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Mountain Gorilla Heritage Trek

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Tour Details

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

(A majestic forest home to half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas)
In the southwestern corner of Uganda sits the most biologically diverse forests in Africa – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The forest is part of the Rift Valley Mountains that stretch over three countries – Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – and the most famous reason to visit this group of forests is to see the mountain gorillas.
On a global scale, the number of mountain gorillas left in the wild is shockingly low, but Bwindi National Park protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – which is roughly half of the world’s population! Visiting Bwindi gives you the opportunity to trek through the forest to see one of the several habituated gorilla groups and this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The forest itself is one of the oldest in Uganda (dating back 25,000 years) and its diverse landscape is home to approximately 120 mammals (including two species of elephant), several primate species (including mountain gorillas, baboons and chimpanzees), and around 350 species of birds. Depending on how long you stay, a visit to the park can combine all of wildlife experiences, as well as experiencing the lush and vibrant flora and fauna of the park.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi
The gorilla groups in Bwindi are all located in different areas of the park. Therefore, which gorilla group you see will depend on where you are staying in the park (Northern or Southern Bwindi) and how far you want to trek (some can be shorter hour walks, others can be full day treks through the forest).
Across all of Bwindi National Park there are about 20 habituated gorilla groups. The numbers in each family group vary, but range between a smaller group of 6 to a larger group of 20. Each gorilla group has interesting relationships and unique stories, which your guide will explain during your trek through the forest. Some of these stories are pretty brutal, such as large silverbacks attacking and killing younger males who may currently, or in later years, pose a threat to their status.
To see the gorillas, you will need a Gorilla Permit. You must be over 15 years old to do a gorilla trek. The gorilla permits are currently selling at a cost of $700 per person (US dollars). Mountain Gorillas are an endangered species so, for this reason, it is crucial that the permits are in place to protect and preserve their privacy.
Permits also help to save mountain gorillas from diseases that can be caused by too many visitors or crowds.
As a gorilla trek is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it is important that you are aware of the rules and equipment required to make your trek as comfortable as possible. You will need your passport (for registration before trekking), trekking boots, a warm jacket for the cool early mornings, some waterproof jacket and trousers, thin gloves, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a hat, sunglasses, strong sun protection, mosquito repellent and money for tipping (for the ranger and the porters if used).
The trek will take an average of around 2 and 5 hours and will possibly be on steep terrain. It is therefore important to have reasonable fitness and be free from any colds or flu.

Inclusions and Exclusions
  • Tour includes
  • Transportation by a 4 x 4 station wagon.
  • One Gorilla permit per person to be secured and paid for well in advance and one Chimp tracking permit per person
  • Community walk Bwindi
  • Game drive
  • Boat trip along Kazinga channel and Guided primate walk along Kyambura Gorge
  • Park fees and services of English speaking driver/guide
  • Ranger guide fees
  • Airport transfers on return

     Tour excludes

  • Enroute lunches
  • Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
  •  
Itinerary

Day 1Kampala to Lake Bunyonyi

We start our journey from Kampala early morning and drive southwest to Kabale. A stop over at the equator for a photo opportunity and lunch in Mbarara. Proceed to Kabale and Lake Bunyonyi arriving late afternoon. In the evening you will go for a sundowner walk with panoramic views of the Lake.
Dinner and Overnight at Acadia Cottages.

Day 2Trek to Bwindi

After breakfast, depending on the condition of the lake, you will take a boat ride to Heisesero on Kabale Kisoro road, or drive there by car. This is where the 30km Trek starts. The walk takes you through villages, terraced gardens, over gently rolling hills with spectacular views of the Virunga volcanic mountains. Arrive in Bwindi Southern Sector in the evening in time for Dinner.
Dinner and Overnight at Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Day 3Gorilla Trekking

Begin the day with breakfast ready for trekking, which begins at 8:00 am with a briefing from the Park staff. The guides will lead you inside the jungle to see the shy primates, perhaps one of the most exciting wildlife experiences on earth. The trekking may take between 2 and 6 hours depending on the group you booked, but it is well worth the effort. In the evening you will visit the neighbouring community for a cultural experience.
Dinner and Overnight at Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Day 4Batwa Trail

After breakfast, you will go for the Buniga Forest Trail which depicts the life of the Batwa as they lived in Bwindi impenetrable forest before it was gazetted as a National Park in 1991. The forest is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The walk is informative and exciting. After lunch, you set off for Lake Bunyonyi, arriving in the evening.
Dinner and Overnight at Acadia Cottages

Day 5Lake Bunyonyi

This is a day of relaxing. You will take a walk in the neighbouring villages interacting with the community. You experience the breathtaking beauty and soothing environment of the Lake with a stunning view of the beautiful Virunga Volcanoes. For bird lovers, Bunyonyi is home to several bird species like the African Harrier Hawk, Yellow-backed and spectacled weavers, Levillant cuckoo and lots more birds. In the afternoon, you will take a boat ride and visit some of the 29 historical islands.
Dinner and overnight at Acadia Cottages

Kabale to Lake Mburo

After breakfast, start your journey to Lake Mburo National Park. Enter the Park through the Western Gate at Sanga and start your Walk in the Park there. The Park is centered on a series of swamp-fringed lakes known for their rich birdlife, notably the secretive African finfoot. The green acacia woodland surrounding the lake harbours dense populations of Zebra, Warthog, Buffalo, Impala and various other grazers, including the last surviving Ugandan population of Eland, the largest of African antelope.
Dinner and Overnight at Mihingo Lodge

Lake Mburo to Kampala

You will do a morning game drive as you exit the Park and proceed to Kampala with a stop-over at Mabamba swamp to look for the Shoebill stork. In the evening you will visit the Ndere Cultural Centre for traditional dance and cuisine.
Overnight at Cassa Lodge

Kampala

You will do a Kampala city tour with shopping at various craft centres and transfer to Entebbe Airport for your flight back home.
End of Safari

Photos