Gorillas, Chimps, and a Big Game Safari

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 3+, Moderate. During game drives in our 4WD vehicles, we guarantee window seating for all—there’s no taking turns on who gets the window seats. We use five- or seven-passenger safari vehicles (never minibuses!), and all vehicles have roof hatches for easy wildlife viewing and photography. A cooler of drinks and refreshments is carried aboard. And our 4WD vehicles can go virtually anywhere, an important feature when we’re tracking game. Please note there are some long driving days over rough roads and dusty dirt tracks.

The hikes to see the mountain gorillas can last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, which includes one hour spent with the gorillas, over terrain that can be steep, thickly forested, and/or slippery. Altitudes for the gorilla tracking portions of the trip range from approximately 3,900 feet to approximately 7,500 feet. You will be hiking through dense, thorny bush covering up to four miles or more in distance. You may be hiking in all types of weather; rain can occur in these mountains at a moment’s notice. The climate is hot and humid. Gorilla tracking is a strenuous activity and it is important to be in good physical condition. We will often hike uphill to follow the clans, but will take breaks along the way. The shape you’re in will be an important factor in your enjoyment of and ability to partake in these hikes. Make an effort to get in good physical condition with hiking, biking, running, or other kinds of exercise beyond your normal routine. Start getting in shape months before your departure. A brisk 30-45 minute walk every other day over moderately steep terrain can do wonders for your conditioning.

The hikes to see the chimpanzees take an average of 2.5 hours, though they can last up to 4 hours when chimps are on the move in search of food. We will hike on marked trails for at least part of the treks. However, as with the mountain gorillas, we will follow the chimps’ movements, prompting us to sometimes go off-trail based on their wanderings. Altitudes during this portion of the trip range from  approximately 3,900 feet to approximately 4,600 feet. Conditions can be boggy and since we are in a tropical rainforest, it can rain at any time.

Any African safari is an adventure, and the traveler to Africa should bring along flexibility, a sense of humor, and an openness to the unexpected.

Our accommodations will be in comfortable hotels, safari lodges, and tented camps with spacious tents equipped with en suite facilities.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.