Rock My Uganda, Rwanda & DRC Adventure

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to feel the heat from an active volcano? Or look a gorilla right in the eye? Or get up close with white rhinos? Then join us on this epic adventure spanning 3 incredible countries – Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC!

Tour Overview

Starting off in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, we’ll explore the city before heading towards the Democratic Republic of Congo to climb Mount Nyiragongo and see the world’s largest lava lake up close. From there we’ll go trekking to find the wild mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a humbling once in a lifetime experience! Whilst in the region you will also have the option to spend the day with chimpanzees in their natural habitat.

We’ll track Uganda’s only white rhinos on foot and go on safari Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s answer to The Jungle book, before finishing off our our adventure with a spot of relaxing or extreme sports (whatever your preference) on one of the most stunning locations on the River Nile.

PLEASE NOTE: DRC inclusion is subject to the park re-opening in 2019 (it is currently closed), if it doesn’t we will hike the Congo Nile Trail from Gisenyi to Kinunu instead (see itinerary for details).

* The local payment is a portion of your overall tour cost paid on arrival to your tour leader in US Dollars. This includes the on tour expenses that we cannot pay prior to arrival, such as national park entry fees, food, local transport and some activities.

Essential Info

Duration:16 Nights

Dates:

  • 12 July –  28 July 2019

Start: Kigali, Rwanda

Finish: Jinja, Uganda

Maximum Group Size: 8 people

Minimum Age: 18

Physical Level: Tough

Total Cost: £2,595 + $1,000* (local payment paid on arrival)

Deposit: £550 (non-refundable – required to secure your gorilla permit)

“I loved the variety of the places we visited, and the interaction/immersion with the country and its’ people. The activities we got to do were all excellent. For the short time we had, we did get to do a lot. The places we saw, activities we did, people we met – in Kampala, the Women’s Centre, the tour, … I almost felt ‘at home’ in some places, which I think is a rare thing when travelling in faraway countries and in no small part, this was owing to the guidance of our leader and connections to the people there. I want to visit again. Jessi was brilliant, very welcoming right from the beginning and very personable. Always inclusive to everyone in the group and mindful of our needs while doing the (at times) frustrating job of organising and managing trip. I should point out as well that discovering on the first day I was the only guy on the trip, I felt a little apprehension. I thought Jess did a marvellous job of actively ensuring that I, and every other group member, didn’t feel ‘left out’ at any stage. I couldn’t have asked for a better leader. Her love for the country was obvious. She was great at negotiating/managing/organising and she was able to answer our (many) questions day-to-day. A fantastic trip led by an awesome guide! We all had trouble picking our favourite part of it — the experiences and activities were each quite different and special in their own right. A great balance of fun, adventure and awe-inspiring experiences.” 

SEAN | AUSTRALIA

Tour Highlights

WEEK 1

  • Trek through the jungle to spend time with mountain gorillas in the wild in beautiful Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  • Climb Mount Nyiragongo in the DRC to feel the heat and see the red glow from the world’s largest lava lake.
  • Camp overnight on the crater rim of Mount Nyiragongo and watch the sunrise over the Virunga Mountains.
  • Take a tour of Rwanda’s innovative and modern capital city, Kigali and enjoy some delicious home-cooked Rwandan food.
  • Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial to learn about the events of the 1994 genocide.
  • Enjoy a welcome meal at one of Kigali’s best restaurants.
  • Relax on the shores of beautiful Lake Kivu.
  • Explore the vibrant city of Goma in the DRC.
  • Experience local life in Uganda a at stunning Lake Bunyoni where we’ll take lunch with a local Ugandan family and visit a local market.
  • Visit the Batwa tribe and learn about their culture and traditions.

WEEK 2

  • Take a sunset boat tour of pretty Lake Mburo.
  • Be wowed at a Ugandan Cultural Show.
  • Experience the fabulous nightlife in exciting Kampala.
  • Get up close with Uganda’s only white rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
  • Spend the day with chimpanzees in their natural habitat of Budongo Forest.
  • Marvel at the world’s most powerfull waterfall, Murchison Falls.
  • Take a boat trip on the Victoria Nile.
  • Go on safari in Murchison Falls National Park.
  • Get adventurous in Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa – options include bungee jumping, SUP, white water rafting, cycling and horse riding.
  • Shop for beautiful African souvenirs at a local craft market.
  • Spend an afternoon with Helen’s Ugandan family and enjoy a traditional Ugandan meal at their house.
  • Watch the sunset and enjoy the view on a Nile River cruise.

Itinerary

DAY 1:  Kigali

Dinner

Yambi Hotel (or similar)

None

Arrive in Kigali and transfer to your accommodation for the night. Relax and get to know your fellow travellers during a welcome meal at a fantastic local restaurant. Your Rock My Uganda, Rwanda & DRC Adventure starts here and we can’t wait to show you around these three amazing and beautiful countries!

*  If you have the time and can arrive earlier, we can organise any other activities you wish to do. Additional accommodation and activities charged separately.

