Uganda, Rwanda & DRC Tour Overview
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to feel the heat from an active volcano? Or look a gorilla right in the eye?
Join me on an epic adventure spanning 3 amazing countries and let me show you a different side of Africa, not the Africa you see in the media but the adventurous, beautiful, wild and real Africa I know and love.
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 – pure magic.
From here we’ll head to Uganda, staying in one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the whole of Africa, Lake Bunyoni, where you’ll instantly feel yourself relax.
Next we’ll head north for one of the major highlights of the trip, 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 will go on safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we’ll look for elephants and tree climbing lions.
Next well head to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to spend the with Uganda’s only wild rhinos, before having a night out on the town in the Uganda’s buzzing capital, Kampala.
We’ll finish 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.
Rock My Adventure tours are culturally immersive trips created by me to show you a rounded portrayal of the countries we visit and leave you with a new group of like-minded friends and beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.
I work with the best local operators to provide you with the highly personalised African adventure you’ve always dreamed of but without the hassle of planning it all yourself!
Rock My Adventures aren’t typical ‘tours’. They’re fun and laid-back group trips, that are similar to an independent backpacking trip, but with some free time to explore and do your own thing and a group of friends built in – the best of both worlds!
Read more about Rock My Adventure here.
- Duration: 15 Nights
- 9 – 24 July 2018
- 1 – 16 August 2019
- Start: Kigali, Rwanda (nearest airport – Kigali International Airport)
- Finish: Jinja, Uganda (nearest airport – Entebbe International Airport)
- Maximum Group Size: 8 people (7 participants plus 1 group leader)
- Group Leader: Helen (2018 trip), TBC (2019 trip)
- Minimum Age: 18
- Cost: £2,695
- Deposit: £500 (non-refundable – needed to secure your gorilla permits)
- Balance Due: (payment plans available)
- 2018 Trip: 8 May 2018
- 2019 Trip: 31 May 2019
Week 1 Highlights
- 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 capital, Kigali.
- Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
- Enjoy a gorgeous welcome meal at one of Kigali’s best restaurants.
- Relax on the shores of beautiful Lake Kivu.
- Explore the 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.
Week 2 Highlights
- Search for tree climbing lions and other animals on safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- Spot elephants, hippo and crocodiles on a wildlife cruise on the Kazinga Channel.
- Spend the day with chimpanzees in their natural habitat.
- See Uganda’s only rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
- Experience the nightlife in exciting Kampala.
- Get adventurous in Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa – options include bungee jumping, white water rafting, cycling and horse riding.
- Shop for beautiful African souvenirs at a local craft market.
- Spend time with a local Ugandan family and enjoy a traditional home cooked meal.
- Watch the sunset on a Nile River cruise.
- Stand up paddle boarding and G&T’s on the Nile.
“You showed me “Africa” the real Africa, the people, the villages, the wildlife! I didn’t want hotels, complexes, swimming pools! I want to see the world, the real world, how other people live, the real Africa!! I got the whole package, the reality, the beauty, the wonder! You left me wanting more and eager that see more of what the amazing Africa has to offer! Second trip with you! I keep coming back so clearly I enjoy them!” (Karen, UK – Rock My Rwanda, Uganda & DRC Adventure 2017 & Rock My Kenya Adventure 2016)
Uganda, Rwanda & DRC Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Kigali, Rwanda
Arrive in Kigali and transfer to your accommodation for the night. Relax and get to know your fellow travellers during a welcome meal and a beer or two at one of Kigali’s best restaurants.
Your Rock My Uganda, Rwanda & DRC Adventure starts here and I can’t wait to show you around these three amazing and beautiful countries!
* If you have the time and can arrive earlier, I can organise any other activities you wish to do. Additional accommodation and activities charged separately.
Day 2: Lake Kivu, Rwanda
We’ll spend our first morning exploring the beautiful and cosmopolitan city of Kigali, the ‘Singapore of Africa’. We’ll visit some of my favourite places with our local guides, learning about Rwandan culture and experiencing it first hand.
The day will include a trip to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where we’ll learn about the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
From there, we’ll make our way to Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu, near to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. We’ll spend the night here preparing for the trek tomorrow when we get really adventurous and head off the beaten track!
Day 3: Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
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 difficult ascent 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.
It’s an out of this world experience and one that should not be missed by any Africa travel enthusiast!
Day 4: Lake Kivu, Rwanda
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 to spend the night at our lovely camp.
Today is when we get really adventurous and head off the beaten track!
Day 5: Lake Bunyoni, Uganda
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 making our way by boat to our island retreat where we’ll spend the next two nights.
Here we can relax and recover after our Mount Nyiragongo trek and get ready for gorilla trekking.
Day 6: Lake Bunyoni, Uganda
We’ll spend a day 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 there will be some free time to swim, explore the island by foot or just relax with a good book.
