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7 Days Amazing Gorilla, Colobus Monkey, and Mount Bisoke Hiking Safari in Rwanda

Kigali, Kigali City, Rwanda

Unique Rwanda Safari

Nothing makes life more interesting on this Earth than spending the best part of your life with the apes. It is believed that apes are like humans, only the level of intelligence differs. You will be amazed by the way they mimic human being in almost everything, despite their wildlife. They recognize humans and welcome them warmly. Gate out of the imaginary world and let Diani Travel Centre take you to the reality. If you have never had a hiking experience with the gorillas, then you are missing a lot. This safari gives you the rare and unique experience of hiking with gorillas.

Key information

  • Group and private safari possible, rates indicated are for group joining safari.
  • Group size: maximum 6 persons on a 4X4 vehicle.
  • Children from the age of 4 year are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian.
  • English speaking guide. Italian, German and French speaking guide available at an extra cost $50 per day.
  • Park fees are partially included.
  • Safari starts and ends in Uganda.

Highlights

  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Visit King's Palace Museum
  • Track the Nyungwe colobus monkey
  • Track gorillas at Volcanoes National Park
  • Visits to Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre and Ethnographic Museum
  • Includes park fees, gorilla permit, and chimpanzee permit
  • Breakfasts and lunches
  • 6 nights' lodging

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: French, German, Italian, Spanish
Airport transfer included: Kigali International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:30
Check-out Time:
15:30

Accommodation is Mid-range (Standard). You can be upgraded to Luxury on request.

Your accommodations throughout this safari will be hotels. You will be accommodated in Hotel Muhabura in northwestern Rwanda. It is a breathtaking, unforgettable place where culture, adventure, and conservation intersect.

Near the Volcanoes National Park, the bustling and vibrant markets of Musanze are a place to immerse yourself in everyday Rwandan culture. Go deep into the earth with Musanze's caves, one of the area's newest attractions.

Program

Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport (KGL)

You will meet Diani Travel Centre's driver or guide at the Kigali International Airport (KGL) - meet and greet, comment on the safari, then driving. Overnight at the Hotel Muhabura (here for your wish, you can choose to sleep in Kigali depending on the arrival time at the airport).

Day 2: Kigali - Nyungwe Forest

An early morning breakfast is followed by a drive to Nyungwe Forest. On the way, visit King's Palace Museum in Nyanza, Ethnographic Museum in Butare, and the Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre in Murambi.

Nyanza was the headquarters of the ancient Kingdom of Rwanda before the arrival of the Europeans. The compound has the modern palace constructed by King Mutara in 1934. It is tastefully decorated with the traditional mats and utensils. The Ethnographic Museum is reputed to be the best ethnographical museum in East Africa. It is the home of the national ballet-Intore dancers.

Have lunch in Butare and proceed to Murambi Genocide Memorial Centre. Overnight at a hotel.

Day 3: Hiking, trekking, colobus trails of Nyungwe Forest

After breakfast, enter Nyungwe Forest to track the Nyungwe colobus monkey. A walk in the forest is a whole learning experience conducted by knowledgeable guides well-versed in botany, ornithology, and interspecies relationship in this forest. Thereafter, return to your guesthouse for lunch. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Nyungwe Forest - Kibuye

After breakfast, enter Nyungwe Forest at 06:00 to track the chimpanzee. Thereafter, return to the guesthouse for lunch followed by a drive to Kibuye. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Kibuye - Gisenyi - Ruhengeri - Kinigi

Distance 213 kilometers per six hours of driving time. After breakfast, drive to Gisenyi and finally to Kinigi. The drive of Kibuye-Gisenyi is via the most beautiful providing spectacular views of the tea growing country of Gisovu and Kayove. Brief stops are provided for photography. A four-hour drive takes to Gisenyi for lunch and a brief city tour. Drive for two hours to Ruhengeri and finally Kinigi, the base of gorilla tracking. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Gorillas in the mist

Breakfast is allowed early morning followed by a drive to Kinigi park headquarters for the group, guide allocation, and briefing. This is followed by a drive to the trailheads, where hiking and trekking up the hills to the bamboo zone begin. Hiking, trekking, and tracking gorillas may take two to four hours. Sight and stay with the gorillas for one hour. Descend to your hotel for lunch. There will be afternoon leisure or a tour of the area and a visit to Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Bisoke hiking Ruhengeri - Kigali

After breakfast, trek the mountains for another memorable experience with the volcano. Return to the base hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, drive to the airport for your home flight. Driving time is two hours.

Included excursions

  • Bisoke hiking from Kinigi, a one-day activity
  • Volcanoes mountain hiking, part of Virunga Mountains
  • Nyugwe Forest trekking

Location

Rwanda

Rwanda is a relatively stable East African country and easily accessible from Kenya and Uganda. It is relatively easy, safe, and simple to travel around. It is landlocked, surrounded by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west.

Rwanda is not only the land of a thousand hills, but also a country rich in flora and fauna and stunning natural beauty in its scenic rolling and breathtaking green savannah. The country hosts some rare species of animals like the silverback mountain gorillas as well as unique birds and insects in the tropical forest of Nyungwe.

