8 days – A week in Gorilla Lands

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8 days
Camping Group Tour
Kampala - Kigali
Rwanda, Uganda
Min Age : 18
Max People : 28
Tour Details

This international camping tour starts in Entebbe heading to Rwanda, including a gorilla trek. With game drives and a cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the option to visit Kalinzu Forest to trek chimpanzee in the wild and stopping over at the Genocide Memorial in Kigali.

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Highlights

Queen Elizabeth National ParkKazinga Channel game cruise; Kigali-Genocide memorial; gorilla’s trekking (Optional) Lake Victoria • Chimpanzee trekking • Curio markets including local drums • • Golden monkey trek • Hike to Dian Fossey’s grave • Orphanage visit • Batwa (pygmy) village visit.

Accommodation

Tents and roll mattresses are provided and the tents have sewn in floors and mosquito netting. You will need to bring a sleeping bag & sleep sheet. Get a cheap mosquito net in Africa if you want to sleep outside of your tent. If you start your trip in Nairobi or South Africa you can buy camping gear at the local department stores. All campsites have good ablution facilities & bars, and some have restaurants, shops and internet facilities. About half the campsites have upgrades to hut or cabins for an extra charge.

Restrictions

Minimum age is 18. Average age of the passengers is between 18 – 39 but if you are an open minded person more at age and you don’t mind climbing daily in and out the overland truck you are more than welcome to join!

Extras/Upgrades

Please check the Tour Information for a list of optional extras.

Departure & Return Location

Kampala – Kigali

Departure Time

The safari departs from the Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala Uganda at 7:00 am on the day of departure

Price Includes

  • Breakfast & dinner whilst travelling on the truck
  • Camping whilst travelling on the truck
  • 6 nights camping, 2 nights in dorms
  • Fully equipped expedition truck incl - fridge, gas, tents, sleep mats
  • Services of tour crew
  • Ongoing advice
  • All road tolls & taxes are paid
  • Gorilla permit • Queen Elizabeth National Park • Kazinga Channel game cruise • Kigali - Genocide Memorial • 8 breakfasts & 8 dinners • 6 nights camping, 2 nights in dorms • Fully equipped expedition truck incl - fridge, gas, tents, sleep mats • Services of Absolute Crew • Ongoing advice • All road tolls & taxes are paid

Price Excludes

  • Visa
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers (available on request)
  • Optional extra's
  • Sleeping Bag and Pillow
  • Alcoholic- and soft drinks
  • Pre- and post tour accommodation
  • Vaccinations and anti malarials as required
Itinerary

Day 1Kampala to Kalinzu, Uganda

After meeting up the evening before, we leave early for Mbarara making stops at curio markets and the equator for a photo shoot during the journey.
Our journey can route past papyrus swamps and rice fields as we head up along the Albertine Rift. We spend our night on the edge of the Kalinzu Forest, home to many primates and also habituated chimpanzee.

Distance: 355 kms
Est. Drive Time: +/- 8 hours incl. stops at highlights such as the Equator, for shopping and lunch
Meals: X1 Breakfast, X1 Dinner

Day 2Kalinzu to Queen Elizabeth National Park

There is the option to trek habituated chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest this morning. In this beautiful evergreen forest six different species of primate can be identified, including blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and, of course, the chimpanzees.

From here we visit the adjacent Queen Elizabeth National Park for an afternoon cruise on the Kazinga Channel.
The cruise along the 40 metre-long Channel allows us to see numbers of hippo pods, as well as Cape buffalo and crocodile. The birdlife in this park is also wonderful and the park also has elephant, waterbuck, Ugandan kob, lion, giant forest hog and leopard.
Time also is spent game driving in the truck to further explore this wildlife haven.

Distance: 40 kms
Est. Drive Time: 1 hour
Meals: X1 Breakfast, X1 Dinner

Included wildlife activities: Game cruise on the Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Conducted in an open cruise vessel.
Slow transit afternoon drive, Queen Elizabeth
Vehicle for game drive: Overland truck
Optional excursion: Chimpanzee trek in Kalinzu Forest

Day 3, 4Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kisoro

We are up early for a morning game drive in the park in our overland vehicle. Across savanna grasslands we watch for herds of Ugandan kob, waterbuck and elephant, the height and large windows allowing great viewing. The Rwenzori Mountains also offer a stunning backdrop.
From here, we head over to the town of Kabale and then onto Kisoro where we have a briefing as to the next two to three days whilst near the gorilla parks. A visit to Lake Bunyoni can be arranged on the way to enjoy time on the lake.

