Rwanda – Uganda Catholic Pilgrimage in 2016

Posted by on November 16, 2015

Our Lady of Kibeho – Rwanda and Uganda’s Martyr’s Shrine in one Pilgrimage

A Once a year Rwanda – Uganda Catholic Pilgrimage – Kibeho Rwand – Namugongo-Uganda

Land in Kigali for the Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Kibeho – Depart from Entebbe after your Pilgrimage to Uganda;s Martyr’s Shrine.

A Rwanda – Uganda Catholic Pilgrimage – a once a year combined Pilgrimage Journey to our Lady of Kibeho in Rwanda and  the Uganda’s Martyr’s Shrine in Namugongo near Kampala. This combined pilgrimage combines the special celebrations in Kibeho, Rwanda and the annual Martyr’s Day Celebrations where people come from all over East Africa to honor those who gave their lives for their faith and have canonized as Saint.

Our Lady of Kibeho:Rwanda - Uganda Catholic Pilgrimage

Kibeho is a small town in southern Rwanda where a group of young people, notably three girls reported visions of Mary – the mother of Christ beginning in 1981 and they occurring until 1989,  Those visions – apparitions were sanctioned by the Catholic Church and public devotion was also sanctioned in 1988 and the apparitions were declared authentic in June of 2001 by the Vatican.

In the apparitions of the Virgin Mary among many other themes there was a foretelling of what was to come in the Spring and Summer of 1994 with visions of rivers of blood and mutilated bodies- those 100 days of sorrow – the Genocide against the Tutsi People where a million people were cruelly slaughtered.

Namugongo Martyr’s Shrine:  Rwanda - Uganda Catholic Pilgrimage

June 3rd every year hundreds of thousands  – [1.5 million are expected] make the pilgrimage to Namugongo to remember those who were Catholic and have been canonized as saints who withstood the temptations before them as the King (Kabaka) asked them to renounce their faith and give in to his sexual demands – they stood with their newfound faith.  45 in all – Catholics and Anglicans – Today is Uganda’s Martyr’s Feast day and it a meaningful spiritual experience for you.

Welcome-to-RwandaMay 27- Arrival in the Land of a Thousand Hills – Rwanda:

Welcome to the Land of a Thousand Hills and a Million Smiles – Rwanda

Arrive at Kigali International Airport and are met by your knowledgeable Catholic Driver-Guide who will take you on your pilgrimage to Kibeho.   Activities for the day depends on your arrival time in Rwanda.  Many flights from Europe arrive late evening which does not allow for a tour of Kigali.  If you however arrive earlier we will adjust the itinerary to reflect that.

We take 15 minute drive into Kigali and check into Hotel  Des Mille Collines – also known as Hotel Rwanda – the hotel with a lot of history in Kigali.

Today – the Hotel Des Mille Collines is a 4 Star Hotel with a beautiful garden, swimming pool , fabulous restaurant, poolside bar and a place where you can obtain snacks of all kinds including Rwanda’s famous Goat Brochettes, you can also have beef or chicken.Hotel-des-Mille-Collines-Hotel-Rwanda

The rooms come with a balcony overlooking the garden and pool and the city of Kigali. They come with bath, TV, WiFi, and other amenities to make you feel at home.

Dinner if needed can be taken in the Restaurant which is on top of the Hotel and you can see the Kigali city lights twinkle at night.  Darkness comes here just past 6 pm and dawn is just after 5:30 am in the morning.

The Hotel Des Mille Collines is on a Bed and Breakfast Basis and you have a great selection to choose from including a lot of fruit, eggs prepared just the way you like and a variety of baked goods.

Lodging – up-market:  Hotel Des Mille Collines

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Centre-d-Acceuil-Mater-Boni-ConsiliiMay 28- Our Lady of Kibeho -Your Rwanda – Uganda Catholic Pilgrimage :begins

Breakfast at Hotel Des Mille Collines which you will enjoy and we head for Butare which is now called Huye – the town is the educational center of Rwanda and not only includes the National University of Rwanda but has a Catholic University and the largest Catholic Cathedral in Rwanda and was built in the 1930’s in memory of the Belgian Princess Astrid.

