Walk in the footsteps of legendary biologist Dian Fossey, in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Escorted by our team of expert guides and native trackers, you bushwhack through the thick vegetation and up steep slopes in search of a family of wild mountain gorillas. We plan two days of gorilla tracking so you have the best chances of finding one of several gorilla groups with an opportunity for clear observations up-close.
2013 Pricing: From $1865-1250, depending on group size, plus $1500 for 2 days of gorilla trekking permits.
Day 1: Kigali / Virunga Mountains
Touch down at the Kigali Airport where a local representative meets you. Enjoy a scenic drive for approximately two hours on a paved road to Kinigi. Stunning vistas greet you as the road winds its way over hills and through valleys. Rwanda is known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills’ for a reason! Spend the next few nights at the Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (classic) or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (luxury), just 15 minutes away from the entrance to the park.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
The Virunga Mountains in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo are home to the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Some of the gorilla families have been habituated to human presence, and it is possible to visit them in their natural habitat within the forest.
Take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with local guides and trackers who present an orientation about gorilla tracking ethics. It is very important that under no circumstances are the gorillas to be touched by humans or visited by anyone with a cold or illness. This is to protect the animals from communicable diseases to which they are very susceptible. Spend two days in the Volcanoes National Park on full day treks to view two different families of mountain gorillas. The search, with experienced trackers leading the way, can take up to eight hours although the gorillas are usually found after two to four hours. Some hiking areas lie at altitudes above 7,500 feet over rough and muddy terrain. The hike can be physically demanding, but the forest and surrounding scenery are beautiful.
Once the gorillas are spotted the encounter is a most profound natural history experience. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras set for low light conditions are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes notice, hence water proof clothing is necessary, also zip lock bags for cameras and film. Return to the lodge for the to share stories and enjoy dinner. Overnight at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (classic) or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (luxury).
Day 3: Gorilla Trekking / Kigali
Today you will once again visit the Virunga mountains in search of Mountain gorillas. This afternoon return by land approximately 2 hours to Kigali for overnight at the Kigali Serena.
Day 4: Kigali / Departure
This morning your guide will take you for a tour of Kigali, including the Kigali Memorial Center. Completed in 2004, 10 years after the end of the Rwandan genocide, the memorial is a powerful reminder of the tragedies of that time. Transfer to the international airport in Kigali for your return flights.
Located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards in Rwanda, the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel offers luxury and elegant Rwandese décor.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
Featured on our classic Rwanda extension, the Gorilla Mountain View Lodge has 30 cottages with spectacular views of Volcanoes National Park.
Sabinyo Silverback Lodge
The luxury accommodation on our Rwanda Extension, Sabinyo Silverback Lodge is just minutes from Volcanoes National Park and boasts seven large cottages with huge bathtubs for soaking away a day of trekking in the bush.