8 Days Virunga Hikes & Gorilla Trekking Tour
Day 1: Arrive at Ruhengeri
Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our representative who will make you feel at home since this is a very important feeling for any traveler. The representative will be at your service and you can ask as many questions on whatever subject concerning your safari and more and he will assist you kindly. After this short period of fraternization with our representative, you will then drive north towards the parc nationale des volcans which is where you will track the gorillas from. Enroute to the park, you will be treated to various sceneries ranging from the beautiful terraced hills for which Rwanda is well known, the Virunga mountains and several other forms of flora and fauna. Rwanda is a very beautiful country and as such as you should always have your camera ready to flash because you do not know what you might see around the corner. After this long trip you will reach the town of Ruhengeri which is like the tourist town of the park and here you will spend the night at either Gorilla Nest Lodge[luxury],La Palme Hotel[mid range] or Kinigi Guest House.
Day 2 & 3: Gorilla tracking
You will have an early morning breakfast at your hotel/lodge and thereafter drive to the Headquarters of Parc National des Volcans. While there, you will meet your ranger guides for the day and they will brief about the behavior of the primates and most importantly on the dos and don’ts of the activity. The rangers are a very lovely bunch and they have been trained in handling of the mountain gorilla and several other animals in the park and so if you follow whatever they tell, then you are assured of a safe fruitful trip. After this briefing by the rangers you will be grouped and ready for the experience of a lifetime. The gorilla tracking activity is as gripping as it is exploratory, taking you through large areas of the forest along rough paths. Therefore the trackers have to be physically fit in order to handle the sometimes muddy terrain in this mountain area. You will be gone for the most part of the day as it may take you several hours to find a group of gorillas but you will find one anyway and after that you spend quality time mingling with the primates in very close proximity. Get your camera ready and spread the myth because this is something you have definitely never seen. You will return to your hotel/lodge after this and spend the night there.
Day 4: Golden monkey tracking
After breakfast, you will yet again track one of the most amazing primates in the region. This time it will be the lovely and interesting golden monkey. These golden monkeys are the most endangered primates in the Volcanoes and as such are worth seeing. Imagine the sight of a monkey with a golden colour and with the characteristic of forming troops. This activity will take all morning with a strong promise of fun for you. After lunch at your hotel/lodge, you will either choose to relax or go for community walk around the place. Overnight at Gorilla Nest Lodge/La Palme Hotel/Kinigi Guest House
Day 5: Mount Bisoke Hike
After a nice breakfast at the hotel/lodge, you will head to the headquarters where you will meet your guide for the day. The guide will brief you about the activity of the day which is hiking and he will give you a few tips on how to best go about the activity. The Bisoke Mountain provides for a very good hiking area with nice slopes. This activity will take you around 3 hours and it could more/less depending on your personal fitness. Be sure to enjoy this activity for it is a well known fact that it is not for the fainthearted and you are surely one of the brave ones. You will head back to the hotel after your hike and you will choose to either relax or go for an afternoon walk after lunch. It is a good thing to go for the walks though as it gives you the opportunity to meet and talk to the locals about the country. After concluding the day’s activities, you will spend the night at the Gorilla Nest Lodge/La Palme Hotel/Kinigi Guest House
Day 6: Transfer to Mgahinga National Park
After breakfast, you will head to the Rwanda-Uganda border at Cyanika and cross to Kisoro in Uganda. This is like part two of your safari as you will be conducting it in another country. The journey is not a short one and since you will be moving all day, you need to brace yourself for the beautiful scenery along the way. The road is in very good condition and you shall have no difficulty traveling, however, the hiccup could be at the border where you might be engaged in lengthy routine check. Upon arrival in Kisoro, you will check in at the hotel/lodge you so choose and relax thereafter. You will choose either the Mgahinga Safari Lodge/Travellers’ rest/Kisoro Tourist Hotel to spend the night.
Day 7: Gorilla trekking
You will have an early morning breakfast after which you will head to the park headquarters of the Bwindi national park. The guide for the day will take you through what you need to do to have a safe safari. As you will have discovered before gorilla tracking is a very exciting activity and to answer any questions about why you have to do this twice, well look no further. The mountain gorillas of Virunga and Bwindi are a little bit dissimilar and it is accomplishing to see both. By the way these are the only two places in the world where these primates are found, so technically you will have seen all mountain gorillas. Gorilla tracking is a very exciting and unforgettable experience, which will take you through a thick jungle for the whole of the day and give you the opportunity to interact with mountain gorillas at very close range. As exciting as this activity will be, it can be tiring so you need to go geared up. You will spend the night at either Mgahinga Safari Lodge/Travellers’ rest/Kisoro Tourist Hotel.
Day 8: Departure
After a morning breakfast, you will drive back to Rwanda and be transferred to Kigali Airport to find your departure flight. During this trip back you will have a last chance to see this beautiful country and I hope you fall in love with it the way we love it.