When your guide puts his hand up and motions for you to crouch down, youll know why. Not too far away a silverback gorilla settles down to eat. Experience these breathtaking moments for yourself while tracking gorillas and other wildlife in the forests of Rwanda and Uganda. Deepen your understanding of Africas primates and youll deepen your understanding of all of us.
If you arrive early, take some time to explore the city, known for its pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Kigali also has some interesting and historic sites outside of the city. If you want more time to explore, we recommend booking a pre-night.
Please remember that this is a developing area and as such, accommodations/service may not be of similar standard to which you are used to in your home country. There also can be differences in service levels between different countries in East Africa. As well, interruptions in electricity and water can be common and internet/wifi is often only available in large cities. We appreciate your patience and understanding as well as your sense of adventure.
A/C is not available in the accommodations used on this trip. In general is not a concern as it does cool down at night and depending on location fans or screened windows are available.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains can be found here. The volcanoes and highlands of the park are covered in lush rainforest and bamboo (a favourite snack of the gorillas). While the most famous resident is the mountain gorilla, there's plenty of other wildlife roaming around: buffaloes, bushbucks, golden monkeys, hyenas, numerous bird species, and some elephants call this place home.
Altitude note: Volcanos NP - approx 2000 m (6,550 ft)
Genocide Memorial Visit
Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Community Walk and Local Lunch
4x4 (3.00 hour(s), 130km)
Enjoy a trek into the national park with a ranger/guide to view a unique and endangered species, the golden monkey. Watch these playful and lively creatures in their natural habitat. After, visit the Karisoke Research Center, which was founded by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967. Meet with a resident researcher and enjoy a tour to learn learn about their ongoing work in the protection of mountain gorillas. In the evening, expand your understanding of gorillas through an in-depth lecture from one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park.
Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles and normally a rather muddy terrain.
Only 1 hour is spent with the Golden Monkeys to ensure their protection and conservation.
Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the golden monkeys. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.
The order of activities over Days 3 and 4 can change depending on permit scheduling.
Golden Monkey Trek
Mountain Gorilla Conservation Experience
Approximately 800 mountain gorillas exist globally in the wild today. They are found in Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda. In DRC and Rwanda, gorillas live in similar ecosystems/areas. The gorilla species found in these three areas are called highland gorillas.
In Rwanda there are ten habituated gorilla families that are open to visits – the visit to a gorilla family is done once per day, with a maximum 8 trekkers per group and the duration of a visit is limited to one (1) hour with the gorilla family. The time spent with them is limited due to conservation considerations and to minimize impact on the day-to-day life of the gorilla family you are visiting. It is important to be well prepared for the trek — you never know if your total trek will be short or long. The total duration of a trek can vary and be anything between 4 and 9 hrs in length depending on the location of the gorillas, which are constantly moving. You will mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trail.
Touching the gorillas is not allowed (although in some cases they may touch you). Making loud noises or sudden movements is also not allowed. You should attempt to keep a distance of 7m from the gorillas, however the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close, in which case you should try to slowly move away. At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers.
Please note that porters are available at approx. $10USD per person. The porters are all hired from local villages and not only can carry your day pack, but assist you with a welcome hand over difficult spots. Regardless of your fitness level, we highly recommend hiring a porter as some tracks can be very muddy and elevation can affect even the most fit person. It also provides employment and supports the local community.
Mountain gorillas share 98% of our DNA and are prone to catching human illnesses. Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.
Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles and normally a rather muddy terrain. Minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years old.
Please note that depending on the size of our group and when permits are confirmed, we may be split into 2 trekking groups and you may be trekking with non-G travellers.
Iby'iwacu Village Visit
Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.
There is little accommodation inside the national park that fits our upgraded service level. Most of the mid-range lodges are adjacent to the park but it can often take approx. an hour to reach the park gates due to poor road logistics and conditions. For this reason there is a lot of driving to get to/from activities within the national park area.
Border Crossing (Rwanda - Uganda)
4x4 (8.00-9.00 hours)
Explore the lush Kalinzu Forest Reserve with a ranger on a trek in search of chimpanzees who call this protected area home. This afternoon drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a wildlife drive with possible sightings of buffalo, elephants, giant forest hogs, hyenas, leopards, lions, and warthogs.
The order of activities over Days 6 and 7 can change depending on chimp permit scheduling.
Proper hiking attire must be worn – there are trails but we can at times go off trail, to search out chimps. Vegetation and be thick with undergrowth, nettles and often in muddy terrain.
At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers.
Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the chimps. This is a national forest regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.
Kalinzu Forest Chimp Trek
Queen Elizabeth National Park Wildlife Safari Drive
Embark on a morning game drive for more wildlife viewing inside the park. In the afternoon, take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel to view birds, hippos, and, with a bit of luck, elephants or big cats.
Queen Elizabeth National Park Wildlife Safari Drive
Kazinga Channel Cruise
After breakfast, head to Entebbe with a stop at the Equator and a visit to a royal drum maker's workshop.
Drum Makers Workshop
4x4 (8.00-9.00 hours, 350km)
Depart at any time.
We recommend booking post nights if you want more time to explore Entebbe and the surrounding area.
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Trip Name: Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery
Duration: 9 Days
From Price: 4319
Trip Code: 155197
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