Overview

Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda

Take an unforgettable voyage into the mists of Africa for an intimate look at the lives of mountain and lowland gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda. Cregor Adventures has worked closely with a leading African ecotourism provider to develop an itinerary that respects the natural habitat of these rare and noble primates, while contributing to sustainable development and respect for local cultures. As the only signatory to the UN’s Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes, our African partner operates with the highest commitment to the environment and to the principles of ethical tourism.

Our mountain gorilla escorted tours are limited to no more than eight participants. An experienced guide will lead you deep into the cloud forest, where you’ll stay at comfortable eco-lodges in close proximity to the habitats of mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Treks depart at set dates throughout the year, so book early to ensure you don’t miss out. We can also arrange tailor-made gorilla trekking and escorted safari trips that follow an itinerary of your choosing.

Experience Gorillas Up Close

Those of us who have trekked to the home of the mountain gorilla can testify that it’s truly a life-changing experience. With fewer than 900 gorillas remaining in the wild, seeing them in person is to experience something unique in the world. These gentle giants will humble and inspire you with their serenity and the strong bonds they form among one another.

At Cregor Adventures, we take care of the behind-the-scenes-work to help ensure your once-in-lifetime gorilla trekking escorted safari respects and protects their habitat. Contact Cregor Adventures for information on pricing for a mountain gorilla escorted tour this upcoming season.

A personal note from Peggy Cregor:  I have always been fascinated and enchanted by mountain gorillas. I have waited many years for the opportunity and the privilege to sit amongst these magical creatures. Two years ago it was finally MY time. And it did not disappoint. In fact, it was even more magical than I could have ever imagined. If this is finally YOUR time, please call us with any questions about this “once in a lifetime adventure!”

 

Sample Itinerary

Day One: Arrive in Entebbe
Upon arriving at Entebbe, Uganda Airport, you’ll meet the guide who will accompany you throughout your journey. From there, you’ll immediately travel south towards Queen Elizabeth National Park, stopping along the way to visit the region’s royal drum makers and stand on the Equator. At the park you’ll stay at the Kyambura Gorge Lodge, where you can spend the afternoon relaxing on the veranda with a drink as you look out to the plains of the savannah and the Rwenzori Mountains.

Days Two and Three: Game Watching in the Park
For your second and third days, you’ll stay based at the lodge, with the option of taking several short trips for game watching and other activities. You’ll have the heat of the day to rest, with excursions heading out in the morning and early evening. Available destinations will depend on the season; previous activities have included:

  • Watching lions and Uganda kob on the Kayseni plains.
  • Game driving through the Mweya peninsula, where leopards can be spotted in the dense thickets, and you’ll be treated to a magnificent view of the Rwenzori mountain range from across the water.
  • Touring the Women’s Coffee Cooperative.
  • Tracking the mobile chimpanzee populations of the Kyambura Gorge.
  • Cruising the Kazinga channel, where herds of buffalo, hippo and elephant can be seen.

Day Four: Travel to Bwindi Lodge
Day four will begin your journey into the primeval forest, as you travel to Bwindi Lodge, your home for the next three nights. Road conditions vary, though if time permits you’ll have the opportunity to explore the grounds and nearby village upon arrival.

Days Five and Six: Gorilla Watching
For many, tracking the mountain gorilla is the highlight of their trip. In Bwindi, you’ll have two full days to journey through the dense hills – led by your expert guide – in search of these gentle giants. Alternately, one or both days can be spent on any of the following activities:

  • taking guided rainforest walks, where you’ll see dozens of unique bird, butterfly and plant species.
  • touring the local village and learning about the important community development programs taking place.
  • learning the traditions of the Batwa pygmy tribe, long-time residents of the surrounding forests.

Day Seven: Travel to Mgahinga National Park
On day seven, you’ll leave Bwindi for Mgahinga National Park, where you’ll spend the next two days. On the way there, you’ll wind your way through bamboo forests and along the Kanaba gap for a breathtaking view of the Virunga mountain range. Your destination, the Mount Gahinga Lodge, is located 2300m above sea level – when you arrive, warm yourself by the fire or enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the terrace as you look out to the volcanoes.

Days Eight and Nine
You’ll spend days eight and nine in the national park, where you have the option of attempting more gorilla tracking (there are gorilla populations in nearby Nkuringo, though the trail is considerably more strenuous due to the altitude). Other activities include:

  • Walking the Batwa trail. With a Batwa elder as your guide, you’ll learn about cultural heritage of the Batwa people, including their traditional hunting techniques and use of medicinal plants. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Ngarama cave, held sacred by the Batwa for generations.
  • Watching the weekly performance by the Batwa Dance Group. Using traditional choreography, the Batwa act out the myths and legends of their history in this high-energy, interactive performance.
  • Muhavura or Gahinga Volcanoes. Mgahinga National Park presents many opportunities for day hiking at whatever your desired activity level. The trail to Gahinga is gently sloped and suitable for all ages. Anyone up for a challenge can attempt to climb Muhavura, a steeper trail that, on a clear day, offers an astonishing view of the entire park.

