Day 1: Tour Kigali City – Head to the Volcanoes National Park
The tour guide will pick you from the airport or hotel and brief you on the tour. You will start with a tour of the city of Kigali. Rwanda has changed a lot since the genocide in 1994 and it would be a great opportunity to see this transformation first hand. The city is neat and well organized compared to some African capitals. Afterwards you will visit one of the Kigali genocide memorial Centre to learn about what really happened during the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
You will be told about how the people are coping and what steps they have put in place to ensure that it never happens again. After the genocide site visit, you will go visit the former presidential palace and some local markets where you can buy some local crafts. Lunch will be in Kigali before embarking on the 2-3 hours’ journey to the volcanoes national park.
Rwanda is a mountainous country with a great tropical climate that is not too cold or too hot. The rains occur twice a year resulting in green vegetation throughout the year. You will see for yourself why Rwanda is often referred to as “The land of a thousand hills”.
Day 2: Gorilla tracking and Gorilla guardians Village.
Wake up early and after breakfast go for briefing on gorilla trekking at the park offices in Kinigi. All gorilla trackers must attend the briefing in order to know what to expect during gorilla tracking. There are 10 habituated Rwanda Gorilla Families that are available for tracking. You will be assigned one group based on your overall fitness among other factors. Mountain gorilla trekking is a challenging but a worthwhile experience.
There are only 1000 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild and these can only be seen in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. By having the opportunity to watch mountain gorillas, you are among only a few that will have that experience in their life time. It is a truly unique and amazing experience.
You could spend the whole day observing the youngsters rolling and playing close to the adults. Some of the primates may try to come close to you out of curiosity. Stay calm and do not make sudden movements. Always follow the instructions of the head guide.
After the one hour watching and taking photos of the gorilla family, you will head back to the starting point where our guide will take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest. In the evening you will be taken to enjoy local dances and tales of the people of Rwanda at the Iby’iwacu cultural village near the volcanoes national park.
Day 3: Second gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park – visit the Twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo
You will wake up and follow the same program like that of day 2. However, this time you will be assigned a different gorilla family to enable you have a different experience. Try to hire a porter for gorilla trekking after the briefing to help you carry extra luggage or equipment. Porters are often students and former poachers.
By supporting them you help them raise money for their families and school fees. After completing the activity and observing the second gorilla group, our guide will take you for a tour of the beautiful twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.
Day 4: Transfer back to Kigali and end of tour
After the two days of gorilla tracking, you need a long rest. Wake up and have breakfast at your own time but also prepare to check out and get ready for the journey back to Kigali. Our guide will take you up to the airport or to your hotel.
If you missed the tour of Kigali and the genocide memorial sites on the first day because of flight schedules or time constraints, this is the day you will go for the tour.