4 Day Rwanda Gorilla Trek  

Safari tour package:
A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Price per person*:
Includes internal flights:
Length of safari:
4 days
Best months:
All year
Countries visited:
Parks visited:
Activity level:
Very Active - Trekking, mountain biking, kayaking
Safari type:
Cultural safaris Cultural Birding safaris Birding
*Prices are estimates and used as guidelines only. Please contact the tour operator for an exact quote.
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This tour is all about visiting the Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda. To sit in the forest with these rare and gentle giants is an 
unforgetable and moving experience. This tour includes one visit to Rwandas mountain gorillas and one additional trek 
to find the endangered golden monkey. This short tour highlights the wonder of spending time with humans  close 
cousins ‐ the mountain gorilla.  The spectacular scenery and warm people of Rwanda provide an excellent backdrop to 
your wildlife and adventure experience. 

Day 1 ‐ Kigale to Musanze (Ruhengeri)(LD)
Our guide will meet your flight at the Kigali Airport. From here you will have a private transfer from Kigali to Musanze 
(116km) which will generally take around two hours. This is the closest town to the Volcanoes National park where the 
mountain gorilla resides. With 90% of Rwanda’s population involved in agriculture this is a stunning drive as you travel 
through the farming districts with their jewel green terraced gardens and start to fully comprehend why Rwanda is 
called the  ‘Land  of  1000  hills’.  The main  crops  grown  include sorghum,  yams,  potatoes, tea,  coffee  and  bananas. 
Musanze (previously known as Ruhengeri) is the fourth largest town in Rwanda and sits under a chain of five Volcanoes.  
Karisimbi (the  largest  volcano),  is Rwanda’s highest point  at 4507 metres.    The rest of this range  include the free 
standing volcanic peaks of Bisoke (watering hole), Mikeno, Sabyinyo (old man’s teeth) , Mgahinga (pile of stones) and 
Muhabura (the  guide).  These  combine to form the  borders  between  Rwanda, Uganda  and the  Congo.  The  13,000 
hectare Volcanoes National Park Forest that covers these peaks is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is here where the 
mountain gorillas reside. The oldest of these Volcanoes, Sabyinyo rises 3640 meters towering directly over the town 
Musanze. The volcanoes on the Rwanda side are extinct and each have a crater lake.  Nearby volcanoes in the Congo, 
also in this chain, have been the sites of recent eruptions and lava flows. The Volcanoes National Park joins Mgahinga 
National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Congo to form a large trans‐frontier park in which around 380 
of the 730 or so remaining mountain gorillas in the world reside. The rest of the remaining mountain gorillas are found 
in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda. It is in this area of Rwanda where the primatologist Diane 
Fossey  undertook  the  first  studies  in  mountain  gorilla  behavior.  Her  work  to  promote  the  plight  of  the  highly 
endangered  mountain  gorilla  has  led to the  promotion  of the  current  gorilla tourism  program  in  which  you  will 
participate in over the next few days.  

Day 2 ‐ Musanze, Gorilla Trek Day (BLD) 
Your gorilla trek is sure to be the highlight of your tour. We head to the Kinigi ranger station by 7am, where we are 
allocated guides and breifed before heading into the forest. We will track one of the seven habituated gorilla groups in 
Rwanda. Habituation of a gorilla group takes a minimum of two years, with daily visits to allow the gorilla group to 
tolerate human presence. It is only when the gorillas are completely comfortable with human presence that tourists are 
allowed to share the daily hour of contact with them.Only eight poeple are able to track each habituated group. The 
walk to find the gorillas may be as short as two hours, but it will generally take 2‐4 hours to find them as their territory 
can range up to 40km.  The park rangers and guides will clear the way and assist you through the forest. You will need 
good fitness to make this walk and the going can be slippery and tough at times.  Once the gorilla group is located you 
will spend an hour with them as they feed, rest and play.   
Sitting with the mountain gorilla is one of the most amazing wildlife experiences you will ever have. A dominant male 
silverback can weigh over 200 kilos and is the largest living primate. He will control your meeting as well as deciding 
when his group will eat, sleep and move on. His females  care for their young with affection and playfulness but also  
with discipline. They are very curious, and are capable of making over 25 different vocalisations, including chuckling and
purring. Communication also includes posturing, chest beating and if all else fails ‐ the charge!  The privilege of spending 
an hour with a family group is an experience that will never leave you. After your hour is up, you will wind your way 
slowly out of the forest and back to the camp to swap stories about your amazing experience.  
For the gorilla trek please bring walking boots, or waterproof trainers and socks, long pants and a light, long sleeved 
shirt.  Layers are best, as conditions in the tropical rain forest can change from hot to wet and cold in an instant. Start 
with a long sleeved t‐shirt and long pants, thick socks and boots; add a fleece and rainproof jacket and you should be 
right for all conditions. Please choose khaki or muted colours to allow you to get closer to the wildlife. Bright colours 
advertise your presence and make it more difficult to track game. Anti‐histamine cream is useful if you get too close to 
any stinging nettles; the gorillas are immune to these, so often choose this soft place to rest. Gloves can sometimes be a 
handy addition. A small day pack is very useful to carry water, lunch and cameras. The day can be a long one but is 100% 
worth it. 
Photographing gorillas is allowed, but flash photography is prohibited. Anyone wishing to use a video camera must pay 
for a special permit. 
If you still have energy left after this trek you may like to visit the colorful Musanze market and wander through the 
multiude of stalls selling everything form bananas and beans to brightly coloured materials and of course the kitchen 
sink. Other options  available  are  visits to  local brickmaking  and beekeeping projects,  a traditional healer  and  local 
medicinal garden or local school or orphanage. Your guide will discuss with you the opportunities available on the day 
should you wish to get out and about in Musanze. 

