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Rwanda Gorilla Naming Ceremony & Uganda

Rwanda Gorilla Naming Ceremony & Uganda

From $ 7,030 AUD

Description

Encounter the culture, history and wildlife of Rwanda and Uganda on a 9-day adventure that’s as moving as it is fun. Take part in an incredibly important gorilla naming ceremony in the name of conservation in Musanze, look out for big-ticket wildlife on game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, search for mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park, meet a Gorilla Doctor in Kisoro, and learn about Rwanda’s devastating history in Kigali. The experiences you’ll have on this adventure will stick with you for a lifetime.

Trip Name
Rwanda Gorilla Naming Ceremony & Uganda
Last Updated
2024-06-15
Days
9
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • With gorilla permits included in the price of the trip, seek out the rare mountain gorilla on a trek through Uganda's steamy forests and spend an unforgettable hour in their presence.
  • Experience one of the world’s most important celebrations of conservation success; a naming ceremony for the baby gorillas born in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park over the past year.
  • Discover the diverse wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park on exciting game drives, and an optional boat cruise around the lake, and learn how human-wildlife conflict is being tackled with anti-crop raiding techniques.
  • Spend a free day exploring Musanze, the largest city in Northern Rwanda and a hub for conservation with Gorilla Doctors and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund both calling this city home.
  • Be joined by a field veterinarian from The Gorilla Doctors for an exclusive fireside chat at our lodge, knowing that a proportion of your trip cost goes back to supporting the important work they do.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Gorilla Doctors. Donations help them care for injured mountain and Grauer's gorillas – contributing to the long-term sustainability of gorilla populations.

Itinerary

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA: Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Essential Trip Information is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders. DRIVE TIMES: The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! Additionally, the travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure. ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway.

Day 1 - Kigali
Welcome to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda since it gained independence in 1962. Rwanda is a place that offers so much to the Intrepid traveller and is a country that has been rebuilding itself since the horrific genocide in 1994. And though the past won't, and shouldn't, be forgotten, the future of Rwanda's tourism is looking bright thanks to its welcoming people, an abundance of lakes and the beautiful Virunga Mountains. Your adventure begins by meeting your fellow travellers for a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening.
Day 2 - Musanze
Wake early this morning to hit the road toward Musanze and then enjoy a free day to explore as you wish. This is the largest city in Northern Rwanda and a hub for conservation with Gorilla Doctors and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund both calling this city home. You might like to visit the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, a leading research centre focusing on studying and protecting gorillas and building local community conservation initiatives. Learn about the life of famed primatologist and conservationist Dian Fossey and how the centre is continuing her important work researching mountain gorillas. If you're looking for a little extra adventure, there's an optional canoe ride on the Mukungwa River with your name on it. Or, perhaps head to Redrocks Rwanda where you'll get a chance to learn about the local banana beer production, enjoy basket-weaving demonstrations, listen to local drummers and move your hips with some traditional dancing.
Day 3 - Musanze
Wake up with excitement as you prepare for an incredibly special day. You'll be treated to an exclusive opportunity to witness the Kwita Izina ceremony. Based on a century-old tradition that sees Rwandans naming their children in the presence of their family and friends, the Kwita Izina ceremony gives a name to a newborn gorilla. Created to bring attention to the importance of protecting mountain gorillas and their habitats, the naming ceremony helps to monitor each individual gorilla while showing thanks to those who take part in their conservation. Today you’ll follow the event’s schedule, so be prepared to go with the flow and be ready to join the celebrations! You can expect to see famous singers, performers, top traditional dancing groups and formal speeches, followed by informal celebrations.
Day 4 - Queen Elizabeth NP
Your journey continues as you leave Rwanda and cross the border into Uganda, driving on to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This incredibly biodiverse park is home to 10 primate species including chimpanzees, 95 mammals including big game, and 618 bird species. On arrival, head out on a 4x4 game drive in search of the varied wildlife within the park – a keen eye and a little patience is sure to reward you with some memorable sightings! Later in the day you’ll return to your simple safari lodge located within the park, overlooking the Kazinga Channel.
Day 5 - Queen Elizabeth NP
This morning there's an opportunity to see the park from a different perspective with an optional cruise down the Kazinga Channel, linking Lake Edward to Lake George. You’ll be joined by local guides who'll fill you in on everything you could want to know about the landscape and the animals who live within it – be on the lookout for hippos basking on the shore, as well as crocodiles, herds of elephants and abundant birdlife. Then, game drive to Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, looking out for the famous tree-climbing lions along the way. In Ishasha you’ll meet some local residents to learn more about rural life in Uganda. Visit a local organic farm, medicine garden and homestead and learn how its owner is tackling human-wildlife conflict with his anti-crop raiding techniques. You’ll also meet a local Mukiga woman who will share her story while showing you how to sort, pound and grind millet to make porridge and other Bakiga meals. After your visit, head to a comfortable eco-lodge frequented by big herds of elephants, buffaloes and antelopes.
Day 6 - Kisoro
Head further south today as you travel to Kisoro – the journey is like a game drive in itself, with the chance to spot zebras, antelopes, baboons and monkeys out the window. Your accommodation tonight offers breathtaking views of Lake Mulehe and the Virunga Mountains. Soak up the panoramic views from your veranda as the sun sets. This evening we'll be joined by a field veterinarian from The Gorilla Doctors for a fireside chat. The Gorilla Doctors are the only organization in the world dedicated to saving the mountain and eastern lowland (Grauer’s) gorilla species, one gorilla patient at a time using veterinary medicine and science. They monitor the health of gorilla groups to ensure the early detection of disease and injury, and stage medical interventions when gorillas suffer from human-induced or life-threatening trauma or disease. You'll learn more about their fascinating work during this unique and special experience.
Day 7 - Kisoro (Gorilla Trek)
Join a local guide and trackers as you climb through the rugged, mountainous terrain of Bwindi National Park in search of mountain gorillas. A quick lock of eyes with these creatures is a truly primal moment and visits are strictly controlled to minimise disturbance. Make no mistake, tracking gorillas is no walk in the park – it's called Bwinidi Impenetrable National Park for a reason. It can be wet, muddy, strenuous and uncomfortable, but the indescribable elation at coming across a group of gorillas is worth the effort. Spend a mesmerising hour with the gorillas as they eat, sleep, groom and play as the male silverback watches over them, then return to the lodge for dinner and to reflect on this incredible experience.
Day 8 - Kigali
After breakfast, you'll travel back to Kigali this morning. Here, you'll visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, which was opened in 2004 to mark the 10th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi people. It serves as both a museum, detailing the history and consequences of Rwanda's genocide, and a place for people to grieve lost friends and family. This afternoon, take some time out from the devastating history with a local lunch and an afternoon city tour, including a trip to the craft market.
Day 9 - Kigali
With no further activities planned for today, your adventure comes to an end after breakfast.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-09-202412-09-2024AUD $ 7,030-
03-09-202511-09-2025AUD $ 7,800-
02-09-202610-09-2026AUD $ 7,415-

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights),Safari Lodge (5 nights)

Transport

4WD vehicles

Map