Gorilla & Chimpanzee Tracking
Road Travel is excited to offer our clients this scheduled safari in September 2011 to Rwanda. Enjoy Gorilla Trekking in the safest and cleanest country in Africa. Included in this safari is the Nyungwe Forest National Park, which is home to around 1000 chimps, Lake Kivu, more than 670 birds and 400 butterflies species as well as huge troops of Colobus Monkey and the Golden Monkey. Contact us to get more information on this great offer.
Fly to Kigali Airport. You will be met at the Gregoire Kayibanda International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Kigali. Overnight at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Breakfast at Kigali Serena. Visit the Kandt Museum, tour old Kigali and the craft centres then visit the genocide memorial site. Learn about Rwanda’s history from the pre-colonial era to the 1994 genocide war that shocked the world. You will also tour more recent developments in Rwanda. The nation’s recovery is incredible and a testament to mankind’s resilience.
After lunch proceed towards Lake Kivu, driving through stunning scenery of lush green hills and valleys. Almost the entire country is 5 – 7 thousand feet high, and incredibly lush. Where there aren’t huge indigenous forests, enormous tea plantations and other types of farming stretch as far as the eye can see. Arrive late afternoon at Gisenyi at the northern shore of the lake. It is a tropical location with a sandy beach lined with swaying palms and colonial-era hotels that exude an atmosphere of tropical languor. Overnight at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.
Next morning you depart early morning to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters in Kinigi for your mountain gorilla trekking. After the briefing from the authorities of the park, set off for the trekking into the tropical rainforest covering the hills surrounding Virunga Volcanoes. Parc National des Volcans is home to six of the Virunga volcanoes. You will remain close to the gorillas for a maximum of one hour allowing observation and photography. You can also visit the Karisoke Research Center, established by the late Diana Fossey; learn about the wealth of information produced here on the mountain gorillas and their habitat, and about the anti-poaching patrols to safeguard these animals. In the afternoon, tour to the nearby ex-poacher’s village. As part of overall conservation efforts, former poachers renounced their old ways and became conservation activists. Together with their families, they founded this little village where they now participate in eco-tourism showcasing Rwandan culture. Visitors can learn about traditional skills like fire-making, archery, traditional medicine, architectural design grass thatched huts that were built for the kings, traditional medicine, cultural dances among other attractions. Drive back to Lake Kivu, for overnight at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.
The Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga Mountains, which is a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes situated in Rwanda, Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the heart of Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat, are volcanoes towering up in the air for almost 3,000 m, nearly covered in rich, green rainforest – the Virungas. Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range – home of the rare mountain gorilla – and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath. An exciting trek through the cultivated foothills of the Virungas offers stirring views in all directions. This is the best location to track the rare and captivating mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla Beringei). The guides can generally find the gorillas within one to eight hours of starting out, but this often involves a lot of strenuous effort scrambling through dense vegetation up steep muddy hillsides. An encounter with a silverback male gorilla at close quarters can be a hair-raising experience; however, they are remarkably non aggressive animals, entirely vegetarian, and usually quite safe to be around.
Enjoy the next day at leisure at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel. Located on the shores of Africa’s sixth largest lake and in the resort town of Gisenyi, this hotel is the perfect spot to spend some relaxing time either before you head to the volcanoes in search of the gorilla or after you have been to see the amazing creatures and need a few days to sit still and slowly come back down to earth. The hotel has two restaurants, The Kivu Sands and the Lake View Bar and Terrace. The dining experience includes stunning views out over the lake, and from here you can enjoy the sun sinking and turning the lake pink at dinner-time and then rising and making the waters shimmer like gems as you feast on a hearty breakfast. Lake Kivu Serena Hotel also offers a great watersports facility. This facility offers canoeing, catamarans, hobie Cats, windsurfing and more. There is also the opportunity to take a boat ride to a nearby island called ‘Umucyo’. Here you can spend the afternoon on the sandy island beach, explore the interior and snack on a delightful picnic basket lunch.
The next day you will return to Kigali for overnight. After breakfast transfer to the airport for flight to Cyangugu. Flight e.t.d. @ 08h15AM & e.t.a. @ 08h40AM. You will be met and transferred to Nyungwe Forest Lodge. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Extending for 970 square kilometres across the majestic hills of southeast Rwanda, Nyungwe National Park is the largest block of mountain forest in East or Central Africa and one of the most ancient, dating back to before the last Ice Age. An extensive network of well-maintained walking trails leads through Nyungwe forest to various waterfalls and viewing points. A comfortably rustic rest house and perfectly situated campsite lies alongside the main road, and the reserve can readily be visited as a day trip from the towns of Butare and Cyangugu. Nyungwe National Park does, however, deserve more time. Anybody who wants to track chimps and see several varieties of smaller primate will need two days there – and dedicated bird watchers might never want to leave! Nyungwe is renowned for its 13 species of primates and in particular is a great location for chimpanzee tracking and viewing 9 different species of monkey including the Ruwenzori Colobus and the handsome LHoests monkey. Nyungwe also have many smaller predators including the golden cat, wild cat, serval cat, the side-striped jackal and three types of mongoose. Antelope found in Nyungwe include bushbuck and three types of duiker, which formerly common, have suffered from heavily from poaching as bush meat.
You will spend one more unforgettable day enjoying an early morning Chimpanzee tracking, followed by the Sky walk experience in the Nyungwe Forest. The lodge, built to blend in with the surrounding environment is situated in a tea plantation on the edge of the Nyungwe closed canopy rain forest. Several amazing activities are on offer, such as the Chimpanzee trekking, Black and White Colobus monkey trekking, Grey-cheeked Mangabey trekking, Kamiranzovu Swamp walk, Kamiranzovu Waterfall walk, various other guided walking trails varying from one to seven hours, amazing bird watching walks and a cultural area walk with the lodge guide. After breakfast the next morning you will be transferred to Gyangugu airport for your flight back to Kigali. Please do contact us and we will gladly send you rates and dates.