While visiting Kibeho for your pilgrimage you will stay overnight at Butare’s best hotel Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii (our Lady -mother of good counsel).  This is a rather unique hotel since it comes with a chapel in the Hotel and Virgin Mary is on every page of their website.  This hotel is owned and managed by the Sisters of the Mother of Good Counsel who own and manage one Butare’s finest hotels with good TripAdvisor Ratings.  The profits go to help orphans, the handicapped and other marginalized peopleour-lady-of-kibeho-shrine

They have a nice restaurant, bar and garden for you to enjoy.  The rooms are most comfortable and well-furnished for your enjoyment.

Food is good and the service is mos

We will have an early lunch here and then proceed to Kibeho which is a short distance from Butare on a dirt road – you will notice once again the beautiful scenery on the way to the Basilica at Kibeho which is named “Our Lady of Sorrow” and the shrine of “Our Lady of Kibeho.”

We visit the church which was built according to instructions given in the vision (however it is not the dimensions that were given due to lack of funds).

Divine-mercy-smallTake your time in the church and include a visit to the Genocide memorial – you can also spend some time outside  the statue is of “the Lady of Kibeho.”

We then continue to Nyarushishi Hill to see the large bronze statue of Christ, called, Divine Mercy Statue.The Statue came from the Chicago area in the USA.  In Chicago the Statue was moved around to different churches and many Catholics enjoyed having the statue at their Church.

The Divine Mercy Statue of Christ made its way to Rwanda where since 2004 it has graced the top of Nyarushishi  Hill and has been a blessing to Rwandans and to visitors from afar who come here on a spiritual pilgrimage such as yourself.

We return to Butare for dinner – pay a visit to the Chapel – not many hotels in the world have a Chapel on premise.

Lodging – up-market:  Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast

 May 29 –  Kibeho -Apparition Pilgrimage Visit:Nathalie-Mukamazimpaka

Breakfast and we depart with a packed lunch and plenty of bottled water we head back to Kibeho spending the day attending the apparition for the day.

Nathalie Mukamazimpaka one of the original visionaries at Kibeho resides on the grounds of the Kibeho Church – across from the dorm where she lived when she was a student.  During the 1994 Genocide she fled into what was then Zaire to seek refuge, returning in 1996 when the Benebikira Sisters had just come back to Kibeho and reopened their convent, the school and the health centre.

Today she most often greets visitors to Kibeho and assists them in any way possible to make pilgrims to the church and shrine most comfortable.  This is the only Marian Shrine in Africa and Nathalie Mukamazimpaka has dedicated her life to prayer at the church and shrine of “Our Lady of Kibeho.

Standard program for pilgrims at Kibehoour-lady-of-kihepo-pilgrimage

9:30  – Arrival at Kibeho

10 am – Spiritual talk on the message of Kibeho

11 am – Confession

12 am – Holy Mass

Today there will be thousands on this Dedication of the Church “Our Lady of Sorrows”

Afternoon meeting with Nathalie Mukamazimpaka one of the three visionaries whose visions by the Vatican

Return to Butare and stay overnight at Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii


Lodging – up-market:  Centre d’Accueil Mater Boni Consilii

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast

mutanda-lake-resortMay 30th  – Transfer to Lake Mutanda – Uganda:

Breakfast and we transfer to Lake Mutanda which is a 4 hour drive with border-crossing.  Lake Mutanda is one of the most beautiful lake in Africa ringed by the Virunga Volcanoes – a most therapeutic place to come to after the pilgrimage in Rwanda.

We check into Mutanda Lake Resort which is a moderate lodge with bath right on a lake, it is located on a Peninsula that stretches out into the lake.  View is everything and here you definitely have a view.