Day 3 ‐ Musanze, Golden Monkey trek and onwards to Kigali (BLD) 
This morning you will trek a fully habituated group of 15 golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park. The golden 
monkey is a rare species of old world monkey now found only in the Virunga mountain range. Now endangered, it is one 
of the species on the endangered red list. It lives in social groups of up to 30 individuals usually led by one adult male. 
Communication is by calls and visual expressions. The monkey has a golden reddish back and sides, cheeks and tail with 
black limbs and can weigh up to 12 kilos in maturity. The golden monkey has a lifespan up to 19 years and females will 
generally give birth every two years. Males generally leave the group when they reach sexual maturity only returning 
when they are stong enough to lead the group and mate.  You spend up to one hour with the group as they forage for 
bamboo, leaves and fruits travel play and rest. This is a different experience than the gorilla viewing as the golden 
monkeys are fast and nimble and can be harder to spot but the time in the forest with these charming animals is a 
highlight. When we return from our golden monkey trek we freshen up then head back to Kigali city where our tour 
 Day 4 ‐ Kigali City toAirport
Today you spend time Rwanda’s capital city Kigali. Located In the geographical center of Rwanda this city is built upon 
the rolling hills surrounding Mount Kigali. Kigali is known as the ‘garden city’ and is resplendent with wide avenues and 
many gardens and trees. Once a month every city resident is responsible for reporting to a cleanup team to keep the city 
beautiful. Today you will you have the opportunity to visit the genocide memorial.   This memorial tells the story of 
the1994  Rwanda  genocide  where  an  estimated  800,000  people  died.  The  story  is  told  through  story  boards, 
photographs, ID cards, and collections of bones, video artifact and a number of grave sites. The memorial has been 
presented in a very moving way and cannot help to affect you. We find the majority of persons visiting this memorial 
think their time in Rwanda would not have been complete without a visit here, but please be prepared for tears. It is a 
personal choice should you like to visit, if you would prefer not to visit, we will arrange another option for your time in 
Kigali. The following report from one of our clients sums it up beautifully. 
“As you had said, it is really something worth visiting.  My feelings were ripped to shreds with the horror of what I saw 
firsthand  and the story that they told so well.   Even saying that,  I wouldn't  have missed the  opportunity to try to 
understand how such a thing can happen, and how human beings can actually destroy others the way they did.  Now, 
both sides have to live with the pain of the event, and they are so brilliant at getting on with their lives.  I can't explain 
how strongly I feel about the visit but, knowing that you've also seen it, I'm sure you understand.  It now stands out as 
one of the most amazing days in all of our month in Africa” Gabrielle Holmes. Australia  
We will also take a look around this interesting city and maybe try out your French speaking skills.  If time permits before 
your flight we will visit the Dancing Pots a chance to learn more about the Batwa people and participate in a traditional 
pottery workshop and dancing display. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport in time to meet your 
connecting flight. 
The last nights accommodation is not included, please advise if we can assist with a booking. 


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Since: Aug 2013

Parks you will visit

Enlarge map to see all parks and current weather

Animals you will see

African buffalo
African buffalo
Mountain gorilla
Mountain gorilla

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Cultural / Tribal visits
Cultural / Tribal visits
Farm visits
Farm visits
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