8 Day Gorillas & Chimpanzee Trekking Safari

8 Day Gorillas & Chimpanzee Trekking Safari

Overview

For people who love primates this is the perfect safari. You will trek Gorillas and Golden Monkeys in Rwanda; trek Gorillas and chimpanzees in Uganda; and in between enjoy fantastic game drives, nature walks, boat cruises, cultural experiences, and beautiful scenery.

Safari Highlights

  • The thrill of trekking Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat and the humbling experience of coming face to face with them as they feed, play, rest and bond with their young
  • Discovering Africa’s other primates and wildlife, colourful birds, rare plants and beautiful insects
  • Enjoying scenic views of the awesome volcanic landscapes and picturesque crater lakes
  • The unforgettable experience of watching the delightful chimpanzees as they communicate, hunt, feed, play and do acrobatic maneuvers in the tree branches
  • Meeting the local people to learn about their traditional activities and lifestyles.
  • Listening to heartrending accounts of the astonishing genocide that occurred in Rwanda in the late 1990s.

Activity Schedule 

Day1: Kigali City Tour & Transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Day 2: Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park
Day 3: Golden Monkey Trekking & Transfer to Bwindi
Day 4: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Day 5: Game drive in Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 6: Game Drive & Boat Cruise on Kazinga Channel
Day 7: Transfer to Kibale Forest National & Bigodi Swamp Walk
Day 8: Chimpanzee trek in Kibale & Transfer to Kampala



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Safari Itinerary


Day 1: Kigali City Tour & transfer to Volcanoes National Park

You will start your 8 day tour by visiting the Genocide memorial sites where thousands of innocent people lost their lives during the genocide of the mid 1990s in Rwanda. These memorial sites will include Gisozi, Nyamata church, Rwanda Hotel, and the Presidential Palace Museum which was the place of residence for the Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, at the time of genocide.

You will have lunch and later transfer to the Gorilla haven in the Volcanoes National Park. You will check in at the lodge of your booking in Rehengeri Town just outside the park and later go for a sightseeing tour of the scenic twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight. 

Day 2: Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes

You will have an early breakfast and after which you will be driven to the Park headquarters for briefing at 8:30am about the rules on Gorilla tracking. You will be allocated a Gorilla family to track and the guides to lead you to the Gorillas.

The tracking experience will be a 2-5 hour experience after which you will be returned to the lodge for lunch. You will later in the afternoon be taken on a nature walk after which you will retire to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Golden Monkey Trek, Karisoke Research Centre & transfer to Bwindi

You will have breakfast and then assemble at the Park headquarters for a briefing on the Golden monkey tracking rules before going out to track them in the forest. The trekking will take 1-2 hours after which you will return to the lodge for lunch and some rest.

In the afternoon you will hike to Karisoke Research Centre that features an exhibit on Mountain Gorillas and the conservation efforts pioneered by Dian Fossey. It also shelters the Dian Fossey artefacts, a 3D interactive model of the Virunga Mountains and casts of real gorilla nose prints. Overall, the centre adds a perfect learning opportunity to the facts that people barely know about Mountain Gorillas. You will later transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda.

Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking. 

Day 4: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi & Batwa Cultural Experience

You will have an early breakfast and be driven to the Park Headquarters in Rushaga for a briefing about the Gorilla tracking rules. After the briefing, you will set off with trained guides to search for the gorillas. Tracking gorillas in Bwindi is quite challenging as it involves moving over rugged terrain of steep slopes and valleys which in the rainy season can be very slippery. The tracking can take 2 – 8 hours before you come across a gorilla family and you have a maximum of one hour to stay with them.

In the afternoon you will go for a walk among the Batwa, a community of former forest people who used to stay in the forest before it was gazetted as a National Park. You will learn about their life and culture as a forest people and be amazed by the wealth of knowledge they have on native medicinal plants, hunting, trapping animals and predicting the weather. You will later return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 5; Game Drive in Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park

You will after breakfast transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park through the Ishasha sector for a game drive. The drive will be through one of the most picturerisc parts of Uganda because of the rolling hills, volcanic landscapes, crater lakes and verdant vegetation.

Ishahsa sector is famous for the tree climbing lions that lounge in the tree branches while keeping a close eye on herds of Uganda kob, their favourite prey. It is also home to many buffaloes, elephants as well as the rare shoebill stork.

You will later transfer to central part of the park where you will check in at the lodge of your booking for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Game drive & Boat launch on Kazinga Channel

You will set off early (about 6.30am) for a morning game drive, an awesome experience to spot the animals in their natural habitats.  Expect to see the famous Big Five; Elephant, Buffalos, Lions, Bush bucks, Kobs, Giant forest hog, Hyenas leopards, antelopes, and Waterbucks as well as birds. You will return for breakfast / early lunch and go for a launch cruise along the amazing Kazinga channel to see at close range the big water animals like Hippos, Buffalos, Crocodiles and elephants bathing at the banks of the channel.

There is also a variety of bird species on the water banks especially the famous Shoebill, pelican and Jacana. You will thereafter retire for dinner and overnight at the lodge of your booking.

Day 7: Transfer to Kibale Forest National & Bigodi Swamp Walk

You will have breakfast and set off for Kibale Forest National Park. The journey will be through one of the most picturesque areas of Uganda characterized by crater lakes volcanic landscapes and lush green vegetation. Upon arrival you will go for a guided nature walk in the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary through swampy grassland, local communities and beautiful scenery. It is usual to spot 3 or 4 different primate species during this walk and to see a variety of rare bird species and other smaller mammals.

The sanctuary offers great birding opportunities and nature walks. Bigodi is also a rich cultural heritage site where you can mix with the local people to learn about their traditional activities and lifestyles. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking.

Day 8: Chimps Trekking in Kibale Forest & Transfer to Kampala

You will, after breakfast, head to the forest to trek the primates. The activity begins at 8.00am with a briefing on the rules for trekking the chimpanzees after which you set off to search for them in the forest. The exercise takes half a day and along the way you will see other primates such as Grey cheeked Mangabeys, Phoestes, Red-Colobus and the Blue tailed and the Red-tailed monkeys swinging in the tree branches of this thick forest.

Your guide will give you informative briefings on the lifestyles of the primates you will be coming across and on the plants as well as on the insects and butterflies in this forest to ensure that the trek is not only informative but enjoyable as well.  You will after the trek set off for Kampala through the famous Luwero triangle.

You will arrive in Kampala in the evening. Dinner and overnight will be at the Hotel of your booking.

END OF SAFARI

Requirements for this Safari:

  • Uganda & Rwanda Visas which can be got on arrival at the Airports
  • Chimpanzee, Gorilla and Golden Monkey trekking permits (paid for in advance through our company)
  • Travel & Health insurance arranged for from your home country
  • Proof of Yellow fever vaccination (certificate)
  • Physical fitness

Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Services of an English speaking driver guide
  • Fuel for the whole trip
  • Accommodation and meal plan as per the itinerary
  • All park entrance fees
  • Drinking water while in the vehicle

Cost excludes

  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Chimp trekking permit
  • Golden Monkey trekking permit
  • Pre and post tour accommodation in Uganda or Rwanda
  • International airfares
  • Uganda & Rwanda Visa
  • Items of personal nature such as tips, drinks, and laundry

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Wildlife ViewingBirdingGorilla TrekkingPrimates TourCultural TourWhitewater RaftingMountaineeringHoneymoon Holiday
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