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Rwanda Gorilla Trek

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Experience unparalleled wildlife encounters on this epic 5 day adventure in Rwanda. Trek through exotic forests tracking Golden Monkeys and spending precious time with a Gorilla family. These encounters will leave you with memories that last a lifetime!
Africa
Nature
Walking / Hiking
Active Level - Active
Independent Holiday Packages

Highlights

Visiting the tomb of world-famous Dian Fossey

Volcanoes National Park for the Gorilla Trek

Golden Monkey Trek

1 day of Freedom of Choice activities

Before stepping into the jungle to meet the rare Mountain Gorillas, enjoy a Kigali city tour featuring the trading centre, ministry area and the UN Memorial. Take a moment to appreciate the grim history of Rwanda at the Kigali Genocide Museum.

Leave the city behind as you journey to the UNESCO listed Volcanoes National Park forest.  

Set off on the experience of a lifetime spending unforgettable moments with a group of rare mountain gorillas on a gorilla trek. An experienced ranger will guide you through the forest hike to locate one of the eight habituated Gorilla groups in Rwanda. In an intimate setting (no more than 8 people) become immersed in one of the most amazing wildlife experiences, watching the gorillas feed, rest and play. The mighty silverback will control the meeting whilst the females care for their young. The opportunity of spending an hour with this family group is an experience that will never leave you.

Enjoy another amazing wildlife encounter with a trek through the national Park to meet the “Golden Monkeys”, a rare species of old-world monkey now found only in the Virunga mountain range. These adorable primates live in social groups of up to 90, usually led by one adult male. Spend an hour watching these playful monkeys frolic amongst the trees.

In your spare time you may choose to learn about local culture by visiting the Iby’lwacu Cultural Village, take in the impressive landscape on a tour around the Twin Lakes, or learn more about the extraordinary Mountain Gorillas with a visit to the Dian Fossey Museum.

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Included

2 nights at The Retreat by Heaven Kigali - 5*
2 nights at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge Volcanoes NP - 5*
All transfers included
8 Meals included - 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners (all inclusive local alcoholic drinks included on 2 nights)
1x Gorilla trek permit per person in Volcanoes Park
1x Golden Monkey trek per person in Volcanoes Park
Half day Kigali City Tour
Freedom of Choice Days

Freedom of Choice

For this package we have included Freedom of Choice days in the itinerary. Our per person price includes one tour on each Freedom of Choice day.

Pre-select one tour on the following days:

  • One "Freedom of Choice" tour on day 3 

Expand the itinerary below for more details.

Itinerary

Expand Collapse  all days
Day 1
Airport → Kigali

On arrival at Kigali Airport, you will clear customs and collect your baggage.  Our local representative will be waiting to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel.   

Overnight stay in Kagali at The Retreat by Heaven in a Deluxe King Room. 

Airport → Kigali
The Retreat by Heaven
Day 2
Kigali → Volcanoes National Park

After breakfast your guide will take on a Kigali city tour. The tour will include the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, the trading centre, the ministry area, and the UN memorial (where the ten blue helmets were killed at the onset of the genocide).

The exhibition in the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre tells the history of Rwanda leading up to genocide in 1994 and catalogues the details of the genocide using photographs, video, written accounts and a range of artifacts. It includes personal testimonies and a moving memorial to the children of the Rwandan genocide. The exhibition also has a section called “wasted lives”, which reflects on the holocausts and genocides in Armenia, South-West Africa, Bosnia and Cambodia. The Kigali Memorial Centre has gained a word-wide reputation for the powerful exhibition and its work in promoting peace; take your time to absorb its important message.

After the tour, you continue north through some beautiful terraced hills which are characterised with huge landscape and sometimes as many as five peaks (Volcanoes) are visible. The Volcanoes National Park joins Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Congo to form a large Trans frontier park in which around 380 of the 730 or so remaining mountain gorillas in the world reside. The rest of the remaining mountain gorillas are found in The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda.

The 13,000 hectare Volcanoes National Park Forest that covers these peaks is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is here where the mountain gorillas reside. The oldest of these Volcanoes, Sabyinyo rises 3640 metres towering directly over the town Musanze. The volcanoes on the Rwanda side are extinct with their craters now filled with lakes, however nearby volcanoes in the Congo also in this chain of volcanoes have been the site of recent eruptions and lava flows.

Upon arrival to your lodge you will check in and the remainder of your day at leisure enjoying the beautiful nature of the surroundings of the Lodge.

Overnight stay in Volcanoes National Park at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in a Cottage. 

All inclusive local alcoholic drinks included (excluding Spirits) 

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kigali → Volcanoes National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Day 3
Volcanoes National Park

Wake up for an early morning breakfast and around 6:30 am you will head to the Kinigi park Head quarter.

Today, your gorilla trek is sure to be the highlight of your tour. On arrival at the Kinigi ranger station you are allocated guides and briefed before heading into the forest. We will track one of the eight habituated Gorilla groups in Rwanda. Move in a company of experienced ranger guides through the forest while searching for mountain gorillas. Only eight people can track each habituated group. Time taken while searching for these great apes ranges between 2 to 6 hours, depending on the movement of the gorilla groups as their territory can range up to 40km. The park rangers and guides will clear the way and assist you through the forest. Once the gorilla group is located you will spend an hour with them as they feed, rest and play.

