Join Walker Wellness Retreats on this all-inclusive 8 days/7 nights Rwanda and Uganda Wildlife Safari, where you will experience primates, game drives, cultural encounters, and more!
This Uganda & Rwanda Wildlife Safari adventure allows you to participate in several activities, including golden monkey trekking, wildlife viewing, a launch cruise along the Kazinga channel, lion/leopard tracking, and a unique cultural experience. All meals are included.
Highlights include Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kibale National Park.
The Volcanoes National Park is the most visited site in Rwanda. It is home to mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and more. While at the Volcanoes National Park, the main activities will be golden monkey trekking and visiting the Ibyiwacu Cultural Centre.
Bwindi for gorilla trekking and another excellent cultural encounter with the Batwa.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's most visited and naturally beautiful park. Queen Elizabeth has 4 of the big 5 mammals, including the rare tree-climbing lions in Ishasha.
Kibale National Park is known as the primate's capital of Africa. The park is home to 13 species of primates, with chimps being the most popular.
Trip Style: This trip is active and will require trekking in the jungle and moving from location to location. There is not a lot of downtime on this particular retreat due to the number of wildlife viewing opportunities we have planned for you.
While we will be on the move, all excursions are optional. If you need more rest and relaxation, we encourage you to listen to your mind and body and do what you wish during your vacation.
Amy Walker, MSW, LCSW, CCM, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Owner of Walker Wellness Retreats. Amy started Walker Wellness Retreats in 2016 due to her love for travel and helping others experience the world. Amy works as an online mental health therapist when she is not leading international retreats. Amy is passionate about helping individuals and couples work through barriers and find new ways to communicate, connect, and thrive. In addition, Amy loves international travel, wine tasting, whale watching, and the outdoors. Amy works alongside her husband, Brian Walker, to run Walker Wellness Retreats.
To meet more of the Walker Wellness Retreats team, visit the About Us page on our website.
All Walker Wellness Retreats require a 25% deposit at the time of booking, with a $500 per guest minimum amount.
Advance payments before these deadlines pass are entirely optional. Trips booked after the payment deadlines require payment in full at the time of booking. Invoices NOT paid in full within 7 days of the deadlines mentabove deadlinesioned above are subject to trip cancellation. No refunds will be issued for trips canceled due to lack of payment.
In the event of trip cancellation before the 90-day or 30-day payment deadline, $500 of the deposited amount is non-refundable. However, any payments made before these final payment deadlines are fully refundable minus the $500 non-refundable deposit. Trip cancellations requested after the final payment deadlines listed above are non-refundable, and guests are encouraged to file a claim with their travel insurance for reimbursement.
In the unlikely event Walker Wellness Retreats cancels the retreat, guests will be provided a full 100% refund of their booking. Lastly, we partner with several third-party booking platforms with separate deposit and cancellation policies. Please refer to their specific cancellation policies if booking through a third-party partner.
You will be able to get the Rwanda Visa upon arrival. However, you can also do this prior to arrival to save time. Rwanda Visa - https://www.migration.gov.rw/visa/visitors-visa
You will also be able to get the Uganda Visa at the border, but to save time at the border, getting the Visa prior your entry to Uganda is also a good idea. Do not apply for the Visa now because the Visa is valid for 30 days as soon as its approved. So please, apply for the visa a month before your travel.
US citizens should ensure their passports will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country, even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 2 blank pages in their passport for each entry stamp/visa that will be required. A visa is required for both countries.
Travelers can obtain a Rwandan visa through the following procedures: Obtain a 30-day tourist visa at the port of entry for $50 (single admission) or $70 (multiple entry). Credit cards are generally accepted at the Kigali International Airport but not at some land borders.
The Uganda Electronic Visa/Permit Application System performs checks against law enforcement databases. All travelers seeking admission to Uganda are required to obtain a visa using this system before being granted boarding. All persons intending to travel to Uganda for holiday, tourism, business, study, visit, and medical are required to apply and obtain a visa online. Applications should be filled out at the following link: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/.
For the entry point for Uganda, you will enter via Cyanika border--that will be your entry point to Uganda.
The best thing to do is book an appointment at your local travel clinic, tell them you are going to Rwanda and Uganda, and tell you which vaccines you should get.
They recommend Hep A and B, Malaria ( though you are going in winter, so less of a risk for sure), Typhoid, and Yellow Fever ( you are good for life once you get this one)
It’s good to have rabies, meningitis, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap, pneumonia, and influenza.
