we continue our drive today. It's approximately another hour or so to our destination, the town of Ruhengeri/Musanze and then onwards to the next town of Kinigi. This area is the gateway to the Virunga Volcanoes National Park. The thick forest clad mountains form a beautiful backdrop to this African town. In the afternoon we can visit a market and perhaps do some souvenir shopping at the colourful stalls. Overnight Kinigi
Drive time: Approximately 2-3 hrs

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

We have options today - the first is a second Gorilla Tracking experience (additional permit/cost required, see 'spending money'). Volcanoes National Park is 120 km square and part of the Virunga Conservation Area. Within this area there are around 380 mountain gorillas. Walk options differ from 3 to 8 hours. Again, accompanied by expert trackers we climb up into the bamboo zone and the terrain can be steep, muddy and involve bending and crawling through vegetation. If we decide that we would like to see something different today then we can visit the tombs of the famous gorilla researcher Dian Fossey. This is approximately a 2hr walk. Another wildlife option is to go to see the habituated Golden Monkeys - another rare and exciting sight. This is another tracking experience similar to the Gorillas, however usually the terrain is slightly easier. When we find the Golden Monkeys they are up in the trees and don't stay still - unlike the Gorilla families. If we are feeling very energetic we can walk up Mt Bisoke (3711m). This is a steep and potentially muddy ascent, around 6-8hrs walking. There is a crater lake at the top and spectacular views, although the summit is often surrounded by cloud. All optional activities today are at additional cost. Gorilla Tracking on this day requires pre-booking and places are limited. To avoid disappointment please book early. In the afternoon we transfer near to Gisenyi (1-2hrs) on Lake Kivu. This is an interesting town and a lovely place to spend our last night in this beautiful country of Rwanda. Overnight near Gisenyi.
Drive time: Approximately 3 hrs

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

We have a day here to enjoy this beautiful place. We can take part in a boat ride, or even maybe take kayaks onto the lake. The fishermen leave in the late afternoon on their pretty boats on the lake, and as they row they sing. To be on the water when they do this is a great experience. During the day we can walk into the lakeside town of Gisenyi. We can visit the market, and maybe do some souvenir shopping of coffee or tea which Rwanda is famous for.

Accommodation

Lodge

Meals

B D

Transfer (approx. 3-4 hrs) to the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. We have a city tour of this busy, colourful town and our guide talks to us about the history from pre-colonial times to Rwanda today giving us an insight to the country’s eventful history. The attractive city is built over four ridges and the valleys in-between. We include the Genocide Museum. Later we have a single transfer to Kigali Airport.

Meals

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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified wildlife guide
  • Uganda Gorilla tracking permit
  • Specialist Gorilla tracking guide and team
  • Chimpanzee tracking permit
  • Entebbe Airport transfer
  • Single timed transfer in Kigali
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Park Fees
  • Transfers in 4WD vehicle with pop-up roof for game drives

  • Travel insurance
  • Ugandan and Rwanda Visa
  • Optional activities in Virunga
  • Optional Rwanda Gorilla permit in Virunga
  • Tips for local staff
  • Departure tax if applicable
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc


TRAVEL TO YOUR DESTINATION

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary.

On the return there is a transfer to Kigali Airport for the flight departing in the evening of the final day of the itinerary.

If your flight schedules do not fit with these airport transfers we can provide private transfers at an additional cost.

Clients booking a Land Only Package must provide the KE office with details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be sent with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts and dinners are included.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

There will be a mixture of Western and local cuisine available in most places we stay. Popular local dishes include ‘matoke’ (a staple made from bananas), millet bread, cassava, sweet potatoes, chicken and beef stews and river fish. Beer is probably the most widely available alcoholic drink across Uganda & Rwanda. Pombe is a locally made fermented banana beer and waragi is the local millet-based alcohol.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

Lodges in Africa are often a series of buildings, sometimes with thatched roofs, wooden beams, and open sided for the cool air and views. It is likely that there is a main area with a restaurant and a lounge and then the actual accommodation is often in individual buildings, cottages or safari style permanent tents. These are usually linked by pathways through pleasant gardens.

