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CRA–R 02 : 3 Nights 4 Days Rwanda Gorillas Tracking & Golden Monkey Treks

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Day 1: Kigali – Virunga – Volcanoes Parc

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to downtown Kigali for a City Tour:

The history of Rwanda dates back centuries, Kigali has been a part of it for a hundred years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda's independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare. Since then, the city has seen major economic development resulting in what it is today; a vibrant African city of 1 million with wide boulevards, an international airport, world-class hotels and restaurants, crafts & curio shops as well as a lively, cosmopolitan population.

virunga _volcanoes_parc1Visit the Kandt Museum, tour old Kigali and the Craft centres, visit the genocide memorial site where you learn about Rwanda's history pre-colonial to 1994 genocide as well as other genocides in the world. Tour more and see the new developments; the recovery has been incredible, a true testament to humankind's resilience. After city tour we will head north on a scenic drive to Ruhengeri at the foothills of the Virungas. Dinner and overnight stay at Mountain Gorilla View lodge or its equivalent.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge offers quality accommodations with panoramic views of the Virungas, barely a km from the National Park HQs. An oasis of serenity at the base of Sabyinyo volcano, her grounds are beautifully landscaped with natural foliage and startling variety of wild flowers.

All the 25 guest Cottages built in contemporary African design using local materials are en-suite and equipped with mini bar, coffee machine and hairdryer. Soft furnishings with modern African prints, motifs and colours as well as original artworks in recycled timber create a relaxing and refreshing ambiance. In the evenings, the Intore, Cultural Dancers troupe spice your stay with memorable Rwandan dances.

'In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat," wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, "are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest - the Virungas'.

The Virungas, a branch of the Albertine Rift, are a chain of mostly dormant volcanoes, (except Nyiragongo & Nyamuragira) lying along Rwanda's northern border with DR Congo and Uganda. Their lower slopes are covered by a montagne forest which elevates to Neoboutonia (2400 to 2500m), bamboo forest (2500 to 3200m) and Hagenia-Hypericum on the more humid slopes from 2600 to 3600m in the south and west. From 3500 to 4200m, they are characterized by Lobelia wollastonii, L. lanurensis, and Senecio erici-rosenii while grassland occurs from 4300 to 4500m.

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They are home to the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorilla. Other mammals present include the Golden Monkeys, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, spotted Hyena and bushbuck. The over 170 species of birds recorded include at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virungas and Rwenzori.

Situated in northwestern Rwanda and bordering Virunga National Park in DR Congo and Mgahinga, National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park (130 km²) en-compasses 5 of the 8 Virunga volcanoes i.e. Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo. Activities include Gorilla tracking, Golden Monkeys tracking, volcano hikes and guided bird watching.

Day 2: Gorilla Day trek – Volcanoes Parc

After an early breakfast, drive to the Volcanoes National Park to be allocated a gorilla tracking group. 0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the start of an amazing adventure.

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Our exhilarating trek in the footsteps of the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, the largest living primate on earth, starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virungas with stirring views in all directions. Upon entering the national park, her paths littered with fresh spoor of the mountains' elusive buffalo and elephant, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with colorful bird calls, butterflies, etc. Through gaps in the canopy, the magnificent Virunga peaks, among the highest in Africa yet easily accessible, are glimpsed, beckoning an ascent.

Weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate, our experienced trackers, they spent their entire lives in or close to this forest, soon bring us up close with the family. Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth! In the afternoon, you tour to the nearby ex-poacher's village.

An award-winning conservation initiative, former poachers were convinced to renounced their old ways and become conservation activists. Together with their families, they founded this little village with a replica of the Kings palace, where they now participate in eco-tourism showcasing Rwandan culture. Visitors are taught about traditional skills like fire-making, archery, weaving, traditional medicine, architecture (totally unique grass thatched huts that were used for the kings), cultural dances, etc. among other attractions. Time at ex-poachers village is very interactive, educational and fun for all ages. Dinner and overnight stay at Mountain Gorilla View lodge or its equivalent.

Day 3: Golden Monkey trek

You have a second early wake up and return to the Park HQs for a Golden Monkeys tracking experience.

0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the tracking.

day_three_golden_monkey_trekThe very beautiful Golden Monkey has a golden body, cheeks and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown, and tail-end. Not much is known about their behavior; other than they live in social groups of up to 30 individuals and their diet consists mainly of leaves and fruit. It is though they eat insects too. Restricted to the highland forest of the Virungas especially near bamboo, they share this habitat with their big Brother the Mountain Gorilla, inhabiting a small area that overlaps the territory of one of the Gorilla families Together, they face the same threats; snares, human encroachment etc. and are listed on the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species.

Tracking usually takes from 2 to 4 hrs. Once you come to the habituated families, you will spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life; adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch while females carry their young, completely oblivious of on-lookers. Afterwards, trek back to base and drive to the lodge for a deserved shower then lunch.

In the afternoon, enjoy sightseeing around the Twin Lakes, Burera and Ruhondo, deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls in the spectacular backdrop the Virunga Volcanoes. Dinner and overnight stay at Mountain Gorilla View lodge or its equivalent.

Day 4: Depart Rwanda

After breakfast, drive back to Kigali and then proceed to the airport for your departure flight.

Tour Price in USD: General Tour Package Prices PER PERSON sharing in Double/Twin Room

  • 1 pax USD 3,200 pp
  • 2 pax USD 2,800 pp
  • 3 pax USD 2,500 pp
  • 4 pax USD 2,100 pp

Primates Tracking Permits Prices (to be added to the Tour Package prices)

Visitors

Gorilla Permits (USD)

East Africa Citizens

300

East Africa Residents (Expatriates)

450

Non Residents

750

PRICE INCLUDE:

Return Nbo-Kgl flights, meet and greet with airport transfers, accommodation as per the itinerary; Meals as shown (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch & D-Dinner), exclusive use of 4WD vehicle, mineral water in the vehicle, Services of our Professional guide, Medical Emergency Evacuation Cover, Gorilla tracking permit, park entrance fees and professional trackers whilst tracking.

PRICE EXCLUDE:

Entry visa fees, optional extras whilst in Kigali, drinks throughout the trip, tips & gratuities, personal expenses such as telephone calls, mini bar, porter-age, travel insurance, etc.

Should you require further information, please do not hesitate contacting us

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Please fill out the form below regarding your tour booking and we will respond to you within a short while. We will only contact you regarding your tour enquiry and promise not to send you any junk email as per our company privacy policy

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