Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|26 September - 5 October 2022||On Sale|
Please note you are also expected to fundraise a minimum sponsorship target of €2,000, for the Rotary Club Malta, 100% of which will go directly towards the charity's work.
Rotary Club Malta
Join us for the trek of a lifetime through the Virunga Mountains of Uganda, in support of the Rotary Club Malta. We'll venture through jungles, mountains and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see gorillas in the wild.
Together, we'll climb the awesome Mount Sabinyo, with panoramas across three different countries: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo! Then we'll trek through valleys, lush vegetation and meet local communities, with chances to see golden monkeys and elephants.
After a breath-taking boat ride across the volcanic Lake Mutanda in wooden canoes, it's time to go ape!
We enter the protected Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and track the amazing Nkuringo Gorilla Family Group! Encountering these magnificent and sadly, critically endangered, animals in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that few will ever get to experience.
Left with an unforgettable sense of awe, we end our adventure by getting involved with a variety of eco activities for the local community at the Singing Gorilla Project.
Make a difference every step of the way
This trek gives you the chance to support the local communities, animals and threatened natural habitats of Malta through the fantastic work of Rotary Club Malta.
The funds raised from our Gorilla Adventure in Uganda will go towards saving Malta's Natural Habitats. Find out more in our FAQs section.
Giving back to the planet
We're dedicated to practicing responsible tourism and we've designed this amazing itinerary especially to give back to the places we visit, as well as Rotary Club Malta.
We have picked fantastic suppliers local to the area; plus we get involved with local eco work at Singing Gorilla Projects in Nkuringo.
This special charity funds and manages community-based projects that improve the welfare of the local communities and enriches the lives of individuals in Uganda.
Gorilla tracking permit included!
As gorillas are sadly critically endangered, their habitat is carefully protected and trekkers must have a Gorilla Tracking Permit to enter the Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest. We arrange and pay for all our participants' permits (£550 per person), so you don't need to worry about it. It's all included in your challenge costs!
The excitement begins at the airport in London, where we meet as a group for the first time and catch our overnight flight to Rwanda, touching down in Kigali on Day 2.
Our local ground agent greets us upon our arrival and we transfer across the border to the South West of Uganda. This drive will take approx. four to five hours, with a lunch stop at Kisoro Town.
Checking in at our gorgeous first night’s camp at Mount Gahinga in the North of Uganda, we end the day with a welcome dinner.
Our camp sits at the foot of the spectacular Mount Gahinga volcano and makes the perfect place to start our Gorilla Adventure in the Central African Rainforest.
We commence our trek in earnest today! Rising early to breakfast at camp, we hike to the Mount Gahinga National Park offices to meet the park rangers.
Here, the rangers give us an exciting briefing on the challenge ahead. We then climb to the summit of the awesome Mount Sabinyo, the oldest volcano in the Virunga Mountain Range.
Our fantastic route up the slope of the volcano gives us a high chance of spotting golden monkeys, elephants and a variety of birds. Needless to say, our wildlife tracking will keep our minds off the ache in our legs!
For those of you feeling extra adventurous today, there’s also an option to trek to peaks two and three of the mountain.
Upon reaching the third peak, we can look out across three different countries! The summit of Sabinyo marks the intersection of the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda. It holds great religious significance to local tribes and gives us a taste of the local culture.
We catch our breath and take in the awesome panoramas of forest, lakes and volcanoes, before trekking back down to our camp in the National Park. Dinner will dust off our incredible first day’s walk, before a good night’s rest.
After an early morning breakfast at camp, we embark on a safari trek to the beautiful Lake Mutanda.
Again, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for golden monkeys, gorillas and elephants, but we won’t just be seeing wildlife today.
Our local guides will lead us through small and friendly communities, where we can gain insight into the culture and learn about the villagers’ experience of living in Uganda.
We have dinner and rest tonight at an eco camp at the gorgeous Lake Mutanda, nestled in the foothills of the Virunga Mountain Range (1,800m/5,900 ft).
Here, we make the most of the shower facilities and settle for dinner and rest.
Today we take to the boats!
Setting off from our eco-camp after breakfast, we clamber into wooden dug-out open top canoes and launch into this stunning volcanic lake.
Then we just kick back and enjoy the spectacular mountain panoramas, as our qualified guides paddle us across the lake. From our canoes, we can see the Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabinyo and Mount Gahinga.
We bank at Chameleon Hill and trek through a valley, lush with vegetation. We follow a number of river tributaries, before climbing into the hills on paths and tracks that link small villages and farmsteads.
On our way through this dense forest, we can look out for a wide variety of birds. Our trail leads us to a road junction at Rubuguri and we transfer to our camp in Nkuringo.
Tonight’s accommodation is a mix of camping and resting in a homestay, which gives us yet more fantastic insight into the local lifestyle.
The next few days are a real highlight – as if every day isn’t awesome! Splitting into three groups, we spend one of the days tracking gorillas in the Impenetrable National Park and the other two taking part in optional eco-activities at the Singing Gorilla Project.
Trekking in smaller groups will mean we won’t disturb the gorillas and will give us the highest chance of getting a fab view.
We venture into the dense forest and track the amazing Nkuringo Gorilla Family Group. Depending on where the gorilla family is, we’ll hike approx. 8km to 18km, following trails through the beautiful vegetation.
As we hike, we’re in for some exquisite scenery. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the most diverse habitats on Earth and home to 120 species of mammals, two hundred varieties of tree and more than fifty different reptiles. The mist that curls around the trees towering over us makes the trek positively magical.
That’s not even to mention the once-in-a-lifetime experience of encountering these sadly endangered apes in their natural habitat. With luck, we may get to see a silverback male, which can weigh as much as 450lb!
