Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi vs Mgahinga vs Volcanoes Itinerary Guide

A Beginner’s guide to Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Vs Mgahinga Vs Volcanoes National Park. (trekking gorillas 3 times) Adventure of a Lifetime. This 8 Days in Uganda and Rwanda offers 3 times Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Get three chances to go Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Begin with a Gorilla Trek in Bwindi National Park, then move on to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and lastly to Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.

Mgahinga National Park Gorilla trek

Itinerary at the Glance: Bwindi vs Mgahinga vs Volcanoes

  • Day 1: Entebbe
  • Days 2 and 3: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
  • Days 4 and 5: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  • Days 6 and 7: Volcanoes National Park
  • Day 8: Kigali and Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Entebbe

When you arrive in Entebbe, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel for the night. There are a few things to see and do in and around Entebbe depending on your arrival time. You can cross Lake Victoria to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary if you arrive early enough in the morning. 95 percent of Ngamba Island has been left natural, allowing the rescued chimps to spend their days in relative freedom. There is a modest visitor’s center where visitors can learn about the work done by Ngamba Island. Following the discussion, proceed to the viewing platforms to observe the chimps being fed.

Lake Victoria is one of the best spots in the world for birders to witness the prehistoric-looking shoebill. The Makanaga Swamps, which can be reached by boat or canoe from Entebbe, provide good possibilities to witness the gigantic birds that live among the reeds.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Days 2 and 3: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

A short flight from Entebbe takes you to the rainforest of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which is home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Depending on your arrival time, you can do an afternoon village tour of Buhoma village or one of the self-guided Forest Treks.

After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the park headquarters for your Gorilla Tracking briefing the next morning. Gorilla Groups are limited to a maximum of eight tourists, all of whom are accompanied by park rangers and trackers. Each group is assigned a gorilla family, and you will learn more about your family as well as the laws and restrictions at the briefing. Following the briefing, you will go to the Bwindi Forest National Park in search of your gorilla family.

Bwindi is a mountainous Park covered in dense rainforest, so tracking can be difficult with steep muddy roads and dense vegetation to navigate. The rangers are in continual communication with the trackers who set out early in the morning to locate the gorillas, so you and your company can head in the general direction of the family. Once you’ve discovered the family, you’ll have an hour to be with them while they go about their regular routines. This time limit is tightly followed in order to cause the least amount of disruption to the family.

Spending an hour with them is an extraordinary privilege that you will remember for the rest of your life. Depending on where your gorilla family is located, tracking can take anything from 30 minutes to a whole day.

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Bwindi Gorilla Trekking

Days 4 and 5: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

For the more adventurous, we recommend a 4-hour hike through the Bwindi Forest to a pick-up point where the vehicle will pick you up and transport you the remaining 2 hours to your next lodge, Mt Gahinga Lodge, which is located in Uganda’s lesser-known Gorilla area, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. This lies on the slopes of extinct volcanoes near the Rwandan border.

You have the option of resting this afternoon or visiting the Gahinga Batwa Village to learn more about their customs and culture.

The next morning, you return to the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park headquarters for your second chance to Track Gorillas. Following your briefing, you go out to find the family among the forest-clad volcanoes. Again, you just have one hour with the family to have the least amount of influence on their natural behavior. We typically find that on the second walk, you spend less time snapping photos and more time observing the gorillas, which has a greater impact on you and allows you to interact with the individuals more.

Gahinga Batwa Village
Gorillas in Mgahinga National Park

Days 6 and 7: Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Today you will travel from Uganda to Rwanda for your final Gorilla Trekking Adventure on your 8 Days in Uganda and Rwanda. The Volcanoes National Park is located on the opposite side of the Volcanoes from Mgahinga National Park, which also connects to the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The three National Parks and countries are home to half of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population. Diane Fossey spent her life living with and studying mountain gorillas on these slopes for many years.

Depending on when you arrive, you could either rest at the lodge or go for an afternoon walk.

The following morning, you meet at the Volcanoes National Park headquarters for your last gorilla tracking briefing before traveling to the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes for the third time to track the gorillas. The vegetation atop the volcanoes is more open bamboo forests, which frequently makes for better photographs due to the increased light. The same thing happens in this country as it does in Uganda. Trackers set out early in the morning to find the family and radio through to your guide so you know where to go. Once you’ve located the family, you have one hour with them before returning to the resort.

Gorilla Trekking Safaris
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Day 8: Kigali and Departure

You travel from Volcanoes National Park to Kigali in time for your next departure.

End of the 8 Days Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi vs Mgahinga vs Volcanoes Itinerary

Essential Trip Information

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