Rwanda and Uganda are famous for seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat as well as the magnificent, dynamic, ever changing landscape. There are several lodge options for you to stay when you visit and this is determined by your length of stay. There is Virunga Lodge in Rwanda which is set just outside Parc National Des Volcans on a spectacular hillside overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes and shimmering lakes. Mount Gahina Lodge in Uganda nestles in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC and borders the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which is home to over half the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas. All lodges are designed with care and sensibility to the environment, utilising solar power and conservation systems.
N.B. Gorillas permits are sold by the National Park Authorities on a first come first served basis, booking as far in advance as possible is recommended!
All lodges have beautiful, rich settings which surprise and ignite all senses with breathtaking views at every turn. The steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range are home to the rare mountain gorilla. The landscape is covered in afro-mountain forest and the treks can be wet and muddy. Although physically challenging there is the most mentally exhilarating outcome when you reach your destination.
You will get a unique opportunity to get up close and personal to the magnificent mountain gorillas and other animals in their natural habitat. You will have your own personal guide who will look after you from arrival to departure. You will have the opportunity to trek the cultivated foothills of the Virungas and explore the National Park. Expect to be taken aback by the splendour and expanse of this natural rainforest with its brimming and bustling wildlife from coloured birds to golden monkeys. You will visit the burial site of Dian Fossey and her favourite gorilla Digit. You will be able to track golden monkeys, climb the volcanoes, visit local community school projects as well as visiting the mountain gorillas. Nothing can prepare you for this magical, spellbinding experience.
There is one dining area in each lodge and a packed lunch will be prepared for you on days when it is needed. The food is simple and home cooked, a European, African, Asian fusion.
Feel Good Factor
You will reconnect with nature at its source and feel all its splendour. Like Dian Fossey, you will feel the mystery and enchantment of these rare and magnificent primates but not without long, hard, steep treks through misty forest – which can be cool and damp. Nothing and no-one will be able to prepare you for the joy and reward of seeing these fascinating mountain gorillas in their natural environment. There will be an opportunity to visit local projects and villages as well as an opportunity to see Intore Dancers. There is much to see and do and you can do as much or as little as you want.
Who's it for?
This journey of a lifetime is for anyone with a good level of fitness and a love of wildlife. People of all ages with an awareness of the environment who want to learn more and broaden horizons – a person in search of an extraordinary experience with a sense of adventure. The land and people have, in the past, been subject to atrocious destruction and abuse. It is possible to visit the Kigali Memorial Centre, where you can witness the remains of the atrocities caused by civil war (not for the faint hearted) and which highlights the proud and strong people of Rwanda.
However we try to prepare you for this most life changing experience, nothing can! You will come away inspired, exhilarated and full of unimaginable energy. Something about being so close to nature, and the unique primates that make this area their home, will leave you with an extraordinary, unimaginable sense of wonder and achievement. Do not let the seasons affect your stay. Your stay will include a laundry service and a complimentary massage. Do use one of the local porters who are available to help you on your gorilla treks.