Day 7: Bwindi National Park, Uganda
Getting up early, we’ll make our way to Bwindi National Park, where we’ll receive a safety briefing before our rangers take us trekking through the jungle to find the endangered mountain gorillas.
When I say trekking through the jungle, I really mean trekking through the jungle!
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 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. Maybe you’ll even get a little pat on the bottom from one.
In the afternoon we’ll head to our camp and those who want to can take a walk into the nearby village.
Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
We’ll spend the morning travelling to Queen Elizabeth National Park, arriving in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, we’ll head to the southern part of the park (Ishasha) to go on safari and look for tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippos, leopards and many more animals on the savannah.
When you see your first elephant or lion (or any other animal in the wild for that matter) – it’s truly magical!
In the afternoon, we’ll travel to the northern part of the park, still on the lookout for animals, to stay overnight at our bush camp ready for an early morning game drive the following day.
In the evening we can gaze at the stars and listen out for the sounds of hippos, elephants and hyenas – who sometimes wander through the camp!
Day 9: Kibale National Park, Uganda
After breakfast, we’ll take another game drive on Kasenyi Plains, searching for more of our favourite safari animals.
In the afternoon we’ll hop aboard our boat and take a wildlife cruise through the Kazinga Channel – an incredible experience where we are likely to see elephants up close, drinking and bathing in the river, as well as hippos, crocodiles and thousands of birds.
In the late afternoon, we’ll transfer to Kibale National Park.
Day 10: Kibale National Park, Uganda
On our second day in Kibale National Park, you have the option to take part in a chimp habituation experience* where you will get to spend the full day with these fascinating creatures, learning about their behaviours and social structure.
For those who don’t want to spend time with the chimpanzees, there are lots of other options for us to do too, like hiking around the crater lakes.
(* This is an optional activity and not included in the tour. However, I can arrange this for you! This activity is VERY popular (just like gorilla trekking, so subject to permits being available – the earlier you book, the better. There is also a shorter option but I do not recommend that one).
Day 11: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda
Today is a travel day as we make our way north towards the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Driving through Uganda, you will be treated to spectacular scenery of rolling green hills and friendly people! Get ready to wave to lots of children as we go!
We’ll stop for lunch before continuing on and when we arrive we’ll go for a night walk at the sanctuary.
Day 12: Kampala, Uganda
In the morning we’ll go trekking to see Uganda’s only wild 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 Uganda’s capital Kampala.
Tonight is a free night, but you may want to head out on the town and see all that Kampala has to offer as Kampala is known for it’s excellent nightlife.
Day 13: Jinja, Uganda
On day 12 we’ll head to one of my favourite places in the world, Bujagali village in Jinja. The adventure capital of East Africa.
In the morning, we’ll go shopping for beautiful African souvenirs in Jinja, before heading to our base in Bujagali, a village on the banks of the River Nile.
Our camp, is where many overlanders, solo travellers, volunteers and kayakers converge, so the atmosphere is always fun and lively.
Day 14: Jinja, Uganda
There will be 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 15: Jinja, Uganda
On our last day, we’ll head down to the river and go stand up paddle boarding, a great way to spend a morning. Once we’ve worked up an appetite, we’ll have lunch in the village with my Ugandan family, an unforgettable experience.
We’ll finish our time together on a sunset cruise (all drinks and a light buffet dinner included).
Day 16: Departure Day
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.
I can arrange the transfer to Entebbe Airport or you can continue your Africa travels from there.
Meet Your Tour Leader – Helen
I’ve been travelling through Africa on and off for the last 9 years and have guided trips through the Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC.
I love to travel all over the world, but it’s Africa that holds the special place in my heart and I started this blog, first and foremost to encourage and help others travel in my favourite continent.
I’m passionate about experiential travel and I want to show you a different side of Africa. Not the Africa you see in the media, but the adventurous, beautiful, wild and real Africa I know and love.
I like to get to the heart of the places I travel, to go on epic adventures, to be out in the wild, to meet local people, to experience the nightlife, to try new things, to immerse myself in the culture and most of all to have fun! All Rock My Adventure tours are planned with all these things at the forefront.
You can find out more about me here.
- Meals: 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 9 dinners (some of these are activities in themselves)!
- Accommodation: 15 nights accommodation in good quality camps, hostels, hotels and guesthouses. For Mount Nyiragongo, we will be staying in basic huts on the crater rim (exciting).
- 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).
- Kigali city tour
- Kigali Genocide Memorial
- Mount Nyiragongo overnight expedition (DRC visa included)
- Tour of Goma city
- Lake Bunyoni boat tour, with market visit & local lunch
- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (permit included)
- 2 x safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Safari boat ride on the Kazinga Channel
- Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary activities (rhino trek and night walk)
- Craft market visit in Jinja
- Stand up paddle boarding on the River Nile
- Sunset Nile cruise (including drinks)
What’s Not Included
- Airport transfers – however I can arrange these for you.
