Gorilla Trekking Rwanda & Wildlife Safari

Gorilla Trekking Rwanda & Wildlife Safari – 4 Days

Overview | Highlights | Detailed Itinerary | Includes | Request Quote

 

Overview

This 4 day Gorilla Trekking Rwanda & Wildlife Safari takes you to the Gorilla haven in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park jungle to trek Mountain Gorillas. Then to Akagera National Park for game drives and boat cruise; and to the prominent memorial sites of the tragic genocide that occurred in Rwanda.

Safari Highlights

  • The thrill of  Mountain Gorillas trekking in the challenging forest terrain and the humbling experience of coming face to face with them as they feed, play, rest and bond with their young
  • Learning about the great work of the American primatologist who pioneered the initiatives to protect and conserve Mountain Gorillas in the volcanic mountains.
  • Listening to heartrending accounts of the astonishing genocide that occurred in Rwanda in the late 1990s.
  • Viewing the mesmerizing and awesome features of the volcanic landscapes

Activity Schedule

Day 1: Transfer to Akagera National Park, Boat cruise and Evening game drive
Day 2: Full day safari game drives in Akagera National Park & transfer to Kigali
Day 3: City tour of Kigali & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Day 4: Gorilla trekking & transfer to Kigali


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Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Akagera National Park, Boat cruise and Evening game drive

Akagera National Park

We start the Gorilla Trekking Rwanda & Wildlife Safari by travelling to Akagera National Park in the eastern part of Rwanda. The drive is approximately 2½ hours and on arrival you will go for a boat cruise on Lake Ihema to see aquatic animals such as Hippos, Crocodiles as well as water birds like the papyrus Gonolek, shoebill stork and African fish eagle.

In the afternoon you will go for a game drive in the park after which you will retire to the lodge of your booking for dinner and overnight.


Day 2: Full day game drives in Akagera National Park & transfer to Kigali

game drives in Akagera National Park

After an early breakfast, you will embark on a morning game drive. In a circuit you will visit different lakes where you will see buffaloes and elephants drinking from the water ponds and see various species of birds like Egyptian goose and fish eager.

You will have a Gorilla Trekking Rwanda & Wildlife Safari picnic lunch in the park then continue with the hills game drive where you will see; impalas, zebras, bush bucks, water bucks, topis, oribis, baboons, giraffes, cape elands among others. In the late afternoon you will set off for Kigali. Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your booking.


Day 3: City tour of Kigali & transfer to Volcanoes National Park

City tour of Kigali

You will have breakfast and move out to visit the memorial sites scattered in various parts of the city. These will include the Genocide memorial sites where thousands of innocent people lost their lives during the genocide of the mid 1990s, visit the Presidential Palace Museum, and the Nyamata church.

In these places you will listen to the horrendous narratives of how people were cruelly put to death and learn about the history of the country from the colonial periods through to the present time. You will have lunch and transfer to Ruhengeri town just outside the Volcanoes National Park. Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking.


Day 4: Gorilla trekking & transfer to Kigali

gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Have an early breakfast and join other Gorilla Trekking Rwanda & Wildlife Safari tourists at the Kinigi Park headquarters at 08:00am for a briefing on the Gorilla tracking rules. You will be allocated a Gorilla family to track and guides to lead you to the Gorillas. The gorilla trekking is a strenuous exercise through thick jungle on steep terrain that is uneven, wet and often muddy for as many as 2-5 hours, depending on the location of the Gorillas. Once sighted, you will spend a maximum of one hour with the Gorillas.

Return to the lodge for lunch and later transfer to Kigali.

Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your booking.


Requirements for this Safari

  • A Visa for Rwanda which you can get at the airport
  • Gorilla trekking permit paid for in advance
  • Travel & Health insurance arranged by you in your home country before you travel.
  • Yellow fever vaccination (certificate for proof)
  • Physical fitness

The Safari package includes:

  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • 4WD safari vehicle
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Services of an English speaking driver/guide.
  • Return airport transfers.

