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Vessel Africa Safaris
Vessel Africa Safaris
Vessel Africa Safaris
Vessel Africa Safaris
Vessel Africa Safaris

Gorillas in the Virungas & Bwindi

Trip Summary

This 8 day safari takes you to Rwanda to see the endangered mountain gorilla in Parc National des Volcans, Nkuringo and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Itinerary

Day 1: Kigali

Departing from Kigali you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Your journey takes you through the beautiful terraced hills that characterise much of Rwanda's landscape. Climbing gradually to the base of the spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga range, the five nearest peaks rising high above the verdant countryside, you arrive at the magnificent Volcanoes Virunga Lodge.

 

Day 2: Kigali - Parc National des Volcans

Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy. Overnight at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge.

 

Day 3: Parc National des Volcans

·Either go gorilla tracking again (additional permit required, subject to availability), or choose from one of many options. There is much to explore here including tracking the endangered golden monkey or trekking to Dian Fossey’s grave and the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favourite gorilla, Digit. Other popular excursions include visiting the local school and community projects supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust; the Roz Carr Imbabazi orphanage and meet some of the hundreds of children helped by this uplifting project. Alternatively relax on the shores of Lake Kivu, home to some of the finest inland beaches in Africa, or take a guided walk to Lake Bulera and experience local village life. Overnight at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge.

 

Day 4: Parc National des Volcans

Enjoy a more relaxing morning during which you can do one of the activities in day 3 - except gorilla tracking and visiting Dian Fossey’s grave. After lunch set off for the Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge. The lodge is located at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes and near the entrance to the national park. Enjoy your pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with stunning views of the Volcanoes or warm yourself inside by the roaring fire. Overnight at Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge.

 

Day 5: Parc National des Volcans

Experience the lives of the Batwa Pygmies, and walk the Batwa Trail. Accompanied by Batwa Elders, this is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the unique cultural heritage of the forest’s indigenous people. Whilst you walk through the forest, the Batwa will demonstrate their traditional hunting techniques and knowledge of medicinal plants. You will also visit the sacred Ngarama cave and enjoy the traditional music and dance of this rich and fading culture.

Track gorillas in Nkuringo (two hours drive away). Tracking is possible at Nkuringo, located at the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Tracking here can be challenging due to steep and muddy paths.

Take a guided nature walk through the park to track the golden monkeys. The path takes you from the bamboo stands and a forested gorge on the lower levels to the elevated heath and moorland higher up. The forest is not only home to the rare golden monkey, but also a great diversity of bird and animal life. Overnight at Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge.

 

Day 6: Bwindi

The long journey through the rapidly changing landscape takes you to Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, which looks across to the towering trees of the forest. Depending on when you arrive, there maybe time before dinner to explore the lodge grounds with its clear mountain stream or visit the local village.

 

Day 7: Bwindi

Trekking through the steep, densely forested hills and then finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation is an inspiring and privileged moment. Tracking in the Bwindi forest requires stamina and can often take most of the day. Alternatively there are other activities and excursions on offer in and around the national park. Overnight at Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge.

 

Day 8: Kigali (Departure)

Your safari ends with your journey to Kigali. Before transferring to the airport, there maybe time to tour the city and visit the genocide memorial, a moving testimony to this country’s past that it has courageously overcome. Return to your hotel or transfer to the airport in time for your return flight.