Kigali to Entebbe

9 days from 4,334pp

Your guide puts up his hand and motions for you to crouch down — and a silverback gorilla settles down to eat nearby. The experience is just one breathtaking moment of an unforgettable nine-day expedition to the forests of Rwanda and Uganda to track gorillas, golden monkeys, and other wildlife. As you witness primates in their element, tap into your own wild side.
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9 days Kigali to Entebbe

From 4,334 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 4 – Demanding

Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 6, avg 5.

Age requirement: 15+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Kigali

Arrive at any time and transfer to the hotel.

If you arrive early, take some time to explore the city, known for its pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Kigali also has some interesting and historic sites outside of the city. If you want more time to explore, we recommend booking a pre-night.

Please remember that this is a developing area and as such, accommodations/service may not be of similar standard to which you are used to in your home country. There also can be differences in service levels between different countries in East Africa. As well, interruptions in electricity and water can be common and internet/wifi is often only available in large cities. We appreciate your patience and understanding as well as your sense of adventure.

A/C is not available in the accommodations used on this trip. In general is not a concern as it does cool down at night and depending on location fans or screened windows are available.

4×4 safari vehicles are used to better navigate rough roads but important to note that vehicles do not have A/C.

Private Vehicle
Kigali International Airport – Kigali

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Accommodation

Hotel des Mille Collines (or similar)

Day 2: Kigali/Volcanoes National Park

Visit the Genocide Memorial and learn about the somber history of Rwanda. Later, embark on a community walk in the Nyamirambo Township and enjoy a local lunch at the G Adventures-supported Nyamirambo Women’s Centre. Travel to northern Rwanda in the afternoon to the lodge, located just outside the national park. The lodge provides stunning volcano views.

Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains can be found here. The volcanoes and highlands of the park are covered in lush rainforest and bamboo (a favourite snack of the gorillas). While the most famous resident is the mountain gorilla, there’s plenty of other wildlife roaming around: buffaloes, bushbucks, golden monkeys, hyenas, numerous bird species, and some elephants call this place home.

Altitude note: Volcanoes NP – approx 2,000 m (6,550 ft)

Genocide Memorial Visit
Kigali2h

Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which serves as a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide in 1994. The centre opened on the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004, and was built on a site where more than 250,000 people are buried.

G Adventures for Good: Nyamirambo Women’s Centre, Local Lunch

Located in Nyamirambo, the largest and most vibrant township in Rwanda, the centre provides women and girls from a diverse range of backgrounds, the opportunity to support each other and succeed, through education and training programs. Enjoy lunch prepared by women employed at the centre, allowing us to try local foods and popular dishes. After lunch, take some time to browse the centre’s shop, which features handmade, high-quality crafts and clothes, made by some of the women at the shop, as well as other women’s cooperatives throughout Rwanda. Proceeds from the meal and shop help support the centre’s education and training programs, including a community library.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Nyamirambo Women’s Centre, Community Walk

Take a guided walk through the lively community, meeting some of the women who have benefitted from the centre’s training programs, seeing their local businesses and initiatives and having a chance to share in their daily life. Proceeds from the walking tour help support the centre’s education and training programs, including a community library.

4×4
Kigali – Volcanoes National Park3h130km

Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle’s going, we don’t need roads.

Accommodation

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3: Volcanoes National Park
Enjoy a trek into the national park with a ranger/guide to view a unique and endangered species — the golden monkey. Watch these playful and lively creatures in their natural habitat. After, visit the Karisoke Research Center, which was founded by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967. Meet with a resident researcher and enjoy a tour to learn about their ongoing work in the protection of mountain gorillas. In the evening, expand your understanding of gorillas through an in-depth lecture from one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park.

Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles and normally a rather muddy terrain.

Only 1 hour is spent with the Golden Monkeys to ensure their protection and conservation.

Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the golden monkeys. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.

The order of activities over Days 3 and 4 can change depending on permit scheduling.

4×4
Volcanoes National Park

Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle’s going, we don’t need roads.

