Rwanda and Uganda itinerary - 16 day roadtrip

Discover both southwestern Uganda and Rwanda on this 2-week self-drive adventure. If you're interested in nature and culture, this Rwanda road trip is the one for you.

  • Trek the gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
  • Spot chimpanzees in Kibale tropical rainforest.
  • Enjoy plenty of wildlife spotting on your self-drive safaris in Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
  • Visit Kigali and be moved by its captivating history.
  • Relax at Lake Gisenyi and you'll understand why Rwanda is named the land of a thousand hills.

Scroll down below to see the day-to-day itinerary with route descriptions and travel tips for Rwanda and Uganda. The trip includes car rental, accommodation (available in four price categories), gorilla and chimp permits. 

Day-to-day itinerary | Uganda & Rwanda road trip

Day 1

Day 1 of 16

Destination: Entebbe

Drive: 10 km | 0.5 hour

Gyebalo Ko, and Welcome to Uganda! As soon as you enter the airport you will be welcomed by a pleasant temperature, slight chaos, and hopefully a charming smile from the immigration officer. Take this day to relax from your flight in Entebbe. Entebbe is a peaceful lakeside town, an hour and a half away from the busy capital Kampala.

A glimpse of our lodge selection: 

Budget / Comfort: Via Via Guesthouse

Semi-Luxury: The Boma Hotel

Day 2

Day 2 of 16

Start: Entebbe

Destination: Lake Mburo National Park

Drive: 244 km | 6+ hours

Time to hit the road and start your adventure! The journey from Entebbe to Lake Mburo in Uganda is a unique experience marked by the crossing of the equator.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Budget / Comfort: Hyena Hill Lodge

Semi-Luxury: Rwakobo Rock 

Day 3

Day 3 of 16

Enjoy: Lake Mburo National Park

Enjoy a day in Lake Mburo National Park. With no dangerous predators such as lions, Lake Mburo is the best place to go on a guided safari either walking, mountain biking or even horseback riding. Moreover, this is one of the few national parks in Africa allowing night game drives, which gives you the chance to see some rare nocturnal animals like the mongoose, hyena, leopard and serval cat.

Day 4

Day 4 of 16

Start: Lake Mburo National Park

Destination: Kigali

Drive: 328 km | 8 hours

Long driving day ahead! Leave with an early morning game drive and follow your way to the Uganda / Rwandan border. Once in Rwanda, you will immediately notice the difference from Uganda - first of all, it’s much cleaner, as Rwanda is very progressive with its environmental waste laws. In the afternoon, you’ll reach the capital of the ‘land of a thousand hills’.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Iris Guesthouse

Pili Pili Boutique Hotel

Day 5

Day 5 of 16

Enjoy: Kigali

Kigali is a pleasant and relaxed city, especially in comparison to the chaotic Kampala. Although the scars of the horrifying 1994 genocide still run deep, Rwanda has done a remarkable job of healing its wounds and turning towards an optimistic future. The genocide memorial shows an impressive recollection of the events that unfolded, memorizes the victims of the genocide and leaves a deep impact on you. A stroll to downtown Kigali is a pleasant way to bring your mind back to the present and enjoy Kigali’s colourful city life.

Day 6

Day 6 of 16

Start: Kigali

Destination: Lake Gisenyi

Drive: 154 km | 4+ hours

Although Rwanda is a long way from the ocean, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a beach holiday! Lake Kivu is one of the Great Lakes of the Albertine Rift Valley, and is one of the 20 deepest and most voluminous lakes in the world. Lake Kivu and Lake Gisenyi are both scenic spots to wander and hike. On the other hand, it's just as pleasant to dip your toes in the lake and relax for a bit.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Budget / Mid-range: Paradise Malahide

Semi-Luxury: Paradise Kivu

Day 7

Day 7 of 16

Enjoy: Lake Gisenyi

Spend a lovely day at your resort, or go for a nice stroll around Gisenyi. Pamper yourself with a massage or go on a boat cruise on the lake.

