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15-Day Volcanoes Circuit

Nkuringo Walking Safari's - 15 days

  • 15-Day Volcanoes Circuit
  • 15 days / 14 nights
  • Max. group: 10 Persons
  • Difficulty: Easy
Volcanoes Circuit
Itinerary
What's included
FAQ
Nkuringo Walking Safari's
Safety
How to book

Volcanoes Circuit

START: Kigali Rwanda END Entebbe, Uganda
>
Discover the Virunga massif and explore Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo 
> Unforgettable encounter with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Golden Monkey in Parc National des Volcanos and with the chimpanzees in Kibale National Park. 
> Hike the magnificent Nyiragongo and Sabinyo Volcanoes. 
> Beautiful hike “across” Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, accompanied by a professional guide and armed rangers 
> Game drives and boat cruises in the main national parks of the country: Lake Mburu, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls
> Meet, explore and learn from the local communities (Batwa and Iby Iwachu Cultural Center)

The Volcano and Primate Safari takes you to one of the very few places to see endangered mountain gorillas, combines primate viewing with a classic savannah safari, hiking the magnificent volcanoes, gives you a good balance between vehicle, boat and walking activities and not leaving out the excellent birding experience and the scenic beauty. 

This action-filled excursion will take you also to Mgahinga National Park where you will trek up Mount Sabinyo 3,645m one of the region’s inactive volcanoes. You will have the opportunity to get up close to another endangered species, the Golden Monkey in its natural habitat of bamboo forest. Local tribesmen will pilot dug-out canoes as we traverse Lake Mutanda. 

Bwindi impenetrable forest home to one of the richest ecosystems in Africa. Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered apes. It is estimated that there are only about 880 left throughout the world. Almost half of them can be found in Uganda, and populations can also be found in neighboring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The Virunga Mountains, which are a chain of volcanoes along the northern border of Rwanda, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. The mountain range consists of eight major volcanoes. Most of them are dormant, except Mount Nyiragongo 3,462 meters (11,358 ft) and Mount Nyamuragira 3,063 meters (10,049 ft), both in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Recent eruptions occurred in 2006 and in January 2010. Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano at 4,507 meters (14,787 ft). The oldest mountain is Mount Sabinyo, which rises 3,634 meters (11,923 ft.) above sea level.

Days

Routing / activities

Accommodation

Meal plan

Day 1

Arrival in Kigali

Heaven Boutique

B,B

Day2

Kigali city tour and genocide. Transfer to Parc national des Volcanoes

Mountain gorilla view lodge

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Day 3

Golden monkey tracking  - Karisoke research

Mountain gorilla view lodge

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Day 4

Transfer Musaze to lake Kivu

Lake kivu serena hotel

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Day 5

Cross DRC – hike Nyiragongo

Cabanas at the top 

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Day 6

Descend Nyiragongo and transfer to Mgahinga National Park

Gahinga lodge

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Day 7

Sabinyo hike

Gahinga lodge

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Day 8

Transfer to Bwindi – Hike & canoe on Lake Mutanda

Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge

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Day 9

Gorilla trekking- Nkuringo or Rushaga gorilla groups

Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge

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Day 10

Nombe Forest, Batwa – traditional herbalists  experience

Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge

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Day 11

Hike across Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to Buhoma and continuation by car to QENP

Kasenyi Safari Camp 

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Day 12

Queen Elizabeth NP: game drives and boat safari in Kazinga Channel

Kasenyi Safari Camp 

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Day 13

To Kibale Forest via Fort Portal and trek to the “Top of the World”

Primate Lodge 

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Day 14

Chimp tracking in Kibale NP and excursion to Bigodi Wetlands

Primate Lodge 

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Day 15

South Bound to Entebbe and Transfer to airport for the outbound flight

Papyrus guesthouse

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Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1: Pick You Up At Kigali International Airport
Arrival at Kigali International Airport and transfer to your accommodation. Depending on the time of arrival there is the possibility for a city tour.
 
