Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda overland tour

“Travel overland through the parks and wildlife reserves of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, with optional gorilla trekking and white water rafting.”


Nairobi | Lake Naivasha | Crater Lake Game Sanctuary or Hells Gate National Park | Lake Nakuru National Park | Jinja | Kampala | Lake Bunyonyi | Optional gorilla trek | Musanze | Kigali Genocide Memorial

Description of Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda overland tour

On this overland tour through Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, you’ll visit some of East Africa’s smaller and lower profile national parks, allowing you the opportunity to spot a wide variety of animal and bird life as well as undertake a walking safari. You’ll be accompanied by a small group of around 24 likeminded travellers, as well as a driver and a Tour Leader. Your home will be a purpose built overland truck and nights will be spent camping, with everyone contributing to both camp set up and meal preparation.

In Kenya you’ll visit two Rift Valley lakes - Lake Naivasha, a shimmering freshwater lake home to a healthy hippo population and Lake Nakuru, a soda lake and part of a wildlife rich national park. In Uganda, meanwhile, you’ll have the chance to get the adrenalin racing with optional white water rafting, kayaking or biking. You could also head into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or the Virunga Mountains in search of mountain gorillas. Your final stop is Rwanda, where you’ll visit the laid-back town of Musanze and learn about a dark period in the country’s history at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

Travel Team

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Check dates

2021: 15 Feb, 28 Mar
Holiday type


If you’re looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travellers and to get off the beaten track then this type of trip is for you! We will sometimes be covering long distances over a period of a few days but will then most often be camped up for a few days with opportunities for adventure activities, visiting local communities, time in a town or city to chill out or wildlife viewing experiences. The roads are sometimes bumpy and you need to expect the unexpected! This type of travel is through regions where things can change and experiences are more important than luxury – borders sometimes close and there may not always be hot water in the showers! You will generally be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush, but generally more on campsites. (Our South America and Central Asia trips also use small locally-run hostels and guest houses). The trips are fully participative so you will be involved shopping for food in local markets, cooking for your group (on a rota system), collecting water and setting up camp. If you’re not confident about doing any of these things beforehand, don’t worry our crew are there to help you and you’ll be good at it by the time you finish!

You will be travelling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travellers, many of whom will be travelling on their own. It is a great way for solo travellers to travel. We have lost count of the number of travellers who have met their future spouse on one of our trips! Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment and are designed for great all-round viewing and a sociable seating plan. You will be accompanied on your trip by a Driver and Tour Leader and, depending on your trip, we often use local guides at sites of specific interest for more detailed information.

This type of travel will provide you with a plethora of memories and stories to tell, new-found travelling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Visiting the mountain gorillas is one of the ultimate wildlife-viewing experiences. There are thought to be only 700 of these magnificent creatures left in the world. They are essential to the tourist economies of both Uganda and Rwanda and somewhat controversially the tourist dollar is essential to the survival of the gorillas. The gorilla trek and permit money is used for anti-poaching programs and maintenance of the National Parks-the gorillas natural habitat.

Visits to the gorillas are very well controlled by the Parks Authority in order to minimise the potential negative impact on the gorillas. Group sizes are limited to eight; visits last for one hour (and there is only one visit allowed per day) and a distance of seven metres has to be maintained. Every effort is made to ensure that the gorillas are not exposed to human bacteria. Physical contact is not allowed and visitors are not allowed to trek if they are suffering from a cold. A tourist infrastructure has also built up around the gorilla trekking points-providing accommodation, food, transport and souvenirs-creating lots more local employment.

We also visit a number of other conservation /community projects en route-that support local communities and conservation initiatives. In Uganda for example, our clients have the opportunity to visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary which cares for rescued or orphaned chimpanzees. In Kenya clients can visit Elsamere-the home of the Elsa Conservation Trust which has donated millions to wildlife and conservation projects and has an on-site conservation centre.

We support local wildlife directly in Kenya , by sponsoring an orphaned elephant named, Kamboyo, at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, just outside Nairobi .

