Twice Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park & Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
5-Day Luxury Twice Gorilla Trekking Safari in the Virunga Volcanoes & Bwindi Impenetrable Forest from Kigali-Rwanda
Our 5-Day-Luxury Twice Gorilla Trekking Safari in two Parks in Uganda takes in tracking the gentle giants in both Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Only in Uganda can you track Mountain Gorillas in two different habitats. Track them on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes just as you would in Rwanda or DR Congo, and in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with its scenic ridges and valleys and the Gorilla Permits for two treks will cost you $1,400 compared to $3,000. A $1,600 savings over what two treks would cost you in Rwanda. A couple on this Safari can save on permits alone $3,200. Add to that the savings on luxury or exclusive lodges, and you save a chunk of change without compromising the quality of the experience or lodging.
Such savings are often not pointed out, but they are a part of Uganda’s Gorilla tracking advantage. Another reason Uganda is the current premier Gorilla Trekking Destination.
Highlights of your 5-Day-Luxury Twice Gorilla Trekking Safari in two Parks in Uganda
- Fly into Rwanda Trek Gorillas in Uganda: It is a short three-hour-plus drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and the alternative is to fly from Entebbe International Airport.
- Two Gorilla Treks: In two Gorilla Sanctuary Parks – Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Private Gorilla Treks can be arranged.
- Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park: Trek Golden Monkeys in the Bamboo Forest of Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
- Batwa Cultural Visits: Authentic Cultural Encounters with the first people of the Forest, the indigenous Batwa People.
- 4×4 Land-Cruiser with personal Driver-Guide: You have an experienced and knowledgeable driver-guide.
- Services of a Porter: We provide you with the services of a porter, walking sticks, and bottled water for Gorilla and Golden Monkey Treks.
Your 5-Day-Luxury Twice Gorilla Trekking Safari in two Parks in Uganda in Detail
Arrival Day in Kigali, Rwanda
Arrival Day in Kigali Rwanda for your Private 3-Day Gorilla Trekking Safari: Many flights from Europe arrive during the evening, others at night at Kigali International Airport, the Gateway not only to Rwanda but also to Southwest Uganda.
We will pick you up at the airport and take you to the Value Plus Moderately price Heaven Boutique Hotel in a residential setting with a lovely garden and small swimming pool. Their excellent restaurant serves meals that will please you.
At the same location is their unique 20-room Boutique Luxury Hotel called the Retreat, a 20-room luxury wellness boutique hotel.
There are other luxury hotels including the Radisson, Marriott, Serena, and Hotel des Mille Collines, otherwise known also as Hotel Rwanda.
There are many things to do and see while In Kigali, the Singapore of Africa that you can see on a city tour including the Genocide Memorial.
Day 1 – Drive or Fly to Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
Drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park from Kigali-Rwanda:
Your Safari begins as we leave your hotel in Kigali at 6:30 am or the Kigali Airport for your luxury Safari. The drive most scenic drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park will take about three hours.
We suggest that you apply for the East African Visa is $100 with Rwandan Migration since it is the first country you are visiting in East Africa.
The East African Visa allows you to enter Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. Multiple entries are permitted, and the visa is good for 90 days.
Additionally, you must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19, and you are required to have a yellow fever certificate that proves that you are vaccinated. Yellow Fever vaccinations are good for a lifetime.
Usually, the border crossing is about 30 to 45 minutes, and you are in Uganda heading for the ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Officials on both sides will try to ease the border crossing for Tourists. We arrive at Mgahinga Gorilla Park and check into Mount Gahinga Gorilla Lodge.
Mount Gahinga Lodge:
Arrive at the luxury Mount Gahinga Gorilla Lodge in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, locally referred to as the Mufumbiro Mountains, the mountains that cook.
The Lodge opened in 1997 when Gorilla Tourism was still developing. The Lodge is the perfect base for Gorilla Trekkers, and it even has a private footpath directly to Park Headquarters. It is the only luxury gorilla lodge close to Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
There is a short, private trail from the Lodge to Park Headquarters, where you go for gorilla trekking orientation.
The Lodge was refreshed and updated in 2019. Now there are eight luxury bandas or cottages and two deluxe bandas. The lounge area, the dining room, and the gardens reflect the recent updates.
The luxury Bandas reflect the magic of the aesthetic traditions of the Bufimbira people with their distinct colors. Each Banda has an ensuite luxury shower room, fireplace, and private porch.
Guests have a personal butler who attends to their well-being during their stay there. Regarding meals, our clients rave about the culinary delights served at the Lodge. WiFi access and charging stations are located in the main Lodge. Non-Premium Beverages, including local Beers, Sodas, Spirits, and House Wines, are included. You are also offered a one-half-hour complimentary massage.
