Find-Yourself Experience

10 Days of Rwanda and Uganda

Starting anew; photo by Anina

Do you wish to upgrade your existence? Take this chance to be guided through yourself — and through a deeply touching region whose unique energy will boost your personal growth. There will be African wildlife and colourful cultures yet the biggest thing you will bring home is the toolset of practical spirituality enriching your everyday life.

You will be led by Lidija “Anina” Polajžer who has always felt energies differently than other people. She has been sharing her gift in Slovenia for over 20 years: changing lives, opening minds and healing various medical conditions. But because the Gorilla Highlands region has stolen her heart, she know belongs to Africa and the world.

Highlights

explore yourself with the help of an intuitive healer
• feel true Rwanda and Uganda with a local guide with roots in both countries 
• get to know your subconscious mind and how it affects you
• maximise your potentials in all personal and professional aspects of your life
• learn who you are and shine your true self
• connect with local people in a deep, powerful way
• feel the raw energy of the savannah in Akagera National Park
• open your heart to the breathtaking beauty of Lake Bunyonyi
• track gorillas, hike or simply admire the dormant border volcanoes
• find peace on the sandy beaches of Lake Kivu

Facts

duration: 10 days
area: Kigali – Akagera National Park – Lake Bunyonyi – Echuya Forest ReserveKisiizi FallsMgahinga Gorilla National ParkMusanzeGisenyi – Kigali
departures: on demand

Price: USD 4,850 per person (2 people minimum)
Includes everything during the experience (professional guiding, transport, self-contained twin/double accommodation, 100% vegetarian meals, all fees, activities and contributions). It does not include the air ticket, the East African Tourist Visa (USD 100), optional gorilla tracking (USD 600) or other Mgahinga Gorilla National Park activities.

Itinerary

DAY 0

We are all chameleons; photo by Marcus Westberg

Air ticketing is not part of our arrangements but we will be there for you in Kigali the day before the tour. After you fly in, Anina will find quality private time with each participant. The conversation will help her read your stage in life and get to know what needs to be addressed during the journey.

Anina can sense things normal people can’t and can use contact-less energy cleansing to help you with deal with your issues – but only if you accept that! If you are uncomfortable with the energy side of her work, she will guide you through other means, mostly through conversation and writing.

This trip is about you, and what makes you tick. The only requirement is that you are willing to gradually open up to a group of people, honestly share your thoughts and not judge others. Everyone has to feel safe and sure that what they express is not going to be used against them, during or after the tour.

DAY 1

Tranquility of Akagera landscapes; photo by Marcus Westberg

At breakfast at 8am, Anina will brief you on everything important for the journey and prepare you for the morning program. You will visit two Kigali landmarks connected to the 1994 genocide and have to be mentally and spiritually ready for that.

Rwandan people have had to deal with horrible past and still need to cope with memories of it. Compared to their experience, your life probably looks rather easy. Nevertheless, there are memories and emotions that bog you down, things you just have to deal with to move forward. This is your day to face them, understand them and let them go. If people who have been through a genocide can find the power to do so, you can as well! A healing meditation for forgiveness shall chase away the last of negative feelings and beliefs. 

After the visit to the museum that presents genocides around the world, you will have your peaceful time in the garden surrounding it. A short bus ride later, you will be at Milles Collines, the world-famous ”Hotel Rwanda” where a brave manager kept people alive under siege. Now it’s a stylish hotel where your group will have a drink at the swimming pool, and talk about your morning impressions after writing them into your notebooks.

Lunch at an Indian snack bar will be a pleasant stroll away. You will learn about the history of Asians in Rwanda and Uganda, especially the expulsion during the times of Idi Amin. Soon afterwards we will take you to the vegetable market, to help us shop for camping in Akagera National Park. Oh yes, this will be our time to spend in tents, to be one with the wilderness (but behind electric frances).

The park is about two hours away, and after you assist with pitching the tents above pretty lakes on the border with Tanzania, Anina will take over again at the campfire. She will stress how important it is to connect with nature, be yourself without pretence and adjust to a place where animals are in charge.

DAY 2

Buffalo fight in Akagera National Park; photo by Marcus Westberg

The daily rhythms of the wilderness demand that you will get up when it is still dark so that the minibus can take you for an early morning safari. Akagera is not as full of animals as some more famous African parks but if nature accepts you, it may show you rhinos, lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, buffaloes, impalas…

You will return to the camp for lunch and the first longer session with Anina. Under the shade of a grass-thatched roof you will sit in a circle with her. She will lead you into a meditation and encourage you to feel, to deal with what is in your mind. Your goal will be to transform the negative energy of the previous day into something productive.

At 3pm you will go for a one-hour boat trip on Lake Ihema in search of crocodiles and hippos. Afterwards you will start preparing a group show for Batwa “Pygmies”, something to surprise them with when you meet them on Day 5.

For 5:30pm a night safari drive is scheduled, in special national car vehicles. You will touch on the park’s nocturnal side and keep your fingers crossed for leopards. And then, the second and second-last camping night of the trip…

DAY 3

Lake Bunyonyi vista; photo by Marcus Westberg

Today the bus has to get you back to Kigali and then north to Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda. You will not be woken up as early as the previous day but do not count on any lazy morning hours in the tent… Up to five hours on the road are expected, and Bunyonyi is where your lunch will be ready.

On the lakeshore, Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi will be our day home but we will be sleeping at a more upmarket place nearby. Our evening session will be taking place on Edirisa’s tree-house platform. Edirisa staff members will join the group sharing, young people from both sides of the border. Sitting in a circle you will write down the names of people who have rejected you at any point of your life, or whom you blame for anything, or who are linked to your regrets. Anina will help you cleanse your soul and remake relationships, help you love and be loved.

