Rwanda, Uganda & DR of Congo
August 17 - 28, 2019
Travel to some of the least explored parts of Central Africa on this one week journey visiting three beautiful countries: Rwanda, DR of Congo, and Ugnada. Starting with Rwanda we discover the beautiful Nyungwe Forest one of the largest forests in east and central Africa. Experience the fascinating chimpanzees and the Ruwensori Black colobus monkey only found in Africa. Departing to the Democratic Republic of Congo, explore the 2 extinct volcanoes and track down their famous gorillas. Also, experience an active volcano in Goma then continue to see mountain gorilla an UNESCO world heritage site. Continue your journey to Uganda where you will take a beautiful trail to see were the Batwa lived. 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 learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity. All are welcome to join this trip as a photo taker or not!
Per person sharing in double occupancy: $6,995.00
Single Supplement: $695.00
Led by Photographer Kaylee Dall (www.kayleejay.com)
Price based on a group size minimum of 6 and maximum of 10 participants
Estimated airfare from JFK (not included) $1,100.00
Your tour does not include
- International airfare
- Entry Visa to Rwanda, Uganda & DR Congo (currently $335)
- Meals not specified in the itinerary.
- Dayrooms or extra hotel overnights if necessary.
- 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.
- 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)
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast, semi-pro and pro photographers. DSLR or mirrorless cameras. (non-photographers also welcome)
Your photographer/guide Kaylee Dall is a graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design receiving a Bachelors of Fine Art in Photography. Since a very young age, she has had a love and fascination for photography and the universe. which has led her to travel and pursue her dream of becoming a professional photographer. Kaylee has always loved capturing all aspects of life and is well diversified in photographing landscapes, portraits, wildlife, and many more. She was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and moved to Detroit, Michigan at the age of five, she currently resides in Detroit.
View Tour Itinerary
Saturday, Aug 17
Depart the US
Depart the US for Rwanda arriving the second day.
Sunday, Aug 18
Arrive Kigali (Rwanda)
Arrive at Kigali airport where you will be met and transferred to Flame Tree Village Hotel or similar. Remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Monday, Aug 19
After breakfast, begin your tour to the famous Nyungwe Forest, one of the largest forests in East and Central Africa. This forest is abundant with flora and fauna and its main attraction is the 13 primate species which include Colobus monkeys, Mangabeys, Blue monkeys and of course there cousins the Chimpanzees. Nyungwe Forest is also a famous location for birders. With about 310 bird species, 26 of which are endemic, Nyungwe is one of the most important -- and still undiscovered -- bird watching destinations in Africa. Afterwards transfer to Top View Hill Hotel for check in, dinner and overnight. (B, D)
Tuesday, Aug 20
After a very early morning start, at about 4:30 am, you shall proceed for the chimp tracking in Cyamudongo or Uwinka. Between these two groups the number of individuals (chimpanzees) totals to a healthy number of about 80 members. In the afternoon you are going for a special activity to track down the Ruwensori Black colobus and other rare monkey species that live in Nyungwe forest. This is the only location in Africa where you'll find "super groups" of more than 400 Colobus monkeys in the wild. It is also one of the few places worldwide where you'll see L'Hoest's monkeys. Another rare animal you might also run into is the owl-faced monkey, an Albertine Rift endemic that inhabits Nyungwe's southern forests. In fact, most of the monkey species found in the park are endemic. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Wednesday, Aug 21
Kigali to Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo)
After a relaxed breakfast you will continue the journey to the heart of Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo. This scenic route passed over the rolling hills of Rwanda and the shores of Lake Kivu until you reach the city of Bukavu. Your driver will pick you from the border and take you to Orchids Safari Club. In the afternoon you have time to explore Bukavu with its old colonial architecture and impressive cathedral in the city Centre. Bukavu is a beautiful city with five fingers stretching into Lake Kivu, separated from Rwanda by the Ruzizi River. You can also enjoy the lake view from your veranda. (B)
Thursday, Aug 22
Kahuzi-Biega National Park
