What budget do you need for your Uganda and Rwanda trip? During my recent short Rwanda and Uganda backpacking trip, I kept track of all expenses. Compared to my previous travels on the African continent, my expenses were definitely higher. Most of my costs were related to amazing and unforgettable experiences such as an ‘mountain gorilla trekking’, ‘the ‘Bisoke volcano hike’ and accommodation. I found Rwanda and Uganda quite similar in costs. So, how much does it cost to backpack Uganda and Rwanda? Find out below!

This article is part of the Money Matters series in which travelers keep their travel costs and expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses.  

How much does it cost to backpack Uganda and Rwanda? 

Total costs 14-day Uganda and Rwanda backpacking trip: 1328 USD 
Daily travel expenses Uganda and Rwanda*: 95 USD per day 

*These daily travel expenses are per one person per day. Including the gorilla permit (600USD), tours, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, transportation, entrance fees, tips etc. Excluding international flights.

p.s. My daily costs excluding the gorilla trekking would have been 50 USD per day

Green hills Rwanda
Near Kivu Lake in Rwanda – Cost of Backpacking in Rwanda and Uganda. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers

These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.

Standard Uganda / Rwanda travel expenses
  • A private room guesthouse: 15-25 USD
  • A bed in a dormitory: 15 USD
  • A short 10-minute taxi ride: 3-6 USD 
  • Short motoride (9 km): 1,3 USD
  • A bottle of water (0,5L) at the store: 0,34 USD
  • Lunch/dinner in a local restaurant: 1- 2 USD
  • Dinner in a ‘Western style’ restaurant: 7-8 USD
Inzu Lodge Gisenyi
Glamping and relaxing at Kivu Lake in the eco-friendly Inzu Lodge Gisenyi – Cost of Backpacking in Rwanda and Uganda. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers
Notable Uganda travel expenses 
  • Gorilla tracking permit Bwindi: 600 USD
  • Porter Bwindi: 15 USD + 4 USD tip
  • 4WD Bwindi Backpackers Lodge to Park entrance and from Bwindi to Kabale: 40 USD
  • Boda Boda from Kisoro to Bwindi: 10,8 USD
  • Bus Entebbe to Kampala: 1 USD
  • Bus Kampala to Kigali : 11 USD
  • Bus Kabale to Kampala: 6,45 USD
  • Night boda boda from Entebbe center to airport: 4 USD
  • Popcorn in the bus: 0,10 USD
  • Chapati in bus: 0,4 USD
  • Entrance Mengo Palace: 4 USD
  • MTN sim card with credit: 1,5 USD
  • Veggie burger in Bush Pig Backpackers: 5,9 USD
  • 4-bed dormitory Bwindi Backpackers including breakfast: 25 USD
  • Private room in Kabale Backpackers: 8 USD
  • Private tree house Bushara island Lake Bunyuoni: 25 USD
  • Private glamping tent Via Via Hostel Entebbe : 20 USD
  • Single room Bush Pig Hostel Kampala including breakfast: 25 USD
Gorilla encounter in Bwindi National Park, Uganda.
Gorilla encounter in Bwindi National Park, Uganda. – Cost of Backpacking in Rwanda and Uganda. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers
Notable Rwanda travel expenses 
  • MTN sim card with one week 1,5 GB/day: 7 USD 
  • Bus Kigali to Kibuye: 2,7 USD
  • Bus Kibuye to Gisenyi: 2,7 USD
  • Bus Gisenyi to Musanze: 1,6 USD
  • Bus Musanze to Cyanica border: 1,1 USD
  • Samosa: 0,11 USD
  • Nyamirambo Women’s Center walking tour: 22 USD
  • Boat ride Lake Kivu (22.000 for 1 boat with 2 persons): 12,6 USD
  • Guided hill hike Gisenyi: 5,7 USD
  • Traditional canoe Gisenyi: 7 USD
  • Moto to Cyuza island dock: 3,4 USD
  • Boat Cyuza island (return): 14 USD
  • Moto to Volcanoes NP from Musanze: 2,28 USD
  • Volcanoes NP Bisoke volcano hike: 75 USD
  • Porter Bisoke: 11,4 USD
  • 4-p dormitory Mijo Hostel Kigali: 17 USD
  • Private budget room Home Saint Jean Kibuye: 12,6 USD
  • Private glamping tent Inzu Lodge Gisenyi: 28 USD
  • Camping with my own tent Cyuza island: 13,7 USD
  • Private room Amahoro Guesthouse: 18 USD
Matatu in Uganda
Matatu madness in Uganda.- Cost of Backpacking in Rwanda and Uganda. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers

About the backpacker: Manouk, the Netherlands, 32 years
Destination and travel period: Uganda and Rwanda in November 2018 for 14 days
Visited places: Entebbe, Kampala, Kigali, Kibuye, Gisenyi, Musanze/Volcanoes NP, Bwindi NP, Lake Bunyuoni.
Type of trip: Solo, independently
Accommodation*: budget / standard (mainly hostels, guesthouses, glamping)
Transportation*: budget / standard (mostly public transportation, 2x shared car)
Food*: budget (local restaurants)
Currency rate December 2018: 1 euro = 4217 Ugandan Shilling, 1 euro = 992 Rwandan Franc

*4 options: basic, budget, standard and luxury

–> Like this article :)? Don’t forget to book your Uganda and Rwanda accommodation through Hostelworld.com or Booking.com! Booking through these links won’t cost you anything extra, but it will get me a small commission to keep this website up and running (and ad free)! ~ Thanks! Manouk

Nyamirambo Women's Center
View during the excellent walking tour of the Nyamirambo Women’s Center (NWC) in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • If traveling in low season, don’t book beforehand. Often I would just turn up at the accommodation and it was cheaper than the prices on Booking.com or Hostelworld.com
  • If you would like to save money: bring a tent. I’ve splurged a bit in terms of accommodation during this trip. When traveling long-term, I use my tent more often. Camping is 5-10 USD.
  • Preferably arrange activities on the spot.
  • Motorcycle taxi’s (boda-boda’s in Uganda or moto’s in Rwanda) can be a bit dangerous, but they’re cheap. I’ve used them on a daily basis.
  • Private cars are expensive, but sometimes ‘required’ for hiking and trekking. For example, for Volcanoes NP many people offered 4WD’s for 60-100 USD. However, I just took a boda-boda to the NP head quarters and was able to secure a free ride with other tourists. It’s always a bit of a risk to rely on hitchhiking though.
  • Gorilla encounter in Bwindi National Park in Uganda
  • Hiking Mt. Bisoke in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
  • Camping at Cyuza island near Musanze in Rwanda
  • Chilling and relaxing at Lake Kivu in Kibuye and Gisenyi

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