Rwanda and Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Safari | 8 Days
This 8 days trip is designed to take you to discover and explore the natural wonders of both Rwanda and Uganda. The safari starts from Rwanda “a country of a thousand hills “where you will marvel through Akagera National Park. While here, the safari intends to take you on a game drive where you will encounter various wild animals that are habitat to this park.
This safari continues to the Volcanoes National Park where it intends to take you for an adventurous hike to one of the three Virungas which include Mount Bisoke, Mount Karisimbi and Mount Sabinyo. While on this safari, you will enjoy beautiful panoramic views of impressive mountain ranges. After a successful hike of one of the three Virunga ranges, the trip takes you for a visit to Dian Fossey’s camp where she was buried after a brutal murder because of her tireless efforts to protect the mountain gorillas against the gorilla poachers.
The trip further goes to the Republic of Uganda where you will encounter the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Day 1 — Arrival at Kigali International Airport and transfer to the Hotel
Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be welcomed by our company guide who will transfer you to the hotel in Kigali to relax and overnight stay.
Day 2 — Transfer to Akagera National Park and afternoon Boat cruise
Early morning, you will travel to Akagera National Park to explore its natural endowments.
Akagera National Park’s rolling highlands, savannah plains, and swamp-fringed lakes make up the largest protected wetland in central Africa and the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted animals and plants in Rwanda.
Despite being a relatively small park at just 1,122 km², it is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including some rare species such as the shoebill and sitatunga.
In the afternoon, you will go for a boat trip on the beautiful Lake Ihema. During this amazing expedition, you will sail along the water edge which is covered with several trees, drift past numerous giant hippos and see several crocodiles some in the shallows of the water and others basking on the shore.
In addition, you will see a number of water birds and for bird lovers; you will be able to identify a large number of birds.
Day 3 — Morning game drive and transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Early in the Morning after breakfast, you will go for a game drive. This early morning game drive will give you a great opportunity to catch the early risers and the predators before they return to their hideouts. Expect great sightings of elephants, buffalos, giraffes, gazelles, spotted hyenas, impalas, lions, baboons, warthogs, bushbucks, topis, oribis and leopards.
After three hours of wildlife sightings you will embark on the journey heading to Volcanoes National Park.
Along the way, you will enjoy magnificent sceneries of Rwanda which is composed of several rolling hills.
Day 4 — Mount Bisoke climbing
On this fourth day of your safari, you will hike on Mountain Bisoke and this hiking expedition takes roughly 5 hrs to get to the Crater Lake peak and 3 hours to descend back.
During the climb, you will cross a series of different vegetation habitats starting with bamboo forests, then moving into Hagenia – Hypericum forest and finally moving through Senecio – Lobelia bush near the summit.
This Hike will give you nice spots for taking photographs. After reaching the peak, you will enjoy an hour of exploring this magnificent feature before descending to the bottom of the mountain.
Day 5 — Visiting Dian Fossey Camp and Iby’Iwacu cultural experience
This day is reserved for exploring and discovering about Dian Fossey by undertaking a hike on Mt.Bisoke. Dian Fossey is known for her love for gorillas but was brutally murdered by suspected gorilla poachers in 1985 that she had aggressively stopped from poaching gorillas.
She was buried at Karisoke Research Camp near the graves of her beloved gorillas. The hike to Dian’s grave normally takes between 2-4 hours depending on one’s ability to hike.
During this this amazing adventurous hike, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery, watch birds and other wildlife creatures found in the Virungas.
After reaching the summit of your hiking at the grave site, you will see a house where Dian Fossey was brutally killed in December 1985 and continue to a more comfortable place where she was laid to rest next to her beloved gorilla.
This trek is a thrilling wild experience body wise but emotional about a person who was so devoted to gorillas and left a legacy which still exists to the present times.
In the afternoon after descending to the bottom, you will enjoy yet another amazing activity. You will get a chance to meet local people in their local environment, taste the cultural and traditional lifestyles which include the daily life activities and artifacts. You will be welcomed by local songs and cultural dances which proudly present different aspects of traditions, norms and ways of living of the Banyarwanda.
Day 6 — Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Early morning, you will be driven to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda to experience yet another thrilling and the highlight of this safari which is gorilla trekking.
Along the way, you will continue enjoying the beautiful scenery of this region which is characterized by terraced hills.
On arrival, you will check in at your lodge and then relax in preparation of the next day’s activity which is gorilla trekking. You can opt to have a walk around the community in the evening to discover more about the cultural similarity between the people of Rwanda and those of Uganda.
Day 7 — Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Early morning, you will go gorilla trekking. This amazing activity takes you through the densely forested steep hills until you finally meet these tranquil gorillas within the green plant cover. It is such a wonderful yet memorable encounter.
While entering the forest, you will first walk on a handmade trail but then you will veer off to follow tracks left by forest elephants. The canopy will envelop you completely with rare and exotic flora found on every side. This is a challenging trek since it involves hiking through steep ascents and tangled trails.
Gorilla trekking groups are assigned on fitness levels, so you can request a shorter or longer hike depending on your preferences. For many, the chance to travel in such exotic forest makes a longer hike worthwhile with some troops four hours away from the trailhead. Others might prefer to meet the gorilla troop closest to the trailhead.
Once gorillas are identified, you will be allowed a maximum time of one hour within their vicinity and then after walk out of the dense forest. Your time with the gorillas will certainly create a long lasting memory about your visit to Uganda.
Those who prefer not to participate in the gorilla trekking can take a guided forest walk or explore the surrounding locality with the community village walk.
After this activity, you will relax at your lodge and if not exhausted, you will take an evening walk around the community for souvenirs.
Day 8 — Transfer to Kigali International Airport for departure
On this day that concludes your trip to Rwanda and Uganda, you will be driven to the Kigali International Airport for your departure flight.
- Accommodation as per the itinerary
- Ground transport
- Gorilla permit
- Boat cruise
- Park entrance fees
- Vehicle entrance
- Services of an English speaking guide
- All meals and bottled water in the safari vehicle
- Game drive
- Hiking fees
- Visa fees
- Air ticket
- All extras and optionals at the accommodation for example laundry, beverages
- Tips to the guide
Price — US $2,584 per person (For two people)
The price slightly increases if you decide to travel as a solo traveler. Conversely, the price payable per person reduces from the stated amount if the tour is booked by more than two people.