Page 1

FREE

POCKET

GUIDE

MAGICAL MOUNTAINS of Rwanda and Uganda

Now including Kampala, Kigali & Nabugabo

1


Phrase book Rukiga (Kabale in Uganda)

English

Kinyarwanda/Rufumbira

Ni gaahe/Agandi Ndi gye/Nimarungi Oraire gye? Osiibire gye? Osiibigye Oraaregye Ogumeho Yebare (munonga) Veego lngaaha Kare Sebo Nyabo Munywani/Mugyenzi

How are you? I’m fine How was your night? How’s your day been? Good day Good night Goodbye Thank you (very much) Yes No OK Sir Madam Friend

Umezute/Uraho? Ndaho/Meze neza/Yegoo Waraye/Waramutseho neza? Wiriwe/Wiriweho? Umusimwiza Urare neza/Uramuke Ngaho/Urabeho Wakoze/Urakoze (cyane) Yeego/Yee Oya Kare/Nibyo Mutware Mubyeyi/Mucyara Nshuti/Mugenzi

10

This Pocket Guide is part of the Gorilla Highlands initiative for economic and cultural transformation through branding and promotion, multimedia products and cultural tourism. © Edirisa, July 2017 info@edirisa.org +256 752 558 222 2

contents regional maps 4-6 people 8 mammals 10 birds 11 capital cities 12 gorilla national parks 18 savanna national parks 22 lakes 26 towns 33 gorilla highlands trails 40 classifieds 44

25

26

40


Agandi

Umezute?

A

re you coming to Rwanda or Uganda for mountain gorillas? You won’t be disappointed! However, in the stunning region shared by two countries, there is so much more to choose from…

Our goals are to brand this region as the Gorilla Highlands, make it a destination everybody’s mind, give visitors reasons to spend more time, and assure that their stay benefits local people.

Who are we? We are an informal association of people who work in tourism, economic development, media and other fields. We hope you join our network (www.gorillahighlands.com/network) or become our champion (www.gorillahighlands.com/champions) abroad. The image on the cover highlights our partnership and sharing with the Batwa “Pygmies”; a campfire and a video presentation above Echuya Forest Reserve (p.38).

KEY Places in Rwanda Places in Uganda

3


About Our Region The Gorilla Highlands are defined by towering dormant volcanoes 4 and a mysterious rainforest 6 with many pretty lakes thrown in as a bonus. Lake Bunyonyi 1 boasts the highest number of islands but Lakes Burera 3 and Mutanda 5 offer the most amazing volcano backdrop. Birders will love the endemic species in Echuya Forest’s mix of woods and bamboo 2, explorers of culture will marvel at how unmarried pregnant girls were punished at Kisiizi Falls 7 and adventurous souls can submerge themselves into the ponds of Kitagata Hotsprings 9. For a complete travel package add the savannah of Queen Elizabeth NP 8 and Akagera NP 10 to the wonders of our highlands, or lay down on the sand beaches of Lake Kivu 11. Your best entry point into the region is Rwanda’s capital Kigali 12. 4


(see p.12):

(see p.16):

12

The orange line shows a possible itinerary. Apply online for the East African Tourist visa that covers Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya and costs USD 100 (it gives you a single entry into East Africa but multiple entries into the countries within). Ugandan visas cost USD 50, Rwandan visas USD 30 (both single-entry). 5


Kihihi For full info on Gorilla road closed HighlandsRukungiri Trails see Rwerere pages 4-5 Kambuga Kebisoni Kanyantorogo

Queen

Elizabeth NP

Congo

Kanungu

Butogota

Buhoma Nteko

Mbarara Kampala

Rutenga Ruhija

Bwindi Impenetrable NP

Kisiizi

Mafuga Forest (planted)

Nkuringo Ndego Rushaga Rubuguri

Ikumba Karukara

Lake Mutanda Lake Mulehe Kateretere

Muko

Bubale

Karengere

Kabale

Kachwekano

Mutolere Bunagana

Kisoro

Goma

Echuya Forest

Cyanika

Mgahinga NP

Lake Burera

Kinigi

Musanze Gisenyi 6

Lake Ruhondo Kigali

5 mi 10 km

Bufundi

Lake Kayumbu

Rwanda

Volcanoes NP

Uganda

Lake Bunyonyi

Mbarara Kampala

Butanda Rubaya Katuna Kigali 5 mile 10 km


The Gorilla Highlands Trails routes - see p. 40 for more. Prices valid till Dec 2017. Highlighted title amounts refer to five participants or more, on a per person basis. Thriving Countryside | $90 x x x xx

x x x x $105 | x x x $125 | x x $165 | x $250 length: 1 day; difficulty: 4 start: Cyanika/Kinigi Get a taste of Rwanda’s rural development while you trek along the Virunga volcanoes and admire Lake Burera views

Valley of No Living | $190 x x x x x

xxxx

$230 |

xxx

$290 | x x $390 | x $550

length: 2 days; difficulty: 2 start: Bunyonyi/Rushaga (Bwindi) Walk where no tourists walk and spend a night camping at a model mountain health centre Three Upland Lakes | $340 x x x x x

xxxx

$390 | x x x $470 | x x $610 | x $980 length: 3 days; difficulty: 3

start: Bunyonyi/Rushaga (Bwindi) Led by a Batwa “Pygmy” leader, cross timeless Echuya Forest and sleep at incredible lakes Volcano Quest | $250 x x x x x

x x x x $290 | x x x

$360 | x x $470 | x $810

length: 3 days; difficulty: 3 start: Bunyonyi/Mgahinga Substitute awe-inspiring trekking at the base of volcanoes for one of the Three Upland Lakes Parks Reunited | $250 x x x x x

x x x x $290 | x x x

$360 | x x $470 | x $810

length: 3 days; difficulty: 3 start: Mgahinga/Bwindi Canoe through the raw beauty of Lake Mutanda as you connect two grand national parks Rainforest Ramble | $420 x x x xx

x x x x $480 | x x x $590 | x x $770 | x $1270 length: 5 days; difficulty: 4

start: Bunyonyi/Buhoma (Bwindi) Upgrade your Three Upland Lakes trek with canoeing across Lake Mutanda and traversing Bwindi

Ultimate Hike | $550 x x x xx x x x x $630 | x x x $770 | x x $990 | x

$1670

length: 7 days; difficulty: 5 start: Bunyonyi/Buhoma (Bwindi) Are you strong enough to combine Volcano Quest, a day in Mgahinga, and Parks Reunited?

7


8


Cult ures

B

atwa “Pygmies” are one of the oldest peoples in Africa. They roamed the forests looking for fruits and honey, and hunted with bows and trained dogs. As the woods were cut down by the Bantu, Batwa numbers dwindled. In 1992 they were evicted from Uganda’s parks with no compensation. Recently the authorities have shown more understanding and some progress has been made. Please be cautious when offered to “see the Pygmies” and avoid exploitation of the Batwa. There are three recommended activities that resemble each other and show their history in the forest, involving costumes and drama: Batwa Experience at Buhoma, Buniga Forest Walk at Nkuringo and the Batwa Trail in Mgahinga. A different approach is offered through Batwa Today in Echuya Forest (p. 38). gorillahighlands.com/batwa The Bantus—the people of Rwanda, the Bakiga of Kabale and the Bafumbira of Kisoro—are primarily mixed crop and livestock farmers. They have similar origins but are divided by language (Kinyarwanda/Rufumbira and Rukiga). Their traditional settlement was a compound with separate houses for wives and their children; each wife had her own livestock and fields. Nowadays high population density and land fragmentation has led to heavy migrations.

