Our 3 Days Rwanda Gorilla Tour package takes you to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda for an amazing gorilla tracking experience. You will not only observe mountain gorillas in the wild but will also have an opportunity to tour the city of Kigali, the genocide memorial center, the twin lakes (Burera and Ruhondo) the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village to understand the Kinyarwanda Culture. Before getting to the park, you will drive through the country’s beautiful rolling hills, tea plantations and beautiful sights of the Virunga volcanoes in the horizon.
The Volcanoes National Park is found in the northwestern part of the country. It is one of the three national parks on the Virunga Massif which is covers Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic Congo. The other national parks within the Virunga Massif are Virunga and Mgahinga. The Volcanoes National Park has a surface area of 62 square miles and consists of montane and bamboo forests. Within the park are 5 Volcanoes including Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Muhabura, Karisimbi and Bisoke which are all separate tourist attractions in their own right. The Volcanoes National Park was part of the Virunga National Park before it became a separate wildlife conservation area. The park rose to prominence when the American primatologist Diana Fossey started her gorilla research station between Mount Karisimbi and Bisoke
Diana Fossey’s research station did not only study mountain gorillas but also later included gorilla conservation to stop the decreasing population of mountain gorillas due to poaching. Without her efforts in the park, it is said that mountain gorillas would be no more because influential people would not have known about their plight. By informing the world about gorilla poaching and the need to protect them, Fossey attracted funding and the attention of wildlife conservation Agencies. There would also be no gorilla trekking because we would probably not know the best way how to habituate gorillas. Every year hundreds of tourists visit her grave in the park to pay homage and learn about her work with mountain gorillas.
The volcanoes National Park is not only home to mountain gorillas as we have already mentioned. It also home to 5 Virunga Volcanoes. Another key attraction are the golden monkeys. The golden monkeys are also endangered but their numbers seem to be increasing these days. The cute monkeys can be found at the foot of the Volcanoes where they thrive on bamboo shoots and insects. The Volcanoes National Park is also home to forest buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, black fronted duikers, hyenas, different tree species and over 170 species of birds. You can check out our shorter 1 day Rwanda gorilla tour or the 2 days Rwanda gorilla safari package. Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1500 and this can make the overall cost of the tour more expensive. If your budget is tight, then you can choose to do the cheaper 3 Days Uganda gorilla safari.
Kigali City tour – Travel to Volcanoes National Park – Visit Lake Ruhondo and Burera
Safari vacations and travel services Guide will pick you up at your hotel or the airport in Kigali. After familiarization and a briefing, he will take you for a tour of Kigali. The first place to start with is the Kigali genocide memorial center. You will then proceed to the Presidential palace museum, the city market and artisan shops. After the city tour, you will go for lunch and then start the 3-hour journey to the Volcanoes National Park. On reaching Musanze, you will check in to your hotel, shower and rest. In the evening the driver will take you to visit the Twin Lake of Burera and Ruhondo. The Lake has remarkable scenery and is excellent for photography. If time permits, you can take a boat ride, visit some of the islands and chat with the local fishermen.
Accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (Luxury, Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Virunga Hotel (Basic).
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Visiting the Gorilla Guardians Village
This will be the big day of your 3 days Rwanda gorilla safari. You will wake up early in the morning, have a cup of tea to warm up your body and then go for briefing at the Volcanoes national park. The briefing is led by the Park Guides and will take about 30 minutes. During the 30 minutes, your gorilla permits and passports will be verified. You will also be assigned a gorilla group and be given a chance to hire a porter if you have a heavy luggage/camera. After the briefing, you will proceed to the starting point and then into the forest to search for the gorillas.
Gorilla trekking takes between 2 to 6 hours but you only have one hour to observe the primates. As you follow the trails leading to the group, the Park Guides will share information about the park, the gorilla, what to expect, other animals in the park and the different wildlife species you may encounter. The trails are unpredictable given the mountainous nature of the park. The stories and information shared creates excitement and lets you forget any fatigue you may be experiencing as a result of walking for long distances. Eventually you will find the gorilla group and this is where expectations meet reality. Members of the gorilla group will be foraging, resting, playing, breastfeeding or grooming. If you are lucky, you might witness the silverback mating with one of the females. The site of a dominant and benevolent silverback can be intimidating but remain calm and follow instructions from the Guides. Mountain gorillas are very gentile primates unless provoked. The park officials will let you know when to start taking photos or making videos.
