Days
4
Price from
5558CAD
Map of Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda Experience – Independent including Rwanda

Trek to an unforgettable encounter with jungle primates

A challenging trek to an extraordinary reward – welcome to the misty jungles of Rwanda, home of the rare mountain gorilla. This four-day Independent Experience with Peregrine focuses on ape encounters, hiking through the bamboo forest, alpine moorland and dense jungle to the habitat of one of ten mountain gorilla families. With expert trackers and mountain guides leading your every move, sightings like this have never been so special. With time also to discover Rwanda’s capital, the country’s confronting history plus dedicated periods of independent exploration, this eastern Africa experience will be all kinds of memorable.


Start
Kigali, Rwanda
Finish
Kigali, Rwanda
Destination
Rwanda
Style
Peregrine
Code
PFRGX
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 4

Why you'll love this trip

  • Trek through Rwanda's steamy jungle to spend an unforgettable hour in the presence of a family of rare mountain gorillas – one of the world’s ultimate wildlife adventures.

  • Stay in a boutique hotel nestled at the foot of the stunning Virunga Mountains with a restaurant, bar and pool and breathtaking views towards Parc National des Volcans.

  • Learn an important yet confronting side of the country’s history at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, plus embark on a city tour of the capital to see modern-day Rwanda on full show.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Our Independent Experiences have been designed for just 1–4 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.

  • 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 downhill. 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 eight people per gorilla family, plus your guides.

Itinerary

Welcome to Rwanda! This Independent Experience starts at Kigali Airport where you will be met by a local representative. On arrival, set off to visit the Genocide Museum – opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. While this incident occurred as a result of a complex series of factors, it is seen as an absolute tragedy to Rwanda and its people. This museum is quite confronting but also an important way to understand the resilience of Rwandan people. Afterwards, travel into gorilla territory with a drive through the rolling hills of Rwanda’s countryside. You’ll be staying in the Musanze region near the Parc National des Volcans – the oldest national park in Africa, specifically created to protect the habitat of the gorillas. Your hotel’s facilities include a pool, restaurant, bar and lounge with fireplace and stunning views of nature.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Audio Guide
  • Kigali - Genocide Memorial Centre
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please arrange to arrive in Kigali before 1 pm – if your flight does not arrive before that time, you will need to arrive one day earlier and book a one-night pre-trip accommodation as well as an arrival transfer, at your own cost.

An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel so the transfer can be arranged.

Please read the ‘Passport and Visa’ section of the Essential Trip Information before you depart, as you're required to apply for your visa before arrival.
After a very early start, drive to the park headquarters (approximately 30 minutes) where you’ll be briefed on the gorilla trek by guides. 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. Trekking may take anything between 40 minutes and five hours to reach your designated family, but it’s more than worth it. Ten different gorilla families live here in bamboo forest interspersed with alpine moorland, grass and marshland, including Group 13, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Susa, Kwitonda and the Hirwa. 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 you must move on. Watch these families eat, sleep, groom and play – the giant silverback surveying the scene as the smaller ones laze in the trees or play. It’s a magnificent sight. As your gorilla experience comes to an end, transfer back to your accommodation for a late lunch and relax for the afternoon, reflecting on what is sure to be a truly memorable day.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Volcanoes National Park - Mountain gorilla trek & permit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
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.

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.

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.
This morning is free for you to continue your independent exploration of Ruhengeri and surrounds. It is possible to partake in an additional gorilla trek – subject to permit availability and must be pre-purchased well in advance. Otherwise, take to the Dian Fossey Trek – well-known for its connection to the 1980s classic ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ – trekking to her grave, the research station and other notable sites. You could also take the rare opportunity to hike in search of golden monkeys, watching these engaging primates interact and play in the forest’s edge. After your optional experience today, travel back to Kigali, arriving late in the afternoon (approximately 2 hours). For tonight, consider enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants nearby to your accommodation – the hotel staff will be able to provide recommendations.
Accommodation
  • Hôtel des Mille Collines or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Volcanoes National Park - Dian Fossey's Memorial - USD90
  • Volcanoes National Park - Golden Monkeys Trek Permit & guide (from price) - 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 - USD1870
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
If you are interested in the additional gorilla trek permit, it is advised to pre-book this activity at the time of purchase of the main tour, in order to ensure availability. 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 treks are not in the best condition, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.
This morning, embark on a city tour of Kigali, learning about this eastern Africa capital city. After an hour or so, depart the city for Kigali Airport, arriving before 12 pm (midday). With no activities planned after this, your Independent Experience finishes on arrival at the airport.
Included Activities
  • Kigali - City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that international flight departures from Kigali today should not be booked to depart before 1 pm, to allow for any delays.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (1 night), Lodge (2 nights)

Included Activities

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

Dates & availability

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Important notes

MINIMUM AGE
There is a minimum age of 15 years for gorilla tracking.

GORILLA PERMIT
This trip requires an additional non-refundable deposit (AUD 2400, USD 2400, EUR 1800, NZD 2700, GBP 1500, CAD 2400, ZAR 20000, CHF 2000) in order to secure a gorilla trek permit. We also require passport details at time of booking.

RWANDA VISA
All tourists requiring a Rwanda visa must pre-register for their visa prior to arrival in Rwanda. Details such as name, passport number, arrival port and arrival details need to be submitted on a form over the web. A pre-registration acceptance letter is then emailed to you which you need to print out and take with you to present on arrival in Rwanda.

INDEPENDENT EXPERIENCE ACTIVITIES
Please note that lodge-based activities on your Independent Experience will be on a join-in basis. This means that these activities may be shared with other guests at the property.

FLIGHTS AND TRANSFERS
An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel. Please ensure you arrive into Kigali prior to 1 pm on Day 1 for transfer to Ruhengeri. If you are unable to arrive by 1 pm you will need to arrive a day earlier and book accommodation in Kigali. This trip finishes in Kigali on Day 4. Please do not book any flights until after 1 pm this afternoon.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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