This 4 Days Double Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda package is designed for visitors who are interested in experiencing gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Watching two separate gorilla families allows one to observe and compare group behaviors/dynamics. No gorilla groups are the same in composition. Some have more silverbacks, females and overall number of individuals. You might find one group has a mother with twins while another has only young juveniles. The terrain in Rwanda is more mountainous and gorillas feed mostly on bamboo forest. Bwindi on the other hand consists of mostly tropical rain-forest. Let’s look at the two national parks in detail kickstarting with Bwindi.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World heritage site and host to the largest population of mountain gorillas in the world. Over 15 gorilla groups are habituated and an extra 3 are undergoing the habituation process. Bwindi also has chimpanzee but they are not habituated. Gorillas in Bwindi can be tracked in four different sectors and each sector has at least 2 habituated groups.
The Volcanoes National Park is smaller when compared to Bwindi. It was curved out of the greater Virunga National Park in Congo. The park became more widely known when Dian Fossey established a research Centre there in the 1960’s. There are 10 habituated gorilla groups in the Volcanoes National Park. Whereas a gorilla tracking permit costs $700 in Uganda, in Rwanda the price is $1500. Apart from mountain gorillas, the other key attractions in the park are golden monkeys and 5 volcanoes.
If you are to choose these 4 days double gorilla trekking tour in Uganda and Rwanda, expect to notice a difference in the terrain, vegetation and groups dynamics of the two gorilla families. These 4 days tour also includes visiting the Batwa Cultural Centre and the Gorilla Guardians Village. If you are interested in only Rwanda, then you should check out our 4 days Rwanda double gorilla trekking safari package. With the Rwanda package, you will only track two separate gorilla groups in Rwanda.
Touring Kigali city and visiting Genocide memorial site
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda
Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda
Visiting the Batwa Pygmy community
Visit the Gorilla Guardians Village
safari vacations and travel services Driver/Guide will pick you up from your hotel or airport in Kigali and take you for a half-day tour of the city of Kigali. While on the tour, you will visit a souvenir shop, the former presidential palace, the genocide memorial Centre and the main city market. After the city tour, you will start the 4-hour journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through Rwanda’s amazing countryside (green rolling hills and plantations). After clearing with immigration, you will then cross over to Uganda and finally to your lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Rest and prepare for gorilla tracking the following day.
Overnight and Dinner at Chameleon Hill Lodge (luxury) and Rushaga Camp (Mid-range and Budget).
Wake up very early to take breakfast and head for briefing at the park offices. The briefing is conducted by the head Guide at 7:00am and is basically about how to conduct yourself while with the gorillas or what to bring along during gorilla tracking. You will be assigned a gorilla group and given an opportunity to hire porters. The allocation of Gorilla groups is based on your general fitness. Some gorilla groups move deep into the forest and require more trekking hours hence more challenges. After knowing your gorilla group, you should now head to the forest to look for the primates. Go with a good camera to take photos of yourself with the group. After the one hour with the mountain gorillas, you should head back to the starting point where you will meet our guide to take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest.
In the late afternoon, you will be taken to visit the Batwa pygmy community living near the park. The Batwa were the original inhabitants of the Bwindi impenetrable forest but were relocated outside the park to create room for gorilla conservation activities. Although gorillas and other park animals benefited from the government action, the Batwa didn’t. For thousands of years, the Batwa lived as hunters and gatherers while keeping a distance from tribal groups outside the forests. Now they have to deal with them and learn their ways. The Batwa have been marginalized and most live in poverty because they cannot compete with the more aggressive tribes. While with the Batwa, you will get to learn a lot about their culture while also being entertained by traditional dance groups.
Overnight and Dinner at Chameleon Hill Lodge (luxury), and Rushaga Camp (Mid-range and Budget).
After yesterday’s first encounter with the primates, you should wake up at your own time and take breakfast as you wait for our driver. Checkout and embark on the journey back to the Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Lunch will be taken once you reach the lodge. After lunch, you can have a nap at the lodge as you wait for the driver to take you to the Gorilla Guardians Village. Formerly known as the Ibyiwacu Cultural Village, the Centre started as a place where former poachers would sell souvenir to tourists. The government revamped the site and turned it into one of the best cultural centers in East Africa. You will spend the afternoon watching traditional dance performances or dress up in the traditional robes for photos.
Overnight and Dinner at the 5 Volcanos Lodge (Luxury), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and The Garden Place Hotel (Budget).
Wake up very early and head for the Volcanoes National Park for the briefing on gorilla tracking at 7:00am. Like in Bwindi, the briefing covers topics about mountain gorillas, the history of the park, the gorilla groups, what to pack and what to expect. After the briefing, you will be led into the forest by the park Rangers/Guide. Expect to pass through thick bamboo forest with amazing creatures. After walking for some time, you will be rewarded with one hour of watching the gorillas.
Follow instructions from your Guide and remain calm even when one of the gorillas tries to get close to you. After the one hour of observing the primates is over, you will head back to the starting point for lunch. The driver will drop you off at your hotel or airport in Kigali for departure.
A 4X4 safari vehicle with an English-speaking Driver/Guide
It will also include fuel for the whole journey
Gorilla Permits for Uganda and Rwanda
Drinking water and lunch throughout the safari
Accommodation for 3 nights
Pickup and drop-off within Kigali
Visiting the Batwa pygmies and the Gorilla Guardians Village