Day 8

Day 8 of 16

Start: Lake Gisenyi

Destination: Lake Mutanda

Drive: 112 km | 3,5 hours

Today you’ll drive back to the Ugandan border, crossing at Kisoro into Uganda, to the Kigezi Highlands, also dubbed the ‘Gorilla Highlands’. Similar to Rwanda - a landscape scattered with blue lakes and steep terraced slopes. You’ll drive to Lake Mutanda, a stunning lake with the Virunga volcanoes as its backdrop.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Comfort / Semi-Luxury: Mutanda Lake Resort

Day 9

Day 9 of 16

Enjoy: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Ready for the experience of a lifetime? Today you will be tracking the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Bwindi’s mist-covered, forested hillsides and dense forest cover protect an estimated 350 mountain gorillas, roughly half of the global population. This includes 11 habituated groups which can be tracked by limited groups of people.

Day 10

Day 10 of 16

Enjoy: Lake Mutanda

We could not say it better than the Bradt Travel Guide: ''Mutanda Lake Resort enjoys a stupendous southerly outlook. You could cross continents without finding a panorama to compare with the view across these peaceful, island-studded waters towards the Virunga Mountains''.

Indeed, Mutanda Lake Resort has the most stunning location in Uganda, at the shores of Lake Mutanda with dramatic views on the volcanoes in DRC and Rwanda. Excellent food is served in Swiss mountain chalet ambience. The lodge is conveniently located for tracking the Nkuringo and Rushaga gorilla families.

Day 11

Day 11 of 16

Start: Lake Mutanda

Destination: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Drive: 269 km | 7+ hours

Drive to Queen Elizabeth N.P., Uganda’s oldest national park. From open savannas to green rainforests, from dense papyrus swamps and crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward, it is little wonder that Queen Elizabeth N.P. boasts one of the highest rates of biodiversity of any game park in Africa.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Budget / Comfort: The Bush Lodge

Semi-Luxury: Marafiki Safari Lodge 

Day 12

Day 12 of 16

Enjoy: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Enjoy a day in the park. Boat trips on the Kazinga Channel offer great game viewing, as do game drives around Mweya Lodge and the Northern Circuit. Further southwest, the remote Ishasha plains are famous for their tree climbing lions, while the Kyambura Gorge is home to habituated chimps. The nearby Maramagambo Forest has a wide variety of forest monkeys and the dozens of crater lakes scattered across the park are often filled with beautiful pink flamingos.

Day 13

Day 13 of 16

Start: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Destination: Kibale Forest National Park

Drive: 103 km | 3 hours

Drive to Kibale Forest National Park near the pleasant colonial town of Fort Portal. Along the way you pass lovely little towns and plenty of matooke (banana) plantations. Kibale Forest National Park is a 800 km2 tropical rainforest, home to 13 primate species and an impressive range of birds. Besides Kibale Forest National Park, you will have a splendid region of crater lakes and 4WD dirt tracks at your doorstep.

A glimpse of our lodge selection:

Budget / Comfort: Kibale Forest Camp

Semi-Luxury: Turaco Treetops

 

Day 14

Day 14 of 16

Enjoy: Kibale National Park

Kibale Forest is a nature lover’s paradise, with its sublime bird watching and chimp trekking, as well as opportunities for viewing a wide range of other primates. Chimpanzee trekking is a half-day activity starting either early in the morning or just after lunch. A field of beautiful crater lakes lies between Fort Portal and the Forest, which are perfect for exploration on foot or by bicycle.

Day 15

Day 15 of 16

Start: Kibale Forest National Park

Destination: Entebbe

Drive: 337 km | 7 hours

A smooth tarmac road passing through lush tea and matoke (banana) plantations brings you to Entebbe. For those longing for some culture and city life after days in the bush, Kampala might be a fun change of scenery, where you will find a thriving dining and nightlife scene with a pleasant vibe. We would be happy to recommend some especially good places to eat and drink.

