8 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Gorilla Trekking tour
8 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Gorilla Trekking tour will offer you an opportunity to visit the 3 countries of Mountain gorillas in the world, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The endangered Mountain gorillas can only be found in these three countries gazetted in Bwindi impenetrable national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the democratic republic of Congo.
Bwindi forest is located in the southwestern part of Uganda close to Rwanda-Uganda border at the edge of the Rift Valley. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is one of Uganda’s oldest national park with diverse rainforest of over 25,000 years ago and contains about 400 plant species. Bwindi Impenetrable national park inhabits half of the remaining endangered mountain gorillas in the world with half of the remaining gorilla in the world and it is divided into 4 sectors including; Buhoma sector which is the oldest trekking sector, Rushaga sector which has the largest number of gorilla families, Ruhija sector and finally Nkuringo sector. Bwindi forest also shelters some species of mammals including the forest elephants and the different species of antelopes. The park is also rich with different bird species including Albertine Rift endemics.
Volcanoes national park is Rwanda’s home for the endangered mountain gorillas. The park is located one of the eight Virunga Mountains shared with Uganda and Congo. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park is different from other parks because it is quite easier to find the gorillas even with the steep hills of Virunga Mountains. There are about 10 habituated gorilla families for visitors to see. Apart from gorilla trekking, Volcanoes national park is also a home to the endangered golden monkeys and other primates, a few of the forest animals, about 200 different bird species and a Mountain hiking destination.
Virunga national park is Africa’s oldest national park with biodiverse protected area and home to world’s wild endangered mountain gorillas and other animals, birds and primates. Despite the constant conflicts that take place in Congo, this is still the best place to find the huge mountain gorillas as it has the biggest gorillas compared to Bwindi and Volcanoes forests. Virunga forest is still the active volcano with lava flow experiences on one of the eight Virunga Mountains that is Mount Nyiragongo. This 8 Days Gorilla trekking experience will start and end in Kigali given that Rwanda is the nearest connecting country for all the gorilla trekking destinations.
Safari highlights of the 8 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Gorilla Trekking tour
- Day 1: Arrival in Kigali –Rwanda
- Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi forest national park
- Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park
- Day 4: Transfer to Volcanoes national park
- Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park
- Day 6: Transfer to Goma
- Day 7: Gorilla trekking experience in Virunga national park
- Day 8: Transfer back to Kigali and departure
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali – City tour
Upon arrival in Kigali at 1 pm, you will be welcomed by our company representative who will also be your safari guide. Connect for a Kigali city tour and visit the Kigali genocide memorial, Rwanda Art Museum, and the presidential palace museum where you will learn more about the history of Rwanda. Enjoy en-route lunch, dinner and overnight stay at Des Mille Collins Hotel – Mid-range option/Step Town Motel for budget option/Kigali Marriot Hotel for luxury
Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park
You will wake up quite early, have breakfast and depart for your journey to Bwindi national park. It’s about 4-5 hours’ drive from Kigali city crossing Katuna border and having lunch en-route in Kabale town. Proceed to check-in your booked your lodge depending on your gorilla trekking sector, check-in for relaxation dinner and overnight stay at Rushaga gorilla Cmap for budget/Ichumbi Gorilla lodge for mid-range/Clouds Mountain Gorilla lodge for luxury option
Have breakfast and transfer you to park offices for briefing about Mountain Gorilla trekking by a local guide. The time taken is usually between 2-8 hours depending on the movement of the gorillas. Meeting the gorillas unexpectedly is one of the most captivating lifetime experiences. You will have a chance to observe and take pictures at very close range. You will observe adults feeding and groaning among themselves. After an hour with the long-awaited gorillas, your guide and rangers will lead you back to the starting point where your driver will readily be waiting to transfer you back to the lodge for a restful evening.
Day 4: Transfer to Ruhengeri (Rwanda) and cultural walk
After early morning after breakfast, depart the Bwindi for Rwanda. You connect to Cyanika boarder to proceed to Volcanoes national park with en-route lunch. Later evening, you will take a cultural walk to Iby’iwachu Cultural Village-a Non-Profit umbrella organization that aims at improving the lives of reformed poachers and communities around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through provision of conservation incentives, supporting community enterprise development and livelihood based projects. It’s a rewarding place where you will be guided around the place as you enjoy the Kinyarwanda traditions including the Intore dance, traditional ceremonies and a guided community walk. Retreat and return to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay at 5 Volcanoes Gorilla lodge for luxury/Le Bambou Gorilla lodge for mid-range/Hotel Muhabura for budget
Day 5: Gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda
After early morning breakfast, transfer to the park headquarters – Kinigi with your trekking gears, packed lunch and bottled drinking water. You will receive a briefing by the park ranger guides at 7:00 am about the experience. After the briefing, you will start your gorilla trekking journey accompanied by the ranger guides in search of the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda takes 2 to 7 hours depending on the movement of the gorillas however; the guides will find them from where they were last seen the previous day! You will spend 1 hour with these gentle giants and later return to your lodge to refresh and relax as you savour the memories of your trek. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay at booked lodge as above
Day 6: Cross to Goma – Congo
After breakfast, depart your lodge and transfer to Gisenyi-Goma border to cross to Congo and be met by your Congo guide by 11:30 am where you will proceed to Virunga tourism office located in Grande Barrier border post building. Receive your gorilla permit which will be presented at the start of each hike. Thereafter, transfer together with the Virunga convoy, transfer to Kibumba Tented camp.
Day 7: Gorilla trekking experience in Congo
After your early breakfast at the Camp, meet your ranger guides for a transfer to Bukima, park headquarters where you will gather for briefing about the mountain gorillas and the park at large. Depart to enter the park to start the search of the mountain gorillas, this can take 2 hours to hike each way, depending on the location of the gorillas and the difficulty of the terrain. After spending time with the gorillas, descend and drive back, enjoy lunch and spend the rest of the day at leisure at the camp.
Day 8: Transfer to Kigali and departure
After breakfast, your driver will take you back to the Congo border to return to Rwanda where you will also meet your other guide to drive back to Kigali which will take about 2-3 hours’ drive and be dropped off a location you advise or at the Kigali airport for your
flight back home.
End of the 8 Days Uganda Rwanda Congo Gorilla Trekking tour