All the accommodation mentioned below is subject to change without notice. Any alternative accommodation will be in a similar standard.

Our first guesthouse has simple ensuite rooms and is chosen for its location next to the airport. The accommodation has nice gardens and it's a good place to recover from the flight.

At Murchison Falls (day 2 & 3) we stay at the Murchison River Lodge or the Kabalega Wilderness Lodge. The Murchison River lodge has views over the River Nile and we can see pods of hippos whilst sipping our cool drinks under the thatched roof of the bar area. There is also a swimming pool with views. Here we stay in the thatched safari tents. These are amongst the bush and look towards the Nile. Instead of zips the thatched safari tents are fashioned with wooden doors and come with solar lights, bed linen, towels, mosquito nets and an adjacent, permanent styled bathroom with chemical toilet. Kabalega Wildness Lodge is also on the banks of the River Nile and the cabins here are spacious and all overlook the river. Meals are served in the restaurant which is perched at the highest point giving uninterrupted views of the wildlife on the river.

When in Kibale/Fort Portal (days 4 & 5) we stay at the Kluge's Guest Farm which is situated in 72acres surrounded by tropical forest and a wetland which is a haven for birds. It is off the beaten track, has a swimming pool and views of the Rwenzori mountains. We stay in the twin en-suite bungalows.

At Queen Elizabeth National Park we stay at Enganzi Lodge for 2 nights (days 6 & 7). It is built on the side of a hill with views of the remote Ugandan plains. The twin bedded, en-suite bungalows here are spacious and simple.

Our 1 night in Ishasha (day 8) is at Enjojo Lodge in the thatched cottages. Situated amidst acacia forest and grasslands, herds of elephant and antelopes are seen regularly on the land. It is built by local tradesman with local materials.

At Lake Bunyonyi, we stay for 2 nights (days 9 & 10) at the Birdnest. This beautifully situated property is built on a hill by the lake. It has a swimming pool. The en-suite rooms overlook the lake.

We have 1 night near the Virunga Mountain Park headquarters in Kinigi, Rwanda. This is at the Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge. The individual bungalows provide en-suite rooms in the gardens away from the main building with thatched roof and decking displaying views of the Virunga Mountains.

On Lake Kivu, just outside Gisenyi we stay at the lovely Paradise Kivu Resort. The en suite rooms are individual bungalows in grounds with views over the lake. It is very peaceful.

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired with another single client of the same sex. If this is not available they you may have to pay the single room supplement. Single rooms are available at an additional cost.

Professional driver-guide will accompany the group throughout the tour. These guides also have in depth knowledge of the wildlife and the countries. On certain days (for example whilst Gorilla Tracking) you will have a different specialist guide. For optional wildlife viewing or walks at Virunga National Park you will have a different guide again.

The altitudes on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude the first time you trek above 2000 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels while trekking above 2000 metres.

The US$700  Gorilla Tracking permit for Uganda is included in the holiday price. If you wish to take the opportunity to also see the Gorillas in Rwanda then you will be required to purchase an additional permit (US$1500).

A total of US$400 - $500 should be sufficient to cover your personal spending including lunches, tips for drivers, miscellaneous expenditure on drinks, souvenirs etc, and airport departure tax (if applicable – this is dependent on which airline you fly with as it maybe included in your ticket). Optional activities (below) are not included in this cost. It is possible to use credit and debit cards to withdraw money from ATMs in banks and petrol stations in most towns. If you are bringing your travel money with you it is best to bring this as cash US dollars. Credit cards are accepted in most stores and restaurants, and dollars are generally accepted, though not everywhere and not necessarily for small items. You will be able to change small amounts of currency at the airport and Rwanda border.

Optional Activity Costs: Please note that these prices are correct at time of writing, but are subject to change without warning.

GORILLA TRACKING PERMIT RWANDA: US$1500 per person. It is essential that this is pre-booked. If you wish to participate please inform KE on booking the main holiday. On booking we will check permit availability for the specific date and a non-refundable payment for the Rwanda permit must be made to secure your tracking permit. (Note your Uganda Gorilla permit is included in the trip price and deposit payment). 

GOLDEN MONKEY TREKKING: US$100 per person. Pre-booking prior to departure not essential, however it is recommended to avoid disappointment if on the rare occasion groups are fully booked on the day.

VISIT TO DIAN FOSSEY TOMB: US$75 per person. Pre-booking prior to departure is optional.

TREK UP MT BISOKE: US$75 per person + private transfers (US$150 for the whole transfer which can be split by the number of people on the activity). Pre-booking prior to departure is optional.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

Please be aware that plastic/polythene bags are illegal in Rwanda. The law says that they are not allowed to be manufactured, imported, used or sold in Rwanda (since 2008). 

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

All nationalities require a visa for Uganda and Rwanda. The Uganda visa fee is $50. You must apply online for your e-visa at https://visas.immigration.go.ug (UK citizens). 

A 30 day Rwanda visa is obtainable on arrival for UK passport holders for a fee of $30. 

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis are required. There is risk of yellow fever and you must carry a current vaccination certificate. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling.

The unit of currency in Rwanda is the Rwandan Franc.

Thanks to its equatorial location, the climate (and in particular the daily temperatures) of Uganda and Rwanda does not vary a great deal throughout the year. The main rainy season is March to May, and to a lesser degree November. In equatorial rainforest areas, it can rain at any time of the year. The driest months are July and August. The most popular times for Gorilla tracking is December to February and June to mid-September. We can expect daytime temperatures to range between 25°C and 30°C falling to between 12°C and 15°C at night. As all equatorial countries the sun rises (7am) and sets (7pm) at the same time throughout the year.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
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Reviews

5 out of 5 from 3 reviews

Fantastic Wildlife Experience ★★★★★

Uganda absolutely brims with wildlife that is never too far away. Be warned though that there are many early mornings and some long drives to get to some destinations but if you are comfortable with this then you are rewarded in full. With the exception of a leopard our group of 5 saw everything else many times over in vehicles that were ideal to tackle rough terrain and the smooth road surfaces in Uganda (except the constant and many speed humps in the roads!) The standard of accommodation is g enerally good with a couple of lodges at Enganzi & Lake Bunyonyi which were very good. Food is plentiful (you will not go hungry on this trip with 3 course lunches & dinners if desired) and generally consists of fish or chicken dishes. Gorilla and chimp trekking are of course the highlights of this trip although the boat cruise to see hippo, elephant and crocodiles didn’t disappoint either. The gorilla experience in Uganda was better for us as it remained dry whereas it had started to rain in Rwanda so, although you were close to the gorillas in both places (think 2-3 metres away), in Rwanda they tended to prefer to stay under some cover and weren’t as active. Trekking in Uganda is a little harder than Rwanda but it only took us a couple of hours on both occasions to find the gorilla families. The local guide and driver who was with us for the holiday was knowledgeable and friendly. I would say take a few more $USD than you think you will need as pretty much everywhere takes dollars or a credit card. Also, long sleeved shirts and trousers with sturdy walking boots for trekking. Gaiters are not really required though many people wore some. T-shirts and shorts are fine elsewhere as well as a light raincoat. It really wasn’t too busy when we visited and people are very friendly- the local community project we visited gratefully received some pens and paper. For any first time Safari goer, or even the more experienced ones, this trip is sure to keep you busy!
By Andrew Didcot | 12 September 2023

Everyone should go!!! ★★★★★

Uganda is just waking up to the tourist dollar, so now is the time to go before everyone else hears about it. The scenery and wildlife are spectacular! It's not visiting wildlife farms; it is real wildlife! Where else would you see hippo and mountain gorillas in the same holiday. I saw 5 leopards, 9 lions, 27 gorillas, numerous elephants, buffalo, giraffe, chimpanzees, monkeys of various sorts etc. I also saw a few odd things like 2 chameleons, a gaboon viper, mongoose, monitor lizard and 2 otte rs. The people are so friendly and helpful, and really keen for more tourists. The road network is currently being brought into the 21st century so there are roadworks everywhere. In a couple of years it will be all tarmac and full of other tourists, so get there now! 
By Reviewer Harpenden | 30 January 2020

