Welcome to Rwanda, land of a thousand hills—a country that emerged from a devastating genocide a little more than two decades ago as one of Africa’s most magical travel destinations. Go for jungle treks into the mist-shrouded slopes of Ugandan’s Bwindi Nat Park to witness the antics of one of mankind’s closest relatives during an intimate encounter with one of the world’s last habituated populations of mountain gorillas.
Welcome to Rwanda! Your gorillas adventure begins in the country’s capital, Kigali. A welcome meeting will take place at your hotel at 6pm tonight where you’ll meet up with your local leader and fellow travelers before finding out what to expect on your journey. After your meeting, join your leader and small group for dinner at a lively East African restaurant popular with the locals. Enjoy live music, cocktails, incredible views and an authentic shared dining experience full of regional flavors.
After breakfast, your day starts with a tour of Kigali city. Named in 1907 Dr. Richard Kandt, the first colonial resident governor of Rwanda; Kigali city is surrounded lush hills of green and is referred to as the land of a thousand hills. Get to visit interesting spots that may include; The old Kigali, The old parliament, Kigali genocide memorial site. For this experience, it is extremely moving, challenging, educational and ultimately inspiring. The tour is very transparent and educational but very somber and humbling when you realize that over 25,000 deceased are buried on the site of the memorial. Guaranteed you will feel every emotion during this visit. Finish your trip and transfer back to your hotel and retire for overnight.
After breakfast, start our journey to Uganda via Rwanda/Uganda border of Cyanika, assisted to cross the border and head to the Bwindi National Park (approximately 4 hours). Arrive at the Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three nights. Sitting high on the Nteko Ridge, the lodge offers up magnificent views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to half of the world’s 800 mountain gorillas. Gaze out across the stoic Virunga Mountains and Albertine Rift Valley. An eco-friendly oasis, beautiful cottages are built with locally sourced materials, a terrace overlooking the forest canopy, and a fireplace for colder nights. The lodge is solar powered, carbon neutral and works closely with the local people. Here you’ll experience genuinely warm Ugandan hospitality – when they wish you welcome, they really mean it. There’s no better spot for soaking in your wild surroundings and searching for mountain gorillas. This evening, join your group and leader for a wholesome dinner at the lodge.
Rise early and take a short walk to the park headquarters where you’ll be briefed on the gorilla trek the Uganda Wildlife Authorities. The trek can be strenuous, wet and uncomfortable at times but the incredible biodiversity of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the chance to see rare mountain gorillas makes it so worthwhile. We recommend investing in the help of local porters who can carry your pack and provide expert, local one-on-one assistance along the trek. Not only does it make for a more comfortable trek, it also provides valuable employment opportunities to locals. Gorilla trekking is highly controlled, with only 24 gorilla trekking permits available each day. Once you encounter a group of gorillas you will be able to stay with them for one hour – watch them swing from trees, groom each other and play, all under the watchful eye of a giant silverback. Coming face to face with a family of mountain gorillas is sure to be a life-affirming experience that will be etched on your mind forever. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the lush wilderness of the rainforest. At the end of the day the comforts of the hotel beckon, along with a chance to reflect on a memorable day. Freshen up with a hot shower and enjoy a hearty dinner the crackling fireplace.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the terrace overlooking the forest, curated an in-house chef to showcase the finest locally grown ingredients. The day is free for you to do as little or as much as your please – your leader will be able to help tailor a day that best suits your interests. For those seeking another encounter with the majestic mountain gorillas, there is the option for a second day of trekking. As part of its sustainable tourism initiative, the lodge offers a number of walking safaris guided passionate local experts. Explore forest trails, meet near local communities and take in more unforgettable views. You may wish to simply relax at the lodge and enjoy a drink at the rainforest bar. Tonight’s dinner at the lodge will be a meal like no other. You’ll be joined a local ranger from the Uganda Wildlife Authority who will provide a special insight into the crucial and challenging role rangers play in conserving the gorilla’s natural habitat. Learn about the intimate and life-saving relationships they form with gorillas and ask any questions you may have on gorilla conversation or the unique life of a ranger.
After breakfast, early start and depart the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and begin the journey to cross border into Rwanda and onto its capital Kigali (approximately 4 hours). After wards Transfer to the capital, go on a last-minute shopping before saying goode to your local leader and newfound friends, as your adventure will come to an end at around 2pm.
- Transport in a comfortable 4 x4 safari car
- Accommodation on Fullboard (Bed/Breakfast/Lunch and Dinner)
- Return transfer from Kigali
- Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
- English speaking driver guide
- Cultural Tour
- Kigali city tour
- Complementary bottled mineral water per day