Gorilla trekking is ultimately Rwanda and Uganda’s spell bounding jungle experience set apart from all other African jungle adventures. The 2 to 6 hours trekking experience in the highlands of Uganda offers a special glimpse of wildlife beyond the large primates of Uganda and Rwanda.
Whenever you hear about the reviews of this wonderful experience, you cannot help but consider experiencing it for yourself. The first thing you might likely do is to look out for the best price friendly gorilla trekking packages in Uganda and Rwanda. However, this is not always the case with everyone, more so for people interested in self guided tours in Africa.
We resonate with the passion of self guided safaris in Uganda and Rwanda, the two great destinations where you can meet the great apes in their natural home. For this reason, we have compiled this guide to help you with the major items in planning you self drive in Uganda or Rwanda.
Planning for Self Catered Gorilla Safaris In Uganda And Rwanda
Planning a trip in an unfamiliar environment is often challenging. But the beauty of life lies in overcoming challenges. How about we counter the challenges of planning yourself catered gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda together!
After a well thought through process, we present you what we believe to be the most important aspects in ensuring your planning for a self catered gorilla safari in Uganda or Rwanda has minimized disappointments with the following items in perspective.
Your trip in Uganda or Rwanda is likely to start at the airport with exception of non outbound tourists. For that matter, any disappointments with airport transfers might affect the mood of your trip.
To avoid all this mess, you might have to consider an airport transfer with either a lodge where you will be spending your first night or car hire companies where you are likely to hire your wheels to any of the gorilla national parks in Rwanda or Uganda respectively.
Transport Means To The Gorilla Parks
There are basically three transport means to the gorilla national parks. For the case of Uganda; Buses, Self drive car hires and flights while for the case of Rwanda, self drive hires and organized safari cars.
The best option for the self catered gorilla safaris is usually self drive car hire. 4×4 cars are very popular in Uganda and Rwanda with the following options at your disposal; Rav4s, Land cruiser 90 series, Land cruiser V8, Land cruiser GX, Land cruiser 70 series, Mini vans and Land cruiser Extended. The car choice will mainly depend on your budget.
But; always consider settling the issue of border crossing before confirming your booking. Whenever you are crossing from Uganda to Rwanda, you will be required to present a COMESA insurance card which can either be bought by you or the car hire company depending on the terms of agreement.
Gorilla Lodges And Campsites
This is one of the things that have to be at least 75% settled even before the beginning of the trip. Lodges can be classified into shoestring, budget, midrange and Luxury. In case you are considering a budget trip, there is an option of camping. If at all you do not know where to begin from, gorillasafarilodges.com has all the details on gorilla lodges in Uganda and Rwanda.
It is often recommended to make your booking for the lodges as early as possible more so for the peak months of January, July, August and late December. Four months prior booking will save you from the trouble of trying to find last minute bookings.
Meals are basic for any trip. Whenever you think of meals, you might plan to consider the different restaurant options at your disposal. But this is not always the case when it comes to self catered gorilla safaris in Uganda and Rwanda.
There is an option of hiring camping gear from self drive car hire companies such as hirecarsrwanda, 4x4uganda….., the list is endless. This offers you cooking equipment in case you want to avoid any allergies that might come with trying out new food.
It is very possible to enjoy a good meal at US$5 anywhere in Uganda. In some lodges, you are given a self catered kitchen where you can cook anything as you please. They will also advise on where to get the basic species. However it is often recommended to buy the species from the capital before setting off to the gorilla parks.
Sometimes you might not need a tour guide at all in a self catered gorilla safari. But there is also a possibility of you desiring a car with a driver. In most cases, car hire companies offer professional tour guides who also double as professional drivers.
In case you are the kind that wants to avoid the trouble that comes with taking wrong routes more so for the case of Uganda where there is a lot of road construction going on; you might consider hiring a car with a driver since this is cheaper than sourcing each of these two from different places.
We recommend tourists to always set aside a minimum budget of at least US$50, there are several gorilla souvenirs to grab for yourself from the craft shops in Entebbe, Kigali, Kampala and in the localities of the gorilla national park
Important to note; there are three gorilla national parks you have at your disposal; Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, and Virunga national park. Virunga gorilla permits cost US$1500 each for non foreign residents while Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park permits cost US$700 each for foreign non residents.
The Landscape of Mgahinga gorilla national park is similar to that of Virunga national park while that of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is exceptionally different. Whenever you photos of mountain gorillas in bamboo; this is likely Virunga or Mgahinga while photos with a tropical forest cover is likely to be Bwindi Impenetrable national park.