East Africa Gorilla Trek
14 day gorilla trekking and game drive experience
Book now for £900
Group Size: Avg 16, max 24
Trip code: 23GEN14
Duration: 14 days
There are few wildlife viewing experiences on Earth that can live up to spending time with a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda’s forest-cloaked Virunga Mountains. This incredible 14-day adventure-style group tour takes you into the heart of the jungle, to within touching distance of these most human-like of apes. You’ll also go on an unforgettable game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park, seeing some of Africa’s most charismatic species from leopards to rhinos, and get the chance to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitat in Queen Elizabeth National Park’s lush ‘Valley of the Apes’. Travel in a custom-built safari vehicle and spend every night under the stars in a range of scenic camps, where you’ll muck in together as a team. It’s the adventure of a lifetime.
- Enjoy an unparalleled wildlife experience as you get up close to a family of mountain gorillas in Uganda’s pristine rainforest
- Trek through the‘ Valley of the Apes’ and see chimpanzees and other primates in their natural habitat
- Spot leopards, rhinos, flamingos and more on a local-led game drive through Lake Nakuru National Park
- Kick back in beautiful Lake Bunyoni, discovering the islands by boat, canoeing, and meeting the locals
- Straddle the hemispheres as you stop for a selfie on the Equator
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Day 1: Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park (Kenya). Hit the road to Lake Nakuru National Park in our epic over-landing adventure vehicle. Drive through the Great Rift Valley, before taking an afternoon game drive, looking out for flamingos, buffalo, lion, rhino, leopards and more. This evening, enjoy dinner under the stars with your new friends.
Day 2: Lake Nakuru to Eldoret. Stop at the Equatorial crossing for a hemisphere straddling photo opp, before continuing to Eldoret. We’ll be staying in a unique campsite based on land that was once occupied by the Sirikwa tribe. Check out the ‘Sirikwa holes’, take a dip in the pool, and enjoy another evening of food, drinks and laughs with your group.
Day 3: Eldoret to Kampala (Uganda). We’ve got a long day on the road today so pack some snacks and download your fave playlists before settling into the safari bus. Cross the border into Uganda. Our destination today is the buzzing capital, Kampala.
Day 4: Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Leave the hustle and bustle of Kampala behind and travel towards Queen Elizabeth National Park. We’ll stay outside the park in a safari camp with spectacular views of Lake George, the Kazinga Channel, and the wildlife-rich savannah plains.
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park. Head into the Queen Elizabeth National Park today, soaking up epic mountain views and keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife as we head to the ‘Valley of the Apes’. Take an unforgettable trek into the gorge to see its resident chimpanzees feeding, playing, and grooming.
Please note: The local wildlife authority only issues permits for groups of up to 8, so depending on our group size, the trek will take place on the afternoon of day 4, morning of day 5 and afternoon of day 5 and afternoon of day 5 or morning of day 6.
Day 6: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyoni. Leave the national park behind today and head to beautiful Lake Bunyoni. Over the next two days, the group will be split in half, with one group trekking to see some of the world’s last 700 mountain gorillas, while the other half of the group kick back at the lake. On the day of our trek, we’ll head into the rainforest early. Once we’ve found a gorilla family, we observe them for around an hour, taking photographs and marvelling at these most human-like of apes. It’s an unparalleled wildlife viewing experience.
Please note: Because of the strict limits on the numbers of visitors allowed to view the gorillas each day, we may spend several days in the area while all passengers in our group complete the trek and viewing. We may travel into Rwanda to trek for the gorillas on occasion and this can incur additional visa fees.
Days 7 - 8: Lake Bunyonyi or Gorilla Trek Day. Spend the next couple of days either gorilla trekking or exploring Lake Bunyoni at your own pace. Discover the islands by boat, visit a local village, meet some local children at an orphanage, or just relax in camp.
Day 9: Lake Bunyoni to Kampala. We’re back on the road again today, so put on your comfy clothes and grab a window-seat for the journey - the views are pretty special! We’re crossing the Equator again, travelling through verdant pastures and the fertile shores of Lake Victoria back to Kampala.
