The Ultimate Gorilla Safari

The safari of choice for primate enthusiasts, this epic journey will give you the chance to track both mountain gorillas and western lowland gorillas on six separate trekking excursions (with the possibility of a seventh trek added in for good measure).

Itinerary Summary

Duration
17 Days
Price From
£13165
When
Year-Round
Destination
Congo, Rwanda & Uganda
Type
Tailor-Made
Duration Price From When Destination Type
17 Days £13165 Year-Round Congo, Rwanda & Uganda Tailor-Made
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About this trip

The gorilla may not be humanity's closest living relative – that honour goes to the chimpanzee and bonobo – but for many, there are few experiences more powerful in the natural world than coming face to face with gorillas. This ultimate gorilla safari is tailored for the ultimate gorilla fan, providing no fewer than six opportunities to see the apes first-hand. Spending time with these amiable apes is an experience that will last long in the memory – pay close attention to the play of light and shadow among the foliage and watch how the gorillas interact with one another, from the smallest baby to the mighty silverback. By all means, take your camera, your batteries and your equipment, but try to take to time to truly immerse yourself in your surroundings, and connect with these intelligent primate cousins of ours as they go about their lives mere metres away from you. Watching a gorilla through a lens is magical enough in itself, but to look into one’s eyes with your own is to truly get a sense of our place in the world.

 

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Track some of the world's few remaining mountain gorillas in both Uganda and Rwanda.
  • Embark on further tracking excursions in the Republic of Congo, in search of the western lowland gorilla.
  • Six gorilla tracking experiences in total (with the option of adding a seventh in the Republic of Congo).
  • Discover rare species such as forest elephant, forest buffalo, bongo, sitatunga, various monkeys and the many rare birds that inhabit the wilderness of the Republic of Congo.
  • Visit the moving Genocide Memorial in Rwanda, "The Land of a Thousand Hills".
  • Immerse yourself in the montane forests of Bwindi in Uganda.

Embedded Video Overview

An epic 17-day safari tracking two gorilla subspecies across three countries 
from $16,935 per person sharing, excluding international flights and gorilla permits

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Kigali - Volcanoes National Park

Upon your arrival into Rwanda's Kigali International Airport, you will be met by your professional English-speaking driver/guide and private 4x4 safari vehicle. You will have the chance this morning to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which contains a permanent and extremely moving exhibition of the Rwandan genocide. After lunch, travel north to Ruhengeri and Volcanoes National Park. A "true island in the sky", Volcanoes National Park is home to some of the world’s few remaining mountain gorillas, which were first studied here in 1959 by George Schaller, and through the 1960s by Dian Fossey and her colleagues.

Day 2

First Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park

Today will be spent tracking the world-famous mountain gorillas. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to one of 10 habituated family groups. An early breakfast and you're off to the park headquarters at Kinigi to register and be allocated your gorilla family for today. Once this is done, you set out by vehicle to begin your gorilla safari. The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. However, experienced guides will accompany you on your gorilla trekking, many of whom have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas' habits and information from the previous day to locate the group's whereabouts.

Day 3

Final Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park

Your final day of gorilla tracking! An early start to make your way to the park headquarters where you are assigned a ranger and a gorilla group. Tracking the gorillas can take anything from four to eight hours in steep, muddy and lush green terrain! It is, however, the experience of a lifetime... coming across these amiable primates in their natural surroundings is quite awe-inspiring as you watch them go about their daily lives, playing, grooming and eating! Afterwards you will be driven back to Kigali to check into your hotel where you will spend the evening.

Day 4

Kigali - Brazzaville

Today you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your international flight to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo. Upon your arrival into Maya Maya International Airport in Brazzaville, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the night. Here, you have the chance to relax after your flight and before the next instalment of your adventure. If you feel like doing a little exploring, there is an option for a city tour in the afternoon.

Day 5

Brazzaville - Odzala-Kokoua National Park

Travel from Brazzaville by scheduled light aircraft flight to Odzala-Kokoua National Park. Here you will be met and transferred to Ngaga Camp to begin your western lowland gorilla safari. Upon arrival you will be greeted with cold towels and a welcome drink before checking in and enjoying lunch. Get to know your group before setting out on a forest walk with your guide on hand to point out various local species of flora and fauna. Back at camp you will meet the gorilla research team who will tell you all about the work they are undertaking here, which will be sure to build excitement for your upcoming gorilla treks. Dine on a three-course meal before retiring to your room in preparation for your early start the following day.

