Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Pearls of Africa, 15 days

Africa
|
15
days | 4 - 12 people in a group
tour description

nature, culture, sightseeing

We would like to invite you to an extraordinary expedition to one of the most interesting regions of Africa which is the western part of the Great Rift Valley. It will be an unforgettable experience for those who love contact with nature, because of the incredible richness of species and biodiversity of the fauna and flora.

During just one trip we will be able to meet mountain and lowland gorillas, and we will visit a chimpanzee sanctuary. We will travel to national parks and reserves where we will see the animals that comprise the classical African Big Five. We will also visit one of the most interesting places for bird watching in the central part of the African continent. During our stay in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we will go for a hike to see one of the most stunning volcanoes on the Earth, on the Nyiragongo Mount, filled with a continuously boiling lava lake. After the after the long and exhausting journey, we will relax at the picturesque lakes in the Great Rift Valley: Bunyonyi and Kivu.

itinerary

Flights usually arrive in Entebbe in the evening. After arrival, we will arrange visa formalities. Transfer to the hotel and, after a short rest, an organisational meeting and dinner.

D.

After breakfast, we will leave Entebbe and set off to the north of Uganda, which will take us a few hours. We will stop on our way in the Ziwa Rhinoceros Sanctuary which is the only place in Uganda where white rhinos can be found. We have a short safari planned there. After lunch we will start the rest of our trip for the day, to see the spectacular over 120-metre high Murchison falls that lies on Victoria Nile. In the evening, dinner and night rest in Fort Murchison.

B. L. D.

After breakfast, a whole-day safari on the land and rivers of the Murchison Falls National Park. On this day, we will visit diverse plant habitats: gallery forests located near rivers, the savannah and dense thorny thickets. In the Park we will see many species of big African mammals and also numerous representatives of birds. Dinner and night rest in Fort Murchison.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will set of for a few hours’ journey to the south-east of Uganda, towards Fort Portal. Dinner and night rest near the Kibale National Park.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will set off to the forest-covered Kibale National Park. We will have a short presentation there and then we will go to meet the chimpanzees that live in the forest. The visit in the Park will give us a special opportunity to observe from close the behaviours and extremely complicated social structure of freely living chimpanzees. After lunch, we will set off to the Ruwenzori Mountains National Park. In the park there is the third highest peak in Africa 5,109 m. above sea level and the range’s upper regions are permanently snow-capper and glacier. Rivers fed by mountain streams from one of the source of the Nile. Upon arrival, a short trek in the rainforest will be close to your accommodation. We will stay for the night in a mountain hostel.

B.L.D.

In the morning we will go trekking on the Ruwenzori massif. We will follow a nature route that leads through a variety of habitats associated with the change in altitude. We will see endemic habitats such as cool rainforests, cloud forests and wet mountain savannas. If weather conditions allow us, we will see one of the glaciers in Africa. After trekking, we will go to the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Overnight and dinner in the park.

After breakfast, we will set off for a whole-day safari in the National Park, which is one of the most interesting and biologically richest habitats in the Equatorial Africa. We will travel on cars and boats – we will go for a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. We will have dinner and stay for the night within the National Park area.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will go to meet the famous tree climbing lions. The Ishasha Sector is practically the only place in Africa where populations of lions that mastered the art of climbing tree trunks can be seen. We will go to lodges near the Queen Elisabeth National Park for dinner and accommodation.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will leave the Queen Elisabeth National Park and go south – to the Bwindi National Park. On this day we will also have one of the most exceptional meetings that we will experience during our tour. Following a path hidden in thick impenetrable mountain bushes we will go to see one of the family groups of mountain gorillas. After lunch, we will go south, to one of most picturesque lakes of Central Africa Lake Bunyoni. We will have dinner and sleep near the lake.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will visit an island on Lake Bunyoni and we will start our journey towards Rwanda borders. We will be able to admire the stunning rock formation of the Volcano Park on our way and we will travel through the Echuya Forest Reserve. After border crossing, we will go to Lake Kivu. We will relax at the lake before the challenges in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that await us next day.

B.L.D.

Early in the morning we will set off to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and then from Kibati we will start our hike in the Virung National Park, to the caldera of the Nyiragongo volcano. The volcano is one of three active volcanoes on our planet that has an active lava lake inside. During our hike, we will see the full spectrum of tropical vegetation that will change along with the height. We will stay for the night in a mountain hostel near the crater.

B.L.D.

