Rwanda Gorillas Trekking

Detailed Safari Program

Day 1: KIGALI

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, met by a CATS Africa representative and transferred to Kigali Serena Hotel. Rest of the day/afternoon and evening at leisure at your hotel, with dinner on own account. Overnight at KIGALI SERENA HOTEL (Bed & breakfast).

Day 2: KIGALI/NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast,drive south-wards of Rwanda - to the historical towns of Nyanza and Butare for a short tour of their attractions. At the end of the tour, enjoy lunch at a Butare hotel or restaurant. After lunch, continue on your journey further south-wards, and then westwards and through the Nyungwe Forest, to arrive at Nyungwe ForestLodge in the early evening. Evening at leisure at your hotel/lodge, with dinner included. Dinner and overnight at NYUNGWE FOREST LODGE (full board).

Day 3: NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast, transferred to the park office, for registration of your Chimpanzee trekking.

About 500 chimpanzees live in the Nyungwe Forest. The trekking can take anything from a few hours to full day depending on where the chimpanzees are. Take note that it is not guaranteed to see the chimps as they are unpredictable and can move long distances in one day.

At the end of the chimps trek, return to your hotel/lodge for freshening up and lunch. Afternoon is at leisure - for optional activities, such as the Canopy Adventure Hike. All meals and overnight at NYUNGWE FOREST LODGE (full board). 

Day 4: NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK/VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast at the lodge, depart Nyungwe Forest and take the scenic drive along and parallel to the shores of Lake Kivu to the central Lake Kivu town of Kibuye. Arrive in Kibuye in the mid-morning, for a brief relaxation on the lake-shore, before lunch at a Kibuye hotel. After lunch on the shores of Lake Kivu, depart and drive eastwards and then north-eastwards, to the Volcanoes Mountains region. Arrive at your volcanoes lodge in the early evening, for check-in. Evening is at leisure at your lodge, with dinner included. Dinner and overnight at SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE (full board). 

Day 5: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the park headquarters for the gorilla trek registration and allocation of the particular gorilla family to visit. After registration and allocation of a gorilla family, the trekkers are put into groups - each group’s Lead Guide briefs the trekkers of the trekking procedures as well as the“do’s and don’ts” while in the presence of gorillas. After the briefing, trekkers return to their respective vehicles for the drive up the mountain to the trek start point, or Trail-Head.

Your trek starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virunga’s offering stirring views in all directions. Trekking can take from two to six or more hours if the gorillas move before the park rangers locate them the next morning. The guides stop frequently to allow trekkers a chance to rest and take photos along the way. When it enters the national park, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rain forest, alive with the colorful bird calls, chattering golden monkeys, littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive buffalo and elephant. Through gaps in the canopy, the magnificent peaks are glimpsed, among the highest in Africa yet easily accessible, beckon an ascent. Weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia trees and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate, our experienced trackers, who have spent their entire lives in or close to this forest, soon bring us up close with one of the Gorilla families. Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical one-hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth! The Ultimate Experience!!

At the end of the trek, rejoin your driver-guide and transfer back to your lodge for freshening-up and lunch. Afternoon is at leisure – to simply relax at your lodge, or take up one of the optional activities, such as the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village visit. All meals and overnight at SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE (full baord).

Day 6: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK / KIGALI

Breakfast at your lodge. Morning at leisure - one with nature under the shadows of the volcanoes mountains, with opportunity for a second gorilla trek or other of the optional activities available such as the Golden Monkey trekking – the only other member of the primates species residing in the volcanoes.

For the Golden Monkey Trek:

Early breakfast at your lodge. You then be transferred to the park headquarters for registration of your Golden Monkey trek.

Trekking to see the Golden Monkeys is another highlight of Volcanoes National Park. The Golden Monkey is a local sub-species of the widespread Sykes Monkey, also known as the “Blue Monkey” and is endemic to the high altitude forests of the Volcanoes National Park area. The monkeys are playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches or frolicking on the forest floor. Just as with the Mountain Gorillas, visitors are permitted to stay for only 1 hour with the Golden Monkeys.

Lunch at your lodge, followed by check-out. Afternoon depart and drive down the foothills of the volcanoes mountains - on the scenic but winding road and through the beautiful, rolling hills and back to Kigali. Arrive in Kigali in the early evening, for check-in at your Kigali hotel. Evening at leisure at your hotel, with dinner on own account. Overnight at KIGALI SERENA HOTEL (Bed & breakfast).

Day 7: DEPART

Breakfast at your hotel, followed by check-out. Morning, enjoy a sight-seeing/orientation tour of Kigali City – including the genocide memorial museum, and then lunch before being transferred to the Kigali Airport, for your outbound flight.