9


Mammals M

ountain gorillas evolved with the rise of the volcanoes half a million years ago, adapting to the terrain by becoming larger than lowland gorillas and with thicker fur. They are herbivores who sometimes eat ants and termites. Only 880 mountain gorillas exist in the world but the number is increasing. They can be visited in three national parks: Volcanoes, Bwindi and Mgahinga. Golden monkeys who share the same environment are also endangered but much less researched. They spend much of their time in the bamboo zone eating bamboo shoots. Mgahinga NP and Volcanoes NP are the places to see them. Also present in the area are: elephants, buffalos, chimps, baboons, blue and redtail monkeys, zorillas (skunk-like creatures), otters and many other animals.

gorillahighlands.com/wildlife

10


O

Birds

n Planet Earth there are few destinations with over 600 bird species: Queen Elizabeth NP is one of them. Together with Akagera’s 525 species, Bwindi’s list of 350 species and 295 different birds recorded in Volcanoes NP, it makes the Gorilla Highlands region among the richest birding areas in the world. Bwindi with 24 Albertine Rift Endemics and Mgahinga NP with 13 are the most accessible sites for endemics such as Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Turaco and the highly localised African Green Broadbill. Volcanoes NP is one of the best sites to see Ladgen’s Bush-Shrike, together with 16 more endemics. Akagera has many birds reaching their northern limit here, such as Arnott’s Chat, Purple-crested Turaco and the Sousa’s Shike. Also worthy of special mention is the Shoebill, which should be searched for in Queen Elizabeth and Akagera National Parks.

11


Capit al Cities

12


KIGALI

Population 800,000; elevation 1,567 m/ 5,141 ft

K

igali is a sparklingly-clean and highly organised city that few international visitors expect to find in the centre of the African continent. Smooth tarmac with countdown traffic lights connects brand-new buildings here, like the Kigali Convention Centre in the focus of this spread. Kigali International Airport is the aviation hub for the Gorilla Highlands region, both on the Rwandan and the Ugandan side. The must-see attraction is the beautiful memorial museum that bears witness to the genocide against the Tutsis that shook the country in 1994. While it also features similar crimes against humanity elsewhere in the world, its primary message is the power of Rwanda’s reconciliation, resilience and potential. www.gorillahighlands.com/kigali

13


KN15

12-13: map of Kigali

Genocide Memorial

Nyabugogo, Musanze, Uganda KN

Police HQ KN 7

7

K

KN8

US Embassy

KACYIRU

Immigrati

KN 1

7 KG

KG 5

KG 690

Kigali City Tower, Cinema

N2

KN

KN 3

KN5

6

City Market

KN

Mille Collines Ubumwe Grande Hotel KN 16 KN 67 French Embassy KN German Embassy Kiyovu

Discover Rwanda

14

KN 3

Preet Fast Food

6

NYARUGENGE KN 2

KN 4

Beligian Embassy

Chinese Embassy

Kigali Marriott Hotel Russian Embassy

Papyrus

Canadian Embassy

Mamba Cl KN

KIMIHURURA

3

Kigali Serena Hotel

KN

Camp Kigali University

KN

18

KG 28

NYAMIRAMBO

KN

20

KN

14

3


K-Club

KN15

KN15

GOLF COURSE

KG9

KG13

KIBAGABAGA KG10

ion

KG16

KG9

KG 216

Green Hills Academy

UNICEF KG13

MTN Centre KG 5

51

NYARUTARAMA KG16

7 KG

KG5

KG8

Kigali Centenary Park KG 4 Kigali Heights

lub

KG16

Rz MANNA

KG 5

27

N5

Meze Fresh

Radisson Blu

KN5

Kigali Convention Centre

RDB

KG17

KG8

Amahoro Stadium KG11

KG8

KG17

REMERA

KG11

Chez Lando

KG 6

KN5

KG 652

KN

KG 637 KG

KN 3

Kigali Airport

3

65

6

16

KN

KN16

5mi 10km

15


Kampala Population 1,500,000; elevation 1,190 m/ 3,900 ft

T

he city also known as “crazy crazy” Kampala is the party capital of East Africa. A bustling urban sprawl touching Lake Victoria with epic traffic jams and mushrooming shopping malls, Kampala is all the best and the worst an African city can offer. But not so far from the organised chaos of the Old Taxi Park, an actual attraction, there is serenity in Kampala’s green areas and religious sites. The only Baha’i temple in Africa, the Gaddafi National Mosque and the Makerere University campus are three places you should definitely consider visiting. Uganda’s international airport lies 40km/26mi from Kampala, next to Entebbe. www.gorillahighlands.com/kampala

16


From Cities to Gorilla Parks km

miles

hours by car

(mini)bus/truck departure

from Kampala to:

price  USh

Kabale

414

257

7

throughout the day

25,000

Kisoro

494

307

9

throughout the day

30,000

Buhoma (via Rukungiri)

472

293

10

morning and night

45,000

Mweya (Queen Elizabeth NP)

442

275

8

throughout the day

40,000 to Katunguru

from Kigali to:

Rwf

Akagera

110

69

2.5

throughout the day

/

Musanze

100

62

2.5

throughout the day

1,750

Gisenyi

158

98

3.5

throughout the day

3,000

Kabale

106

66

2.5

throughout the day

3,000

Kisoro

135

84

3.5

border open till 6pm

2,750

from Kabale to:

USh 59

5

Tue, Fri; daily (minus Sun) to Kanyantorogo

15-20,000

Buhoma (via Kanungu) 112

70

5

Tue, Sat

15-20,000

Ruhija

49

30

2

Mon-Fri

9-13,000

Rushaga

73

45

2.5

Tue, Sat

10-20,000

Nkuringo

91

57

3

Tue, Sat

12-20,000

Buhoma (via Ruhija)

95

from Kisoro to:

USh

Rushaga

35

22

1.5

Mon, Thu

5,000

Rubuguri

27

17

1.5

Mon, Thu, Fri

5,000

Nkuringo

33

20

2

Mon, Thu

6,000

from Mweya (Queen Elizabeth NP) to:

USh

Ishasha

96

60

3

/

/

Buhoma

160

99

4.5

/

/

Ruhija

206

128

6.5

/

/

www.gorillahighlands.com/transport

17


Gorilla National Parks

18


Bwindi

Impenetrable National Park

he steep valleys and high ridges of Africa’s oldest rainforest hide T much more than just gorillas. Some of the highlights of different Bwindi gates: • Buhoma: most accessible gorillas, nature walk to three waterfalls, Batwa Experience (see p.8), tour of the groundbreaking Bwindi Community Hospital • Nkuringo: spectacular views of the Virunga volcanoes, Buniga Forest Walk (see p.8) • Ruhija: nature walk to the bamboo zone or the big swamp that gave Bwindi its name, best birding • Rushaga: largest number of habituated gorilla groups, the longer gorilla habituation experience available, occasional visits of elephants

