This safari begins with the wildlife and birds in Akagera in the east with its beautiful wetland savannah. The highlight of the safari is, of course, tracking the mountain gorillas in Parc National des Volcans (PNV) in the Virunga volcanoes in the northwest. This safari offers an opportunity to track gorillas twice. PNV in Rwanda has five habituated gorilla families and tracking most groups in the afro-montane forest usually takes only a few hours. You can also climb a volcano, visit the remains of Dian Fossey’s grave and the endangered golden monkey. You continue to Nyungwe, in southern Rwanda, a massive afro-montane forest, the largest in Central Africa. The forest has 13 primate species including chimpanzee and large groups of colobus monkeys. Other attractions are 300 bird species and a variety of orchids and butterflies.
Day 1 MONDAY
Met on arrival at airport and transfer to Kigali. Briefing on your safari. After lunch, depart at 2pm for Akagera. Game drive before sunset. O/N: Akagera Lodge (FB). (depeding on yur flight arrivals you may need to arrive in Kigali a day earlier)
Day 2 TUESDAY
Game drives in the park or a canoe ride on Lake Ihema to see the large number of hippo, the huge Nile crocodile and birds. O/N: Akagera Lodge (FB).
Day 3 WEDNESDAY
Early start for Kinigi. The journey north goes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterise much of Rwanda’s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the awesome volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. Late lunch on arrival at PNV. O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 4 THURSDAY
Go gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans (subject to permit availability at the time of booking). Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families however are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 5 FRIDAY
Either go gorilla tracking again in Parc National des Volcans (on payment of supplement at time of booking), or visit the golden monkeys or drive to Gisenyi, visit Ross Carr's orphanage and Lake Kivu or climb the Visoke/Muhavura volcanoes, or trek to Dian Fossey's grave, or visit the local school, community projects or walk to Lake Bulera. O/N: Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 6 SATURDAY
Early start for Nyungwe. Visit the old palace in Nyanza. Drive past green hills of tea and the vast Nyungwe Forest. O/N: ORTPN Resthouse (FB).
Day 7 SUNDAY
Go on an escorted walk in search of the large groups of colobus monkeys and birds including the Rwenzori turaco. Or go chimp tracking. Picnic lunch. Return late afternoon. O/N: ORTPN Resthouse (FB).
Day 8 MONDAY
Guided nature walk in the forest or go chimp tracking. O/N: ORTPN Rest House (FB)
Day 9 TUESDAY
Leave for Kigali. Time permitting, go for a tour of the city including a visit to the market, a pottery project, handicraft shops, the Franco-Rwandan cultural centre and a genocide memorial. Transfer to the airport (HB).
LAND ONLY PRICES
January - December
Prices include. transport and a driver/guide for the itinerary agreed, accommodation on a shared basis and meals as stated and, where appropriate, boat trips, park fees, chimpanzee permits and one gorilla permit. At Volcanoes gorilla lodges (Bwindi, Mount Gahinga and Virunga), the tariffs are on an all-inclusive basis including unlimited consumption of all alcoholic and soft drinks; laundry services; and any activities clients wish to do around the lodges. A complimentary massage is also offered.
Prices exclude: airfares to Uganda/Rwanda, entry visas and airport taxes. At non-Volcanoes lodges all personal expenditure such as tips, telephone calls, laundry and drinks are excluded.
**All gorilla permits need to be purchased at the time of booking or a deposit equivalent to 20% of the cost of the safari paid, whichever is higher. Gorilla viewing is subject to availability of permits, which are limited; any additional gorilla permits required should be purchased when booking. Gorilla permit prices are subject to change without warning.
**The safari prices include a $100 contribution per client which will be transferred to the Volcanoes Partnership Trust, a separate non-profit organisation to undertake community and conservation activities.