• Accommodation: Heaven Boutique Hotel
• Meal Plan: Bed and Breakfast

Day 2: Kigali city tour and genocide visit, Transfer to Volcanoes National Park
After breakfast, we will start the city tour and visit Rwanda’s genocide memorial for the ancient history of the Tusi and the Hutu people of Rwanda. We will visit a coffee plantation and have various side trips on a scenic 2 hour drive through the Rwandan countryside to the Ruhengeri township in the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes.

• Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 3: Karisoke Research Center for a Cultural Experience
Today we have various options on offer. You can watch the golden monkeys, visit Mt. Visoke or visit the Karisoke Research Center. This afternoon we will continue exploring the cultural highlights of this area and visit the Iby Iwachu Cultural Centre. We will watch cultural dancing and have an informative experience about traditional local medicine. This cultural group was formed by pygmies and ex-poachers and we will listen to their side of the story after abandoning these illegal practices.
 
• Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 4: Musanze to Gisenyi - Lake Kivu
After breakfast, you will have a transfer to Gisenyi town which is located on the shores of Lake Kivu. Here there is time for swimming, fishing or a boat cruise. The cruise will provide you with a spectacular view of the Kibuye and Gisenyi towns.

• Accommodation: Lake Kivu Serena Lodge
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 5: Cross to DRC – Hike Mount Nyiragongo (3470m)
Depart Gisenyi early morning to cross the DRC border, clearing with customs and then proceed directly to Kibati Patrol post. The start post for the Nyiragongo volcano climb. Today is the real adventure when you spend a day hiking the living volcano Nyiragongo. The 4-5 hour hike through the lush rainforest takes you to the spot where the volcano erupted in 2002.

• Accommodation: Cabanas at the top of the Volcano
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 6: Mount Nyiragongo to Mgahinga National Park
After breakfast, we will start the descent of Mt. Nyiragongo. Back down, you will be picked up by our driver and we proceed to the border Uganda.

• Accommodation: Gahinga Lodge
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 7: Mount Sabinyo Climb – 3669m
After breakfast, we proceed to Mgahinga National Park headquarters for the briefing of today: climbing Mount Sabinyo. Mt. Sabinyo, at 3,669m, takes about eight hours to cover the 14km round trip, with a steep ridge up to the peak. This trek will be of course conducted in the company of your Nkuringo Walking Safari guide.

• Accommodation: Gahinga Lodge
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 8: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
After breakfast, you can either drive or hike across beautiful landscapes and local communities. A great opportunity to experience authentic village life (9km – 2/3 hours). Upon arrival at Lake Mutanda you “settle” in a dugout canoe for 1.5-2 hours. Enjoy the relaxed cruising across the lake and the beautiful panorama. Meet with your vehicle and drive to Nkuringo
 
• Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Private Cottage)
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 9: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
After breakfast, at around 7:45 am, with packed lunch and drinking water you will be transferred to the National Park Head Quarters for the briefing on the dos and the don’ts while you are with the gorillas. You then continue to the forest for the start of the actual gorilla tracking. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time is taken to follow the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity. The tracking can take place at Nkuringo or at Rushaga (1 hr drive from Nkuringo), as per the gorilla permits obtained. Upon return, you can relax at the lodge or stroll around the community centre. There is also the possibility to drive up to the “Top of the World” - the name given to the football field, high up in the village which offers amazing views over the peaks and forests around Nkuringo. A great way to stretch your legs after the gorilla tracking and to enjoy a sundowner.

• Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Private Cottage)
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 10: Community tour, Buniga Forests (encounter with the Batwa)
After a hearty breakfast, enjoy birding in Nombe Pocket Forest – it was part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and it is still quite impenetrable, however it was cut off from it as people needed more land to live on and cultivate. It can be reached on foot (approx. 1 hour to go and 2 hours to come back) or by vehicle and the visit lasts approx. 2 hours, depending on the interest of guests. In the afternoon stroll down to the Buniga Forest Trail Walk, an informative project run by USAID and the local Batwa Community. The Batwa tribe was forced to leave their home in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1991 when it was declared a UNESCO Heritage site for gorillas only. They had been living in the forest as nomadic hunter-gatherers for millennia, in perfect balance with the flora and fauna around. Moving out and suddenly living in communities with a completely different way of life has proven to be a huge challenge. They now survive as best as they can and earn a living explaining their previous life in the forest and their rich heritage. Continuation of the walk through the community to visit the traditional herbalist and the blacksmith.
 
• Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Private Cottage)
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 11: Hike across Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park
After a very early breakfast, drive along the Nteko Ridge till the junction of the Ivy River Trail with the forest (7 km) and then start the unforgettable hike across the forest (13km - 4-5 hours). 

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a vast unique natural reserve - monkeys, duikers, bush pigs and some of Bwindi's world-renowned bird species plus many butterflies can be sighted. If you are very lucky you may even encounter gorillas! Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighboring Rwanda, the park is nowadays an ecological island within a sea of villages and farmland, its conservation importance is immense. The emphasis of this activity is for your walking guide to share his knowledge of the forest with you, it is not simply an A to B hike. The trail is also an important footpath for local people, particularly on market days, traveling from Nkuringo and Nteko to Buhoma, on the northern boundary of the park. There is no road through Bwindi so vehicles driving between the two locations have an incredible 170 km bone jarring journey taking 6 to 8 hours. Upon arrival at the park headquarters in Buhoma, meet with the vehicle and departure to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The southern area of Ishasha is notably recognized for its resident ‘tree-climbing’ lions that are an exceptional attraction and one of the highlights of all safaris taken within the park. The lions can be spotted hanging on branches of huge fig trees whereas the Uganda Kob (which is the major food to these lions) graze on the plains below. 

The drive takes about 4 hours (180 km).

• Accommodation: Kasenyi Safari Camp (Safari Tent)
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 12: Queen Elizabeth National Park
Full day dedicated to game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park and to the boat trip on the Kazinga Channel - the 36 km waterway which connects Lake George and Lake Edward which allows special viewing of game and birds on the river banks, as the boat passes through pods of hippos. Crocodiles have only recently been seen in the Channel, they disappeared for 8,000 years after they were eliminated from Lake Edward by toxic ash from local volcanoes.  QENP is one of Uganda’s oldest parks being formed officially in 1952. The park was initially known as ‘Kazinga National Park’ before it was renamed in 1954 to commemorate a visit by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. QENP hosts 95 species of mammals, more than any other park in Uganda, and 619 bird species, the second-highest of any park in Africa – the sixth-highest of any park worldwide.

• Accommodation: Kasenyi Safari Camp (Safari Tent)
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 13: Queen Elizabeth and Kibale National Park
Game drive through the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and continuation to our lodge in Kibale National Park via the town of Fort Portal. In the afternoon we trek to the ‘Top of the World’ to enjoy fantastic views of the Rwenzori Mountains, crater lakes, tea plantations and local villages.

The drive takes about 3 hours (180 km).

• Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Luxury Cottage)
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 14: Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
Morning chimpanzee trek. The density and diversity of primates in Kibale National Park is the highest in the whole of Africa. The most well-known of its 13 species are the chimpanzees, our closest relative. Kibale’s 1450 chimpanzee population of this threatened primate is Uganda’s biggest. Additionally, Kibale is home to the uncommon I’Hoest’s monkey as well as East Africa’s biggest population of the endangered red colobus monkey. The black & white colobus, red tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, grey cheeked mangabey, bush baby and potto are among the other primates.

Afternoon excursion to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a great example of a community-based approach to natural resources management which can be of good economic benefit to the local residents living within the area and to the tourism industry. This sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers - skilled birders can spot up to 50 new species on a bird list. At today 138 species of birds have been recognized within the sanctuary, among the Great Blue Turaco. Bigodi is also regularly visited by a diverse number of primate species from the nearby national park.