An open-air dinner will end up your first day at “the most beautiful lake in the world”.

DAY 4

Woman paddles on Lake Bunyonyoi; photo by Marcus Westberg

The same boys whom you got to know the previous day will become the captains of traditional dugout canoes taking you to two remarkable islands.

Punishment Island will give everyone a reason to think and talk about how we punish ourselves without knowing. This island, where unmarried pregnant women used to be left to die, is too small to land on and you will therefore only float next to it. However, the nearby Sharp’s Island is a welcoming botanical garden perfect for a group session. Here, a British missionary doctor built a home while caring for a leper colony on Bwama Island.

Anina will teach you that feelings are the tools with which we create our lives. It is essential to release the negative ones and increase the positive ones, and she can show you how. You will feel lighter and more free.

In the afternoon you will hike a little to be awed by stupendous lake views from Kyabahinga peninsula, meet a traditional healer and have lunch with a crafmaker (the program of Culture on the Crest can give you the details). Then you will be paddled to Habukomi Island, to Tom’s Homestay, a tented overnight with a local family.

DAY 5

Coolest among the Batwa of Rwamahano; photo by Marcus Westberg

The day for Echuya Forest Reserve and the Batwa! Meeting them is an experience that will pop up many questions within you. You will feel a mixture of all feelings you know and there will be a great opportunity to deal with them on the spot. You will spend the day with people so alike but yet so different… You will chat with them, have lunch with them and heal and open everybody’s hearts to the universe in a group meditation.

Sure, they will also dance and sing for you – but your own cultural program will blow their minds, right?

But to be more specific: you will travel to the Batwa settlement using the scenic road to the north of Bunyonyi, have a cup of coffee at a restaurant there and then make it to Echuya Forest. Batwa guides will show you how much they know about herbs and then introduce you to their community living outside the forest, their original home.

This is your second last night at Lake Bunyonyi.

DAY 6

Millions of stars above Lake Bunyonyi; photo by Marcus Westberg

Your day. It is necessary to just stop in life sometimes and observe it to find the best way forward.

You will be free as a bird. You can go for a swim, try directing a dugout canoe by yourself, hike to the most famous view point, visit Kabale town – as you wish! Feel like some private time with Anina? Also possible! She can talk with you about how to live the life you choose instead of the life that is randomly given to you.

DAY 7

Virunga Volcanoes above Lake Mutanda; photo by Marcus Westberg

The group’s destination will be Kisoro Town under the Virunga Volcanoes but you will make a circle through southwestern Uganda to reach it!

Main stop: Kisiizi Falls. It used to be another traditional punishment site for pregnant but unmarried girls. Nowadays, however, it powers an exemplary rural hospital that shares its electricity with the wider area.

There is a duality in our world, says Anina. There is hot and cold, good and bad, there is light and darkness. Next to the waterfall whose significance has changed so radically, you will learn here how to choose your own path and stay on it, even though the surrounding does not agree with your choice. You will take control of your own life.

Another cultural highlight awaits you after lunch at Kisiizi: Nyabugoto Cave. It is not on tourist itineraries at all. It is one of the most important fertility sites in the region, as the cave’s shape has the appearance of female genitals. Naybugoto Cave was the site of fertility ceremonies under the auspices of a fertility goddesses and used for harvest festivals.

DAY 8

Mountain gorilla kid in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; photo by Marcus Westberg

Wanna pay a visit to the most famous resident of our region, the mountain gorilla? Or do you fancy hiking a volcano? Or perhaps something else entirely. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park near Kisoro has a lot to offer. Alternatively you can stay in Kisoro, do a Coffee Tour and eat at some excellent restaurants.

DAY 9

Lake Burera view of the Virungas; photo by Marcus Westberg

Back to Rwanda! We will visit the impressive Lake Burera and walk through the town of Musanze; we will show you a remarkable urban centre in detail, together with conservation organisations that take care of gorillas. Afterwards we will continue to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu, a tremendous body of water shared by Rwanda and Congo. On its sand beach shore you will have an after-lunch session devoted to goal-setting. 

Goals are a must in our lives. This is the moment to manifest the future you see for yourself. Anina and the group will talk about what is important and assist you in manifesting your goals. You will also learn the art of living in the moment and get the remaining tools to start creating your life by yourself. 

DAY 10 

Lake Kivu beach; photo by Marcus Westberg

You will end the spiritual journey after breakfast, with an overview of all the things you will have discovered on tour, and all the tools you will have obtained. During the last meditation, Anina will balance your energy fields and strengthen your resolve and power to use all the new knowledge in your everyday life. 

The physical journey will end in Kigali, a couple of hours away from Lake Kivu, with a visit to the amputee football team. These guys will be our farewell inspiration, devoted sportsmen who have found purpose and community playing football on crutches. We have spent 10 days overthinking ourselves, solving our problems and being introspective. It’s high time to ask ourselves what we can give to others who may be in need, to the wide world outside of us!

… With our participants leaving on different planes, we will make sure we complete the official tour by lunch time, at a Mexican restaurant in Kigali. The fruits and vegetables grown in the Gorilla Highlands region are immensely compatible with the Mexican cuisine, a beautiful example of the global village you live in. 

If you still have time, you will be taken to a nice place to complete your souvenir shopping and take a little bit of Africa to those who mean something to you… But most importantly: the spiritual gifts you have revealed for yourself will be yours for a lifetime.

More information: miha@gorillahighlands.com or +256 776 558 123