Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery

Start: Kigali Finish: Entebbe

Visiting: Kigali, Volcanoes National Park, Cyanika Border Post, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve, Ruhengeri, Mpigi, Entebbe


Duration: 8 Nights

Physical rating: 4 - Demanding

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour code: 23747

Tour operator: G Adventures

Group size: 5 - 6

Age range: Minimum age of 15 years for this trip.

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $6766

Tour Overview

Embark on an unforgettable expedition to track mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and other endangered primates in the rainforests of Rwanda and Uganda. Visit a research centre set up by Dr. Dian Fossey, who spent 18 years studying gorillas in the Virunga Mountains with support from National Geographic, and get up close to these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Witness the Earth’s opposing magnetic forces at Uganda’s equator, and see the African “big five” in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Highlights

  • icon Volcanoes National Park Your G for Good Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre
  • icon Volcanoes National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Gorilla Lecture
  • icon enjoy a local lunch at the G Adventures-supported Nyamirambo Women's Centre
  • iconGet up close and personal with mountain gorillas in their backyard, learn about gorillas during a lecture from one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park, enjoy a local lunch at the G Adventures-supported Nyamirambo Women's Centre, trek through the forest to visit Chimpanzees & Golden Monkeys.
  • icon Kigali Your G for Good Moment: AidChild Equation Cafe & Gallery
  • icon learn about gorillas during a lecture from one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park
  • iconGet up close and personal with mountain gorillas in their backyard
  • icon Kigali Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Mountain Gorilla Conservation Experience
  • icon trek through the forest to visit Chimpanzees & Golden Monkeys.

Places You'll See

Countries:
Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery
Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery
Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery
Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery
Kigali
Rwanda & Uganda Gorilla Discovery
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park
Kigali
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Entebbe

Itinerary

icon Day 1 : Kigali

Location: Kigali, Kigali International Airport, Kigali

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel des Mille Collines (or similar)

Meals: No Meals

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

If you arrive early, take some time to explore the city, known for its pleasant, friendly atmosphere. Kigali also has some interesting and historic sites outside of the city. If you want more time to explore, we recommend booking a pre-night.

Additional Information: Please remember that this is a developing area and as such, accommodations/service may not be of similar standard to which you are used to in your home country. There also can be differences in service levels between different countries in East Africa. As well, interruptions in electricity and water can be common and internet/wifi is often only available in large cities. We appreciate your patience and understanding as well as your sense of adventure. A/C is not available in the accommodations used on this trip. In general is not a concern as it does cool down at night and depending on location fans or screened windows are available. 4x4 safari vehicles are used to better navigate rough roads but important to note that vehicles do not have A/C.

TRANSPORT: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

ACTIVITY: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

icon Day 2 : Kigali/Volcanoes National Park

Location: Kigali, Volcanoes National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial and pay your respects to the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, learning about this somber chapter of the country’s past. Later, embark on a community walk in the vibrant Nyamirambo township and enjoy a local lunch at the G Adventures–supported Nyamirambo Women’s Centre. Travel to northern Rwanda in the afternoon and settle into our lodge, located at the edge of Volcanoes National Park and offering stunning views of the soaring peaks.

Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains can be found here. The volcanoes and highlands of the park are covered in lush rainforest and bamboo (a favourite snack of the gorillas). While the most famous resident is the mountain gorilla, there’s plenty of other wildlife roaming around: buffaloes, bushbucks, golden monkeys, hyenas, numerous bird species, and some elephants call this place home.

Additional Information: Altitude note: Volcanoes NP - approx 2,000 m (6,550 ft)

ACTIVITY: Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which serves as a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide in 1994. The centre opened on the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004, and was built on a site where more than 250,000 people are buried.

ACTIVITY: Located in Nyamirambo, the largest and most vibrant township in Rwanda, the centre provides women and girls from a diverse range of backgrounds, the opportunity to support each other and succeed, through education and training programs. Enjoy lunch prepared by women employed at the centre, allowing us to try local foods and popular dishes. After lunch, take some time to browse the centre's shop, which features handmade, high-quality crafts and clothes, made by some of the women at the shop, as well as other women's cooperatives throughout Rwanda. Proceeds from the meal and shop help support the centre’s education and training programs, including a community library.

ACTIVITY: Take a guided walk through the lively community, meeting some of the women who have benefitted from the centre's training programs, seeing their local businesses and initiatives and having a chance to share in their daily life. Proceeds from the walking tour help support the centre’s education and training programs, including a community library.

TRANSPORT: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.

icon Day 3 : Volcanoes National Park

Location: Volcanoes National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Set out on a trek in lush, jungle-covered hills with a park ranger to track a unique and endangered species—the golden monkey. Observe these playful, curious creatures in their natural habitat; then visit the Karisoke Research Center, founded by National Geographic Grantee Dian Fossey. Meet with a resident researcher to learn about ongoing efforts to protect endangered mountain gorillas, and deepen your understanding of these gentle giants at a talk by one of the park’s head wardens.

