Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by a Safari-DMC representative and after a safari briefing, proceed on a City Tour of Kigali including the Kigali Memorial Centre.
Kigali has been the political and economic capital of Rwanda’s since independence in 1951. A fast growing cosmopolitan town of 1m inhabitants with wide and landscaped boulevards, world class hotels and restaurants as well as an international airport, it is reputedly the best organized and cleanest city in Africa. Tour lower Kigali around Nyabugogo open air market which is a little crowded and considered the heart of Kigali’s informal economy and continue to the Kigali genocide Memorial Center; learn about the Rwandan genocide of 1994, how it was triggered and carried out, and what lessons we can learn from that past. In one section, learn too about other past genocides in world. We continue past the ‘skyscraper’ city center with her pave, maintained and clean boulevards and international hotels to the parliament building which was scene of some fighting in 1994. We culminate in the adjacent new developments around Kimihurura, Kimironko area and the Nyarutarama suburb popularly referred to as the Beverly Hills of Kigali and see firsthand Rwanda’s transition; the recovery has been incredible – a true testament to mankind’s resilience in the face of unfathomable odds.
After lunch at a local restaurant, drive on north to Volcanoes National Park (115kms/2½hrs)Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda encompasses the Rwanda section of the Virunga Volcanoes, a series of eight volcanic mountains which sit astride the border triangle between Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo and include the still active Nyiragongo and Nyakagezi located in DR Congo. Situated 115kms/2½hrs drive north-west of Kigali and encompassing five of the volcanoes, the park’s 160km² of bamboo montane forest are habitat for the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas of which only approx. 800 members remain in the world! Immortalized in the movie “Gorillas-In-The-Mist” depicting the life and times of American zoologist Dian Fossey who spent almost 20yrs in the 60s to the 80s studying the gorillas, they inspire great human curiosity owing to their being massive wild animals that genetically, socially and physically so closely resemble humans. Other mammals include the beautiful Golden Monkeys, a variety of antelopes, hyenas, bushbucks, and some buffaloes and forest elephants, as well as over 170 species of birds. Of the many gorilla families, 10 have been habituated and opened for controlled Gorilla Tracking, one of the most popular tourist activities. Other activities in and around the park include Golden Monkeys Tracking, guided Hikes up several of the Volcanoes as well as scenic tours and cultural tours in the outlying areas.
You will arrive at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge in time for dinner and overnight.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is 3* Bush Lodge situated in Kinigi at the foothills of Volcanoes National Park’s Mount Karisimbi, in northern Rwanda. At barely a 10mins drive from the National Park offices where gorilla tracking starts, the lodge’s accommodation facilities comprise 30 spacious and en-suite chalets made from local materials scattered across the beautiful natural grounds. Each chalet comes complete with 1x King size Bed or 2x Twin Beds, a sitting area, fireplace as well as tea/coffee making machine. They are complimented by a spacious dining room with a center-piece hearth and expansive lounge areas from where to enjoy great Rwandan hospitality for which the lodge is renowned.
Arise early for breakfast then at 06.30hrs: transfer to the National Park HQs for your Gorilla Tracking adventure. After registration, participants are put into groups of 8, allocated a gorilla family to track and a specialist Gorilla Tracking Guide to lead them.
0700hrs: Briefing by your guide then drive to the trail head from where the trekking begins. Your guide will lead you, first, through local homesteads and small scale pyrethrum farms then into the forest and up the volcanoes through interspersed bamboo forest and grassland with stunning views in the footsteps of the rare yet critically endangered Mountain Gorillas. And he/she never seems to run out of interesting stories about the forest, conservation, the vegetation and the gorillas and other of this forest’s inhabitants.
Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for one unforgettable hour as they go about their daily life – feeding, playing, resting, sleeping, raising their young; almost oblivious of your presence but definitely curious, especially the little ones who sometimes come rather close. It is a magical and breathtaking experience.
But the hour is always over too soon and you hike back to base where your Driver will be awaiting to transfer you back to the lodge for a deserved shower and lunch.
In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of the Ibyi’Iwacu ex-Poachers Village for a cultural experience.