Incredible trip in a beautiful country brimming with wildlife ★★★★★

This was an amazing trip and a brilliant introduction to Africa, particularly for those who like a wildlife-focused holiday. I didn't know much about Uganda before I booked, but it turned out to be a beautiful country with a huge range of landscapes. I didn't expect it to be so green! The local operator was very professional, and the guides and drivers were great. It was a little bit strange as the tour was run in English and German, with the group split between two buses according to language. The tour leader travelled in the German bus so we missed out on a bit of information as we travelled, but it meant the 3 of us on the English bus had plenty of room to spread out, which was great on the game drives. The buses were well designed for game viewing with a roof which lifted upwards so you could stand up and see out, but still be shaded from the sun. The tour leader and drivers were great at spotting wildlife. A fair amount of the trip is spent on unsurfaced roads, but I didn’t find these a huge problem. There is one very long and dusty day of travel on Day 4. The worst road was the one between Queen Elizabeth National Park and the hotel (about an hour each way) – it was surfaced, but full of potholes and not the most pleasant drive. If you suffer from travel sickness I would definitely recommend taking Stugeron or similar! The pace of the first week is pretty full on with lots of traveling and packed days. There were lots of early starts and we were often out for 12 hours, not getting back until sunset. The pace calmed down a little in the second week, with a few periods of free time. The dinners the first week were a bit samey – generally chicken or fish, but they were fine. The hotels in the second week tended to have a more varied menu with meat, fish, pasta, pizzas etc. The local fish, tilapia, was good. We found that a few lunches were included near the beginning which weren’t stated in the trip notes. Drinking water was provided for free by the local operator throughout, and was also provided in hotels. Most people in the group got a bit of a stomach upset at some point, but not enough to cause problems or make them miss everything. The hotels ranged from average to great. The stand out hotels were Enganzi Lodge near QE National Park, and Birdnest at Bunyoni. The latter was beautiful, and a great place to relax a bit towards the end of the trip. I also loved the safari tents at Murchison Falls as you had hippos grazing around the tent at night. In Uganda you’ll need to change money into local currency, but in Rwanda you can use dollars fairly easily. The guidance provided by KE on spending money was fairly accurate, apart from the tipping guidance. Others in the group who had booked directly with the local operator were advised to tip 5 to 10 USD per person per day, and we had a leader and two drivers. There was also a school visit (which isn’t in the trip notes) and others in the group donated money for desks and beds, so you may want to take extra money (and pens etc) for this. The game drive in Murchison Falls was incredible and we saw so much wildlife; the one in QE NP was a little disappointing in comparison, although the boat trip there was great. We were a bit unlucky in Ishasha as it was a grey and rainy day so the lions weren’t climbing, although we did see one male lion in a tree in the distance. We saw 9 species of primates across the trip which was incredible. Of course the highlight of the trip was the gorilla trekking, and I did both the Uganda and Rwanda treks. The latter was much better, but I think this is down to luck on the day and which group you see. In Uganda you are in a forest so the light isn’t very good for photography. We were lucky that they were close by (less than 1 hour), but the trekking was very steep as you are going into and out of a ravine. You can hire a porter for 15 USD (which also supports the local community). We had a much longer trek in Rwanda (6 hour round trip) but the walking was more interesting, it was less steep and it was beautiful weather. Porters here are 10 USD. We got really close to the gorillas and a baby gorilla even snuck up and played with my hair. Some of the group did the golden monkey trek and they came away with some great photos, although there were about 20 people in the group which they said was too many. In terms of what to take, I would recommend at least 3 long sleeved shirts (2 for the days when you will get hot and sweaty and 1 for the evening) as we wore these most days. There is chance to get laundry done at QE NP. There wasn’t much opportunity to wear shorts (it’s not the done thing for women) so we mostly wore long trousers, and occasionally crops. There are pools at a few of the hotels, but there isn’t always a lot of time to use them. I took walking poles but didn’t end up using them – you are provided with them on both gorilla treks, and these are much more fit for purpose. Gaiters could be useful but I didn’t end up wearing mine and just tucked my trousers in my socks instead. On the Rwanda gorilla trek there are stinging nettles everywhere and they kept on stinging me through the thin pair of quick dry travel trousers I was wearing – they were really painful! I ended up having to wear waterproof trousers over the top. Gloves were also vital for this reason, and most of the group donated theirs to the porters afterwards. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this trip to anybody considering it!
By Charlotte Leamington Spa | 03 July 2016

