Uganda & Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Gorilla tracking is one of the most thrilling, lifetime adventures you should include in your life activities. No one can fully describe the joy and wonderful moment attached to the first setting eyes on a wild mountain gorilla. Meanwhile, 480 mountain gorillas are in Virunga Mastiff, shared between 3 countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC, there are additional 400 mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. If combined, there are 880 mountain gorillas remaining in the world in the three countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC. Mountain gorillas live in age-graded families similar to those of humans, but only habituated groups are available for tourism (10 of the habituated families live in Rwanda and 18 in Uganda). If you want to choose between Rwanda and Uganda for gorilla tracking, here are some hints, but remember taste and preference varies as an old saying “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

3 Days Gorilla Tracking Uganda

Uganda gorilla safari offers the most remarkable wildlife encounter with the rare Bwindi mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda. The Impenetrable Forest is home to half of all the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population with 19 gorilla families and still growing. The 3 days Uganda gorilla safari and trekking in Bwindi through the thick forest is an opportunity to have the rare encounter of seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and a chance to view some other attractions in the park. A gorilla tracking holiday in Uganda will take you for an exciting African safari passing through banana and tea plantations, the rolling hills, seeing different small towns on this journey. The gorilla trek takes about 2 to 8 hours depending on their location.

This gorilla tracking safari can either start from Kampala – Bwindi or from Kigali – Bwindi for those who prefer having a short drive.

DAY 1: TRAVEL TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST.

You  will be picked and briefed by our professional English speaking guide from your hotel after your breakfast then start your amazing journey with a drive from Kampala towards southwestern Uganda. Along the way you will get a gimpse of rural and semi-urban Uganda, with several fruit and vegetable markets along the roads, craft, and drum makers. You will also have a stopover at the equator to take photos with an opportunity to buy some crafts and souvenirs before continuing to Mbarara town where you will have your lunch. Hereafter, proceed to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with short bathroom stopovers and photo sessions of the landscape. You will arrive in the late afternoon. Check-in at the lodge in Bwindi, relax in the evening and have dinner.

Accommodations in Bwindi park: Luxury: Buhoma Lodge/  Gorilla Safari Lodge,   Mid-range: Gorilla Mist Camp/Rushaga Gorilla camp/Chameleon Hill Lodge      Budget: Buhoma Community Rest Camp/Bwindi Forest Lodge/Gorilla Valley Lodge

DAY 2: GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST

You will have an early morning breakfast, then will depart for the brilliant  Bwindi forest. You will commence with a drive to the park headquarters where park rangers will brief you about the regulations for the gorilla trekking in Bwindi Park and also you will be divided into a group of eight participants. With the leading of the rangers start gorilla trekking to the location of the gorillas. You are allowed to spend an hour with these magnificent mountain gorillas close up in their natural habitat. Principally hikers will love the trek in the beautiful ecosystem of the park. But overall, this will be a unique and unforgettable experience! After the gorilla trek, you will be given a certificate for succeeding a gorilla trek in Uganda/Bwindi then transfer back to your lodge in Bwindi for lunch, rest, dinner, and overnight stay.

Accommodation: Luxury: Buhoma Lodge, Midrange: Gorilla Mist Camp, Budget: Buhoma Community Rest Camp

 

DAY 3: BWINDI NATIONAL PARK BACK TO KAMPALA.

You will have a leisurely morning breakfast at the lodge, you will then embark on your return journey from this amazing gorilla trekking safari Bwindi driving through Mbarara and on a lucky day you may have a chance to see zebras and impalas through Lake Mburo National Park back to Kampala or Entebbe International Airport to catch your flight back home.

3 Days Gorilla Safari Rwanda

Day 1: Arrive in Rwanda transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Today you will meet your driver guide at the airport then brief you about the details concerning your 3 days safari then transfer you to the North to Parc des National (Volcanoes National Park). The transfer today is 80km from Kigali approximately a two hours drive. In case you reached at Kigali early then you may have a city tour where you will visit the National Museum or Genocide memorial centre then have lunch in the city after you will then continue you’re your transfer to the North.

Accommodation options; Muhabura Hotel (Budget accommodation) Le Bamboo Lodge(Moderate accommodation)  5 Volcanoes Lodge (Up market accommodation)

 

Day 2: Volcanoes National Park -Gorilla Tracking-Twin Lakes visit/ Community walk

Today after an early breakfast, by 8am your driver guide will take you to the park headquarter by for a briefing, then you will start embark on this amazing adventure. Be prepared for physical activity this day

This activity takes between 1 to 6 hours to trek to the location of the gorillas. Participants are permitted to be with the gorillas for 1 hour. It is nice experience seeing them play, guard each other, feed among others. While trekking hikers will be in line to also see other animals like the golden monkeys, elephants, buffaloes as well as birds.

After trekking, you will return back and head to the lodge for lunch and opt for a visit to the Twin Lakes; Burera and Ruhondo or take a walk in the community and watch traditional dances of the locals or if you just relax in the afternoon at your lodge.

