Day 1: Kigali – Volcanoes National Park and back
Our English/French speaking guide will meet you in Kigali very earlier in the morning at around 4:30Am since you need to be at the park head quarter before 7AM- short briefing- and transfer to the Volcanoes National Park in Musanze District/Northern part of this country.
The drive from Kigali to the volcanoes (116km) will generally take around two hours and a half.
Arriving at the park headquarter you will go under the formalities to trek the gorillas before you have another drive to the park gate where you will enter the forest for trekking.
We will track one of the ten 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 people are able to track each habituated group. The walk to find the gorillas may be as short as one hour, but it will generally take 1-4 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. 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 our 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 vocalizations, including chuckling and purring. Communication also includes posturing, chest beating and if all else fails – the charge! The privilege of spending an hour with this family group is an experience that will never leave you. After your hour is up, you 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. You need to wear long pants whilst walking in the bush due to stinging nettles. 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. Volcanoes National Park where the gorillas reside is a high altitude rainforest so come prepared for all conditions.
After the Gorilla trekking, go for late lunch if you have time left and after you will be transferred back to Kigali. End of the service.