Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|29 September - 8 October 2021||On Sale|
Trek through the rainforests of the Virunga Mountain Range and encounter endangered species on this once-in-a-lifetime gorilla tracking adventure.
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 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 venture into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to 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.
Giving back to the planet
We're dedicated to practising responsible tourism and we've designed this amazing itinerary especially to give back to the places we visit.
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 and would make the perfect charity to support on your trek.
Worried about fundraising? Don't be...
The Gorilla Adventure in Uganda 2021 is an Open Challenge, which means you choose how you fund your adventure.
You can self fund and pay the challenge costs yourself without the pressure of a minimum sponsorship target; or you can choose sponsorship and commit to raising a minimum amount for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.
Why not raise funds for the Singing Gorilla Projects? It would make the perfect charity to support on your trek.
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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 your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
With even the government unsure how exactly the coronavirus situation will eventuate, we can't make any guarantees; but we can promise you that we will always put your health and security first and will always be just and flexible in any decisions we have to make, regarding postponements and transfers.
If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travel to Uganda and/or Rwanda in 2021, the tour will either be postponed until a safer time or cancelled.
In this situation, we will email all participants registered for the challenge with options you can take, such as transferring to the postponed date or another challenge.
All tour operators and holiday insurance providers, including us, take our guidance from Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice. Dream Challenges is also proud to be a part of AITO, ATOL and ABTOT, which means our participants have extra protection from these organisations.
The Gorilla Adventure in Uganda 2021 is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this trek will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.
This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, while exploring one of the world's most amazing places and making a big impact for a cause that means a lot to you.
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 The Gorilla Adventure in Uganda 2021.
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 £299 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £2,100 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
*The Gorilla Permit (approx. £550) is included in the challenge cost of £2,100.
No the cost of the Gorilla Tracking Permit (approx. £550) is included in the challenge cost of £2,100.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£299) and either paying your challenge costs or raising the minimum sponsorship target, you'll need to budget for your:
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. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy, which we will send you details of.
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 of course 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 two qualified doctors accompanying the group from the get go and at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced challenge guides and porters.
Your main luggage will be transported by vehicle to each camp, so you will only need to carry a small day pack, containing essential accessories and equipment.
We’ll have an event leader, plus two event doctors (one local and one from the UK), who will be with you the whole time.
The maximum group size for this challenge is 24 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.