This all-encompassing itinerary combines the best of mountain gorilla trekking. Discover lush dramatic landscapes, ancient cultures and an array of incredible and endangered apes in 3 different regions, all while staying in characterful accommodation. Discover Uganda’s prime highlights on this gorilla express itinerary. Taking you to Ruhija, Rushaga, and the Sacred Buhoma regions, this safari captures the essence of Bwindi national park and is sure to leave you wanting more.
5 Days 3 Gorilla Treks Itinerary
Day 1: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Buhoma Sector)
On arrival in Kigali, you will be met and transferred to a local restaurant located in the historical heart of Kigali city. Refresh with a hearty cup of coffee to shake off the fatigue of long flights. Enjoy a city tour with a private guide and wander the Kigali streets lined with towering shopping malls, modern restaurants, supermarkets and carefully preserved colonial buildings. See the main city square, Kigali conversion center, visit the genocide Museum, presidential palace museum, the Belgian monument and the whole panoramic views of the city.
Have lunch, and immediately transfer north, to the boarder of Uganda. Cross via Katuna boarder and continue to Buhoma sector in the north of Bwindi impenetrable national park. Check in at the lodge, have dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2: First Gorilla Trekking & Transfer to Ruhija Sector of Bwindi
After breakfast at 7:30am, take packed lunch / snacks and bottled water with you, join other trekkers for briefing by the rangers at the Buhoma park headquarters. Start your gorilla trek at 8:00am. The trek involves hiking through the thick, misty and semi-penetrable rainforest, leading you to where your allocated gorilla family is located. An eventual meeting with the mighty gorillas in their natural habitat is without doubt an exceptional and unforgettable wildlife experience.
This tour lasts between 1 to 8 hours and is the highlight of an African wildlife adventure safari. You will be allowed to have 1 hour of close contact with these calm gentle apes, while taking pictures and getting acquainted to them more closely. Descend from the jungles and link up with your guide who will drive you back to the lodge for relaxation and later transfer to Ruhija sector in the east of Bwindi. Arrive in the evening, relax and meditate about this whole magical gorilla experience.
Day 3: Second Gorilla Trekking & Transfer to Rushaga Sector
This is the second day of gorilla trekking in Ruhija sector in the east of Bwindi. Early in the morning, you will gather at the Ruhija ranger station where you will find other trekkers. Here you will attend a briefing session and the ranger will take you through the rules of gorilla trekking.
While here, you’ll be grouped into small groups of 8 people and assigned to one gorilla family. Make sure you let the ranger understand your preferences before attaching you to a group. Some gorilla families are easy to reach while others are located deep in the jungles, and so might not be favorable to everyone. Thus, availing this information to your ranger will help him determine the appropriate gorilla group for you to track. Trackers move ahead of the group and ranger guide use radio communication to keep in touch with the trackers to easily locate a gorilla family in the forest.
After locating the gorillas, you will be limited to only 1 hour in the presence of your gorilla family. Here you will be able to take pictures, videos and learn in details the everyday life of these primates. After the experience, have picnic lunch and trek out of the forest ready to transfer to your lodge in Rushaga sector in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Day 4: Third Gorilla Trekking Encounter & Batwa Community Walk
Early morning and breakfast. Leave the lodge and head for a briefing session in Rushaga ranger station. The head ranger will educate you about the Do’s and Don’ts of gorilla trek expedition, plus advising you about simple gorilla trekking etiquette to be observed. Off to the jungles you go, with a porter (hired at the park headquarters). Visits are strictly controlled to only 8 people per family. This is to limit the possibility of transmission of contagious infections to the endangered mountain gorillas.
The dense jungles of Bwindi can sometimes be wet, muddy and extremely steep, reaching altitudes of almost 2000 meters above sea level. The terrain is by no means easy, and it can be quite tedious to a novice hiker and often humid, but the sheer joy of meeting a habituated family of gorillas, led by a giant silverback is worth the difficulty. After the one hour of meeting up close with the mighty gorillas, trek back to the starting point, have picnic lunch and relax at the lodge memorizing the experience you’ve just had.
In the late afternoon, take a community walk around the forest to experience the life of the Batwa pygmies. Among the many activities, participate in basket weaving, dancing, listening to the fascinating stories of the Batwa, etc. After the experience, retire back to your lodge for a camp fire, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5: Transfer to Kigali
Today, it’s back over to Cyanika boarder via Kisoro town and on to Kigali city, where this trip will come to a halt late in the afternoon. If you have time, why not hit the town and try the local food or go shopping? Depending on your flight time, be dropped off at Kigali airport for your departure flight.