Uganda & Rwanda

Both of these countries are known for their gorilla populations.  For those wanting an up close encounter with these gentle giants, a trip to one (or both) of these countries is a must.  It is a bucket list trip for many and for good reason.  


Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda’s stunning scenery and warm, friendly people offer unique experiences. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is home to about one third of the world’s mountain gorilla population.  It is the perfect destination for those wanting to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, but it also offers an opportunity to learn from the mistakes from their their difficult past when genocide occurred in 1994. 

Some of the the top activities in Rwanda include:

  • Track the gorillas through Volcanoes National Park
  • See the golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park
  • Discover history at the Kigali Genocide Memorial
  • Take a boat ride on Lake Kivu
  • Hike Mount Kigali
  • Experience bird watching in Nyungwe National Park
  • Take in the arts at Kigali’ s Art Galleries
  • Hike to Dian Fossey ‘ s Grave
  • Visit the Ellen DeGeneres Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Campus
  • Enjoy a safari in Akagera National Park

I think it is hard to understand how close you can get to the gorillas in Rwanda, so I am using the photos and travel industry colleague Vanessa (who my family sailed with last summer along the Rhine) to illustrate …

Vanessa took these photos with her phone which blows my mind!

The top destinations in Rwanda include:

  • Volcanoes National Park
  • Akagera National Park
  • Nyungwe National Park
  • Lake Kivu
  • Kigali

The landscape in Rwanda is stunning and our favorite resorts capitalize on these views.  This is Vanessa at Singita Kataza House on the edge of Volcanoes National Park (and yes, it is indeed a Virtuoso affiliated property!)

This eight-suite lodge and its exclusive-use Kataza House sit right at the park’s border – the closest visitors can stay to the gentle giants. Guests can join cloud forest treks and local village tours, then take a dip in a private plunge pool, get an en suite massage, and relax by the indoor fireplace or outdoor firepit.
Of course, there are many more stunning properties to choose from and we match you to the perfect property for your travel style!  Rwanda can be visited year round, but dry season in December through February and June through September are the best times to visit, particularly for gorilla trekking!


Uganda is known for pristine forest landscape and mountain gorilla population, as well as a paradise for bird watchers, with over 1,000 bird species.

Uganda is ideal for clients who want to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, enjoy diverse culture and wildlife, like to be active, and enjoy hiking.  Some of the top activities in Uganda include:

  • Go Mountain Gorilla Trekking
  • See the tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Track the lost chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge
  • Enjoy a boat safari on the Kazinga Channel
  • Visit the White Rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • See the Golden Monkeys
  • Enjoy a safari in Murchison Falls
  • Be in two places at once at the Equator


The top destinations in Uganda include:

  • Entebbe
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Kibale Forest NationalPark 
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Murchison Falls National Park
  • Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  • Lake Mburo National Park
  • Kampala

It is always a good time to visit Uganda but January and February and June – September are the best times to visit for gorilla trekking.

Zimbabwe is generally at its best in May to October when temperatures are mild and the weather is dry. April and May provide the most dramatic views of Victoria Falls, but August to December are best for white-water rafting at the falls.  Zimbabwe is full of adventures for thrill seekers which does not include this girl.  I’ll opt for gazing while in Africa …