Day 10: Kampala to Jinja. Leave Kampala behind and travel the short distance to the riverside town of Jinja, where the Nile flows out of Lake Victoria. We’ll be spending tonight in a camp on the river’s grassy banks.
Days 11 - 12: Jinja. You’ve got two free days in magical Jinja. Enjoy the thrill of white-water rafting, give back to the local community with a visit to a school project, go mountain biking, quad biking, fishing, take a village walk or go for a cruise on the Nile.
Day 13: Jinja to Eldoret. Hop back into the safari bus feeling refreshed after our stop in Jinja. We’re retracing our steps today as we head back across the border to Eldoret, where we’ll set up camp. Enjoy one last night round the campfire, sharing stories of your amazing adventure.
Day 14: Eldoret to Nairobi. After breakfast, we’ll head back to Nairobi, where our tour ends on arrival in the afternoon. Say your goodbyes and head to the airport or continue your travels in Africa.
Participation in this tour requires you to purchase an Adventure Pass. The cost of this is separate to the cost of the tour. You will need to pay the cost of your pass directly to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour. The cost is subject to change but is currently USD$120 The Pass covers entry into Lake Nakuru National Park and your game drive there. Paying separately for the Pass ensures that local suppliers benefit directly from the income. The Pass is at cost with no additional fees, making it great value for money, and is not part of any cancellation fee, so in the unlikely event you need to cancel your trip, you won’t lose any money on the Adventure Pass.
Gorilla and chimpanzee treks and permits
The Uganda Wildlife Authority imposes strict regulations regarding gorilla trekking permits, including that permits must be booked and paid in advance. This means we must collect your permit fee, as well as your normal deposit, at the time of booking. The permit fee is not refundable if you cancel your tour. On rare occasions, subject to permit availability, we may purchase trekking permits to view the gorillas in neighboring Rwanda.
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Cheapest flights between London and Nairobi for the next 6 months
Most expensive: £1,438 July, 2023
The trip starts on day 1 in Nairobi, Kenya. Due to the early departure time on day 1, you’ll need to fly into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) the day before the trip begins and book a pre-trip night of accommodation with the help of your travel advisor (see accommodation section for more info). Airport transfers are not included so you’ll need to make your own way from the airport to the trip start point. Taxi is the easiest way to undertake the 18km journey and takes 20 – 40 minutes depending on traffic.
The trip ends on day 14 in Nairobi in the afternoon. It’s recommended that you book an additional night of accommodation after the tour is over. Return airport transfers are not included so you’ll need to arrange transport to the airport yourself. Your tour guide can help with this.
You’ll spend 13 nights camping in 2-person dome tents with fly sheets, sewn-in ground sheets and zip-up insect screens. Foam mattresses are supplied but you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag. Campsites usually have wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool. This trip is all about mucking in together and you will be expected to help with putting the tents up. Campsites include the following, or equivalent:
- PundaMilias Camp (day 1)
- Naiberi Overland Camp (days 2 and 13)
- Red Chilli Camp (days 3 and 9)
- Simba Camp (day 4 – 5)
- Lake Bunyonyi/Gorilla Trek area campsite (days 6 – 8)
- Nile River Explorers (days 10 - 12)
Pre and post trip accommodation
Please note, due to the early departure time from Nairobi on day 1 of this tour, it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before departure and book an additional night’s accommodation in Nairobi at your own cost. We also recommend that you plan an extra night after your tour is over. Your travel advisor can help you book this.
13 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 13 dinners are included on this trip. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements.
You’ll need to be a minimum of 18 years old to participate in this trip. This trip is designed for travellers aged 18-35.
You need a visa to enter both Kenya and Uganda, with passengers required to obtain their e-visas before departure. An East African Tourist Visa is valid for 90 days and allows multiple entry into Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive and should have at least two blank pages on arrival.
Please note: Visa rules are subject to change. Please check for the most up to date information before you travel.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.