This 3 day Rwanda gorilla trekking safari will combine great Rwanda safari highlights of gorilla trekking and a glimpse into the Rwandan cultural by visiting the Iby’Iwacu cultural village. The mountain gorillas live deep in the jungles of the Virunga volcanoes shared between Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. This tour will take you to the volcanoes national park which offers the perfect inhabitant for mountain gorillas found in northern Rwanda on the border with Uganda. The route to this park takes you through the communities where you enjoy the scenery of ‘the thousand hills’. Gorilla trekking is a special intimate experience that is hard to relay to someone who has never come close to the gorillas. You get to spend up to one hour with gorillas, after locating them with your ranger guide.
- Gorilla trekking
- Iby’Iwacu cultural village
- Optional – Dian Fossey grave Or Visit to the Caves or Batwa trail
Day 1: Travel to Volcanoes national park gorilla trekking Safari
Today you will be picked up from either the airport on your arrival or your hotel depending on where you will be. You will take a short Kigali city tour exploring the major historic and cultural sites like the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, Craft markets in Kigali, Kandt National Museum, and presidential museum depending on the time. After visiting some of these sites you will have lunch at a restaurant in the city and enjoy local foods or continental meals depending on your preference, remember to let your driver guide know your meal preferences so he chooses the right restaurant. After the lunch in Kigali city we embark on the journey to the home of the mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park.
Journey time – 2 hours
Meal plan – lunch & Dinner
- Up market – Five Volcanoes
- Mid-range – Le Bambou gorilla lodge
- Budget – Garden Palace hotel
Day 2: Gorilla Tracking in Volcanoes national park
Today after an early morning breakfast you are ready to start your gorilla trekking. The driver guide will transfer you to the briefing areas where you will learn from the ranger guide about the expectations while in the park. In the meantime as you wait for everyone to gather, enjoy the Rwandan hospitality of traditional dances and a hot Rwandan coffee. The ranger guide will share some of the gorilla trekking tips like no flash photography and later divide you in the different gorilla trekking groups. Depending on location of the family of gorillas you will trek, the driver guide will transfer you to the start of the trail head for the allocated gorilla group.
Spend the afternoon at leisure recuperating from the gorilla trekking experience or take on an optional activity of visiting the musanze caves or the twin lakes.
Meal plan – Breakfast, lunch & Dinner
Day 3: Cultural tour at Iby’iwacu cultural village
After the amazing activity of gorilla trekking yesterday, today you explore a bit of culture at the Iby’iwacu cultural village/ Gorilla guardians Village to have a taste of the history and culture of Rwanda. Some of the members of this cultural village are former poachers who depended on the forest for survival, this cultural village contributes heavily to conservation of the mountain gorillas because they are able to earn from sharing their culture as opposed to poaching.
At Kagera safaris we are committed to include cultural experiences on our itineraries to enable visitors experience the areas they visit more intimately and also have the locals benefit directly from the tourism income. This marks the end of your 3 day Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, you will then be transfer ed to Kigali to return to your hotel or take your flight back home.
Gorilla trekking tips
- Carry a rain jacket because the rain can be unpredictable in the virungas
- Mountain gorillas live at high altitude and this may cause difficulties for some visitors. You should pace yourself and drink plenty of water. Eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden – designated time and place will be communicated.
- Waterproof walking shoes or hiking boots are essential.
- Gardening gloves for protection against stinging plants
- Long trousers and long sleeved sweaters or shirts while in the forest to avoid insect stings.
- Photography is permitted, although you must not use flash
- Porters are available to help you carry your day pack for a small charge.
- Gorilla tracking permit
- Ground transport
- Cultural experience
- Bottled water in the safari vehicle
- Full board accommodation for two nights
- Service of an English-speaking driver guide
- All mentioned activities except for the optional ones
- Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
- Tips to porters and driver/ guide