Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla & Chimp Adventure
Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla & Chimp Adventure
They're the closest animals out there to us homo sapiens, and on this trip we aim to bring you as close as possible to these majestic creatures. There'll be gorillas, monkeys and chimps in abundance on this 9-day trip through Rwanda and Uganda. Take part in jungle trekking, embark on boat and jeep safaris in national parks, and learn about Rwanda's fascinating culture and history along the way. With an expert local CEO throughout and comfortable lodges to relax in during your down time, your focus can stay on spotting rare primates in their natural habitat.
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nyamirambo Women's Centre, Community Walk and Local Lunch, Kigali Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Arrival transfer. All National Park entrance fees. Genocide memorial. Community walk and lunch at G Adventures-supported Nyamirambo Women's Centre. Guided Mountain Gorilla Trek with permits. Golden Monkey Trek with permits. Guided Chimpanzee Trek with permits. Safari wildlife safari drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Wildlife boat cruise in Kazinga Channel. Visit the equator line and a drum workshop. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Get up close and personal with mountain gorillas in their backyard, trek through the forest to visit Golden Monkeys, meet local people at Nyamirambo Township and gain a better understanding of Rwanda then and now, encounter more primates on a chimp trek in Uganda, search for hippos while enjoying a boat ride down the Kazinga Channel
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. AGE RESTRICTIONS Please note that all passengers must be aged 15 years or older (prior to start of travel) to go on this tour - there are no exceptions to this as it is for safety reasons and strictly controlled by the Government. 2. PHYSICAL REQUIREMENT This trip is rated a level 4 physical requirement - travellers should be in excellent physical condition, without any heart problems and prepared to spend strenuous days in humid rain forests, steep terrain and high altitude trekking for chimpanzee and gorillas, as well as other primates. Please ensure you meet the requirements as described under "physical rating". 3. TRAVEL DAYS Travelling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in both Rwanda and Uganda. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience. 6. WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS G Adventures can never guarantee the sighting of wildlife, especially when it comes to mountain gorillas. However, the mountain gorilla trek is organized to ensure success. Before heading into the jungle, our local guides receive coordinates from trackers on the whereabouts of the gorillas, and the trackers stay with the gorillas until the group arrives. ILLNESS 7.)Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of the gorillas, golden monkeys and chimps. This is a national park regulation, and trekking permits will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness. 8. CAMERAS As it is very dark and damp in the jungle; please ensure your camera equipment is appropriate for such conditions and that you bring dry bags to protect it. 9. ELECTRICITY The power supply in Uganda and Rwanda is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
Group Leader Description
The Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will be the group manager and leader. He/she organizes the trip, and will be there to assist you when needed. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. All of our CEOs in East Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Your leader will be from either southern or East Africa depending on which part of the tour you are on. During both treks in Volcanoes National Park, we use an experienced and certified tracking guide, and armed guards to accompany you for your safety. We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.
Group Size Notes
Max 14, avg 10.
8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
4x4 Land Cruiser(s), walking, hiking, boat.
About our Transportation
Road travel can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. As such, this trip will be operated in 4x4 Land Cruiser/safari vehicle (1 or 2 depending on the size of the group). The 4x4s have large windows which slide open and a pop-up roof for optimal wildlife viewing and photography.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Comfort hotel/lodges (8 nts).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
Please remember that this is a developing area and as such, accommodations/service may not be of similar standard to which you are used to in your home country. As well, interruptions in electricity and water can be common. We appreciate your patience and understanding as well as your sense of adventure. A/C is not available in the accommodations used on this trip. In general is not a concern as it does cool down at night and depending on location fans or screened windows are available.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Clients will me met by a local CEO/representative at the airport and driven to the joining hotel. Please look for the G Adventures signboard, if you do not connect immediately, please wait as they may be meeting other passengers from your group. In the unlikely case, you are unable to find the guide after 30 minutes, please call our local representative in Rwanda: 0788 - 300 649 or 0788 - 466 861
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. AIRPORT TRANSFER: If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya) Emergency number: From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832 From within Kenya: 0727 208 832 G Adventures Local Representative (Rwanda) Kris ; +250 788 300 649 (If calling from local Rwandan Number; 0788 300 649) Suzan ; +250 788 466 861 (If calling from local Rwandan Number; 0788 466 861) If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operator or local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, of medium size, as well as a day pack. On this trip you may experience several types of weather. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this trip. Your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state - therefore take old clothing for trekking. Hard wearing clothes, no bright colours, or no army camouflage clothing should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended.
