Rwanda, Uganda Gorillas in the Mist

008676-W20

Rwanda and Uganda – this fascinating tour combines these two neighbouring countries to create an experience offering a magical encounter with the majestic gorillas of Bwindi.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Tour Kigale, Rwanda including a visit to the Genocide Memorial site
  • Stay at the breathtaking Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge
  • Gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
  • Encounter the fascinating Bwindi gorilla community first hand
  • Visit the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village
Details
Group Size: Minimum 10 / Maximum 12

2019 Dates:
Daily, on request

2019 Pricing:
From US$3,279 / CA$4,409 – twin

Prices are shown in US$ and CA$, per person based on two people sharing a twin room.

Tour Code:
008676-W20

Itinerary
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Day 1:  Kigale, Rwanda

On arrival at Kigali you are met by tour guide and transferred the 12km from the airport to your centrally located hotel.

The Park Inn by Radisson offers a prime city centre location and is the premier hotel choice in Rwanda’s capital city. Accommodation has been booked on half board basis, including breakfast and dinner.  The 161 modern rooms and suites include amenities like free Wireless High-speed Internet and comfortable furnishings. Enjoy dining at Live Inn Room Restaurant, with its convenient dining hours. Amenities include a pool, pool bar and fitness centre.  Easily reach government buildings such as the Presidential Palace and the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center.

Day 2:  Kigale

Breakfast at Park Inn, and then head out for a city tour of Kigali, including visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial site, Kigali museum, and the Nyamirambo Women’s Center. Dinner and overnight at Park Inn.

Day 3:  Kisoro – Bwindi National Park

Breakfast at Park Inn, and transfer by road to Kisoro – Uganda (Bwindi national park area) via Cyanika Border. Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and proceed to Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge for dinner and overnight. Driving time today is 4-5 hours.

Sitting on the Nteko ridge, the eco-friendly Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge overlooks Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the Kashasha river valley, and the Nkuringo forested hill. The camp has views of the Virunga volcano chain and the Albertine Rift Valley and also provides prime access to gorilla tracking. Other activities include Buniga and Bwindi forest walks and bird watching, guided village tours, Batwa pygmy visits, and the Nteko ridge community trail. The proceeds of this trail go back to community support projects.

The lodge has 4 en-suite cottages, 6 en-suite Virunga Terrace rooms, and a family cottage. The smaller cottages and rooms have private terraces with beautiful views of the surrounding landscape and the family cottage looks out on to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. There is a restaurant where guests can enjoy fresh and wholesome meals.

Day 4:  Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Early morning breakfast at Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, then a short drive takes you to the National Park offices by 8:00 AM for pre-Gorilla trekking briefing.

Your guide will inform you regarding all the dos and don’ts while with mountain gorillas then you will be transferred to the starting point of your gorilla family trek. Please note that gorilla family allocation depends on your interests, fitness and age. Gorilla trekking can be strenuous and a certain level of fitness is required. Trekking can take from 30 minutes to three quarters of the day so one needs to prepare for both. You guide will try to provide information about trees, birds and other wildlife in the forest until you reach a given family of gorillas. You will be allowed only one hour of photography and observing mountain gorillas as they go about with their daily day activities and then trek back to the park headquarters to receive your certificates. Lunch will either be a packed lunch or taken back at the lodge.

Dinner and overnight at your Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge.

Day 5:  Kigale

Breakfast at Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge and then transfer back to Kigali, with a possible visit to Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village en route. Iby’Iwacu village is located around Parc National des Volcans in Nyabigoma, Kinigi, Musanze District, Northern Province Rwanda. Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village is committed to showcasing the ways of living, traditional lifestyles and dances to tourists.

Dinner and overnight at Chez Lando Hotel. The quaint garden-style hotel is located just five minutes from Kigali International Airport

Day 6:  Depart Kigale 

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight.  This is the end of our tour. Extensions to other destinations are possible on request.