Afternoon Activities are with Mount Gahinga Lodge:
Choose one of the following Activities
- Kisozi Caldera Hike: This is a most scenic hike to a volcanic caldera where terrace farming takes place on its sides.
- Batwa Heritage trail: Here you see the forest through its first people, the Batwa.
- Gahinga Batwa Village Visit; The Village was built for the Batwa by the Lodge.
- Read a Book: You can read a book about Uganda, or you can pick up a book at the Lodge Library.
Meal Plan: Lunch -Dinner
Day 2- Gorilla Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla Park:
After an early breakfast, be sure to pick up your packed lunch and make your way on the private trail to the Park Headquarters for the gorill trekking orientation.
What Should I wear tracking Gorillas?
Here is practical advice about what to wear while Gorilla Trekking in Uganda. Often Trekkers are not dressed right for the occasion, which can spoil your day, and your focus might not be the Gorillas but personal discomfort and misery. Wearing suitable clothing and footwear is about protection.
Gorilla Wear and Gear you will need:
- Daypack: Preferably a waterproof daypack, you can use it as a carry-on flying to Uganda. Pack all essentials inside of the daypack.
- Hiking Boots: Make sure that they have good treads on them. You will need ankle support, something boots give you and give you reactions on muddy trails. Have a good pair of merino wool socks.
- Long Trouser: They will protect you from nettles and thorns. Tuck the trousers into your socks for added protection from ants.
- Long-Sleeved Shirt: Neutral in color. Again, this is for your comfort and protection.
- Rain Jacket or Poncho: Pack into your daypack. You never know when it will train. You are in an Afro-montane Rainforest.
- Tough Gardening Gloves: This is to protect your hands from thorns, nettles, and sharp branches.
- Wide Brimmed Hat: It gives you protection from the Sun.
- Camera Equipment – Binoculars: Ensure extra batteries and storage devices. Put them into Ziploc bags. Binoculars are not needed if you are not a birder.
- Packed Lunch and Bottled Water: You will need your packed lunch from the Lodge and two liters of bottled water.
- Insect Repellent – Sun Lotion – Sunglasses: We recommend the effective Australian RID Insect Repellent. Good Sun blocker cream and sunglasses.
- You will need a Porter and Walking Stick: The services of a porter free you on the often-difficult trail, and a local walking stick helps you and steadies you on the often-challenging path. We supply our clients with both.
Read more about Gorilla Gear and Wear here.
The Gorilla Trek
After orientation, you are off on your Gorilla Trek up the volcanoes. You are trekking at an elevation above 2,200 meters, which is not problematic for most. Though the Trek is upward, it is not grueling and poses no problems for those with a moderate fitness level. The bamboo walking stick and the porter assist you in traversing the not-so-tricky trail.
You are off on your Safe and Secure Gorilla Trek with Rangers and secure escort to visit the Nyakagezi Family 10 members with five Silverbacks, which is highly unusual. The blackbacks have matured into Silverbacks, or the boys have grown into men.
Mark is the leader of the family. He is assisted by his brother Mafia and their father, Bugingo, who used to be the leader and has passed the leadership to his son and plays the role of grandpa. They are followed by the now Silverbacks Ndungutse and Rukundo. Females, Toddlers make up the rest of the family. Keeping up with Gorilla Families is not always easy. A respiratory ailment beset the family in 2019.
Intervention by the Gorilla Doctors saved the day, and they all recovered from what could have been a fatal ailment. Gorilla Trekkers need to go by the rules for Gorilla Trekking.
The length of the Trek is between four to five hours, including one hour with the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family, which is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Usually, you are back at Mount Gahinga Lodge by about 1:00 pm.
Presently, two gorilla families can be tracked here—the Nyakagezi Family and the Hirwa Family, which are visiting from Rwanda.
Afternoon: You might want to relax, reflect, and enjoy the Drink of Choice in Uganda, Uganda Waragi. We suggest mixing it with Krest Bitter Lemon Soda. Others might want to take advantage of the activities offered by the Lodge.
Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner
Day-3: Golden Monkey Trekking
Golden Monkey Trekking: You embark on your Golden Trek with Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. This is a hike up on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park to the Bamboo Forest. There are several thousand endangered Golden Monkeys found in the park. They are beautiful and colorful monkeys, weigh about 30 pounds when mature, and are some of the liveliest monkeys you have ever seen.
The group you are trekking will be about 100 in size, but you do not have time to count them since they are always on the move.
The Trek is about 4 hours long, after which you return to Mount Gahinga Lodge, the only luxury lodge near the park where you can enjoy views of Mount Gahinga and even Lake Mutanda.
After the Golden Monkey Trek, we drive to the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and you can check into Gorilla Safari Lodge or the Exclusive Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge. Drive-Time is 1 1/2 hours, depending on road conditions. The road from Mout Gahinga Lodge is a gravel road where one has to drive slowly.
