Rwanda & Uganda

Home of the Gorillas

Considered the ‘Switzerland of Africa’ due to its breathtaking mountainous landscapes, Rwanda is also home to the formidable mountain gorilla. Mountain gorillas can be found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and certain areas of Uganda – Mahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – and a trek to find these formidable primates should feature on everyone’s bucket list we think!


Our ‘not to be missed’ recommendations for your holiday

Gorilla Trekking

Trekking Mountain Gorillas through the dense African forests is a magical experience. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda makes an excellent add-on to a Tanzanian or Kenyan safari, as the brief trek is easy to fit into a full itinerary. A gorilla visit can entail anything from an hour to several hours trekking through the forest, led by experienced trackers, ending with one full hour observing these incredible animals.

The price for Uganda’s trekking permits are substantially lower ($600pp) compared with its neighbour Rwanda ($1500pp), making this a more affordable option.

Volcanoes, Rwanda

Situated in northwestern Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is one of the country’s most popular destinations. The rainforests of the 5 Virunga Volcanoes are the last refuge of the Mountain Gorilla. The lush slopes of the volcanoes provide an appropriately dramatic natural setting for what is perhaps the most poignant and thrilling wildlife experience to be had anywhere. Famous for the research base of Dian Fossey, the late American primatologist,  and, subsequently, as the setting for the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, the park continues to uphold its reputation as a destination for unrivaled wildlife encounters.

Beyond gorillas, the park also offers some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and diverse vegetation.

Breathtaking scenery in the ‘Parcs des Volcans’.

Bwindi Forest, Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is an ancient, deep forest rising up along the south western border of Uganda. Remarkably this fairly small area is home to half the world’s remaining population of critically endangered Mountain Gorilla. Out of these, several families have become habituated to humans, allowing small groups of people to track them and spend an hour in their company.

The gorillas remain wild and the interaction takes place under the careful eyes of highly trained trackers. 

Bwindi: climbing up along the slopes of a mountain range, the park consists of a series of narrow, steep valleys, deep green and cloaked in mist.


A selection of unforgettable places to visit

Where to stay in Rwanda & Uganda

Some of our preferred camps & lodges

Mount Gahinga Lodge

Volcanoes, Uganda

Hidden in Uganda’s southern corner, just across the border from Rwanda, nestled at the base of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mount Gahinga is a rustic, charming lodge. Its location forms the perfect base from where to trek Mountain Gorilla, the rare golden monkey, climb a volcano or wander through local villages and learn more about the Batwa pygmies’ culture.

The six stone bandas – all individually named after each of the Virunga Volcanoes – with papyrus roofs and en-suite shower reflect the magic of the aesthetic traditions of the Bufimbira people, with their distinct colours.

Bisate Lodge

Volcanoes, Rwanda

With dramatic views of the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes, Bisate Lodge is located adjacent to Volcanoes National Park. The lodge is situated within easy driving distance of the park’s entrance, from where gorilla treks depart daily. Encountering one of the local gorilla groups is an absolute unique experience. The location provides an ideal base for your gorilla trekking. Although Bisate is all about Mountain Gorilla trekking, other activities include guided nature walks, hikes to the nearby lakes and caves, visits to local neighbourhoods and birding; of the 178 bird species in the area, at least 13 are endemic to the Virunga area.

Bisate Lodge is Rwanda’s first genuinely luxurious and eco-sensitive safari camp. The contemporary and welcoming design of the six elegant en-suite forest villas, offers a personal, intimate atmosphere. It’s dedicated to sustainable conservation, including a tree-planting and reforestation programme and opportunity to visit the Karisoke Research Centre. Established in 1967 by Dian Fossey, this was the location for her famous 18-year study of the Mountain Gorilla. 

The entrance at Heaven Boutique Hotel
Located in down-town Kigali
The main dining area
A nice, comfortable and affordable option

Heaven Boutique Hotel

Kigali, Rwanda

Heaven Boutique Hotel is located on a peaceful, residential road close to downtown Kigali. This mid-range hotel offers a salt water swimming pool, a spa, tropical gardens, and expansive views of Kigali.

Close to the hotel you can find the Heaven restaurant, where you can enjoy delicious African and international fusion cuisine. A nice, comfortable place from where to start (or end) your Rwandan trip. For a more high-end experience Heaven’s sister hotel The Retreat is a good alternative.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Bwindi, Uganda

Situated over 2,000 metres above sea level, Uganda’s highest lodge is situated in Nkuringo, bordering the south western corner of the Bwindi National Park. The views at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge are outstanding with a sweeping panoramic view of the magnificent Virunga Volcanoes all the way to the Great Rift Valley.

With only 7 cottages – built of local volcanic stone – this small, remote lodge offers a perfect starting point for tracking gorillas. The lodge has an easy access to start your trek, as it’s only a short walk from the lodge to the Nkuringo trailhead to start your primate experience!

While tracking gorillas is the number one reason to stay here, why not immerse yourself in the relaxed vibe, partake in community activities, enjoy the many bird species that call the area home or have a relaxing massage and just enjoy the spectacular setting. Sitting up on a ridge, above the clouds, looking across to the impressive Virunga Volcanoes, and experiencethe sight of the volcanoes, glowing red through the night sky is just heart-warming!

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Volcanoes, Rwanda

The lodge is situated on the edge of the Parc National des Volcans in North Western Rwanda, at an altitude of over 8,000 ft (over 2,300 m). Designed and built by Governors’ Camp, who lease the lodge from SACOLA (community trust), they finance its socio-economic development and conservation objectives in the area, which include water projects, education, health and informal industries.

It therefore is an exciting combination of a top quality lodge and a power for driving socio-economic development and conservation in the area. The perfect base from which to explore this fascinating corner of Africa. Visits to the bustling nearby market town of Ruhengeri, beautiful lakes, the genocide memorials or the community and conservation projects are designed for you to take maximum advantage of this unique area, its wildlife and culture.

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