Day Nine
After spending the morning enjoying any last activities in Mgahinga, we’ll travel south across the border to Rwanda, where we’ll spend the next two days at the Parc National des Volcans, in the exclusive Virunga Lodge overlooking Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo.

Days 10 and 11: Virunga Lodge
We’ll spend two full days in the Virunga Lodge, where there will be ample opportunities for gorilla tracking or any of the following activities:

  • relaxing on the inland beaches of Lake Kivu.
  • visiting the numerous community development projects ecotourism revenues are helping support.
  • touring Lake Bulera and the surrounding villages.
  • visiting the grave of legendary naturalist Dian Fossey.
  • searching for the elusive, endangered golden monkey.

Day 12: Travel to Kigali and Fly Home
On the last day of your tour, we’ll travel to Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, where you’ll have the option of touring the city and visiting a moving memorial to the victims of the 1994 genocide. At this point, the tour will be officially over and you may return to your hotel or to the airport for your flight home.

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Dates/Pricing

2014
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
18th 14th 13th 13th 15th 13th 18th 13th
Scheduled Departures
Package High Season Low Season
Per person sharing a twin room $ 7,960 $ 7,164
Private Departure **
Package High Season Low Season
Based on 2 $ 9,755 $ 7,804
Based on 3 $ 8,845 $ 7,076
Based on 4 $ 8,390 $ 6,712
Based on 5 $ 8,117 $ 6,494
 **Prices are based on a minimum of two people traveling on a private safari.
2015
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
17th 14th 13th 18th 15th 19th 17th 19th
Please contact us for 2015 prices.

 

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Accommodations

Kyambura Gorge Lodge (Three Nights)
Located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Kyambura Gorge Lodge is perfectly situated with relaxing views of both the plains of the savannah and the peaks of the Rwenzori mountains. Activities near the lodge include game drives, lion watching and cruising the Kazinga channel, where you can watch hippos, elephants and buffalo congregate at the water’s edge.

Bwindi Lodge (Three Nights)
The Bwindi lodge is your base for trekking deep into the forest, where you’ll find all manner of birds, monkeys, chimpanzees and, of course, the majestic gorilla. You’ll also have the opportunity of taking a guided walk through the rainforest or learning about the traditions of the local Batwa tribe.

Mount Gahinga Lodge (Two Nights)
The Mount Gahinga Lodge features eight comfortable bandas and is located at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, near to where the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo meet. The Mount Gahinga Lodge is an excellent base for a number of activities, including hiking the area’s volcanoes and seeking out the endangered golden monkey.

Virunga Lodge (Three Nights)
The last leg of your journey will be spent at the Virunga Lodge, overlooking nearby lakes Ruhondo and Bulera. Each of the lodge’s eight bandas features a spectacular view of Virunga volcanoes and the surrounding valley. The Virunga Lodge is ideally located for more gorilla tracking or for relaxing on the beach of nearby Lake Kivu.

Sustainability
All accommodations during your tour of Uganda and Rwanda have been selected with the highest principles of environmental and cultural sustainability in mind. This means they respect the environment, the local populations of endangered primates and other animals and, most of all, the lives and cultures of those who live in nearby villages. Our local partners are proud supporters of the Ape Alliance, Tusk and other groups working to preserve Africa’s environment.

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Extensions

Please contact us for more detailed information on the different activities available during your gorilla tour. Some available options are :

Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Chimpanzee Tracking
The Batwa Dance Group
Climbing Volcanoes
River Walk at Bwindi Lodge
Birding in Mgahinga National Park
Rwenzori Foothills
Golden Monkey Tracking
Mwiko School/ Village Walk
The Rwenzori Sculpture Gallery
Batwa Culterual Experience
Amagara Project
Birding in Kyambura Wetlands
Bee Keeping in Kyambura
Intore Dancers
Murchison Falls
Nature Walks in Mgahinga National Park
Search for Tree Climbing Lions in Ishasha
Visit Dian Fossey’s Grave at Karisoke
Visit Local Orhpanage
Crater View Trail
Wildlife Gorge Walk
Forest Walks in Bwindi
Rafting in Jinja
Visit Lake Kivu
The Omumashaka Drama Group
Batwa Trail and Garama Cave
Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village
Local Community Walks
Buhoma Village Walk
Border Trail
Lake Bulera/ Village Walk

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