DAY 2:  Kigali

Breakfast, Lunch

Yambi Hotel (or similar)

Kigali City Tour

We’ll spend our first day exploring the beautiful and cosmopolitan city of Kigali, the ‘Singapore of Africa’. We’ll visit some of my favourite places in the city, including the Nyamirambo neighbourhood, a local women’s centre, a great local market (where you can buy beautiful African fabrics) and the fantastic INEMA Arts Centre, all the while learning about Rwandan culture and experiencing it first hand.

On the tour we’ll enjoy a lovely Rwandan meal cooked by Aminatha, one of the lovely ladies from the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre.

In the afternoon we’ll head back to our lovely guesthouse to rest and prepare for the next stage of our trip.

DAY 3:  Lake Kivu

Breakfast, Lunch

Inzu Lodge (or similar)

Kigali Genocide Memorial

In the morning we’ll visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial to learn about the events and circumstances of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. This is a harrowing experience, but a must for anyone visiting Rwanda.

In the afternoon, we’ll head east to beautiful Lake Kivu, which borders the DRC where we’ll rest up for the night before our strenuous trek the following morning!

DAY 4:  Mount Nyiragongo

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Mount Nyiragongo Huts

Mount Nyiragongo Ascent

Early in the morning, we’ll transfer across the border to Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo to start our ascent of Mount Nyiragongo (3,470m) in the Virunga National Park, one of the most incredible places on the planet. It’s a stunning but very difficult ascent (you need a good level of fitness) on volcanic terrain but one of the most rewarding hikes you will ever undertake.

This volcano is famous for being the world’s largest lava lake and we’ll spend the night  staying in huts on the crater rim.

Seeing the lava lake for the first time will take your breath away, but it’s when the sun goes down that you will really see the true beauty of this magnificent place as it glows bright red.

This is an out of this world experience!

Alternative Route: If the Virunga National Park does not re-open in 2019 as expected, we will hike the Congo Nile Trail from Gisenyi to Kinunu. This is a beautiful and challenging 43km hike, through villages and with lots of interaction with local people. Those who don’t want to hike the whole way can jump in the support car. We’ll stay on the lakeshore in Kinunu, a small fishing village.

DAY 5:  Lake Kivu

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Inzu Loge (or similar)

Mount Nyiragongo Descent, Goma City Tour

Getting up early, we’ll have a warming breakfast of porridge and hot drinks whilst watching the sunrise over the misty Virunga mountains.

After breakfast we’ll make our way down the mountain pole pole (slowly), taking in the beautiful views over the surrounding area.

Before we leave the DRC, we’ll have lunch and take a look around Goma, the vibrant and chaotic border town.

Leaving DRC, we’ll make our way back to Gisenyi for a celebratory meal.

Alternative Route: In the morning we’ll take a boat back to Gisenyi, and stop for lunch in Gisenyi town before heading back to our camp in Gisenyi.

DAY 6:  Lake Bunyoni

Breakfast, Lunch

Lake Bunyoni Overland Resort (or similar)

None

After a little lie in, we’ll make our way to Lake Bunyoni, one of the most tranquil and stunning locations in all of Africa.

We’ll have lunch overlooking the lake, before heading to our lakeside accommodation.

Here we can relax and recover after our Mount Nyiragongo trek and get ready for gorilla trekking.

DAY 7:  Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rushaga Gorilla Camp (or similar)

Lake Bunyoni Tour

We’ll spend the morning exploring this island studded lake and the surrounding villages by boat, visiting a local market, eating a home cooked meal made by a local family and getting a real feel for Ugandan life.

Bunyoni actually means ‘place of little birds’ and if we’re lucky we should see many different species and perhaps some otters on our travels.

In the afternoon we’ll head to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

DAY 8:  Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rushaga Gorilla Camp (or similar)

Gorilla Trekking, Batwa Tribe Visit

Getting up early, we’ll head to the gorilla trekking start point, where you’ll receive a safety briefing before trekking through the jungle to find the endangered mountain gorillas.

When I say trekking through the jungle, I really mean trekking through the jungle! This is a difficult trek (they aren’t called mountain gorillas for nothing) and requires a good level of fitness.

Spending time with these beautiful primates was one of the most magical experiences of my life and one that I hope everyone gets to experience someday.

Once we find the gorillas, we’ll have around an hour with them to observe and stare in awe at just how amazing they are. When one looks you in the eye, you’ll experience one of life’s real ‘wow’ moments and think yourself the luckiest person in the world.

In the afternoon we’ll visit a local Batwa tribe village to learn about their culture and traditions.

DAY 9:  Lake Mburo

Breakfast, Dinner

Rwakobo Rock (or similar)

Sunset Boat Tour

Today is a drive day as we make our way towards Kampala, stopping overnight in the Lake Mburo region.

In the afternoon, we’ll take a sunset boat tour on the lake before heading back to our lovely guesthouse which has breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.

In the evening, we’ll relax at our lovely lodge.

DAY 10:  Kampala

Breakfast, Dinner

Bromelia Guesthouse (or similar)

Ugandan Cultural Show

After breakfast, we’ll travel to Uganda’s bustling capital Kampala.

