Ultimate Primate Safari

Encounter gorillas, golden monkeys, and other wildlife while exploring the lush forest of the Virunga Volcanoes and the dense jungles of Bwindi on your Africa Safari in Uganda and Rwanda. Your first gorilla tracking tour will be set in the Virunga Volcanoes forest, made famous by the classic film Gorillas in the Mist. Travel north to Bwindi, where you have a second opportunity to track gorillas, as well as discovering the traditions of the Batwa Pygmies, the indigenous people of the forest.

Day 1

Arrive Kigali, Rwanda

After making your way through customs at the Kigali International Airport, meet your expert guide who will travel with you for your entire 8 day journey. Travel through the beautiful terraced hills that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape towards the base of the Virunga Range arriving at Virunga Lodge, your home for the next 2 nights. 

NOTE: You must arrive no later that 11 AM on day 1. Please let your travel consultant know if you need to arrive the day before the trip starts.

Day 2

Parc National des Volcans

Through the mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range you track gorillas. Once you locate the troop, you will have one hour to spend with these amazing primates. Usually, you return to camp in time for a late lunch, however, some of the gorilla families are elusive, and tracking can take a full day.

Day 3

Free Day

Today you have your choice of activities:

Gorilla Tracking: Subject to availability and the purchase of an additional permit.

Golden Monkey Tracking

Dian Fossey’s Grave: Trek to Fossey’s grave and the gorilla cemetery, where her favorite gorilla, Digit, is laid to rest.

Visit the local school and see community projects

Orphanage visit

Birding on Lake Kivu: home to some of Africa’s finest inland beaches

Guided walk to Lake Bulera: experience local village life along the way.

Day 4

Mount Gahinga

Enjoy a relaxing morning at the lodge, where you can participate in one of the following activities:

Golden Monkey Tracking

Visit the local school and see community projects

Orphanage visit

Birding on Lake Kivu: home to some of Africa’s finest inland beaches

Guided walk to Lake Bulera: experience local village life along the way.

This afternoon set off for Mount Gahinga Lodge, located at the base of the Virunga Volcanoes. Enjoy the views from the terrace before dinner, or curl up by the fire and enjoy the general ambiance of the lodge.

Day 5

Batwa Trail

Accompanied by Batwa elders, walk the Batwa trail and learn about their unique cultural heritage. Watch as the Batwa demonstrate their traditional hunting techniques, and listen as they share their in-depth knowledge of medicinal plants.  Visit the sacred Ngarama cave and enjoy the music and dance of this interesting culture. Alternatively there are other activities you can participate in:

Track Gorillas in Nkuringo: tracking can be very challenging due to the steep and muddy paths. (2 hours drive from Lodge)

Hike the Muhavura or Gahinga Volcanoes: Gahinga offers a gentler hiking experience through the bamboo forest, whereas Muhavura is the most challenging peak in the park.

Track Golden Monkeys: A guide escorts the group through the forest as you search for the rare Golden Monkeys, as well as birds and other forest fauna.

Day 6

Bwindi

Enjoy the changing landscape as you journey on the winding mountain roads to Bwindi, sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of Africa. Depending on your arrival time to the Bwindi Lodge, you may have time to explore the lodge grounds, or the local village.

Day 7

Gorilla Tracking

Enjoy an early breakfast before departing the lodge in search of gorillas. The Bwindi habitat is steep and densely forested and the trek requires stamina, as it can take the better part of a day to come across the gorillas. The first moment you finally see the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged moment. Alternatively there are other activities you can participate in:

Guided Rainforest Walk: Spot all different kinds of endemic bird species, watch a rabble of butterflies float in the mist, and learn about the rare plant life that make the rainforest such a globally important habitat.

Visit the Local Village: Learn about community projects, such as the Bwindi Community Hospital which started as a clinic under a tree and now provides medical services to over 60,000 people, and Amagara project that helps local farmers and their communities.

Batwa Pygmy Discovery: Learn about the native tribe and their traditional hunter-gatherer skills. The indigenous people of the Bwindi forest no longer inhabit the forest, but still practice many of their old ways.

Day 8

  • Breakfast, Lunch

Depart Rwanda

Your journey comes to an end as you return to Kigali. Depending on your international flight times you may have the opportunity for a city tour, or a visit to the Genocide Memorial. Return to your hotel, or transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.

Note: Flights must depart after 4 PM. Earlier flight times will require an overnight in Kigali.

$5895
Tour Cost
$5895
Total Cost (USD)

Notes

$657 single supplement

Rates based on high season scheduled departures

Low season scheduled departures: $5,306
Custom start dates available. Rates range from $4,854 - $7,153

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
    • 7 Nights Lodge
  • 8 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.
  • 1 Gorilla Tracking Permit

Excluded

  • International Flights
  • Required Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities

Recommended Budgeting

  • $40 Airport Departure Tax
  • $750 Optional Excursions
    • Additional Gorilla Tracking Pass on day 3
  • $50 Uganda Visa Fee
Places
Africa, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Kigali, Parc National des Volcans, Lake Kivu, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Similar Trips
  • $5306 - Low Season Rate Per Person (Single Supplement: $592)
  • $7153 - Custom start date based on two people (high season)
  • $5722 - Custom start date based on two people (low season)
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