RWANDA

Tracing the Origin of Mankind!

UGANDA

The Pearl of Africa!

Rwanda is a landlocked East African country with a green, mountainous landscape. Its renowned Volcanoes National Park is home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The park encompasses 4,507m-tall Mt. Karisimbi and 4 other forested volcanoes. In the southwest is Nyungwe National Park, with ancient montane rainforest that’s a habitat for chimpanzees and other primates.
Capital: Kigali
President: Paul Kagame
Population: 11.78 million (2013) World Bank
Currency: Rwandan franc
Official languages: Kinyarwanda, English, French

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and wildlife such as hippos.
Capital: Kampala
Population: 37.58 million (2013) World Bank
President: Yoweri Museveni
Currency: Ugandan shilling
Official languages: English, Swahili

Top things to do

Previously seen as just a gorilla destination, Rwanda now has much more to offer.

As a proud member of the East African Community (EAC), visitors who want to explore the natural wonders, cultural diversity, and myriad adventures to be found beyond Rwanda’s borders can take advantage of newly synchronized visa requirements, and with dozens of flight and bus connections, Kigali makes the perfect hub for trips anywhere in the region

Uganda is the source of the Nile, the world’s longest river that flows from the Lake Victoria, the largest tropical fresh water lake, and the world’s second largest fresh water

Uganda is a country of diversity in its people, natural inheritance, lands, foods, weather—name it. It is pretty tough getting what is unique to Uganda because there are many products and services to fit that profile

Chez John

A popular local haunt, Chez John serves up authentic, country-style Rwandan standards – namely meat and maize – in upmarket surrounds. The lunch buffet is extremely popular and offers a great opportunity to try a number of local dishes in one sitting. If you don’t like them here, it’s going to be a long trip around the rest of Rwanda.

Kigali Memorial Centre

kigali-memorial

In the span of 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically butchered by the Interahamwe and army. This memorial honours the estimated 250,000 people buried here in mass graves and tries to explain how it was that the world watched as the genocide unfolded.

This is an intensely powerful and moving memorial for which you should dedicate at least half a day.

National Museum of Rwanda

rwanda-king

This outstanding museum was given to the city as a gift from Belgium in 1989 to commemorate 25 years of independence. While the building itself is certainly one of the most beautiful structures in the city, the museum wins top marks for having one of the best ethnological and archaeological collections in the entire region. The seven exhibition halls contain some very interesting items and everything is unusually well lit and presented.

The first hall contains the museum shop. The second hall has geological displays including a large relief map that depicts the topography of Rwanda as something akin to a crumpled piece of paper. The middle halls exhibit items used in agriculture, hunting, animal husbandry, weaving, pottery and woodwork. The kagondohut forms the centrepiece of an exhibit on housing and living compounds in pre-colonial times. The final halls feature traditional clothing – including an isinde (wicker raincoat), pounded bark garments and goat-skin capes – and information on Rwandan pre-history, including an interesting section on divination. There is also a side-hall used to house temporary exhibitions.

The museum is also the venue where the Intore dancers and drummers perform. Ask at reception about arranging a performance. The museum is about 1km north of the centre, past the minibus stand. You can either walk or jump on a boda-boda

Khana Khazana

Statues of a rotund Ganesh and a blissed-out Shiva dot what many a local claim is the best Indian restaurant in Kigali. The menu has a long list of all the Indian classics prepared with panache and the waitstaff are dressed in imitation traditional Indian dress.

Zen

With tinkling fountains and covered courtyard dining, this sublime restaurant offers Kigali’s best Chinese meals as well as Rwanda’s first sushi dishes. This is where the well to do of Kigali come when they want to impress. It’s a long way out of the city centre in a swanky neighbourhood

MUSANZE CAVES

musanze-caveFormed by centuries of geologic activity centred around the Virunga volcanoes next door, the 1.25-mile long Musanze caves are located just outside of the town they share a name with, and are only a 90-minute drive from Kigali. With an enormous opening, the greenery outside spilling over into the twilight within makes for a fantastic photo. Though today they’re a tourist attraction, the caves were used as a shelter during wartime for many centuries leading right up into the modern era, and as such, it’s an important site to local people. Thus, out of respect for the area’s residents, access is limited to guided visits. Expert guides lead every tour, and they can explain the history of the caves from their formation to present day. The tours make an excellent add-on activity for the afternoon after you’ve seen the gorillas, take about 2.5 hours, and can be done at any time throughout the year

Rwesero Art Museum

Rwanda’s most prestigious art museum is housed inside what was meant to be King Mutara III Rudahigwa’s new palace (he died before the building was completed in somewhat mysterious circumstances after a routine vaccination went wrong). Today it houses mostly contemporary paintings and stylistic sculptures on themes dealing with the genocide, unity and brotherhood.

