Month: February 2011

Rwanda Gorilla Tracking

Rwanda Gorilla Tracking- 6 day Tours

This extraordinary trekking safari in Rwanda takes you to encounter 700 of the world’s surviving species of mountain gorillas only found in the rain forest jungles from Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides trekking the huge manly beasts, take nature walks through the forests for primates, watch the birds, take views of the peaks on Muhavura, stunning backdrop of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Mikeno, Sabyinyo, Mgahinga volcanoes, watch and find out why many researchers like Dian Fossey, Karen Strier and Jane Goodal have enjoyed the habitat of these primates. There are more primates in Rwanda than in any other country in Central and East Africa.

Day 1: Arrival and transfers to Volcanoes National Park

On arrival in Kigali, you are picked up by a safari guide, who also escorts you on the journey to Volcanoes National park, North West of Rwanda. Travel past the deeply terraced hills and slopes, enjoying the scenery of the country embedded in thousands of hills.

Arriving at a small town, Musanze at the foot of the Virunga volcanoes, check into one of the overnight options like Virunga lodge and Sabinyo Lodge for luxury accommodation. Fairly cheap but standard accommodation from Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Nest Lodge and Hotel Gorilla, while for cheaper options look at Kinigi Guesthouse and Hotel Muhabura.

Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Take breakfast and head off first for the ORTPN offices at 7am for briefing, where you are allocated into groups of not more than 8 persons led by armed and expert ranger/ trackers. Parc National des Volcans is mostly comprised of heavy rain forested slopes and mostly a renowned habitat for gorillas. There is an adrenaline rush that catches you once you come across the family you’ve been tracking for more than 2 hours. You then have one hour to savor the intense feeling, watching the apes feeding, nursing the young ones and the juveniles playing in the overhanging vines. Take some pictures as you pay tribute to God’s amazing creations. It is important to know that some families are hard to track especially during the wet seasons, lasting up to 9hours of intense tracking.

Return to the lodges, delighted and thankful for this moment. Enjoy dinning and cuisine prepared at your chosen overnight lodge or hotel.

Day 3: Golden Monkey Tracking in Rwanda

Break fast is prepared and served early in the morning before you set off for ORTPN offices where you’ll be briefed and assigned a ranger/ guide for another exciting trek. The volcanoes national park is also home to other primates like the rare habituated golden monkeys, which are now on top of the list of the day’s trekking. They are one of the most rare species in the monkey family known to inhabit the Albertine rift. From Nyungwe National Park in south west Rwanda, you’ll find fewer of these monkeys. Other primates seen may include the acrobatic Angola colobus and several chimpanzees.

Dinner and overnight at your lodge

Day 4: Dian Fossey’s Grave tour

This day trip begins with a tasty breakfast and later trek in the volcanoes park for Dian Fossey’s grave that is near Karisoke Research Centre. Dian Fossey was an American researcher/naturalist who arrived in the park around 1967, establishing a research centre and her home within the park while dedicating her time and effort to saving the gorillas from illegal poachers. She is commended internationally for portraying the plight of the gorillas that were steadily under extinction. She was sadly murdered in 1985 by unknown people- thought to be poachers whom she greatly fought against all her days while in the park. Her dynamic work and effort inspired the box office movie ‘Gorillas in the mist’

After a short lunch break, visit Uganda’s jungles from Bwini National Park and Mgahinga National Park for more exciting Gorilla trekking experiences. Carry your travel documents as you need to clear with the border post offices before crossing to Uganda. Drive towards Kisoro, a small town where you will find overnight accommodation and dining.

There are overnight options like Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Cloud Lodge , Gahinga Volcanoes lodge or Gorilla Resort Camp if you want up market luxury options and also budget accommodation packages at Bwindi view Bandas, Lake Kitandara camp, Nkuringo campsite and/ or Buhoma Community camp. All options here are subject to the type of trekking permit.

Day 5: Gorilla Tracking in Mgahinga and Bwindi National park

Take a pick at visiting and tracking gorillas from either Mgahinga or Bwindi National parks in Uganda. Bwindi requires intense trekking especially during the wet season but all your efforts are rewarded after you meet a gorilla family as it feeds on its trail. Other sights here include red tailed monkeys, golden monkeys, several birds and butterflies.

Head back for overnight accommodation and dinner at your hotel.

Day 6: Drive to Kigali City in Rwanda

Wake up early to catch a trip back to Kigali, taking a quick tour of the spotless city, with attractions like modern building, the Batwa pottery projects, the Genocide museum and memorial, visit the gift and handicrafts shops and the Rwanda cultural centre. Take a quick lunch for any restaurant or hotel before you catch your departure flights at the airport.