5 Days the Soul of Rwanda Gorilla Tracking
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It is an exhilarating trek from your home at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge through the dense foliage of Rwanda's emerald jungle. You observe the scout clearing a path in front of you with his machete. Following a soft remark from your guide, you notice a flash of dark fur against the background of green. You've discovered a group of rare mountain gorillas. The mothers congregate for a friendly chat, and the kids run around and play, irking their teenage babysitters, all under the watchful eye of the giant silverback patriarch. They are so much like humans in so many ways. Your hour spent in silence with this extended family must rank among the most profound wildlife encounters in Africa, if not the entire globe.
Put down your camera and sit awhile, just observing their social rituals, the keenness of their relationships, and the depth and range of their emotions. There are only a few hundred of these gentle giants left, and watching them at the brink of potential extinction is, for many, a transformative moment.
This 5-day tour will take you into the heart of the area first brought to the world’s attention by pioneering primatologist Dian Fossey and immerse you in the majesty of Africa’s first gazetted national park that dates back to 1925.
- Trek to the Dian Fossey Research Camp
- Search for mountain gorillas & golden monkeys
- Visit Buhanga Sacred Forest
- Climb volcanoes & cruise on lakes
- Visit Iby'iwacu cultural village & Musanze Market
- Bird-watching walks
- Massage treatments to refresh after hikes
- Experience Kwita Izina, the gorilla-naming ceremony (June only)
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Itinerary (Day by Day)
Day 1: Jet into Kigali | 1 Night - KIGALI, RWANDA
After landing at Kigali International Airport, a shuttle bus will transfer you to the Kigali Serena Hotel, a modern multi-story establishment that has everything from a spa and gym to several restaurants and bars. The very comfortable rooms will ensure you have a good night’s sleep after a long-haul flight so that you are well-rested to tackle the slopes and jungles of Volcanoes National Park in search of elusive mountain gorillas.
Kigali Serena Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Days 2-4: Into the Virunga Mountains | 3 Nights - VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA
For the next four days, your home is the warm and welcoming Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains. The name ‘Virunga’ is an English version of the Kinyarwanda word ibirunga, which means ‘volcanoes’. The park was first gazetted in 1925, to protect the gorillas from poachers, and was the first national park to be created in Africa.
Rwandans are generally characterized by their friendly smiles and a can-do attitude. This is reflected at the lodge, where the personal touch is the hallmark of service. Experienced staff may help you with the settings on your camera and point you in the right direction for some excellent shots. The dining is excellent and the stone buildings of the lodge are warm and inviting, with fireplaces for the evenings in the cooler months, as well as en suite bathrooms and sheltered verandas. Curl up with a warm drink after a long trek to reminisce about your day, or sip a cool cocktail outside, drinking in the view over the forests and mountains. There is also a library and games room for those relaxed moments in the day.
The main attraction at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is, of course, the gorillas and you are almost guaranteed a sighting. Mountain gorillas are critically endangered, with only a few hundred left. Trekking is strictly controlled; you need a permit and may only spend an hour with the gorillas. It may be the highlight of your stay but there is much more to do. Try a post-trek massage treatment to ease your muscles and prepare you for your next hike – perhaps to see the mischievous golden monkeys in the wild. There are also treks and hikes to view the volcanoes and their hidden treasures: the Dian Fossey Research Camp, or Mounts Visoke, Muhabura, or M'gahinga. Visit Buhanga Sacred Forest, Gishwati Forest, or any of the many scenic lakes; you can take a cruise on Lake Bulera. If you are feeling energetic, grab a mountain bike for a fun way to explore the region. But to fully understand the ancient rhythms of the mountain forests, explore the villages and their cultural life. At Iby'iwacu cultural village, talk to ex-poachers who have rejected their former way of life. Discover the traditional house of a local king, watch a medicine man prepare herbal mixtures, try your hand at bow and arrow shooting, or listen to the drums of Africa. And, if you visit in June, witness Kwita Izina, the baby gorilla naming ceremony that takes place every year during the month of June in Rwanda.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5: One last look
Four days is a short stay but it is long enough to build memories to treasure. Bid your farewells and take your leave of the forest and its enigmatic inhabitants before setting your compass for home.
None / On Request
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Lodges,Hotels and Camps reccommended
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Free WiFi
- Free parking
- Room service
- Fabulous breakfast
- Family rooms
- Park fees (for non residents)
- All activities mentioned (unless clearly labeled as optional)
- Meals (as specified in the day by day description)
- All accommodation mentioned (unless clearly labeled as optional upgrade)
- Roundtrip airport transfer
- A professional driver/guide
- All transportation mentioned (unless clearly labeled as optional)
- All taxes/vat
- Gorilla Trek (including permit)
- Community Fees
- Golden Monkey Trek (including permit)
- International flights (from/to the client's home country)
- Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
- Personal items (souvenirs travel insurance visa fees and other personal items)
- Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
- Tips and gratuities
·40% Deposit payable upfront. The remaining balance is payable 45 days prior to trip departure. Free cancellation up to 30 days prior to departure, but the 40% deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applicable within 20 days of departure.
A deposit of 40% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior to departure. For any bookings within 30 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.
We advise you to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances. Moonlight Tours Expedition recommends World Nomads' travel insurance.
- The exact order contents and rates of this tour is subject to availability.
- If an accommodation is fully booked we will suggest a comparable alternative.
- We reserve the right to change the rates advertised on moonlight tours expedition company without prior notice.
- Rates include a fixed budget for flights during this tour.
- If flights cost more your quote will reflect this tour.
- Best price gurantee
- No booking fees
$12174 (USD pp)