8 Days Gorilla - Culture and Wildlife Safari

Day 1 – Kigali
On arrival in Kigali we are met and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 2 – Kigali - Nyungwe Forest National Park
This morning after breakfast we will depart our hotel and head south for the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Along the way we will make a stop at Butare and visit the National Museum and the magnificent Royal Palace. Arriving in the afternoon we have time to enjoy the lush surrounds.

Day 3 – Nyungwe Forest National Park - Lake Kivu
Today we undertake the exhilarating experience of Chimpanzee trekking in the Nyungwe Forest. You will also have a chance to view the other inhabitants of the forest including birds, reptiles and butterflies. This afternoon we drive to Kibuye and to the scenic Lake Kivu. Our lovely lodge is set on the shores of this large lake.

Day 4 – Lake Kivu
We drive the panoramic route along Lake Kivu, a scenic and lovely drive as we make our way to Gisenyi, a picturesque lakeside town often referred to as the ‘Martha’s Vineyard of Rwanda’. The area is blessed with sandy beaches and water sport options. You have the late afternoon for relaxation in the area or at your hotel.

Day 5 - Lake Kivu - Parc des Volcans
We have the morning to just enjoy the Lake’s tranquil setting, the hotel’s many amenities or perhaps visit the nearby volcanic hot springs before we drive to Musanze (formerly called Ruhengeri) in the northwest part of Rwanda, the main base town for Gorilla tracking.

Day 6 – Parc des Volcans
After your morning wake-up call and breakfast transfer by road in a 4WD Land Cruiser and report to the park headquarters, for gorilla trekking formalities and briefing by the Volcanoes National Park's guides on the gorillas' etiquette. The gorilla group that you will visit will depend on the assignment of travellers to the seven habituated gorilla groups. Park rangers have already left to locate the 7 habituated Gorilla groups that are accessible to visitors. You will be assigned to a specific group of gorillas. Groups of trekkers will have a maximum of 8 visitors per gorilla family. Your trek will vary in length depending on which gorilla group you have been assigned to and will commence at about 7,000 feet of altitude in the upper terraced slopes of the volcano. Soon you will enter the forest of bamboo and thick undergrowth. You follow paths and the walking is steep but not overly strenuous. Nothing can prepare one for the impact of encountering a fully grown silverback gorilla: up to three times as bulky as the average man, yet remarkably peaceful and tolerant of human visitors. There are no words to describe the thrill of recognition attached to staring deep into the liquid brown eyes of these gentle giants, which share some 97% of their genes with humans. After locating your assigned Gorilla group you will spend one hour in their company before retracing your steps back down the volcano slopes. Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon there is an optional visit to the little known, but compellingly beautiful twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo.

Day 7 – Parc des Volcans - Kigali
After an early breakfast we report again to the Volcanoes National Park's Office to undergo the now familiar gorilla trekking formalities. We then re-enter the forest for the second and final gorilla trek visiting a different family than yesterday. You also have the option of the Golden Monkey Trek as an alternative to the Gorilla trek. After lunch we will drive back to Kigali.

Day 8 – Departure
After breakfast you will enjoy a Kigali city tour and visit to the Gisozi Genocide Memorial before being transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight.