The 7 days Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla Safari gets you to explore the Pearl of Africa’s Gorilla National Parks. Visit the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Interact and get lost in African culture with the Batwa pygmies on the outskirts of the Park. Also, trek the Nyakagezi gorilla family of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Still, in Mgahinga, spend time with the beautiful golden monkeys in their natural environment.
- Gorilla trekking
- Golden monkey trekking
- Batwa cultural encounter
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, our company representative will welcome you. He will then transfer you to your hotel where you will check in and refresh. The representative will also brief you about your 7 days Uganda gorilla safari. And what it entails. Have dinner and rest as you prepare for a week’s worth of adventure.
Day 1: Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Have an early morning departure to Bwindi to beat the harsh traffic in Kampala. Your first stopover will be at the Equator monument in Kayabwe - Masaka. Enjoy a delightful breakfast and have a brief equator experience. Take part in the “Standing in two hemispheres at the same time” experience. Also, enjoy a brief photography moment before proceeding to Bwindi. Enjoy en-route views of farmlands, local food markets, and villages in the countryside. Your second stopover will be in Mbarara city for lunch. Proceed with your journey, passing through the attractive rolling hills of southwestern Uganda.
The journey to Bwindi is approximately 8-9 hours and on arrival in the Park, drive to your lodge and check in. Refresh, have dinner, and recover from the exhausting journey.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi – Batwa Cultural Encounter
After an early delicious breakfast, head to the Park headquarters for gorilla trekking. The experience starts with a briefing about gorilla trekking, besides the guidelines for trekking. Here, you will also be assigned a gorilla group to trek and a game ranger to guide you through the forest. Thereafter, set off into the thick shrubbery in search of the gorillas. The ranger will be there to help clear paths in the thick vegetation for you. While trekking, expect encounters with monkeys, olive baboons, and birds among many other creatures.
Trekking your assigned gorilla group can take even up to 6 hours. This often depends on the location of the gorillas in the forest. Once you find them, you have 1 hour to spend time in their company. Watch the playful juveniles roam around as you appreciate every bit of it. And the mother gorilla breastfeeding her baby. Watch them as they interact, groom each other, and quest for food. Capturing photos and videos of these lovely apes is allowed. But, flash photography during gorilla trekking is not permitted.
After gorilla trekking, trek back to the headquarters and then return to your lodge for lunch. Later in the afternoon, visit the Batwa community for a cultural encounter. The Batwa pygmies were the earliest dwellers of the Bwindi Forest. They lived there for thousands of years ago. The Batwa were forest keepers who lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. But in the pursuit to gazette the forest into a protected area for mountain gorillas, the government drove them out of the forest. And the Batwa were rehabilitated into small communities on the outskirts of the Park.
While visiting the Batwa, you will be welcomed into their humble community. Have the opportunity to explore their humble homesteads and community at large. Interact with them and learn about their unique culture and tradition. Listen to the impressive stories of their previous forest life. And their amazing knowledge of plants, local medicine, hunting, etc.
Day 3: Transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
After breakfast at your lodge, transfer to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The journey to Mgahinga will take about 4 hours and on arrival, check into your lodge. Have lunch and relax at your lodge, marveling at the natural wonder of the Mgahinga forest.
Day 4: Trek the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family
After a delicious breakfast, transfer to the Park headquarters for briefing. After, your assigned ranger will lead you into the Mgahinga thickets in search of the Nyakagezi family of apes. Usually, the search for the gorillas starts from the spot where they were last seen the previous day. After about 30 minutes to 4 hours of trekking, you finally find them. A Nyakagezi gorilla family is an interesting group to trek. With only 9 members, it is the only gorilla group where two dominant silver backs live in harmony. That is the former and the leading silver backs. Also, in comparison to other gorilla families in Bwindi, Nyakagezi has the most number of silverbacks (5 of them).
With one hour to spend in their company, marvel at the beauty of the gorillas. Enjoy watching them feed and interact with each other. Capture as many memories as you want and thereafter, trek back to the headquarters. You will return to your lodge and have a well-deserved lunch
Day 5: A Day with the Golden Monkeys
In preparation for another day in the jungle, have an early breakfast and head to the Park Headquarters. At the Headquarters, you will be briefed about golden monkey trekking. You will also be given the guidelines for trekking, besides an experienced guide. Led by the guide, set out into the jungle in search of the tiny pretty primates. Golden monkeys are endangered monkey species that are endemic to the Virunga Mountain ranges. In Uganda, they are only found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. With over 2000 to 4000 individuals, most of the troops are habituated which means they can be visited. Golden monkeys are most sought after because of their beautiful long bright golden–orange fur mixed with jet-black. They also live in troops of between 80 to 100 led by Alpha males. They feed on bamboo plants, fruits, flowers, lichens, and small invertebrates. And unlike mountain gorillas or chimpanzees, golden monkeys build permanent nests out of bamboo. Thus, there’s no need for them to be traced every morning, hence easy to trek.
Once you find them, you have one hour to explore and learn about these gorgeous primates. Golden monkeys are playful and fast animals. One should be fast and steady to capture clear shots of them. Even so, it is delightful to be in their company. After the experience, head back to the headquarters for debriefing and return to your lodge.
Have lunch and relax at your lodge. In the late afternoon, transfer to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale District. Enjoy the two-hour journey to the lake with magnificent views of farmlands, and rolling terraced hills. On arrival, drive to your lodge and check in. Dinner will be served at the lodge.
Day 6: Explore Lake Bunyonyi
Today, you will have a relaxed breakfast as you look forward to exploring Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi is a stunning lake dotted with 29 remarkable islands. Located in Kabale district of southwestern Uganda, it is the deepest lake in Uganda. And second deepest in Africa after Lake Tanganyika.
Besides its attractive scenery, the Lake is home to various bird species, zebras, and antelopes. And while exploring the 29 islands on a boat ride, you will be able to spot a range of these species. You will also be told various traditional stories about some of the islands. Among these include the Akampene also known as “The Punishment Island.” Return to your lodge after and have lunch. In the afternoon, engage in several optional activities. These include swimming, nature walks, village visits, quad biking, bird watching, etc.
Day 7: Transfer back to Kampala
With a long journey ahead of you, have an early breakfast and set off for Kampala. Enjoy the journey with attractive views of landscapes in the countryside. Have a stopover in Mbarara for lunch and proceed to Kampala. Thus, at the end of your 7 days explore Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla safari.
• Gorilla trekking permits
• Golden monkey trekking permits
• Transportation with a 4x4 safari vehicle
• Accommodation on full-board
• Airport transfers
• Service of an experienced English-speaking safari guide/driver
• All safari activities as per the safari itinerary
• Bottled drinking water in the safari vehicle
• Travel insurance
• Visa fees
• International flights
• Extras costs of personal nature
• All optional activities excluded in the itinerary
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