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Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

Canton of Zurich...
Level Contributor
6 posts
9 reviews
Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

Dear all,

I would like to ask you for your advice on my holidays in Rwanda and Uganda. So far, I’ve only fixed my flight (13.10.2018 arrival at KGL, 03.11.2018 departure from EBB) and made a list of places I would like to see. The primary reason for going to Rwanda and Uganda is nature (gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, lions etc.) but I am also interested in nature and would like to learn about the genocide. I will travel on my own and would like to use public transport as far as possible.

My preliminary itinerary is as follows:

13.10. Arrival at Kigali (evening)

14.10. Kigali: Genocide Memorial, Kimironko market

15.10. Travel to Butare: Ethnographic Museum, Murambi Genocide Memorial

16.10. Nyungwe National Park: Chimpanzee tracking

17.10. Nyungwe National Park: canopy walk or some other hike

18.10. Travel to Kibuye: Lake Kivu

19.10. Kibuye: Lake Kivu

20.10. Kibuye: hike on the Congo Nile trail

21.10. Travel to Musanze / Volcanoes National Park

22.10. Volcanoes National Park: Golden Monkey Trail

23.10. Volcanoes National Park: hike on Mount Visoke or Crater Lakes

24.10. Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

25.10. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Gorilla tracking

26.10. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: some other hike

27. 10. Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park

28.10. Queen Elizabeth National Park: tree climbing lions

29.10. Queen Elizabeth National Park: Kazinga Channel

30.10. Queen Elizabeth National Park: game drive safari

31.10. Queen Elizabeth National Park: Kyambura Gorge

01.11. Spare day

02.11. Travel to Entebbe

03.11. Entebbe, flight to Brussels (late evening)

Is the foreseen itinerary realistic? Are there any other places that you would recommend visiting?

I’ve not included a visit in Akagera National Park because I thought that the Uganda part of my travel will already cover savannahs and safaris. Am I going to miss something by leaving out Eastern Rwanda?

Do you think it would be possible and worthwhile to also go to Rwenzori National Park for 2 days if I would shorten my stay at Queen Elizabeth National Park?

Where is the best place to stay to visit Nyungwe / Volcanoes / Bwindi / Queen Elizabeth National Park?

For which trips am I going to need a taxi and which can be done by public transport?

Any thoughts and suggestions would be highly appreciated!

Cheers

9 replies to this topic
Fort Portal, Uganda
Level Contributor
196 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

In Uganda you will miss Kibale National Park -primate capital of the world and home to chimpanzees.

Also you will miss Murchison Falls National Park.

In Uganda public transport can be used , but not in game drive areas Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Fort Portal, Uganda
Level Contributor
196 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

You need to book Gorilla permits today...... either on line from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through an agent.

$600.

Level Contributor
16 posts
3. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

Hello your itinerary looks good but i recommend some few additions

My preliminary itinerary is as follows:

13.10. Arrival at Kigali (evening) (113th and 14th will cater for all your city tour to all these sites and local communities)

14.10. Kigali: Genocide Memorial, Kimironko market

15.10. Transfer to Nyungwe

16.10. Nyungwe National Park: Chimpanzee tracking and canopy walk or hike to the falls

17.10. Travel to Kibuye: Lake Kivu

18.10. Kibuye: Lake Kivu

19.10.Kibuye: hike on the Congo Nile trail

20.10. Travel to Musanze / Volcanoes National Park

21.10.Volcanoes National Park: Golden Monkey Trail

22.10. Volcanoes National Park: hike on Mount Visoke or Crater Lakes

23.10. Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

24.10. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Gorilla tracking and evening Community walk

25.10. Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park via Ishasha for tree climbing lions

26.10. Morning game drive in Kasenyi sector and afternoon boat cruise in Kazinga Channel

27. 10. Morning game drive, go to Katwe salt mining center or to the craters or Maramagambo forest

28.10. Queen to then transfer to Kibale forest afternoon crater walk

29.10.Chimpanzee trekking an afternoon Bigodi swamp walk

30.10. Kibale to Murchison falls

31.10. Morning Game drive and afternoon boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, hike to the top of the falls

01.11.Transfer to Kampala stop at the Rhino trekking Ziwa and drive to Kampala reaching late evening

02.11. City tour

03.11. Entebbe, flight to Brussels (late evening)

I think this will help you achieve more and cost effective

I wish you all the best, please secure your Gorilla permits now

Kampala, Uganda
3 posts
4. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

Hello,

greetings from Bamboo Ecotours. what do you think of this option that gives you room to see two other beautiful parks in Uganda? Mgahinga and Lake Mburo.

