Kristina's African Safaris
RWS1 Gorillas in the Virungas and Bwindi
An 8 day safari which starts
and finishes in Kigali. This safari can also be done on a private basis. [One
gorilla permit in Parc National des Volcans is included in the cost but the
other gorilla trackings require a supplement to be paid at time of booking.]
Seeing some of the last
remaining 700 mountain gorillas in the world is a fantastic experience and this
safari takes you to three gorilla parks – PNV in Rwanda and Mgahinga and
Bwindi in Uganda. It offers an opportunity to track gorillas four times, twice
in PNV, once in Mgahinga/Nkuringo and once in Bwindi. 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 or visit the endangered golden monkey. Mgahinga, in
Uganda, is a great place to appreciate the unique Virunga volcanoes and it has
one habituated family. Sometimes this group moves across the border and you can
track gorillas at Nkuringo in Southern Bwindi instead. You can also climb a
volcano or go for a nature walk, visit the endangered golden monkey or go
birding. Bwindi in Uganda has four habituated families and the gorillas there
live in thicker tropical forest and tracking is more challenging as the
hillsides are steeper. You can also go for nature walks to see birds, monkeys
On safari clients stay 3
nights at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, 2 nights at Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge and
2 nights at Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge.
Day 1 TUESDAY
Met on arrival at airport and
transfer to Kigali. Briefing on your safari. After lunch, depart for PNV at 2pm.
The journey north goes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that
characterise much of Rwanda’s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the
awesome Virunga volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. O/N:
Volcanoes Virunga Lodge (FB).
Day 2 WEDNESDAY
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 on the slopes 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 3 THURSDAY
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 4 FRIDAY
In the morning either relax or
walk near the Lodge, visit the golden monkeys or trek to Dian Fossey's grave.
After lunch transfer to Uganda [Clocks go forward one hour]. Time permitting go
for a walk near Mount Gahinga. O/N: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (FB).
Day 5 SATURDAY
Either go gorilla tracking
again, this time in Mgahinga/Nkuringo (on payment of supplement at time of
booking), or climb a volcano, or go for a nature walk, or visit the golden
monkeys in Mgahinga. O/N: Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge (FB).
Day 6 SUNDAY
Drive to Bwindi through the
Switzerland of Africa, with the road winding through many hills and valleys,
with distant views of the volcanoes and lakes. Time permitting go for a guided
nature walk in the thick forest rich in birds, butterflies and monkeys.
Alternatively go for a short stroll around the Lodge. O/N: Volcanoes Bwindi
Day 7 MONDAY
Either go gorilla tracking (on
payment of supplement at the time of booking), walking up steep densely forested
hills before finally coming across the gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation.
An inspiring moment! Tracking in Bwindi requires stamina and can often take most
of the day. Alternatively go for a leisurely nature or community walk. O/N:
Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge (FB).
Day 8 TUESDAY
Leave for Kigali in Rwanda via
Kabale and Katuna, [Clocks go back one hour]. 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 the genocide memorial. Transfer to the