Overview

The 8 Days gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda & Uganda offers the opportunity to trek gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda. The gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is less strenuous and relatively gentle however the gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is quite challenging thus generating a different experience. This gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda & Uganda also offers a grand hike of Bisoke Volcano or Dian Fossey site. The crossing deal to Uganda is a perfect move to encounter the heritage of the forest people – the Batwa in Mgahinga and the boat cruise on the lake of a thousand islands – Lake Bunyonyi amidst great sights of Kigezi highlands.

Safari highlight

Day 1: Drive to Gorilla haven of Volcanoes National Park
Day 2: Do gorilla trekking adventure
Day 3: Hike Bisoke volcano or Visit Dian Fossey center.
Day 4: Batwa cultural trail
Day 5: Encounter Lake Bunyonyi
Day 6: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi – Uganda
Day 7: Drive back to Kigali
Day 8: Encounter the city of Kigali – Rwanda.

A Silverback Gorilla in Uganda

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Description:

Day 1: Drive to Gorilla haven of Volcanoes National Park

Start on your 8 days gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda and Uganda by transferring to Volcanoes National Park 116km about 3 hours’ drive. It is such amazing drive through the lush country side and the activities of the local people that has shaped the landscapes of Rwanda for centuries past. You will arrive early for lunch and relaxation. In the evening, you will take a nature walk to the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.

Accommodation:

Virunga lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), La Palme Hotel (Midrange/standard) or Kinigi Guest House (Budget/Basic).

Day 2: Do gorilla trekking adventure

Wake up for an early cup of coffee, before gathering at Kinigi Park Headquarters for briefing about the gorilla trekking activity at 08:00am always conducted by park rangers. This gives highlights about the dos and don’ts while trekking gorillas. After briefing, you will traverse the jungle in search of the splendid mountain gorillas in the company of the park ranger guide which stretches between 2 – 8 hours. You will walk through the luxuriant vegetation, climb raised gradients, ascend down the valleys before you encounter the great mountain gorillas as they munch their food and get astonished by the young gorillas playing and demonstrating their tactics which will prompt you to use up your camera space unknowingly. Your one hour with gorillas is done and return to the lodge for relaxation. You will embark on a cultural tour to the Iby’iwachu cultural village to explore into the Kinyarwanda culture in the evening.

Accommodation:

Spend an overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 3: Hike Bisoke volcano or Visit Dian Fossey center.

After an early breakfast, you can hike Mount Bisoke 3,711m above sea level. Stunning with its two cones that were formed out of eruption in 1957 , the Bisoke Volcano contains an amazing crater Lake known as Lake Ngezi about 11km from the summit. This activity on your gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda involves ascend of four (4) hours from the departure point. You will be astonished by a walk around the Crater Lake and stunning sights of Virunga ranges in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic of Congo. The activity takes about 7 hours including ascending and descending. You will return to the lodge for relaxation and memory sharing.
Alternatively, you can opt to pay tribute to the famous American Primatologist – Dian Fossey who did great work regarding the conservation of Wild Mountain gorillas. She established a research center at Karisoke which you can also visit on this gorilla safari in Rwanda. Her grave lies along that of her most loved silverback Digit. The activity also involves hiking through the forest amidst a relatively steep ascend. The activity is less strenuous compared to hiking Mount Bisoke. In the evening, you will cross to Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to prepare for tomorrow’s Batwa cultural trail experience. It is 68km about 3 hours’ drive from Volcanoes National Park.

Accommodation:

You will sleep at your previous lodge.

Day 4: Batwa cultural trail

After an early breakfast, embark on Batwa cultural experience. The Batwa trail is quite rewarding as it exposes you to their hunting techniques, honey gathering, medicinal herbs and the technology of making Bamboo cups. The tour to the sacred Garama cave will create lasting memories on this Rwanda Gorilla safari. The Garama used to be a refugee for the Batwa and you will be moved by the sorrowful songs of women as they are reflected by the walls of this light deprived cave which will leave you amidst strong contemplations about the plight of this ancient heritage. After the Batwa encounter, drive 94km about 4 hours to Lake Bunyonyi – the lake of a thousand hills amidst the great scenic views of Kigezi highlands.

Accommodation:

Birdnest@Lake Bunyonyi resort(Upmarket/Luxury), Arcadia cottages (Midrange/standard) or Byoona-magara (Budget/Basic).

Day 5:Encounter Lake Bunyonyi

You wake up for breakfast in the morning before embarking on the memorable boat ride on Lake Bunyonyi. You will have a chance to explore its 26 islands while overlooking the highlands of Kigezi. Bunyonyi is more than just a lake, considering its second deepest lake position in East Africa and the rich flora and fauna that surround it. In the afternoon, embark on the transfer to Uganda’s gorilla trekking haven of Bwindi (Rushaga/Nkuringo area).

Accommodation:

Gorilla Safari Lodge(Upmarket/Luxury) or Gorilla Valley Lodge (Budget/Basic).

Day 6: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi – Uganda

Wake up very early to take breakfast before gathering for briefing and eventual gorilla trekking at the Park Headquarters in Rushaga. After short briefing, you will set off to the Impenetrable forest of Bwindi, very thick and sometimes had to penetrate as its name suggest. Trekking gorillas in Bwindi- Uganda is quite challenging as it involves rugged terrain shaped by valleys and steep slopes. The jungle is very lively with rich forest sounds. It ranges between 2 – 8 hours’ to undertake the gorilla trekking activity. You have one hour encounter with gorillas which will lure you into irreversible excitement of gazing at these great apes as they imitate what you do, young ones playing on ground and in tree branches, the sight of the giant silverback and the way they feed all combine to exhaust the capacity of your camera film. You will return to the lodge for relaxation. In the evening you can opt for a community walk to the Bakiga people or the Batwa community that surround the park.

Accommodation:

You will spend an overnight at your previous lodge.

Day 7: Drive back to Kigali

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kigali city. It is 140km about 4 hours’ drive. The journey is quite charming with scenic views of Kigezi highlands, Virunga Volcanoes and hill sides of Rwanda. Arrive early enough to visit the Genocide memorial at Gisozi to pay tribute to the victims of Rwandan genocide.

Accommodation:

Kigali Serena Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury), Hotel Chez Lando (Midrange/standard) or Omurugo Rwanda Hostel (Basic/Budget).

Day 8: Encounter the city of Kigali – Rwanda.

After breakfast, embark on the city tour where you will visit the Presidential Palace Museum, the Natural History Museum, Kigali suburbs and craft centers.

End of safari.

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Wild Facts

    Hyrax

  • Scientific Name: Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), yellow-spotted hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei), tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis)
  • Size: 12 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 5 to 9 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 years
  • Habitat: Dry savanna to dense rain forest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Gestation: 7 months
  • Predators: Leopard, pythons, large birds, servals, civets
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