RUSHAGA NAME

YEAR

Busingye

2011

Bweeza

2011

NAME

YEAR

Kahungye

2011

Mukiza

2017

NAME

YEAR

Mishaya

2010

Oruzogo

2011

Rushegura

2002

NAME

YEAR

Nshongi

2009

Bitukura

2008

Habinyanja

1998

Bushaho

2017

Bikingi

on going

Kyaguriro

research

Mubare

1993

Nkuringo

2004

RUHIJA BUHOMA NKURINGO

When were Bwindi gorilla groups habituated? www.gorillahighlands.com/nationalparks

19


Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

T

he smallest, but possibly greatest, of Uganda’s national parks boasts three Virunga volcanoes: Muhavura (4,127m/13,500ft) with a lake at the top, Mount Gahinga (3,474m/11,400ft) with a swamp-filled crater, and Sabinyo (3,669m/12,000ft) where three countries meet. Mountain gorilla tracking is, due to less dense vegetation, usually better for photography here than in Bwindi. Other activities: •

tracking of endangered golden monkeys

the Batwa Trail

hiking into Sabinyo Gorge, to all volcanoes and more

20


Volcanoes National Park

V

olcanoes National Park shares three volcanoes with Mgahinga and adds two more: Karisimbi (4,507m/14,787ft) and Bisoke (3,711m/12,175ft).

While lying on mountain slopes like Mgahinga, Volcanoes National Park is comparable to Bwindi in terms of habituated gorillas: there are 10 gorilla groups to visit. However, they come with a much higher price tag ($600 for gorilla tracking in Uganda, $1500 in Rwanda). Additional things to do: •

golden monkey tracking

climbing Karisimbi (2 days),Gahinga and Muhavura (can be combined into 2 days) or Bisoke

trekking to the former Karisoke Research Centre to visit the grave of Dian Fossey, the famous researcher who popularised mountain gorilla tracking and died as a conservation martyr

21


Savannah National Parks

22


Queen Elizabeth NP

T

his park is a wonderful addition to a Gorilla Highlands holiday, popular due to abundant wildlife thriving in its diverse ecosystem of sprawling savanna, humid forests and sparkling lakes. Rare tree-climbing lions live in the Ishasha sector, the part closest to our region, and there are many other species: antelopes, buffalos, crocodiles, elephants, hippos, leopards, primates and more. Some of the attractions: • Kazinga Channel launch trip with plentiful birds and other animals visible from the boat • chimp tracking in Kyambura Gorge • equator circles at the northern tip of the park 23


Akagera National Park

T

he lake environment of Akagera National Park in northeastern Rwanda is magnificent and its campsites with electric fences are a unicum in central Africa.

The park’s specials in terms of fauna are the zebra, the giraffe and the rare roan antelope. Lions were reintroduced in 2015 and had their first offspring in 2016, while black rhinos returned in 2017 (the photo shows a horn shortened to prevent injury in transit). There are also elephants, leopards, hippos, buffaloes, impalas and many other species present, all on the rise under the management of an international nonprofit African Parks. Akagera’s former reputation for “vegetarian safaris” is a matter of the past and the park can surprise you in a most positive way. We highly recommend adding Akagera to your wider region circuit by travelling through the park (entering and exiting through different gates). An overnight in Ntungamo (p.53) can help you conveniently connect Akagera to Queen Elizabeth National Park. 24


Gorilla Highlan ds

T

his is Allan Mukasa of Buhoma Lodge in Bwindi. He won at Silverchef 2017, the central event of the Gorilla Highlands initiative. It’s an annual regional cooking competition, introduced to foster cooperation and camaraderie and

promote our region across the world — the essence of our idea. www.gorillahighlands.com/silverchef


Lakes

26

www.gorillahighlands.com/lakebunyonyi


Lake Bunyonyi

L

ake Bunyonyi was formed 10,000 years ago when a river was dammed by lava. This “place of many little birds” is one of the safest lakes in Africa and has a great number of islands: 29. Some of their histories: • Akampene (Punishment Island): Until the 1940s, unmarried pregnant women were left here to starve to death or drown trying to swim to the shore; they were often saved by poor men or slaves who could not afford the regular bride price. • Bwama: In 1914 it was an anti-colonial rebel base of a famous leader, Katuregye. In 1921, Dr. Leonard Sharp, a missionary, founded a leprosy hospital here. After antileprosy drugs were introduced in the 1980s, it became a boarding secondary school. • Njuyeera (Sharp’s Island): Dr. Sharp’s family lived on this island when he was not on duty in Kabale Hospital and converted it into a gorgeous botanical garden with a tennis court, boat house, guest cottage and windmill.

27


Bucuranuka Bucuranuka UpsideUpside Down Island Down Island

Habukomi Island

Birdnest

overnight Tom’s Homestay Kifuka Munanira

BirdNest Resort Overland Resort

Edirisa Bufuka

Africa Explorer

Kyahugye Bushara Bushara Akampene Akampene

Bugombe Island Bugombe Island

Bwama

Sharp’s Island Ha’buharo Island Ha’buharo Island

Lost Paradise Beach Bwama Island Itambira with Island Sharp’s Island Byoona Amagara Ediris Itambira

Karembe Hill Karembe (2487 m // 8130ft) 8130 ft) (2487m

overnight Mama Bena’s place Kyevu

28

Kyabahinga Primary School Nature’s Prime Island

Kyevu

1 mile 2 km


Kabale

Swamp BirdNest Resort

Kalebas Byoona Amagara landing Rutindo Market, landing Crater Bay Cottages Gorilla Packers Bunyonyi Overland Bugombe Gateway h Arcadia Bunyonyi Safaris sa Bufuka Resort Primary School Feza Cottage

Touch of Bunyonyi $15 x x x xx x x xx $20 | x x x $25 | x x $35 | x $55

length: 2 hours; difficulty: 1 Slide in a dugout canoe over the lake surface to visit its lushest island Bushara

Culture on the Crest $40 x x x xx xxxx $50 | xxx $60 | xx$80 | x $140 length: half a day; difficulty: 2 Get friendly with a traditional healer and a craftmaker as you admire superb views

Islands of Miracles $90 x x x xx xxxx $105 | xxx$125 | xx$165 | x$250 length: 1day; difficulty: 2 Add Bunyonyi’s most famous islands to the program of Culture on the Crest

Mama Bena’s Bonus $180 x x x xx xxxx $200 | xxx$250 | xx$320 | x$520 length: 2 days; difficulty: 3 Get floored by Bakiga hospitality as you paddle and hike around the lake

Mother of All Treks $230 xxxxx xxxx $270 | xxx$320 |xx$410 | x $690 length: 3 days; difficulty: 3 Add a tented island homestay and a craftmaker session to Mama’s Bena’s Bonus

1.6 km 1 km

Bunyonyi in numbers: size: 25 km (15 mi) x 7 km (4 mi) area: 61 km2 (24 mi2) altitude: 1,950 m (6,400 ft) depth: 44 m (144 ft) number of islands: 29 max. surface temp.: 25 ºC (77 ºF) www.gorillahighlands.com/trails

29


Crater lakes

T

o swim in the highest crater lake of the Gorilla Highlands region, you will have to climb Mt Muhavura, while the other six are more easily accessible.

