A Lightning Gorilla Trekking Experience – Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans - Awesome Experiences

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A Lightning Gorilla Trekking Experience – Rwanda’s Parc National des VolcansRwanda

From £2,575 per person for 3 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
Track rare mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, on an incredible three-night adventure. Short breaks don’t come more exciting.

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Wonders of Wildlife
Summary

Rwanda

This 3-night trip to the mountains of Rwanda will take you to a land where five towering volcanoes mark the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These volcanoes, called the Virungas, are famously fantastic places to seek out endangered mountain gorillas. Spending time with mankind’s close relatives is Rwanda’s major draw, and with only 80 gorilla trekking permits issued per day, this experience offers truly privileged access. Mix astonishing up close encounters with these incredible animals with spectacular scenery and fantastic lodges and you have one of the world's most exciting wildlife encounters.    

AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE: 

  • Get up close to Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat
  • Search out rare Golden Monkeys as you trek through the rainforest
  • Overnight in the incredible surrounds of the Volcanoes National Park, home to five of the volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains

RWANDA SUMMARY

Short break destinations don’t come more exciting than the dense jungle of Volcanoes National Park: Book our whistlestop adventure and you’ll traverse the incredible landscape as you track gorillas through bamboo forests and seek out golden monkeys, meeting baboons and vervet monkeys along the way. 

Upon arrival in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, you’ll delve into the country’s recent chequered history at the Genocide Memorial uncovering tales of both tragedy and extraordinary bravery, before driving the few hours’ north to the Virungas ready for two days of trekking on its jungle-clad paths. After a night to settle in, your first foray into the rainforest involves a once-in-a-lifetime trek towards the Silverbacks, with plenty of time to observe their behaviour and movements. On the second day, you'll hike through jungle trails in search of the rare golden monkey – only around 80 of these tiny endangered primates remain in the sanctuary. It was here in these bamboo forests that Dian Fossey carried out her pioneering research into primate behaviour and left her legacy. You’ll have the chance to head further into the wild and visit the Karisoke Research Centre, where Dian is buried alongside Digit, her favourite gorilla. 


Please click the Full Itinerary tab for the full daily itinerary, details of what's included and information about children and solo travellers.

All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £500 per person and take approximately 13 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

Experience start point: Kigali (KGL). Arrive by 1pm.

End point: Kigali (KGL).

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

Rwanda

Day One: Into the Mountains

After touch down in Kigali, you’ll be whisked straight towards your adventure in the Volcanoes National Park, home to the endangered Mountain Gorilla and once the base for the zoologist Dian Fossey, featured in the movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, who lived between the five volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains in order to study these incredible creatures. There’s time for a stop-off at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, an essential reminder of the atrocities that happened here 20 years ago - but also of the selfless heroism of some Rwandans who risked their lives to save friends and even complete strangers - then it’s on to your lodge to settle in. Our chosen lodges are excellently placed for gorilla tracking, offering comfortable accommodation and warm service in incredible locations. Enjoy an evening meal infused with typical African hospitality, before a big day tomorrow.

Overnight at your chosen lodge (see below)

Meals included: Dinner 

Virunga NP


Day Two: Meet the Locals

After an early breakfast, your hike towards the gorillas begins. There are ten gorilla groups spread across the park and only 80 permits for tracking issued per day – so you are almost guaranteed more gorillas than people! It typically takes two to three hours to trek towards them, through bamboo forest shrouded in mist and ringing with the calls of myriad birds. Following experienced trackers and porters, you’ll eventually get close to the animals. It’s a fascinating experience: you’ll notice their sheer size and human-like mannerisms up close, as your guide communicates with them to show that you are no threat. You’ll spend around an hour with the gorillas before making the trek back to your lodge, on this never to be forgotten adventure.

Overnight at your chosen lodge (see below)

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner 

Silverback


Day Three: Monkey Business

Today is all about the National Park’s second most famous residents – the golden monkeys. Only 80 of these shy, mischievous creatures remain in the area, but their shiny coats make them easy to spot as they leap through the bamboo forest (you might see some who have lost their tails as a result of jumping accidents). Trackers find them by following trails of leftover meals – bamboo shoots – and you’ll usually reach them within an hour. Spend another hour watching them eat and play, before returning to your lodge. Unlike other primates in the area, these monkeys can be photographed with camera flash, making for excellent photographs. You might also catch them stealing potatoes from the neighbouring fields, before digging them out and cleaning them to eat. Alternatively, you can hike to the Dian Fossey centre in Bisoke, to search out more Silverbacks. Though sightings are not guaranteed on this trek, it follows a less-visited trail into empty countryside for a really wild experience.

Overnight at your chosen lodge (see below)

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner 

Golden Monkey


Day Four: Home Time

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to Kigali airport, ready for your flight home. Please note that you will need to leave at least three hours for check-in.

Meals included: Breakfast


Overall meals included: 3 Breakfasts; 2 lunches; 3 dinners

What's included: 

  • Private bilingual or English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise

What's not included: 

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences
  • Tips for guides, drivers, porters, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry

What to pack: 

  • Long sleeves and trousers (not shorts)
  • Waterproof hiking boots and thick socks
  • Warm layers and light weight waterproofs
  • Camera (DSLR) with 70-200mm, 70-300mm or 80-400mm lens or long zoom ‘Bridge’ camera
  • Lightweight waterproof camera backpack or small waterproof rucksack
  • Gloves to protect your hands from thorns - gardening gloves are ideal


Accommodation

Classic - Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge

Premium - Five Volcanoes Lodge/Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Deluxe - Volcanoes Virunga Lodge/Sabinyo Silverback Lodge


You will get a choice of hotel options for the duration of your experience:

Classic ★★★

Classic hotels provide mid-range accommodation (minimum three-star rated), with comfortable rooms and private facilities. We’ve selected these hotels based on positive client feedback.


Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.


Deluxe ★★★★★

Deluxe hotels are luxury hotels with excellent facilities and service, usually categorised as 4.5 or 5 star. Clients rate them extremely highly.


When booking an experience, please remember that the hotel category you select is for the whole tour. The table below displays the hotels listed for each category. Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here

Children: Due to gorilla tracking restrictions, please note children under 15 are not permitted on this experience

All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £500 per person and take approximately 13 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

Experience start point: Kigali (KGL). Arrive by 1pm.

End point: Kigali (KGL).

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