Volcanoes Safaris - vacations and travel

8 Day Gorillas in the Virungas & Bwindi

“I just got back from a truly remarkable trip!!! I have travelled extensively and this was the best trip I… ”
Rwanda, Africa

from $5,406* per person 8 Days Year-round
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Volcanoes Safaris 10 people max
  • Kigali airport, kigali, rwanda
  • Culture & Nature trips
National Geographic Traveler's Tours of a Lifetime 2010
Safari Highlights include:

    * GORILLA TRACKING in PNV, Bwindi and Nkuringo (four opportunities).
    * DIAN FOSSEY’S grave in PNV/Ros Carr’s orphanage
    * GOLDEN MONKEYS in Mgahinga/PNV
    * CLIMB the Muhavura or Gahinga Volcanoes/nature walk.
    * NATUREWALK in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Locations visited/nearby

Rwanda, Africa

1 testimonial about this trip

  1. Reviewer:
    I just got back from a truly remarkable trip!!! I have travelled extensively and this was the best trip I have ever taken.
    5

3 testimonials about the provider, Volcanoes Safaris:

  • Reviewer:
    "Thank you for your help in making the visit of the President and First Lady a success."
    5
  • Reviewer:
    "Excellent in every way. The guide's fantastic knowledge of birds was an extra bonus."
    5
  • Reviewer:
    "Probably one of the most extrordinary lodges on earth."
    5

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Itinerary

Day 1

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.

O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (L, D)
    Day 2

    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.

     

    O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)
    Day 3

    ·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.

    O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)
    Day 4

    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.

    O/N: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (B, L, D)
    Day 5

    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. Alternatively there are other exciting activities for those interested in the culture and natural history of Mgahinga:

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

    Hike the Muhavura or Gahinga Volcanoes. Gahinga offers a gentler hike through the bamboo forest on the lower slopes and marshy craters at the peak. The lower slopes are rich with forest birds and the marshes near the summit are home to bushbuck and elusive duiker. Muhavura is the most challenging peak in the park. The hike will take most of the day, but the adventurous will be rewarded with great sense of accomplishment and  - on a good day - spectacular views.

    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.

    O/N: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (B, L, D)
    Day 6

    The breathtaking drive to Bwindi, sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of Africa, is along winding mountain roads and through thick forests. 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.

    O/N: Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (B, L, D)
    Day 7

    After enjoying an early breakfast, you set off gorilla tracking. 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:

    Take a guided walk in the rainforest, home to several endemic bird species, clouds of butterflies and rare plant life. This walk offers excellent photographic opportunities and the knowledgeable guide will provide a great insight into this globally important habitat.

    Walk through the local village, and learn about community projects, such as the Amagara project that assists local farmers and their communities, and Bwindi Community Hospital which started as a health clinic under a tree and now provides vital medical and educational services to over 60,000 people. The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust supports both projects.

    Discover the traditions of the Batwa Pygmies, and learn about the native tribal inhabitants of the forest. The indigenous people of Bwindi forest, though no longer resident in the forest, still practice many of their traditional hunter-gatherer skills.

    O/N: Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (B, L, D)
    Day 8

    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 .

    (B, L)

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