Situated in Kinigi at the foothills of the Sabyinyo Volcano, 'ex-Poachers' as it is popularly referred to, is an award winning conservation initiative where former poachers were persuaded to desist from poaching and instead come together to form this replica of a Rwandan traditional village with a king’s palace and four traditional huts where they showcase aspects of Rwandan culture, traditions and customs and earn a living as conservationists. On arrival at the village, guests are welcomed with cultural drums, song and dance then led by a village guide through the various exhibitions including traditional rural life, cookery and foods, weaving, grinding, fire-making, a traditional healer with a herbal and spiritual medicine’s ‘laboratory’, archery, javelin, a blacksmith and architecture, Rwandan kingship, palace life and coronations as well as the villagers’ previous life as poachers and their new found passion in conservation and how they have benefited. At the end of the tour, you will have an opportunity to learn a few steps and moves in the very captivating Rwanda cultural dance as well as buy some local curios and crafts including the popular agaseke (traditional baskets), calabashes, hammocks, traditional wooden crockery, dancing bows, arrows and beautiful drums of all sizes.
You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast transfer back to the Park HQs for a Golden Monkeys Tracking experience.
The beautiful Golden Monkeys are considered the little sisters of the Mountain Gorillas with whom they share the Virunga Volcanoes; suffering the same threats ranging from human encroachment, habitat loss, poaching and snares as well as wars and together are listed on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. A primate species of the Old World Monkeys and endemic to the Virunga Volcanoes and KahuziBiega in eastern DRC, they are a relatively big monkey, similar to the blue monkey but with a beautiful Golden-Orange flowing cape on the back and rear as well as contrasting black limbs and face more reminiscent of the Colobus Monkeys. They live in social groups of up to 30 or 40 members feeding on fresh bamboo shoots, leaves, fruits, branches and insects and tend to sleep in the same location high up the bamboo trees day in and day out.
After registration and briefing by your guide, 0700hrs: you will proceed to the trailhead where the trekking into the forest begins. Our guests visit/track one of the two habituated families, in groups of maximum 8 persons; Your guide is always at hand to tell all the amazing stories about the monkeys – they know some of them by features and name – their place in the eco-system, their proclivity to being poached as well as why should be conserved.
Upon sighting the Golden Monkeys, you will spend a fascinating hour in their presence as they go about their daily life. They are ample fun to see, and also excellent to photograph although it can be a little difficult even as they jump from tree to tree.
After the hour is over, you will hike back to base where your guide will be waiting to transfer you back to the lodge for a shower and lunch; the excursion normally last 3 to 4hrs round trip.
Following lunch, you check out, drive back to Kigali and check in at Lemigo Hotel for overnight.
Lemigo Hotel is 4* property, conveniently located in the Kimihurura barely 5kms from Kigali International Airport and 7mins away from the hustle and bustle of the City Centre. The hotel provides 176 spacious and luxurious guest rooms in a variety of categories; 68 Standard Rooms, 85 Deluxe Rooms, 5 Junior Suites, 5 Executive Suites, 5 Executive Rooms, 2 Presidential Suites and 6 Apartments as well as 10 Conference halls all surrounded by beautiful, serene and green grounds. Room amenities include hot and cold, air conditioning, mini bars, electronic safes, hair-dryer, TV, coffee and tea making facilities, water as well as a spare iron and ironing boards. Other hotel amenities include a spacious Restaurant serving continental and American dishes, an Asian fusion Restaurant serving Indian and Chinese cuisine, a Swimming pool, free WiFi, 24hr Room Service, a Health Club with Spa; Sauna; Gym; Steam bath; Discotheque and full body Massage.
In the evening, you will be taken out for dinner at one of Kigali’s nice local restaurant.
After breakfast, you will drive back to Kigali and proceed to the airport for your departure flight.
END of Safar-DMC’s service – BL – safirisalama, kila la kheri!
Tour Price in USD
Per Person Sharing in a Twin/Triple Room US$ 998
Single Room Supplement US$ 225
Primates Tracking Permits (per person)
Gorilla Tracking Permits once US$ 1,500per person per trek
Golden Monkeys Tracking Permits once US$ 100 per person per trek
Airport/airstrip transfers;Ground transportationsing safari-customized 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser; services of courteous and professional English speaking Driver/guides; Mineral water in the vehicle;Gorilla tracking Permits-once (shown separately);applicable Park Fees;Accommodation as shown; Meals as shown (B = Breakfast; L = Lunch and D = Dinner);Medical Emergency Evacuation Cover and applicable Taxes.
Intercontinental flights; Entry Visa fees; Items of a personal nature like crafts and curios shopping, laundry, bar drinks; Tips and gratuities for your Driver/guide, Tour Leader, Hotel or Restaurant Staff, other Guides and Rangers; International airport departure taxes, any other items not shown or expressly mentioned as included.
For any bookings cancelled and/or reduced in number after confirmation, the following Cancellation Policy applies: