Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Days

4

Journey Type

Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda – Private Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Volcanoes National Park

Days

4

Journey Type

Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda – Private Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Volcanoes National Park

Overview - Gorilla Trekking

Without exception, those who have been privileged to spend time with gorillas report a near-mythical experience, as if glancing into our ancestral past.  Sharing upwards of 98% of DNA, the link between our species is undeniable.  While they are massively powerful creatures – with males weighing over 400 pounds – they are by nature shy and placid.  Primarily herbivores, they spend much of their day alternating between foraging and rest.  Their social hierarchies are well-structured, with apparent communication and emotion evident to the observer.

In 1988, the heart-wrenching movie, Gorillas in the Mist, brought the plight of a conservationist and her wards – the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda – to the attention of the public.  The protagonist, Dian Fossey, devoted her life to the study of these, man’s second closest genetic relative, in the depths of the Rwandan jungle from 1966 until her untimely death in 1985.

Fossey spent countless hours tracking and habituating a family of gorillas, to the extent that she was able to sit among them – even forming a special bond with the leader, a giant, yet gentle silverback, named Digit.  It is thanks in large part to her pioneering efforts, and the perseverance of her successors, that not only is the population of these iconic primates increasing, but it is now possible for the avid adventurer to walk in her footsteps, and spend time as she did in their regal presence.

To do so, one must visit one of only two locations in neighboring east African countries where gorillas still roam unfettered.  Our carefully designed Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Itinerary offers the discerning, yet adventurous traveler the rare opportunity to visit the tiny, landlocked country of Rwanda, enjoy the warm hospitality of her environmentally conscious people and bask in the undoubtedly sentient gaze of a family of wild Mountain Gorillas.

The itinerary offers you the option of two of Rwanda’s premier lodges, both located close to the Volcanoes National Park where the gorillas live.  Selected for their superior accommodation, attentive and hospitable service, and adherence to the very best environmental practices, you can be assured that your stay will exceed expectations while making a meaningful contribution to the conservation of these primates and their dwindling habitat.

Due to their endangered status, the Rwandan authorities go to great lengths to protect the gorillas from any negative human impacts.  To this end, the highly trained and experienced guides are truly specialists; knowledgeable about all things related to the gorillas and their habitat.  In their care, you will be fully briefed on gorilla etiquette, and their wealth of knowledge will only add to the experience.  

Only a limited amount of permits are issued, to ensure the well-being of the gorillas.  Please note that in keeping with best practices, your time with your allocated gorilla family will be limited, and its duration and level of interactivity cannot be predicted.

The itinerary also allows for time to track and view the jungle’s other primate species, and in the process learn how all life within the forest is interconnected, interdependent, and incredibly fragile.

In all, our Rwanda Gorilla tour offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have an intimate encounter with one of the planet’s most iconic species – all in a pristine setting, while enjoying the very best creature comforts and warm African hospitality.

Highlights

Kigali & Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, Rwanda, you will be met by our representative, ready to chauffeur you to your lodge of choice.

A scenic road transfer carries you deep into the Rwandan countryside, with the mystical Virunga Mountains looming in the distance.  Upon arrival at your destination, you will have some leisure time before dinner.

We have carefully selected two of the country’s most revered wildlife lodges for you to choose from.  Please note, that while you may indicate your preference, your ultimate lodging will be subject to availability at the time of booking.

Aside from the gorillas and other activities in the national park detailed below, both lodges offer various community-centric activities, walks and other opportunities to learn about Rwandan culture and history.

Please note that the terrain and vegetation within the national park require a moderate level of fitness and comfortable walking shoes are essential.

OVERNIGHT OPTION 1:  Bisate Lodge

Bisate Lodge is perched on the slopes of an extinct volcano, overlooking the Virunga mountains and the Volcanoes National Park.  The historical palaces of Rwandan royalty inspired the fascinating design of the lodge structures.  Each of the six forest villas appears to be an elaborate woven pod that is elevated on stilts over the forest floor to minimize the environmental footprint and incorporate local timbers and volcanic rock.

A central structure serves as the social hub, and here you will find an inviting space with views over the jungle and surrounding farmlands.  Here you will find the reception, lounge and bar, and the dining room which overlooks a patio and garden, where one can dine alfresco.