-Fleece or wool jumper/jacket -Windproof/waterproof jacket and pants -Waterproof hiking boots -Small towel and swimwear -6 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable -Long-sleeved shirt -1 pair of shorts -2 pairs of long trousers -1 pair hiking pants -Comfortable shoes -Sport sandals -Sun hat/bandana -Sunblock -Sunglasses -Watch or alarm clock -Water bottle -Pocketknife -Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs) -Money belt -First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin , Malaria pills, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) -Toiletries (biodegradable) -Hand sanitizer gel/Sanitizer wipes -Camera and extra memory card/film -Extra batteries (recommended) -Electricity Plug Adapter -Day pack -Camera with extra memory cards and batteries -Personal Entertainment -Binoculars -Waterproof backpack cover Documents: -Passport (with photocopies) -Travel insurance (with photocopies) -Yellow fever certificate -Airline tickets (with photocopies) -Credit or debit card (see personal spending money) -G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier -Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required Recommended for Gorilla trek (as well as the other 2 treks): -Hiking pants -Shirts/T-shirts -Hiking boots -Reusable water bottle -Snacks -Sunblock -Sun hat/Bandana -Windproof rain jacket -Windproof rain pants -Gloves -Backpack/Rucksack -Drybag -Walking poles (Optional) -Pack lightly as you'll be carrying your own luggage throughout the tour.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited. East Africa Tourist Visa An East Africa Tourist Visa allows the holder to move freely between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with only one Visa, and is valid for a period of 90 days. It also acts as a multiple entry Visa, so if you leave any of the above countries, you do not need a new Visa to re-enter (provided it is within the 90 day validity period). These need to be applied for in advance, and a confirmation letter received from the Rwanda immigration department if the first point of entry is Kigali, Rwanda. You should contact the foreign Embassy (of the country you will be entering through) for more details. The cost is 100USD per person. Please see below for more information: http://www.visiteastafrica.org/travel-guide/visa-information -------------- VISAS TO RWANDA Most nationalities need to apply for visa “facilitation” prior to visiting Rwanda. Please check the Rwanda immigration department’s official website – www.migration.gov.rw – which nationalities need a visa and which ones do not – it is VERY important to do this as travelers without the correct documentation with them will NOT be allowed to board their Rwanda bound flight. The visa facilitation is also applied for on this website and you normally get a confirmation in 3-5 working days. Please make sure you apply for this at least a month before your intended arrival to Rwanda. Bring a copy of the visa approval sent to you (VERY important) and pay for the visa at point of entry. Current cost for a 15 day tourist visa is US$ 50 per person (June 2015) – payable in US$ cash only. Please be aware that the US$ notes has to be from 2006 or newer, older notes are NOT accepted for payments in Rwanda. Visas to Uganda can for most nationalities be obtained upon arrival at the boarder when arriving from Rwanda, in US$ 100 cash only. There are however, a number of exceptions to this rule specifically for many nationalities from the Middle East (Including Lebanon) who can NOT get a visa upon arrival, this should all be checked with the Ugandan embassy in your home country well before time of travel. This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Rwanda is the Rwanda Franc. In Uganda it is the Ugandan Shilling. There are several foreign exchange bureaus in Kigali offering similar rates, the most widely accepted currency is US$. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country. That said - most everything is included in this tour - we recommend that you bring enough USD cash with you, to cover for any additional drinks/snacks and souvenir shopping. The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa. Larger note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate. If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD. Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques to Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places. Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank. Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these. Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
USD40, usually included in most international air tickets.
Tipping during your tour is optional, but the gesture is expected as a way to show your satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the communities that you visit. Giving a tip should be seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s). You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: G CEOs and drivers: $3-4 USD each, per day worked. Trekking Guides in Uganda and Rwanda: Certified Safari Guide/Driver: $10-15 USD (full day) Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required). Local guides: $1 USD for every couple of hours
No optional activities
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor. Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017) It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country: - Botswana - Ethiopia - Kenya - Madagascar - Malawi - Mozambique - Namibia - Rwanda - South Africa - Swaziland - Uganda - Zambia - Zimbabwe For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure. Malaria Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit: www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/
Trip Specific Safety
Cities Please exercise caution in the cities and always take a pre-arranged taxi if you go out at night. Trekking/safari At all times, please abide by all National park/reserve rules and always follow interactions from guides/trackers specifically, these are set to not just protect the wildlife but also to protect you. Photography Please refrain from taking photos of police stations, airports, bus stations, immigration are border crossings, army barracks and personnel, or any government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally. G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need. Dollar-a-Day Program G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
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Minimum age of 15 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides, experienced gorilla trackers, park rangers.