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9-Day Volcano Primate Trekking

Nkuringo Walking Safari's - 9 days

  • 9-Day Volcano Primate Trekking
  • 9 days / 8 nights
  • Max. group: 10 Persons
  • Difficulty: Easy
Overview
Itinerary
What's included
FAQ
Nkuringo Walking Safari's
Safety
How to book

Overview

> Conquer the heights of majestic Virunga Volcanoes.
> An unforgettable encounter with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park 
> Meet, explore and learn from the local communities 
> Support sustainable tourism initiatives 

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.  

Nkuringo Walking Safaris arranges day treks to the peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes along the border of Uganda. These include Mt. Muhavura, Mt. Gahinga and Mt. Sabinyo.activity. All treks are led by a National Parks Ranger and one of our Nkuringo Walking Safaris guides.

Days

Routes/activities 

Accommodation 

Meal Plan 

Day 1

Arrival in Entebbe and transfer to the Guest House – Optional Exc. to Mabamba Swamps


Papyrus Guest House 


Bed &Breakfast

Day 2 

Drive Entebbe to Kisoro via the Equator and Mbarara


Travellers Rest


Full Board 

Day 3 

Hike Mt Sabinyo/ Mt Muhavura/ Mt Gahinga


Travellers Rest

Full Board

Day 4

Golden Monkey trekking

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Full Board

Day 5

Hike & canoe on Lake Mutanda or community walk, 

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge 

Full Board

Day 6

Gorilla trekking- Nkuringo or Rushaga gorilla groups

Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge

Full Board

Day 7

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


Kasenyi Safari Camp 

Full Board

Day 8

Queen Elizabeth NP: Morning Chimps Trekking and boat safari in Kazinga Channel

Kasenyi Safari Camp 

Full Board

Day 9

Drive to Entebbe, Outbound Flight

Papyrus Guest House

Day Use

 

 

Itinerary

What's the plan?

Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe & Mabamba Swamps

Arrival in Entebbe as per your international flights and transfer to Papyrus Guest House. 

Optional Extra: In the afternoon (departure from the hotel must be max. at 14.30/15.00 hours) departure by car and local canoe to Mabamba Swamp, one of the best places for spotting the rare shoebill storks. Of course, some fortune is needed but rarely does one leave the swamp without seeing one! Many other water birds have chosen this area as their home so birding is always very interesting. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner on Lake Victoria and then return to the Guest House.

Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House (Garden room)
Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast basis; Lunch & Dinner on own’s account 

Day 2: Travel to Mgahinga National Park
Enjoy an early breakfast and travel to Western Uganda across the beautiful landscape of central Uganda: rolling hills, cultivated terraces, tropical rainforest and towards the end the majestic chain of the Virunga Volcanoes. Stop-over en-route at the equator, at Mbarara (for lunch) and at Igongo Cultural Center. 
The drive takes about 8-10 hours.

Accommodation: Travellers Rest
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 3: Mount Sibinyo/ Mt Gahinga/ Mt Muhavura Climb 
After breakfast, we proceed to Mgahinga National Park headquarters for the briefing of the Volcano climb of Mount Sabinyo, Mt Muhavura or Mt Gahinga. 

Sabinyo with its five jagged peaks is the oldest of the volcanoes here. With two distinct vegetation zones (Forest and Alpine) it's an exhilarating one day trek with some very steep inclines aided by the assistance of eucalyptus ladders to reach Sabinyo peak. From the summit, amazing views can be enjoyed of this volcanic chain of mountains that stretch into Rwanda. Including Mt. Karisimbi, Mt. Mikeno, and the often snow-covered Mt. Visoke.  Mt. Sabinyo, at 3,669m, takes about eight hours to cover the 14km round trip, following a steep ridge up to the peak this trek will be conducted in the company of your Nkuringo Walking Safari guide. Physical fitness is a necessity for this climb.