Much of the food served at meal times has been grown on-site in the lodge’s organic vegetable garden.  The emphasis is on meals that are healthy, nutritious and bursting with flavor, with the chef sure to add some local twists to familiar dishes.

The decor of the lodge and accommodation merges first-world comforts with the rich tradition of Rwandan culture and art, while the color palette reflects the emerald and woody hues of the rainforest.

Your forest villa is spaced for privacy and appreciation of the surrounding panorama.  Geometric designs accentuate plush furnishing and the en-suite bathroom features a glorious freestanding tub and spacious shower.  Each villa features a fireplace for those chilly mountain evenings and a large veranda.

OVERNIGHT OPTION 2:  Kwitonda Lodge

Situated in the shadow of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes and surrounded by high-altitude forests, Kwitonda Lodge is situated a short distance from the Volcanoes National Park.  The lodge was named for a legendary silverback (dominant male) gorilla and sits on 178 acres of private land, purchased with the vision of enhancing not only the local wildlife but the lot of the local communities too.

All of the lodge buildings have been crafted using local volcanic rock and artisanal ceramics and bricks, connecting them to the landscape and culture of the regions.  The heart of the lodge features both indoor and outdoor living spaces which create an experiential retreat of opulent lounges, a cozy bar, a dining room with an interactive kitchen, and much more to ensure a home-from-home experience.

The cuisine served is also of the local earth, with the on-site farm supplying all fresh produce to create meals that are nutritiously healthy and tasty.

The lodge features just eight stone chalets, each situated for your privacy and appreciation of the surroundings, enhanced by the veranda and floor-to-ceiling, wood-framed windows.  Each unit has a heated plunge pool.  Within, the curated interiors emphasize handcrafted décor and furnishings and objet d’arts.  No expense has been spared in assuring your comfort, from the fine linens adorning the beds to the abundant amenities, spacious en-suite indoor/outdoor bathrooms, and fireplace.

Bisate Lodge ( Option 1 )

Kwitonda Lodge ( Option 2 )

Volcanoes National Park - Gorilla Trekking

Setting off by sunrise to the headquarters of the Volcanoes National Park, you will be briefed on the do’s and don’ts of your gorilla trekking encounter.  Particular emphasis is made on understanding gorilla behavior, to ensure that you have a memorable and safe experience.  Each group is allocated a particular family and the total duration of the excursion will depend on their whereabouts and behavior.  To minimize the impact on the gorillas, you may spend one hour in their company.

Volcanoes National Park - Golden Monkey Trekking

Today you return to the national park, this time in search of the park’s habituated troops of golden monkeys.  Smaller than gorillas, these nimble creatures are a delight to watch as they forage and socialize in the undergrowth and canopy.  Further information will also be shared about the ecosystem’s fauna and flora.

Kigali Homeward Bound

After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Kigali for your onward travel plans.  At this point, we wish you farewell with an open invitation to return.  Magical Africa Awaits!

PASSPORTS & VISAS – See passport requirements and our recommendations for obtaining necessary visas.  Learn More  >

 

CDC INFORMATION – Familiarize yourself with health and vaccination requirements for your destination, at the Centers for Disease Control’s website.  Visit CDC >

PRE-TRIP PREPARATIONS – Review our QTTs (Quick Travel Tips) to ensure you are prepared for your journey.  Download PDF  >

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION – Download important information about your destination(s), including passport and visa requirements; vaccinations; baggage restrictions; a packing list; and tipping guidelines.  Download PDF  >

  • Half board accommodation in Arusha at a Luxury Hotel / Lodge
  • Full board accommodation at all safari properties
  • Soft drinks, beer, house wine & select spirits at all properties
  • Safari activities including Bean-to-Cup coffee tour, day game drives, guided bush walks, sundowners
  • Park & Conservancy fees
  • Flights in SkySafari executive aircraft
  • AMREF Flying Doctors Membership
  • Laundry and all statutory taxes
  • Airport & airstrip transfers
  • Day Room on Day 10
  • Premium beverages at all properties
  • Additional activities not mentioned in inclusions
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • All statutory increases beyond our control
  • International flights & visa fees
  • Gratuities
  • Spa & massage treatments
  • Exclusive use of vehicle
  •  

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Phone

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Email

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