Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla & Chimp Adventure

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - November 21st, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

They're the closest animals out there to us homo sapiens, and on this trip we aim to bring you as close as possible to these majestic creatures. There'll be gorillas, monkeys and chimps in abundance on this 9-day trip through Rwanda and Uganda. Take part in jungle trekking, embark on boat and jeep safaris in national parks, and learn about Rwanda's fascinating culture and history along the way. With an expert local CEO throughout and comfortable lodges to relax in during your down time, your focus can stay on spotting rare primates in their natural habitat.

  • Get up close and personal with mountain gorillas in their backyard
  • Trek through the forest to visit Golden Monkeys
  • Meet local people and gain a better understanding of Rwanda then and now
  • Encounter more primates on a chimp trek in Uganda
  • Search for hippos while enjoying a boat ride down the Kazinga Channel
Duration: 9 days
Start/Finish City: Kigali to Entebbe
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 4
You might encounter a few high-altitude hikes or other more strenuous activities. Pro tip: Put down that pastry, buster.
Travel Style: Comfort
Great adventures with a few extra frills along the way.

Looking for a little extra from your adventure but don’t want to skip out on all the genuine experiences? Comfort is your ticket. These trips offer upgraded accommodations and more inclusions while still delivering plenty of freedom to pursue spontaneous situations on your own.

Please note: The Comfort Travel Style is a renamed edition of the G-Plus, our collection of comfort-themed adventures. Same great trips, more descriptive name!

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Rwanda and Uganda Gorilla & Chimp Adventure (DRGR)

Day 1 Kigali

Arrive at any time and transfer to your hotel. Your CEO will meet with the group this evening to go over details of the trip - a note will be left at the hotel reception, indicating time and place.

Rwanda’s capital is located on a number of hills in the center of the country and is well connected with good roads to all boarder crossings. As such it is a good base for safaris to all the places of interest in Rwanda as well as to Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania. The population of Kigali has since independence 1961 grown from 30,000 to an estimated 1 million inhabitants.

Although not many attractions are found in Kigali it is one of Africa’s safest cities and the atmosphere is pleasant and the city is known for its exceptional cleanliness. There are several good hotels and many restaurants are well worth a visit.
There are a few good bars and nightclubs, which however safe and fun offer the same hazards as such establishment’s do worldwide. Normal caution and care should be taken when visiting such places anywhere in the world.

Day 2 Northern Rwanda/Volcanoes National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Embark on an orientation tour of Kigali and delve into the sombre history of the country with a visit to the Genocide Memorial, and lunch at Hôtel des Mille Collines, famed for the movie Hotel Rwanda, which was based on true accounts during the 1994 genocide. Proceed to northern Rwanda in the afternoon to the lodge, located just outside the national park with stunning volcano views.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004 - the Centre is built on a site where over 250,000 people are buried. The Centre serves as a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide in 1994 and remains a place for people to grieve those they lost. The Centre is a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation.

Approximate Distance: 130 km
Estimated Travel Time: 3hrs

Day 3 Northern Rwanda/Volcanoes National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Depart early and transfer to the National Park to meet the Gorilla tracker/guide for orientation. Embark on the trek which can vary in length and difficulty, depending on the location of the gorilla family you will visit. Spend one hour observing these beautiful and endangered creatures, a truly privileged experience. Trek back and return to the lodge with the remainder of the day at leisure.

Approximately 800 Mountain Gorillas today exist in the world in the wild. They are found in three different locations in Rwanda, DRC & Uganda. In DRC & Rwanda, Gorillas live in similar eco systems / areas. The Gorilla species found in these 3 areas are called “Highland Gorilla”, the latin name is “Gorilla Berengei” named after the first European person to see and encounter a Mountain Gorilla.

In Rwanda there are ten habituated Gorilla families that are open to visits – the visit to a Gorilla family is done ONCE per day and the duration of a visit is limited to one (1) hour with the Gorilla family. The time spent with them is limited due to conservation considerations and to minimize impact on the day-to-day life of the Gorilla family you are visiting.