Traveller Reviews
5 out of 5 from 3 reviews

Fantastic Wildlife Experience
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Uganda absolutely brims with wildlife that is never too far away. Be warned though that there are many early mornings and some long drives to get to some destinations but if you are comfortable with this then you are rewarded in full. With the exception of a leopard our group of 5 saw everything else many times over in vehicles that were ideal to tackle rough terrain and the smooth road surfaces in Uganda (except the constant and many speed humps in the roads!) The standard of accommodation is g enerally good with a couple of lodges at Enganzi & Lake Bunyonyi which were very good. Food is plentiful (you will not go hungry on this trip with 3 course lunches & dinners if desired) and generally consists of fish or chicken dishes. Gorilla and chimp trekking are of course the highlights of this trip although the boat cruise to see hippo, elephant and crocodiles didn’t disappoint either. The gorilla experience in Uganda was better for us as it remained dry whereas it had started to rain in Rwanda so, although you were close to the gorillas in both places (think 2-3 metres away), in Rwanda they tended to prefer to stay under some cover and weren’t as active. Trekking in Uganda is a little harder than Rwanda but it only took us a couple of hours on both occasions to find the gorilla families. The local guide and driver who was with us for the holiday was knowledgeable and friendly. I would say take a few more $USD than you think you will need as pretty much everywhere takes dollars or a credit card. Also, long sleeved shirts and trousers with sturdy walking boots for trekking. Gaiters are not really required though many people wore some. T-shirts and shorts are fine elsewhere as well as a light raincoat. It really wasn’t too busy when we visited and people are very friendly- the local community project we visited gratefully received some pens and paper. For any first time Safari goer, or even the more experienced ones, this trip is sure to keep you busy!
By Andrew Didcot | 12 September 2023

Everyone should go!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Uganda is just waking up to the tourist dollar, so now is the time to go before everyone else hears about it. The scenery and wildlife are spectacular! It's not visiting wildlife farms; it is real wildlife! Where else would you see hippo and mountain gorillas in the same holiday. I saw 5 leopards, 9 lions, 27 gorillas, numerous elephants, buffalo, giraffe, chimpanzees, monkeys of various sorts etc. I also saw a few odd things like 2 chameleons, a gaboon viper, mongoose, monitor lizard and 2 otte rs. The people are so friendly and helpful, and really keen for more tourists. The road network is currently being brought into the 21st century so there are roadworks everywhere. In a couple of years it will be all tarmac and full of other tourists, so get there now! 
By Reviewer Harpenden | 30 January 2020

