The ultimate primate experience, trek through local villages and lush rainforests with the breathtaking reward of finding yourself in the company of a family of gorillas. One of Africa’s major highlights, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to approximately half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the world’s most endangered ape. A close encounter with these amazing animals is not soon forgotten.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park guided mountain gorilla trek. All national park fees and trekking permits. Visit to Kigali Genocide Museum. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Admire a family of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, have your bases covered with all national park and permit fees for gorilla trekking included, visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. INDEPENDENT STYLE
This is an Independent style G Adventures tour. This means that we do not have dedicated group departures, but rather that we offer the trip on any given day that you choose. As such, there may or may not be other passengers booked on the exact same day as you. Locally, you may have the option to be pooled with other passengers who have not booked through G Adventures.
2. WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
G Adventures can never guarantee the sighting of wildlife, especially when it comes to mountain gorillas. However, the mountain gorilla trek is organized to ensure success. Before heading into the jungle, our local guides receive coordinates from trackers on the whereabouts of the gorillas, and the trackers stay with the gorillas until the group arrives.
Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.
4. DAY 1 EARLY DEPARTURE
We strongly recommend arriving a day prior as this trip does not include a night in Kigali. Your tour departs 8am in the morning from Kigali. Though this tour does not include accommodation in Kigali, you may choose to pre-reserve a room through G Adventures at our joining hotel.
5. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS
Visitors to Rwanda/Uganda should be in excellent physical condition, without any heart problems and prepared to spend strenuous days in humid rain forests, steep terrain and high altitude trekking for chimpanzee and gorillas, as well as other primates. Waterproof hiking boots, trousers and long sleeved closed shirts, garden gloves, waterproof clothing and poncho are essential. A pouch for your camera equipment is also highly recommended. As it is very dark in the jungle; only high speed film (ISO 400 or higher) will give good results. Those preferring to remain at base camp in Bwindi may do so, however, there is no price reduction.
6. NATIONAL PARK FEES
Please note that the price of this tour includes all national park and permit fees for the Gorilla tracking experience in Uganda. As such, you will not be expected to pay any other fees in order to take part in this amazing experience on this tour – we include all fees of this activity within the selling price.
The power supply in Uganda is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
8. YELLOW FEVER
Please be advised that it will be required to show a yellow fever certificate upon entering Uganda.
9. GORILLA TREKKING PERMIT TOUR DEPOSIT
Due to the need to secure non-refundable permits for the gorilla trek, the deposit for this tour will be $500 USD at the time of booking. The exact deposit amount is subject to change, pending any locally imposed changes in gorilla permit cost. Please note that travellers are able to transfer the permit to an alternative date ahead up until 8 days to the trekking date; anything below 8 days is non refundable and can not be transferred to an alternative date.
If the client cancels before that we can transfer the permit to an alternative date ahead.
Anything below 8 days to the tracking date is is non refundable and can not be transfered to an alternative date hence 100% cancellation.
Group Leader Description
For this tour, you will be lead by a local G Adventures Driver CEO. He will meet you in Kigali, and be your main group manager and contact during your trip. Our Driver CEO is there to lead your trip, assist you with any questions or concerns, and share with you his broad knowledge of the region. During the trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, we use an experienced and certified tracking guide, and armed guards to accompany you for your safety. We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
Only breakfast is included for this trip. This gives you flexibility: your hotels will have a restaurant or you may inquire about a good local establishment. Part of the excitement of a G Adventures trip is the ability to try local dishes when possible. Your guide will advise you about pre-ordering a packed lunch for your day excursion.
Private minibus/safari vehicle, walking.
About our Transportation
7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle(s)
Land Transfers & Included Tours/activities: Many of the land transfers and included tours will be by private van, car or taxi, while others may be shared with other travellers depending on availability, nature of the activity and destination. For transfers, you may have a local non English-speaking driver only, for included tours, you will be accompanied by an English speaking local guide. Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.
Hotel (2 nts).
Due to the unpredictability of gorilla movements your accommodation may be in either Kisoro, Buhoma or Ruhija.
The Buhoma Community Restcamp was set up in 1993 to enable the community to benefit from gorilla tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The restcamp is run by community members and all profits are shared with the local community through assistance in funding local schools and clinics. There is an associated women’s group, Bwindi Progressive Women’s Group, which makes handicrafts and puts on performances of local music and dance for visitors. Part of the proceeds from the women’s group’s activities is being used to fund a maize mill for the community. Currently, the local people have to travel, often on foot, 25km to get their crops ground. Simple accommodation is provided in clean well maintained bandas, some with en suite facilities. Each has solar electric lighting installed with shared washing/toilet facilities. The showers are heated by firewood. There is a picnic banda in which to sit, socialize, relax and eat; as well as a reception building, which houses a bar and dining room. A variety of foods are available, as well as cold beers and sodas.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Please Note: This trip does depart Kigali at 8am sharp, booking a pre night is highly recommended in case of any flight delays.
If you have a pre-arranged, pre-paid transfer booked through G Adventures you will be met by our local representative carrying a G Adventures sign. or a sign with your name.