Your primary care doctor or local travel clinic can tell you which vaccines you’ve already had and which ones you still need.
An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever is required for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited through the airport of a country with a chance of yellow fever transmission. See WHO recommendations.
In Rwandan culture, you will find that people are a very conservative society; most people dress modestly, especially women. Wearing shorts, tight skirts, and skimpy tops will likely get you stared at twice as much as usual.
Greetings are essential in Rwanda. It is impolite not to return a greeting or to start a conversation without a proper greeting. Younger persons must greet older persons first, and women must welcome men first.
When being introduced or greeting a professional colleague, Rwandans shake their right hands and may place their left hand under the right forearm as a sign of respect. Some young urbanites “kiss the air” near each cheek while shaking hands.
Usual greetings include Muraho (Hello, it’s been a while), Mwaramutse (Good morning), or Mwiriwe (Good afternoon/evening). Amakuru usually follows the initial greeting. (How’s the news?) or, among close friends, Bite se? (How are things going?). The typical response is Ni meza (Fine) or Ni meza cyane (Very fine).
Avoid eye contact with a superior or elder. The distance between people when they converse indicates their relationship: friends require little or no space, while superiors must have more. Friends of the same sex often hold hands while walking or talking, but such public contact between members of the opposite sex is inappropriate.
Pass items to an older person with both hands. Rwandans toss their heads aside while uttering ‘eh’ to express disbelief, usually when listening to a personal experience. Pointing with the finger or hand is impolite; instead, the head is used, with the chin and mouth jutting in the direction indicated.
Rwandans will generally never eat or drink in public, apart from restaurants. Rwandan women are rarely seen smoking in public or out in bars unaccompanied.
Although there is no smoking ban in most public places like bars and restaurants, generally, it’s not encouraged. Sometimes, people may complain of being disturbed by your smoking.
Rwandans are very private, reserved people, and loud public confrontations or apparent displays of emotion are frowned upon. If you feel a trader overcharges you, quiet persistence will likely produce results much faster than an angry outburst.
Understand that Rwanda is recovering from civil war and genocide in which approximately a million people were murdered. Many lost relatives and friends. Remember to be sensitive to this extreme tragedy when associating with people. Most people today are trying to forget. It is considered impolite to ask someone about their ethnic origin.
There is not much political discourse in Rwanda due to erupting violence, unlike in many neighboring countries such as Uganda and Kenya, where people talk freely about the government and political issues, people in Rwanda will be uncomfortable if asked about their views or even if seated at a table where national politics is discussed.
Uganda is a culturally diverse country with a rich heritage, and it is essential to respect and appreciate local customs and traditions while visiting. Ugandans are generally friendly and welcoming, and showing an interest in their culture will be highly regarded.
When interacting with locals, greeting them with a handshake and using appropriate titles such as Mr., Mrs., or Doctor when addressing someone is customary. Polite and respectful language is expected in conversations, and taking the time to learn a few basic phrases in the local language, such as greetings and simple expressions, can go a long way in establishing a positive connection.
Modest clothing is recommended, especially when visiting rural areas or religious sites. Both men and women should avoid wearing revealing dresses and opt for attire that covers the shoulders and knees out of respect for local customs and traditions.
Public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum, as they may not be well-received in Ugandan society. Exercising cultural sensitivity and being mindful of local norms and expectations regarding personal interactions is essential.
When visiting someone’s home or a local community, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering as a sign of respect. It is also common to be offered food and drink during visits, and it is polite to accept these offers to show appreciation for local hospitality.
Uganda is known for its delicious cuisine; trying traditional dishes is a great way to experience the local culture. When dining, it is customary to eat with your right hand, as many Ugandans traditionally eat with their hands. However, it is also acceptable to use utensils if you prefer.
As in all countries, basic precautions should be taken and common sense used. Do not carry excessive jewelry and money or leave them lying around.
Use safe deposit boxes where available; secure travel documents and valuables. Do not walk unescorted at night. If in doubt, seek advice from your guide.
Banks and foreign exchange bureaus are available in capital cities.
Most hotels and lodges accept Visa and MasterCard.
In addition to credit cards, travelers should bring US dollars in cash. Small denominations are recommended.
US dollars are widely accepted; however, older or high-denomination notes may not be accepted.
