Day 4: Kisumu to Kampala, Uganda
Today, you cross the border into Uganda where you overnight it the capital city, Kampala. Uganda is a small country of striking physical beauty. Its landscapes vary from the fertile green areas around the northern shores of Lake Victoria to the snow capped Ruwenzori Mountains in the west and the semidesert region in the north.
The political instability that has haunted Uganda in the past has actually had the positive effect of leaving the country free of the over commercialism so common in other parts of Africa. Uganda is a very appealing and interesting country to visit. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Days 5 - 8: Kampala to Lake Bunyoni, Uganda
After an early morning departure from Kampala you drive west into the depths of Uganda to your base at the tranquil Lake Bunyoni. It is the deepest Crater Lake in Africa and home to a large and varied number of beautiful birds. This lake is the base from which the optional Gorilla trek takes place.
Dependant on where trekking permits are available, you trek in the Magahinga or Bwindi National Parks in Uganda, the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo or the Ruhengeri National Park in Rwanda. The prices of trekking permits fluctuate and may change without prior notice Ė currently they are priced at US$500 depending on where we trek.
There is a local transport and handling fee per person (this covers the return transfer and the Wildlife Authorityís booking fee). For trekking in the DRC or Rwanda, you will also have to purchase an additional visa to enter either country, as well as renewing your Ugandan visa upon re-entry.
The Mountain Gorilla ('Gorilla Berengei'), of which there are still only about 700 remaining, are one of our closest living relatives. A visit to these gentle giants in their natural environment is a unique and wonderful experience - one youíll never forget. The park rangers monitor the Gorillas on a daily basis and have a fairly good idea of where they are. However, they are free roaming animals, and their sighting cannot be guaranteed.
As the Gorillas share much of your human DNA, anyone with even the slightest cold or transferable illness will not be permitted to trek. Trekking is also only open to people over 16 years old. Due to the restrictions on the daily numbers of visitors to these incredible animals, you depart from our base in Bunyoni in small groups over 3-4 days, depending on the group size.
Winding your way through arguably some of the most picturesque scenery in Africa, you head to the town of Kisoro where you spend the night. (Should we be trekking in Rwanda your overnight will be in Ruhengeri). The following morning, after packing our picnic lunch, you are transferred to a rangerís station where the trek commences. Your rangers will lead you through the cultivated lands and then into the dense rain forest and on to a Gorilla family.