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With just over 800 mountain gorillas estimated to be left in the world, seeing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is truly unforgettable.

Gorillas make their homes amongst the slopes of the Virunga Mountains which sprawl throughout northwestern Rwanda, southwestern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On a tracking expedition, you will be introduced to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas, experiencing one awe-inspiring hour standing or crouching just a few feet away, while the gorillas go about their daily lives, chewing on bamboo, tumbling in the leaves or just chilling out.

Gorilla tracking with Pristine Trails can be done in Rwanda or Uganda. A flight from Kilimanjaro Airport takes you to Kigali, where you will drive either to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

You can view one sample itinerary, which can be customized to suit your preferences.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali

Welcome to Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. You will be met at the Kigali Airport and transferred to your hotel in Kigali for the evening.

Transfer Time: 1.5-hour flight; 30-min drive
Meals: None

Day 2: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After breakfast you will meet your tour guide, who will transfer you to Bwindi Forest National Park in northwestern Uganda. Along the way the Ankole long-horned cattle and the various communities are fascinating. Make a stop-over in Kabale town for your lunch and then proceed to Bwindi in southwestern Uganda, arriving in the afternoon. You will spend the evening at your leisure.

Transfer Time: 4-5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Gorilla Tracking, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Rise before dawn for your breakfast and then transfer to the park headquarters for a briefing by the park ranger. From there you will begin hiking along well-established trails in the forest. Gorilla tracking is a strenuous exercise, but the joy you experience after encountering the magnificent creatures is remarkable. The time taken to encounter these apes ranges from one hour to several hours, depending on their movement in the jungle. Once you reach the gorilla family, you will have one hour to spend observing these majestic animals, who have such a strong likeness to humans.

After the gorilla tracking, you will return to the lodge to bathe, enjoy a meal and immediately transfer back to Rwanda to Volcanoes National Park. On arrival in Ruhengeri town, you will check in at your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Transfer Time: 3-4 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Golden Monkey Tracking, Volcanoes National Park and Departure

Today your day begins with another early drive, back to Rwanda to the Volcanoes National Park offices for a briefing. From there you will begin your walk to one of the two habituated groups of golden monkeys. One group comprises around 80-100 members and has its home at the foot of Mount Sabyinyo. As with treks to see the mountain gorillas, visitors are permitted to stay for one hour with the monkeys upon reaching them.

On return from the mountains you will have lunch and check out from your lodge to meet your canoeing guide. Set in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, discover a special way to travel, soak up impressive views, watch abundant birds and look out for the otters, meet friendly communities and find just a little excitement in our modern canoes. Later you will transfer to Kigali or to the airport for your departure.

Transfer Time: 2-3 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


From $2,800 per person

*Including one-way airfare between Kilimanjaro and Kigali

Inclusions / Exclusions

Price Inclusions:

  • English-speaking Driver
  • Private 4×4 vehicle
  • National Park fees and tracking permits
  • Accommodation – 3 nights
  • Meals specified
  • Airport transfers
  • One-way airfare between Kilimanjaro and Kigali

Price Exclusions:

  • Favored beverages
  • Gratuities/tips
  • East Africa entry visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
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