On our traditional safaris, clients travel inside a 4-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser with a pop-up style roof, which allows you to stand up in the vehicle and view animals unobstructed. The Land Cruiser can seat seven people comfortably.
Land Cruisers are the undoubtedly the best vehicles for safaris, and are used exclusively by most safari operators due to their functionality. They are extremely capable on poor roads and can tackle challenging off road terrain.
Your professional guide will accompany through your entire trip. Our guides are experts in spotting wildlife and possess remarkable knowledge about every animal you may encounter. You will have exclusive use of the vehicle with no mileage restrictions for the duration of your tour. Your guide will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel everyday.
Chimpanzee tracking allows visitors to observe chimpanzees during their daily activities. The chimpanzees are habituated to humans, which means they are relatively unaffected by human presence. A guide, with the assistance of one or more trackers, leads the group in the forest and attempts to locate the chimpanzees. Depending on the time of day, you may witness chimps de-nesting in the early morning, eating, playing, or resting throughout the day, or building their overnight nests in the evening. The hiking is mainly on established trails, however once chimpanzees are found, you may be off trail, in areas of thick vegetation or steep slopes. The entire experience may last up to four hours, however the time with the chimpanzees is limited to one hour.
While most clients primarily want to track chimpanzees, during the tour there are also opportunities to see other primates, such as the black & white colobus, blue monkey, red tailed monkey or the grey cheeked mangabey.
The following rules apply when chimpanzee tracking:
- Keep a distance of approximately 25 feet between you and the chimpanzees
- Do not provoke the chimpanzees in any way
- People with communicable diseases are not allowed to participate in a chimpanzee tracking tour
- Do not eat or drink near the chimpanzees
- The use of flash photography is prohibited
- Children below the age of 12 are prohibited
Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda allows visitors to observe gorilla families during their daily activities. A group of rangers, consisting of guides and trackers, coordinate their efforts to find the gorillas and take the visitors to them. The 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.
Whether in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda or Parc National des Volcanoes in Rwanda, gorilla trekking starts in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters about what the trek will involve and to check that everyone is well enough to take part. No-one with a cold or flu or signs of other transmittable illnesses will be allowed to trek due to the risks posed to the families of gorillas. After the initial group briefing you are split into small groups and introduced to your guide. He will speak to you about your particular group of gorillas and the etiquette of observing and photographing them. An assortment of vehicles will then transport the trekking groups to the starting points if necessary; this drive can range from 15 minutes to over an hour, depending on the locations of the gorilla families.
Most of the hiking is on established trails that lead to the general proximity of the gorillas, but to get close to the gorillas you will be hiking off trail, often in wet, muddy areas, on steep slopes and through thick vegetation. The treks can be quite strenuous, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. When you get close to the gorillas you must leave all of your bags and only carry your camera/ video. This is to stop the gorillas being spooked by or curious about bags and other extra equipment. Due to the nature of the gorillas and their habits, viewing cannot be guaranteed, but the chances of a successful encounter are about 98%.
The mountain gorillas may be feeding, lounging, resting or playing - in an open clearing, in a forest, or in a bamboo thicket. The treks start in the morning and can take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, depending on the location of the gorillas. The time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour.
The following rules apply when on a gorilla trek:
- Keep a distance of approximately 25 feet between you and the gorillas
- People with communicable diseases are not allowed to participate in a gorilla trek
- Stay in tight group when near the gorillas
- Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is OK to ask the guide questions.
- Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas
- Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (which is to crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not run.
- Flash photography is not permitted
- Children below the age of 15 are prohibited
FOOD AND WATER
Meals are included during your trip. While at the lodges, expect a variety of local, Western or Asian cuisine. In the parks, menus are generally Western with some local fare. Drinks at the lodges are separate, and are not included in the trip cost.
Drink bottled water only. It is not safe to drink tap water.
We offer budget, midrange and luxury accommodations for our safaris and gorilla tours in Uganda and Rwanda. It is our policy to use the best available accommodations in each category for any area we visit. We use stylish and exclusive lodges, hotels and camps.