Combined Rwanda – Uganda Gorilla Trekking Tour
This 3 Day Gorilla safari will enable you to track gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park and also in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda.
Volcanoes National Park Gorilla Adventure
Volcanoes National Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) lies in northwestern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The national park is known as a haven for the mountain gorilla. It is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo), and spans 160 sq km covered in rainforest and bamboo. The park was the base for the zoologist Dian Fossey.
A Gorilla Enjoyng its meal in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is best known for the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). Other mammals include: golden monkey (Cercopithecus mitis kandti), black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus niger), buffalo (Syncerus caffer), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) and bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus). The bushbuck population is estimated to be between 1760-7040 animals. There are also reported to be some elephants in the park, though these are now very rare. There are 178 recorded bird species, with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virunga and Ruwenzori Mountains.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) is in south-western Uganda. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and is situated along the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. Composed of 331 square kilometres (128 sq mi) of both montane and lowland forest, it is accessible only on foot. BINP is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-designated World Heritage Site.
Species diversity is a feature of the park. It provides habitat for 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species. Floristically, the park is among the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species, including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The northern (low elevation) sector has many species of Guineo-Congolian flora, including two endangered species, the brown mahogany and Brazzeia longipedicellata. In particular, the area shares in the high levels of endemisms of the Albertine Rift.
The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, and many birds such as hornbills and turacos. It is most notable for the 440 Bwindi gorillas, more than half of the world’s population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Four habituated mountain gorilla groups are open to tourism: Mubare; Habinyanja; Rushegura near Buhoma; and the Nkuringo group at Nkuringo.
- Visit Iby’wanchu Cultural village
- Gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park
- Gorilla trek in Bwindi
- Visit to heritage sites in Rwanda
Day 1: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park – Iby’wachu cultural village
On arrival at the airport your will be met by your safari guide who will drive you straight to the Volcanoes National Park, some 116km from the Kigali city centre. You will traverse the lush country side dotted with undulating hills that have qualified Rwanda as a land of a thousand hills and arrive in Ruhengeri where you will spend the night. You will have lunch and after a short relaxation visit either the Iby’wachu cultural village for a detailed account of the Kinyarwanda culture dating from the pre-colonial era or go for nature walk to the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera for a scenic view.
Luxury lodge (Up-market): Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or Gorillas Nest Lodge
Moderate: La Palme Hotel or Volcanoes Gorilla Lodge
Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House or Muhavura Lodge.
Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner
Day 2: Gorilla trekking & crossing to Uganda
You will have an early breakfast and assemble at the Kinigi Park Headquarters at 08:00am for briefing by the park rangers about the conduct of gorilla trekking activity. You will set off following the set trails to the lush volcanic forest full of birds, abundant flora, fauna including golden monkeys, elusive elephants and buffaloes and scenic sights of the volcanic peaks seen through the forest gaps. The trek involves great hiking through the varying terrain which makes it an attraction in its self. You will spend one hour with the Gorillas after which you will have a picnic lunch and later drive through the Virunga Volcanoes into Uganda. You will spend the night at one of the following lodges:
Lower Budget : Buhoma community Rest camp /Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp /Travellers Rest Hotel Kisolo / Gorilla Valley Lodge
Moderate : Gorilla Resort Bwindi /Gorilla Safari Lodge /Silver Back Lodge /Lake Kitandara Camp /Chameleon Hill Lodge /Lake Mutanda Resort.
Up market : Mahogang Lodge /Buhoma Lodge /Rushanga Gorilla Satari Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and transfer to Kigali
You will have an early breakfast and be driven to the Park Headquarters for a briefing about what to do and not do while on a Gorilla trek. After the briefing, you will set for the trekking in very thick vegetation. Trekking gorillas in Bwindi- Uganda is quite challenging as it involves moving over rugged terrain of steep slopes and valleys. The jungle is very lively with rich forest sounds. The trek ranges between 2 – 8 hours and you have one hour to stay with the Gorillas once sited. In the afternoon you will drive to Kigali to catch your departure flight.
The safari package includes
- Transportation by 4 WD safari van, Fuel expenses
- Accommodation while on safari as per the itinerary
- The costs also cover the services of English speaking driver/guide
- Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) while on safari,
- Park entrance fees
- One Gorilla permit trekking Parc Volcanoes, One gorilla trek permit for Bwindi- Uganda
- Ranger fees
- Kigali City Tour
Excludes: Local and international flights, Personal Travel insurance, Visa Fees to Uganda, drinks, cigarettes, tips, souvenirs and any other items of personal nature