The Rwanda Gorillas, Golden Monkeys and Lake Kivu (5 Days)
This 5 Day Rwanda Gorillas, Golden Monkeys and Lake Kivu will take you to the Volcanoes National Park for a gorilla tracking experience, take you to Nyungwe Forest National Park for Golden Monkey trekking and to Gisenyi for a boat cruise on Lake Kivu to see water animals such as crocodiles and hippos as well as birds endemic to this region. You will crown the safari with a visit to the Genocide memorial site in city of Kigali.
Nyungwe Forest Adventure
The Nyungwe rainforest is located in southwestern Rwanda, at the border with Burundi, to the south, and Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The Nyungwe rainforest is probably the best preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa. It is located in the watershed between the basin of the river Congo to the west and the basin of the river Nile to the east. From the east side of the Nyungwe forest comes also one of the branches of the Nile sources.
Nyungwe is the source of Africa’s great rivers. Rain that falls on the east side feeds the Nile and on the west runs to the Congo. The Congo-Nile Divide is a mountain range that runs north to south through Rwanda. Nyungwe receives more than 2000mm a year of rain. Recently, Nyungwe opened a canopy walk, the only one of its kind in East Africa. This is a wonderful vantage point to view the incredible biodiversity of this rare forest.
The Nyungwe forest has a wide diversity of animal species, making it a priority for conservation in Africa. The forest is situated in a region in which several large-scale biogeographical zones meet and the variety of terrestrial biomes provides a great span of microhabitats for many different species of plants and animals.
The park contains 13 primate species (25% of Africa’s total), 275 bird species, 1068 plant species, 85 mammal species, 32 amphibian and 38 reptile species. Many of these animals are restricted-range species that are only found in the Albertine Rift montane forests ecoregion in Africa. In fact, the number of endemic species found here is greater than in any other forest in the Albertine Rift Mountains that has been surveyed. The forest, which reaches its maximum altitude of 3000 meters above sea level, is of particular interest for the presence of colonies of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Angola colobus (Colobus angolensis), the latter now extinct in Angola for the intense hunt to which they were subjected and two other threatened species of monkeys; the owl faced monkey and reported but unverified sightings of the golden monkey.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) lies in northwestern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The national park is known as a haven for the mountain gorilla. It is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo), and spans 160 sq km covered in rainforest and bamboo. The park was the base for the zoologist Dian Fossey.
A Gorilla Enjoyng its meal in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is best known for the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). Other mammals include: golden monkey (Cercopithecus mitis kandti), black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus niger), buffalo (Syncerus caffer), spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) and bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus). The bushbuck population is estimated to be between 1760-7040 animals. There are also reported to be some elephants in the park, though these are now very rare. There are 178 recorded bird species, with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virunga and Ruwenzori Mountains.
Day 1: Arrive in Rwanda and transfer to Volcanoes National Park
You will be met at the Airport by our safari guide who will transfer you to the Hotel booked for you in Ruhengeri near the Volcanoes National Park. You will have lunch and in the afternoon be taken for a scenic drive in the park for 2 – 3 hours to view the splendid volcanic mountain landscapes after which you will be retire to your Hotel for Dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and transfer to Nyungwe forest
You will have an early breakfast and move to the Park headquarters where you will receive a briefing on the rules of gorilla trekking and be allocated the gorilla group you will be trekking. You will after the briefing be led by the ranger guides into the forest to search for the gorillas in the Volcano Virunga Hills and the verdant Valley. Once traced you will spend a maximum of one hour observing the gorillas in their natural setting. The tracking will be a 2-5 hour exercise after which you will return to your lodge for lunch and later transfer to Nyungwe forest area arriving in the late afternoon. You will have dinner and overnight at your lodge of booking.
Day 3: Chimpanzee trek in Nyungwe
You will have an early breakfast and report at the Nyungwe Park headquarters for a briefing by the park rangers on the Golden monkey trekking rules. You will after the briefing start the trek in search of the Golden monkeys in the verdant rain forest. During the trek you will have the chance to see other primates such as the Rwenzori colobus, Silver monkey, Chimpanzees, the Grey cheeked Mangabey, L’hoests monkey and the Owl faced monkey. You will return to the lodge and rest till dinner time and overnight.
Day 4: Transfer to Kibuye and transfer to Kigali
You will, after breakfast, transfer to the Kibuye area and proceed to Gisenyi for a boat cruise on Lake Kivu to see water animals such as crocodiles and hippos as well as birds endemic to this region. You will meet the fishermen who will explain to you how they go about their trade and allow you to participate in the fishing. You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Transfer back to Kigali and departure
You will after breakfast travel back to Kigali. Depending on the time of your departure flight you may have a brief Kigali City excursion to visit the Genocide memorial site before transferring to the Airport for your departure flight.