Accommodation options; Muhabura Hotel (Budget accommodation) Le Bamboo Lodge (Moderate accommodation)  5 Volcanoes Lodge (Up market accommodation)

 Day 3: Departure:

Today after your early breakfast then your driver guide will transfer you to Kigali city where you will have a short time shopping from local markets where you can buy souvenirs and enjoy your lunch and transfer to the airport then fly back home.

4 Days Gorilla Safari Rwanda

Day 1: Arrive in Rwanda transfer to Volcanoes National Park

Today you will meet your driver guide at the airport then brief you about the details concerning your 3 days safari then transfer you to the North to Parc des National (Volcanoes National Park). The transfer today is 80km from Kigali approximately a two hours drive. In case you reached at Kigali early then you may have a city tour where you will visit the National Museum or Genocide Memorial Centre then have lunch in the city after you will then continue you’re your transfer to the north.

Accommodation options; Muhabura Hotel (Budget accommodation) Le Bamboo Lodge (Moderate accommodation)  5 Volcanoes Lodge (Up market accommodation)

 Day 2: Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla Tracking – Twin Lakes Visit/ Community Walk

Today after an early breakfast, by 8am your driver guide will take you to the park headquarter by for beefing, then you will start embark on the amazing adventure which is gorilla tracking, in most cases this activity requires some physical fitness by the hikers.

This activity takes between 1 to 6 hours to trek to the location of the gorillas. Participants are permitted to be with the gorillas for 1 hour. It is nice experience seeing them play, guard each other, feed among others. While trekking hikers will be in line to also see other animals like the golden monkeys, elephants, buffaloes as well as birds.

After trekking, you will return back and head to the lodge for lunch and opt for a visit to the twin lakes; Burera and Ruhondo or take a walk in the community and watch traditional dances of the locals or if you just relax in the afternoon at your lodge.

Accommodation options; Muhabura Hotel (Budget accommodation) Le Bamboo Lodge (Moderate accommodation)  5 Volcanoes Lodge (Up market accommodation)

 Day 3: Golden Monkey Tracking or Optional Dian Fossey Tomb Visit

After an early breakfast then you will be guided by the park ranger to track the golden monkeys, these animals are very interesting to watch while they play, move around trees and feed.

Another alternative could be visiting the Dian Fosssey tomb, here you will find out a lot concerning this primatologist who once took care of mountain gorillas (please note that; optional activities are not included in the final costing). Return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon, visit a local school where you will interact with the locals.

Accommodation Options; Kinigi Guest House (Budget), La Palme Hotel (Moderate), Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Up market),

Day 4: Kigali City Tour- Departure

After your breakfast then check out of the park and transfer to Kigali Airport.Along the way you will stop for a city tour and visit a few places like pottery projects, markets, handicraft shops, the national museum etc. Later have lunch still in the city and drive to the airport for your flight back home.

6 Days Gorilla Safari Rwanda

This is a safari for those interested in seeing primates. It will take you to the Kigali Memorial Genocide, track gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, track golden monkeys, view wildlife and also track chimpanzees.

Day 00: Arrival in Kigali Rwanda

On arrival at the Kanombe Airport found in Kigali, the tour guide will drive you to your hotel where you will dine and slumber. Dinner and sleep at Hotel Gorillas (FB)

Day 1: Kigali City Tour

Following breakfast have a city tour and visit the Kigali Memorial Genocide Centre: which well exhibits Rwanda’s the history of the genocide on video shows, see photographs, read some written accounts see a number of articrafts, read personal testimonies as well as exhibitions. The exhibition shows a section referred to as wasted lives which refer to the genocides plus holocausts in Southwestern Africa, Bosnia, Armenia and Cambodia. After your lunch drive to Volcanoes National Park to trek gorillas.

Dine and slumber at budget Kinigi Guest House, Moderate La palme or Luxury Mountain Gorilla View Lodge . You may even upgrade to Super luxury Sabinyo Silverback Lodge (FB)

Day 2: Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla tracking is usually the highlight of all Africa safaris. Parc National des Volcans is the best location to trek these uncommon yet fascinating mountain gorilla (the gorilla beringei beringei) in Africa. This park is found on Rwanda’s border with DR Congo, and Uganda. This chain of mountains has 7 volcanoes and the Karisimbi is the highest standing over 4500 meters.

The slopes covered with bamboo and rainforest vegetation are home to some of the last surviving mountain gorillas that were first studied comprehensively by George Schaller and, not so many years ago by Dian Fossey who carried out her study there the 13 years until she died mysteriously at Bisoke.

Without her persistent efforts of fighting against gorilla poaching, may be there wouldn’t be any gorillas left in Rwanda (you can read her book Gorillas in the Mist). There are 4 habituated gorilla families within Parc National des Volcans, counting the Susa Group having 35 individuals. The other gorilla families are: the Sabinyo having 13 individuals, the Amahura having 16 individuals as well as Group 13 having only 6.

