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gorilla trek

Mountain gorillas – 3 days


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

from US$ 2,278 per person sharing

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Gorilla and chimp trekking

Mountain gorillas – 3 days

E-mail    +27 (0)21 701 1622

Indication Price (from): US$ 2,278 per person sharing *view all prices and dates

Length: 2 nights / 3 days

Group Size: Up to 6 guests

Location: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Departure Dates: To suit you

INDICATION PRICES

Final prices vary, subject to factors such as exchange rates, time of year and availability. Contact us to fine-tune these prices and to tailor-make your dream safari.

OUR CHARGES

The price you see includes all services rendered by us and we only generate revenue once and if you book one of our safaris. Going directly to any of the lodges and other suppliers in our safari packages will not save you money because we earn discounts from suppliers based on the volume of business that we generate for them.

Gorilla trekking for mountain gorillas is the top bucket list safari choice for many people. The epic experience of being face-to-face with these gentle giants touches the heart of even the most experienced of travellers.

We have found the most cost-effective and convenient way to enjoy this life-changing experience:

Landing in Kigali (Rwanda) will allow you to trek for mountain gorillas in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in neighbouring Uganda. The 5-hour drive is a pleasant and scenic journey – far shorter than the full-day drive from the Uganda airport city of Entebbe. Read more about road trips in Uganda here.

Based from Gorilla Safari Lodge in Bwindi you will trek mountain gorillas the day after you land. The cost of Ugandan gorilla trek permits is significantly less than the equivalent trek permit in Rwanda. The border crossing between Rwanda and Uganda is made easy by the East African Visa facility which permits re-entry into Rwanda after your visit to Uganda without needing to pay for a re-entry, or multiple entry visa.

This mountain gorilla trekking package offers the swiftest, most cost-effective means to enjoy the company of these magnificent great apes, without having to pay an arm and a leg. And what’s more, this short safari is the ideal grand finale to your Kenya or Tanzania safari.

Day one – arrival in Rwanda and drive to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After your arrival in Rwanda’s capital Kigali (required to be before 07h00 in order to depart by 08h00) you will be met and greeted by our driver/guide representative and whisked off to the Rwanda/Uganda border crossing – a 2,5-hour drive north of Kigali. The road is tarred all the way, in good condition and the drive is pleasant, scenic and colourful. After a painless set of formalities at the border you will find yourself driving on the opposite side of the road (welcome to Uganda).

The drive to Rushaga, in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in western Uganda is pretty spectacular. The magnificent views of Rwanda’s towering volcanoes such as Muhavura, Gahinga, Visoke, Sabyinyo, Karisoke and Karisimbi are simply breathtaking. Ancient and placid crater lakes like Burera , Ruhondo and Bunyonyi add to the spectacle, and before you know it you will find yourself enveloped in the misty and lush Afromontane forests of Ichuya and then Bwindi.

Much of the way is dominated by steeply terraced valleys where Uganda’s hard working people eke out an existence by growing tea, coffee, potatoes, beans and onions in these fertile volcanic soils.

After this beautiful drive you will be welcomed at Gorilla Safari Lodge in Bwindi, and enjoying a walk around the lodge gardens to check out the local birdlife, and then relaxing over a sunset drink. Following a wholesome dinner you will retire to bed early, in expectation of tomorrow’s BIG DAY and early wake up call.

Day two – mountain gorilla trek and return to Kigali, Rwanda

After a steaming cup of Ugandan tea or coffee, a hearty breakfast and a short drive to the ranger station you will be met by your excellent local gorilla trekking guides, trackers, rangers and porters. They will give you an informative talk on gorilla trekking etiquette.

Gorilla trekking commences in the general direction of the last sighting of your assigned gorilla family group. The trekking can take between 1 and 6 hours, but most typically 4 hours. The terrain in Bwindi can be rough and at times muddy and slippery, but your experienced support crew will ensure that the group progresses at a pace that is comfortable for everyone. There will be frequent stops and opportunities to catch your breath, enjoy the spectacular views and take photographs.

No matter how far or close the gorillas may be, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery always makes the trekking a worthwhile experience. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, and the elation and wonderment take over. Your mountain gorilla group is likely to be chilled out as they go about daily life – eating wild celery, indulging in some blissful grooming, or simply enjoying social activities with their family members.

Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of a gorilla is surely the most profound and poignant wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer.

After a blissful hour with these gentle giants, you will return to the ranger station and back to the lodge for a quick shower and change of clothes. Following lunch, you will drive back to Kigali where dinner and a comfortable bed awaits at the quaint and comfortable Flame Tree Village.

Day three – depart Kigali

After breakfast, your driver will meet you at the hotel and take you for a morning city tour of Kigali. Kigali is hilly, modern, very clean, bustling and colourful – here you will have a chance to peruse some handcraft markets, coffee roasters, and Kigali’s Genocide Memorial (for those who wish to understand how this amazing nation has outgrown its dark past).

Lunch will be enjoyed at a central Kigali restaurant before you are transferred to Kigali International Airport for your departing flight.

End of services

Indication Price (from): US$ 2,278 per person sharing (see below for further pricing where relavant)

Departure Dates: To suit you

1 person 2 people 4 people 6 people
Price per person US$ 2,763 US$ 2,278 US$ 2,037 US$ 1,795

 

Price includes:
Transfers to and from the airport in Kigali on arrival and departure days. One nights’ accommodation in Uganda and one in Rwanda on full board. All meals mentioned in the itinerary (starting with lunch on arrival day to lunch on departure day). Coffees/teas, and an unlimited supply of mineral water during transfers. A single-entry gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. All ground transportation in a 4WD vehicle, with fuel provided, and the services of our English speaking tour guide/driver. Both driver and guide fees. Satib 24 Medevac (emergency medical evacuation). 24/7 office support.

Price excludes:
International or local airfare (however we can help you with booking your tickets). Visas and airport departure taxes. Items of personal nature, telephone calls, laundry, travel and medical Insurance, tips, excess baggage charges, gratuities to lodge staff, drivers and the leader. Any activities not specified in the itinerary.

INDICATION PRICES

Final prices vary, subject to factors such as exchange rates, time of year and availability. Contact us to fine-tune these prices and to tailor-make your dream safari.

OUR CHARGES

The price you see includes all services rendered by us and we only generate revenue once and if you book one of our safaris. Going directly to any of the lodges and other suppliers in our safari packages will not save you money because we earn discounts from suppliers based on the volume of business that we generate for them.

COVID-19
  1. There is currently a countrywide curfew from 9 pm to 5 am. However, if your flight arrives or departs within curfew times, fear not, we can apply for a police pass to arrange for after-curfew pick-ups and drop-offs if required.
  1. VERY IMPORTANT !!! Please read this Entry Protocol Document before booking your flights to Rwanda.
  1. Please familiarize yourself with the NEW Covid-19 regulations for Gorilla trekking in Volcans NP.
Additional information

Accommodation:

Gorilla Safari Lodge (Bwindi, Uganda): This awesome mid-range hotel is the ideal base for your mountain gorilla trek. It offers 11 spacious cottages, each providing the perfect setting to relax after an exciting day of trekking. All cottages have solar-powered lighting, en-suite bathroom with hot and cold water and flush toilets, as well as individual verandahs offering excellent views of the dense Bwindi rainforest. There are two family cottages, offering two rooms (both en-suite and graced by a cosy fireplace) with an inter-leading door that makes them ideal for families or couples traveling together. The lodge also offers a spa where you can indulge in a well-deserved massage, whilst the main lodge area houses a fine dining restaurant, bar, lounge and campfire area overlooking the forest.


Flame Tree Village (Kigali, Rwanda): Slightly out of the city centre in the quiet Kigali suburb of Nyarutarama, this venue provides a quiet, homely, and comfortable environment for its guests. 15 spacious Villas are available, with Wi-Fi, TVs, coffee machines, and minibars. Some rooms have private patios/balconies and all guests have access to the outdoor pool and terrace, perfect for relaxing on warm afternoons, as well as the pool bar, and an in-house restaurant. It is located 10 minutes from both the airport and central business district.

Climate:
Temperatures typically vary from 15°C to 29°C and are rarely below 14°C or above 31°C.

Difficulty:
Gorilla trekking takes place at altitudes of 3 000 meters above sea level. This means that moderate/average physical fitness is required. The slowest member will determine the groups’ speed. The pace will be moderate, with plenty stops to rest, ask questions, re-hydrate and enjoy the forest and views.

Flight Details:
The cost of return flights to Kigali (Rwanda) is not included. Should you wish to book with us we will do our utmost to secure your booking at the best possible rate. Should you wish to extend your stay/ do a pre-trip leading up to this tour please contact us for details.

Booking and payment details: Once you have decided to join one of our safaris, you will need to contact us for a booking formwhich will include details relating to deposit and final payments etc. As our groups are small they fill up quickly.

Recommended Reading:
For the most authoritative and up to date information about Rwanda as a travel destination we recommend Wild Rwanda. Beautifully written and lavishly illustrated this book contains everything you would like to know about Rwanda’s habitats, reserves and national parks and where, and how to find its most iconic birds, primates and fascinating wildlife. Contact us to purchase your copy.

For an accurate, comprehensive and accurate travel guide to Uganda we highly recommend Phillip Briggs’s Bradt Guide to Uganda.

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Simon Espley, Africa Geographic CEO