Distance, Day 3: 218 kms
Distance, Day 4: 75 kms
Est. Drive Time, Day 3: 7 hours incl. lunch stop
Est. Drive Time, Day 4: 3 hours

Meals: X2 Breakfasts, X2 Dinners
Included wildlife activity: Morning game drive, Queen Elizabeth National Park
Vehicle for game drive: Overland truck

Day 5Kisoro

Here we are based in a simple local guest house surrounded by the beautiful misty mountainous world of the gorillas.

From the very latest count as at November 2018 there are approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas left on the planet. On the gorilla trek we head out early morning across flower farms with local trackers to spend an hour with the gentle mountain gorillas in their natural forest habitat, a special and magical once in a lifetime experience.

Gorillas spend approximately 25% of their day eating, and usually rest during the middle of the day, whilst the young ones spend much of their time playing with each other, and even with the adults in their family. The trackers know the various gorilla families well and are expert at locating the habituated groups usually within a few hours. To protect the gorillas we are allowed an hour to observe the gorillas once they are found as they continue with their daily activities playing, eating and relaxing in their forest home.

Whilst in Kisoro there are other activities on offer as well. You can visit a local children’s orphanage if you wish to spend some time with the children here. Other experiences on offer are a trek to see the golden monkeys in the lower reaches of the forest, or a tour to an indigenous group of Batwa or Pygmy can be organised, this group of local peoples sadly having being
relocated away from their traditional life in the forest. Alternatively, a Pygmy dance troupe are invited to our camp to entertain with some traditional drumming.

Distance: 0 kms
Est. Drive Time: 0 hours
Meals: X1 Breakfast, X1 Dinner

Included wildlife activity: Gorilla trek, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Optional excursions: Golden monkeys trek or orphanage visit. Batwa (Pygmy) village visit or coffee tour. Lake Mutande

NB: Please also let us know well ahead of time if you wish to gorilla trek in Rwanda, as distinct from Uganda.

Day 6Kisoro to Musanze, Rwanda

We cross the border today entering Rwanda, the “Land of a Thousand Hills”, to stay at a small town near the border.
Here you can try your hand at banana beer making and basket weaving at camp where they have established a very simple cultural centre where you can get involved in traditional activities. Alternatively a cycle tour in the local area can be arranged.

Distance: 51 kms
Est. Drive Time: 3 hours (depending on the border)
Meals: X1 Breakfast, X1 Dinner

Optional excursions: Golden monkey trek, banana beer making, basket weaving, bike tour.

Day 7, 8Musanze to Kigali

Those wishing to head out on the steep trek to see Dian Fossey’s grave spend time today in the Rwandan forest.
Dian is a widely known researcher who worked for many years studying the gorillas. She was murdered tragically at her research centre in the gorilla park in 1985. The movie “Gorillas in the Mist” immortalised Dian’s story with the gorillas. The steep hike can provide some further understanding and appreciation for what this inspirational woman devoted her life to, and the legacy she has left behind. Her work and those that followed on after her have brought the species back from near-extinction.

If you are not trekking, we head off early towards the capital Kigali, a very European style city. For those trekking a transfer to Kigali is arranged for later in the day.

Rwanda is a country with a quite recent turbulent history culminating in the 1994 genocide during which ethnic differences between Hutu and Tutsis exploded in an unparalleled level of hatred and bloody violence. We visit the Genocide Memorial in the capital Kigali to honour and reflect on this horrific past. The exhibition is a profoundly moving memorial to those killed in the horrifying maelstrom that descended on Rwanda in April 1994, following the death of president Habyarimana on the 6th April. In our last couple of days spent here in the capital, some also like to take the time to visit the Nyamata Church Memorial, a Women’s Centre, Hotel des Mille Collines (well known from the movie Hotel Rwanda) or simply wander in the local
markets.

Our tour ends on day 8 and that night is included. You are free to make onward travel plans any time the following day.

Distance, Day 7: 115 kms
Est. Drive Time, Day 7: 3 hours
Meals: X2 Breakfasts, X2 Dinners

Optional excursions: Trek to Dian Fossey’s grave, Visit to the Genocide museum and memorial, Nyamata Church Memorial

Please note safari itineraries are given as a guide only. A safari is a journey and true journeys in Africa unfold and are of an adventurous nature. The unexpected can arise, so do allow for this.

Map

Photos
FAQ

I'm a solo traveller, is there a single supplement?

On request we can book you a single room. Otherwise, you will be sharing a room with somone else from the same sexe if you are a single traveler.

Which currency is most widely accepted on this tour?

You can use ZAR and your Bank card should be accepted in most supermarkets, lodges and bars

Should I book pre/post tour accommodation?

We recommend you arrive the night before. We can book an extra night in the lodge from where the tour starts.