Mount Bisoke

Mount Bisoke (also Visoke) is an active volcano in the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. It straddles the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the summit is located in Rwanda. It is located approximately 35 kilometers northeast of the town of Goma and adjacent Lake Kivu.

Bisoke, like all the peaks in the Virunga Mountain Range, is a volcano created by rift action on the forming divergent boundary of the East African Rift which is slowly bisecting the African plate. The mountain reached a height of 3,711 meters (12,175 feet) after its last eruption in 1957. Bisoke has the largest crater lake of the range.

The mountain is within the Rwandan Volcanoes National Park and the Congolese Virunga National Park. The steep slopes of the peak are densely covered with equatorial rainforest and alpine meadows. The summit does not gather snow but is often shrouded in fog. Bisoke is one of the mountains considered a habitat for the endangered mountain gorilla, and the Karisoke Research Center founded by Dian Fossey is in the valley to the west.

Nyungwe Forest

The Nyungwe rainforest is located in southwestern Rwanda, at the border with Burundi, to the south, and Lake Kivu and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The Nyungwe rainforest is probably the best preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa. It is located in the watershed between the basin of the river Congo to the west and the basin of the river Nile to the east. From the east side of the Nyungwe Forest comes also one of the branches of the Nile sources.

Nyungwe Forest National Park was established in 2004 and covers an area of approximately 970 square kilometers of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs. The nearest town is Cyangugu, 54 kilometers to the west. Mount Bigugu is located within the park border.

Volcanoes National Park

The "Parc National de Volcanoes" (or PNV as it's known by locals) lies along the Virunga Mountains, with eight ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short two-hour drive from Rwanda's capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences. While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of the visitor, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.

PNV is also one of Rwanda's conservation epicenters, where many non-profit organizations base their operations. Visitors can pay homage to the legendary scientist and gorilla advocate Dian Fossey with a hike to her tomb or a visit to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund that continues her legacy of research and advocacy to this day.

Food

Regular dietary will be provided, but in case of any special requirements, special dietary will be prepared.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

You can take photographs.

What's included

  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • A professional driver or guide
  • Round-trip airport transfer
  • Park fees (for non-residents)
  • Gorilla permits (1500 USD per person, one per person, non-resident)
  • Chimp permits (one per person, non-resident)
  • All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
  • All taxes or VAT
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)

What's not included

  • International flights (from or to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (no tip expected)
  • Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • The government-imposed increase of taxes and / or park fees
  • Some meals (as specified in the day-by-day)
  • Drinks

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Kigali International Airport (KGL). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Diani Travel Centre will pick you up from the airport.

There are direct international flights into Kigali from Brussels several times a week on Brussels Airlines and from Istanbul three times per week on Turkish Airlines. KLM also flies to Kigali directly from Amsterdam.

RwandAir has, since the end of August 2011, started flights to Dubai (via) Mombasa using its new Boeing 737-800 and separately to Johannesburg using the same aircraft. RwandAir also flies to London and Brussels three times a week.

Qatar Airways also has direct flights into Kigali from Doha. There are also daily flights from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Uganda, Johannesburg, and Addis Ababa. Additionally, there are connections twice a day from Nairobi and several flights a week to Bujumbura.

Note that the Rwandan capital is also easily accessible (3 hours by road) from the Goma International Airport (GOM) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Arrival by bus

In Uganda, several bus companies make the eight-hour journey from Kampala in Uganda to Kigali. As of August 2017, it costs 40,000 UGX from Kampala to Kigali on both Jaguar and Trinity. The most reliable bus company is Kampala coaches, Jaguar and Trinity from Uganda.

Tanzania has an open border with Rwanda, but this is a far more difficult way to enter Rwanda as it is remote, and part of the road in western Tanzania remains unpaved. A bus runs from Mwanza to Benako (both Tanzania) and from Benako, buses run onto Kigali. Another town to consider on this route is Ngara (Tanzania).

Several buses run from Dar es Salaam via Morogoro and Dodoma (they all leave Ubungo bus station around 06:00-07:00) to Kahama daily. You will have to spend the night in Kahama and then get a minibus or shared taxi to the border. From the Rwandan side of the border, there are minibuses to Kigali.

In Burundi, there are two ways to enter Rwanda and security in border areas varies. For the intrepid, there is a daily direct service from Kigali to Bujumbura operated by Yahoo Car and since 2007, a new luxury service operated by Belvedere Lines.

If there are security concerns on the Bujumbura-Huye-Kigali route, it is also possible to go along the road bordering (but not entering) the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

You will probably have to do this in a series of minibuses via Cibitoke, Bugerama (Rwanda), and Cyangugu (Rwanda). With both of these routes, check the security situation with your embassy (the Belgian embassy has the best information).

For the Democratic Republic of the Congo, much of the country remains off-limits to many tourists due to instability, although Goma and Bukavu can be visited easily from Rwanda.

Airport: Kigali International Airport Airport transfer included: Kigali International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
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7 days / 6 nights
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Availability

This package is available throughout the year, but it is advisable to track the weather conditions in the destination and seasonality.

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