On the Rwandan side, Lakes Burera and Ruhondo are separated only by a narrow band of land crated by lava that erupted from the Virungas. There is a primary school on the biggest of Burera’s six islands, happily welcoming visitors. One of Lake Mutanda’s six significant islands, Kyangushu, used to be a burial site to avoid bringing bad luck to the mainland - bones remain visible from the lake surface. Lake Murehe nearby is as long as Mutanda is wide, with two islands and many more fish. The twin lakes of Chahafi and Kayumbu to the southeast have swamps with many bird species recorded and sport fishing opportunities. During World War I the Germans fought the Anglo-Belgian coalition at Lake Chahafi; trenches can still be seen.

30


Lake Nabugabo

T

he distance between the Gorilla Highlands region and Kampala is big enough that it is worth considering a sleepover on the way. Lake Nabugabo east of Masaka delights with its laidback atmosphere and safe swimming; there might be no better family holiday destination around. Merely 4 km (2.5 mi) of sand separates Lake Nabugabo from Lake Victoria. 5,000 years ago they were still the same lake before wind created sand dunes. Only 8.2km (5.1 mi) long and 5 km (3.1 mi) wide, Nabugabo offers panoramic views of this barrier. Four lodges cater for travellers, from shoestring to midrange. www.gorillahighlands.com/nabugabo

31


LAKE KIVU

32


O

nly lack of salt in the water may hint that Kivu is a lake; the sandy beaches, tropical vegetation and relaxed vibe are all hinting it could be a sea. Safe for swimming and up to 480m/1,575ft deep, Lake Kivu is unusual for its methane concentrations that are actually used for power generation. A major beneficiary of this energy is Bralirwa, the only Rwandan brewery. Gisenyi town on its shore abounds in good hotels of all price categories while the nearby Rubona peninsula and its stylish colourful lodges should not be missed. The Congo Nile Trail starts here and can take you 227 km/141 miles down the Rwandan shores of Lake Kivu. A hike to Kibuye, a major town on the way, would take about four days.

33


Musanze

34


Fatima Hotel

If you are visiting Volcanoes National Park and prefer urban environments, Musanze (also known as Ruhengeri) is your choice. A tidy town surrounded by volcanoes, it offers accommodation solutions for all budgets, good eating, and international banks. Kinigi village (northwest of the town, 12km/7.5mi) is where the park HQ are, and many more lodges. 35


Kisoro

K

isoro, the region’s prettiest town, is in an idyllic setting below the volcanoes. It hosts colourful cross-border markets on Mondays and Thursdays and has a strong beekeeping community. It is a handy base for adventures in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and has an airport with regular internal flights.

Lake Mutanda Golden Virunga Hotel Monkey Sawasawa Guest House UWA office Bunagana, Coffee Pot, Congo crafts Police

Coffee Tours

k

Hospital

a rd.

Market Gateway buses Shared vehicles to Kabale Kindly gas station Graceland Centenary Bank Buses

Internet Post Office Horizon buses Mucha Shared Bistro vehicles and Tourist Guesthouse Hotel Stanbic Kisoro

Travellers Rest oro

kis

ika an -cy

36

DFCU Bank kabale-kisoro rd.

agan

-bun isoro

Imperial Supermarket

Kabale Rwanda

rd


Rugarama Hospital kisoro Highland Hotel r

Green Hills Hotel

d

Kisoro, Lake Bunyonyi Trucks by car to Kisoro

nyer ere a ve.

Banks

e. av re

ere ny

Referral Hospital

Kabale Sports Club Golf Course

Royal Supermarket District Headquarters

um

di

sta

rd

Municipal Office Bank of Uganda Bank of Baroda Barclays Bank MTN

d le r ba ka

Queen’s Hotel

Ngoma Pub

Post Office

t. es rag ga

Kabale Media Centre (magazines)

rd za mu hu mu

Kwanzi & Bakiga museum Kabale Backpackers

Cash&Carry

Golf Side Inn

Match&Mix Nightclub

Hot Loaf, Little Ritz

Horizon Buses

Cepha’s Inn

Grace Villa

Stadium

Victoria Guest House

a bw

sh

ek

wi

re

Drugstores

1km

Skyline Hotels Hotel Equity Bank

Taxi Park Visitours Hotel

katuna rd

Main Market 1500ft

Mbarara Kampala

bu

Buses

White Horse Inn

Capricon Hotel

rd ya

os nk

Police

Jopfan Country Hotel

Gateway Buses Kalita Buses (Fort Portal) 2nd hand clothes market Kigali, Rwanda

Kabale

T

he major town of the Gorilla Highlands provides all you may expect, including an impressive selection of banks, a challenging 9-hole golf course and the Bakiga Museum, an amazing recreation of a traditional home with unique tools and inventions

37


Echuya Forest with Batwa Today

L

ocated between Kabale and Kisoro, Echuya Forest Reserve is a montane rainforest, the third remaining part of the extensive ancient woods that covered most of the region. A remarkable birding destination, it is also home to blue monkeys, colobus monkeys and a group of baboons you might run into on the tarmac. On a hill overlooking the forest and Lake Bunyonyi on the other side lives the Batwa “Pygmy” community of Rwamahano. They prepare Batwa Today (p. 44), an activity that starts with a nature walk in Echuya and ends with a community visit that is unlike anything else offered in the Gorilla Highlands. It emphasises discussion between the Batwa and their guests. A special kids’ version of the walk is available, with children “hunting” using traditional Batwa bows and cardboard targets. www.gorillahighlands.com/echuyaforest

38


Kisiizi falls

T

his pretty waterfall has exceptionally gory history: pregnant unmarried girls used to be thrown over it as a punishment (see p. 27 for a similar story from Lake Bunyonyi). Oral history says that the practice stopped after one of the victims pulled her father and brother down the cliff. An impressive monument and a visitor centre have been erected. A suspension bridge takes travellers closer to the waterfall, and a 3-stage zip line ride entertains them. A couple of guesthouses are available. The falls and the tourism proceeds power astonishing work by a nearby rural hospital: an extensive health insurance scheme, a rehab unit for children with cerebral palsy, a school of nursing and more. www.gorillahighlands.com/kisiizi

39


40


Trails

The Gorilla Highlands Trails are a prime example of prosperity that comes from work that carries dignity, far away from the usual tourism loop. This system of guided trips, started in 2005, connects the biggest regional attractions and allows visitors to meet and stay with locals who proudly share their rich cultures. Time and again, guests who flew to the region to see wildlife will go home talking about the local people and interactions that shaped their journeys. Our menu of long-distance treks is presented on pages 6-7 and Lake Bunyonyi options on pages 28-29. But let us look at one of the trips in more detail overleaf...

