Day 1 – Welcome to the land of a thousand hills.
On your arrival at Kigali International Airport you will be met by your Paradise Safaris’ guide who will pick you and transfer you to your hotel, approximately two hours’ drive from the capital of Kigali. The journey is on good roads and you will quickly see why Rwanda is known as the Land of 1000 Hills. Winding roads leave up steep hills through Kigali. Look down below you and you will see agricultural Rwanda, a land of densely cultivated paddy fields and animals grazing.
You will drive through Ruhengeri, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains – the Virungas – arriving for dinner and overnight at your lodge. This place is best known as being the home of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas.
If you arrive early, additional options include a visit to Musanze Caves, a village walk or even a visit to the grave of famous primatologist Dian Fossey of “Gorillas in the Mist” fame who studied the gorillas of this area.
Day 2 – Gorrilla Trekking at Volcanoes National Park
You will be up early on the morning of your Gorilla Tracking for a good breakfast in preparation for the day’s physical activity. You will report for registration at the ranger station by 8 AM. After a briefing by the rangers, your gorilla trek will start. The trek usually takes between three and six hours so a reasonable degree of fitness is required, as well as a strong pair of walking boots or shoes. The rangers will guide you through the fields, up the gentle slopes of the volcanoes and into the bamboo forest. The mountain gorillas are under 24 hour monitoring for their own safety, so you’re almost guaranteed to see them. The rangers monitor each gorilla family by keeping in close radio contact.
Gorillas and humans share almost identical genetic material and their health must not be compromised by coming into contact with human diseases (via our food, for example). To reduce transmission of disease from humans to gorillas, you will also be advised to keep a distance of 7 metres from the gorillas.
Once you have located your gorilla family, you will be asked to leave all your belongings to one side, and approach the gentle giants, just with your camera. The guides will interpret the animals’ behaviour for you. Females and their young, young males and even a dominant Silverback may be seen: feeding, playing, interacting with each other, or just sleeping! You will never forget your encounter with the gorillas. They will be quite curious to see you! You are allowed exactly one hour with the gorillas before returning to base.
Tracking the mountain gorillas is a physically demanding experience. The rangers will allocate your gorilla family according to your level of fitness. They will also bear in mind the time of your return flight home, to make sure that you can track the gorillas and get back to base in good time for your drive back to Kigali International airport.
- Prices are valid for 2018 and can change in 2019.
- The Gorilla trekking included in this safari depend on the availability of gorilla trekking permits at the time of booking. These permits are strictly limited and sold out in advance, especially during peak seasons of Christmas and school holidays. We therefore strongly recommend booking early.
- The safari indicated here is essentially an offer. Changes in the course of the journey, the duration of your tour, the number of travellers, as well as the choice of accommodation is subject to availability, although we always endeavour to stick as closely as possible to this programme. For the majority of itineraries, we can offer luxury, midrange or budget versions of this safari upon request.
- Sometimes it is not possible to adhere to the travel plan as described in this itinerary, due to weather and road conditions, authority regulations, organizational requirements, etc. Occasionally, the planned route of the tour has to change according to the situation on the ground. We must therefore explicitly refuse liability for adherence to the journey plan.
- By booking this safari, the client accepts Paradise Safaris’ terms and conditions of business, available to read on our web site.
- For FAQs, including what equipment to bring for your Gorilla tracking, please visit our website.
- All accommodation on Half Board (HB), Full Board (FB) or Bed and Breakfast (B&B) basis as quoted in the text
- Safari vehicle and fuel – English speaking tourist guide
- Entrance fees to the national parks
- Gorilla Permit for one person
- Free mineral water in the vehicle during the tour
- Visa fees
- Drinks / alcoholic drinks
- Additional meals
- Activities not part of the described programme
- International travel insurance
- German or another language speaking Safari-Guide
- Other activities highlighted as optional in the itinerary, such as:
- Musanze Caves, village walk, visit to Dian Fossey’s grave