GORILLA TREKKING & VOLCANO CLIMBING SAFARI
One of the most incredible experiences you will ever encounter awaits you on this trip of a lifetime that combines Uganda – the pearl of Africa – with active volcano Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Come explore this wild and beautiful region of Africa.
Discover the stunning Queen Elizabeth National Park, renowned for its tree climbing lions, and the Bwindi National Park, home to endangered mountain gorillas. You will also have the option to trek, looking for chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge.
After exploring Uganda, you will hop over the border to the DRC and climb an active volcano and sleep on its ash slopes.
This safari works really well with a Zanzibar island vacation, or Serengeti safari, which can be arranged before or after.
Day 1: ENTEBBE, UGANDA (Boma Lodge)
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel.
Entebbe is a small, quiet town located on the shores of Lake Victoria and is easy to explore on foot, local motorbike, or by taxis. Soak up the local markets, filled with clothes and crafts, shop for souvenirs in curio shops, or explore the botanical gardens on Lake Victoria. Enjoy the wide variety of restaurants serving many different cuisines, as well as several bars where you can sample the local beer, catch a game of football, or chat with the local Ugandans, known for their open, friendly nature.
Included meals: breakfast
DAY 2: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK, UGANDA (Mweya Safari Lodge)
We depart early for our drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park – it’s a long day on the road and you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch en route.
Spread over 1,978km2 in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley, the Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, leopards, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds.
We start in the Mweya region of the national park, and enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel. Kazinga’s shores are a haven for numerous birds, including many migratory species. The cruise also provides a spectacular view of the beautiful Mweya Peninsula, as well as life in the local fishing villages set along the banks of the river.
We stay the night at Mweya Safari Lodge, located on a peninsula overlooking the Kazinga Channel on one side and the Rwenzori Mountains on the other.
Included meals: all meals
DAY 3 – 4: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK, UGANDA (Ishasha Wilderness Camp)
On day three we depart for the Ishasha region in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to the massive Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda. En route, we pass Kyambura Gorge, where chimpanzee trekking is an optional extra.
The Kyambura forest is alive with noise and plenty of birdlife. The chimpanzees can be active and may move quickly through the forest canopy, or if you’re lucky, you may find them resting or eating near the forest floor. It’s an exhilarating walk in beautiful scenery.
We overnight at Ishasha Wilderness Camp, an exclusive tented camp offering the only luxury accommodation in the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth.
On day four we enjoy game drives and game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park, looking out for huge herds of buffalo, elephant and of course the famous tree-climbing lion typically found in the area.
Included meals: all meals
DAY 5 – 6: BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK, UGANDA (Buhoma Lodge)
On day five we leave Ishasha and after a two to three hour drive through scenic country, come to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
The National Park, located in south western Uganda on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, is considered the most diverse forest in Uganda. Home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, and 160 species of trees, Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa. The park contains almost one half of the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas, making it an extremely valuable conservation site.
Overnight at Buhoma Lodge.
We spend the night at Buhoma Lodge, found on the slopes of the Impenetrable Forest and with uninterrupted views of the pristine rain forest canopy. It’s the perfect, tranquil base from which to visit Bwindi.
On day six we tick a item off many people’s bucket lists – coming face to face with mountain gorillas!
Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes. The opportunity to come within meters of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities, is an experience you won’t soon forget! Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with only an estimated 880 remaining in the wild.
Please note that gorilla tracking may be fairly strenuous with treks ranging from 30 mins up to six hours or longer, at high altitudes. Mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 95%.
After an exhilarating day we return to our accommodation. Other optional activities that may be enjoyed in and around the Park include forest walks, visits to a local school, orphanage, or Batwa pygmy village, and curio shopping.
Included meals: all meals
DAY 7: VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, DRC (Mikeno Lodge)
Today we head across the Bunagana border post into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The drive from Buhoma to Mikeno Lodge in the DRC will take roughly 7 hours – excluding border crossing time which varies.
At the border you will be handed over to the guides of the Virunga National Park, who will be your hosts for this section of the safari, and the provide all transport.
Mikeno Lodge offers large bungalows and a good restaurant, and is located within a forest offering beautiful views of the Rift Valley and Nyiragongo and Mikeno Volcanoes. There is an abundance of bird life here, as well as resident blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, and baboons. Chimpanzees are also frequent visitors to the area.
Included meals: breakfast and dinner
DAY 8: NYIRAGONGO VOLCANO, DRC (overnight on Nyiragongo Volcano)
Today is the day! Make sure you have excellent quality climbing/ hiking shoes as you set off on your Nyiragongo Volcano climb.
Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano that features the world’s largest lava lake. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and bushbuck. Nyiragongo’s summit rim is largely devoid of vegetation and is sometimes dusted with snow. From the rim, visitors can peer down into a churning lava lake and see and hear hot gases exploding up though a mosaic of molten lava.
Treks to the summit of Nyiragongo Volcano begin at the Kibati patrol post. Park rangers lead all treks and porters are available for hire at an additional cost. The time required to reach the summit depends on the fitness of each group, but typically takes 4 – 6 hours. Altitude sickness can be an issue for some because the climb begins at 1989m (6,525 ft) and ascends to 3470m (11,382ft) in a short time. Proper hydration is the best way to adapt to the change in altitude. People prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) should speak to their physicians about taking preventative measures before making the climb. It is possible for fitter people to climb up and descend in one day, but the vast majority choose to overnight in the basic accommodations available at the top (included in the permit fee) because the best time to view the lava lake is at night.
We will arrive at the Kibati Station by 9.15am on the day eight. Climbers typically descend the volcano at between 6:30 – 7:00 am the next morning and arrive back at Kibati station by 11:30 am.
We overnight in one of the 12 shelters on the summit of the volcano. Each shelter contains two single beds on which visitors can put their sleeping bags. Although these shelters aren’t plush, they offer a welcome escape from the elements and the perfect place to view the spectacle of the volcano’s lava lake.
Included meals: all meals
DAY 9: KISORO, UGANDA (Kisoro Travellers Rest Hotel)
After descending the Nyiragongo Volcano, we transfer back across the border into Uganda and overnight in Kisoro.
Kisoro Travellers Rest Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Uganda. The lodge boasts an impressive list of guests including primatologist Dian Fossey, who even called this hotel her second home! It offers a quiet setting with an amazing view over the Virunga volcanoes, and in the evening the lounge with its cosy fireplace is the perfect spot to wind down.
Travellers Rest consists of 11 en suite rooms, tastefully decorated with a unique selection of Congo art, all overlooking a well-groomed courtyard.
Included meals: breakfast and dinner
DAY 10: ENTEBBE, UGANDA
After an early start we make our way back to Entebbe (about a 9 hour drive) in time to catch your departing flight. It is possible to fly from Kisoro to Entebbe for an additional fee.
Included meals: breakfast and lunch
Please note: Extensions to Zanzibar and Tanzania are available. Please contact us for more information:
US$ 3 670.00 per person sharing (based on 6 people traveling)
US$ 4 010.00 per person sharing (based on 4 people traveling)
US$ 4 925.00 per person sharing (based on 2 people traveling)
US$ 3 780.00 per person sharing (based on 6 people traveling)
US$ 4 290.00 per person sharing (based on 4 people traveling)
US$ 5 230.00 per person sharing (based on 2 people traveling)
Jan18 – Feb18, Jul18 – Sep18 & Dec18:
US$ 3 945.00 per person sharing (based on 6 people traveling)
US$ 4 325.00 per person sharing (based on 4 people traveling)
US$ 5 270.00 per person sharing (based on 2 people traveling)
Mar18, Jun18 & Oct18:
US$ 3 695.00 per person sharing (based on 6 people traveling)
US$ 4 045.00 per person sharing (based on 4 people traveling)
US$ 4 955.00 per person sharing (based on 2 people traveling)
Apr18, May18 & Nov18:
US$ 3 565.00 per person sharing (based on 6 people traveling)
US$ 3 910.00 per person sharing (based on 4 people traveling)
US$ 4 825.00 per person sharing (based on 2 people traveling)
Above prices exlude Gorilla trekking permit: US$ 600 per person (subject to change)
$3 565 pps
Trekking with endangered mountain gorillas in the forests of Uganda
Optional chimpanzee trekking
Spotting the tree climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth Naional Park
Climbing a live volcano and spending the night at the crater’s edge with the lava lake bubbling below
Exploring the ancient forests and remarkable wildlife areas of Uganda
Game viewing in Uganda
Airport transfers (Entebbe)
Vehicle with English speaking local driver/ guide throughout
Accommodation as per itinerary
Meals as per itinerary
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
All park entrance fees
Full liability insurance cover
24 hour emergency contact
Volcano climb permit and guides
Overnight in a volcano summit shelter
Nyiragongo meal and gear package – includes snacks, lunch, dinner, and breakfast and snacks. Water is also included for both days. Gear includes a sleeping bag, jacket, fleece top, hat and rain poncho.
All road transfers
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