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Three Upland Lakes Our Most Popular Trek, Three Upland Lakes, was originally designed for British students volunteering with East African Playgrounds but is now available to everyone. It means four days of hiking (see p.7 for the route), two protected forests, three fantastic lakes, many steep hills and countless breathtaking views. Day 1: Easiest day. Canoe to Bunyonyi’s Kyabahinga peninsula, visit a nursery school and taste obushera at a bar. Learn about medicinal plants from a traditional healer, and try local crafts and cuisine at Mrs Anna’s home. Paddle to Habukomi Island for Tom’s Homestay (p.51). Day 2: Toughest day. Get up at 6am with the goal of reaching Lake Kayumbu on the other side of Echuya Forest before the night falls. The swamp in the middle of the forest demands rubber boots (provided); a picnic lunch, sweet snacks and amazing vistas keep you going. Day 3: Wake up in a tent on the lake shore, go for a refreshing swim. Hike or take a car to Kisoro. Eat the tasty Coffee Pot lunch (p.50). Walk to Lake Mutanda, enjoy a Coffee Tour (p.50) and sleep at Mutanda Island Lodge, a heavenly campsite. Day 4: Cross the lake by motorboat. After a lovely meal at Chameleon Hill Lodge continue to Nshongi Camp (p.54) in Rushaga, from where you will track your most hairy relatives, gorillas, the next morning!

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Total

walking

boating

3km/2mi

2km/1mi

18km/11mi 28km/17mi 17km/11mi 66km/41mi

3km/2mi 3km/2mi 8km/5mi

peak altitude 2100m/6890ft 2497m/8192ft 1982m/6502ft 2025m/6643ft

16km/10mi

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Classifieds Akagera NP (p. 24) Ruzizi Tented Lodge & Karenge Bush Camp Prices start from USD 150 pppn sharing, full board. Karenge is seasonal, open from June through August & December through February. Ad on p.45

Buhoma, Bwindi (p. 19) Buhoma Lodge

Bwindi Lodge Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Lodge offers a truly unique experience. Separated by nothing more than an idyllic stream, the gorillas themselves are frequent visitors to the finest lodge in Bwindi! Resident room rates USD 150 ppn. Ad on p.49

Gorilla Friends Lodge

Buhoma Lodge: Situated at Buhoma, in the central sector of Bwindi National Park from where gorilla tracking begins, this exclusive eco lodge offers top quality services and accommodation. With spectacular uninterrupted views of the pristine rainforest canopy from the ten beautifully appointed and spacious (including one honey-moon suite) individual natural wooden cottages with private verandas situated along the forested hillside.

Guest house primarily catering for budget travellers, researchers, and volunteers, located on the main road in Buhoma trading centre. Prices from USD 25 (single) to 80 (self-contained twin FB).

Rates dependent upon season and resident status - doubles/twins from USD 170-340 ppn, singles from USD 200-440 ppn on full board basis including house drinks. Meals are wholesome, multiple courses, freshly prepared with a variety of international dishes and local specialties also available. Unlimited hot beverages are available all day on a self-serve basis and are delivered to your cottage with early morning wake up calls. Cosy fireplaces provide warmth and comfort in the cool evenings in the main area where guests can relax, dine and discuss the day’s events in this intimate and friendly lodge.

A high-end lodge in Buhoma with stunning views of the Bwindi rainforest and surrounding areas, located in beautiful gardens set back on a stream. The perfect balance of luxury, privacy, location and top levels of service ensures our Paradise in the Mist has no equal - do your gorilla tracking in style! No.2 Worldwide Unforgettable Honeymoon Destination and recommended safari lodge as named by the Huffington Post. Prices start at USD 240 person per night, full board. info@mahoganysprings.com www.mahoganysprings.com

Packaged gorilla viewing tours including internal flights and road transfers combined with accommodation are also available for guests. +256 772 721 155, + 256 414 321 479 reservations@ugandaexclusivecamps.com www.ugandaexclusivecamps.com 44

+256 782 822 043, +256 752 600 960 gorillafriendslodge@yahoo.com

Mahogany Springs Luxury Lodge

Echuya Forest (p. 38) Batwa Today With Respect. +256 752 558 222 home@edirisa.org www.edirisa.org/batwa


Ruzizi Tented Lodge & Karenge Bush Camp in Akagera National Park, Rwanda, provide the perfect base from which to discover the spectacular scenery, incredible diversity and conservation success story of Akagera. ruzizi@african-parks.org +250 (0) 787 11 33 00 www.ruzizilodge.com www.akagera.org

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Classifieds Kabale (p. 37) Cepha’s Inn Situated on top of Makanga Hill just minutes from the centre of Kabale Town, boasts the finest amenities around. Relax and enjoy our swimming pool, sauna, steam bath, game room, bouncing castle, fully stocked bar, DSTV, and continental cuisine. Accommodation from USD 30 to 75 with breakfast included; camping USD 7 ppn. Free wireless internet for residents. +256 392 821 667, +256 773 240 946 birungicephas@yahoo.com www.cephasinn.com

Kwanzi Guesthouse & Bakiga Museum

Victoria Guest House A peaceful, green place away from the hustle and bustle of Kabale but within the walking distance of its centre. Camping USD 3, single room USD 7, double USD 12 (all self-contained). +256 772 389 030, +256 702 236 407 skylinehotelkabale@yahoo.com

White Horse Inn During 90 years of continuous operation, this legendary hotel has been the choice of VIPs such as Bill Gates and Jimmy Carter. Its peaceful hilltop location has the town’s best and most spacious gardens, fantastic for a drink or a meal. Guests have access to free wifi, satellite TV, a tennis court and a golf course. Cottages from USD 45, presidential suite USD 450. +256 705 809 994, +256 779 414 342 reservationwhi@gmail.com www.whitehorseinnkabale.com

This is the friendliest, cosiest hostel in Kabale (and possibly in the Gorilla Highlands), a boutique wonder supporting a great, legitimate cause - a home for vulnerable girls. In addition to a dorm (USD 5), single (USD 6), twin (USD 10) and double room (USD 15), Kwanzi Guesthouse includes a lot more. There is the most popular rooftop lounge in town, The Nest, a craft shop and, above all, the fascinating cultural museum.

Kampala (p. 16) Le Petit Village

This masterpiece by Festo Karwemera’s, a local elder, is the main reason the guesthouse exist, protecting cultural heritage of the Bakiga. To immerse yourself in the impressive recreation of a traditional homestead with unique tools and inventions, you will donate USD 3 for a guided tour of 30 min. Free for overnight guesthouse guests.

Located next to the US Embassy, this clandestine grass-thatched gem is attached to the famous Belgian Le Chateau restaurant and the splendid La Patisserie bakery, pastry shop and coffee lounge. Starting at USD 179, all suites are equipped with flat screen TVs, wireless internet, phone, complimentary mini-bar and access to an outdoor swimming pool; the executive suites come with a mini kitchenette. The architecture and decor is in a rustic safari theme. Without a doubt, this is one of Kampala’s best kept secrets.