Keep hold of your ticket, as admission to this museum entitles you to enter Rukari Ancient History Museum

Museum of Natural History

This small museum houses a few simple exhibits on Rwanda’s geology, fauna and flora. More interesting is the fact that this was the 1907 residence of explorer Richard Kandt and is reputed to be the first building in Kigali. The view from the garden is sensational, and looking over the urban sprawl, it’s hard to imagine that it all started with this rather modest home.

Murambi Genocide Memorial

Nyamagabe (formerly called Gikongoro) and the satellite town of Murambi was the site of one of the most unforgettable horrors of the genocide. Refugees flocked to Murambi, the location of a half-built technical college, after being told that they would be safe there. It was merely a ploy though and on 21 April the army and Interahamwe moved in and, depending on whose doing the counting, between 27,000 and 40,000 people were murdered here.This is by far the most graphic of the many genocide memorials in Rwanda, as hundreds of bodies have been exhumed and preserved with powdered lime, and appear as they did when the killers struck.A visit starts with well-presented museum-style information panels (many of which seem to lay the blame for it all on the French) and short films. You then walk through rooms with larger than life photographs of some of the victims (and some glass tombs which one day will contain some of the remains of victims) and accounts from some of the few who survived.

Heading outside, you pass by some mass graves and then over to what were once planned to be classrooms. Many of these contain wooden racks filled with hundreds of preserved bodies. Wandering through these rooms the scene becomes more and more macabre, with many of the displayed corpses – men, women and children – still contorted in the manner in which they died. The last rooms are perhaps the most moving of all. These contain the toddlers and babies and, just as with the adults, you can sometimes get a good guess as to their final moments: some, presumably calling for their mothers, are still holding their arms out; another covers his or her eyes in what might be vain attempt to hide from the killers. Many others have fractures in their skulls from the machetes.

As you can imagine from this description, Murambi can be overwhelming, and not everyone can stomach it. It is, however, another poignant reminder to us all of what came to pass here, and why it must never be allowed to happen again

Museum of Natural History

This small museum houses a few simple exhibits on Rwanda’s geology, fauna and flora. More interesting is the fact that this was the 1907 residence of explorer Richard Kandt and is reputed to be the first building in Kigali. The view from the garden is sensational, and looking over the urban sprawl, it’s hard to imagine that it all started with this rather modest home.

Mt. Rwenzoris (Mountains of the Moon).

rwenzori-treksAfrica’s largest and highest mountain range, the Mt. Rwenzoris (Mountains of the Moon as Greek philosopher Ptolemy called them) are found on the western rim of the Great Rift Valley that goes through Uganda. Mt. Rwenzori, the third highest in Africa, has permanent snow and glacier through the year. It has the unique three horned chameleon.

The Uganda Martyrs’ Trail

And it is for beliefs that Uganda today is known for the Uganda Martyrs. These 45 young men died for their Christian faith rather than submit to the Kabaka of Buganda between 1885- 1887. Today, over 3 million people from all parts of Uganda, Africa and other parts of Africa travel to pay homage in memory of these Christian martyrs.

Gorilla Tracking

touch-by-gorilla-582x366Without doubt one of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences is the thrill of a close encounter with the reclusive mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda has the best chance of viewing these delightful apes with the fact that it boasts two parks where they have been habituated for human visits that is; the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which harbor over half of the remaining world mountain gorillas

Kayak the Nile

A trip to Uganda, is not complete without visiting the River Nile, and we believe that the best way to explore the world’s longest river is on the water itself. There is something for everyone (at Kayak The Nile) from adrenaline seekers to birdwatchers. Grade 5 Tandem Kayaking is the ultimate activity for thrill seekers and allows you (with little or no experience of kayaking before) to take on some of the biggest and best rapids in a single day

Water Rafting 

Thinking adventure? Believe rafting! You have no idea how much fun you will experience when you come for one of the wildest marine activity right here in the Pearl of Africa. For adventurers, without at least a one day white water rafting trip, no safari to Uganda would be complete. Right at the source of the Nile (the longest river in the world) you’ll truly experience and conquer these wild waters whilst bouncing on and off the untamed river

Canoeing

Discover the peace and tranquility of Uganda’s beautiful waterways, and experience wildlife like never before, while learning the pleasure of being at one with the water and nature.

The rivers, lakes and wetlands cover about 18% of Uganda’s total surface, including Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the source of the Nile river, the longest river of the world. All these provide a prime environment for canoeing and kayaking across the Nile, Lake Victoria basin and several other numerous water bodies across the country.

Boat Cruise

A boat cruise at the source of the Nile is one of the amazing experiences awaiting for you here in the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda offers some of the unique and amazing water trails for breath-taking boat boat rides including Source of the Nile, Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls in Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Victoria and Ssese Islands.

Along these trails you’ll be able to see scenic w wonders of forests, rocky islands; reptiles, wildlife, and a myriad of birdlife.

Chimp Tracking 

Chimpanzee tracking is a very fascinating experience. Prepare today and set out to Uganda’s natural jungles as you spend a number of hours tracking these impressive creatures. You will be allowed to spend some time as you observe them swing from one tree to another, feed, play about or progress speedily on the ground right in front of you.