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adventure travel trip to Uganda
Meet the great silverback Mountain Gorilla
  • Aug 20-27, 2014
  • Sep 23-30, 2014
  • Privately on Request
  • View all trip dates
  • Duration 8 days
    Group Size 2-10
    Land Cost $5,144-$5,715 Details
    Single Supplement $553-$614 Details
    Lodging 2 stars-3 stars
    Grade II-III
    Best Time

    Gorillas in the Virungas and Bwindi

    Short safari in Uganda and Rwanda with up to four gorilla visits and varied exploration

    Day 1      Kigali, Rwanda

    Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to Kigali, where you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Your journey takes you through the beautiful terraced hills that characterize much of Rwanda's landscape. Climbing gradually to the base of the spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga range, the five nearest peaks rising high above the verdant countryside, you arrive at the magnificent Volcanoes Virunga Lodge.

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (or similar)

    Day 2      Parc National des Volcans

    Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (or similar)

    Day 3      Parc National des Volcans

    Today, you will have a number of different options. Either go gorilla tracking again in PNV (additional permit required at additional cost, subject to availability), or choose from one of many options. There is much to explore here, including tracking the endangered golden monkey, or trekking to Dian Fossey’s grave and the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favorite gorilla, Digit. Other popular excursions include visiting the local school and community projects supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust, or visiting the Roz Carr Imbabazi orphanage and meeting some of the hundreds of children helped by this uplifting project. Alternatively, relax on the shores of Lake Kivu, home to some of the finest inland beaches in Africa, or take a guided walk to Lake Bulera and experience local village life.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (or similar)

    Day 4      Nkuringo, Uganda

    Enjoy a more relaxing morning during which you can do one of the activities mentioned above under day 3 (excluding gorilla tracking and visiting Dian Fossey’s grave). After lunch, set off for the Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge. The lodge is located at the foot of the Virunga volcanoes and near the entrance to the national park. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with stunning views of the volcanoes, or warm yourself inside by the roaring fire.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (or similar)

    Day 5      Nkuringo

    Experience the lives of the Batwa Pygmies, and walk the Batwa Trail. Accompanied by Batwa Elders, you'll find this an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the unique cultural heritage of the forest’s indigenous people. While you walk through the forest, the Batwa will demonstrate their traditional hunting techniques and extensive knowledge of medicinal plants. You will also visit the sacred Ngarama cave and enjoy the traditional music and dance of this rich and fading culture. Alternatively, there are other exciting activities for those interested in the culture and natural history of Mgahinga:

    • Track gorillas in Nkuringo (two hours drive away). Tracking is possible at Nkuringo, located at the southern sector of Bwindi National Park, but can be challenging due to steep and muddy paths.
    • Hike the Muhavura or Gahinga volcanoes. Gahinga offers a gentler hike through the bamboo forest on the lower slopes and marshy craters at the peak. The lower slopes are rich with forest birds, while the marshes near the summit are home to bushbuck and elusive duiker. Muhavura is the most challenging peak in the park. The hike will take most of the day, but the adventurous will be rewarded with great sense of accomplishment and -- on a good day -- spectacular views.
    • Take a guided nature walk through the park to track the golden monkeys. The path takes you from the bamboo stands and a forested gorge on the lower levels to the elevated heath and moorland higher up. The forest is not only home to the rare golden monkey, but also host to a great diversity of bird and animal life.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (or similar)

    Day 6      Bwindi

    The breathtaking drive to Bwindi, sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of Africa, is along winding mountain roads and through thick forests. The long journey through the rapidly-changing landscape takes you to Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, which has great views across to the towering trees of the forest. Depending on when you arrive, there may be time before dinner to explore the lodge grounds with its clear mountain stream or visit the local village.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Volcanoes Bwidi Lodge (or similar)n

    Day 7      Bwindi

    After enjoying an early breakfast, you set off for gorilla tracking in Bwindi. Trekking through the steep, densely-forested hills and then finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged moment. Tracking in the Bwindi forest requires stamina and can often take most of the day. Alternatively, there are other activities and excursions available in and around the national park:

    • Take a guided walk in the rainforest, home to several endemic bird species, clouds of butterflies, and rare plant life. This walk offers excellent photographic opportunities, and your knowledgeable guide will provide great insights into this globally-important habitat.
    • Walk through the local village and learn about community projects, such as the Amagara project that assists local farmers and their communities, and Bwindi Community Hospital which started as a health clinic under a tree and now provides vital medical and educational services to over 60,000 people. The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust supports both projects.
    • Discover the traditions of the Batwa Pygmies, and learn about the native tribal inhabitants of the forest. The indigenous people of Bwindi forest, although no longer resident in the forest, still practice many of their traditional hunter-gatherer skills.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (or similar)

    Day 8      Kigali, Rwanda

    Leave for Kigali in Rwanda via Kabale and Katuna (note: clocks go back one hour). Your safari ends with your journey to Kigali. Before transferring to the airport, there may be time to tour the city and visit the genocide memorial, a moving testimony to this country’s past, one it has it has worked hard and courageously to overcome. Return to your hotel or transfer to the airport in time for your return flight.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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