+256 782 824 661, +256 774 188 087 kwanzibookings@gmail.com www.gracevilla.org

+256 312 265530 reception@lepetitvillage.net www.lepetitvillage.net

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Classifieds Kigali (p. 13) Bushpig Backpackers Eat, drink and sleep in the heart of Kampala - the city’s finest budget accommodation, with beds starting at USD 15. We also serve draught beer, wood-fire pizza and gourmet burgers. +256 772 285 234 bookings@bushpigkampala.com www.bushpigkampala.com

Namirembe Guest House An ideal home away from home, this historic guest house is a place to remember. Located atop Namirembe Hill, with gorgeous million dollar views of Kampala that can be enjoyed upon the private balconies accompanying each room. With warm and friendly service, hot showers, AC, and a delicious restaurant, guests see why Namirembe means “peace”. Rooms start at USD 30. +256 414 273 778 , +256 312 109 937 info@namirembe-guesthouse.com www.namirembe-guesthouse.com

Red Chilli Tours & Hideaway We’ve run budget lodges & tours since 1999, with the 3-day Murchison Falls NP trip as a gold standard. Our 5 acre camp in Kampala sleeps 100+ in tents, dormitories and rooms with shared/private bathrooms. Facilities include: 16m pool, bars and restaurants, TV room, self-catering laundry/kitchen and free wi-fi with communal computers. A free shuttle service to town runs 3 times daily. Prices from USD 8 to USD 50. +256 772 509 150, +256 772 709 151 reservations@redchillihideaway.com www.redchillihideaway.com

Kigali Marriott Hotel Ideally situated along KN3 Avenue in Kigali’s city centre, the 5-star Kigali Marriott Hotel provides a luxurious home away from home for business and leisure travellers. Settle in to your beautifully appointed room or suite, with pillow top bedding, marble bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs. Take advantage of free internet access throughout the hotel or pamper yourself with a treatment in the peaceful Saray Spa. Additional amenities include a picturesque outdoor pool and a fullyequipped gym. Dine at one of our several outstanding restaurants or enjoy a drink at Iriba Bar. Those planning special events will be thrilled with our versatile venues, including our lovely gardens. Whatever the reason, we know you’ll love your stay at the Kigali Marriott Hotel. Prices starting at USD 260. +250 222 111 111 / www.kigalimarriott.com mhrs.kglmc.ays@marriotthotels.com

Ubumwe Grande Hotel A 4-star hotel at a handy location with 360 degree views over Kigali. The Rooftop Rendezvous Bar & Grill features the highest heated infinity pool in Rwanda. There is also a 24/7 coffee bar and an all-day dining restaurant. Rooms are designed to give you a modern lifestyle, priced from USD 160. The apartments offer a separate bedroom and living area with a kitchenette. +250 783 744 755 / info@theapdl.com www.ubumwegrandehotel.com

SafeMotos Taxis Do not miss one of Africa’s leading, homegrown Uber solutions applied to motorcycle taxis. Download the app for your iPhone/Android and move around the city cheaply and safely. Here you are 700x more likely to be killed in an accident than in the UK; in Kigali 80% of accidents involve motorcycles. www.safemotos.com

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Classifieds

Meze Fresh Few eating joints can make a traveller more excited than Kigali’s Mexican fast food restaurant situated on KG 501 Street (close to the Kigali Convention Centre). It is open Mon to Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-9pm. Order a quesadilla, a taco or a burrito bowl - or better compose your burrito symphony from a constantly excellent and vast collection of ingredients for only USD 5. Don’t know Mexican? Imagine a rolex super extreme, a wrap like no other; whoever tries Meze Fresh is taken aback this is goooood! +250 785 748 316, +250 783 152 355 www.food.jumia.rw

Zipline Medical Drones Tour

Want to see Zipline, the world’s first national drone delivery service? Interested to learn how robotic aircraft are flying lifesaving blood to clinics across Rwanda? This 3-hour tour departs daily from Kigali at 9am. During the drive to Zipline’s Muhanga drone base (45 min - 1h), you’ll be briefed on Rwanda, its health care system and the groundbreaking decision the government made to bring in Silicon Valley technology. On site you’ll meet the young Rwandan team that makes Zipline’s operation possible. With a little luck, you’ll see how emergency orders arrive from across the country, witness blood being loaded on to drones and aircraft being slingshot into the sky. The price of USD 50 per person (RWF 20,000 for Rwandans) includes professional guiding and a snack with coffee/tea. If you don’t have your own transport with a seat for our guide, we can arrange a vehicle for USD 50. +250 781 462 284 zipline@gorillahighlands.com www.gorillahighlands.com/zipline

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Preet Fast Food The only purely vegetarian restaurant in Rwanda, quickly preparing delicious fresh Indian food at very reasonable prices (from 50 cents on). Full meals (thali) and fast food (samosa, dabeli, vada pav). Located inside the Photo Musa Compound behind Bank of Kigali headquarters, Central Business District. Open 8am8:30pm, Sundays 8am-2pm. +250 783 115 997 www.gorillahighlands.com/preet

Kinigi (p. 35) La Paillotte Gorilla Place Two pleasant and affordable lodges, one enjoying fresh mountain air in a forest at the base of Mt Sabyinyo (rooms, huts and camping), one conveniently in the middle of Kinigi (rooms). Both have a lovely extra: an on-site bakery! Prices from USD 12 (single) or USD 18 (double). +250 785 523 561, +250 722 322 066 lapaillottegorillaplace@hotmail.com www.lapaillottegorillaplace.com

Kisiizi Falls (p. 39) Kisiizi Falls Guest House Two self-contained round-houses (USD 35/30 each; max 4 & 3 people) overlooking waterfall. 6 single, 1 large double (super-king-size bed), 2 twin and 1 triple Guest House rooms (USD 7 pppn). Includes free entrance to Kisiizi Falls (SkyTrail zipline extra). Meals USD 1.5 - 2.5. Part of the remarkable Kisiizi Hospital ministries. All proceeds support Good Samaritan Fund for poorest patients, the mentally ill, diabetics and premature babies. +256 392 700 806 kisiizifalls@gmail.com www.kisiizifalls.com, www.kisiizihospital.org.ug


LUXURY LODGES Kyambura Gorge | Bwindi | Mount Gahinga | Virunga

Mount Gahinga Lodge, Uganda

Bwindi Lodge, Uganda

Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Uganda

Virunga Lodge, Rwanda

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Classifieds Kisoro (p. 36) Coffee Pot Cafe A place of coffee, snacks and meals so good that it can be your reason to visit Kisoro! Our blend of German and local cuisine is served at a superb location with a craft shop and wifi available. Closed on Sun. +256 772 625 493 w.ndagijimana@yahoo.com www.coffee-pot-cafe.com

Coffee Tours +256 777 412 288 +256 706 783 311

A community-based travel agency that practices responsible tourism and provides: coffee safaris, homestays, nature walks, school visits, Batwa visits, general tours to Uganda and Rwanda. Offices in Kisoro. coffeetoursltd@gmail.com mountaingorillacoffeetours.com

Travellers Rest Hotel The founder of Gorilla tourism, Dian Fossey’s second home and still a home away from home. We offer 11 rooms, USD 82 for a single B&B or USD 95 for a double B&B. Relax in the gardens, enjoy our food and wide range of drinks, sit at the fireplace, or treat yourself to a massage. +256 392 177 992, +256 777 820 071 www.naturelodges.biz postmaster@gorillatours.com

Lake Bunyonyi (p. 27) BirdNest Resort This peninsula grass-thatched hotel is in a class of its own. Its top-notch 14 rooms (from USD 140), and 7 mid-range cottages (USD 95) have a personal touch with a tasteful mix of European and African designs. Best kitchen in the area. See www.birdnestatbunyonyi.com. Ad on p.56