• Accommodation: Primate Lodge (Luxury Cottage)
• Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 15: Kibale National Park to Entebbe  
After Breakfast, proceed with your driver for a 6hour drive to Entebbe, various stops en route for photographic opportunities and visiting local markets along the road. Transfer to your accommodation at Papyrus Guesthouse. Relax in your room. Transfer to the airport in time for the evening flight out. End of services.

• Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House
• Meal Plan: Day-use room

Depending on your departure flight there is the possibility to book a day-use or an overnight at Papyrus Guest House. Kindly note that to be on the safe side we recommend to book only night flights or overnight in Entebbe.
 

What's included

Included:

√ Airport Transfers
The transfers from Entebbe Airport to your hotel and back are included. Just like all other terms of transport. 

√ English speaking trekking guide throughout your safari
All guides are all born and bread in Uganda, they are passionate about their country and everything it has to offer, from the Wildlife, Botany, Birdwatching to the Cultural experiences it offers. Exploring on foot allows these guides to give you a more immersive experience so you can feel and understand the real Uganda.

√ 1 day volcano trekking
One day of trekking in the Virunga Vulcano National Park is included. 

√ 1 gorilla tracking permit in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest 
For most people the highlight of their trip. Watch the Gorrila's in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. 

√ 1 golden monkey permit Mgahinga National Park
Spot the rare golden monkeys who only can be found in this part of Africa. 

√ All accommodations and meals as per the itinerary 
All accommodation and meals are included. 

√ Support of a private 4x4 vehicle with experienced English-speaking driver-guide, from the morning of day 2. (7 seater)
As mentioned in the itinerary the transport is included. 

√ AMREF Evacuation Insurance cover
If you need an evacuation from AMREF, then these costs are covered. 

√ Government taxes
All fees and taxes where you can think of are included by Nkuringo Walking Safari's. 

Not included:

× Airfare
You will have to make your way to Entebbe Aripoirt (Kampala, Uganda),  the starting point of this trek. In order to know which airlines fly to Entebbe International Airport (EBB), you can have a look at their website.

× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

× Personal expenses
Any personal expenses that may take place during the trek, such as buying snacks, souvenirs or alcoholic drinks are on your own account.

× Tipping
Tipps for the guide and porter are not included in the price of the trek. You decide how much to tip, but if you got a good service from your guide, be generous. 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit the Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda?

Generally speaking, one can take the gorilla trekking trip all year round. In the rain forest climate zones where the mountain gorillas live, it is wet any day of the year. Of course, there are particular times of the year when it rains the most. This is during the months of April and May. If any time is to be avoided, these would be the months to avoid.

However, there must be a time considered optimal. The best time to visit and trek mountain gorillas would be the months of January, February, and from June to September. In fact, during this season, you will have the opportunity to see various other types of wild animals well. During the above mentioned months, the region is experiencing the dry season and therefore accessing the animals is really simple.

Finding the right flights

You have to sort out your own flights to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Finding the right flights can be quite a puzzle. Looking at the website of the airport Entebbe can help you a lot. Having a look at Skyscanner helps as well.

Nkuringo Walking Safari's

Nkuringo Walking Safari's

Experience Real Uganda, Explore the people and their Culture with Nkuringo Walking Safaris – the Adventure Specialists.

A walking safari activity gives you the opportunity to experience the raw culture, the nature and the sincerity of the Ugandan people you meet along the way.

NKURINGO WALKING SAFARIS was established in 2007 as a sustainable tourism initiative to develop a team of local guides with the premise of establishing simply fascinating multiday treks. We specialize in guided nature walks between Buhoma Village and the town of Kisoro, in south-western Uganda as well as through the dense Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to mountain gorillas, and emerge at the charming traditional hilltop community of Nkuringo, and vice versa.

This experience offers an inside perspective of village life in rural Uganda and highlights the wonders of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and creates experiences and feelings which cannot be found when in a vehicle.

Our passion takes us further and field and we also organise volcano treks, climbs up the Uganda's highest mountains and of course Gorilla and Chimpanzee treks.

Safety

Safety

Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks.

How to book

How does it work?

On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case, you can proceed to book. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.

Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all the necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on support@bookatrekking.com

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy

You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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