10-Day Gorilla Luxury Safari Private Tour Rwanda and Parc des Volcans ~ Safari Gorilla Trekking

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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Welcome to the "land of a thousand hills". Rwanda is an excellent place to get to experience East Africa. Come meet with the friendly locals, track the mountain gorillas and take in wonderful lakeside views, all from the comfort of your luxurious lodgings. This luxury tour has been designed to bring you in close contact with all of the highlights as well as the tumultuous history of this fascinating country. Only the best lodging has been chosen combining excellent comfort and service.

Day 1 - Arrival in Rwanda
Your driver/guide shall meet you at Kigali Airport to pick you up from your flight, and drive you to the hotel.

Depending on your time of arrival you may be able to visit some of Kigali’s craft markets. Where you can browse amongst the pottery, carvings, batik, weaving, sculpture, musical instruments, leather and fabrics on offer. Prepare to use your haggling skills! All activities and purchases today are at your own cost.

You will stay at the Hotel Des Mille Colines, made famous by the film 'Hotel Rwanda' located in the central district of the city with wonderful views, swimming pool, and high standards of service.

Accommodation: Hotel Des Mille Colines
Meal Plan: No meals inclusive today
Day 2 - Nyamata Church and the Genocide Memorial
After breakfast, you drive south of Kigali, through beautiful countryside seldom visited by tourists. In the small town Nyamata you will visit a genocide memorial church.

In 1994, when the genocide began, many ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus took refuge in churches, believing militias would not enter these sacred spaces. However, as priests, nuns, and church officials systematically fled Rwanda after the genocide began, large-scale massacres occurred in Catholic churches throughout the country. In some cases, priests and other officials were complicit in the killings.

The Bugesera district was one of the area’s most devastated by the genocide. From a population of 62,000, only 2,000 survived. Over 5 days 10.000 people were killed in and around the grounds of Nyamata Catholic Church.

After this visit, you will head back to Kigali to stop at the the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, which opened in 2004. It’s a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant Children’s Memorial, and a detailed description of the darkest hour in Rwanda's recent history.

Accommodation: Hotel Des Mille Colines
Meal Plan: Breakfast is inclusive
Day 3 - To Nyungwe Forest
Today, you will set off towards the famous Nyungwe Forest. This is one of the largest forests in East and Central Africa, abundant with flora and fauna including 13 primate species from colobus monkeys, mangabeys, blue monkeys and, of course, our cousins the chimpanzees.

Nyungwe Forest is also a famous location for birders. With about 310 recorded bird species, 26 of which are endemic, this is one of the most important - and still little known - bird-watching destinations in Africa.

Your lodge is situated in the middle of a beautifully verdant tea plantation just on the edge of the forest. Swim in the heated infinity pool before experiencing an evening of fine dining.

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, late lunch, and dinner
Day 4 - Chimpanzee Tracking
This morning you have a very early start. After breakfast you shall proceed to the chimpanzee tracking trail in either the Cyamudongo or Uwinka sections. The total population between the two groups is a healthy 80 individuals. You will not soon forget this exciting up-close encounter with human's closest relative.

After the chimp tracking you can relax at the lodge or choose an optional activity that you can discuss with your guide.

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner inclusive
Day 5 - Forest Canopy and Waterfall Hike
Today you shall go for East Africa’s only canopy walk. This walk takes place above a deep gorge cutting across the massive forest. Lasting about 1½ hours, the walk takes you through some beautiful foliage and animal habitats. Along the way you'll have the chance to spot blue monkeys and unique birds that dwell in the upper levels of the forest canopy.

In the afternoon, a waterfall hike is in your program. This trail begins from Gisakura Guesthouse next to the ORTPN offices (a 15 minute drive from the hotel) and takes between 3 and 6 hours round trip, depending upon how frequently you stop to sightsee and whether you choose to drive or walk from the guesthouse.
The first part of the trail is basically following the road to the vehicle park before delving into the forest. You will have to cross various streams before making a steep descent to the base of the small, refreshing waterfall. Monkeys are frequently seen along the way and the steep slopes provide excellent views into the canopy.
Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner inclusive
Day 6 - To Kibuye on Lake Kivu
After a relaxed breakfast you shall drive to Kibuye on the eastern shores of Lake Kivu. Time allowing, you can visit the Ndaba Falls or take a walk around Kibuye town. In the afternoon you can try to rent a boat and visit a few islands. All activities today are at your own cost.

The lodge is perched on stilts above the shores of Lake Kivu. It is a beautiful set of wood-built structures with a private beach and a good restaurant. All rooms have a balcony overlooking the lake.

Accommodation: Cormoran Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast is inclusive
Day 7 - To Gisenyi
Today you continue along the scenic Lake Kivu coast, winding through valleys and small villages to the northern town of Gisenyi just next to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the afternoon you can visit the local market and see the day-to-day life of the people. Try your local lunch at Auberge de Gisenyi or Bistro Restaurant. Boat tours on Lake Kivu are also possible.

The hotel overlooks its own private beach and has a panoramic restaurant, indoor and beachside bars, a luxury swimming pool, and complete gym and health centre.

Accommodation: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Meal plan: Breakfast is inclusive
Day 8 - To the Parc des Volcans
Today you shall drive northeast to the town of Musanze close to the Virunga Volcano range. This beautiful area represents the gateway to the gorilla tracking.

The Gorilla View Lodge is situated on the edge of the dense forest of Parc des Volcans. From your large room you can look out over tropical rainforest as well as the mighty Mount Sabinyo. In the evening you can enjoy a camp fire and some entertainment from a local dance group.

Journey time: 1½ hours
Accommodation: Virunga Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner inclusive
Day 9 - Gorilla Tracking
Today is probably the highlight of your trip! You'll have an early start for this special day. From the lodge, you drive into the park about 30 minutes to the Office Rwandais du Tourisme et Des Parc Nationaux (ORTPN).

The head ranger of the ORTPN will divide you into groups based on interest and fitness. The gorillas you will track belong to one of the seven habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.

Matoke Tours purchases the permits in advance but is unable to reserve a specific gorilla group as it is for the head-ranger to decide this in the morning!

From the ORTPN office your driver/guide will take you as close as possible to the starting point of your tracking. The track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorillas’ current location. En-route, your guide will point out signs of previous Gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots.

The time taken to track the gorillas can take as little as half an hour to as much as 8 hours! Once the gorillas have been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Rwanda’s own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

Journey time: 30 minutes by car, tracking time varies
Accommodation: Virunga Lodge
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch and dinner inclusive
Day 10 - Back to Kigali
After a relaxed breakfast, you travel back to Kigali in time to catch your flight back home. Sadly, this is where you say goodbye to Rwanda. But you may also decide to extend your trip to another country in the region. Matoke Tours offers extensions to Uganda, Tanzania or the islands of Zanzibar. Contact us for all possibilities.

Note: This programme is only possible when your flight departs from Kigali at 3 p.m. or later. If you need another night in Kigali, we will be happy to make a booking for you.

This is the end of what we hope has been a fabulous trip!

Accommodation: NOT INCLUDED!
Meal plan: Breakfast is inclusive

Please book this tour now via our 24/7 hot line 
 +256 777 506 150 , +256 704 63 50 44   OR via 
our email info@gorillatourbooking.com. or gorillatourbooking@gmail.com
 We are warmly waiting for you inquiry!
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