Golden Monkey A backpackers centre in the centre of Kisoro. Accommodation ranges from dormitory at USD 10 to self-contained double rooms at USD 35. Camping from USD 6. Enjoy an eclectic crowd of travellers, free wifi, well-stocked bar, continental cuisine, and hot water. See what they say about us on TripAdvisor and in the Bradt “Uganda” guide and you will want to book straight away! +256 772 435 148, +256 701 257 693 amakuru26@yahoo.com

Sawasawa Guest House The friendliest accommodation in Kisoro town, a great place for backpackers and budget travellers. Self-contained and nonself-contained rooms from USD 15 to 35 BB. Hot water and great cooking! +256 785 642 114, +256 774 472 926 sawasawahotel@gmail.com www.sawasawaguesthouse.com

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Bushara Island Camp A place beyond comparison in terms of facilities, accessibility, accommodation options and size. The best base to explore the lake. It is ecologically built, with local materials, locally owned and provides important employment opportunities for the people around the lake. Some of the services: free wifi, satellite TV, hot showers, flushing toilets, secure car park, fireplaces, picnic sites. Visa, MasterCard and American Express accepted. Camping from USD 10; dorm bed USD 20; furnished tents from USD 50 B&B; rooms from USD 60 B&B; cottages from USD 80 B&B; family cottage (2 bedrooms, lounge, kitchen) USD 130. +256 793 930 006, +256 772 409 510 resort@bunyonyioverland.com www.bunyonyioverland.com


Classifieds Bunyonyi Overland Resort Founded in 1992 as the first ecotourism resort on Lake Bunyonyi. A wonderful place to relax on a private island surrounded by nature. Enjoy a variety of activities - canoeing, swimming, hiking, bird watching, campfires, and even a rope swing. Offers many accommodation choices, including two tree houses, as well as a conference hall; a great place for retreats, families, and honeymooners. Its breathtaking views, delicious food and friendly staff will make your stay unforgettable. Rooms from USD 10-60, camping USD 6. All proceeds directly fund community development projects.

+256 772 464 585, +256 772 686 787 busharaislandcamp@gmail.com www.busharaislandcamp.com

Tom’s Homestay +256 752 558 222 home@edirisa.org www.edirisa.org

A community overnight on a beautiful remote island. A cultural tour led by a professional guide, with a dugout canoe ride to and fro, traditional music, and a campfire. Tented accommodation. Entire tour USD 55.

Crater Bay Cottages A cosy and affordable place to relax and explore Lake Bunyonyi, offering 12 self-contained cottages (twin/double at USD 65 and family at USD 110), 4 self-contained rooms at USD 40, 4 rooms with a shared bathroom at USD 20, furnished tents at USD 25 and camping at USD 5pp. It is located on the mainland next to the Rutindo Market. Contact: Kamaga Drug Store, Kabale. +256 772 643 996, +256 392 825 467 craterbay@yahoo.com craterbaycottageslakebunyonyi.com

Edirisa +256 752 558 222 home@edirisa.org www.edirisa.org

Hiking and canoeing trips on Bunyonyi (p.31) and wider (p.7). The trek base is an out-of-the-box hostel; a simple, charming place on a peninsula. It features grass-thatched huts, a cool treehouse lounge with hammocks and a firewood oven. Free wifi & canoes. Shared bathrooms. Accommodation from USD 4.

Itambira Island Seeds of Hope A real island retreat - offering colourful en-suite tree houses and cottages with stunning views over Lake Bunyonyi, a restaurant serving international and local food and conferencing facilities. Motor boat available. We are a non profit making organisation and our main aim is to provide training and support for the local community, in income generation and life skills. We welcome you to visit and by so doing contribute to this. Prices from USD 15 BB pppn. +256 773 092 904, +256 754 942 699 itambira.seedsofhope@gmail.com www.bunyonyilake.com

Lake Burera (p. 30) La Paillotte Cyuza Island Lake Burera has just become a backpacker’s dream! Cyuza is a 10 hectare private island with camping and cottages under construction. The incredible promotional price of USD 20 (USD 15 if you bring your tent) includes motorboat transport, lodging and use of our kayaks. Bonus: tremendous views of the Virungas, fresh milk from our cows and vegetables grown in a bio-garden! +250 785 523 561, +250 722 322 066 lapaillottegorillaplace@hotmail.com www.lapaillottegorillaplace.com

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Classifieds Lake Burera (p. 30) Virunga Lodge Perched on a ridge with stunning views of the Virungas and the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo, this is the premier destination for tracking gorillas. Resident room rates USD 280 ppn. Ad on p.49

Lake Mutanda (p. 30) Hotel Mucha A fresh and modern boutique hotel set on the banks of the river Mucha 6 km away from downtown Kisoro. We offer budget, deluxe, and family rooms ranging from USD 60 to 190 depending on season and availability. +256 784 478 605 / info@hotel-mucha.com www.hotel-mucha.com

Mutanda Eco Community Centre Located on the southern shore of the lake, 10 min by car from Kisoro. Escape and relax in our rustic wooden bungalows on stilts. Camping USD 10 BB, dormitory USD 14 BB, self-contained single USD 25 BB/45 FB, self-contained doubles at USD 35 BB/70 FB. +256 782 306 973, +256 773 107 795 info@lakemutandacamp.com lakemutandacamp.com

Mutanda Lake Resort Wonderfully situated on a private peninsula stretching into Lake Mutanda at the foothills of the Virunga mountains and a great starting point for gorilla tracking or volcano hiking. Famous for excellent food and the most beautiful views on the Virungas. Rooms from USD 130 for a single or USD 170 for a double/ twin. Please enquire about resident rates. +256 789 951 943 info@mutandalakeresort.com www.mutandalakeresort.com

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Lake Nabugabo (p. 31) Nabugabo Holiday Centre Acres of unspoiled tropical vegetation frequented by vervet monkeys, best access to water for young swimmers, and multiroom cottages (from USD 14 per person) with TVs make Nabugabo Holiday Centre a top family destination. A campsite for up to 100 people and a conference hall are ideal for group retreats. Restaurant serves fish and a variety of other dishes. +256 752 539 300, +256 772 433 332 info@nabugabo.com www.nabugabo.com

Orchids Village If Nabugabo once wasn’t for everyone, now it is! At Orchids Village clients get a little more and a little different. Lovely brand-new cottages with two bedrooms, hot shower and a kitchenette (USD 22 pp, B&B) will impress any who wish to self-cater or simply have more comfort and privacy; a restaurant is available on site too. En-suite cottage USD 40 B&B, camping USD 7. Kayaking and rental bikes on offer. +256 755 166 675, +256 777 512 120 info@orchidsvillage.com www.orchidsvillage.com

Mgahinga NP (p. 20) Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp Right at the national park entrance, this is an outstanding base to explore Mgahinga. Our restaurant has a central fireplace while cottages offer dorms (USD 10), singles (USD 25), twins (USD 30) or doubles (USD 40). Camping from USD 5. +256 774 954 956; +256 782 306 973 info@amajamberecamp.com www.amajamberecamp.com


Classifieds Ntungamo (p. 24) Mount Gahinga Lodge Nestled in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, Mount Gahinga has the impressive backdrop of three of the volcanoes. Its rustic charm creates an absorbing atmosphere of tranquility and history. Resident room rates USD 100 pppn. Ad on p. 49

Musanze (p. 34) La Paillotte Restaurant Foodies’ heaven in the heart of Musanze Town, with pastries, Italian food and a pizzeria. It delights with a rustic, family atmosphere and a chance to watch cooks in action. Meals USD 2-10.