It is important to be well prepared for the trek - you never know if your total trek will be “short” or “long”. The total duration of a trek can vary and be anything between 3 & 9 hours in length depending on the location of the gorillas, who are constantly moving. Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles and normally a rather muddy terrain. You will mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trail.

Below is an example of how the day may go:
05.45 AM. Breakfast at your lodge.
06.15 AM. You will be picked up from the lodge by your driver – guide & drive to the check in at the registration office.
07.00 AM. Registration & briefing by your designated Gorilla guide.
08.00 AM (Approx). Proceed with your vehicle and guide to the actual starting point. The driving time from the check in point – office and to your starting point can be anything between 30 minutes and 1 & ½ hours depending on which Gorilla family you have been allocated.
09.00 AM (Approx). Start your Gorilla trek. Your driver/guide will wait for you at the road head while you do the Gorilla trek with your designated Gorilla guide from the Rwanda National Parks Authority.
12 NOON – 16.00 PM (Approx). Return from your Gorilla trek and drive back to your chosen lodge for a late lunch & probably a very appreciated shower.

Day 4 Northern Rwanda/Volcanoes National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Enjoy a second trek into the National Park with our ranger/guide to view a unique and endangered species, the “Golden Monkeys". Watch these playful and lively creatures in their natural habitat. Later, we visit the Ros Carr house and orphanage, learning about her life and works in helping orphans after the war.

Embark on another trek in “Volcanoes National Park” to view a species even more endangered than the “Mountain Gorillas”, the “Golden Monkeys”. It is only in Rwanda where this interesting species has been successfully habituated.

“Golden Monkeys” normally and mainly live in the lower parts of the bamboo forests, they are not as socially “tight” as Gorillas and chimpanzees and the number in the habituated troupe can vary on any given day between 20 and up to 80. The species are lively, curious and “chattery” - and with a bit of luck you may have a close encounter with them – although they are also often only seen high up in the trees.

Below is an example of how the day may go:
05.45 – 06.15AM. Breakfast at your lodge.
06.15 AM. Depart from your lodge with your guide to the National Park head quarters located only approx 30 minutes away.
07.00 AM. Short briefing from your designated “Golden Monkey guide” from the Volcanoes National Park authority.
07.30 – 08.00 AM. Depart with your guide and your vehicle to the actual starting point of the trek where your driver will wait for you while you do the trek with your guide from the Rwanda National Park authority * Travelling time from Park headquarters to starting point; 30 – 45 minutes.
11.00 – 14.00 PM. Return from the Golden Monkey trek and drive back to your lodge for a late lunch and have the rest of the day “at leisure”.

Day 5 Queen Elizabeth National Park 1B,1L,1D)

After breakfast, cross into Uganda arriving at the Queen Elizabeth National Park area in the afternoon. Enroute, visit a tea
factory/farm for a tour. Enjoy the rest of afternoon at leisure at the lodge with a cool drink on the deck or lounge at the pool.

The 1,978 sq. km Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.

Approximate Distance: 310 km
Estimated Travel Time: 8hrs

Day 6 Queen Elizabeth National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Today, we explore Kyambura Gorge with a chimp trek in search of the playful primates. We also enjoy a safari drive with possible sightings of buffalo, waterbuck, warthog, lion, leopard, hyena, giant forest hog as well as elephants. Depending on the number of people travelling, the group will be split into 2, with half doing the chimp trek in the morning, then game drive in the afternoon and vice-a-versa.

Game drive: Queen Elizabeth National Park, is home to Uganda's largest wildlife populations. Here, it is possible to see primates, buffalo, hippo, elephant, lion, and the elusive leopard.

