Rwanda, Uganda & Burundi
August 15 to 27, 2020
Travel to some of the least explored parts of East Africa on this two week journey visiting three beautiful countries: Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. Starting with Uganda, a country located on the East African Plateau, you will experience beautiful waterfalls, Lake Victoria, the world's largest lake, and the world's longest river, the Nile. You'll also have the chance to see all kinds of wildlife, including the majestic and endangered mountain gorilla. Then cross into Rwanda to discover the beautiful Lake Kivu, one of the African Great Lakes. One of the highlights of your visit will be the chance to see the splendid Golden Monkey, one of the rarest primates in the world. Also experience the Rwandan culture at a traditional village. Continue your journey to Burundi, which has two national parks - Kibira to the northwest, and Ruvubu to the northeast. Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations. Burundi's culture is based on local tradition and the influence of neighboring countries.
On this trip, our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new-found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will also learn how to turn and extraordinary one by using your own creativity. All are welcome to join this trip whether you're a photographer or not!
Per person sharing in double occupancy: $7,995.00
Single Supplement: $555.00
Led by Spiekermann Travel Tour Manager
Price based on a group size minimum of 6 and maximum of 12 participants
Option to be carried on the gorilla trek: $300.00
Estimated airfare from Washington dc (IAD) on Ethiopian airlines: $1,100.00 (recommended)
Your tour does not include
Entry Visa to Rwanda, Uganda & Burundi
Meals not specified in the itinerary.
Dayrooms or extra hotel overnights if necessary.
Rwanda Gorilla permit (approx. $1000 more)
Expenses of a personal nature such as: beverages with meals, telephone, email, laundry bills, camera fees, etc.
Trip surcharge to operate below required minimum participants.
Travel protection Insurance.
Your tour includes
Bottled water while touring.
Accommodation in standard first class hotels (4*) in twin rooms on bed and breakfast basis.
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
English-speaking guide/assistant during all tours.
Transportation by 4WD Land cruiser.
All entrance fees to mentioned sites.
Bwindi NP Gorilla, Kibale Chimp, & Volcanoes Golden Monkey permits.
Visa support documents (if needed).
Tips and gratuities to rangers, porter, hotel staff, etc..
III Challenging – parts of the trip are physically challenging, involve hiking on rough terrain or in sand or at high altitudes. There may be very long drives on rough roads; weather conditions with high heat or humidity, presence of insects. You may have simple picnic lunches, primitive bathroom facilities along the road and remoteness from modern towns or cities.
*** Superior: Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined service and comfort level acceptable to western standards. (3 or 4 stars)
View Tour Itinerary
Saturday, Aug 15
Depart the US
Depart the US for Uganda arriving the next day. This is based on Washington DC’s outbound flight on Ethiopian Airlines leaving at 11:00 am via Addis Ababa.
Sunday, Aug 16
Arrive Entebbe (Uganda)
On arrival in Entebbe, our staff will be ready to greet you and assist with the transfer to your hotel for a briefing, followed by dinner and overnight. Note: Dinner is not included this day, but the hotel offers many options. Check-in at hotels is usually at 3:00 pm.
Monday, Aug 17
Entebbe - Murchison Falls National Park
Today after a good night’s rest, depart for Murchison Falls National Park (199 miles/5 hour drive), En-route stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. home to Uganda's endangered rhinos. Murchison Falls N.P. is Uganda's largest national park, around 1,503 square miles. It is bisected by the Victoria Nile from east to west for about 71 mi. After lunch, drive up to the top of Murchison Falls – a magnificent spot where the water from the Nile compresses into a narrow gorge about 23 feet wide, falling down about 141 feet forming a thunderous roar and a beautiful rainbow in a plume of spray– the wonders of the Nile River! Dinner and overnight at Para safari lodge or similar (B,L,D)
Tuesday, Aug 18
Murchison Falls NP
After an early breakfast, explore the Northern part of the park with its high concentration of savannah wildlife. Enjoy game viewing and photographing the elephants, buffalos, waterbucks, hippos, giraffes, Uganda kobs and lions, if you are lucky the leopards, plus a variety of bird species. After lunch, go for a two-hour cruise to the bottom of the mighty Murchison Falls and see mammals and birds in great numbers. Meals and overnight at Para safari lodge or similar (B,LD)
Wednesday, Aug 19
Murchison Falls NP - Kibale Forest NP
Today you'll head southwest to Kibale Forest National Park (210 Miles/7-8 hour drive) via the Albertine Great Rift Valley enjoying traditional homesteads and farms along this verdant country side along the way. The Great Rift Valley is a continuous geographic trench, about 3,700 long, that runs from Lebanon's Beqaa Valley in Asia to Mozambique in Southeastern Africa. You'll take a packed lunch or simply have an early lunch before arriving in Kibale, a national park that protects a moist evergreen rain forest. Kibale is one of the last remaining areas to contain both lowland and mountain forests and is home to chimpanzee and other primates. Dinner and overnight at Crater Safari Lodge or similar. (B,L,D)
Thursday, Aug 20
Kibale NP - Queen Elizabeth NP
