Overview of Multi-Day Hiking

photo: Kelly Stoner

The hiking trips listed below take you through breathtakingly beautiful valleys and across mysterious lakes, over heavily cultivated slopes and deep into ancient rainforests of Uganda and Rwanda*. Experienced guides from all of the region’s ethnic groups assure that you get a cultural insight like no other, and partake in adventure tourism par excellence.

Would you like to trek into the villages and camp and dine with rural families? Or do you prefer luxurious lodges? The Gorilla Highlands Trails, a transboundary system of guided trips, offers both. The routes can be adjusted, reversed and sped up with cars, bicycles and bikes. Overnight stays are usually spent in our spacious tents, however, accommodation upgrades are often very possible.

Whatever option you choose, you will spend as much time as possible with local people, basking in their warm hospitality and easy-going nature. Giving them a source of income and pride is in fact a crucial aspect of these treks!

We have been developing the Gorilla Highlands Trails since 2005. In 2010 the Rwanda Development Board added an entirely different dimension to what is possible in the region — the signposted Congo Nile Trail. As the routes have been connected, it is now possible to start walking in Congo’s Bukavu, hike across western and northern Rwanda and finish your adventure in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park three weeks later!

* DR Congo is not a suitable hiking destination outside of national parks. The Transborder Trek can bring you to Goma, and the Congo Nile Trail to Bukavu as well.

DR Congo Update, March 2024: Due to rebel activity, the Congolese northern side of Lake Kivu (Virunga NP, Masisi) currently isn’t suitable for travel. The south of the lake is alright (Kahuzi-Biega NP, Bukavu).

2-Day Valley of No Living /Lake Bunyonyi to Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Uganda/

  • see three lakes and countless views
  • visit most untouched upcountry areas
  • hike through the Valley of No Living
  • befriend the indigenous Batwa “Pygmies”
  • dig into gratifying lunch at Mutanda Lake Resort
  • open your soul to the rainforest magic of Bwindi

3-Day Mother of All Treks; there is a 2-day version too /Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda/

  • spend a full day dugout canoeing on a phenomenal lake
  • camp at two unforgettable village homestays
  • island-hop through flora and fauna, history and legends
  • feast at a mountaintop picnic with volcano views
  • admire exceptional Buhinga cultural dancers
  • experience a field craft shop open just for you
  • try traditional craft making

4-Day Three Upland Lakes /Lakes Bunyonyi, Kayumbu and Mutanda, Uganda/

  • take in rarely captured 360º views of Bunyonyi
  • meet a traditional healer and a craftmaker
  • experience the island hospitality of Tom’s Homestay
  • cross Echuya Forest Reserve with Batwa “Pygmies”
  • camp on a cliff overlooking Lake Kayumbu
  • change your perception of the culture of coffee
  • overnight at Lake Mutanda’s former Punishment Island
  • explore the national park activity options of Bwindi

7-Day Transborder Trek; made of 2 independent segments /Lake Bunyonyi to Lake Kivu, Uganda & Rwanda/

  • enjoy the first five highlights of Three Upland Lakes
  • sample the best from Lake Burera’s motorboat cruise
  • spend a night on a backpacker paradise island
  • visit the Ellen DeGeneres Campus with a Dian Fossey exhibit
  • explore the bounties of Volcanoes National Park
  • stay at the incredible home of Rosamond Carr
  • mingle with Rwandan cowboys

7/9-Day Ultimate Hike; made of 3 independent segments /3 lakes, Mgahinga and Bwindi NP, Uganda/

  • enjoy all the highlights of Three Upland Lakes
  • trek through golden fields of wheat just beneath majestic volcanoes
  • sample superb activities in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  • get a look into the famous Sagitwe caldera
  • traverse the dense woods of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

11-Day Congo Nile Trail /Lake Kivu, Rwanda/

  • do this trail solo, or enhance your trip with a great local guide
  • benefit from well-established base camps
  • opt for any number of days on the way
  • combine it with mountain biking, boats and more
  • add the beautiful Gisovu tea area and Nyungwe National Park

Please schedule a call or leave us a message to learn more about these itineraries, express your needs and share your wishes.

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featured photo: Marcus Westberg