13.10. Arrival at Kigali (evening)

14.10. Kigali: Genocide Memorial, Kimironko market

15.10. Transfer to Nyungwe

16.10. Nyungwe National Park: Chimpanzee tracking in the morning. Canopy walk in the afternoon.

17.10. Travel to Kibuye: Lake Kivu

18.10. Kibuye: Lake Kivu, and hike on the Congo Nile trail

19.10. Travel to Musanze / Volcanoes National Park

20.10. Volcanoes National Park: hike on Mount Visoke or Crater Lakes

21.10. Travel to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda)

22.10. Mgahinga Gorilla National park - Golden monkeys

23.10. Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

24.10. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Gorilla tracking

25.10. Travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park via Ishasha sector for tree lions

26.10. Queen Elizabeth National Park: Kazinga Channel and boat trip

27. 10. Queen Elizabeth National Park: other QENP activities (lion tracking, salt lakes, Kyambura gorge)

28.10. Travel to Lake Mburo National Park

29.10. Lake Mburo National Park: game drive and boat trip

30.10. Lake Mburo National Park: another game drive and/or savannah walk

31.10. Lake Mburo to Kampala

01.11. Spare day (Kampala activities)

02.11. Travel to Entebbe

03.11. Entebbe, flight to Brussels (late evening)

Canton of Zurich...
Level Contributor
6 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

Dear musinguzihowardjapan,

Thank you very much for the information about the gorilla permit and for suggesting Kibale and Murchison Falls as additional places worth a visit. I will get the permits as soon as I have made up my itinerary and will definitely think about Kibale.

Murchison Falls look very impressing and I would like to go there. However, I am wondering if they are not too far away from Queen Elizabeth National Park? How long would it take me to get there and then to Entebbe Airport?

Thanks again!

Canton of Zurich...
Level Contributor
6 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

Dear Achieve G and Edison N,

Thank you very much for your suggested alterations of my travel itinerary. I have a few more questions:

- You seem to recommend not spending time in Butare to visit the Ethnographic Museum and the Genocide Memorial. Do you think these places are not worth a visit or am I going to see similar sites in other cities anyway?

- Is it possible to do two activities in Nyungwe Forest on a single day?

- How long does it take to go from Kibale or Queen Elizabeth National Park to Murchison Falls? And how much time should I plan for the transfer to Entebbe?

- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park looks interesting. I haven't heard about this before. Is the gorilla experience similar to Bwindi National Park? Is Mgahinga easy to reach (if possible by public transport)?

- What are the attractions of Lake Mburo National Park?

Thank you again for your useful information!

Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
2,458 posts
347 reviews
7. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

I think that you should skip your extra days in Lake Mburo and Kampala as well as Queen Elizabeth and instead go to Kidepo National Park. It's supposed to be one of the best unknown national parks in Africa, I'm planning to go there myself in January. I have friends who have been there and rave about it.

geneva
Level Contributor
1,293 posts
31 reviews
8. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

Hello,

my suggestion is not to try to do too much, distances may look short on a map but it always takes a long time to get anyplace due to traffic, speed limits, road conditions, weather....

I would either go directly to Bwindi from Muzanze, or maybe include a 2 day stay on Lake Mutanda, a bit more off the beaten path than Lake Bunyoni, but again, you will have already been to Lake Kivu...

If you stay in a lodge in Bwindi they usually can get the Gorilla permit for you.

We recommend Broadbill Camp, and we know that they can take care of the booking for you.

After Bwindi I would do the Kazinga channel cruise in QENP, stay a couple of days in the park, then headto Fort Portal,explore the crater lakes area, one of my favorite destinations in Uganda, do the Bigodi swamp walk or the chimp tracking, although I must admit that we did not enjoy that , it made us feel that we were stressing the chimps....Then on to Murchison falls, we haven't been yet but our son who works in Kampala really loves it, and back to Entebbe with a one night stop at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary.

I will be happy to provide you with names of a few possible guesthouses should you be interested.

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Uganda
Level Contributor
1,368 posts
9. Re: Planning a 3-week holiday in Rwanda / Uganda

I've responded to your questions on the Rwanda page, but to answer a few here:

>>Murchison Falls look very impressing and I would like to go there. However, I am wondering if they are not too far away from Queen Elizabeth National Park? How long would it take me to get there and then to Entebbe Airport?<< I would allow a day from Kibale to Murchison if you go to Kibale. Back to Entebbe- again, best part of a day- maybe 6 hours or so with a driver, but I'd imagine longer on public transport.

>>- You seem to recommend not spending time in Butare to visit the Ethnographic Museum and the Genocide Memorial. Do you think these places are not worth a visit or am I going to see similar sites in other cities anyway?<< Personally I think these are really moving, and very worth visiting, however these are really what's driving the Rwanda portion of your trip (much of the other stuff you can do in Uganda) so it depends how important that is.

>> Is it possible to do two activities in Nyungwe Forest on a single day?<< Yep, provided they are short. The canopy walk is one of the only walks that is short enough to do after the chimp trekking.

>> Mgahinga Gorilla National Park looks interesting. I haven't heard about this before. Is the gorilla experience similar to Bwindi National Park? Is Mgahinga easy to reach (if possible by public transport)?<< To the extent that you are also gorilla trekking, yes, it's similar, but each experience with the gorillas is different. There are also golden monkeys here which is an added bonus. Public transport - I don't know about.

>>What are the attractions of Lake Mburo National Park?<< Very pretty, and there are zebra and giraffe which you may not see elsewhere. It's nice to break up the drive back to Entebbe/Kampala.

Alexandra- Extraordinary Africa

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