3 Day quick gorilla trek in Uganda from KigaliJune 3, 2023
Airports near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National ParkJune 3, 2023
A Safari covering the 4 Great Lakes countries will take you to Congo Kahuzi Biega National Park (Part of Congo which is safe and easily accessible from Kigali) where you will see the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Rwanda for Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys and Uganda for Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and the Big 5 animals.
Here is the summary itinerary for A Safari covering the 4 Great Lakes countries for 21 Days Combined Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda Safari;
Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport and overnight in Kigali
Day 2: Drive to Volcanoes National Park, you will visit the Batwa at Ibiwachu Cultural Village
Day 3: Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park after driving to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe after transfer to Kahuzi Biega National Park – Bukavu DR Congo
Day 5: Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking
Day 6: Drive to Bujumbura through Gasenyi border, proceed to the Gishora drums for the Royal drums and dance experience after proceed to Bujumbara for a city tour depending on time
Day 7: After breakfast transfer to Kibira national park for hiking where you will have a chance to see waterfalls, birds and if lucky chimpanzees later transfer back to Kigali
Day 8: Drive to Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Day 9: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Day 10: Drive to Ishasha sector southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park for an evening game drive for chances of seeing the tree-climbing lions and later do a sunset downer
Day 11: Transfer to Mweya northern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park for an evening game drive
Day 12: Morning game drive and afternoon Boat cruise on Kazinga Channel.
Day 13: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park
Day 14: Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi wetland walk
Day 15: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park via a visit to the top of the falls and an en-route game drive to your lodge for overnight.
Day 16: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise to the bottom of the falls
Day 17: Transfer to Kidepo Valley National Park for an evening game drive
Day 18: Full day Game drives in Kidepo National Park
Day 19: Visiting Karamajog villages to explore the local cultures and Transfer to Gulu for overnight to break the journey for the next day.
Day 20: Drive to Ziwa Rhino sanctaury for on foot Rhino tracking after drive to Entebbe for overnight
Day 21: Morning Boat cruise to Ngamba Island to visit the Orphaned Chimpanzees and later do an evening sunset boat cruise on Lake Victoria
Comparing the cost for Gorilla Trekking permits in Congo Compared to Uganda and Rwanda; Gorilla trekking is much cheaper in Congo compared to Uganda and Rwanda. This issue of price difference is basically out of policy difference between these three countries Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. Rwanda wants to promote itself as a Luxury destination while Uganda wants to market itself as an affordable destination. Congo is trying to promote its gorilla tourism to attract more travelers after a long turmoil in the region that caused a lot of insecurity. Whereas Uganda is promoting it’s self as the preferred best affordable destination for gorilla trekking among the 3. The experience and duration spent with gorillas is still the same in the all the 3 countries? Gorilla trekking in Uganda Compared to Rwanda and Congo
The Gorilla permit in Uganda Costs $700 Per person per trek for the Foreign nonresidents, $600 Per person for residents and $70 (Ugx 250,000) for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one-hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
The Gorilla permit in Rwanda Costs $1500 Per person per trek for the Foreign nonresidents, $500 Per person for foreign residents and $200 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
A gorilla permit in Congo costs $400 per person per trek for the high season months of Mid-December to mid-march then June to October and then $200 for the low season months of mid-march to mid-May and then mid-October to mid-December every year. A gorilla permit in Kahuzi Beiga National Park costs $400 for foreign non residents, $200 for East Africa Residents and $20 national resident. Lowland Gorilla trekking permit price in Congo Kahuzi Biega National park costs USD400 for Non Residents, East African Residents-USD200 and National Citizens of Congo-USD20
In terms of accessibility, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is a better option than Uganda and DR Congo. Reasons to support this is that Volcanoes National Park is a 2-3 hours drive from Kigali, that Gorillas are easily seen with a short drive time possible even in one day. This is indeed very true and no one can run away from it. People used to avoid gorilla trekking in Bwindi because of the 9-10 hours drive from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi but now we arrange tours to Bwindi via Kigali which then becomes 4-5 hours drive only. With this, you land in Kigali, use the East African Tourist Visa (which allows you to visit both countries at ago) and then trek gorillas in Uganda at an affordable price. Because of this, even Rwanda tour operators are selling Bwindi instead of their country.
In terms of Lodges, Both Countries have Budget, Mid Range and Upmarket Lodges where you could choose to stay during your trek. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the best place for gorilla trekking for those interested in staying in super luxury lodges on international standards compared to Bwindi. These lodges offer great and luxury services some are ranked among the best in Africa and the country at large for example Bisate Lodge and Singita Kwitonda Lodge in Volcanoes National Park. However for those looking for much budget offers then Uganda and Congo is best option for you given the fact there are many options to choose from where to stay ranging from $30 to $100 as per your booked package.
In terms of Gorilla families, Uganda has more gorilla families open for trekking than Volcanoes National Park. Bwindi has 20 habituated gorilla family groups this means 160 Gorilla permits are available every day for gorilla trekking in Bwindi. Volcanoes National Park has 12 Gorilla families hence 96 Gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Congo has 10 gorilla families that is 8 in Virunga National Park and 2 in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. This makes it more flexible to get gorilla trekking permits in Uganda compared to Rwanda and Congo especially during the peak season months.
In terms of the best gorilla trekking experience, the whole truth is that Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo have gorillas and there is no big difference when it comes to the experience obtained at the end of your trek. Chances of seeing gorillas in all countries are 98% so which ever country you visit you will be able to see these great apes in their natural environment. However Uganda is unique given the fact you an option to spend more time with the mountain gorillas through Gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi forest, a gorilla habituation permit costs $1500 per person giving you an opportunity to spend 4 hours encounter with the semi habituated mountain gorillas under the guidance of trackers and researchers as opposed to one hour for the normal trekking. Congo as well gives you a unique opportunity to see the Eastern Lowland gorillas which are found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
In terms of distance to see Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo, The issue of walking longer or short distance depends on the given gorilla family allocated to you on the day of trekking at of the national park in the country you choose to go for gorilla trekking. In all the 3 countries gorilla families are allocated depending on the interest and physical fitness of given individual. If for example, you want a shorter trek, you will have to inform the park authorities on the very day of trekking so that you are allocated such family. If you want a medium or longer trek, then you do the same. It should be noted that while they will try to give you a family that requires shorter walks, the behavior of gorillas might affect the experience if for example gorillas decide to move further as you look for them you will need to move a longer distance still.
Best time for booking A Safari covering the 4 Great Lakes countries
Visiting Rwanda Uganda and Congo at once is possible all year round. The best months to track gorillas include; June to August and December to February since they receive the lowest rainfall and the forest is less slippery. On the other hand, when you happen to travel during March to May and November there are chances of higher rainfall, you will be able to get discounts from some lodges for your accommodation.
Why book A Safari covering the 4 Great Lakes countries with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris takes pride in customizing tailor-made safaris. It has a very diligent and trustworthy team. Your queries are answered within 30 minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make you a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. Feel free to contact us for more details about A Safari covering the 4 Great Lakes countries.