Early in the morning you will depart for tracking. The Eastern Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla berengei graueri.) live in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The national park is named after the 2 extinct volcanoes called Kahuzi and Biega which dominate the park with summits at around 2600 meter above sea level. This is one of the last remaining natural habitats of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. There is estimation that there are only 250 individuals remaining in this national park. The Lowland Gorillas live at an altitude between 2100 to 2400 meters above sea-level. You will have a packed lunch from the hotel organized by your tour leader. The lowland Gorilla should not be confused with their relatives the Mountain Gorilla’s. The main difference in appearance is the size and type of hair. The Eastern lowland gorilla or Grauer Gorillas are the largest gorillas in the world! Kahuzi-Biega is the last remaining protected area where these magnificent creatures live and is on the UNESCO world heritage list. During your tracking you will be able to approach the gorillas at short range. You will spend one hour with them and you are able to take pictures but without flash. Besides the lowland Gorilla Kahuzi-Biega is also an important endemic Bird area with an impressive list of 349 species of which 42 are endemic species. If that is not enough, the stunning landscapes will provide unique photo moments. Depending on what time you finish your Gorilla tracking you can go for the optional activity of visiting the Lwiro Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre. Return to your Safari Club for overnight. (B, L)
Friday, Aug 23
Goma to Virunga
The driver will take you to Bukavu harbor where you will board the express boat back to Goma. This relaxing boat ride on Lake Kivu will take you passed small islands and towns on shore. There are drinks and snacks on board. On arrival in Goma you will go on a small city tour to see the old cathedral ruined by the latest eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. You can still see how close the lava came to the city. There is a volcanic observatory in Goma to monitor especially the Nyiragongo volcano. Transfer to Mikeno Lodge for check in and overnight. (B,L,D)
Saturday, Aug 24
Virunga National Park
Today you will stand eye-to-eye with the Mountain Gorilla. Virunga National park is an UNESCO world heritage site and the oldest national park on the continent! It is a diverse protected areas with the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains, erosion valleys, active volcanoes, forest and even savanna areas. This national park has been hidden from the public for a long time due to civil war and unrest in Eastern Congo. At this moment it is fully operational and the perfect place to track the mountain gorillas in the wild. Starting at the headquarters in Rumangabo you will go for a challenging hike in search of these gentle giants. Once you see the mountain gorillas you have one hour to photograph and admire them before you turn back to the headquarters. In the late afternoon you can visit the Senkwekwe orphanage which is located in next to Mikeno lodge. Each of the four gorillas living at the center was victimized by poachers or animal traffickers, and likely witnessed family members being murdered. Please note that it is not possible to interact with the Gorilla’s you can watch them from a distance. Return to your lodge for your overnight. (B, L, D)
Sunday, Aug 25
After an early breakfast drive to the impressive Nyiragongo volcano. You will start hiking at 10 AM in the morning. You will get a backpack from Matoke tours which includes; a lunch package, warm fleece vest and a sleeping bag. You will have a personal cook preparing a hot meal at the summit. The Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active volcanos. Recently erupted in 2002 creating a mass destruction of Goma city where the lava lakes can still be seen and important buildings have been destroyed by it. In the evening you will reach the top with an extraordinary view of the crater filled with sea of lava. After a nice hot meal prepared by the cook, you will sleep in one of the huts on the crater rim. Please note that the huts on the crater rim are basic shelters. (B,L,D)
Monday, Aug 26
Lake Mutanda (Uganda)
In the morning you will enjoy your breakfast with the breathtaking view overlooking the crater before you descend. Around noon you will be back at base camp. Your driver/guide will then take you to Bunagana border with Uganda. Your Ugandan driver will be there to pick you up and take you to the magical Mutanda Lake resort. Enjoy the rest of the day free at leisure. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, Aug 27
Batwa Trail in Mgahinga N.P.
Today you will get up early in the morning for the exciting Batwa trail in Mgahinga N.P. it is about one and half hour drive to the starting point of a 5 hour nature and culture trial. The Batwa are Uganda’s traditionally forest-dwelling pygmy people. The Bantu tried to expel the Batwa people from the area, so they hideout in Garama Cave. The Bantu had no idea there was a hidden cave in the forest and therefore could not find the crafty Batwa. Your guide will explain how the Batwa lived and fought out of this cave. The walk to - and from the cave passes through mountain woodland with plenty of opportunity to enjoy the scenery or watch birds. In the afternoon you return to Mutanda Lake resort for a well-deserved rest. (B, L, D)
Wednesday, Aug 28
Kigali to USA
Today after a relaxed breakfast you shall be transferred by to Kigali where you can explore the city. Also you can visit the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, which opened in 2004, 10 years after the genocide. It’s a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant Children’s Memorial, and a history of the tragedy. Afterwards transfer to the airport for your flight back home. (B)
We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of activities if/as needed