See the Mountain gorillas of Rwanda- 5 day
The 5- day gorilla tracking experience from Rwanda’s Volcano Mountains is unparalleled to no other. The Parc National des Volcanoes though small takes you to its huge indigenous rain forests along the slopes of the mountains that are home to more than 4 families of gorillas. The exhilarating climb is led by and expert and armed ranger guides who lead you through the trails of these amazing creatures.
The trekking sometimes lasts up to 4hours of fruitless trails but once you encounter the family, the cherished experience lasts only 1 hour, staring and sharing intimate moments and taking some pictures.
It is important to book your trekking permits from the Rwanda tourism board offices (ORTPN) in Kigali or from the small town of Musanze, at the foot of the mountains. You can also get accommodation from Musanze for overnight and diner.
DAY 1: ARRIVE & DRIVE TO VOLCANOES GORILLA PARK
Upon arrival, meet and interact with your booked tour guide in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The tour guides will shortly brief you about the gorilla tracking experience from Parc National des Volcanoes.
Board your vehicle/ shuttle for the long trip northwards, crossing many terraced hillsides and villages into the high mountains of up to 7,000 ft, the volcanoes. At least five peaks are seen from the foot of the mountains at small village called Musanze.
Dining and accommodation is provided by many lodges for all standards and prices. Volcanoes Virunga and Sabinyo silver back lodges provide up market luxury facilities while cheaper options are in Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Hotel Gorillas and Mountain Gorilla Nest lodge. Check out budget options from Kinigi guesthouse and Hotel Muhabura.
DAY 2: GORILLA TREKKING IN PARC DES VOLCANOS Rwanda
Have a good morning breakfast before you begin the adventure in the park. Meet your tour guide who will brief you on what to expect on this adventure. The park is one of the smallest with 7 volcanoes and 5 different gorilla families living in the lush rainforest along the slopes of the volcanoes.
Tracking starts at the ORTPN point where you are allocated a gorilla family to track. The experience could last up to 9hours depending on the season. Good tracking starts in the mid morning while the creatures rest and feed for about 1 hour. Some families are easily found in about 2 to 3 hours; pack your lunch because sometimes the trip takes long especially in the wet seasons when the terrain becomes muddy.
Meet one family of the silver back or black gorillas is quite exhilarating. You have to follow the advice of your ranger guide as some can be quite aggressive and violent. Take pictures of the giant creatures quietly and quickly as this encounter is typically limited to one hour! You could be rewarded with sights of the rare golden monkeys, bush duiker and plenty of birds and butterflies.
Trek back with satisfaction to your lodge for dinner and rest for yet another day.
DAY 3: gorilla tracking and community visits
Wake up to another gorilla tracking day in Parc National des Volcanos after your breakfast from the lodge. Each day’s experience through the park’s rain forest is rather unique. You could track another family or proceed from the trails of the family you found yesterday. The tracking could last up to 9 hours or less but when you meet one family, you spend only one hour with the planet’s most amazing creatures.
In most cases, there’s more time left for the afternoon visit to the nearby villages, markets, research facilities like Karisoke veterinary post and also visit the Ross Carr’s orphanage. Return for dinner and overnight at your lodge.
Day 4: Kigali City Tour
After breakfast, board your vehicle for a guided tour of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Kigali is one of the most impressive cities in Africa, clean, tree along the streets, lush gardens and lawn by major buildings and fountains at almost every roundabout.
The tour guide takes you to the Kigali Genocide Memorial museum-explaining everything from its history to the present times, to Franco-Rwandan cultural centre, hero’s cemetery, handicrafts shops, vibrant markets, the Batwa people pottery projects and many other sites.
Enjoy lunch on the way or from any good city restaurant nearby. Spend the rest of your afternoon at leisure.
Accommodation options are plentiful for all standards and cost. There is fairly cheap accommodation from Hotel Chez Lando, hotel Laico Mububano, Hotel Des Milles and ultimate luxury from Kigali Serena Hotel. All hotels serving excellent cuisines and remarkable dining.
Day 5: Airport Transfer
There isn’t much to do on day 5. Wake up to a sumptuous good bye breakfast and then get ready for pick-ups back to Kigali for your return flight.