If you have not booked a pre-arranged transfer taxis are also easily accessible.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
AIRPORT TRANSFER: If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
+254 727 208 832
G Adventures Local Representative (Rwanda)
Robert: +250 784 744 586
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operator or local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
This tour ends upon arrival into Kigali in the late afternoon/early evening of day 3. Though this tour does not include accommodation in Kigali, you may choose to pre-reserve a room at our finishing point hotel for after your tour through G Adventures. If you choose to fly out of Kigali on day 3, please do not book a flight before 20:00, as it will be difficult to guarantee an arrival early enough into Kigali for you to get to the airport on time.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. If desired, porters can be hired for USD20 and will carry your personal items and assist you during the trek. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning wildlife safari drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
On this trip you may experience all four seasons. We suggest you take something warm eg tracksuit, fleece or pullover for the mountainous areas i.e. Bwindi or Virungas. It is at a higher altitude and will therefore be cooler in the evenings – a jersey, anorak/wind jacket and tracksuit pants would be suggested.
It will also be necessary to take some wet weather gear as it does rain in the mountainous areas of Uganda and Rwanda on a regular basis. We suggest lightweight rain gear for the walk to see the gorillas.
While gorilla trekking you will need a comfortable, hard wearing, pair of walking shoes or boots. Conditions are generally very muddy/slippery. There are uphill sections which may be quite steep and strenuous. It is also advisable to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt and lightweight long pants to protect yourself from the undergrowth, stinging nettles and biting ants. (Tracksuit pants often get caught on bushes, thorns, etc and jeans can get very heavy when wet). Gloves are also highly recommended – just cheap gardening gloves will do. Tuck your long pants into your socks/boots to avoid biting insects. Also take a water bottle, and a day pack for camera gear and to carry your jacket if it’s too warm.
Your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state – therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. Hard wearing clothes, no bright colours, no army camouflage clothing should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Gardening gloves (Highly recommended for gorilla trekking)
• Neutral coloured clothing (Your clothes will likely get very muddy – therefore take old clothing for the gorilla trekking. No bright colours should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended)
Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Rubber gloves
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)
• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
• Walking poles (Highly recommended.)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: The climate in East Africa varies between the dry and rainy season. Please ensure you bring a windproof rain jacket if you are travelling between April & May, October & November.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a fee. Most laundry services are hand-washed and hung to dry, and during the rainy seasons same-day service may not result in fully dry clothes.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.
East Africa Tourist Visa
An East Africa Tourist Visa allows the holder to move freely between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with only one Visa, and is valid for a period of 90 days. It also acts as a multiple entry Visa, so if you leave any of the above countries, you do not need a new Visa to re-enter (provided it is within the 90 day validity period). These need to be applied for in advance, and a confirmation letter received from the Rwanda immigration department if the first point of entry is Kigali, Rwanda. You should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details. The cost is 100USD per person.
Most nationalities need to apply for visa “facilitation” prior to visiting Rwanda. Please check the Rwanda immigration department’s official website – www.migration.gov.rw – which nationalities need a visa and which ones do not – it is VERY important to do this as travellers without the correct documentation with them will NOT be allowed to board their Rwanda bound flight. The visa facilitation is also applied for on this website and you normally get a confirmation in 3-5 working days. Please make sure you apply for this at least a month before your intended arrival to Rwanda. Bring a copy of the visa approval sent to you (VERY important) and pay for the visa at point of entry. Current cost for a 15 day tourist visa is US$ 50 per person (June 2015) – payable in US$ cash only. Please be aware that the US$ notes has to be from 2006 or newer, older notes are NOT accepted for payments in Rwanda.
- Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card is mandatory for entry into Rwanda.
Visas for Uganda for most nationalities must be obtained through an Electronic Visa application online in advance, and a payment of $50 USD cash will have to be made upon arrival to the border.
LIST OF COUNTRIES WHOSE NATIONALS DO NOT REQUIRE TO PAY FOR A VISA TO ENTER UGANDA:
Angola, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Burundi, Comoros, Cyprus, Eritrea, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Italy (Diplomatic Passport holders only), Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Swaziland, Tanzania, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Nationals of these countries are issued gratis (free of charge) visas upon their arrival.
- Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card is mandatory for entry into Uganda.
This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Rwanda is the Rwanda Franc. In Uganda it is the Ugandan Shilling.
There are several foreign exchange bureaus in Kigali offering similar rates, the most widely accepted currency is $USD. Most everything is included in this tour – we recommend that you bring enough USD cash with you, to cover for any additional drinks/snacks and souvenir shopping.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa. Larger note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques to Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should something unforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
USD40, may be included in the international air ticket
Tipping during your tour is optional, but the gesture is expected as a way to show your satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour.
Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the communities that you visit.
Giving a tip should be seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward.
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format:
G CEOs and drivers: $5 USD each (per day worked)
Gorilla Trekking Guides in Uganda and Rwanda: USD $3-5 USD per day for trek
Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill
Local guides: $1 USD for every couple of hours
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Porter Hire (20USD per person)
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time, we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety.
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts yourself and those around you at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular, the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures
Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program – Make Every Day Count – Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.
Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.
Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
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Minimum age of 15 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
PRODUCT_LINE: TDRGTN, ID: 24989