About Uganda & Rwanda Travel
Entebbe: Entebbe sits on the northern shore of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. The National Botanical Gardens of Uganda were laid out here in 1898, and are divided into different zones, including a rainforest zone. A trivia note: This rainforest formed the backdrop to scenes from the Tarzan films featuring Johnny Weissmuller in the 1940s. Entebbe is the location of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s largest commercial and military airport. Entebbe serves as a gateway to the national parks.
Lake Mburo National Park: Lake Mburo is the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope as well as zebra, topi, impala and several birds that thrive in acacia woods. The five lakes within the park attract hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds, while swamps on the fringe support sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. The park is noted for its rich biodiversity, with 68 species of mammals. Rarely seen are the roan antelope, leopard hyenas and jackals. The park shelters about 310 species, including five found only in the forest, and 60 types of water birds.
Bwindi National Park: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the southwest of Uganda is roughly 200 square miles of extremely dense rainforest. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that harbors just over half of the remaining mountain gorillas on Earth. It has more than 120 species of mammals, including chimpanzee, black and white colobus, bushpig, duiker, leopard, jackal and elephant, plus 350 species of birds and over 200 species of trees.
Queen Elizabeth National Park: The Park sits between Rwenzori Mountains to the east and Lake Edward to the west. Conservation efforts have restored much of the game that was being lost to poaching. The park is high on the biodiversity scale, with almost 100 types of mammals and some 606 species of birds. In Kyambura Gorge, chimpanzees can be heard in treetops, but they are elusive and always unpredictable. Kasinga Channel contains the world’s largest concentration of hippos.
Mgahinga National Park: Uganda’s smallest park covers an area of about 28 square miles on the border with the Congo and Rwanda. The park’s gorillas move back and forth between countries. Other residents include bushbuck, aardvark, honey badger, jackal and a wealth of birdlife. Mgahinga also is noted for its legendary tree-climbing lions. A single giant fig tree may have half a dozen or more lions stretched out among its branches, legs dangling, snoozing in the midday sun.
Ngamba Island: Ngamba Island forms part of the Kome Archipelago, a group of islands separated from the northern shore of Lake Victoria. Here, the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was begun in 1998 when 19 orphaned chimpanzees were rescued from poachers. Ngamba was chosen because it was uninhabited rainforest that closely resembled their native habitat. It is accessible either by a speedboat or traditional canoe. It is supported by Uganda Wildlife Education Center, Born Free Foundation and Jane Goodall Institute. Guests may accompany juvenile chimpanzees on a walk through their forest habitat in the early morning. Please note that visiting here does require certain health checks for the protection of the chimpanzees.
Kigali: Kigali is a gateway to Rwanda. Located in the heart of the country, this rapidly growing city is the national capital, but also the country’s most important business center and main port of entry. Now a century old, it began in 1907 as a small colonial outpost with little connection to the outside world. Kigali has come of age and made major strides. It is a city that has not just survived, but has prevailed and has grown into a modern metropolis. Kigali City is blessed with a moderate high altitude climate that belies its tropical location and is conveniently located within three hours’ drive of the main tourist sites. The city spreads across four ridges and the valleys in between. The ridges have an average elevation of 5,246 feet, while the valleys are around 4,270 feet.
Parc National Des Volcans (Volcanoes National Park): The Park protects the montane ecosystems of evergreen and bamboo forest, grassland and swamp. Some 178 bird species are here, with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic. Five of eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains are here. It is home to another group of gorillas. Hiking into this tangle of wilderness is a remarkable experience. The rainforest comes alive with bird calls and monkey chatter. But only when we encounter gorillas in the wild might we begin to understand the passion of Dian Fossey, who worked for 18 years to protect them.
Lake Kivu: Kivu is the largest of Rwanda’s many freshwater lakes. Steep terraced hills lead down to the picturesque lakeshore and three resort towns, Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu. The serene setting is lovely with Rift Valley mountains and the volcanic Virungas to the north. The lake’s inlets, peninsulas and waterfalls provide a relaxing stop.
Suggested Uganda & Rwanda Itineraries
Day 1: Arrive Entebbe, Uganda
Day 2: Entebbe / Lake Mburo
Day 3: Lake Mburo / Bwindi National Park
Day 4: Bwindi National Park – Gorilla Tracking
Day 5: Bwindi National Park – Gorilla Tracking
Day 6: Bwindi / Entebbe / Depart
Day 1: Arrive Kigali, Rwanda
Day 2: Kigali / Parc National Des Volcans, Rwanda
Day 3: Parc National Des Volcans – Gorilla Tracking
Day 4: Parc National Des Volcans – Gorilla Tracking
Day 5: Parc National / Kigali / Depart
Custom Travel Options
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda (3 days)
This park is a gem high on the biodiversity scale, with almost 100 types of mammals and some 606 species of birds.
Mgahinga National Park, Uganda (3 days)
Uganda’s smallest park has a reputation for its legendary tree-climbing lions as well as a variety of other wildlife.
Ngamba Island, Uganda (3 days)
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established to care for and protect rescued chimpanzees in a natural setting.
Lake Kivu, Rwanda (3 days)
This magical setting has inlets, peninsulas and waterfalls, and provides a pleasant place to relax.
Note: *Gorilla tracking permits are limited, making advance planning essential. A permit does not guarantee gorilla sightings. One or two gorilla permits are included per itinerary, but more can be purchased subject to availability.