Additional Information: Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles and normally a rather muddy terrain. Only 1 hour is spent with the Golden Monkeys to ensure their protection and conservation. Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the golden monkeys. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness. The order of activities over Days 3 and 4 can change depending on permit scheduling.

TRANSPORT: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.

ACTIVITY: Embark on a trek in Volcanoes National Park to view a species even more endangered than the mountain gorilla – the golden monkey. It is only in Rwanda where this interesting species has been successfully habituated. Look (and listen) for these lively and curious creatures that like to chatter – they are often only seen high up in the trees, but, with luck, hikers may have a close encounter. Golden monkeys mainly live in the lower parts of the bamboo forests; they are not as socially “tight” as gorillas and chimpanzees, and the number in the habituated troupe can vary on any given day between 20 and 80.

ACTIVITY: Founded 50 years ago by Dian Fossey, the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda is considered the world’s best hope for the survival of endangered mountain gorillas. Meet one of the resident researchers at the centre for a tour of the facility and to learn about their work in the protection and conservation of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Thanks to the work Karisoke does, the mountain gorillas of this region are the only species of great ape to have increased in number in recent decades. Between 1967 and 1983, Dian Fossey received over 16 grants from National Geographic and was featured many times in the pages of National Geographic magazine.

ACTIVITY: Deepen your understanding of the world of gorillas through an in-depth lecture. Listen as one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park discusses topics including the history and behaviour of gorillas, threats to the animals, conservation activities, as well as the potential benefits of tourism.

icon Day 4 : Volcanoes National Park

Location: Volcanoes National Park, Kigali, Volcanoes National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Embark on an unforgettable trek through the jungle alongside a park ranger to search for mountain gorillas. When we come across a group of gorillas, witness their fascinating social dynamics up close. Note that these treks can vary in length and difficulty depending on the location of the gorillas. Return to our lodge for lunch, followed by a visit to a local village to catch a glimpse of daily rural life.

Approximately 800 mountain gorillas exist globally in the wild today. They are found in Rwanda, DRC, and Uganda. In DRC and Rwanda, gorillas live in similar ecosystems/areas. The gorilla species found in these three areas are called highland gorillas. In Rwanda there are ten habituated gorilla families that are open to visits – the visit to a gorilla family is done once per day, with a maximum 8 trekkers per group and the duration of a visit is limited to one (1) hour with the gorilla family. The time spent with them is limited due to conservation considerations and to minimize impact on the day-to-day life of the gorilla family you are visiting. It is important to be well prepared for the trek — you never know if your total trek will be short or long. The total duration of a trek can vary and be anything between 4 and 9 hrs in length depending on the location of the gorillas, which are constantly moving. You will mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trail. Touching the gorillas is not allowed (although in some cases they may touch you). Making loud noises or sudden movements is also not allowed. You should attempt to keep a distance of 7m from the gorillas, however the gorillas themselves are unaware of this and will often get very close, in which case you should try to slowly move away. At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers. Please note that porters are available at approx. $10USD per person. The porters are all hired from local villages and not only can carry your day pack, but assist you with a welcome hand over difficult spots. Regardless of your fitness level, we highly recommend hiring a porter as some tracks can be very muddy and elevation can affect even the most fit person. It also provides employment and supports the local community.

Additional Information: Mountain gorillas share 98% of our DNA and are prone to catching human illnesses. Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness. Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles and normally a rather muddy terrain. Minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years old. Please note that depending on the size of our group and when permits are confirmed, we may be split into 2 trekking groups and you may be trekking with non-G travellers.

ACTIVITY: Depart early and transfer to the national park to meet the park ranger/guide for orientation. Embark on the trek, which can vary in length and difficulty, depending on the location of the gorilla family that's being visited. Spend an hour observing these beautiful and endangered creatures. Trek back and return to the hotel with the remainder of the afternoon to yourself.

TRANSPORT: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.

ACTIVITY: Visit a small farming village where the locals have put a stop to poaching and put their focus on sheep farming. Meet the local people and get a first hand look at rural life in this area.

icon Day 5 : Volcanoes National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park

Location: Volcanoes National Park, Cyanika Border Post, Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, cross into Uganda on a 4x4. Arrive at our lodge near Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the largest and most popular parks in Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.

Additional Information: There is little accommodation inside the national park that fits our upgraded service level. Most of the mid-range lodges are adjacent to the park but it can often take approx. an hour to reach the park gates due to poor road logistics and conditions. For this reason there is a lot of driving to get to/from activities within the national park area.

TRANSPORT: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.

ACTIVITY: Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

icon Day 6 : Queen Elizabeth National Park

Location: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Central Forest Reserve, Ruhengeri, Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Explore the verdant Kalinzu Forest Reserve with a ranger, looking for the chimpanzee families that call this protected area home. Learn about the habits and social activities of these endangered primates—our closest relatives in the animal world—and gain insights into current efforts to protect them. This afternoon, visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for a safari through rolling savanna and shrubland, keeping your eyes peeled for buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and hyenas.