Enjoy your lunch

Afternoon Sunset Boat Ride on Lake Mutanda


Lodging – moderate:  Mutanda Lake Resort

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast

Upmarket Chameleon Lodge can be substituted

May 31st – Gorilla Tracking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

Gorilla Tracking is not something one would normally associate with a pilgrimage – but this is in the Spirit Francis of Assisi who loved animals visiting-mountain-gorillasand he surely would have loved a time with the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda.

Early Breakfast – a packed lunch and we drive to the gorilla tracking trailhead – 1 hour drive.

You will need a daypack, 2  liters of water, jeans, long-sleeved shirt, rain jacket, hiking or stout shoes.  You can use a porter at a very reasonable price and help a Ugandan family.

Gorilla tracking is about 5 hours in length – it is not too strenuous in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  It is the experience of a lifetime.


Lodging – moderate:  Mutanda Lake Resort

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast

June 1 – Transfer to Lake Mburo Park – Mburo Safari Lodge:

Lake-Mburo-ParkEarly breakfast and depart at 7 am for Lake Mburo – arrive here at Lunchtime and check into a cottage at Mburo Safari Lodge.


Afternoon Boat Ride on Lake Mburo where you can see hippos, crocodiles, otters, water birds, mammals such as zebras coming to water.  This is a 1 1/2 hour boat safari.

Afterwards go on a game drive where you can see leopards, antelopes including the large Eland, Topi, Zebras, buffaloes, warthogs, birds and more.


Lodging – moderate:  Mburo Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast

Mihingo Lodge is the upmarket Choice

 June 2 – Transfer to Kampala – Cassia Lodge:City-Tour-Rubaga-Cathedral

Breakfast and we depart for Kampala (4 hours).  We stop off at the Equator for picture taking and continue to Kampala and Cassia Lodge.  Cassia Lodge has the best view all around of Lake Victoria and of Kampala.

Great Food is served here.


After Lunch we take a Kampala City Tour that includes Owino Market, Nakasero Market, a visit to the Craft Shops on Buganda Road, we end with a visit to the first Catholic Cathedral built in Uganda which is Rubaga Cathedral.

Kampala, now 2 million inhabitants was built on 7 hills and now has grown way beyond the original geographical size. You will find Kampala quite different from Kigali in that it is a typical African Capital, ever moving, bustling and teeming with life.

We return to Cassia Lodge where you can refresh yourself at the pool on the side of the lodge.


Lodging – moderate:  Cassia Lodge

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast

 Martyrs-DAy-PilgrimageJune 3 Uganda’s Martyrs Day – Namungongo:

Breakfast and your able Catholic Driver-Guide will guide you through the maze of Pilgrims who have gathered at Namugongo  for this Holy Day.

Visit the Shrine itself – the church and learn about Uganda’s Martyrs – 22 of which are Saints.   People have come from all over East Africa – many of them on foot from Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and various parts of Uganda.

There is also an interfaith service since 23 martyrs were Church of Uganda (g)

It is both a festive Celebration of the Spirit of Faith of the Martyrs and a time of reflection.  The day is one of the highlights of the year for Catholics throughout the region.

Dinner and Reflection

Lodging – moderate:  Cassia Lodge

Meal Plan: Lunch – Dinner – Breakfast

 June 4 – Departure Day:Entebbe-Botanical-Garden

Breakfast – today’s schedule depends on your departure time.

Depart for airport for departure.

Optional – Entebbe Botanical Gardens – a visit to the White Fathers Monument where the first Catholic Missionaries landed coming from Tanzania.

Entebbe is a pleasant city that was the first Capital of Uganda during Colonial Times – it is the cleanest town in Uganda/

Lunch can be taken along Lake Victoria at Goretti’s Restaurant – sandy beach, palm trees, views of islands, great view. Enjoy your pilgrimage and may you find inspirations and enjoyment…from Kampala…jon

 If you like to participate in this Rwanda – Uganda Pilgrimage- let us know


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