Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking, 5 days
The gorilla trekking experience has so much to offer from Uganda’s lush Bwindi Impenetrable forest and national park and in volcanoes national park in Rwanda’s forested mountain slopes. Each of the countries has a unique trekking experience however Rwanda boasts of more primates than Uganda.
The terrain in Bwindi national park is quite steep and will require physical fitness and determination through the long hours of tracking its gorilla families. It normally takes up to 4 hours before you meet one family, it is an unpredictable experience however rewarding once you encounter the animals on their feeding break.
Day 1-Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Set off early in the morning from the Entebbe airport or a hotel in Kampala with your tour guide, travel for around 8-9 hours into the hills of western Uganda. En-route, take a break at the equator with refreshments and photos, proceed through the farmed hill slopes of Mbarara and its long horned Ankole cattle herds grazing in the grasslands. Stop by any lodge or hotel for lunch.
Continue further south in to the famous Kisoro mountains, also called the Switzerland of Africa, and finally into Bwindi National park by the evening. Besides the gorillas, this park has many other primates like the blue and red tailed monkeys and lush vegetation.
Check into one of the lodges or hotels for dinner, refreshments and overnight. Luxury accommodation is offered at Gorilla forest Camp, Cloud lodge, Bwindi Safari lodge and Lake Kitandara Camp. Check out the budget options from Buhoma Community Bandas and Ruhija Safari Lodge with basic services available.
Day 2- Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
There is a sumptuous breakfast prepared at your lodge before you are picked up by your ranger guides. At the launch station, you’ll be briefed and prepared for the thrilling experience. You’ll need to wear jungle boots, long trousers, rain jacket and carry a stick along because it’s often wet and muddy along the trails in the thick rain forest.
The trekking experience is often strenuous and long-up to 2-3 hours of tracking. On meeting one family, you strictly spend 1 hour with them, watching them feed as the juveniles swing away in the overhanging vines and trees. It is important to follow your ranger’s guidelines such as keeping at least 7m from the animals and other precautionary measure to avoid attacks form the violent ones. South of Bwindi national park are gorilla families called Nkuringo and Nshongi.
Return to your lodges, delighted to have encountered some of the world’s last surviving families of the gorilla. Spend the rest of the evening at leisure, meeting other guest at the lodges. Diner and overnight accommodation is often per standards and preferences of the guests.
Day 3 To Rwanda
After breakfast, board your tour vehicle and head for the border of Uganda and Rwanda at Kisoro. Clear with the border post officials before you proceed further, either north west to the Volcanic National park or Nyungwe National park in south west Rwanda.
Rwanda is famously referred to as the land of a thousand hills and is particularly home to may primates and mountain gorillas. The volcanic mountain ranges from Parc des Volcans, north west of Rwanda are a major habitat of gorillas. The huge, lush bamboo forest and the giant lobelia heath along the slopes of the ranges render an ideal habitat for the rare gorillas.
There is plenty of accommodation dining from several options like Muhabura Lodge and
Moderate accommodation from Gorilla Nest Camp or Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. Check out luxury from Virunga Volcanoes Lodge or Sabinyo Silverback lodge.
Day 4 Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda
Take your breakfast early and head to the ORTPN offices for your trekking permits and oriental briefing. Set off, trekking through the terraced foothills of the Virunga ranges and further up to the entrance of Volcanoes National Park.
Mid morning is the best time to go trekking for gorillas as they feed and rest on their trails through the deep bamboo rain forests. Along the trails are sights of the rare golden monkeys swinging in the forest canopy, fresh spoors of buffalos and elephants, different butterflies and sounds of birds. It takes a long strenuous tracking experience before you came across a family, feeding, resting and the young apes playing around. You’ve one hour to relish this rare opportunity, take some pictures and later return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 5-Volcanoes National Park To Kampala
After breakfast, it is time to pack your bags and head for Kampala, crossing the border at Kisoro. Enjoy lunch from a hotel in a major town en-route. Arrivals in Kampala are often in the early evening, with time to catch your return flights.