Enjoy the thrill of Gorilla Trekking on this gorilla conservation project
About the Project
This award-winning gorilla volunteer project gives you the chance to get up close and personal with captivating and endangered mountain gorillas in the lush greenery of their natural Ugandan habitat. The work undertaken during this gorilla conservation tour is essential in bridging the gap between indigenous communities and the gorillas who share their vulnerable rainforest homes.
As a volunteer, you will not only be able to actively contribute to the on-going protection of these incredible creatures, but will also be able to experience them roaming freely in their natural habitat. Your gorilla trekking tours will take place in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - a sanctuary that is home to half of the world's critically endangered mountain gorillas. Here you will collaborate with the local communities on reforestation efforts and will work towards educating these communities on the importance of gorilla conservation.
As well as two permit-inclusive gorilla treks, this volunteer project also includes a four-day excursion to Uganda's renowned Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here you and your fellow volunteers will have the opportunity to track wild chimpanzees on a chimpanzee trek, join an unforgettable boat trip on the Kazinga Channel and accompany game-drives searching for elephants, lions and other species.
Not only is this an incredible opportunity to experience the majesty of Ugandan wildlife species in all their natural splendour, but it is also a chance to make a real difference to the conservation of one of the continent's most treasured great apes.
The success of this tour, founded in 2011, was recognised and celebrated by leading travel experts, and was voted as one of the most innovative eco-travel initiatives in the Guardian's Green Travel List 2011. This is the most responsible and sustainable manner in which to view endangered mountain gorillas in the wild, as the programmes that this project supports have truly remarkable positive impacts on local communities.
One of the most remarkable of these is the Kisoro Demonstration School for blind and deaf children, which this project supports financially. This school provides a safe learning environment for blind and deaf children in the area, who may not otherwise have access to an effective education. We are thrilled to be able to support these children on a year by year basis, and seeing their progress each time volunteers visit is a real thrill and a privilege.
Volunteers in Uganda are essential in all the work and success of this project, as their enthusiasm and passion helps to empower the local people with knowledge and strategies. Both the initiatives the project supports and the interaction of the volunteers helps greatly to bridge the gap between local communities and the endangered mountain gorillas that inhabit the same land.
Prior to Arrival
You will need to arrive into Kigali International Airport on the start date of your project.
Both a Rwandan and Ugandan Visa are required for this trip, and both can be bought in country depending on your Nationality, so it is best to explore this first. As you will be in Rwanda at the beginning and end of your trip, it is worth having a multiple entry Rwandan Visa. Your Ugandan Visa can be single entry. In order to avoid time spent at the border or perhaps issues on arrival, it is also very easy to purchase your visa in advance, which can be obtained from Ugandan high commissions or embassies prior to departure. More details can be found in the pre-departure information given after booking. We recommend, however, obtaining an East Africa Visa as this allows fo travel between Uganda and Rwanda and means you only have to apply for 1 visa.
You will be taken to see the national parks, boat rides and game drives.
Join game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park in search of various species of African wildlife. The Park offers some incredible opportunities for elephant views, lion viewing, and even the occasional leopard and hyena have been spotted on this tour.
Spend an afternoon aboard a boat on the Kazinga channel to spot large pods of hippos, incredible birdlife and occasional elephants and lions coming to drink. You will spend 2 hours out on the water, with your camera in hand, taking some of the most incredible wildlife pictures. This is a definite must for bird enthusiasts.
You will need to arrive into Kigali International Airport on the start date of your project preferably between 8am and 5pm, where they will be met by a project representative and transferred to Hotel Chez Lando in Kigali for your first nights accommodation.
On the final day of the project you are transferred back to Kigali where you can depart Kigali International Airport on flights with a departure time of 9pm or later otherwise you may have to book another night at Hotel Chez Lando.
On arrival, you will be transferred to a beautiful guesthouse in Kigali, close to the airport with ensuite bathrooms. The rooms are twin-share.
The accommodation provided at the project base is more basic, but still includes rooms with mosquito-nets, an ensuite bathroom and based on twin-sharing. This guesthouse boasts a stunning view of the volcanoes on a clear day.
In Queen Elizabeth National Park you will stay in a hostel right in the middle of the park’s wildlife in shared rooms with shared shower and toilet facilities. This accommodation offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities that you will have whilst in the National Park. Elephants and hippos are known to make frequent visits.
3 meals are provided a day and you have a full menu to choose from daily. Beverages (including alcoholic) are also available at the guesthouse but are not included in the cost.