Chimp trek: The trek is done in Kyambura Gorge also known as the “Valley of Apes” in the eastern corner Queen Elizabeth National Park. The excursion is more than just visiting chimpanzees in their natural environment, it also teaches visitors about the ecosystems of the Gorge’s atmospheric “underground” rainforest, including vegetation types; bird identification and behavior; and chimp and monkey ecology. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, visitors stand a good chance of hearing and seeing our distant cousins as they are habituated and not bothered by humans watching their daily behaviour. The excursion can last between 1-3 hours.

Day 7 Queen Elizabeth National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Embark on a morning game drive for more wildlife viewing inside the park. This afternoon, take in a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel to view hippos and birds, and with a bit of luck, we may even view elephants or cats.

Day 8 Entebbe (1B,1L)

After breakfast, head to Entebbe with a stop at the equator and a visit to a royal drum makers workshop.

Approximate Distance: 350 km
Estimated Travel Time: 8.5hrs

Day 9 Entebbe (1B)

Depart at any time.

What's Included

Arrival transfer. All National Park entrance fees. Orientation tour of Kigali including the genocide memorial and lunch at Hotel Rwanda. Guided Mountain Gorilla Trek with permits. Golden Monkey Trek with permits. Visit Ros Carr’s home and orphanage. Tour and demonstrations at a tea factory/farm. Guided Chimpanzee Trek with permits. Safari game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Wildlife boat cruise in Kazinga Channel. Visit the equator line and a drum workshop. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Get up close and personal with mountain gorillas in their backyard, trek through the forest to visit Golden Monkeys, meet local people and gain a better understanding of Rwanda then and now, encounter more primates on a chimp trek in Uganda, search for hippos while enjoying a boat ride down the Kazinga Channel

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Please note that all passengers must be aged 15 years or older (prior to start of travel) to go on this tour - there are no exceptions to this as it is for safety reasons and strictly controlled by the Government.

2. This trip is rated a level 4 physical requirement - travellers should be in excellent physical condition, without any heart problems and prepared to spend strenuous days in humid rain forests, steep terrain and high altitude trekking for chimpanzee and gorillas, as well as other primates. Please ensure you meet the requirements as described under "physical rating".

3. Travelling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule as opposed to the exception in both Rwanda and Uganda. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience.

6. Because of the migratory nature of the gorillas, monkeys and chimps, G Adventures can not guarantee that you will be able to see these primates on any of your day treks.

7. As it is very dark and damp in the jungle; please ensure your camera equipment is appropriate for such conditions and that you bring dry bags to protect it.

8. The power supply in Uganda and Rwanda is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.

Group Leader Description

The Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will be the group manager and leader. He/she organizes the trip, and will be there to assist you when needed. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. All of our CEOs in East Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Your leader will be from either southern or East Africa depending on which part of the tour you are on.

During both treks in Volcanoes National Park, we use an experienced and certified tracking guide, and armed guards to accompany you for your safety.

We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.

Group Size Notes

Max 14, avg 10.

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners.

Meals

As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price.

Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.

Meal Budget

Allow USD50-100 for meals and drinks not included.

Transport

4x4 Land Cruiser(s), walking, hiking, boat.

About our Transportation

Road travel can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. As such, this itinerary will be operated in 4x4 Land Cruisers (1 or 2 depending on the size of the group).

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Comfort hotel/lodges (8 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

Please remember that this is a developing area and as such, accommodations/service may not be of similar standard to which you are used to in your home country. As well, interruptions in electricity and water can be common. We appreciate your patience and understanding as well as your sense of adventure.

Joining Hotel

Beau Sejour Hotel
Airport Road
Kisimenti area, Kigali, Rwanda
Tel: +250 252 580 760
10 minutes / 5 Km from airport

Joining Instructions

Clients will me met by a local CEO/representative at the airport and driven to the joining hotel. Please look for the G Adventures signboard, if you do not connect immediately, please wait as they may be meeting other passengers from your group. In the unlikely case, you are unable to find the guide after 30 minutes, please call our local representative in Rwanda: 0788 - 300 649 or 0788 - 466 861

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER: If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
Emergency number:
From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832
From within Kenya: 0727 208 832

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operator or local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, of medium size, as well as a day pack.
On this trip you may experience several types of weather. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this trip.

