This tour is all about visiting the endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda. To sit in the forest with these rare and gentle giants is an unforgettable and moving experience. This short tour highlights the wonder of spending time with an animal that is our cousin – the mountain gorilla.
Duration: 3 Days
Countries Visited: Uganda
Age Guide: 15 till 65ish – depending on your fitness and spirit
Group Size: Private departures – you control the group size
Transport: Safari vehicle and on foot
Accommodation Type: Camping, Budget / Mid Range or Lodge / Luxury.
What is NOT Included: Airfares, visas, vaccinations, airport transfers, travel insurance, beverages, snacks, curios, tips, items of a personal nature, activities not specifically mentioned.
Meals: All meals included as per itinerary. Please note: Beverages are NOT included in the tour price.
Fitness Grading: Moderate to difficult – please note that the mountain gorilla trekking conditions can be hard and the length of trek can be anything from 3 to 8 hours. You will need a good level of fitness and mobility.
Participation with camp and safari chores will be appreciated
Staff: 1x Driver/Guide
Highlights: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Gorilla Trek
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation: Not Included.
Please note that the two drive days on this tour are very long due to distances involved and poor road conditions. If you have extra days, we do offer a four, five, and six day tour to the gorillas that break up these long travel days.
Day 1 – Kampala/Entebbe/Jinja to Bwindi (LD)
Depature at 6am. You will drive through the scenic sugar, tea and forest plantations to the western highlands of Uganda to your destination: The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where every valley is steep sided and every inch of spare space is used for agriculture in this densely populated area. It is estimated that up to 90 people are supported by every acre of subsistence agriculture. These patch-work mountains are dotted with small thatched villages that make the drive interesting and scenic. Arrival will be in the evening at Bwindi Forest.
Day 2 – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Gorilla Trek (BLD)
Your gorilla trek is sure to be the highlight of your tour. Up early you head to the ranger station, where you are allocated guides before heading into the forest. The walk to find the gorillas may be as short as two hours, but it will generally take 2-4 hours to find them as their territory can range up to 40km. The park rangers and guides will clear the way and assist you through the forest. You will need a good fitness level to make this walk as the going can be slippery and tough at times. Once the gorilla group is located you will spend an hour with them as they feed, rest and play.
Sitting with the mountain gorilla is one of the most amazing wildlife experiences you will ever have. A dominant male silverback can weigh over 200 kilos and is the largest living primate. He will control your meeting as well as deciding when his group will eat, sleep and move on. His females care for their young with affection and playfulness but also with discipline. They are very curious, and are capable of making over 25 different vocalizations, including chuckling and purring. Communication also includes posturing, chest beating and if all else fails – the charge! The privilege of spending an hour with a family group is an experience that will never leave you. After your hour is up, you will wind your way slowly out of the forest and back to the camp to swap stories about your amazing experience.
For the gorilla trek please bring walking boots, or waterproof trainers and socks, long pants and a light, long sleeved shirt. Layers are best, as conditions in the tropical rain forest can change from hot to wet and cold in an instant. Start with a long sleeved t-shirt and long pants, thick socks and boots; add a fleece and rainproof jacket and you should be right for all conditions. Please choose khaki or muted colours to allow you to get closer to the wildlife. Bright colors advertise your presence and make it more difficult to track game. Anti-histamine cream is useful if you get too close to any stinging nettles; the gorillas are immune to these, so often choose this soft place to rest. Gloves can sometimes be a handy addition. A small day pack is very useful to carry water, lunch and cameras. The day can be a long one but is 100% worth it.
Photographing gorillas is allowed, but flash photography is prohibited. Anyone wishing to use a video camera must pay for a special permit.
Day 3 – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to Kampala/Entebbe/Jinja (BL)
Up early once again, you will wind your way back down the mountain valleys to either Entebbe, Kampala or Jinja, stopping on the way to see the herds of long horned Ankhole cattle, and again at the equator for a break in your journey. Winding your way through Kampala traffic can take some time, but it is always entertaining. You will arrive late in the evening after a long and dusty journey on a road where there are frequent road works.
The last nights accommodation is not included, please advise if we can assist with a booking.
What is included:
4×4 safari vehicle, fuel, meals as per itinerary, bottled water in vehicle, 1x driver/guide, accommodation, park entry fees, game drives, one mountain gorilla trekking permit per person, ranger fees.
Please note that gorilla trekking permits are subject to availability at the time of your deposit and come on a first come, first served basis. If these permits are not available you can chose between cancelling the tour with a full refund or choosing another of our itineraries that will suit you.
Please inquire the prices.