You’re not supposed to get closer than 7m from the gorillas. Those are the rules that humans are meant to follow. But these gorillas are so friendly they have a hard time staying that far away, giving you the unique opportunity to peek into their world for a short time. Visiting them is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you, but ensures a lifetime for them, and hopefully works to secure their future in this world. With only 800 left, their survival is anything but certain.
We have organized a 5 -day adventure that combines the best of Rwanda and Uganda, and gives you a chance to give something back to the community that is protecting these wonderful creatures. Surely the gorillas are the highlight, but you will have plenty of other stories to share as well, not the least of which is the wonderful people and culture of these two countries which are truly unique in Africa.
Challenging: Up steep hills and down exposed ledges, with bouldering and some extensive climbing.
Extensive mud depending on the season
Duration: 6 hours
Elevation: 3500 m
Diane Hike and Golden Monkey hikes and Gorilla Tracking:
Moderate: Up steep hills and down exposed ledges, with bouldering and some climbing.
Duration: 3 to 5 hours each
Day 1: Arrival to Kigali and Transfer to Parc Nationale des Volcanoes
After arrival, head to Kigali for lunch at hotel Milles des Collines (Hotel Rwanda) and then drive to Ruhengeri. Visit the Genocide Musuem before leaving Kigali. Dinner and overnight at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge.
Day 2: Hike to the Diane Fossey and Gorilla Memorial OR Bisoke Volcano
Wake up 5:30 am and departure from hotel 6:30 am. After an early breakfast, report to the headquarters for your excursion to slopes of the Bisoke and visit the former Karisoke Research Centre, where the grave of Dian Fossey is located. This will take you about 3 -6 hours. You can choose either the easier and shorter hike, or if you like, head to the top of the volcano at 3500 m. Diane Fossey trail will have you back at 3 pm, the volcano, around 6 pm. This is the sneak preview of what the gorilla tracking experience will be like.
Optional Activities Upon Request: Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund Offices, or the Musanze Caves
Day 3: Golden Monkey Tracking, Canoe Ride and Transfer to Uganda
Wake up 5:30 am and departure from hotel 6:30 am. After an early breakfast, transfer to the park headquarter for golden monkey tracking. The golden monkeys are little known and endangered species. After the monkeys, we shall relax at the lodge for the afternoon or have a variety of activity options such as community walk, bike ride, or ranger station visit or shopping.
Then we will drive to Cyanika border cross and proceed to Kisoro town in Uganda. We will have lunch on the other side of the lake while we admire the beautiful views of the lake, the Virunga Volcanoes and the rugged ridges of the western arm of the Western Rift Valley can be admired on a clear day. Proceed to Nkuringo Gorilla camp. In the Afternoon a visit to the ranger station or optional a trek to the top of the world
Day 4: Gorilla Tracking Experience
Despite the sound of the unpleasant early morning, you won’t want to miss the sunrise anyway. We attend mandatory briefing at park headquarters by 8:00am before you embark on the memorable adventure in the forest. The time this takes depends on the locations of the gorillas. In the afternoon, we will have time to visit the local orphanage/school that we regularly support in various ways. The children will inspire and impress you. That is of course, optional, if you have the energy.
Day 5: Return to Rwanda for late afternoon departure
Wake up at 7:30 am. Departure from hotel at 8:00 am. Leave for Kigali. Stop for lunch at Diane Fossey’s favorite hotel while she was in country. Time permitting, go for a tour of the city. Places to visit include genocide memorial sites, market places, cultural centers, do some shopping if interested, have lunch in the city and later transfer to the airport for your flight.