Lodging for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Exclusive Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge:
This exclusive Luxury Lodge overlooks Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Virunga Volcanoes in the distance. It ranks as one of the Best Lodges in Uganda and the southern area of Bwindi Forest. From here, it is a short walk to the Trailhead in Nkuringo.
The Lodge exudes class throughout, including in your private River Stone Cottage. 24/7 Butler and Maid Service are available to you.
The views from your bedroom balcony are uplifting, and the patio is the perfect setting for the early morning Ugandan Arabica Coffee grown in some of the nearby fields.
Authentic African Art is found throughout the Lodge, including g in your cottage, and the Meals are delightful. Many of our Clients have loved their stay at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla is the top Lodge in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. No other lodge can top what the exclusive Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge offers.
Activities that you can do here:
- Batwa Cultural Encounter: See the Forest through the Eyes of its first people, the Batwa.
- Village Walk: Go on a guided walk and experience Ugandan village life.
- Nature Walk: Take a nature or birding walk with a guide.
- Hands-on Cultural Experience: Learn a new skill such as African drumming, dance, basket weaving, carving, cooking, etc.
- Relax and read a Book: Read a book about Uganda.
Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner.
Day-4: Forest Gorilla Trekking – Rushaga or Nkuringo:
The Gorilla Trekking Orientation:
Here you receive instructions about the Gorilla Trek. You are assigned your Gorilla Family based on your input, and your age and fitness level are also considered.
You often track the Gorilla Groups you like, and we will help you with the Park Staff. Trekking times vary between three and six hours depending on the gorilla group you will be trekking on your day. We strongly suggest you read the Rules and Guidelines before going on a Trek.
If you have physical limitations, you can still visit a gorilla family. Let us know, and we will make the necessary arrangements, such as a sedan chair carried by a team of porters.
The Gorilla Family you will trek with is determined at the orientation with your input, and your fitness level and age are part of the Gorilla Family determination equation.
The location of the gorilla family determines the length and difficulty of the Trek. Pre-Trackers are out at the crack of dawn location the diverse groups and calling in the GPS locations of the various groups.
The length of the Trek is between three and five hours, and at the time, it may be longer than that. Up to eight trekkers in your group, and add to the rangers and porters.
Some rules and guidelines govern the Trek. It is good to know the rules ahead of time. The main one is that you have no cold or flu, intestinal disorder, or other infectious illness on the day of your Trek.
In the presence of the Gorilla Family:
The encounter with a Gorilla Family is an almost spiritual experience for many; nothing is spending an hour with the Gentle Giants of the Forest.
Option – Depending on Permit availability: The Gorilla Habituation Experience – four hours with a gorilla family with only four participants. Instead of the Normal Gorilla Trek, where 8 participants are in The Group – Consider the exclusive All-Day Gorilla Trek, where you are with the gentle giants of the Forest on a Gorilla Habituation Experience for four hours. The Permit cost for the Gorilla Habituation is 1,500 USD, and there are only four permits available, and you need to book early to get permits for this activity.
Meal Plan: Breakfast -Lunch – Dinner
Day-5 Return to Kigali t:
Return to Kigali:
After breakfast, we drive back to Kigali. Turn back your watch one hour at the border since we gain an hour switching to Central African Time. Depending on your flight out of Rwanda, we can schedule activities in Kigali such as a visit to the Genocide Memorial, lunch made famous by the movie Hotel Rwanda, and more such as a city tour.
Meal Plan: Breakfast
The above Private Safari includes all activities and permits needed, as described. It is an entire board, water in the vehicle, and it does not include tips, drinks at lodges, or laundry.
This 5-Day-Luxury Twice Gorilla Trekking Safari in two Parks in Uganda is suitable for you:
- Trekking in two Distinctly different Habitats: You cannot do that in any other Mountain Gorilla Country.
- Save Money: This luxury safari can cost you half the price it would in Rwanda. Exclusive lodges such as Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and Mount Gahinga Lodge are nearly half the price than they are in Rwanda. Affordability is what has made Uganda the premier Gorilla trekking destination.
- Safety – Security: Uganda is the only country where there have been no Guerrilla activities in or around its Gorilla Parks.
- More Gorillas: Nearly half of the remaining endangered Mountain Gorillas are in Uganda. More habituated families are open for visitation, and more Gorilla Permits are available in Uganda.
- More Gorilla Trekking Choices: In addition to Gorilla trekking, Uganda offers the Gorilla Habituation Experience, where you are for four hours with a gorilla family, and there are only four participants.
The above Safari includes all activities listed; it is a full-board safari with your driver-guide. It does not have visas, tips, or alcoholic drinks included at your Lodge, nor does it include gratuities or laundry.
Contact us about this 5-Day-Luxury Twice Gorilla Trekking Safari in two Parks in Uganda.