Few wildlife encounters can match the exhilaration of spending time with a family of Mountain Gorillas, the largest primates on earth. Critically endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, disease and war, there are fewer than eight hundred individuals left on this planet.
Our safari starts in the fascinating city of Kigali. From here, we head out to the Virunga Mountains – a chain of volcanoes with densely forested slopes which are home to these great apes. We will do two treks to different locations, making our way from the foothills up into the rainforest, weaving through overhanging vines and lush vegetation alive with colourful butterflies and birds. Once we locate the gorillas, we will stay with them for a magical hour each day as they feed, play and tend to their young.
A face-to-face encounter with a silverback Mountain Gorilla is surely one of the most memorable wildlife experiences of all – this is a taste of what you can expect during this safari.
The safari starts in Kigali, Rwanda
City Tour of Kigali – 1 afternoon
Kigali is one of the most beautiful capital cities in Africa, spanning lush hillsides and valleys, with winding boulevards and bustling streets. This vibrant city is a success story of Rwanda’s restoration from the devastating genocides of more than two decades ago, to a world-class tourist destination, with an international airport, superb hotels and restaurants, craft markets and curio shops, and a lively cosmopolitan population.
Our city tour is entirely flexible, and could include a visit the Kandt House Museum of Natural History, exploring old Kigali, and spending time at the genocide memorial. Here we can learn about Rwanda’s pre-colonial history leading up to the 1994 genocides. Rwanda’s recovery from these events is remarkable, and today Kigali is one of Africa’s tourism triumphs, and a true reflection of mankind’s resilience.
This tour showcases the positive effects of tourism, and provides a good insight into Rwanda’s history and its promising future. Afterwards we will make our way to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, our base for the gorilla trekking.
Road transfer to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge – 3 nights
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is situated in the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, with fabulous views across this magnificent chain of volcanoes which stretch across Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The lodge is beautifully designed and well appointed, in a prime position close to the headquarters of the Parc National des Volcans. This is the perfect base for our treks on foot to search for Mountain Gorillas – perhaps one of the most dramatic and poignant wildlife experiences in the world.
Each trek starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virungas, with stirring views in all directions. Upon entering the national park, experienced trekkers – many of whom have spent their entire lives here – will lead us up into the rainforest along tracks fresh with spoor of the region’s elusive buffalo and elephant, to one of several family groups of Mountain Gorillas.
On our second day we will search for a different family. The benefit of having two treks means that each experience is entirely unique, with outstanding photographic opportunities. Being privileged to sit within a few feet of these magnificent animals is both awe-inspiring and humbling, and something that will stay with you forever.
Increasing pressure from the growing human population continues to threaten the remaining eight hundred or so individuals, so it is rewarding to know that by visiting this lodge and viewing the gorillas, we are contributing to employment within the local communities, and helping to ensure that these gorillas and other species remain protected.
After our treks, we will have the opportunity to enjoy some afternoon sightseeing around the Twin Lakes – Burera and Ruhondo – stunning deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and cascading waterfalls, with the spectacular backdrop of the volcanic Virunga Mountains.
Road transfer to Kigali
The safari ends in Kigali, Rwanda
|Safari||Privately Guided Safari|
|Group of 2||Group of 4||Group of 6|
|Price Per Person Sharing||$9 700||$14 700||$11 500||$10 900|
What our clients had to say
“The most amazing trip! All to your credit: the preparation, choice of accommodations and locations, travel methods, arrangements for kids, etc., etc. Could go on forever! Your professionalism, knowledge and kind way with the kids was so appreciated. We can never thank you enough.”
“Our trip was absolutely spectacular. I have wanted to see the mountain gorillas for many years and was not disappointed. Thanks so much for the gorgeous e-Book – special thanks to you, Lee, for taking shots of us at our gorilla viewings. I still find it hard to believe that I was actually there. It was an unreal/surreal experience. I might have to do it againJ… I always feel as if I’ve stepped into a dream.”
…”the adventure from beginning to end was quite splendid! I loved every moment and felt so well taken care of and safe. The camps I visited were all unique and all spectacular…I look at my photos and relish in the wonderful memories of a magnificent time. I feel so blessed to have had that opportunity.”