There will be some free time in the afternoon to take a walk around the city or relax at our guesthouse.

In the evening, we’ll head out to a fantastic Ugandan cultural show. Afterwards, those who want to can head out on the town and experience Kampala’s excellent nightlife and party scene!

DAY 11:  Budongo Forest

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Budongo Eco Lodge (or similar)

Rhino Trekking

Early in the morning, we’ll depart for the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary where we’ll go trekking to see Uganda’s only white rhino who are part of a project to re-introduce these magnificent creatures back into Uganda.

At the moment, the sanctuary is home to approximately 19 white rhino.

In the afternoon we’ll head to Budongo Forest and those who want to can go chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest (additional cost). Here you will get chance to spend an hour with the chimps in their natural habitat. Past Rock My Adventurers have loved this activity!

DAY 12:  Murchison Falls National Park

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fort Murchison (or similar)

Murchison Falls, Victoria Nile Boat Trip

In the morning we’ll visit the top of Murchison falls where we can marvel at the most powerful waterfall in the world! It’s a beautiful sight and perfect for taking incredible photos!

After lunch at a local lodge, we’ll take a boat trip out on the Victoria Nile to see the falls from a different perspective and try to spot some animals!

DAY 13:  Murchison Falls National Park

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Fort Murchison (or similar)

Murchison Falls Safari

Today we’re going on safari!

A safari in Murchison Falls is a magical experience, with beautiful, lush scenery and all the animals you could wish for. You will not be disappointed! If we’re lucky, we may spot giraffes, hippos, lions, crocodiles, elephants and buffaloes!

Welcome to Uganda’s version of the ‘Lion King’ meets ‘The Jungle Book’.

DAY 14:  Jinja

Breakfast

Nile River Explorers (or similar)

Jinja Craft Market

Today we’re heading to Bujagali village near Jinja – the adventure capital of East Africa. On the way we’ll stop at the Jinja Craft Market to shop for lunch and pick up some souvenirs!

In the evening we’ll take it easy, perhaps head out to dinner at one of the local restaurants or relax at the camp. Our camp, is where many overlanders, solo travellers, volunteers and kayakers converge, so the atmosphere is always fun and lively.

DAY 15:  Jinja

None

Nile River Explorers (or similar)

None

Today is a full free day to explore as you wish, however you may want to spend the day going white water rafting.

But if that isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied, like cycling, horse riding, mountain biking, bungee jumping or kayaking (to name but a few of the activities on offer).

Or you could just take a wander through the village, try the street food from one of the stalls outside or volunteer with a local charity.

DAY 16:  Jinja

Lunch, Light Dinner

Nile River Explorers (or similar)

Ugandan Family Dinner, Sunset Nile Cruise

On our last day, we’ll have lunch in the village with my Ugandan family – an unforgettable experience full of fun, laughter and tasty food!

In the afternoon, we’ll end our time together with a sunset cruise on beautiful Lake Bujagali (all drinks and a light buffet dinner included). This is always a fun evening and may or may not end in lots of dancing and merriment!

DAY 17:  Departure Day

None

None

None

Today is always a sad day as we say goodbye to our new friends (there’s usually a few tears, I will warn you), but the memories and shared experiences will last a lifetime.

We can arrange your transfer to Entebbe Airport or you can continue your Africa travels from there.

If you need any support with your pre or post-tour Africa travels, please don’t hesitate to contact us. It’s all part of the Rock My Adventure service!

Please bear in mind that the itinerary is subject to minor changes – This is Africa! But whatever happens, we’ll ensure you have an amazing trip!! Have a question? Feel free contact us here or take a look at our FAQ’s page.

What’s Included?

SUPPORT

Rock My Adventure Group Leader, comprehensive pre-departure information & planning advice.

MEALS

13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners.

ACCOMMODATION

16 nights accommodation in good quality safari camps, hostels, hotels and guesthouses. For Mount Nyiragongo, we will be staying in basic huts on the crater rim that’s all there is (sleeping bag included).

TRANSPORT

All transport within Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC to and from included excursions and between the main destinations on the tour (includes – taxi, safari van, mini bus, boat & canoe).

ACTIVITIES

Kigali City Tour

Kigali Genocide Memorial

Mount Nyiragongo Expedition (DRC visa included)

Goma City Tour

Lake Bunyoni Tour

Gorilla Trekking (permit included in tour cost)

Batwa Tribe Visit

Sunset Boat Tour on Lake Mburo

Ugandan Cultural Show

Rhino Trekking

Murchison Falls

Victoria Nile Boat Trip

Murchison Falls Safari

Jinja Craft Market

Ugandan Family Dinner

Sunset Nile Cruise (including light dinner and drinks)

What’s Not Included?

      • Flights.
      • Airport transfers (however we can arrange these for you).
      • Visas (if needed).
      • Medications, antimalarials or vaccinations.
      • Travel/health insurance.
      • Drinks & meals not mentioned.
  • Optional activities.
  • Transport for optional activities
  • Tips for local guides.

COME WITH US ON THE ROCK MY ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME!

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