Included
  • 2 nights of accommodation with breakfast and dinner in Kigali, Park Inn by Radisson or similar
  • City tour of Kigale
  • Transfer by road from Kigale to Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi National Park, including lunch enroute
  • 2 nights of accommodation with breakfast and dinner, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge
  • Transfers between the lodge and the National Park Office
  • Gorilla permit
  • Guided gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, including packed lunch
  • Transfer from Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge to Kigale
  • 1 night of accommodation with breakfast and dinner in Kigale, Chez Lando Hotel or similar
  • Scheduled light aircraft flights between camps
  • Tented accommodation at camps
  • All meals while at camp
  • Local drinks (excludes premium imported brands and champagne)
  • Laundry services
  • Services of lodge guides and staff
  • Twice-daily scheduled camp activities
  • Park Fees
  • Accommodation taxes, Tourism Levies, VAT and GST
  • Escorted by Great Canadian Travel Africa Specialist
Not Included
  • International flights to Kigale and from Victoria Falls
  • Airfare from Kigali to Johannesburg one-way
  • Airfare from Johannesburg to Maun one-way
  • Accommodation in Johannesburg
  • Extra accommodation in Kigali pre or post-tour, as required depending on your flight schedule
  • Meals not specified
  • Drinks not specified; park and entrance fees; porterage; extra tours/excursions and transfers not specified
  • Guide and camp staff gratuities
  • Optional extensions or touring added to the basic program
  • Travel insurance
  • Passport and visa fees, as required
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Local airport taxes, payable in US$, cash only
  • Any new government taxes, levies, fuel surcharges or industry increase beyond our control
Tour Notes

For your Gorilla Trek:  Make sure you have packed all the necessary trekking gear like gloves, trekking boots, long sleeved wear, rain jackets, snacks and packed lunch, walking stick (very necessary) and among others. This is what you should expect the day of your gorilla trekking excursion in the Rwanda and Uganda.  Carry your passport as you head to the park headquarters during the pre-tracking briefing by the officials. Your gorilla permits will be crosschecked with your passports to confirm whether you are the right owner of the permit.

A cup of tea/ coffee will be served as you are being entertained by the local traditional Bakiga dancers to give you a good start to a strenuous, yet exciting day, before the ranger guide gives you tips on how to conduct yourself on this trek and ensure you are ready with your packed lunch. This is because there is uncertainty about the time you will take to see the elusive gorillas.

After a quick briefing on safety measures and what to expect during the day, you will be grouped in groups of 8 people maximum and assigned one gorilla family to trek. Rwanda has 10 gorilla families / groups while Uganda has 12 gorilla families in the 4 tracking regions in Bwindi national park and 1 gorilla family (Nyakagezi group) in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Being wild animals in their natural habitat, seeing these gorillas so easily may not be guaranteed, as they tend to move as far as necessary in search of food. Even those which are allocated to the physically fit and energetic tourists, that are always regarded as strenuous to track, may be easily tracked on a particular day which makes gorilla tracking experience in Uganda both unpredictable and interesting.

Each gorilla tracking group consists of a main guide and two scouts who carry AK-47 guns. One walking in front and another behind the group. The reason for armed scouts is for protection in the forest against wild elephants or angry wild gorillas. The scouts are trained to fire shots into the air first in order to scare away the animals. But this is only done on rarest occasions. when all other options like hiding away from the dangerous animals have been done. However, the policy of the National Parks is to be safe rather than sorry.

The overall length of your hike to track the mountain gorillas will vary depending on how far the gorillas have moved. It may take as little time as 30 minutes to find your gorilla family and as long as five to seven hours. If you are unsure of your fitness, please let your guide know so that he may help you in hiring a porter at the park gate. A porter is hired at a fee between $15 to $20 depending on the weight of the luggage.

The forest is verdant, humid and somewhat light and there are no discernible trekking paths. The terrain is full of hills and steep volcano slopes; where you will be required to pull yourself up steep grades by grasping onto branches, plant roots, bushes and more. Follow the lead of the guide as to the best path and form to take. You can have a short break during a long trek in order to relax and refresh. It is also advisable that you carry some energy giving snacks and bottled mineral water to quench your thirst and give you more energy in case of extensive gorilla treks.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

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