9 Days Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Safari

Rwanda has a lot to offer and this 9 day itinerary shows you a lovely selection of the Rwandan countryside and national parks. It comprises of a visit to Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu and also Volcanoes National Park. Nyungwe Forest National Park is home to many primate species, including the chimpanzee. It is also a haven for a large diversity of birds and butterflies. Nyungwe Forest also has another interesting feature a canopy walkway built above the tree tops and from which you have an amazing view of the forest beneath. Lake Kivu’s small, friendly towns and white sandy beaches make it an excellent night stop. A chance to recharge the batteries before continuing to Volcanoes National Park and the highlight of the safari, trekking the mighty mountain gorillas.

Day1: Kigali

Arrive in Kigali, meet and greet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Kigali Serena Hotel/Okapi hotel. Meal plan: BB

Day2: Kigali-Nyungwe forest

An early morning breakfast is followed by a drive to Nyungwe forest. On the way visit Nyanza King’s Palace, and the National Museum of Butare. Lunch en-route, Arrive at Nyungwe Forest Lodge in the evening, Overnight Nyungwe Forest Lodge. Meal plan: F/B

Day3: Chimpanzee trekking

This morning we enter the lush rainforest in the search of the chimpanzee. Around 300 bird species, 24 of which are regional endemics and over 100 varieties of orchids and butterflies can be seen in this beautiful forest. In the afternoon we have the opportunity to explore the area. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to relax at the lodge or go birding in the area. Overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge, meal plan: F/B

Day4: Nyungwe forest trail

After breakfast, enter Nyungwe forest to track the black and white Columbus monkeys. Along the way have the chance to see thirteen species of primates including chimpanzee, Rwenzori Columbus’s and l’Hoest’s monkey. The Columbus lives in large groups, including a four hundred-strong semi-habituated group thought to be the largest troop of arboreal primates in Africa. In the afternoon you have the opportunity to relax at the lodge or go birding in the area. Overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge, meal plan: F/B

Day 5: Nyungwe forest-Lake Kivu

This morning we have the chance to view the forest from a canopy walkway. We will have a 45 minute walk into the forest and then walk above the tree tops on a suspended bridge. This gives excellent views of one of African’s largest temperate rainforests and offers the opportunity to view primates and birds at eye level. In the afternoon we drive to Kibuye on the shores of the beautiful Lake Kivu (4 hours). In the afternoon you have the opportunity to kick back and relax in and around the lodge. The lodge also has water sports equipment for hire. Overnight at Cormoran Lodge, meal plan: F/B

Day6: Kibuye-Volcanoes national park

In the morning we will drive from Kibuye to Gisenyi allowing us to take in the beauty of Lake Kivu and the multiple islands. We will have lunch in Gisenyi before driving to Volcanoes National Park. The Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen, bamboo forests, open grassland, swamp and heath. Volcanoes National Park (Parc National de Volcano) is situated in north-western Rwanda. Best known for the mountain gorillas, other mammals that reside in the park are the golden monkey, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, spotted hyena and bush buck. There are 178 recorded bird species with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virunga and Rwenzori Mountains. Overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, meal plan: F/B

Day7: Rwanda Gorilla tracking

After breakfast we take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then hike into the forest to where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes not in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including waterproof bag for cameras and film. Overnight at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, meal plan: F/B

Day8: Golden Monkey tracking-Dian Fossey hike

In the morning, you will gather at the park headquarters for briefing, and later Either go for golden monkey tracking or hike up to Karisoke research centre, established by Dian Fossey, an American primatologist who dedicated all her life conserving the lives of mountain gorillas until she was killed and is buried there next to Digit, a mountain gorilla. You will learn more about the lives of the mountain gorillas at the research centre. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight, Meal plan: F/B

Day9: Volcanoes-Kigali

This morning we have a city tour, including a visit to the Genocide Memorial Centre and other cultural sites. In the afternoon you are transferred to the airport for your international departure flight home. Meal plan: H/B

The package includes:

Ground transportation

Accommodation and meals as per itinerary

Nyungwe chimpanzee permit

Gorilla permits

Community walk

Lake Kivu

Golden monkey tracking

Visit Dian Fossey

Visit the genocide memorials

Canopy walk

Professional guide allowances

Package excludes:

The air fares, Visa, porter fees while trekking the gorillas, laundry, expensive drinks, and other activities not mentioned in the itinerary.

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