The Great Gorilla Project

Come face-to-face with the enchanting gorillas of Southern Uganda

From £2,995.00

  • Up to 6 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 13 Nights
  • Gorillas
  • Set dates - enquire for details
  • Minimum Age 18

Project Details

Activities

Volunteers on this project will engage in a wide variety of activities as part of the project, involving themselves with the local community and supporting areas of mountain gorilla conservation in and around the national parks. They also take part in two breath-taking treks to see the beautiful endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla Trekking
Take part in 2 gorilla treks to see two separate families of the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Treks can last anything from 45 minutes to several hours, once the gorillas are reached you will get to spend a whole hour watching the family group feed and socialise with each other. Each family differs in size and personality, and you will get to see how the two families differ.
Chimpanzee trekking
Chimpanzee trekking
Take part in a chimpanzee trek in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Into the forest we go to search for the chimpanzees up in the trees. There is nothing quite like hearing that chimp call for the first time.
Education
Education
Assist in a pedal-powered film session to educate remote schools and communities about the importance of the gorilla’s conservation. The pedal-powered cinema will be showing a combination of short and long gorilla conservation films which truly captivate the children and prompt them to ask more and more questions about the gorillas that are right on their door step but who they have never seen before.
National Park Visits
National Park Visits
Take a trip to Mgahinga National Park with some of the local schoolchildren to educate them about the fauna and flora. Volunteers will be joined by 6 children from the only special needs school in the district. Children get to see the park first hand and find out more about the animals and plants. It is also a chance to spoil them with a hearty packed lunch.
Reforestation
Reforestation
Assist in tree-planting and reforestation work with the local community. This is primarily for education purposes so the children learn more about the issues surrounding deforestation, and some of the seedling planted can also provide the community with materials they can use for handicrafts.
Gorilla Organisation
Gorilla Organisation
Spend the day visiting a few of Gorilla Organisations’ community projects. These grassroots projects consist of various things such as reformed poachers learning agriculture, organic agriculture, bee keeping for farmers with small plots of land and a visit to a local Batwa community that have been taught agricultural skills so they can provide for themselves. All these projects have been developed to help the communities that were displaced when the national parks were established.
Boat Trip
Boat Trip
Spend an afternoon aboard a boat on the Kazinga channel to spot large pods of hippos, incredible birdlife and occasional elephants and lions coming to drink. You will spend 2 hours out on the water, with your camera in hand, taking some of the most incredible wildlife pictures. This is a definite must for bird enthusiasts.
Game Drives
Game Drives
Join game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park in search of various species of African wildlife. The Park offers some incredible opportunities for elephant views, lion viewing, and even the occasional leopard and hyena have been spotted on this tour.

Itinerary

Please note itineraries are subject to change and what follows is simply a rough guideline. However, all two week projects will include two gorilla tours, one chimpanzee trek and work with the local communities.

Day 1:
Arrival at Kigali International Airport. Transfer to guesthouse and meet fellow volunteers.
Day 2:
Cross the border of Rwanda and into Uganda during a transfer to Kisoro, transfer time around 3 hours.
Day 3:
The first of two gorilla tours in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest led by local park guides who will impart their local knowledge and wisdom about endangered mountain gorillas.
Day 4:
Spend the day with 'Gorilla Organization', where you will visit the local schools and help to teach the kids about the importance of mountain gorilla conservation.
Day 5:
Trek through Mgahinga National Park with the children of the local school.
Day 6:
Today will be spent with the charity, Gorilla Organization, visiting multiple grass roots programmes.
Day 7:
Second gorilla tour at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Experience the different behaviours of the endangered mountain gorilla groups.
Day 8-10:
Partake in projects including education of school children and reforestation work, assigned on a rotational basis.
Day 11:
Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 12:
Start with an game-drive, in search of various African wildlife. Spend the afternoon aboard a boat on the Kazinga channel to spot hippos and occasional elephants and lions coming to drink.
Day 13:
Today will be a chimpanzee trek, this is a very different experience to your previous gorilla treks.
Day 14:
Transfer back to Kigali. Transfer to airport for return flight or continue with independent travel plans. Please book evening flights for your departure.

Availability & Price

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*Rates other than GBP are estimates based on today's exchange rates. All payments are made in GBP.

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Updates & Outcomes

The success of this tour, founded in 2011, was recognised and celebrated by leading travel experts, and was voted as one of the most innovative eco-travel initiatives in the Guardian's Green Travel List 2011. This is the most responsible and sustainable manner in which to view endangered mountain gorillas in the wild, as the programmes that this project supports have truly remarkable positive impacts on local communities.

One of the most remarkable of these is the Kisoro Demonstration School for blind and deaf children, which this project supports financially. This school provides a safe learning environment for blind and deaf children in the area, who may not otherwise have access to an effective education. We are thrilled to be able to support these children on a year by year basis, and seeing their progress each time volunteers visit is a real thrill and a privilege.

Volunteers in Uganda are essential in all the work and success of this project, as their enthusiasm and passion helps to empower the local people with knowledge and strategies. Both the initiatives the project supports and the interaction of the volunteers helps greatly to bridge the gap between local communities and the endangered mountain gorillas that inhabit the same land.

Gorillas in Uganda

Gorillas in Uganda

It's that time of year again – our lovely project developer Harriet has returned from her three month stint in the lush forests of Uganda - leading volunteers to see the mountain gorillas!

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Updates from Uganda's 'Great Gorilla Project'

Updates from Uganda's 'Great Gorilla Project'

"The project works towards both the conservation of Mountain Gorillas as well as contributing to schools within the local communities. In the past, the project has been voted as one of the most innovative eco-travel and sustainable initiatives in leading newspaper The Guardian's 'Green Travel List'."

Read More
Sponsorship News

Sponsorship News

Here at The Great Projects, we pride ourselves on being a company that leads the way in wildlife conservation throughout every aspect of volunteering. A key aspect of every volunteer project we offer is the donation…

Read More

Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

Accommodation

On arrival, volunteers will be transferred to a beautiful guesthouse in Kigali, close to the airport with ensuite bathrooms. The rooms are twin-share.

The accommodation provided at the project base is more basic, but still includes rooms with mosquito-nets, an ensuite bathroom and based on twin-sharing. This guesthouse boasts a stunning view of the volcanoes on a clear day.

In Queen Elizabeth National Park volunteers stay in a hostel right in the middle of the park’s wildlife in shared rooms with shared shower and toilet facilities. This accommodation offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities that you will have whilst in the National Park. Elephants and hippos are known to make frequent visits.

Meals and Beverages

Meals and Beverages

3 meals are provided a day, volunteers have a full menu to choose from daily. Beverages (including alcoholic) are also available at the guesthouse but are not included in the cost.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

This project does not involve much in the way of physical labour, but is heavily based around trekking on the gorilla tours - usually in fairly humid conditions. Therefore, all volunteers should have high enough levels of fitness to be able to partake in regular treks. No specific skills or experience are required, just commitment to the project and its aims. You must be prepared to work alongside other members of the team, and to bring an upbeat, positive attitude to the endeavour as a whole.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

The vaccinations required will depend on the medical history of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would also recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website.

Project Details

Getting There

Volunteers will need to arrive at Kigali International Airport on the start date of their project preferably between 8am and 5pm, where they will be met by a project representative and transferred to the guesthouse.

On the final day of the project volunteers are transferred back to Kigali where they can depart Kigali International Airport on flights with a departure time of 9pm or later.

If you would like help booking your flights please feel free to contact our flight partners via our flights page.

Visa Requirements

Both a Rwandan and Ugandan Visa are required for this trip, and both can be bought in country depending on your Nationality, so it is best to explore this first. As you will be in Rwanda at the beginning and end of your trip, it is worth having a multiple entry Rwandan Visa, your Ugandan Visa can be single entry. In order to avoid time spent at the border or perhaps issues on arrival, it is also very easy to purchase your visa in advance, which can be obtained from Ugandan high commissions or embassies prior to departure. More details can be found in the pre-departure information given after booking.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency in Uganda is the Ugandan Shilling. 1 UGX is approximately 0.0002 GPB, 0.0003 EUR and 0.0004 USD. For up-to-date exchange rates please check xe.com. You can only purchase shillings in Uganda so volunteers should bring out their cash in US dollars which are accepted in all hotels and the popular tourism areas in both Rwanda and Uganda, and are easy to change into shillings upon arrival.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • Two gorilla-tracking permits and one chimpanzee-tracking permit
  • A monetary contribution to the two charities involved in the project.
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated
What's not included?
  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
  • Visas if required
  • Use of internet and telephone
  • All beverages
  • Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary

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Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Sales Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
Heron House,
Ferry Lane, London, N17 9NF
United Kingdom

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987
E: info@thegreatprojects.com

Australian Sales Office
T: +61(0) 755020457
E: rebecca@thegreatprojects.com