Golden Monkey Trek
Volcanoes National Park3h-5h

Embark on a trek in Volcanoes National Park to view a species even more endangered than the mountain gorilla – the golden monkey. It is only in Rwanda where this interesting species has been successfully habituated. Look (and listen) for these lively and curious creatures that like to chatter – they are often only seen high up in the trees, but, with luck, hikers may have a close encounter. Golden monkeys mainly live in the lower parts of the bamboo forests; they are not as socially “tight” as gorillas and chimpanzees, and the number in the habituated troupe can vary on any given day between 20 and 80.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Mountain Gorilla Conservation Experience

Founded 50 years ago by Dian Fossey, the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda is considered the world’s best hope for the survival of endangered mountain gorillas. Meet one of the resident researchers at the centre for a tour of the facility and to learn about their work in the protection and conservation of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Thanks to the work Karisoke does, the mountain gorillas of this region are the only species of great ape to have increased in number in recent decades. Between 1967 and 1983, Dian Fossey received over 16 grants from National Geographic and was featured many times in the pages of National Geographic magazine.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Gorilla Lecture

Deepen your understanding of the world of gorillas through an in-depth lecture. Listen as one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park discusses topics including the history and behaviour of gorillas, threats to the animals, conservation activities, as well as the potential benefits of tourism.

Accommodation

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4: Volcanoes National Park

Depart early and transfer to the national park to meet the park ranger/guide for orientation. Embark on a gorilla trek, which can vary in length and difficulty, depending on the location of the gorilla family that’s being visited. Spend an hour observing these beautiful and endangered creatures. After, return to the lodge for lunch then visit a local village to catch a glimpse of daily rural life.

Approximately 800 mountain gorillas exist globally in the wild today. They are found in Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda. In DRC and Rwanda, gorillas live in similar ecosystems/areas. The gorilla species found in these three areas are called highland gorillas.

In Rwanda there are ten habituated gorilla families that are open to visits – the visit to a gorilla family is done once per day, with a maximum 8 trekkers per group and the duration of a visit is limited to one (1) hour with the gorilla family. The time spent with them is limited due to conservation considerations and to minimize impact on the day-to-day life of the gorilla family you are visiting. It is important to be well prepared for the trek — you never know if your total trek will be short or long. The total duration of a trek can vary and be anything between 4 and 9 hrs in length depending on the location of the gorillas, which are constantly moving. You will mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trail.

Touching the gorillas is not allowed (although in some cases they may touch you). Making loud noises or sudden movements is also not allowed. You should attempt to keep a distance of 7m from the gorillas, however the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close, in which case you should try to slowly move away. At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers.

Please note that porters are available at approx. $10USD per person. The porters are all hired from local villages and not only can carry your day pack, but assist you with a welcome hand over difficult spots. Regardless of your fitness level, we highly recommend hiring a porter as some tracks can be very muddy and elevation can affect even the most fit person. It also provides employment and supports the local community.

Mountain gorillas share 98% of our DNA and are prone to catching human illnesses. Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.

Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles and normally a rather muddy terrain. Minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years old.

Please note that depending on the size of our group and when permits are confirmed, we may be split into 2 trekking groups and you may be trekking with non-G travellers.

Gorilla Trekking
Volcanoes National Park4h-9h

Depart early and transfer to the national park to meet the park ranger/guide for orientation. Embark on the trek, which can vary in length and difficulty, depending on the location of the gorilla family that’s being visited. Spend an hour observing these beautiful and endangered creatures. Trek back and return to the hotel with the remainder of the afternoon to yourself.

4×4
Volcanoes National Park

Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle’s going, we don’t need roads.

Iby’iwacu Village Visit
Volcanoes National Park

Visit a small farming village where the locals have put a stop to poaching and put their focus on sheep farming. Meet the local people and get a first hand look at rural life in this area.

Accommodation:

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5: Volcanoes National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast, cross into Uganda, arriving at the Queen Elizabeth National Park area in the late afternoon.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.

There is little accommodation inside the national park that fits our upgraded service level. Most of the mid-range lodges are adjacent to the park but it can often take approx. an hour to reach the park gates due to poor road logistics and conditions. For this reason there is a lot of driving to get to/from activities within the national park area.

4×4
Volcanoes National Park – Queen Elizabeth National Park8h-9h

Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle’s going, we don’t need roads.

Border Crossing (Rwanda – Uganda)
Cyanika Border Post

Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

Accommodation

Enganzi Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Explore the lush Kalinzu Forest Reserve with a ranger on a trek in search of chimpanzees who call this protected area home. This afternoon drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a wildlife drive with possible sightings of buffalo, elephants, giant forest hogs, hyenas, leopards, lions, and warthogs.