At dusk, we will go to the caldera of the volcano – we will be able to admire from close up the lava lake inside it. We will have breakfast at the hostel and then we will start our return journey to Goma for lunch. After a short rest, we will start our cruise on a motorboat on Lake Kivu to the town of Bukavu where we will stay for dinner and sleep.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will go to the Kahuzi Biega National Park where we have a planned meeting with gorillas, this time the lowland ones. We will be able to see the differences between two gorilla species. Another highlight of the day will be the spectacularly lush vegetation of the National Park. In the afternoon, return to Bukavu. Relaxation after the hardships of the whole-day trip.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will leave Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and set off to Rwanda. After crossing the border, we will travel along the shores of Lake Kivu, to the small town of Geitesi where we wills stay for the night at the shore of the lake. Dinner and well-deserved relaxation at the hotel.

B.L.D.

In the morning there will be time for some relaxation and packing, and then we will set off for the journey to the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. En route we will visit a monument and museum of the genocide that took place there in 1994. We will arrive in Kigali in late afternoon. Depending on the departure time, transfer to the airport.

B.L.

Practical information

  • the length of the tour : 15 dni in Africa;
  • start of the trip: Entebbe;
  • end of the trip: Kigali;
  • the highlights of this expedition The real highlight of the tour is the close encounter with the extraordinary and unique wildlife of Central Africa. During the tour, there will be an option to meet endangered species of lowland and mountain gorillas. We will also see the “classical” African wildlife, including many large mammals and birds. An additional attraction will be the possibility to hike the mount Ruwenzori and Nyiragongo volcano – one of three volcanoes on our Planet that is filled with an active lava lake.

The tour has a nature of a tourist expedition and will be oriented on cultural, sightseeing and nature tourism. Because of the special nature of the visited places and of the expedition features, the travellers are required to be physically and mentally fit. Long car rides through the roads of Uganda and Rwanda that are not always in a good state of repair, often at more than +30°C, and overnight stays in hotels and lodges with limited access to toilets and showers may be very tiresome and cause considerable discomfort. Moreover, during our tour, especially during the stay in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there will be a very limited possibility to use medical care. Our journey will involve hikes in the Virunga National Park (Congo), hiking Mount Nyiragongo and looking for mountain gorillas in the Biwindi National Park. The itinerary was designed to enable best possible viewing of the places away from mass tourism routes, while meeting basic safety standards and ensuring comfort to the travellers. You should bear in mind that Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are countries of many cultures and traditions, having a special and unique character.

Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the planned end of the tour.

To go for the trip, it is necessary to obtain visas for the visited countries:

  1. The single-entry visa for the Republic of Uganda can be obtained electronically or upon arrival
  2. The double-entry visa for the Republic of Rwanda can be obtained at the border\
  3. The single-entry visa for the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be obtained at the border

Four current colour photographs will also be necessary.

To obtain a visa, you may use the services of visa agents or the help of BTP Adventure.

You should take with you for the trip a photocopy of your passport (the photo page) and an additional ID document.

  • Take with you for the trip the yellow vaccination booklet with certified valid yellow fever vaccination – it is impossible to enter the visited African countries without this document and vaccination.
  • Before departure, we recommend a consultation with a family physician and a tropical medicine specialist.
  • Vaccination against yellow fever, tetanus, diphtheria, viral hepatitis A and B, meningococci and typhus is recommended.
  • Malaria prevention measures (Malarone or Lariam) are necessary.
  • There is a risk of dengue and tuberculosis at the places planned to be visited during the trip.
  • We recommend visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries.
  • During our expedition, we will drink only bottled water. You should avoid ice in your beverages and eating raw or undercooked foods. In the visited countries, healthcare is of very low quality. Private medical care that meets the basic standards is available only in big cities: Kigali, Kampala.
  • Because of difficult travelling and accommodation conditions and particularities of the countries, good general health and physical fitness are necessary. Furthermore, your patience will definitely be tested and you should prepare for hardships of long journeys, lassitude and discomfort.
  • Please take with you a first aid kit and a sufficient supply of your regular (prescription) medicines, if any. Some useful contents of the first aid kit:
  • insect repellents – absolutely necessary
  • malaria prophylaxis
  • high sun protection cream (recommended SPF 50)
  • disinfectants, wound dressing materials
  • analgesics and antipyretics
  • antibiotics, as a precaution
  • anti-diarrhoeals, electrolytes and vitamins

  • Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (eastern part) are currently stable and relatively safe countries. The actual terrorist threat or armed conflict risk is nowadays relatively low. We design our itineraries so as to avoid places that are potentially dangerous (the south-western region in Uganda and places with a high risk of conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Owing to the good relations we have with local contractors, we keep following the news to be aware of any potential threats and safety risks. We also recommend you to read the latest news on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
  • During the tour, please take seriously the instructions of our contractors, guides and tour leader.
  • It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws and regulations. You will receive the necessary information on an on-going-basis from your local guides and the tour leader.
  • It is strictly prohibited to take photos and make video recordings at military and police installations and at airports. You are also not allowed to take photos where people in military/police uniforms are present!!!
  • Photographing people is possible only when they expressly agree to it. Taking pictures when the subjects have not allowed it often ends up with escalating aggressive behaviours.

Each of the visited countries has its own currency. Currency exchange is possible at the airport, at border crossings, in banks and at some hotels. US dollars and euros are accepted at many places such as hotels, bars, souvenir shops. But the rate of exchange into the local currency should be agreed upfront. Using payment cards is possible at some shops, hotels and restaurants in larger towns. The best foreign exchange rate is for euros and US dollars. UK pounds are not generally exchangeable.

For current foreign exchange rates see www.xe.com or install xe.com on your phone.

Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are countries where many local languages are in use. The official and generally used language in Uganda and Rwanda is English. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the official language is French, similarly as in some Rwanda regions. For self-guided tours, you must speak English or French.

Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are multi-ethnic and multi-religious countries. Their inhabitants are predominantly Christians of different rites and followers of traditional African religions. Local customs and traditions are very much preserved.

It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws. You will receive the relevant information from your local guide or the tour leader.

The tour dates are proposed in periods of the best possible weather conditions at the sites included in the itinerary. The best time for trips to the visited countries is the period between October and February and between June and the end of August. Temperatures exceed +30°C during the day and +20°C at night. Rainfalls are possible. Major problems are low quality of roads, dust in the air in the dry season and mud after rainfalls.

For detailed information see https://www.meteoblue.com/en.

Mobile network coverage is available in most towns and villages. Similarly in the areas of national parks and nature reserves. Purchase of a local SIM-card is relatively simple and inexpensive. Before the trip, please enquire with your mobile network operator whether they have a contract signed with operators in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and what the prices of call and SMS roaming are. To avoid a nasty surprise, we recommend disabling mobile data usage.

  • Wi-Fi is available only at certain accommodation sites and in a handful of restaurants in the capitals.
  • Additionally, we recommend taking a capacious power bank, solar charger or car charger. In national parks and in the course of car rides, it will be possible to charge electronic equipment only from vehicle power supplies.
  • Uganda Power sockets of type G.                 Voltage 240 V, frequency 50 Hz.
  • Rwanda Power sockets of type C, E and F.  Voltage 230 V, frequency 50 Hz.
  • DRC Power sockets of type C, D and E.        Voltage 220 V, frequency 50 Hz.

For climatic and cultural reasons, loose garments will be most appropriate: long trousers, long skirts, long-sleeved shirts, which can be easily washed and will quickly dry. The most comfortable footwear for the tour will be lightweight boots. Palladium brand boots are recommended. You may walk in open sandals but in towns and desert regions this may be uncomfortable because of stones, thorny plants and sharp grasses. Light hiking boots may prove useful.

The following are worth taking:

  • thin summer sleeping bag; it will improve your sleeping comfort in the mountainous regions of Uganda and Congo
  • sachet for documents and money
  • wet wipes for body cleaning and antibacterial gels
  • dry shampoo
  • polar fleece jacket or warmer blouse, especially useful at evening and night times
  • head cover and sunglasses – mandatory, the sun is no joke!
  • comfortable summer clothes, useful during practically the whole trip
  • light T-shirts/shirts
  • useful odds and ends: torch, Swiss Army knife, sewing kit (usually is not needed but is not heavy and does not take much place), chargers, mug (for special occasions); inflatable neck pillow, useful on the plane and during car rides; small wallet for the local currency; books to pass the time on flights and car rides

Price

Price depends on number of participants. Please refer to list below:


  •  £ 6990  p/p  – group of 2
  •  £ 6350  p/p  – group of 3
  •  £ 5590  p/p  – group of 4
  •  £ 5390  p/p  – group of 5
  •  £ 4990 p/p  – group of 6
  •  £ 4890  p/p  – group of 7
  •  £ 4690 p/p  – group of 8
  •  £ 4390  p/p  – group of 9 – 10
  •  £ 3590 p/p  – group of 11 – 12
Price includes

During the expedition, we will travel by 4WD vehicles. The expected number of travellers in one vehicle will depend on the size of the off-road minibus + driver. Our cars may not be equipped with air conditioning or the air conditioning system may be switched off because of too much dust particles in the air. Speed depends on the road surface conditions, terrain characteristics and number and length of stops. During our trip, we will also use speedboats (boat cruise from Goma to Bukavu), and also boats and small tourist ships while visiting national parks.

