RWANDA GORILLA TREKKING
Meals included: B,L,D
1 Night Kigali 3 Nights Parc National des Volcans
Enjoy gracious Rwandan hospitality and sweeping views at your lovely ecolodge.
Visit the kingdom of mountain gorillas! This spectacular national park is the proud home of roughly half the world’s gorilla population, proving why gorilla safaris in Rwanda are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Learn about and see these rock stars of the forest in their natural habitat, explore the traditions and culture of the local people. This trip is the perfect addition to Rwanda and Uganda safaris.
Explore the rich green rainforest environment of Parc National des Volcans.
Discover the site of Dian Fossey’s primate research when you hike to the remains of her Karisoke Research Center.
Experience and observe a magnificent mountain gorilla group as they interact and forage in the forest.
Fly to Kigali, Rwanda
Upon arrival in Kigali, Rwanda this evening, you’ll be picked by your hotel representative as confirmed on your pre-flight passenger locater before boarding and be escorted you to your hotel—a transfer of about 30 minutes.When you arrive at the hotel, you will check in and receive your room assignment. Depending on what hotel we stay at, we’ll likely be located in Kigali’s business district, just steps away from Kigali City Tower in the center of the city. Typical hotel amenities include a restaurant, bar, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center; rooms are likely to feature air conditioning, satellite TV, wireless Internet, and private bath with hair dryer." (D)
Explore Kigali • Visit Genocide Memorial • Transfer to Ruhengeri
At about 10am, we’ll depart your hotel for a day of discoveries in the gleaming Rwandan capital of Kigali. Nestled along picturesque hilltops and pulsing with African charm, Kigali is not only situated in Rwanda’s geographical center, but was also at the center of the horrific events of 1994, when close to a million ethnic Tutsis (and moderate Hutus) were systematically murdered by their Hutu neighbors over the course of 100 unspeakably brutal days. President Paul Kagame is largely credited with Rwanda’s remarkable transformation from a genocidal battlefield into a thriving, peaceful nation once more.
To learn more about Rwanda’s tragic past, we’ll begin our day at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which was conceived both as a tribute to the victims of the Rwandan genocide and to ensure that this history is never repeated. Built over a mass burial ground for a quarter million victims, this moving memorial features various exhibit halls that trace the events of the 100-day genocide, reveal the colonial history of Rwanda and factors leading up to the slaughter, and highlight other instances of 20th-century genocides around the world that speak to mankind’s capacity for cruelty.. Around 12:30pm, at a local restaurant featuring regional specialties. Later We’ll Depart for a 2 hours’ drive to Ruhengeri area the second largest town in Rwanda, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains – The Virungas. Arrive at your hotel ad check in. Take a walk around the local market for sightseeing. The remainder of the afternoon is free to relax in your room, use the hotel’s facilities, or explore the grounds.
Gorilla Trekking at Parc National des Volcans
Activity Note: Today’s mountain gorilla trek typically involves two to four hours of walking through thick brush over steep, rugged terrain at elevations ranging from 7,000 to 9,000 feet—and can include exposure to stinging nettles and fire ants. As overexposure to humans is harmful to mountain gorillas, contact is limited to one hour—and there is the possibility that they may become agitated and retreat back into the bush in less than our allotted time. Any travelers showing signs of obvious illness may be refused entrance by park authorities..
At about 7:00am, we take a drive of about 30 minutes to the National Park headquarters at to meet your guides for the day. After completing our park formalities, we are embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breath-taking experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 1000 living today. You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to 3 hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. It is important to bring good hiking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. Depending on the length of our trek, groups will return to our lodge by about 1pm.
The remainder of the afternoon is free to reflect on our mountain gorilla encounter. (BLD)
Optional Activities at Parc National des Volcans
Go on a second trek (pre-purchase of the gorilla permit is required at the time of booking) or choose from a variety of optional excursions on offer from the lodge. Stroll through the forest to spot the lively golden monkeys. Trek in the footsteps of the late activist Dian Fossey on a full-day hike to visit her gravesite and the remains of her Karisoke Research Center. Visit Lake Kivu, take a guided walk to Lake Bulera or visit the Imbabazi Orphanage and have tea or lunch with the staff and volunteers. (BLD)
Parc National des Volcans / Depart
Travel back to Kigali. Enjoy lunch, and then transfer to the airport for your onward arrangements. (BL)