Mountain Gorilla Conservation

Enjoy the thrill of Gorilla Trekking on this gorilla conservation project

About the Project

This award-winning project focuses on the conservation and protection of Uganda’s beautiful mountain gorilla, through the education of local communities who share their environment. Volunteers on this project partake in two gorilla treks (permits included) and a four-day excursion to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This includes tracking wild chimpanzees, joining an unforgettable boat trip on the Kazinga channel to spot hippos and buffalos, and accompanying game-drives, searching for elephants, lions and other African wildlife.

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.

Prior to Arrival

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. 

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport, Rwanda. Our project leader will meet you at the airport and take you to the guesthouse which is approximately 5 minutes from the airport. Settle in and meet your fellow volunteers.

Day 2: Transfer to Kisoro (a 3 hour drive). On the way you will have to stop at the Rwandan/ Ugandan Border. You will stop for lunch on the way and have some time to relax on arrival.

Day 3: Today you will join your first of two gorilla treks into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest led by local park guides who will impart their local knowledge and wisdom about endangered mountain gorillas, their habitat and their conservation.

Day 4-5: These days will be spent taking part in sustainable projects that will give the local community a better life. These projects can range from teaching kinder garden and primary school children to helping with small building projects. These activities depend on what is needed from the community at the time and are subject to change.

Day 6: Today you will join your second gorilla treks into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for another chance to see the endangered gorillas in their natural habitat. This will be a different gorilla family offering you the chance to appreciate the difference in behaviours between the groups.

Day 7: Today you and your group will transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Day 8: Spend the morning aboard a boat on the Kazinga channel where you will see more hippos than you can imagine plus you may even catch a glimpse of a lion or elephant coming to the water to drink.

Day 9: To add another primate to your list you will spend the morning searching for chimps on a chimpanzee trek. This is an animal you will definitely hear them before you see! There is nothing quite like it.

Day 10: Today you and your group will transfer back to Kisoro.

Day 11: Join the Gorilla Organisation for a full day with their pedal powered cinema.You will spend a day with the team who are taking the pioneering pedal powered cinema system to remote schools and communities showing conservation, education and gorilla based films.

Day 12: Today you will trek through Mgahinga National Park with the children of the local school which works primarily with children with special needs such as deaf and blindness. Each child will get a direct education in the forest they are being taught to protect. On this day, you will visit the park with them and possibly learn a thing or two along with the children whilst witnessing their passion and drive to protect the world they live in.

Day 13: Today will be spent at one of Gorilla Organisations many community project sites.

Day 14: Transfer back to Kigali, once again with a border crossing. You will be taken to the airport for your flight out that night if it is a very late flight. We can assist in booking additional accommodation if you are staying longer.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Other Skills
No specific skills or experience are required, just commitment to the project and its aims. You must be prepared to work alongside other members of the team, and to bring an upbeat, positive attitude to the endeavour as a whole.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Uganda? Volunteer World directly connects you with The Great Projects

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Free-time activities

You will be taken to see the national parks, boat rides and game drives.

Water Sports
Climbing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking

Services

What's included?
Two gorilla-tracking permits and one chimpanzee-tracking permit - A monetary contribution to the two charities involved in the project - Transfers to and from the airport - Full orientation and support from the project managers - Accommodation and meals as indicated
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

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.

Accommodation

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.

Guesthouse Bedroom (Single) Youth Hostel
Food & Beverages

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.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
2 weeks (min. stay)
$4318

You can volunteer at the project site in Kisoro/Uganda between 2 weeks and 2 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$2159/week
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Uganda

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Uganda. Please check the visa regulations for Uganda.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Uganda and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Uganda.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Uganda.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Kigalin International (KGL) in Kigali. We assist you to find cheap flights to Uganda.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Uganda provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Uganda you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Uganda.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Uganda while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Uganda upfront.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Kisoro, Uganda