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Gorila, Bwindi, Uganda

Uganda, Rwanda D.R.Congo Gorilla Trek, Chimps Tracking Safari - 8 Days

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

Uganda, Rwanda & D.R.Congo Gorillas, Kibale Chimps Tracking Safari - 8 Days

8 days safari to track the mountain gorillas in Uganda's Bwindi, Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and DRC's Virunga National Park. We also have a day for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park which is home to 11 other primate species. You also track the golden monkeys in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park.

You will need to arrive at Entebbe International Airport and Depart from Kigali International Airport. 

We arrange the entire tour booking with DRC visa included in the price. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is necessary for this tour.

  • Day 1: Kibale National Park
  • Day 2: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park
  • Day 3: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 4: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 5: Transfer to Rwanda
  • Day 6: Gorilla Trekking in Parc des Volcanoes
  • Day 7: Golden monkeys tracking & transfer to Goma (DRC)
  • Day 8: Gorilla tracking in Virunga National Park; Drive to Kigali Airport for departure flight back home.
Itinerary

Day 1: Kibale National Park

Briefing on the safari before we drive westwards towards Fort Portal to the Kibale Forest National Park (about 5 hours).

Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good photo opportunities.

As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda's famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed.

You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. This rural Ugandan town (Fort Portal) is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 2: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park & Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 08:00 hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is chimpanzee tracking.

Chimpanzees are man’s closest cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate species. More primates like black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee-eater and mammals like elephants can be seen in this walk.

Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large communities of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.

Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialise with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.

In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the eastern edge of Kibale Forest is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bushbucks, bush pigs and among others.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 3: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Depart early morning for Bwindi for your gorilla trek.

Seasons allowing, you will drive through the Ishasha sector hoping to spot wildlife along the way. It is common to spot elephants, buffalo, tree-climbing lions and many antelopes species along the way. Alternatively you can pay the park's entrance fee ($40) to enjoy a full-scale game drive.  Arrival in Bwindi is in the late afternoon.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Lodge  |  Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Gorilla Safari Lodge | Nkuringo Gorilla Camp

Low Budget:  Buhoma Community Rest Camp | Rushaga Gorilla Camp | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp

Day 4: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip - gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day.

We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.

Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It's difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Lodge  |  Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Gorilla Safari Lodge | Nkuringo Gorilla Camp

Low Budget:  Buhoma Community Rest Camp | Rushaga Gorilla Camp | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp

Day 5: Transfer to Rwanda

Take breakfast and depart for Rwanda. You will cross the border via Kisoro or Kabale then clear at the border - Rwanda is 1 hour behind Uganda.

Located in the far north-west of Rwanda, Parc des Volcans is home to the steep slopes of this wonderful mountain range – home of the rare mountain gorilla – and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which cuddles evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.

Accommodation options available

Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge | La Palme Hotel | Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House | Muhavura Lodge.

Day 6: Gorilla Trekking in Parc des Volcanoes

Have breakfast and go to ORTPN offices for briefing after that set off in the forest for gorilla trekking.

A thrilling trek through the refined foothills of the Virungas provides inspiring views in all directions. Then, suddenly, the trail enters the national park, engrossing trekkers in the strange closeness of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colourful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, and besieged with fresh spoor of the mountains' elusive populations of buffalo and elephant. Through gaps in the forest canopy, the marvellous peaks are sighted, easily easy to get to and among the uppermost in Africa, indicating an ascent.

Gorilla trekking is quite strenuous but a worthwhile on encounter of these gentle giants. The enthusiasm of your coming across with these apes will wipe away your intricacy of the strenuous trek. Spend time watching gorillas, watch the adults feeding their young ones, brushing and resting as the youngsters play from vines in a pleasurably playful display.

Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge | La Palme Hotel | Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House | Muhavura Lodge.

Day 7: Volcanoes national park and Golden Monkey Tracking, Transfer to Goma (DRC-Rwanda Border) 

An early morning go to park headquarters pick your guide and go to track Golden monkey and in the afternoon, drive to the border of Rwanda and DRC, enter the country via Goma town, and proceed to your hotel check in.
Overnight: Caritas Hotel

Day 8: Gorilla Tracking In Virunga National Park; Transfer to Kigali Airport for departure flight back home (allow 4.5 hrs drive).

After an early breakfast depart for Parc National des Virunga and on to the starting point of your gorilla tracking experience. After completing our park formalities, we embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 700 living today. You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them.

After the gorilla tracking activity in Virunga, descend back and cross back to Rwanda.  We then drive to Kigali Airport for your flight back home.

 

Accommodation
Inclusions
  • 3 gorilla trek permits (one in Rwanda, one in Uganda and DRC)
  • Kibale Chimps/ primate trek permit
  • Meals indicated on programme
  • Drinking water
  • Services of an experienced English-speaking safari guide
  • Accommodation as per safari programme
  • Park fees for the various parks
  • Private transport using a 4x4 safari vehicle
  • DRC Tourist Visa
  • Border assistance at Goma (DRC Border post)

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