The Impacts of this Trip

On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites and where possible buy our food in local markets, thereby directly supporting local communities. We use local companies to run all our excursions. We have been working with our Gorilla trekking co-ordinator for many years now and indeed, have known him since he was a child selling us cakes and drinks before our gorilla treks. He has expanded his range of activities, available to our travellers over the years to include things like banana beer making with the local community. This provides extra income to the local community and great opportunities for immersion in the local culture.

At Lake Bunyoni, in Uganda our crew and travellers have helped us support a local pygmy village. When possible we have lunch with the villagers. They cook us a traditional meal which we pay for and this helps bring an income into the village. Some of the villagers also make handicrafts which our crew and travellers buy further supporting local skills and traditions and providing much needed income. We have also helped the village purchase some land and materials to build their own school.

Before commencing the tour all our clients are provided with detailed pre-departure info which includes information on Responsible Travel. This information is re-emphasised by our Tour Leader at the start of the trip-clients are, for example, advised about respecting local customs particularly in terms of dress and behaviour; water conservation; respecting and conserving wildlife and their habitats; purchasing of endangered species products and so on.


1 Reviews of Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda overland tour

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 27 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Gorilla trekking.

The down point would be that the guide was more about logistic than sharing any history. Seeing the countries, I believe it was key. We've been said from the beginning we were not allowed to ask any questions as a time schedule would be share in the evening for the next morning.
Regarding the prices, and as we were 19p, I would have expected to be reduced and negotiated. Actually we were paying the same as solo travelers though fees could have been negotiated better seeing the numbers we were. An ex would be the Gorilla Trekking. We paid 700$ when the entrance was 600$. I understand the organisation needs to take a commission but 100$ additional is a lot

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It is rough. Nights are cold. Don't forget it is a camping trip. Basically, should you not be a used backpacker, pick another tour.
According to Oasis, schedule should have been 8am to 5pm but it was more 5am to 8pm. At one point, I even had to mention to the guide we were on holiday. It felt more as a boot camp. People were getting dizzy one after the other but it was like the guide didn't realize it could have been because of the conditions.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

In once sense yes as we visited a lot of local organization (slums, orphanage, villages, …) Unfortunately, the only stress the guide put was "tip tip tip". We got the point but at one point when you are already paying 50$ for an visit, tipping can be complicated depending on everyone budget. To be honest, I found it even a bit heavy at one point.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Good experience, nice people, disappointed about the guide, fun doing camping, tough schedules, It wasn't highlighted enough about the "local money" that was supposed to be given when arriving (300$ still). Not sure I will recommend it to friends and family. I'm used to travel around the world as a backpacker and if I found it tough and exhausting at one point, others might have that impression way before.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you Geraldine for reviewing our 13 day Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda Overland Tour. We appreciate the time you have taken to provide us with your thoughts. We are pleased to read that you described your trip as a ‘good experience, nice people, ’ and that one of your highlights was the Gorilla trekking.

To comment on the issues you raised in turn; we are surprised to read your comments about only being able to ask your Tour Leader questions at certain times of the day. This is not Company practise and we will be looking in to this. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Regarding costs of activities, in particular, that ‘Gorilla permit prices are more expensive than booking them on location’. There are several reasons for this. Obviously, we book the permits in advance from the UK and this ensures that you get a permit. If we left it to book on location it is very possible that there would not be permits available. We incur bank fees and an admin fee when we book permits from the UK and we are subject to currency fluctuations.

We deliberately do not call our trips holidays! Our itineraries pack a lot in to the time allowed and this is why most people book them. There are so many highlights and ‘Big Ticket’ destinations in this itinerary and our itinerary clearly lists these. You are correct there are a few long drive days, but there are a number of days when the drives are only 3-4 hours and at least 3 occasions when there is no driving at all, when we are parked up at Jinja, Kabale and Musanze for a few days, enjoying the activities there.

We are sorry to hear that you felt that tipping suggestions were a ‘bit heavy at one point.’ Tipping is obviously a personal decision but it is a particularly common practise in this region. Some of our travellers come from parts of the world where it is more uncommon, so our crew do highlight it for this reason.

Regarding the local payment element of the trip this is very clearly highlighted on our website, on all payment notifications from us and in our pre departure information sent to every traveller before joining one of our trips.

Thank you for choosing to travel with us and for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. We wish you happy travels in the future!

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