UPDATE, 12 October 2021: GH Mega Trek is taking place as planned, with one exception — we are dropping the Four Lakes Hiking module because the Uganda-Rwanda border is unlikely to be open. The new start of the trip is on Lake Burera in Rwanda on 16 December. This turns Kigali into the entry airport for the vast majority of our participants, and we will be there for you to pool vehicles and provide other support. Please be prepared for Rwanda’s Covid measures. No advance payments are expected for now.
Exactly three months from yesterday, our Gorilla Highlands Mega Trek is set to begin at Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda. To celebrate 20 years of Edirisa and 10 years of the Gorilla Highlands idea, it will take a wonderful group of people through Rwanda to the border of DR Congo closing out 2021 with a fabulous never-done-before experience. The beginning of 2022 will then deliver us through Bukavu to Kahuzi-Biega National Park …
This is an update for everyone interested in being part of this extraordinary adventure, prepared in a form of essential questions:
Taking the global pandemic into account, how likely is is that the Mega Trek is actually going to happen?
The modules happening within Rwanda are pretty much guaranteed. As far as the other two countries are concerned, if the trip started tomorrow, we would unfortunately need to cancel Uganda. The reason is the one-week quarantine currently required for anyone entering Rwanda from Uganda. But these regulations change over time, so it’s totally possible that one month from now there will be no problem whatsoever.
In fact, “one month from now” is the deadline we are setting for ourselves. The situation on 12 October 2021 — two months before the start — will be our measuring stick. The conditions on that day will define our final program.
Above is a brand new 9-minute video about Kahuzi-Biega National Park, based on the Live Q&A we had last week. This park is our ultimate goal and the gorilla tracking destination, however, if the Congo segment becomes impossible to do, we will find another way to include gorillas.
What if it becomes clear that GH Mega Trek would be better off postponed?
If that is the case, we will survey every person interested in joining and define a new time in 2022 taking everyone’s preferences into account.
How can I express my interest in joining the Mega Trek, some modules or all?
You should become a member of the Gorilla Highlands Experts’ community if you aren’t yet, then join a fitting group (Hikers, Cyclists or Park Explorers) and leave a message there about the segments you would want to do. These groups are a handy place to meet other Mega Trekkers and share anything.
What are the terms and conditions for final bookings?
We will have those ready on 12 October 2021. At the moment we only need to know how many people are eager to do what module.
Have there been any changes since the detailed program was published?
The first one: we have been able to significantly upgrade our hikers’ overnight on 30 December 2021. Mr Manfred Sett, a descendant of the father of Kigali, Richard Kandt, has kindly accepted to host us at his historical lakeshore compound.
The second one: on 31 December we will end our hiking with an evening Online Picnic — an event open to everyone around the world who won’t be able to be with us physically.
The detailed program has also been improved with a module menu and with fresh links to different attractions along the way.
I am thinking of doing hiking segments but I am not sure about my abilities. Should I give it a try?
You should! That is the whole point of having a support vehicle with us. It’s your backup.
If I want to do cycling, should I pack my bicycle?
Not at all. There are high quality Giant mountain bikes available, together with spare parts and replacements. They are already included in the cycling segment price.
I know that I can’t hike or cycle, but I am not even sure about my physical abilities to do gorilla tracking. What’s your advice?
It would be healthy to go for some walks before you arrive, but do not despair in any case: gorillas are doable by anyone. (You can check our In-Sights for more on the topic.)
If an injury happens during hiking, cycling or gorilla tracking, what can you do for me?
We will sort you out. We will have vehicles available to take you to the nearest health facility. We, of course, recommend you come with a proper insurance policy.
And if I decide to stop in the middle of a segment?
Wherever we are, there are passenger motorcycles, special hire cars, shared/private boats and buses at hand to take you to our final destination, or back to the airport.
The prices are higher than what my pocket can manage … Is there anything for a simple person like me?
We have tried to make this as affordable as possible (we are not doing this to get rich but to prepare a fantastic treat for our people) but the realities of life are such that Rwanda is significantly more expensive than Uganda, and Congo is the most expensive of all … Only once we know how many participants we have, will we be able to add any discounted pricing for the nationals and residents of the three countries.
… Do you have any other questions? Please leave them in the comments, or — even better — in the groups they relate to.
We’re seriously getting ready to ramble!
featured image by Marcus Westberg, other photos by Miha Logar