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Baby gorilla, Virunga Safari Lodge

Highlights of Rwanda: Gorillas and Chimpanzees

9-day itinerary from £5,495 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A once-in-a-lifetime trip trekking with silverback gorillas in the jungles of Rwanda

Highlights

  • Track gorillas and golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park
  • Trek with chimpanzees among the verdant slopes of Nyungwe Forest
  • Relax, swim and kayak during sunset on Lake Kivu
  • Enjoy traditional meals and fantastic accommodation among Rwanda's nature

In Brief

  • 1 Night Kigali
  • 2 Nights Nyungwe
  • 1 Night Lake Kivu
  • 3 Nights Volcanoes National Park

About

Recommended for:
Activity adventure | All-inclusive | Jungle | Mountains | Photography | Unique & unusual | Wildlife

This is an unmissable opportunity to track gorillas and chimpanzees deep in Rwanda's verdant rainforests. You'll start in buzzing Kigali, before making your way to the jungles and mountains of Nyungwe National Park where you'll go in search of our closest ancestor – the chimpanzee. You'll also enjoy canopy walks through the forest and a stay in a charming villa before heading to pristine Lake Kivu, fringed with sandy beaches and inlets for a day's swimming and sunset kayaking. Finally, you'll arrive at the stunning Volcanoes National Park, where you'll join an expert guide to track gorillas and spend some time with them in their jungle home – a truly magical experience.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Rwanda

Begin your trip in style with VIP airport lounge access before your daytime flight to Rwanda. Then, enjoy a private transfer from the airport to your hotel in the centre of buzzing Kigali, surrounded by verdant hills and valleys. Both recommended hotels offer exquisite dining options with the likes of farm-to-table cuisine and a range of Rwandan and international dishes on offer.

Stay: Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel (Superior) or Kigali Marriott Hotel (Deluxe)

Days 2-3
Nyungwe National Park

This morning you'll head out on the fascinating drive from Kigali to Nyungwe, a region dotted with tiny rural villages set against a landscape dominated by verdant hills, tea plantations and eucalyptus trees. We've included a stop at the replica of the 18th century King’s Palace and 1930s royal residence, where you'll find the resident royal ‘inyambo’ – sacred cows with super-sized horns. The dramatic rainforest of Nyungwe National Park is your home for the next two days – a verdant jungle home to 300 bird species and 85 animal species, including chimpanzees. The next day will be spent trekking through the dense rainforest, waiting for the screech of the chimpanzees swinging joyously in the trees as you track them along paths accompanied by a guide. There's also the option to walk along the longest and highest canopy trail in Africa, crossing deep ravines shaded by the leafy verdure. You'll stay at the luxurious One & Only Nywunge House, situated deep in the jungle. Immerse yourself in nature in your wooden villa among the treetop, relaxing by a roaring fire or out on your private deck accompanied by spectacular canopy views. And, in the evenings, dinners served by candlelight and to the sounds of the jungle.

Stay: One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Lake Kivu

After breakfast, you'll transfer to Lake Kivu, dotted with hundreds of inlets edged by terraced, leafy slopes and sandy beaches. Enjoy swimming and marvelling at the views of the nearby Nyiragongo volcano and its dramatic red ash cloud. We’ve also included a sunset kayaking tour among fishing boats, where you'll navigate across the lake and its lush islands. You'll stay at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, complete with pool, bar and beach – tonight enjoy an optional buffet-style dinner and evening entertainment. 

Stay: Lake Kivu Serena (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 5
Volcanoes National Park

This morning, a private transfer will take you to Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and your chosen accommodation. You'll stay in either the Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel or Virunga Lodge, a traditional Rwandese-style lodge perched high on a ridge with views of the volcanoes and lake, where you'll enjoy an included 30-minute massage. Alternatively, upgrade to the newest luxury lodge in the region. Located close to the park headquarters, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge features elegant rooms, a superb restaurant and dramatic views over Bisake volcano. Whichever you choose, you'll be perfectly placed for the next day's gorilla tracking adventure. 

Stay: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (Superior) or Virunga Lodge, Volcanoes National Park (Deluxe) or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Days 6-7
Gorilla tracking & optional activities

Enjoy the undisputed highlight of your holiday today, as you join an expert guide for a visit to one of the region's mountain gorilla troops, living along the slopes of the five extinct volcanoes. At the Kinigi Gorilla Headquarters, you'll be welcomed with tea and coffee before being split into small groups according to your fitness level – walks can take anywhere from and hour and a half to a full day. After a safety briefing, you’ll drive to the park boundaries, then trek through the light bamboo forest along the slopes of the volcanoes into thick bush, shrubs and stinging nettles – one of the gorillas’ preferred foods. Once the gorillas are located and you reach your designated gorilla family, you have an hour to witness these magical creatures; an awe-inspiring experience as you stand moments away from gorillas and their babies. The following day, there's the chance to see more wildlife with an included golden monkey trek, while a host of optional activities, from canoeing to hiking further showcase the region's spectacular natural world. There's also the chance to visit the Karisoke Exhibit, which showcases Rwanda’s mountain gorilla conservation success, run by the Dian Fossey international gorilla conservation organisation.

Stay: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (Superior) or Virunga Lodge, Volcanoes National Park (Deluxe) or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 8-9
Kigali to UK

After breakfast, transfer to Kigali where you've got time to explore the city. Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial site to learn more about the country’s harrowing history of the genocide against the Tutsis in 1994, one of the most gruesome events in modern history. A few years later, Rwanda has re-introduced joint monthly community service that has resulted in an immaculately clean and orderly country. Finally, head to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK, arriving on day nine.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

9-day itinerary from £5,495 incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £5,495 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £5,830 pp. incl. flights

Includes:

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return flights from London to Kigali
  • Private airport transfers and transport throughout
  • 2 nights accommodation in 4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis
  • 3 nights accommodation in a 4* (Superior) lodge on a full-board basis
  • 2 nights accommodation in a 5* (Deluxe) lodge on a full-board basis including house wines and beers
  • Gorilla tracking permit, chimpanzee and golden monkey tracking permits
  • Visit to King's Palace
  • Kayaking on Lake Kivu


Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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