Your clothes will in all likelihood get very muddy and may not recover to their original state - therefore take old clothing for trekking. Hard wearing clothes, no bright colours, or no army camouflage clothing should be worn. Greens, khaki and similar neutral clothes are recommended.

Checklist

-Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
-Windproof/waterproof jacket and pants
-Waterproof hiking boots
-Small towel and swimwear
-6 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
-Long-sleeved shirt
-1 pair of shorts
-2 pairs of long trousers
-1 pair hiking pants
-Comfortable shoes
-Sport sandals
-Sun hat/bandana
-Sunblock
-Sunglasses
-Watch or alarm clock
-Water bottle
-Pocketknife
-Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
-Money belt
-First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin , Malaria pills, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
-Toiletries (biodegradable)
-Hand sanitizer gel/Sanitizer wipes
-Camera and extra memory card/film
-Extra batteries (recommended)
-Electricity Plug Adapter

Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, maps, guidebooks, bag or pouch for hiking with camera equipment

Documents:
-Passport (with photocopies)
-Travel insurance (with photocopies)
-Yellow fever certificate
-Airline tickets (with photocopies)
-Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
-G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
-Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Recommended for Gorilla trek (as well as the other 2 treks):
- Sturdy trousers, hiking pants or similar to protect against nettles
- Light weight T-shirt (long or short)
- Hiking boots with good support for the ankles
- Minimum 2 liters of drinking water
- Sweets, chocolates, biscuits etc – appreciated if the trek turns out to be long
- Hat, preferably with a “rim” to protect against the sun
- Change of T-shirt
- Raincoat & rain trousers
- Gloves to protect you against stinging nettles
- Day pack to carry water, change of T- shirt, snacks
- Dry bag (to protect any camera equipment from rain)
- Sun block with a very high protection factor
- Walking stick(based on your preference)
***There are no porters and you are responsible for carrying your own day-pack, so pack wisely

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge.

Visas

All countries require travellers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.

VISAS TO RWANDA
Most nationalities require the Rwanda Tourist Visa. Please check the Rwanda immigration department’s official website – www.migration.gov.rw – which nationalities need a visa and which ones do not – it is VERY important to do this as travelers without the correct documentation with them will NOT be allowed to board their Rwanda bound flight. The visa is also applied for on this website and you normally get a confirmation in 3-5 working days. Please make sure you apply for this at least a month before your intended arrival to Rwanda. Bring a copy of the visa approval sent to you (VERY important) and pay for the visa at point of entry. Current cost for a 15 day tourist visa is US$ 30 per person (January 2013) – payable in US$ cash only. Please be aware that the US$ notes has to be from 2006 or newer, older notes are NOT accepted for payments in Rwanda.

The East Africa Tourist Visa is definitely the way to go if you are visiting Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. The important thing to note though is that if you are entering Rwanda first before Kenya or Uganda this visa STILL needs to be pre-applied for online at www.migration.gov.rw . It is a different form to be completed from the 15 day Rwanda visa, but works on the same basis. You will need the returned letter sent to you to board your flight to Rwanda as well as upon arrival in Rwanda. With this documentation the visa can then be bought upon arrival - US$100. Same rules apply, i.e no notes older than 2006!

If you are entering Kenya/Uganda no pre-application is necessary for the East Africa Tourist Visa. Documentation is all done upon arrival in respective country.

Visas to Uganda can for most nationalities be obtained upon arrival at the border when arriving from Rwanda, in US$ 50 cash only.

There are however, a number of exceptions to this rule specifically for many nationalities from the Middle East (Including Lebanon) who can NOT get a visa upon arrival, this should all be checked with the Ugandan embassy in your home country well before time of travel.

This information is accurate at the time of writing, and please contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements and costs, regarding these, and the other countries visited, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.

