This 2 Days Rwanda gorilla safari is designed for visitors interested in tracking mountain gorilla at the volcanoes national park Rwanda. The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is located in in the northern part of the country. It is part of the wider Virunga conservation area that covers Congo’s Virunga National Park and Mgahinga National Park. The park covers an area of 160 square kilometers and is bordered by Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Volcanoes national park was at one time a larger park that extended all the way to DR Congo. When DR Congo got independence, the park lost some of it is parts to the Virunga National Park in Congo. The park gained world recognition when Dian Fossey established her base there in 1967. The great primatologist had fled Congo because for security reasons and established her gorilla research Centre between Mount Karisimbi and Bisoke. Dian Fossey worked hard to protect the mountain gorillas. Poaching was very high in the park but through her campaigns and fundraising efforts, she fought the criminals relentlessly. Fossey was killed in 1985 in her room by people believed to be benefiting from poaching. She is buried in a tomb at her former research Centre together with some of her favorite gorillas. Dian Fossey is credited for her groundbreaking findings about mountain gorillas. Without her work, heavy poaching would have probably wiped out mountain gorillas. Fossey discovered way to make the gorillas comfortable around human presence which paved way for what we now know as gorilla tourism. After Fossey’s death, small scale poaching still existed and the 1994 civil war still threatened the gorillas. But by this time the world knew about mountain gorillas and the need to protect them. You can learn more about Dian Fossey here.
Apart from the mountain gorillas, visitors can also spot golden monkeys, forest elephants, buffaloes and hyenas. The Volcanoes national park has five of the eight volcanoes found in the Virunga ranges. They include, Karisimbi, Sabinyo, Muhabura, Bisoke and Gahinga. Mountain climbing is therefore a very popular activity after gorilla trekking. The most popular volcanoes among hikers is Karisimbi and Bisoke. Golden monkey trekking in Rwanda is also very popular among visitors who are interested in a more complete primate’s safari in the country. The key attraction in the park remains gorilla trekking. Despite the higher cost of a gorilla tour in Rwanda, many visitors still choose the park because of its location near the capital Kigali. Some visitors have found safari bookings in Rwanda more straight forward. Some also claim that the roads in Rwanda are better and that the gorillas are easier to find. This easy accessibility could be the main thing that puts is ahead of the parks in Uganda and DR Congo.
The 3 Days Rwanda gorilla safari package involves touring the city of Kigali and visiting the Gisozi genocide memorial site. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is very popular among tourists and one needs to book in advance in order to secure the Rwanda gorilla permit. Gorilla tours to Rwanda gives you an opportunity to choose from 10 habituated gorilla families.
Kigali city and genocide memorial site tour – Head to the Volcanoes National Park
A Driver/Guide from safari vacations and travel services will come to pick you at your hotel or airport early morning to begin your gorilla tour. The first activity is to tour the city of Kigali. You will go visit the renowned Kigali Gisozi genocide war memorial site to learn more about the genocide that took place in 1994. You will then go visit local markets in Kigali, the Kings palace and other interesting places. Afterwards, have lunch and start the 2-3 hours journey to the volcanoes national park. Along the way, marvel at the beautiful, mountainous and green countryside – You will agree that Rwanda is indeed a “The Land of a thousand hills”.
Gorilla tracking at the Volcanoes national park – Departure.
Wake up very early and take quick breakfast as you wait for our guide. You will head to the Kinigi park headquarters for briefing on gorilla trekking. This briefing takes place at 7:00 am and is designed to share with you rules and requirements (Dos and DONTs) for gorilla trekking in Rwanda, You will be given an opportunity to hire a porter and choose a gorilla family among the 10 habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda. Once that phase is done, you will begin tracking the gorilla group along with your porter and park guides. Depending on the location of your particular gorilla group the activity may take anywhere between 1 hour to 5 hours. Once you sight the gorilla group, take as many photos as you can. Follow instructions from your guide and stay calm even when a gorilla family member comes close to you.
Once your one hour is done, you will head back to the starting point where you will find our guide waiting to take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest. Later in the day, the guide will drive you back to Kigali and to the airport or hotel.
Gear for Gorilla tracking:
For the best gorilla trekking experience
Davinci Gorilla Lodge:
Davinci is a mid-range lodge built in Kinigi. It is close to the park headquarters and the offices of the Rwanda Development Board. Davinci Gorilla lodge has twin, double, triple and family rooms. The rooms are self-contained with hot showers, bathrooms, bathrobes, room service and free Wi-Fi. Each room has a balcony with great views of the Virunga volcanoes. Other amenities and services at the lodge include a children’s playground, barbecue, private parking, a restaurant and a bar. When going out for gorilla trekking, residents can request for packed lunch in advance from the restaurant. Davinci lodge stands out because it offers great value and at an acceptable rate when compared to other hotels in the area. The lodge is also very popular with tourists who have come to the volcanoes national park for mountain hiking, gorilla trekking and visiting the grave of Dian Fossey.
Virunga Hotel is arguably the best budget lodge within the Volcanoes national park area. It is located in the District of Musanze (84 kilometers away from Kigali) and is one of the oldest hotels in the area. It is built with 25 self-contained rooms and are categorized as single, double and twin. There are also family and executive rooms. Each room has free internet, a TV, towels, bathrooms, showers, a telephone and a refrigerator with refreshments. The executive room has a kitchen of its own, air conditioning, and workspace. Virunga Hotel is built within the center of Musanze town hence allowing resident to go for a tour of the town or access facilities like banks.
Bisate means ‘pieces’. It describes how one of the cones of the volcanoes was eroded through years of erosion. Bisate lodge is one of the best Luxury Eco-lodges in East Africa. Its 6 can be described as warm, comfortable and with amazing views of the volcanoes national park. The rooms are very spacious and furnished with everything that a luxury lodge could have. High quality local furniture was used to build the lodge and highly skilled local craftsmen were hired to implement the final design.
The lodge has a central lounge with a fireplace to allow visitors mingle and share their adventures while on a safari in Rwanda. Bisate lodge also has bar with some of the best wines in the country. Other services on offer include luggage space, dressing lounges, a bar, coffee machines, a private butler, private massage and laundry. Private walks are arranged to explore a forest close to the lodge or go for birding. Other alternative activities include visiting a nearby tree nursery, planting a tree, visiting the community in Bisate Village or exploring the cave in Bisate. You can also escort the lodge’s chef as he goes to buy fresh food from the local market for a chance to meet the local people.
Safari vacations and travel services assists clients in arranging and clearly planning of the safari and continues to acquire the chimpanzee and gorilla tracking permits for clients’ behalf, we ensure that no delays or any inconveniences on your trip, we arrange accommodation, and transport with a knowledgeable driver guide from our team.