Once you are done, you will proceed to the park headquarters to find our company Guide waiting for you. The Guide will take you for lunch and then relaxation in your room. Use this time to shower and up. The driver will then take you to the Iby’iwacu cultural village. This village brings together all the tribes of Rwanda to demonstrate their cultural heritage, traditions and ancient practices. You will learn a lot about Rwandan food, local beer making, brick laying, ancient medicine/herbs and much more. Expect to also be entertained by music, dance and drama. Tourists are not just onlookers at the Centre. You will be asked to take part by dressing up in local costumes and taking photos. The cultural encounter will mark the end of your day and the driver will take you back to the lodge for rest and a chance to mingle with other tourists you met during the briefing/trekking.
Accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (Luxury, Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Virunga Hotel (Basic).
Travel back to Kigali for departure
Day 3 will be the last day of your trip. Wake up at your own time and ensure that you have enough rest so that you are ready for the long flight back to your country. If you are still in the country, the driver will take you to your hotel or residence. In case you didn’t go for the Kigali city tour for some reason, this is the day to do it. We hope you leave with a good impression about the beauty of Rwanda and the gorillas.
Tour Inclusions and Exclusions
What to pack for your safari;
A camera: A safari in Uganda is incomplete without a good camera. You cannot come back from a safari without evidence to show your friends and family about the wonderful time you had.
Water: Many of the activities mentioned above involve staying out for long hours in the sun. Expect to get dehydrated and tired if you do not pack some water. You need to have water filtration tablets if you cannot move with bottled water.
Packed Snack: This is very important for the chimpanzee habituation experience and gorilla trekking. It is difficult to predict when the two activities will end. You are better off parking lunch so that you don’t get hungry.
Rain Jacket: This is very important while hiking during the rainy season. The rains can be unpredictable in Uganda especially when you consider global warming. There is always the possibility of rain in Bwindi forest regardless of season of the year.
Hiking Boots: Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking requires good hiking boots for comfort especially during the rainy season.
Stocking: Long stockings will help in tucking in your trousers to avoid crawling insects.
Long Shirts and trousers: The game parks and forests contain insects and other crawling creatures that you need to keep off. There are also sharp tree branches and thorns. Long sleeved shirts and trousers will keep off any insects and also protect you from sharp trees.
Hand gloves: Hand gloves are important for grabbing leaves and tree branches while hiking through dense forest.
The safari cost will include:
Lodges and Hotels
Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel:
This luxury safari lodge got its name from the five volcanoes in the park. It is located very close to the park headquarters. In fact, if you use a car, you only need to drive for 15 minutes to get to the park offices. Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel provides high quality rooms with bedding, clean bathrooms, flush toilets, Satellite Television, a fridge, a fire place, warm showers, working desks/tables and air conditioning. Most of the rooms have single, twin or double beds. The Hotel has a bar, a restaurant, sauna, steam bath and a large swimming pool. There is a presidential suite which can be offered as a surprise to guests booking the standard luxury rooms. We highly recommend Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel if you are looking for an accommodation facility which is affordable but offering quality rooms and majestic views of the Virunga Volcanoes.
Virunga hotel is part of a string of hotels with establishments in both Rwanda and Uganda. It is situated in Musanze district and close to the border with Uganda. Like the name suggests, the hotel is set in a strategic location allowing guests to get beautiful views of the Virunga Volcanoes. Although Virunga Hotel is classified as budget, there is nothing budget about it. All rooms are spacious and self-contained. Each room has a flush toilet, bathroom, free Wi-Fi and a Television screen. Outside the rooms, there is a tennis court, a restaurant, conference rooms and ample parking space. Because of its closeness to the park offices, Virunga Hotel is the perfect base for a tourists planning for gorilla trekking, visiting the tomb of Diana Fossey, golden monkey tracking and hiking one of the Virunga volcanoes. Book with Virunga hotel if you are looking for comfort at a very affordable price.
Davinci Gorilla Lodge:
This mid-range safari lodge is built just next to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park (on the foot of mount Karisimbi). It is arguably the best mid-range accommodation facility within Musanze. Davinci offers services that rival the luxury hotels in the area. Its rooms are decorated with beautiful Africa art but there is also free Wi-Fi, a large bed, hot water, flush toilets and sofas. The rooms also have a balcony were guests can sit and view the volcanoes or experience the beautiful nature in the immediate surroundings. Other amenities include a bar, parking space and a restaurant serving international cuisines.
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.