Uganda Gorilla Trek & L. Bunyonyi Canoe Trekking Tour - 3 Days
The three days safari takes you to track the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and also experience Uganda's most beautiful landscape, Lake Bunyonyi after the gorilla trek. As an option, while at the lake you could just relax there or take community walks or enjoy canoe trekking riding through the beautiful islands of Lake Bunyonyi.
With its terraced hillsides and hidden coves, Lake Bunyonyi is a haven of tranquility that provides the perfect place to relax and unwind. The lake lies in south-western Uganda, between Kisoro and Kabale and close to the border with Rwanda. It was formed when the original valley exit was blocked by volcanic eruptions, creating a freshwater paradise that is a pleasure to explore.
- Day 1: Start from Kampala or Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park at 07:00AM (any day), stopping at Equator and Mbarara for lunch.
- Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, transfer for overnight at Lake Bunyonyi
- Day 3: Time for optional activities in the morning before departure to Entebbe / Kampala (or if you prefer to Kigali).
Day 1: Start from Kampala or Entebbe driving to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Meet and greet with our local guide in Kampala/ Entebbe/Kigali at 07:00 hours before starting your gorillas tracking tour with a drive heading to southwestern Uganda.
Alternatively, a flight to Bwindi can be arranged for those who don't want the long drive.
En route, there is a local community popular for making local drums and crafts and a fruit market. Stop over, admire and buy yourself souvenirs.
Proceed to the Equator line taken as one beautiful scenery in Africa - the pathway of the sun and take photographs. Pass by mountains, tropical rainforest and bamboo forest during the nine hour journey.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge | Trackers Lodge Buhoma
Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge | Nkuringo Gorilla Camp | Gorilla Mist Camp
Low Budget: Buhoma Community Restcamp | Rushaga Gorilla Camp | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Gorilla Valley Lodge
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
Today enjoy gorilla tracking in Bwindi.
After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip - gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day.
We trek the gorillas through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. When the gorillas are sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.
Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It's difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.
While most of today's forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi's vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L'Hoest's, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi's most famous resident, the mountain gorilla.
Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.
After coming back from tracking the gorillas, we depart from Bwindi and drive to Lake Bunyonyi for a much desired relaxation and overnight.
Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)
Up-market: Bird's Nest | Acadia Cottages Lake Bunyonyi
Moderate: Bird's Nest | Acadia Cottages Lake Bunyonyi
Low Budget: Bunyonyi Overland Resort | Bushara Campsite
Day 3: Departure
In the morning you could choose to engage in any of the available tour options at Lake Bunyonyi.
Given the inevitable rigorous day at Bwindi (yesterday), you might be cherishing some relaxing moments on the shores of this peaceful lake. Or you might choose among the various tour activities like birding, cycling, and sun bathing, swimming or even canoeing.
We will be in Kampala in the evening before for your flight back home.
Pre- departure preparing for Uganda gorilla tracking tour in Bwindi:
- Present your passport to the park office for verification and registration in the daily trackers' book
- Assemble together with other gorilla trekkers for briefing
- Ensure you have your packed lunch and plenty of drinking water for whole day. You really can't predict how long the gorilla tracking will go on.
- A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human-borne diseases.
- Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas.
On the way to the gorillas:
- Always follow the instructions as given by the lead gorilla trackers.
- Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
- DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
- You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
- When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.
When you are with the gorillas:
- A 7 meter (21 feet) distance should tried to be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
- You must stay in tight group whey you are near the gorillas.
- Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is okay to ask the guide questions.
- Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
- Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
- Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
- Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
- The maximum time you can spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
- After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.
General health rules:
Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human diseases. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might poses to them:
- Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
- If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
- If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses.
- Always stay 7 meters (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
- Do not leave any rubbish (eg. food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
- If you need to go to the toilet while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. Make sure the hole is 30 cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.
What to bring on your Gorilla Tracking Safari:
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
- Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
- Carry a packed lunch and enough drinking water.
- Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
- Bring a photo of film camera. Using flashlight is not permitted so we recommend using films of 400-800 ASA.
For more information about Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations, kindly contact our office via email or phone call.
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