Days
4
Price from
£1,915GBP

Trekking through the Rwandan jungle can be a strenuous experience, however the reward of coming face to face with a family of gorillas is a memory that will stay with you forever. After a night spent in our lodge, nestled in the scenic slopes of the Sabinyo Volcano, hike through thick bamboo forest, alpine moorland and dense jungle to the habitat of one of ten mountain gorilla families. Sit quietly and wait for these magnificent creatures to emerge from the wilderness – a truly breathtaking moment.

Independent Experiences
Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Experiences are a range of short packages that you can add to other Experiences or as an extension to a longer tour, to craft your perfect holiday itinerary. Independent Experiences are for 1-3 travellers, depart daily and offer the back-up of Peregrine, our local offices and expert resident guides.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this itinerary will visit the genocide museum on day 1 rather than day 4. As such passengers will need to arrive prior to 1pm on day 1.


Start
Kigali, Rwanda
Finish
Kigali, Rwanda
Country
Rwanda
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Wildlife
Code
PFRGX
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
1 review
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1, Max 3

Why we love this trip

  • Come face-to-face with rare mountain gorillas on the ultimate wildlife adventure. Trek through Rwanda's steamy jungle and spend an unforgettable hour in the presence of these majestic creatures.

  • Stay in a mountain lodge nestled at the foot of the stunning Virunga Mountains. Get ready for breath-taking views.

  • Discover a different, darker side to the country at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre – a place to learn about and reflect on the atrocities the Rwandan people faced in the mid-90s.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid. But the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. Perhaps pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs.

  • Although this is an Independent Experience, your gorilla trek will be a shared activity. You will be accompanied by other travellers, with a maximum of 8 people per gorilla family, plus your guides.

  • Our Independent Experiences have been designed for just one to three people, departing every day of the week for most Experiences. You can mix and match to create your perfect trip combination, then we’ll arrange the transport between each experience for you. You will have local guides at most destinations and activities. It’s independent travel without the stress.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to Rwanda. This Independent Experience starts at Kigali Airport where you will be met by our local representative. Please arrange to arrive in Kigali before 2pm – if your flight does not arrive before that time then you need to arrive one day earlier and book one night's pre-tour accommodation as well as an arrival transfer (these will be at an additional cost). Please read the visa information for Rwanda on your pre-departure information before you depart, as you're required to apply for your visa before arrival. Your adventure begins with a drive through the verdant rolling hills of Rwanda. You’ll be staying in the Kinigi region, approximately 17 kilometres from Musanze town (formerly Ruhengeri). Your accommodation is a lodge nestled on the scenic lower slopes of Sabinyo Volcano – one of five volcanoes located in the Parc National des Volcans. The Volcanoes National Park is the oldest national park in Africa, and it was specifically created to protect the habitat of the gorillas.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
After a very early start, drive to the park headquarters (approximately 30 minutes) where you’ll be briefed on the gorilla trek by the guides of Parc National des Volcans. Ten different gorilla families live here, in bamboo forest interspersed with alpine moorland, grassland and marshland. The groups include Group 13, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Susa, Kwitonda (which has recently arrived from the DRC) and the Hirwa group, newly formed from different habituated families. Gorilla trekking is highly controlled, with only 80 gorilla trekking permits available each day. Once a trekking group encounters one of the gorilla families, only one hour is granted in the presence of the great apes before trekkers must leave, however reluctantly. Be aware that the trek can be strenuous and may reach altitudes of almost 3,000 metres above sea level. Depending on weather conditions, some of the paths can be slippery and these paths themselves can change depending on the location of the gorillas. Therefore it is very hard to predict how long you will need to walk for, but a very good level of fitness is recommended for this trek. It may take anything between 40 minutes and five hours to reach your designated gorilla family, but it’s more than worth it. The trackers will have already set out and located the gorilla family by the time you begin your trek, so your actual walking time can usually be predicted when you set off. You can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Be mesmerised as you watch them eat, sleep, groom and play – the giant silverback surveying the scene as the smaller ones laze in the trees or play like children. As lunch can only be taken upon return to the hotel, it is recommended that you bring a few snacks to keep you going throughout the morning. At the end of the day the comforts of the hotel beckon, along with a chance to reflect on what is sure to be a truly memorable day.

Notes: Your gorilla trek will be a shared activity. You will be accompanied by other travellers, with a maximum of 8 people per gorilla group, plus your guides.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Volcanoes National Park - Mountain gorilla trek & permit
Optional Activities
  • Ruhengeri - Venge Village walk - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
You will have a number of optional activities today. It is possible to partake in an additional gorilla trek. However, this is subject to permit availability and must be pre-purchased in advance. For fans of the book and/or movie 'Gorillas in the Mist', the Dian Fossey Trek is anther good option. You’ll follow in Dian Fossey's footsteps on your way to her grave, as well as the graves belonging to many poached gorillas, including the famous Digit. Be guided around the incredible setting where Old Karisoke Research Station was set up and, although very little of the station remains, imagine the life that Dian Fossey led in these isolated mountains. For a more leisurely but equally memorable experience, trekking in search of golden monkeys is highly recommended. In June 2003 the National Parks Department first allowed permits to walk the trails in search of these rare and engaging primates. This walk will take you to the edge of the forest, where watching these unique monkeys play and interact is a mesmerising experience. After your experience today you will then travel back to Kigali (approximately 2 hours) late in the afternoon or early in the evening. Dinner tonight will be at your own expense and can be enjoyed at one of the many nearby restaurants.

Notes: It is strongly advised that these options are pre-booked and confirmed at time of purchase of the main tour, in order to ensure availability. Gorilla trekking permits in particular can be booked out many months in advance. Please note the prices of these options are not inclusive of transport costs to and from the activity. Please note that the roads leading to both of the above treks are not in the best condition, so be prepared for a rough and bumpy ride.
Accommodation
  • Lemigo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Volcanoes National Park - Dian Fossey's Memorial - USD90
  • Volcanoes National Park - Golden Monkeys Trek Permit - USD115
  • Volcanoes National Park - Full Day Mt. Bisoke Hike - USD75
  • Volcanoes National Park - Nature walk Rwanda - USD55
  • Ruhengeri - Venge Village walk - USD35
  • Volcanoes National Park - Additional Gorilla Trek Permit - USD1120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning you will be taken on a city tour of Kigali, including the Genocide Museum, which was opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Whilst the genocide occurred as a result of a complex series of factors, it can only be seen as an absolute tragedy to Rwanda and its people. Time spent at the museum is sure to be emotionally moving, but it is an important way to understand the sheer courage and resilience of the people of this beautiful, tiny nation. You will then be transferred to Kigali International Airport, arriving there about midday (approximately 1.5 hour drive).

Notes: Your international departure flights from Kigali today should not be booked to depart before 2pm.
Included Activities
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Audio Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Car

Accommodation

Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Volcanoes National Park - Mountain gorilla trek & permit
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Audio Guide

Reviews

Our Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda Experience - Independent trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 1 review in the last year.

Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda Experience - Independent, May 2016

Ross & Martha Bradstreet

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Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.