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UGANDA GORILLA TREK TOUR

The affordable but thrilling experience-packed 3 days Uganda gorilla trek tour is designed for you who wants to get the cream best of Uganda but are limited by time and budget. We demand from ourselves to put up the best for you despite the few days you have in Uganda. Your tour guide will be outdoing themselves to show you all the most remarkable sights along the routes and whenever the opportunity is available, suggest the exciting tour experiences in the region. We have been conducting this trip for over a decade and a half going with thousands of guests to track the gorillas in Bwindi. All our guests have been able to see the gorillas in the wild and we are very hopeful that you won't be the unlucky one to miss them. Following here is the detailed trip itinerary for the Uganda Gorilla Trek Tour:

Day 1: Start your Uganda Gorilla trek tour by driving to Bwindi impenetrable N. Park (the mountain gorillas' home)

Your gorilla tour or safari guide will be making their way to meet with you at the place you shall have spent the previous night in Entebbe/ Kampala or Kigali. Our usual Uganda gorilla trek start time is 07:00 AM if you are in Uganda. If you plan to start the tour from Kigali, we can start anywhere between 8 am to 2 pm. We can also have the gorilla tour guide pick you from the Entebbe or Kigali Airport if you are arriving today at no extra cost. Your flight should be arriving at Entebbe no later than 11 am or Kigali not later than 1 pm.

The guide will give a brief about the tour before setting off driving to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The drive to Bwindi is marked with expanses of diverse landscapes, traditional farmlands, mountains, and valleys. There are several beautiful spots along the way and your tour guide shall not be hesitating to briefly stopover to allow you to enjoy and take photographs. Just about 75 km from Kampala is the Equator line crossing point from where the whole earth is divided into two halves. It is one beautiful scenery in Africa and we definitely have a brief stopover here as well.

If you started from Entebbe or Kampala, you shall be having a lunch break at a restaurant in Mbarara city and should be about 1 hour. After this, we continue with the remaining 3 hours of our journey, traversing mountains, tropical rainforests, and bamboo forests.

Your lodge/ camp for the night before the gorilla trek is located at the park boundary, convenient enough for you to reach the Bwindi park headquarters in a few minutes on the day you do your gorilla tracking. Dinner will be served there as well.

The drive to the mountain gorilla sanctuary is over 7 hours from Entebbe or Kampala, most of the time on the smooth-surfaced road with about 45 minutes of dusty murram. You could choose to fly to Bwindi if you don't feel like driving. One-way flights range from 280$-360$ pp.

Uganda Gorilla Trek Accommodation options  (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Mahogany Springs Lodge | Buhoma Lodge | Bwindi Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge| Engagi Lodge | Lake Mulehe Lodge | Gorilla Mist Camp

Low Budget: Gorilla Haven Lodge Rushaga | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp |  Gorilla Conservation Camp

Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Today enjoy gorilla trekking in Bwindi. For most visitors, this is the highlight of the Uganda Gorilla Trek Tour.

It is recommended that you have your breakfast very early (before 7 am) so that we can make it to the Bwindi park headquarters in good time for the pre-gorilla trek briefing. Your tour guide shall of course be waiting for you as you have breakfast at the lodge. Most of the lodges we book are located quite close to the park offices and the tour guide shall be waiting to lead you there.

At the park office, you shall need to present your passport (or its copy) for accrediting. You shall then have the briefing which mostly highlights what to expect in the forest when you meet the mountain gorillas, the ecology of the gorilla and their conservation status, and the other wildlife in Bwindi. Normally, there is a cultural music performance to the guests by a women's group from the local community. Next, you will be allocated to a gorilla group that you will be tracking. Gorilla group allocation can depend on the location of the gorillas, the age and physical status of the guests, and also on request you could have your preferred gorilla group allocated to you. As of today August 2020, Bwindi has 19 habituated gorilla families from which you can track one on your booked day.

In some cases, you might need to drive for a few minutes before hitting the trailhead to the gorillas but most tracks start from the park offices. We trek the gorillas through the rainforest and bamboo-covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and gorilla trackers, in search of our allocated mountain gorilla family. Many times, we trek along freshly made footpaths deep into the impenetrable jungles of Bwindi. Being an Afromontane rainforest, there are higher chances of rain during the day and it is important to prepare well. 

Trekking to the gorillas in Bwindi might sometimes be tough than expected and could often go on for as long as 6 hours. The park guides are very sensitive to accommodating all types of visitors and there are numerous stops along the trek. Also, they plan out the most comfortable routes for all guests so that even those who are physically challenged shall feel the list challenge when trekking the gorillas in Bwindi.

When you finally catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback mountain gorillas, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. To ensure safety for the mountain gorillas and yourself, the rangers will be guiding you to stand not less than 6 meters from the gorillas. It is also advisable that you wear a face mask in order to limit any disease transmission between humans and the mountain gorillas. Enjoy your one hour with the mountain gorillas, sit around them while gazing into their big round eyes, take all the photos (and yes - selfies as well!).

After the gorilla viewing experience, you shall start trekking back. A few minutes along, the park guides shall locate a safe spot for you to have your packed lunch in the jungle. As you trek back, there will be time to take notice of the other wildlife in the forest. Keep a sharp eye out for the chimpanzees, L'Hoest's, red-tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, and olive baboon. Bwindi is also a prime birding destination with over 350 bird species,  seven of which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.There are also many forest elephants, buffalo, bushbucks, serval cats among the other mammals you can find in Bwindi.

Uganda Gorilla Trek Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Mahogany Springs Lodge | Buhoma Lodge |Bwindi Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge 

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge| Engagi Lodge | Lake Mulehe Lodge|  Gorilla Mist Camp

Low Budget: Gorilla Haven Lodge Rushaga |  Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp |  Gorilla Conservation Camp

Day 3: Departure to Kampala/Kigali/Entebbe (Daily flights to Entebbe can be booked as well)

We shall be ending the 3 days Uganda gorilla trek with our drive back to Kampala/ Entebbe or Kigali. You will be traversing the grassed and terraced escarpments of southwestern Uganda while taking in the breathtaking sights of the hills of the region dubbed the little Switzerland of Africa’.

This area is a highly fertile, mountainous region with steep-sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced cultivated rows. Not to miss as we traverse Mbarara are the impressing longhorn Ankole cattle. A remarkable highlight of this journey is the Equator line and surely you will cross it as we have a brief stop here.

We will be in Kampala in the evening before your flight back home. 

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