Sitting with the mountain gorilla is one of the most amazing wildlife experiences you will ever have. A dominant male silverback can weigh over 200 kilos and is the largest living primate. He will control our meeting as well as deciding when his group will eat, sleep and move on. His females care for their young with affection and playfulness but also with discipline. They are very curious, and can make over 25 different vocalizations, including chuckling and purring. Communication also includes posturing, chest beating and if all else fails - the charge! The privilege of spending an hour with this family group is an experience that will never leave you. After your hour is up, you wind your way slowly out of the forest and back to the camp to swap stories about your amazing experience.

For the gorilla trek please bring walking boots, or waterproof trainers and socks. You need to wear long pants whilst walking in the bush due to stinging nettles. Layers are best, as conditions in the tropical rainforest can range from hot to wet and cold in an instant. Start with a long sleeved t-shirt and long pants thick socks and boots, add a fleece and rainproof jacket and you should be right for all conditions. Volcanoes National Park where the gorillas reside is a high altitude rainforest so it's best to come prepared for all conditions.

Enjoy your pre-selected tour from our Freedom of Choice options while at the volcanoes:

  • Visit Iby’iwacu Cultural Village Iby’Iwacu (literally means, treasures of our home, our heritage) is the village of former poachers to the mountain gorillas who abandoned poaching and decided on a new local life and help in the conservation of the nature. At this village you will learn much about the ancient Rwandan Kingdoms, the way they used the target of arrows when hunting, the traditional doctor and his medicine, their traditional dances that are more interesting and meaningful and so many others. Here you will meet different Local people, have a chance to interact with them, and follow up their testimonies on how they used to hunt animals.

OR

  • Tour around the Twin Lakes (Burera & Ruhondo) These are beautiful lakes located at the base of volcano Muhabura and close to the border with Uganda. They are surrounded by steep hills with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains. Discover the impressive landscape at the twin lakes Burera and Ruhondo! The two lakes had once been united, until a lava eruption of Mt. Sabinyo divided them in the middle. This trip offers you a short walk through the “Land of a thousand hills” and will always be accompanied by beautiful views of the surrounding area, the locals and beautiful smiles and waves of the locals. Visit the Woman Association of local handmade craft and weaving, their homes and learn about their daily living and the agricultural practice.

OR

  • Visit the Dian Fossey Museum This is located in the town of Musanze and it has been dedicated to the Karisoke research centre in memory of the Dian Fossey work with the Mountain Gorillas. This high-quality research centre features an exhibit that comprises interpretive panels about mountain gorillas and the conservation efforts that Dian Fossey pioneered. It also shelters Dian Fossey artefacts, a 3D interactive model of the Virunga mountains and casts of real gorilla noseprints. Overall it makes a perfect combination with a visit to the gorillas. After the Gorilla trekking, you will return to your lodge refresh a bit and the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Overnight stay in Volcanoes National Park at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in a Cottage. 

All inclusive local alcoholic drinks included (excluding Spirits) 

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Volcanoes National Park
Kinigi park
Day 4
Volcanoes National Park → Kigali

After an early morning breakfast at around 7am, you will report again to the park headquarters for another experience with different endangered species in the volcanoes “the Golden Monkeys”.  It is normally an easy trek which can take between 1 – 2 hours.

The Golden Monkeys are a rare species of old world monkey now found only in the Virunga mountain range.  These monkeys are on the endangered red list.  They live in social groups of up to 90 individuals usually led by one adult male. There are two habituated groups of Golden Monkey, one of the groups, which we will visit, comprises of around 80 – 100 members and has its home at the foot of Mt Sabyinyo.  As with treks to see the Mountain Gorillas, treks to see the Golden Monkeys take place in the mornings and visitors are permitted to stay for 1 hour with the monkeys.

After the Golden Monkey Trek you will return to your lodge, freshen up and transfer back to Kigali. Drop off at your hotel.

Overnight stay in Kigali at The Retreat by Heaven in a Deluxe King Room. 

Breakfast
Volcanoes National Park → Kigali
Virunga
Day 5
Kigali → Airport

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Kigali Airport in time to check-in for your  home bound flight.

Breakfast
2021 Packages - Book Now
2021 Packages - Book Now
4 nights
from AUD10,145
per person, twin share
Africa
Kigali International Airport
Kigali International Airport
Nature, Walking / Hiking
Active Level - Active, Independent Holiday Packages
05 January 2021 - 15 December 2021

Hotel options

The Retreat by Heaven
The Retreat by Heaven

Kigali
Located on a tree-lined street steps from Kigali City Center, The Retreat features solar electricity, organic toiletries, locally-crafted furniture from a Tanzanian sustainable teak farm, outdoor showers, private terraces, a yoga and meditation room, spa, large heated saltwater swimming pool with jacuzzi and diving rocks, and an open-air fitness center. 

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Volcanoes National Park The lodge is only minutes away from the headquarters of the Parc National des Volcans from where clients trek on foot to see the magnificent Mountain Gorilla – perhaps one of the most dramatic, thrilling and poignant wildlife experiences possible. Accommodation at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge comprises six double cottages, two suites and one family suite. All are stone buildings with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs, and feature large sitting areas, fireplaces, stylish en-suite bathrooms.

Important notes

We work with a selection of hotels in each location. All bookings are subject to availability, which means our team will confirm your specific hotels upon confirmation and payment of deposit. The package price is based on 5-star accommodation.

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