Singing Gorilla Projects
On the days you aren’t trekking, you have the chance to take part in optional eco activities at the Singing Gorilla Projects. This special local charity funds and manages community-based projects that improve the welfare of the local communities and enriches the lives of individuals.
Projects include the Empower Her project, installing water tanks and bio toilets, helping out at the local schools, the health centre or music school.
You may also take part in an optional approx. 16km walk to the beautiful Bicocora waterfall, with an elevation gain of around 500m.
We’ll spend these three nights staying at lodges or a homestay in the Nkuringo area, with extraordinary vistas across the mountain range.
On our final night here (Day 8), we’ll celebrate our gorilla adventure with a delicious dinner.
After this dream of a challenge, we’re homeward bound and transfer (approx. four hours) to Kigali airport.
From here, we catch our overnight flight and touch back down in the UK on Day 10. This is where we part ways and you make your own way home.
Pay your registration fee and challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
As we hope you know, the health and safety of our participants is always - and has always been - our highest priority.
Our team of experts here at Dream Challenges has created a brilliant 14-step initiative, to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety. Please click here to see our ground-breaking plan and rest assured that you're safe booking with us.
A challenge must meet the following criteria to go ahead:
The Rotary Club Malta Gorilla Trek 2022 is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. Several the people who will take part in this trek will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.
This challenge in one of the world's most amazing places is the perfect motivation to get fit and make a big impact for communities, animals and the environment in Malta and around the world, through the work of Rotary Club Malta.
We do strongly recommend you train for the trek and we'll send you a fantastic training plan once you sign up. This training plan builds up as time goes on, so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we jet to Uganda!
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Rotary Club Malta Gorilla Trek 2022.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Your registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £2,250 cover:
*The Gorilla Permit (approx. £550) is included in the challenge cost of £2,250.
*If you live in Malta, please note that flights from Malta to London at the start of the challenge and return to Malta at the end of the challenge, are not included in the package.
The funds you raise and/or donate on this special charity challenge will all go towards saving Malta’s natural habitats.
The population in Malta is growing, so does the space it takes up and it depends on the destruction of natural habitats to live. The growth of invasive nonindigenous plants, the trampling and the dumping of waste and rubble, are pushing natural habitats to the brink of their existence.
Your funds will help Rotary Club Malta to restore these habitats before it is too late. This is a massive project with extensive field surveys and assessments. Permits are obtained from ERA, the site has to be cleaned of the damaging rubble, plastic, glass and invasive alien species that threaten it.
Finally, there is the planting and reseeding of indigenous plants and then monitoring their growth for months, until the threatened species can thrive.
A successful project has just been completed to restore part of the Belveder at Wied Babu in Malta.
Rotary Club Malta (RCM), founded in 1967, has been involved in numerous charitable projects both in Malta and overseas.
The Club helped set up one of Malta’s leading respite homes, Dar il-Kaptan, in 1991, and has supported it ever since, to offer residential and day care to over 200 people with disabilities. At Dar il-Kaptan, RCM has funded renovation work, built a major extension, bought a minibus for residents to get around the island and helped with their landscape gardening, as well as funding solar water heaters.
Rotary Club Malta have also raised funds to build a workshop for the San Blass Rehabilitation Centre for Drug Addicts, equipped a children’s ambulance for Red Cross Malta, supported a boys’ orphanage in South India and funded the building of two schools in Uganda, supported by Kids of Africa.
During the first months of the pandemic, RCM provided several local NGOs with financial assistance, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, Inspire, Hospice, Dar tal-Providenza and the Richmond Foundation. More recently, RCM bought vital surgical operating equipment for the Happy Paws Clinic in Marsa, which will help save the lives of hundreds of stray dogs, cats and other animals.
The current flagship project is to support the fantastic new Palliative Centre, which Hospice is building. RCM and its sister club Rotary Club La Valette have secured a Rotary International Global Grant and are equipping several bedrooms for the Centre.
No the cost of the Gorilla Tracking Permit (approx. £550) is included in the challenge cost of £2,250.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and challenge costs (£2,250), you will need to budget for your:
Please note: for this special charity challenge, you are also required to fundraise €2,000 or more for Rotary Club Malta, 100% of which will go directly to their invaluable work.
*If you live in Malta, please note: flights from Malta to London at the start of the challenge and return to Malta at the end of the challenge, are not included in the package.
We'll camp in comfortable tents (all equipment provided, except for your own sleeping bag) throughout the challenge on a twin sharing basis, with two nights at a wonderful local guest house, where we will be split between camping and staying in the house.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.
We're delighted to have found a fantastic travel insurance policy, which covers you for this type of activity and also for cancellation due to medically diagnosed COVID-19. You can see an example of the insurance policy here and we will send you more details once you have registered for the challenge.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
You can however take out your own insurance providing it covers you for a charity trek in Uganda.
You will need to arrange your own tourist visa. As we pass through Rwanda on the way to/from Uganda, you will need to apply for an Eastern African Visa (currently $100 for UK citizens), which will allow you into both countries.
We'll send all participants details on how to do this well ahead of our departure date.
You will need a pair of walking boots and you'll need to bring your own two to three-season sleeping bag. We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the event well before your departure date.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome challenge.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the trek itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the trek. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.
During the trek, we'll have at least one UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying the group throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced, outdoor-remote-first-aid-trained challenge guides and porters.
The group size is likely to be around 25 people.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Uganda, simply get in touch and we can find flight options for you.
Please let us know if you decide to do this at least 14 weeks before our departure date by emailing us at email@example.com.
Your main luggage will be transported by vehicle and porters to each camp, so you will only need to carry a small day pack, containing essential accessories and equipment.