The order of activities over Days 6 and 7 can change depending on chimp permit scheduling.

Proper hiking attire must be worn – there are trails but we can at times go off trail, to search out chimps. Vegetation and be thick with undergrowth, nettles and often in muddy terrain.

At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers.

Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the chimps. This is a national forest regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.

4×4
Queen Elizabeth National Park

Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle’s going, we don’t need roads.

Kalinzu Forest Chimp Trek
Kalinzu Forest Reserve2h-4h Morning

Embark on a chimpanzee trek through lush Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Hike along trails through this protected reserve with an expert local guide to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Learn about their habits, social activities and family groups as well as efforts put in place to protect them. At last count the total number of chimpanzees within the reserve is approximately 240 but only 2 groups of roughly 70 are accessible to researchers and visitors. The hike also offers a diverse range of flora and fauna, keep an eye out for birds, butterflies and other primates such as the Blue, Vervet and Colobus Monkeys.

Queen Elizabeth National Park Wildlife Safari Drive
Queen Elizabeth National Park

Enjoy a wildlife safari drive inside Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is home to Uganda’s largest wildlife populations. Keep an eye out for buffalo, elephants, hippos, hyenas, lions, warthogs, and the elusive leopards.

Accommodation:

Enganzi Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Embark on a morning wildlife safari drive for more wildlife viewing inside the park. In the afternoon, take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel to view birds, hippos, and, with a bit of luck, elephants or big cats.

Queen Elizabeth National Park Wildlife Safari Drive
Queen Elizabeth National Park

Enjoy a wildlife safari drive inside Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is home to Uganda’s largest wildlife populations. Keep an eye out for buffalo, elephants, hippos, hyenas, lions, warthogs, and the elusive leopards.

Kazinga Channel Cruise
Queen Elizabeth National Park3h

Take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, a waterway inside Queen Elizabeth National Park that connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Look out for a variety of wildlife who are drawn to the channel shores. Spot birds, crocodiles, hippos, and reptiles.

4×4
Queen Elizabeth National Park

Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle’s going, we don’t need roads.

Accommodation:

Enganzi Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park/Entebbe

After breakfast, head to Entebbe with a stop at the Equator for lunch at the G Adventures supported AidChild Equation Cafe & Gallery, and a visit to a royal drum maker’s workshop.

4×4
Queen Elizabeth National Park – Entebbe8h-9h350km

Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle’s going, we don’t need roads.

G Adventures for Good: AidChild Equation Cafe & Gallery

Make a stop at AidChild’s Equation Café and Gallery, located at the equator. Surrounded by paintings and other crafts made by local artists, you’ll enjoy a meal made with traditional Ugandan ingredients, with a modern twist. Your lunch here directly supports AidChild, a non-profit that provides support, medical care and education to children and youth living with HIV in Uganda.

Equator Visit
Mpigi30m

Enjoy a fun stop at the equator and watch a demonstration on how water swirls in opposite directions in the northern and southern hemispheres. Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where the imaginary line that divides the earth into two can be crossed.

Drum Makers Workshop
Mpigi30m

Visit a traditional drum making workshop for a demonstration on how the drums are made using animal hides and woods. After the demo, it’s time for a short musical presentation.

Accommodation:

Boma Entebbe Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 9: Entebbe

Depart at any time.

We recommend booking post nights if you want more time to explore Entebbe and the surrounding area.

Departure Day

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Nyamirambo Women’s Centre, Community Walk, Kigali
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Mountain Gorilla Conservation Experience, Volcanoes National Park
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Gorilla Lecture, Volcanoes National Park
  • G Adventures for Good: Nyamirambo Women’s Centre, Local Lunch, Kigali
  • G Adventures for Good: AidChild Equation Cafe & Gallery, Kayabwe
  • Arrival transfer
  • All national park entrance fees
  • Genocide memorial entrance
  • Guided mountain gorilla trek with permits
  • Golden monkey trek with permits
  • Guided chimpanzee trek with permits
  • Local village walk
  • Safari drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Wildlife boat cruise in Kazinga Channel
  • Visit to the Equator
  • Drum workshop
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotel/lodges (8 nts).

Meals

8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
Allow USD85-110 for meals not included.

Transportation

4x4 safari vehicle, walking, hiking, boat.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides, experienced gorilla trackers, park rangers.

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  Cork 021 4320710 Dublin 01 4851750 SMS 087 167 1119

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