The Safari package excludes expenses of a personal nature such as:

  • Other drinks apart from bottled water
  • Laundry
  • Tips to local guides
  • Telephone expenses
  • Porter fees while trekking Gorillas
  • Personal insurance
  • Cigarettes

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What to Expect on a Rwanda Gorilla Safari

For a great gorilla trekking experience you need to be fairly fit, equipped for the humid, muddy conditions of a rainforest hike, and in good health – gorillas are susceptible to human illnesses but don’t have our immunity, which means a common cold can be deadly to a whole family of gorillas and you won’t be permitted to trek if you are unwell. Even in the dry season, the rainforest is a challenging environment: it’s humid, wet and muddy with some steep slopes, plenty of insects and thick vegetation. It is absolutely worth the effort to spend time with gorillas in the wild, but be prepared to exert yourself on the trek.

Your professional gorilla guide and tracker leads you into the forest’s secret paths, looking for a habituated gorilla family. Once found, you’ll approach the gorillas quietly and settle down to observe them from between 7 and 10m (22 to 32 ft) away. You’ll spend between 40 minutes and an hour with the gorillas, watching the adults forage and groom each other while the babies tumble and play. You’ll be under the watchful gaze of the great silverback patriarch, whose soft brown eyes constantly sweep over his family protectively. Witnessing gorillas express typically human gestures and emotions is a truly profound experience and one of the reasons that gorilla trekking is such a life changing encounter.

You’ll be asked to leave any personal items or bottled water you’re carrying with your porters and approach the gorillas with only your camera. You are not allowed to use a flash and it’s best to use a camera that doesn’t make loud clicks, whirring or other mechanical noises.

Quick links to gorilla trekking tips

When To Go – Best time to go on a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda

Although a Rwanda Gorilla Safari can be conducted all year round in the Virunga Mountains, due to the somewhat damp seasons experienced by Volcanoes National Park jungle in which these gorillas stay, the majority of tourists prefer visiting in the dry seasons where traversing the jungles is somewhat doable – and that is the months of June to September as well as from December up to February. You can visit at any time of the year, the low season calls for cheaper gorilla permit price.

Temperature & Weather

Up the mountain Forest could be very cold especially in the morning & night. The annual mean temperatures range is 7°C to 20°C with the coldest months being June & July. Hence warm clothing are required, plus wet weather gear because Virunga receives up to 2390mm of rain every year. This is centered on during 2 wet seasons, short rains in March- May & heavy rainfall in the months of September-November. In Virunga, rain often falls as long hours of soft drizzle, instead of short tropical deluge. Our Tour Experts will help you prepare depending on the season.

Getting There

Volcanoes National Park is located in north-western corner of Rwanda approximately 3 hours drive from the Kigali International airport.

The gorilla permit

The gorilla permit is the second most important document next to your Visa and passport. The Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500, a hefty sum but very much worth it. You should know that some of this money is used to take care of these creatures, help them repopulate and protect them from the rampant poaching.

Acquiring a gorilla permit can be strenuous especially in peak season. We would recommend buying them months in advance to avoid the long cues. The permit per  person in most cases is included in the package price, so you’ll not need to hustle acquiring the document.

Once you have the gorilla permit and you’re guided into the jungle, prepare your emotions because seeing the mountain gorillas is guaranteed.

What To Wear on the Gorilla Safari.

Rwanda Gorilla Safari gear guide: Good quality walking boots if trying any hikes or even climbs, warm layers of cloth for the cold evenings and clothing for wet weather remember it becomes cold and wet at this high altitude.

However during the day, the sun is strong even when cloudy therefore always remember to carry and wear sunscreen as well as a sun hat. In addition, you may have to carry along waterproof bags to safeguard cameras plus additional equipment for the hike. Water plus snacks are additional recommended items plus a packed lunch for people doing full-day expeditions.

What else after the gorilla safari?

While in Rwanda, besides visiting the mountain gorillas, you can take a game drive safari across the boarder into Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo National Park or within Rwanda you can visit Kigali City, Akagera National Park and several other Rwanda attractions worth checking out. Most tourists on African trip combine Tanzania safari adventures with gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda in addition to a safari in Kenya or Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking in Tanzania.

Let’s get you started on this trip, right? Request for a quote.

Quick Safari Details

Number of people: Tailored

Leaves When: Any Day

Start/End: Kigali, Rwanda

Activities: Road Drive, Gorilla Trekking, Game Drive, Bird Watching

Destinations: Kigali, Akagera N.P, Volcanoes National Park

Price: Request a Quote

Best time to go: June to September and December up to February.

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