Early this morning, you'll have breakfast then transfer to the Kibale Forest National Park headquarters by 8:00 am for a briefing on the day’s activity by the senior park ranger guide. There is a 95% chance of seeing the chimpanzees in this forest. Around mid-day, break for lunch and then and proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park for an evening game drive. This park is considered a potential lion stronghold in Central Africa. The park is also famous for its volcanic features, including volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as the Katwe Crater from salt is extracted. Return to the Crater Safari Lodge or similar for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Friday, Aug 21
Kibale – Bwindi
After an early breakfast, transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (171 miles/6 hour drive) through the southern section of Queen Elizabeth NP to see the tree-climbing lions - a species that only exists in this park. Bwindi Park is also a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and many birds such as hornbills and turacos. It is most notable for the 400 Bwindi gorillas that live here - half of the world's population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. 14 habituated mountain gorilla groups are open to tourism in four different sectors of Buhoma, Ruhijja, Rushaga and the Nkuringo all under the management of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Stop at the Savannah Hotel for lunch after your safari, then check into the Gorilla Safari Lodge or similar for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Saturday, Aug 22
Today is sure to be a highlight of your trip as you rise early this morning for an exciting day of Gorilla Tracking. Begin with a walk to the park headquarters for a briefing, then make your way to the trailhead to start the trek This trek normally takes between 6-8 hours total in search of the gorillas. You will be allowed to stay in the presence of these awesome apes for at least an hour. It is advisable that you carry a packed lunch since it cannot be determined how long it will take to encounter the mountain gorillas. In the evening after meeting the gorillas in the forested mountains you will return to your lodge for a chance to rest and freshen up. Later visit a community village to learn about the local way of life of the people. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla Safari Lodge or similar. (B,L,D)
Sunday, Aug 23
Bwindi - Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda)
In the morning, after breakfast, you will cross into Rwanda at the Cyanika Border and continue on to Volcanoes National Park (81 miles/ 3½ hour drive), arriving sometime in the afternoon. This national park has a sanctuary and shelters the highest number of gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area. Besides gorillas, Volcanoes NP is home to golden monkeys, a variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects which together, create a complete ecosystem. After lunch, enjoy a tour at Iby'iwacu Village for a closer look at the Rwandan culture. See a local king's house, watch a medicine man prepare potions, and enjoy cultural dances. This organization has also helped many former poachers appreciate conservation of the gorillas. Meals and overnight at Five Volcanoes Hotel or similar. (B,L,D)
Monday, Aug 24
Volcanoes NP - Kibuye
In the morning, you will report to the park headquarters with your tracking gear for briefing about the Golden Monkey Track, then proceed to seek out these rare, majestic monkeys. Afterwards, return to the lodge and transfer to Kibuye (98 miles/3 hour drive) located on the shores of Lake Kivu and check-in at your lodge to rest. Kibuye is known as a beach resort and is within driving distance of two national parks. It is also home to a Genocide Memorial that commemorates the massacre of 90% of the town's Tutsi population in the Rwandan Civil War. Lake Kivu is a fresh water lake and, along with Cameroonian Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun, is one of three that are known to undergo eruptions. Around the lake, geologists found evidence of massive local extinctions about every thousand years, presumably caused by outgassing events. Dinner and overnight at Kivu Safari Lodge or similar. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, Aug 25
Kibuya - Gitega (Burundi)
Today you will embark on a drive southwards to Gitega (175 miles). This journey will take about five to six hours but with great views of the countryside and the villages along the way as well as many stops for photography. Stop for lunch before crossing into Burundi at the Akanyaru Border. Arrive at the Tropitel Gitega or Helena Hotel or similar for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, Aug 26
After breakfast, you will you will visit the Burundi Gitega National Museum and see its collection of artifacts from the Burundian folk culture. You will have a lunch break at a local restaurant, then tour the disputed Source of the Nile, still undetermined, but said to be located in either Burundi or Rwanda, followed by the Karera Waterfalls. En route, enjoy the magnificent tea plantations and landscapes. From the Karera Falls, visit the Drum Sanctuary of Gishora, a famous drum site in Burundi to see a ritual drum performance. The Burundian drum originated in the Gitega Province and symbolizes power symbolizing power and fertility. This unique style of drumming is a spectacular and special experience. Return to the Tropitel Gitega or Helena Hotel or similar for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Thursday, Aug 27
Gitega – Bujumbura - USA
In the morning, you will be driven to Bujumbura (61 miles/2-hour drive), Burundi’s capital, arriving early enough for a quick tour. The old colonial part of the city includes a market, mosque, cathedral, and several museums. Also visit Lake Tanganyika , the second oldest freshwater lake in the world as well as the second deepest lake after Lake Baikal in Russia. Afterwards, transfer to the airport in time to check-in for your 4:00 pm flight on Ethiopian Airlines to Addis, connecting on to Washington (arriving early morning on the 28th of Aug). (B)
We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of activities if/as needed