- Medications, antimalarials or vaccinations.
- Travel/health insurance.
- Drinks & meals not mentioned.
- Optional activities.
- Transport for optional activities.
- Tips for local guides.
Please bear in mind that the itinerary is subject to minor changes. But whatever happens, I’ll endeavour to make sure you have an amazing trip!!
You can find full Terms & Conditions here.
Here’s what you can expect on a Rock My Adventure tour…
Wondering what it’s like to come on a Rock My Adventure trip? Here’s what others have to say!
Rock My Tanzania & Zanzibar Adventure – 2017
“I would like to thank you for two of the most extraordinary trips I have ever had the joy of experiencing. As I review my photos I feel so overwhelmed. I had the pleasure to meet some amazing people thanks to you. We had great times just sitting around and joking with each other. If anyone is in doubt about booking a tour through Rock My Adventure, don’t hesitate, you’ll never regret it . Thank you, Helen. You are amazing! ❤ Go and you will thank me afterwards.” (Oana, Switzerland)
“This trip is definitely one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made in my life!!” (Sharmi, Malaysia)
“The trip went beyond my expectations. I feel the soul of the trip was Helen. Having a guide that is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, sweet and energetic is very important.” (Nayeli, Mexico/USA)
Rock My Kenya Adventure – 2017
“I had the best time ever on the trip & it was so much fun traveling with you! It was everything I had hoped for and more! It 100% met my expectations. I love the fact that your trips are more unique than a normal tour operator. I enjoyed being taken out of my comfort zone in some places and seeing some really different sides of Kenya. I enjoyed the fact that we were made to feel so at home everywhere we went and I’m sure that was helped by the fact you’ve obviously created a lot of meaningful friendships in the country during your time travelling there. It felt like we got a more unique experience than you would get with usual tour operator. I think you make a fantastic guide and your passion for the country definitely shows and adds to the experience.” (Sarah, UK)
“Thank you for one of the best two weeks of my life. By far the most incredible holiday I’ve ever been on. It was run so brilliantly by you and honestly, I had so much fun. I won’t forget some of our hilarious nights out.” (Allanagh, UK)
“This is the best thing I could have done for myself to boost my confidence. It was honestly the best thing I have ever done in my life, bar none. I have made genuine friends that I’m already planning to meet with again. Take me with you everywhere you go…..everywhere! Thank you so much for doing the job you do, I can’t explain how amazing this trip was.” (Kayleigh, UK)
Rock My Uganda, Rwanda & DRC Adventure – 2017
“Helen is one of those people who will make any situation really fun. This girl could make a tour through my mildewy basement seem like a blast, so having her introduce me to sub-Saharan Africa was pretty much the best thing ever!!” (Silvia, Norway/USA)
“This was everything I hoped for and more. If the plane had crashed on the way home, I would have died happy!” (Natalie, Northern Ireland)
Rock My Kenya Adventure – 2016
“Everything was amazing! I learned so many things!” (Oana, Switzerland)
“It was an amazing trip from start to end. I loved every moment and made friends for life.” (Debbie, UK)
“Africa is not always the easiest place to travel around, and after 3 months of backpacking I was all ready to give my brain a break from travel planning, so it was definitely a relief to have Helen come in and manage all that! I like her tour because it fit me – it was a small group tour, just 8 of us which is a nice number to make new friends and get to know everyone yet have our own thing, and it was a good mix of fancier stuff and indie backpacking. You just might see us on the next tours because we are all game for round 2 with Helen! Definitely a 5 star review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!“ (Jac, Singapore)
“I’ve a lot to thank my African adventure for, it truely did help me find myself and has given me the confidence to just go see the world. I never wanted to leave!!! You’ll have the most amazing experience!!!” (Karen, UK)
“It was a great introduction into Africa travel, before I set out solo travelling. Also as I traveled solo and shared experiences in Kenya with people I was meeting, I sounded like a seasoned solo traveler thanks to you. I did not know what to expect but I think I understand Kenya pretty well now. I think you were able to portray and pass on your infectious love of Kenya to us all and I am forever grateful! Asante!” (Christina, USA)
If you’d like to get a full overview, have a read of Silvia’s blog (Heart My Backpack), as she’s done a full review on the Rock My Uganda, Rwanda and DRC tour. I asked her to come along, not as a blogger, but as a participant, to enjoy and just be brutally honest when she wrote about it and here’s what she thought.
Come with me on the Rock My Adventure of a lifetime!
If you would like to sign up for this tour or have any questions, please send me a quick email using the form below and I will be in touch asap! Places are limited to 7 participants per trip – so don’t miss out!
Don’t fancy this trip? Why not check out my other Rock My Adventure tours.
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