It is not very challenging to find them and each gorilla family can be visited by a maximum of 8 people each day, hence availing 32 permits each day. After gorilla tracking, return to your hotel and relax. Dine and slumber at Kinigi Guest House, La Palme, or Mt Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

 

Day 3: Golden Monkey Tracking

Following breakfast drive to Gisenyi to track golden monkeys. After lunch enjoy a community walk to interact with the resident who may actually entertain you with cultural dances. You may choose to observe the locals brewing local beer from yellow bananas. Dine and slumber at Paradise Malahide Hotel or Serena Hotel (FB)

 

Day 4: Transfer to Lake Kivu 

After breakfast and drive to Lake Kivu for a boat ride around the Virgin Islands like the Napoleon’s Hat Island and there you can ascend to the peak of the hat to view the thousands of Angola bats in the blue skies. Following lunch continue to Butare the intellectual centre of Rwanda to visit the national university plus the Institute of Scientific Research as well as the national museum. Dine and slumber at Hotel Faucon (FB)

 Day 5: Nyungwe Forest- Night at Gisakura Lodge

Nyungwe Forest is among the greatly safeguarded montane rainforests in the whole of Africa. It extends over an expanse of 970 sq km and offers breathtaking scenery looking over the forest plus Lake Kivu, in addition to sights to the north of the far away volcanoes of Parc National des Virunga.

The primary attraction here are the guided tours when tracking the large troops of black & white Angolan colobus monkeys ( which may have as many as 400 members in every troop) or even chimpanzees. Roughly there are 270 species of trees, more than 70 species of mammals, 275 species of birds plus a profusion of orchids as well as butterflies. Dine and slumber at Gisakura Lodge

 Day 6: Chimpanzee Tracking

After breakfast proceed with chimpanzee tracking within the Nyungwe Forest. This forest is home to huge chimpanzees troops only comparable to those in Uganda’s Kibale Forest National Park. The L’Hoest’s monkeys plus the white Angolan colobus monkeys do make primate tourism within this forest equivalent to no other in Africa. After lunch, drive to Nyanza the historical seat of the long ago kings of Rwanda.

Visit this palace and listen to the traditional story-telling done by village elders. Actually, The Intore dancers, who attained reputation in the international cultural expo held in Brussels back in 1958, are currently part of the great Rwanda legends.

This warrior’s dance is a gem of the choreographic heritage of this country, adorned with a lion mane completed with sisal fiber plus rings of bells worn in their ankles together with an angelic choir and an exciting rhythm, this is the type of cultural dance which will be organized if you request. Dine and slumber at Hotel Ibis

Day 00: Return to Kigali Following breakfast drive to Kigali and later be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

6 Days Gorilla Safari Rwanda & Uganda

Day 1: Arrive Kigali

Upon arrival at Kigali Airport you will be transferred to the city of Kigali – Rwanda’s capitol. While here you will have a briefing about the upcoming safari. After lunch, depart for Parc National des Volcans (PNV) at around 2pm. The journey involves driving to the north where you will pass through eye-catching terraced hills which are the case with most of the countrys terrain, steadily as climb to the foothills of the astonishing Virunga volcanoes; there is a possibility of seeing the five volcano peaks.

Overnight at Kinigi Guesthouse or, La Palme, La Bambo Lodge,Volcanoes Virunga Lodge or the Gorilla View Lodge (FB).

Day 2: Gorilla Tracking Rwanda

Set out for gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans (based on the availability of the trekking permit at the time of making your booking). Tracking the mountain gorillas through the light forested mountain slopes of the stunning Virungas is a thrilling experience. When you eventually meet the gorillas, you will allowed an hour with them, seeing them feed, play and look for their young ones. From here you will return for a late lunch at your lodge. Important to note is that some gorilla families are hard to find the tracking may last the entire day especially during the rainy months as the paths are quite muddy.

Overnight at Kinigi Guest House or, Volcanoes Virunga Lodge or the Gorilla View Lodge (FB).

Day 3: Golden Monkey Tracking 

Today you will visit the beautiful golden monkeys (at an extra fee payable at the time of booking) or opt to drive directly to Gisenyi, or visit Ross Carr’s orphanage as well as Lake Kivu, or walk to Lake Bulera, or hike the Bisoke or Muhabura Volcanoes, or alternatively visit one of the local schools and the local community projects.

Overnight at Kinigi Guesthouse or the Gorilla’s View Lodge (FB)

Day 4: Trek to Dian Fossey’s Tomb and Transfer to Uganda

After breakfast you may choose to relax at the lodge, take a walk around or walk to Dian Fossey’s grave. In the afternoon after your lunch you will head to Uganda.

Overnight at the Gorilla Resort, or Buhoma Community Bandas, Nshongi Gorilla Resort, Trekker’s Tarvan, Gorilla Mist lodge, Silver Back Lodge, Kitandara Safari Tents, Mahogany Springs Lodge(FB)

Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Uganda

Today you will track mountain gorilla again, but this time this will be in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and later in the day you will take a nature walk in case you still have some energy.

Day 6: Drive to Kampala After breakfast you will drive to Kampala or go directly to Entebbe where you will arrive in the evening for your departure flight.

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