OR

Mt. Gahinga at 3400m is a perfectly formed volcano. On the lower reaches of the volcano, the route passes through formerly cultivated land, reclaimed and reincorporated back into the National Park as late as 1986. A vast area of enormous bamboo forest creates an elaborate labyrinth of passages to wander through where the trail is picked up that leads to the Gahinga summit. Many bird species can be observed here with sunbirds being the most obvious. This trek is usually completed in six hours up and down so it offers excellent acclimatization to the altitude. Physical fitness is a necessity for this climb.

OR

Mt. Muhavura and its enormous conical shape looms high into the darkness. Good weather is critical to reach the peak of Muhavura. This is the youngest volcano in the chain its status is noted as still being dormant. The surrounding countryside shows evidence of volcanic activity everywhere with giant volcanic vents very obvious after the land has been cleared of vegetation for agriculture. Muhavura peak will drain the last bit of energy out of you as you fight for air in the rarefied atmosphere but you will be rewarded with stunning views through the cloud and mist as it rolls in and out. The Crater Lake is only a mere 20m in diameter and the area of the summit not much bigger than a golf course. This is a 1200m ascend in 7 hours, very steep with a few switchbacks in the trail to give your legs the relief they are screaming for. Physical fitness is a necessity for this climb. The descend will be hot, due to the warmth of the tropical climate normally associated with these equatorial regions and the lush vegetation of the lower slopes. 

Accommodation: Travellers Rest
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 4: Golden Monkey Tracking  
This morning, after breakfast, you will head to the park headquarters where you will be briefed by the park guide You will then start the golden monkey trekking activity. You will also expect to see various forest birds that live in the forest. You will then transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

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

Day 5: Hike and canoe across Lake Mutanda or Community walk
This morning after an early breakfast, drive to Rubuguri Junction to start a nice 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 then “settle” in a dugout canoe for 1.5-2 hours of gentle relaxed cruising across the lake, enjoying the beautiful panorama. Meet up with your vehicle and drive back to Nkuringo.  

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 (Garden Cottage)
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 6: 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 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 Rushaga (1 hr drive from Nkuringo), as per the gorilla permits obtained.

Upon return, relax at the lodge and, for those who like, at 5.00 pm either stroll through the community center or 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 (Garden Cottage)
Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 7: 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 it's 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 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park- Chimpanzee Trekking
Morning game drive on the way to Chimpanzee trekking in the Kalinzu Game reserve, or Kyambura Gorge. In the afternoon, enjoy 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 9: Travel to Entebbe 
After breakfast, enjoy another glimpse of the misty jungle then start the drive back to Entebbe. Enjoy a day room use at Papyrus guest house as you wait for your departure flight at the Airport.The drive takes about 10 hours.

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

What's included

Included:

√ 1 day Volcano Trekking
Climbing the Virunga Volcanoes is a once in a life time experience. 

√ 1 gorilla tracking permit in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
These permits are obtained by Nkuringo Walking Safari's. 

√ 1 golden monkey permit in Mgahinga National Park
These permits are obtained by Nkuringo Walking Safari's. 

√ 1 Chimpanzee permit in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
These permits are obtained by Nkuringo Walking Safari's. 

√   All the excursions and activities indicated in the itinerary
All activities like canoe ride, walks,  etc will be under the supervision of an experienced English-speaking walking guide 

√  Private 4x4 vehicle with experienced English-speaking driver-guide
All transport is included as mentioned in the itinerary. 

√ Airport Transfers
The transfers from Entebbe Airport 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.

√ 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:

× Excursion to Lake Victoria and Mabamba Swamps on Day 1
These activities can be decided upon location. 

× Airfare
You have to sort out your own flights to the airport of Entebbe in Uganda. Finding the right flights can be quite a puzzle.

× 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 the airport of Entebbe in Uganda. Finding the right flights can be quite a puzzle. Looking at the website of the airport of 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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