Incredible trip in a beautiful country brimming with wildlife
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was an amazing trip and a brilliant introduction to Africa, particularly for those who like a wildlife-focused holiday. I didn't know much about Uganda before I booked, but it turned out to be a beautiful country with a huge range of landscapes. I didn't expect it to be so green! The local operator was very professional, and the guides and drivers were great. It was a little bit strange as the tour was run in English and German, with the group split between two buses according to language. The tour leader travelled in the German bus so we missed out on a bit of information as we travelled, but it meant the 3 of us on the English bus had plenty of room to spread out, which was great on the game drives. The buses were well designed for game viewing with a roof which lifted upwards so you could stand up and see out, but still be shaded from the sun. The tour leader and drivers were great at spotting wildlife. A fair amount of the trip is spent on unsurfaced roads, but I didn’t find these a huge problem. There is one very long and dusty day of travel on Day 4. The worst road was the one between Queen Elizabeth National Park and the hotel (about an hour each way) – it was surfaced, but full of potholes and not the most pleasant drive. If you suffer from travel sickness I would definitely recommend taking Stugeron or similar! The pace of the first week is pretty full on with lots of traveling and packed days. There were lots of early starts and we were often out for 12 hours, not getting back until sunset. The pace calmed down a little in the second week, with a few periods of free time. The dinners the first week were a bit samey – generally chicken or fish, but they were fine. The hotels in the second week tended to have a more varied menu with meat, fish, pasta, pizzas etc. The local fish, tilapia, was good. We found that a few lunches were included near the beginning which weren’t stated in the trip notes. Drinking water was provided for free by the local operator throughout, and was also provided in hotels. Most people in the group got a bit of a stomach upset at some point, but not enough to cause problems or make them miss everything. The hotels ranged from average to great. The stand out hotels were Enganzi Lodge near QE National Park, and Birdnest at Bunyoni. The latter was beautiful, and a great place to relax a bit towards the end of the trip. I also loved the safari tents at Murchison Falls as you had hippos grazing around the tent at night. In Uganda you’ll need to change money into local currency, but in Rwanda you can use dollars fairly easily. The guidance provided by KE on spending money was fairly accurate, apart from the tipping guidance. Others in the group who had booked directly with the local operator were advised to tip 5 to 10 USD per person per day, and we had a leader and two drivers. There was also a school visit (which isn’t in the trip notes) and others in the group donated money for desks and beds, so you may want to take extra money (and pens etc) for this. The game drive in Murchison Falls was incredible and we saw so much wildlife; the one in QE NP was a little disappointing in comparison, although the boat trip there was great. We were a bit unlucky in Ishasha as it was a grey and rainy day so the lions weren’t climbing, although we did see one male lion in a tree in the distance. We saw 9 species of primates across the trip which was incredible. Of course the highlight of the trip was the gorilla trekking, and I did both the Uganda and Rwanda treks. The latter was much better, but I think this is down to luck on the day and which group you see. In Uganda you are in a forest so the light isn’t very good for photography. We were lucky that they were close by (less than 1 hour), but the trekking was very steep as you are going into and out of a ravine. You can hire a porter for 15 USD (which also supports the local community). We had a much longer trek in Rwanda (6 hour round trip) but the walking was more interesting, it was less steep and it was beautiful weather. Porters here are 10 USD. We got really close to the gorillas and a baby gorilla even snuck up and played with my hair. Some of the group did the golden monkey trek and they came away with some great photos, although there were about 20 people in the group which they said was too many. In terms of what to take, I would recommend at least 3 long sleeved shirts (2 for the days when you will get hot and sweaty and 1 for the evening) as we wore these most days. There is chance to get laundry done at QE NP. There wasn’t much opportunity to wear shorts (it’s not the done thing for women) so we mostly wore long trousers, and occasionally crops. There are pools at a few of the hotels, but there isn’t always a lot of time to use them. I took walking poles but didn’t end up using them – you are provided with them on both gorilla treks, and these are much more fit for purpose. Gaiters could be useful but I didn’t end up wearing mine and just tucked my trousers in my socks instead. On the Rwanda gorilla trek there are stinging nettles everywhere and they kept on stinging me through the thin pair of quick dry travel trousers I was wearing – they were really painful! I ended up having to wear waterproof trousers over the top. Gloves were also vital for this reason, and most of the group donated theirs to the porters afterwards. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this trip to anybody considering it!
By Charlotte Leamington Spa | 03 July 2016

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /05/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 5 Jul and ends on Thu 18 Jul
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /06/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 16 Aug and ends on Thu 29 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /07/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 6 Sep and ends on Thu 19 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /08/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 6 Dec and ends on Thu 19 Dec
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 16 Jan and ends on Wed 29 Jan
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 20 Feb and ends on Wed 5 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 12 Jun and ends on Wed 25 Jun
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /04/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 17 Jul and ends on Wed 30 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /05/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 7 Aug and ends on Wed 20 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /06/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 4 Sep and ends on Wed 17 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • The Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: URG /07/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 4 Dec and ends on Wed 17 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,800
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,075 - The holiday price shown above is based on 2 people sharing. If travelling alone there maybe a supplement to pay.
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining in Entebbe. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Entebbe International airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. The trip ends in Kigali in Rwanda, and return flights should be made from Kigali Airport.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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