SVAU 012: Rwanda Gorilla Tour to Volcanoes National Park

Gorillas Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park lies in northwestern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the DRC and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and it’s one of the homes of the rare mountain gorilla. The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is formed by a chain of steep free standing volcanic mountains interconnected by fertile saddles of volcanic mud is one of the most striking and memorable land formation in East Africa.

The park is best known for the mountain Gorilla. But other mammals include: golden monkey, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, Spotted Hyena, bushbuck, elephants and 178 recorded bird species.

Gorilla tracking is the most popular activity at the Volcanoes National Park. There are 56 permits issued per day for the 7 habituated troops. Children below 15 years are not allowed into the park. The time allotted per visit is 1 hour and the trip starts from the head quarters at Kinigi, reporting time is 7 am. On normal days, the tracking gorillas end early and tourists return to the headquarters at Kinigi by midday.

Golden monkey tracking is another activity which is very popular at the Volcanoes National Park, there are two troops of Golden monkeys and permits are available more easily than for the mountain gorillas. The trek to the golden monkeys begins from a parking lot 15 minutes by car from the headquarters. The usual trekking time is 30 minute to spot the golden monkeys. The activity is over by 10 am or 11 am and you return to the headquarters.

Day 1: Volcanoes National Park

On arrival at Kigali Airport, you’ll be met by our Rwanda representative who will transfer you by road (about 90 minutes) to your lodge in Volcanoes National Park. Safari briefing and then settle in your lodge for an afternoon at leisure.

Meals: Lunch (or picnic lunch) and Dinner
Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Day 2: Gorilla Trekking at Volcanoes National Park – Kigali

This morning you will meet with the national park guides for guidelines on gorilla tracking and conduct yourself in the forest and in the presence of the gorillas. Then, trek begins into the rich evergreen and bamboo forest along with swamp and open grassland. As you climb higher up above the foothills, you enter the rainforest alive with the cacophony of birds and the chattering of rare golden monkeys. Here in the highest reaches of the mountains, you find the elusive and majestic Mountain Gorilla.

If you are lucky, you will encounter a group of gorillas for a magical visit. You can spend about an hour with the gorillas, watching them interact with each other. As you watch them groom each other, or little ones play, or parents “scold" their children, you’ll be struck at the similarities to human behavior. Afterwards, return to your lodge for lunch and then drive back to Kigali for overnight.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Lemigo Hotel, Kigali

Day 3: Kigali City Tour – Depart Home

Breakfast at Lemigo Hotel.
08.00 AM. You will be picked up from the hotel by your driver/guide and begin your Kigali City Tour. The Kigali city tour takes approximately two hours and incorporates a visit to Nyamironko Kigali market, a pottery project, some of best handicraft shops in Kigali, the Franco-Rwandan cultural centre, and Gisozi Genocide Memorial Museum.

1300hrs: Lunch at a hotel in Kigali. In the afternoon, transfer to Kigali Airport to catch your international flight home.