This exceptional Gorilla Trekking Safari takes you mountain gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Forest National Park of Uganda and the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda! You get to spend time with these endangered primates in the wild, experiencing one of the most incredible and unforgettable wildlife encounters on earth - twice!
Exploring these ancient rainforests is an incredible experience in itself, as these biodiversity hotspots also host a spectacular array of other wildlife, birds, insects and plants, including many endemic and rare species.
The 6 Day Uganda & Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari includes excellent value-for-money lodge accommodation and a trek to see the unique golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park, as well as a Kigali City Tour.
Arriving at the Entebbe International Airport, which services Kampala, our guide is there to welcome you to Uganda. From the airport, you are transferred to our first overnight guest house in the area.
We spend the night at the Entebbe Airport Guest House or Kampala Forest Cottages, where you enjoy dinner and rest up after your flight.
Bright and early this morning (at 07h00), your guide collects you from the guest house for the long drive to Bwindi National Park.
Leaving Entebbe and Kampala behind we drive south-west via Masaka to Mbarara, about 283km's from Kampala. Our drive takes us across the equator, where we stop for snacks and photos. Then we visit Igongo Cultural Village Centre and the interesting Ankole Museum, before having lunch at a motel in Mbarara. After lunch, we travel into the scenic highlands of Uganda, nearing the dense rainforests of Bwindi. These are some of the oldest, most lush and most diverse forests in Africa, hosting a spectacular array of flora and fauna.
Our overnight lodge is located on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, overlooking the tea plantations and rainforests. Tonight we have dinner at the lodge, enjoying the tranquil natural setting and preparing for our once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trek tomorrow.
Today we embark on our first exhilarating mountain gorilla trek - an experience to be treasured!
The day starts with breakfast at the lodge, before transferring to the Bwindi Forest National Park headquarters. Remember to take a rain jacket, drinking water, snacks and your packed lunch from the lodge. Also, make sure that you bring sturdy trekking boots with for walking in the swamps and jungles.
At 08h00 the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) staff hold a short talk at the headquarters, briefing you about the gorilla trekking procedures. Briefing complete, the UWA rangers guide you into the lush Bwindi Forest where almost half of the world’s remaining wild mountain gorillas are found.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its critical population of mountain gorillas and the rich biodiversity it holds. The trek through the jungle is itself is a remarkable wilderness experience! All kinds of exotic birds, insects, mammals and reptiles can be spotted as you walk through the thick undergrowth and tangled vines. There are 11 primate species to be seen and about 90 mammal species in total, as well as a huge variety of birds and butterflies. We will be trekking through the jungle for two to six hours, which can be arduous and challenging, but well worth the effort.
Once we find our designated gorilla group, we stop and spend an hour watching them. Of the estimated 880 wild gorillas remaining on the planet, Bwindi is home to about half this population, living in four family groups. We watch these social primates as they groom each other, feed on the undergrowth, doze off, play and interact. This spell-binding experience is considered one of the most poignant wildlife encounters on earth.
In the afternoon when we return from our unforgettable gorilla encounter we visit Buhoma Village. Setting off from the Buhoma Community Rest Camp, your guide leads you to the village to explore on foot. Walking around the village gives you the chance to meet the local people living near Bwindi, see how they live and support the community directly.
Our eventful day in and around the Bwindi Forest, ends back at the lodge with a hearty dinner and a good night's rest.
Wake up to the lush forests and scenic hills surrounding the lodge and enjoy a tasty breakfast. Then it is time to leave Bwindi and its majestic gorillas behind, travelling from Uganda into neighbouring Rwanda. This stunning drive takes us through the hilly countryside of Rwanda, dubbed the 'Land of a Thousand Hills'.
Our destination for the day is the city of Ruhengeri, now called Musanze, which serves as the base for exploring Volcanoes National Park. Arriving in this beautiful area at the foot of the Virunga Mountains, we visit the Twin Lakes; Lake Ruhondo and Lake Burera. After soaking up the scenes of the tranquil lakes surrounded by verdant hills to the backdrop of the Virunga Massif, we relax and have dinner at our guest house.
On day five we have an early breakfast before heading to the nearby Volcanoes National Park, one of the best places in the world for mountain gorilla trekking!
Reaching the park headquarters our driver/guide takes care of the formalities while the park rangers brief you on the gorilla trek. Then it is time for your second gorilla trekking experience in the rainforests of central Africa!
The Volcanoes National Park encompasses ancient afro-montane and bamboo forests, covering about 160km² of pristine wilderness. The park is named after the five volcanoes it incorporates but is most famous for its African mountain gorillas. Volcanoes Park is also incredibly biodiverse, hosting about 200 bird species and a rich array of animals, plants and insects, including many rare and endemic species. We will be assigned to one of the ten habituated gorilla groups which the ranger tracks down.
Once we find our gorillas we get to spend an hour with them in the forest. We watch these massive primates go about their day - grooming, playing, sleeping and feeding. It is an extraordinary experience to see how gentle and social the gorillas are, and how much their behaviour resembles that of humans.
After our unforgettable gorilla encounter we trek back to the headquarters and return to the guesthouse for dinner and leisure time.
On our final day, we return to Volcanoes National Park. This time to track the endangered golden monkeys, endemic to the Virunga Mountains area.
This is an easier trek through the bamboo forests on the lower slopes. We spend an hour watching the rare golden monkeys as they move around between the tree branches and on the forest floor. These social primates are very active and playful, making for an exciting wildlife encounter.
After our trek we have lunch in Ruhengere and drive southeast to the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. We stop several times to admire the spectacular views of the verdant hills, en route to the clean and modern city.
Arriving in the city we take a sightseeing tour, visiting the Genocide Memorial and an arts and crafts market. Then you are transferred to the Kigali International Airport for your onward flight.
The tour price excludes Gorilla Permit fees of US$ 600 for Uganda and US$1500 for Rwanda.
Only children over the age of 16 may go gorilla trekking.
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