Detailed Trip Notes

REGIONAL INFORMATION

RWANDA
Rwanda is a small, land locked country in eastern / central Africa. It has five volcanoes and 23 lakes as well as several rivers. A large part of the country has an elevation of between 1,500 and 2,500 meters.
In prehistoric times as much as one third of Rwanda was covered with mountain rainforest. Today the only large tract of forest left in Rwanda is Nyungwe in the southwestern part of the country; it covers almost 1000 square kilometers. Some areas of forest are also found in the Volcanoes National Park in the northeast, but most of the natural vegetation here is bamboo forest and open moorland.
The highlands in large parts of the country are now dominated by the terraced agriculture that gives the Rwandan countryside its beautiful and pleasant character. The eastern part of Rwanda has entirely different vegetation, the typical African bush, a mix of savannah and grassland dominated by acacia trees as well as
• Large tracts of marshlands and swamps are found throughout the country..
• Land area; 26,340 sq km – almost exactly the same size as Swedens “Dalecarlia”.
• President; HE Paul Kagame, re elected president August 2010.
• Official languages; English & Kinyarwanda. French, & Swahili widely spoken
• Population; Approximately 10.5 million (January 2013)
• Capital; Kigali. Population; Approximately 950,000 – 1,1 Million
• Natural resources; Agriculture, Tourist attractions, Tin, Gold and Natural gas
• Average temperature; 24 – 27 degrees. Hottest in August – September
• Elevation; 1000 – 4500 meters above sea level
• Highest pint; Karisimbu volcano, 4,509 meters ASL (sometimes snow capped).
• Vegetation; from equatorial forest in northwest to savanna in the east
• Land use; 48% agriculture use, 23% forest, 20% grazing land & 9% other
• Main exports; Coffee & Tea & Tourism which are the 3 main forex earners.
• Local Currency; Rwanda Franc (1 US$ = 635 RwFr / January 2013)

UGANDA - Official Statistics
Area: 235,796sq km (32nd in Africa)
Population: 26,219,000
Capital City: Kampala
Official language: English
Other languages: KiSwahili (widely spoken, but not indigenous), Luganda, Runyoro
Head of state: President Yoweri Museveni
Life expectancy: 52 years
Literacy: 70%
Per Capita Income: US$220
Main industry: Tourism
Major Cultures: Bantu, Batembuzi, Baganda, Asian (Indian)
Relgion: Christian, ZCC and Muslim.

Uganda enjoys ideal equatorial weather conditions, ranging from the warmth of the lowland areas and lakeshores to the coolness of the highlands. The altitude on a Uganda safari varies from 1,000 metres to 2,400 metres above sea level. The days are a pleasant 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and nights are a moderate 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit with January being the warmest month. At higher altitudes it can be cooler, especially at Bwindi. The long rainy season is between March and May and the short rains are from October to November, but it can rain at any time of the year. The rainy season can sometimes make travel difficult but the views are clearer. It can be cool in the evenings, especially in the hilly and mountainous areas. Despite the high temperatures and rainfall, due to altitude, the humidity is low, making for one of the most pleasant and comfortable climates in the world.'


LITTERATURE AND FURTHER READING
Read more about the various aspects of Rwanda and its attractions.
1. Rwanda, The Bradt Guide - By BOOTH, Janice & Briggs, Philip. The Globe Pequot Press Inc, 2004
2. The Larger Mammals of Africa - By STUART, Chris and Tilde. Struik 1997
3. The Kingdon field guide to African Mammals - By KINGDON, Jonathan. Academic Press 1997
4. Southern, Central and East African Mammals of Africa - By STUART, Chris and Tilde. Collins 1983
5. The safari Companion - By ESTES, Richard. Green Books ( UK)
6. Field guide to the Birds of East Africa - By WILLIAMS, J & Arlott. Collins 1980
7. Illustrated check list to the Birds of Eastern Africa - By VAN PERLO, Ber. Collins 1995
8. A biography of the Continent - By READER, John. Hamish Hamilton 1997
9. Rwanda – World Bibliographical Series volume 154 - By FEGLEY, Randall. Clio Press 1993
10. Gorillas in the mist - By FOSSEY, Dian. Hodder and Stoughton 1983
11. Woman in the mists - By MOWAT, Farley. Futura 1987
12. Island Africa - By KINGDON, Jonathon. Collins 1990
13. Through a window - By GOODALL, Jane. Houghton Mufflin 1991
14. The Rwanda crisis – History of a genocide - By PRUNIER, Gerard. Hurst & Company 1998
15. Eyewitness to a genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda - By BARNETT, Michael. Cornell University 2002
16. Hope for Rwanda - By SIBOMANA, Andre. Pluto Press 1999