+250 785 523 561, +250 722 322 066 lapaillottegorillaplace@hotmail.com www.lapaillottegorillaplace.com

Tourist Rest House An inexpensive guest house with tasty food and camping facilities in the very centre of Musanze Town. Self-contained rooms with hot water at USD 14, camping at USD 7. +250 788 890 967, +250 785 227 990 touristresth@gmail.com

Trek Savannah Hotel A newly-built lodge, peaceful and friendly, with either en-suite cottages at only USD 25 or camping at USD 3. Our experienced chef will make your taste buds dance with delight. You can begin a pleasurable village walk just outside of our gates, or we can help you reach some of Ntungamo’s trademark undulating hills. Visit us 300m from the main road; branch off opposite Total Petrol Station. +256 754 943 196, +256 701 840 387 treksavannahhotel@gmail.com

Queen Elizabeth NP (p. 23) @ The River Ishasha Lodge This rustic yet tranquil lodge spanning over 50 acres of land is right on the Ntungwe River and 10 min drive away from the park. 4 gorgeous en-suite rooms are the perfect size for couples (USD 150 FB per room), there are 2 large en-suite family rooms for those traveling with kids (200 FB) while lazy camping rooms (USD 50 FB pppn) are ideal for taking in the view and a good night’s sleep. We’ve been open for 6 years and already won 3 TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence. +256 772 722 688 bookings@attheriverishasha.com www.attheriverishasha.com

Katara Lodge Virunga Hotel If you wish to be accommodated right in the business centre of Musanze, and do that in style, Virunga Hotel is your place! We have 25 self-contained modern rooms with satellite TV, wifi, a fridge for your refreshment and an external phone line. Starting at USD 60 B&B. +250788301462, +250788346391 info@virungahotel.com www.virungahotel.com

A perfect base to explore Queen Elizabeth NP. Perched on the Kichwamba escarpment, it offers uninterrupted views of the savannah, Lake Edward, and the Rwenzori and Virunga mountains. Discover serenity at this luxury eco-lodge that has 8 hand-crafted cottages and offers you a perfect way to unwind after a thrilling day on safari! Prices from USD 200 per person per night sharing a double/twin cottage, discounted rates for EAC Residents. +256 773 011 648 info@kataralodge.com

www.kataralodge.com

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Classifieds

Enjojo Lodge Set amongst a lovely acacia forest in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, just a five minute drive from the park gate. Can arrange game drives, walking safaris, and bicycle rentals to a nearby local community. Gorgeous accommodation to serve all budgets start from own tent camping USD 10 pp to full board thatched cottages USD 145 pp. +256 782 803 518 info@enjojolodge.com enjojolodge.com

Kyambura Gorge Lodge This luxury contemporary lodge overlooking Queen Elizabeth National Park, with the mythical Mountains of the Moon in the far distance, has been converted from an old coffee processing plant and is an ideal location for chimpanzee trekking, wetland tours, lion safaris, and much more. Resident room rates USD 150 ppn. Ad on p.49

Rushaga, Bwindi (p. 19) Gorilla Valley Lodge

Ishasha Wilderness Camp Situated besides the Ntungwe river within the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, this eco friendly, upmarket wilderness camp offers the ideal combination of luxury in a natural, bush environment. Renowned for its excellent game viewing opportunities including the lions in the trees, elephants, buffalos, leopards, hyenas and many antelope varieties, there is much to offer at this location for bird enthusiasts too. Ten spacious en suite framed, canvas safari styled rooms under the shady riverine trees overlook the river where animals can often be seen enjoying the cooling water. Rates dependent upon season and resident status - doubles/twins from USD 170-360 ppn, singles from USD 200-470 ppn on full board basis with house drinks included. Meals are top quality and special arrangements for intimate dinners, bush breakfasts and sundowners can be made. Unlimited hot beverages are available all day on a self-serve basis and are delivered to your room with early morning wake up calls upon request. An open fire area is provided in the evenings where guests can relax and enjoy the “safari” environment. +256 772 721 155, + 256 414 321 479 reservations@ugandaexclusivecamps.com www.ugandaexclusivecamps.com

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Hidden in a beautiful valley close to Rushaga, with fantastic panoramic views of Bwindi, this is a lodge to fall in love with. Our place from which you can trek any of the Gorilla groups in the southern sector of the park is also reasonably priced: a double on a full-board basis starts at USD 156. +256 392 177 992, +256 777 820 071 www.naturelodges.biz postmaster@gorillatours.com

Nshongi Camp Ideally situated just 5 minutes walking distance from the UWA meeting point, this environmentally friendly accommodation is the perfect base for visiting the many gorilla groups in Rushaga. Guests stay in cosy and clean traditional bandas right at the boundary of the forest, in a nice garden full of flowers. Perfect place for birdwatching. The kitchen serves delicious local food. Camping USD 4, bandas from USD 16. nshongicamp@gmail.com nshongicamp.altervista.org

Rushaga Gorilla Camp Built on 6 acres of land bordering Bwindi, the lodge is 15 minutes’ walk away from the gorilla tracking starting point. Its location on a mountain slope guarantees nice vistas of the national park and of a spring where elephants occasionally come down for a drink. Camping from USD 12; cabins from USD 50 B&B; luxury tents from USD 90 B&B. +256 774 633 331, +256 752 409 510 info@rushaga.com www.rushaga.com


Why the hard way, my friend? Just enjoy the view—and the ride—as we push your adventure forward! www.gorillahighlands.com/booking is the tour & activity booking system for Uganda & Rwanda

55 Self-Discovery • Gorilla Permits • Medical Drones • Hikes • Much More


Our lodge is a Lake Bunyonyi landmark, a culinary pride of the region, a tasteful environment, and a place of uncompromising excellence. Find us right as you reach the lake, admire the views from all rooms and the spacious terrace, let your kids play with our donkeys, jump into an ecological swimming pool and await the night at the outdoor ďŹ replace. For budget-conscious travellers we can also oer BirdNest Eco Overseas cottages in a private forest on a peninsula just in front of the main lodge. Fantastic meals start from USD 10, accommodation from USD 95.

reservations@birdnestresort.com | www.birdnestatbunyonyi.com +256 758 402 585 | +256 776 252 560

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Gorilla highlands Pocket Guide  

Tourism Pocket Guide - Magical Mountains of Rwanda and Uganda... Kigali, Kampala and Nabugabo. http://www.gorillahighlands.com/kigali-based...

Gorilla highlands Pocket Guide  

Tourism Pocket Guide - Magical Mountains of Rwanda and Uganda... Kigali, Kampala and Nabugabo. http://www.gorillahighlands.com/kigali-based...

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