It is essential that adequate travel insurance be taken out prior to departure. This should cover any medical situation, such as hospitalization, as well as the cancellation, curtailment of arrangements, and baggage.
Avoid deserted areas, particularly at night. Dress down (i.e., don’t wear excessive jewelry) when exploring the city. Concealed travel wallets are recommended.
Rwandans are a very warm and hospitable nation – please do not hesitate to ask for assistance at any time.
Avoid taking pictures of anything connected with the government or the military, including army barracks, land, or people close to the army barracks, government offices, post offices, banks, ports, train stations, and airports.
It is required that you have travel / health insurance to cover you for the duration of this retreat. Please consult your physician before you travel to Africa for advice on precautions against malaria.
Uganda and Rwanda fall into the yellow fever region of Africa. It is imperative that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination no less than 10 days prior to travel. Your country of origin and other African countries may deny re-entry without the vaccination after having visited a country with Yellow Fever.
Anyone who has any special medication should take enough supplies to last the visit.
What vaccinations do I need for Uganda?
You should seek medical advice from your local health practitioner before traveling to Uganda and ensure you receive all appropriate vaccinations. As a guide, Polio, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A & B, and Tetanus are strongly recommended. Rabies and Meningitis are also recommended.
Following an outbreak of yellow fever in April 2016, the Ugandan Ministry of Health now requires all travelers to provide proof of yellow fever vaccination.
Do I need anti-malaria tablets for Uganda?
There is a high risk of malaria in Uganda, so it is very important to check with your doctor before you go to see whether malarial medication is required for the areas you are visiting. Generally, it is good practice to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved, light-colored clothes and a mosquito repellent containing at least 50% DEET. For more information on the malaria risk in Uganda, visit the NHS Fit to Travel page or the CDC Traveler's Health page.
Please be sure to bring sufficient memory cards and batteries, as these are not readily available in Uganda and Rwanda. Please ask permission before taking a photograph of any resident.
Please be advised that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) are not allowed in any of the conservation areas we manage until their impact on wildlife and anti-poaching initiatives can be assessed. This rule will apply throughout Africa, as our partners in various countries and regions have adopted a similar stance.
Passport & Visa Requirements
Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid for 6 months after the intended length of stay. Please ensure that you have at least 2 consecutive blank visa pages (not endorsement pages) in your passport. Our recommendation is 3 or even 4 blank pages if you are traveling through more than one country. If there is insufficient space in the passport, then entry could be denied.
Checking visa requirements with the Ugandan and Rwandan embassies is imperative as it may vary according to your nationality.
Where visas can be obtained at the port of entry, fees are payable in USD cash only, and we recommend small dominations as officials are not in a position to give change.
It is recommended that travelers obtain their visas before arrival, as long queues at all airports are likely.
What the Experts Say
Rwandans and Ugandans appreciate those who dress modestly.
Cotton clothing is the most comfortable during the day. Please take note of specific packing guidelines for gorilla trekking.
Only a limited number of permits are available in each gorilla park. It is, therefore, essential to book well in advance.
Double occupancy includes a private bedroom and private bathroom for 2 people.
Helpful hints: If you have two people who would like to share a room, select 2 Double Occupancy packages. If you are traveling alone but want to be paired with another solo traveler, select 1 Double Occupancy package. If you are traveling alone and want your own room, select 1 Single Occupancy package below.
Single occupancy includes a private bedroom and private bathroom for 1 person.
Helpful hints: If you are traveling alone but want to share a room with another traveler, select 1 Double Occupancy package above. If you are booking for two people who would like to share a room, select 2 Double Occupancy packages above.
Walker Wellness Retreats will greet you at the airport. Please collect your baggage and exit, where Amy Walker will hold a WALKER WELLNESS RETREATS sign.
We will start the day with a Kigali city tour. We will visit the Kigali genocide memorial site, Kandt house museum, and Kimoronko market. After that, have lunch, then transfer to Volcanoes National Park. It's a 3-hour drive from Kigali through the fantastic countryside with beautiful rolling hills and countryside.
Upon arrival, connect to the Iby'iwacu Cultural Village for a cultural experience. This is where you will learn about the people and culture of Rwanda. You will enjoy the cultural heritage through dance, drama, and storytelling, and participate and buy one of the local souvenirs. Depending on the time, you will end the day with a visit to the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
Proceed to your booked lodge for check-in, relaxation, dinner, and overnight at Five Volcanoes Boutique Lodge.