A glimpse of our lodge selection: 

Budget / Comfort: Via Via Guesthouse

Semi-Luxury: The Boma Hotel

Day 16

Day 16 of 16

Enjoy: Entebbe

Departure to Entebbe. Depending on the time of your return flight, there are a number of things to do in either Kampala or Entebbe. Shopping for souvenirs, a half-day boda boda tour in downtown Kampala or a visit to the botanical gardens in Entebbe... or just relax at the swimming pools of some luxurious resorts!

2 weeks in Uganda and Rwanda | This is what you need to know

Travel time and road conditions

We recommend 16 days / 14 car rental days for this Uganda & Rwanda itinerary. You'll cover southwestern Uganda, Kigali and Kivu Luke District in Rwanda. On an average travel day, you drive for 5 hours. Keep in mind that with photo and picnic stops, this still makes a full travel day. 

Road conditions are good - asphalt with the occasional pothole and speed bumps. The most adventurous part is driving from Kisoro to Lake Mutanda (volcanic and dirt road) and from Hamurwa to Ishasha (off-road). Take note that the maximum speed in Rwanda is 60km/h

Consult our Driving in Uganda Guide, which contains essential information when planning a self-drive holiday in Uganda. 

The Uganda & Rwanda itinerary is possible to travel year-round. 

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Find your budget & travel style

Our Uganda & Rwanda trip can be booked in three price categories:

Budget: Some mid-range lodges offer 'Lazy Camping' (glamping), where you sleep in an already set-up tent. There is a sanitary block that you share with other campers. Adding some 'Lazy Camping' nights in your Uganda tour works favourably for your budget, while you can still enjoy the lodge facilities. 

Comfort (mid-range): This is your best option for comfortable, self-contained ('en suite') accommodations set in stunning locations which do not cost a fortune. 

Semi-Luxury: If you opt for luxury, we select barefoot luxury resorts which are intimate, have lots of privacy and high-quality service. Not every stop in Uganda allows for a stay in this segment, therefore we rather call it a semi-luxury trip.

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Included in your Uganda and Rwanda roadtrip

Included

  • Gorilla trekking permit $ 700
  • Chimp trekking permit $ 200
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Car rental with unlimited mileage. Fuel own expense
  • Car delivery to airport or hotel
  • Car insurance
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • On the road manual, Bradt Travel Guide, roadmap

Optional

  • Driver - Guide
  • Electrical fridge

Create & book your 2-week Uganda & Rwanda adventure

Book the Uganda & Rwanda self-drive tour with stays in budget, mid-range or luxury lodges - or adjust it to your liking.

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Uganda & Rwanda Tour | Indicative prices

Low season | March - April + Nov - 21 Dec

RAV4

Landcruiser

Hilux

Budget

€ 2,430

€ 2,780

€ 2,850

Comfort

€ 2,670

€ 3,020

€ 3,090

Semi - luxury

€ 3,770

€ 4,120

€ 4,190

Peak season | July - Sept + 22 Dec - February

RAV4

Landcruiser

Hilux

Budget

€ 2,780

€ 3,200

€ 3,270

Comfort

€ 3,020

€ 3,440

€ 3,510

Semi - luxury

€ 4,120

€ 4,540

€ 4,610

Rest of year

RAV4

Landcruiser

Hilux

Budget

€ 2,640

€ 2,990

€ 3,060

Comfort

€ 2,880

€ 3,230

€ 3,300

Semi - luxury

€ 3,980

€ 4,330

€ 4,400

The price is per person based on 2 people sharing a car and includes 15 hotel nights, 14-day car rental, airport pick up, gorilla ($ 700 pp) and chimp ($ 200 pp) permit. 

Easy and secure online payment to our Roadtrip Africa Bookings office in the Netherlands. 

Prefer a guided road trip? Travel with a driver-guide (€40/ day). This is an option you can select in the online booking form. 

Planning to visit Uganda during peak season? Book your tour several months in advance!