Additional Information: The order of activities over Days 6 and 7 can change depending on chimp permit scheduling. Proper hiking attire must be worn – there are trails but we can at times go off trail, to search out chimps. Vegetation and be thick with undergrowth, nettles and often in muddy terrain. At all times you must abide by the instructions of the trackers and rangers. Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the chimps. This is a national forest regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.

TRANSPORT: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.

ACTIVITY: MORNING Embark on a chimpanzee trek through lush Kalinzu Forest Reserve. Hike along trails through this protected reserve with an expert local guide to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Learn about their habits, social activities and family groups as well as efforts put in place to protect them. At last count the total number of chimpanzees within the reserve is approximately 240 but only 2 groups of roughly 70 are accessible to researchers and visitors. The hike also offers a diverse range of flora and fauna, keep an eye out for birds, butterflies and other primates such as the Blue, Vervet and Colobus Monkeys.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a wildlife safari drive inside Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is home to Uganda's largest wildlife populations. Keep an eye out for buffalo, elephants, hippos, hyenas, lions, warthogs, and the elusive leopards.

icon Day 7 : Queen Elizabeth National Park

Location: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation: Enganzi Lodge (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head out on a morning safari through the park, dotted with acacia trees and covered in swathes of rainforest. Spot hyenes, warthogs, antelope, and, with luck, some of the African “big five.” Then float down the Kazinga Channel on a boat safari. This natural channel connects two of the park’s lakes and draws large numbers of wild creatures to its shores, including hippos, crocodiles, and a plethora of birds.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a wildlife safari drive inside Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park is home to Uganda's largest wildlife populations. Keep an eye out for buffalo, elephants, hippos, hyenas, lions, warthogs, and the elusive leopards.

ACTIVITY: Take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, a waterway inside Queen Elizabeth National Park that connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Look out for a variety of wildlife who are drawn to the channel shores. Spot birds, crocodiles, hippos, and reptiles.

TRANSPORT: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.

icon Day 8 : Queen Elizabeth National Park/Entebbe

Location: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mpigi, Entebbe

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Boma Entebbe Hotel (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, head to Entebbe, stopping en route at the equator; Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where you can cross this imaginary geographical line on land. Observe how water swirls in opposite directions on either side of the equator and have lunch at the G Adventures–supported AidChild Equation Café & Gallery. Later, visit a drum-making workshop and enjoy a musical performance.

TRANSPORT: Roads? Where this rough-and-ready vehicle's going, we don't need roads.

ACTIVITY: Make a stop at AidChild’s Equation Café and Gallery, located at the equator. Surrounded by paintings and other crafts made by local artists, you'll enjoy a meal made with traditional Ugandan ingredients, with a modern twist. Your lunch here directly supports AidChild, a non-profit that provides support, medical care and education to children and youth living with HIV in Uganda.

ACTIVITY: Enjoy a fun stop at the equator and watch a demonstration on how water swirls in opposite directions in the northern and southern hemispheres. Uganda is one of the few countries in the world where the imaginary line that divides the earth into two can be crossed.

ACTIVITY: Visit a traditional drum making workshop for a demonstration on how the drums are made using animal hides and woods. After the demo, it’s time for a short musical presentation.

icon Day 9 : Entebbe

Location: Entebbe

Meals: Breakfast

Depart at any time.

Additional Information: We recommend booking post nights if you want more time to explore Entebbe and the surrounding area.

ACTIVITY: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

What's Included

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    Meals

    8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners

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    All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

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    Genocide memorial entrance

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    All national park entrance fees

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    Arrival transfer

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    Visit to the Equator

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Mountain Gorilla Conservation Experience, Volcanoes National Park

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    Your G for Good Moment: AidChild Equation Cafe & Gallery, Kayabwe. Arrival transfer.

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    Accommodation

    Hotel/lodges (8 nts).

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    Guided chimpanzee trek with permits

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    Your G for Good Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Local Lunch, Kigali

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    Golden monkey trek with permits

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Gorilla Lecture, Volcanoes National Park

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    Safari drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park

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    Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Community Walk, Kigali

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    Fully Guided

    CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides, experienced gorilla trackers, park rangers.

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    MEALS

    8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners Allow USD85-110 for meals not included.

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    Local village walk

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    TRANSPORTATION

    4x4 safari vehicle, walking, hiking, boat.

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    Wildlife boat cruise in Kazinga Channel

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    Drum workshop

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    Guided mountain gorilla trek with permits

What's Not Included

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    Tipping and Gratuities

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    International Travel

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

4x4 safari vehicle, walking, hiking, boat.

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    G Adventures requires a deposit of 200 GBP to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Dates & Availability

Saturday Sep 04, 2021

Nights

8

Available

4

$6766.25

Thursday Sep 09, 2021

Nights

8

Available

4

$6766.25

Saturday Sep 18, 2021

Nights

8

Available

4

$6766.25