UNIQUE SAFARI DESTINATIONS
Rwanda once evoked images of gorillas and breathtaking mountain views, until being devastated by the attempted genocide of the Tutsi tribe in 1994. These days, much of the country is rebuilt, the economy resurrected, and travellers can move around much more safely. The gorilla experience combined with cultural trips to visit the genocide museums will sear into the memory and soul forever.
Uganda is probably the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its range of plains antelope. It is also one of only four countries whose bird check list tops the 1,000 mark! Yet there is more to the country than wildlife – far more! There is the mighty Nile, punctuated by the spectacular Murchison Falls, and the setting for some of the world’s most thrilling commercial white-water rafting.
There are the snow-capped peaks of the Ruwenzori, which provide a tantalising challenge to dedicated mountaineers, as well as the Virunga Volcanoes and Mount Elgon, both of which offer highly rewarding hiking opportunities through scintillating scenery. More sedately, the myriad islands of Lake Victoria and Bunyonyi are idyllic venues, as are the myriad forest-fringed crater lakes that stud the Rift Valley floor and escarpment around Fort Portal.
Whether you’re a first time safari-goer or a seasoned African traveller, Uganda & Rwanda – with their unique blend of savannah and forest creatures, their rare wealth of mountain and lake habitats – are simply dazzling.
The climate in both countries is classed as modified tropical. They have two dry seasons and two wet seasons. The dry seasons are Dec-Mar and Jun-Aug. Their central location on the East African plateau is a major determining factor in the climate and in reality they have three sub-climatic zones mainly differentiated by altitude and rainfall.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The best time to visit Uganda &/or Rwanda for a safari and gorilla trekking is during the dry seasons between June & September and December to February. Please note, however, that for gorilla trekking you are going into rainforests so expect to get wet! Avoid April & May as these are when the heavy rains tend to fall making it very difficult to get about either on foot through the forests or in vehicles.
Health & Vaccinations
We recommend that you are up to date with all of the usual vaccinations – Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus and Rabies. In addition a course of malaria prophylaxis is required. You will also need a Yellow Fever vaccination. Please contact your local GP for full advice at least 3-4 weeks before travel.
Passport & Visa
British passport holders must be in possession of a full 10-year passport and must have at least 6 months validity beyond the date of the return journey. British passport holders also require a visa for entry into Uganda that can be obtained upon arrival. The cost of this is currently USD $50 per person. A visa is not required for entry into Rwanda for UK passport holders.
Gorilla Permits are expensive and for the high season need to be booked well in advance as they are strictly limited each day. Currently Gorilla Permits for Rwanda are USD $750 per person for each permit, whilst for Uganda they are currently USD $600 per person for each permit. During the low season in Uganda (April, May & November) there is a discount of USD $250 per person off each permit and many lodges in Uganda have discounts for stays of 3 nights or more. Please note that a Gorilla Permit gives you just one Gorilla Trek.
WHERE TO STAY