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. Choose either two full days of gorilla tracking or one day with the gorillas and another day trekking to see Golden Monkeys.
2014 Pricing: From $1750-$4050 per person, depending on group size and accommodation. Additional permit costs of $750 per person per day for gorilla trekking and $100 per person per day golden monkey trekking.
Day 1: Kigali / Virunga Mountains
Touch down at the Kigali Airport where our local representative greets you. Transfer to overnight at the Kigali Serena. [D]
Day 2: Kigali and the Virunga Mountains
This morning we
have the opportunity to see local life in Kigali. With your local guide, experience
the real life of Rwandans as you’re introduced into this bustling
multi-cultural commercial suburb with a typical African flair. Visit a local
hair salon, a West Africa Tailor, the Muslim quarter, and the local market
where you’ll procure supplies to cook and eat a traditional Rwandan meal in a
After your tasty self made lunch depart Kigali for a scenic
drive approximately two hours on a paved road to town of Kinigi at the base of
the Virunga Mountains. 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. [BLD]
Day 3: 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 memory cards. Return to the lodge to share stories and enjoy dinner. Overnight at
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
(classic) or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Day 4: Gorilla or Golden Monkey Trekking and Return to Kigali
Today you will once again visit the Virunga Mountains either in search of Mountain Gorillas or in search of Golden Monkeys*. There is a fully habituated group of the beautiful primates in the park and this is one of the only places in Africa where this activity is offered. This afternoon return by land approximately 2 hours to Kigali for overnight at the Kigali Serena. [BLD]
Note: Permits for Gorillas or Golden Monkeys will need to be secured prior to arrival. Please discuss these options with the program director.
Day 5: Departure
Transfer to the international airport in Kigali for departing international flights. Consider extending your trip with a safari in Kenya/Tanzania or the exotic island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean. [B]
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.