Rwanda is a roller coaster of wonder, sensation and utter astonishment. This four day primate tour includes up to three nights in Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes national park). Here, you’ll track two important primate species- mountain gorillas as well as the endangered golden monkeys. A stop at the beautiful twin lakes gives you an unforgettable idea of what Africa’s great scenery look like. A city tour in Kigali is another reward from this short tour. Explore historical places, a craft market, genocide memorial site, all typical of the “land of a thousand hills”.
4 Days Gorillas & Golden Monkeys Itinerary
Day 1: Travel to Volcanoes National Park.
After arrival at the airport, meet and greet with one of our experienced driver/guide at Kigali International airport – proceed to a restaurant for a relaxed cup of coffee as the guide briefs you about the safari and what to expect. Drive at leisure to the northern based Volcanoes national park. This is a famous park, notable for sheltering the endangered mountain gorillas and lies within the Virunga region.
Take a walk in the evening to explore the amazing Iby’iwacu cultural village. This is a living museum on the outskirts of Volcanoes national park, which unveils the typical lifestyle and traditions of Rwandan people of both ancient and present. It’s an encounter that you will completely get immersed into, and you will love the joy and excitement that the Rwandan culture brings. A night stay at your pre-booked lodge located on the periphery of Volcanoes national park.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking Encounter
An early breakfast, join your driver guide and drive to the headquarters of the beautiful Volcanoes national park. Here you will attend a briefing session conducted by one the ranger guides and they will read out different rules and regulations that pertain gorilla trekking in this park.
It is from this briefing session that specific gorilla families are allocated to groups of eight trekkers each, and assigned with armed rangers, trackers and porters who can be hired separately.
The trek commences immediately after briefing, moving first through the farmlands and then into the impenetrable jungles. The nature of the hikes will generally depend on the family of gorillas being trekked, but will always range between 1500-2000m above sea level.
After 2 or so hours, you finally come across a mighty group of gorillas with the gigantic silverback looking on with his red eyes just to ensure there’s no threat to his family. You are only given an hour to be in their midst, take pictures, enjoy their dramatic lifestyle and later descend back to the starting point, join your guide and transfer back to your lodge.
Dedicate the rest of your afternoon resting and refreshing or take an optional tour to the Musanze caves of trek to explore the historical Karisoke centre and Dian Fossey Grave to learn more about her efforts in conserving mountain gorillas in the Virunga region.
Day 3: Golden Monkey Trekking
Have breakfast and head out for a magical experience of Golden Monkey trekking with in the Volcanoes National Park. Other than gorilla trekking, an encounter with the shy golden monkeys is another highlight in Volcanoes National Park. Scientifically known as Cercopithecus Mitis Kandti, a Golden Monkey is an indigenous subspecies of Blue Monkey, which are known to inhabit the afro-montane forests of the Virunga region, primarily dwelling in Uganda’s Mgahinga national park as well as Volcanoes National park in Rwanda.
Trekking these rare primate species begins at 8:00am with a briefing session, after which you proceed to the jungles to begin the search. The trek may take between 2-7 hours but upon meeting a troop of goden monkeys you are given only an hour to enjoy their presence.
After this trekking adventure, return to the trail head and immediately to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. This afternoon is dedicated to visit the Twin lakes- Ruhondo and Bulera; the two scenic lakes that lie on the foothills of Virunga Mountains.
Day 4: Transfer to Kigali & Departure
Breakfast at the lodge, and depart from foothills of the Virungas and transfer on a scenic drive back to Kigali city. Take an optional city tour, to explore Rwanda’s unique attractions, including the Genocide museum in Gisozi, historical monuments, presidential palace museum and some shopping at Kigali craft market. Drive back to Kigali airport for an onward flight. An evening flight after 1800 hrs is recommended.