Overnight: Ngaga Camp (B, L, D)

Day 6

Gorilla Trek and Forest Walk

Wake at dawn to begin your day with a light breakfast before setting off at 6am for your first gorilla trek. Meet your guide and expert tracker who will accompany you for the day. Depending on the location of the gorillas, treks can vary in length from just two hours to a full day. Once you locate the gorillas, enjoy the moment and quietly capture these incredible creatures on camera. Head back to Ngaga Camp for lunch. In the afternoon take a guided walk to discover the forest wildlife and birdlife, ending at the river for sundowners. Finish your evening with drinks around the fire and another three-course meal.

Overnight: Ngaga Camp (B, L, D)

Day 7

Gorilla Trek and Night Walk

Today, wake early again for another gorilla trek. Where possible the team will try to locate a different family group of gorillas, however, even if you see the same group again the experience will be mesmerising. Take time to step away from the camera to truly take in the moment. In the afternoon you will have the chance to experience another forest walk with an expert guide, where you will keep an eye out for unique birds and primates. Your forest walk will extend into the evening, allowing you to seek out nocturnal forest life. Back at camp, enjoy drinks and dinner with your fellow travellers and discuss the events of the day.

Overnight: Ngaga Camp (B, L, D)

Day 8

Ngaga Camp - Mboko Camp

Enjoy a relaxed morning in camp, with an optional third gorilla trek (at an additional cost of $285). Late morning, transfer around 2.5 hours by road to Mboko Camp. Stop in at Mbomo Village for a taste of Sunday village life before arriving at the camp and settling in in time for lunch. In the afternoon, get ready for your boat safari along the Lekoli River. Look out for unique species during your trip such as forest elephant, buffalo, sitatunga and a range of primates. Head back to camp for dinner.

Overnight: Mboko Camp (B, L, D)

Day 9

Mboko Camp - Lango Camp

After an early breakfast, again watching to see what animals make an appearance, set out for a kayaking excursion on the Lekoli River. Keep your eyes peeled for forest buffalo and colobus monkeys as you gently drift down the river. Parking your kayak on the banks, set off on a walk through the forest to rendezvous with your guide and take a short game drive to camp. Arrive in camp for lunch and an afternoon at leisure, watching from your vantage point out into the marshy bai in front of camp which attracts huge flocks of African grey parrots and African green pigeons, and at night, forest elephants.

Overnight: Lango Camp (B, L, D)

Day 10

Lango Bai

Today is your chance to explore the area surrounding Lango Camp. Head out to the bais on foot and enjoy close encounters with wildlife such as forest elephants. Back to the Lango Camp for lunch before choosing to either relax at camp or head out on an adventure walk. Once at Lango Camp, enjoy a three-course meal in the dining room.

Overnight: Lango Camp (B, L, D)

Day 11

Lango Camp - Mboko Camp

Enjoy an early breakfast in camp, savouring the sunrise over the primeval forest. Look out for the multitude of resident bird species that make this forest their home – over 2,500 species are found here due to the diverse array of pristine habitats this area offers. Transfer from Lango Camp to Mboko Camp via a game drive and a walk along a wooden path raised over a swamp. Add to your birding count or seek out red river hog and harnessed bushbuck, which are regularly seen around camp. After lunch you have the option of a river cruise on the Lekoli River or a final adventure walk along the Likeni River.

Overnight: Mboko Camp (B, L, D)

Day 12

Mboko Camp - Brazzaville

Enjoy a leisurely morning before checking out of Mboko Camp. You will be transferred back to Brazzaville where upon arrival you can settle back and relax.

Day 13

Brazzaville - Nairobi - Entebbe

Today you will transfer to the airport in time for your international flight to Nairobi. You’ll have a short stopover here in Kenya's capital before connecting with your flight to Entebbe. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Entebbe.

Day 14

Entebbe - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

After being transferred back to Entebbe, board your scheduled flight to Kihihi Airstrip where your private vehicle and guide await to transfer you to your next lodge. On arrival settle in and relax before your next gorilla trekking adventure.

Day 15

First Gorilla Trek in Bwindi

The mountain gorillas in Bwindi are part of a worldwide population of just 1,000. The gorillas you can track belong to one of three habituated family groups. For up to five years each, these groups have undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually brought them to tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day, allowing a few privileged visitors to interact with them. The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild. Experienced guides will accompany you, many of whom have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas' habits and information from the previous day to locate the group's whereabouts. Because of this, the time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as nine hours.

Day 16

Final Gorilla Trek in Bwindi

Your second day of gorilla tracking. A fantastic experience and one that we recommend you make the most of. Ideally, try to spend as little time a possible behind your camera lens, so you can fully appreciate this remarkable experience. This evening, relax back at your lodge and reminisce about the past fortnight's adventures.

Day 17

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Entebbe

Today you will transfer to the airstrip for your internal flight back to Entebbe, in time to catch your international flight back home.

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our safaris to the Republic of Congo.

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