We are not able to guarantee a uniform accommodation standard at each of the planned sites during the stay in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Our priorities are your comfort, appropriate location, character of the site and historical, cultural and natural values. We always place emphasis on the support of local community when selecting the sites for our accommodation. In general, rooms will be assigned on the assumption of two people sharing a twin room (rooms with individual bathrooms). The surcharges for single rooms are quoted in the “Price” section.

  • Accommodation in the visited countries is planned in 3- and 4-star hotels – African standard.
  • In national parks, we will stay in African lodges.
  • Near the Nyiragongo volcano, we will stay in wooden houses where access to running water and toilets may be limited and temperatures – especially at night – may be low: +10°

Meals are included in the tour price, as specified in the itinerary. B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner. Breakfasts will be provided at the hotel. We will go for lunches and dinners to local restaurants. The cuisine of Somalia is very varied, similarly as the culture and history of this part of Africa.

For information about the local costs of living see https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/.

Services of a tour guide,  local and special gudes in National Parks

All entrance fees and permits to visit national parks and reserves in the itinerary

The price includes the cost of tips and porters’ fees.

Trip preparation, visa mediation, the invitation necessary to obtain a visa

Price does not include

Costs of the main flight to Entebbe and from Kigali

Costs of flight tickets are not covered by the tour price. BTP Adventure does not directly arrange and buy tickets for international flights. However, we may suggest the best connections and airlines. For this purpose, contact us by e-mail or call us.

  • Visas for the visited countries:
  1. The single-entry visa for the Republic of Uganda can be obtained electronically or upon arrival, USD 51
  2. The double-entry visa for the Republic of Rwanda can be obtained at the border, USD 75
  3. The single-entry visa for the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be obtained at the border, USD 105

Insurance is not covered by the tour price. Having valid insurance is a condition for taking part in the trip. We recommend taking out insurance that will be appropriate for the planned itinerary and for your individual state of health and needs. Please send us the proof of your insurance contract.

You can purchase insurance on your own on the website of Axa or any other insurance company: https://www.axa.co.uk/travel-insurance/.

BTP Adventure may help you obtain adequate insurance cover. If you want our help, please contact us.

Meals other than those listed in the final itinerary.

Personal expenses and souvenirs.

Surcharge for a single room: 400 £

supplementary payment for the additional accommodation  In the case of  arrival or departure on a different date,

Additional fee for extending the trip to Burundi

Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the itinerary may be modified. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.

We can arrange a self-guided tour – if you are interested, please contact the office.

It is possible to shorten the tour to 12 days – in such a case, we will leave the Bunyoni Lake and go to the Mburo Lake National Park. We will have a safari there, after which we will sleep at a camping site. On the next day, we will have a transfer to the airport in Entebbe.

You may extend the trip by going to Burundi – if you are interested, please contact the office.

We will keep updating the detailed information on the safety and final itinerary of the tour. Before you decide to submit the booking form, please learn about the current political and sanitary situation in the visited countries.

The planned expedition is an exclusive proposal prepared on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the local peculiarities and major sightseeing attractions of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We are committed to ensure the best possible and safe and, as far as feasible, comfortable travelling through these little-frequented and extremely interesting countries.

With any questions please contact BTP ADVENTURE

dates & prices
15/01/2023 - 29/01/2023
16/07/2023 - 30/07/2023
13/08/2023 - 27/08/2023
12/11/2023 - 26/11/2023

3590 £ group of 11 - 12

It is possible to shorten the tour to 12 days – in such a case, we will leave the Bunyoni Lake and go to the Mburo Lake National Park. We will have a safari there, after which we will sleep at a camping site. On the next day, we will have a transfer to the airport in Entebbe.

You may extend the trip by going to Burundi – if you are interested, please contact the office.

 

 

 

 

 

you can find price for the group in description
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