GTR 2 – 5 Days Gorilla & Golden Monkey experience

Day 1 – Kigali

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to Lemigo Hotel for overnight – dinner on own account.

 

Lemigo hotel is a haven of space, luxury, serenity and simplicity, filled with rich touches of the fantastic Rwandan culture. Located in the Kimihurura area of Kigali, just about 10 min. from the international airport, Lemigo hotel is a refreshingly unique experience of relaxation amidst serene landscapes.

LEMIGO HOTEL (BB)

 

Day 2 – Kigali to Virunga

After breakfast, join your driver/guide on a City Tour of Kigali, includes the Memorial Centre and Crafts centres.

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. Visit 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.

 

Followed by lunch on own account, you will proceed to drive to Ruhengeri at the foothills of the Virungas. You will arrive at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge late afternoon in time for dinner and overnight.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, a 3* bush lodge on the edge of Volcanoes National Park offers good quality accommodation with panoramic views of the Virungas, barely a km away from the gorilla Park HQs. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

 
 

Day 3 – Virunga

After an early breakfast, drive to Volcanoes National Park HQs 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.

 

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 gorilla must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!

 

In the afternoon, enjoy sightseeing around the Twin Lakes;

Burera and Ruhondo, two shimmering volcanic crater lakes located high in the Virungas and separated by a narrow stretch of earth – their deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls in a most spectacular backdrop, the Virunga Volcanoes. Optionally walk with your guide in the hills bordering on the lakes in search of birds, descend and walk along the lakes and through the local village and its small market place or stop for afternoon coffee at the adjacent Virunga Lodge.

Return to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

 

Day 4 – Virungas

You have another early wake up and return to the Park HQs where you will be allocated a Golden Monkeys tracking group. 0700 hrs: Briefing by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the tracking.

 

The 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.

 

Following lunch, drive back to Kigali and check in at Lemigo Hotel for overnight – dinner on own account.

lemigo Hotel (BB)

 

Day 5 – Virunga to Kigali

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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