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The local currency in Rwanda is the Rwanda Franc. In Uganda it is the Ugandan Shilling.

There are several foreign exchange bureaus in Kigali offering similar rates, the most widely accepted currency is US$. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country. That said - most everything is included in this tour - we recommend that you bring enough USD cash with you, to cover for any additional drinks/snacks and souvenir shopping.

The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa. Larger note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.

If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.

Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques to Africa. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.

Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels. While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.

Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.

Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD40, usually included in most international air tickets.

Tipping

Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the East African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required); Driver / CEO US$3/4 each, per day worked, per traveller.

Optional Activities

Please note that the price of this tour includes all national park and permit fees. As such, you will not be expected to pay any other fees in order to take part in this amazing experience on this tour - we include all fees of this activity within the selling price.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure.

Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for all visitors over 1 year of age and as the vaccination is not valid until 10 days after vaccination it is important to have this done in good time as this will be checked upon arrival to Rwanda.

Please be aware that Rwanda and Uganda have many regions where malaria is present. We thus recommend that you take malaria medication; your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics.

Travellers should also carry a basic travel first-aid kit as medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. An important item to include is a liquid or gel hand sanitizer and/or alcoholic/sanitary wipes, as they will aid in personal cleanliness and hygiene throughout the trip. The local tap water should not be consumed, so any water treatment tablets (ex. iodine), drops, etc, would help, but good, clean, and inexpensive bottled water is widely available throughout the entire trip. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, you must inform G Adventures prior to the purchase of the tour, and upon arrival, to the CEO so he/she can be prepared to help you.

East African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness): This is a serious parasitic disease that is always fatal without treatment. The disease is spread by the bite of tsetse flies, found only in parts of Eastern and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent African trypanosomiasis.

Sand flies and Mosquitos: Are found in the areas visited. Mosquitos are more prevalent in areas that receive more rainfall, and sand flies, though generally found on the coast, can also be found in dry & dusty conditions inland. Both tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings. Malaria: This infectious disease is transmitted by mosquitos carrying the parasite. These mosquitos are found at altitudes of under 1,800m, and thus can be found in most areas that we visit on this tour. You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor at or health clinic.

Precautions against insect bites:
* Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants at all times.
* Wear khaki or olive-colored clothing. Tsetse flies are attracted to bright and dark colors.
* Use bed nets.
* Inspect vehicles for tsetse flies before entering.
* Avoid bushes. Tsetse flies are less active during the hottest part of the day; they rest in bushes and will bite if disturbed.
* Use insect repellent. Although repellents have not proven effective in preventing tsetse fly bites, they are effective in preventing other insects from biting and causing illness.

Sun:
It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day when it feels cool as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.

Hydration
Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of two litres of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when travelling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.

Diarrhoea:
It is normal for people travelling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Cities
Please exercise caution in the cities and always take a pre-arranged taxi if you go out at night.

Trekking/safari
At all times, please abide by all National park/reserve rules and always follow interactions from guides/trackers specifically, these are set to not just protect the wildlife but also to protect you.

Photography
Please refrain from taking photos of police stations, airports, bus stations, immigration are border crossings, army barracks and personnel, or any government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Minimum Age

15