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RWANDA Gorillas culture and History - 6 days

This tour explores the history and culture of Rwandan people. Visit Kigali, the modern capital city of Rwanda, as well as the genocide memorial at Gisozi (depicting Rwandas dark recent history), explore local markets, tour the king's palace (reminiscent of the old Rwanda before colonialism), visit Ross Carr's Flower Farm and orphanage, see the sights of Lake Kivu in Gisenyi, continue to Ruhengeri/Musanze to visit local communities, and have the rare privilege of tracking mountain gorillas and golden monkeys (on separate treks) in their natural habitats.

Prices start at $2330 per person (all prices are in $US).

We have two pricing options, one using luxury hotels, the other using mid-range hotels.

  • Mid-range price: $2680.00 per person in shared accommodation. $650 single supplement.
  • Luxury price: $2330.00 per person in shared accommodation. $450 single supplement.

Plan Your Trip

Day 1: Arrive in Kigali, Rwanda!

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by your safari guide and transferred to your hotel for your first orientation/safari briefing. Later in the day, visit Kigali city, a local market, and the Genocide memorial of Gisozi depicting Rwanda's recent dark past.
Overnight Accommodations
Luxury: Des Mille Collines
Mid-range: Des Mille Collines

Note: There is no mid-range accommodation option in this area, therefore the Des Mille Collines is used for both the luxury and mid-range options.

Day 2: Kigali to Nyanza to Huye (formerly Butare)

After breakfast, travel to Nyanza and visit the King's Palace, seat of the former feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to it's 19th century state using local traditional materials, and is one of the most magnificent traditional structures in Africa today. The resident cultural guide will describe the cultural, political and social organization of society before the advent of Christianity and other recent religions in this area. Later, travel to Gisenyi passing through a beautiful rural countryside with terraced hills and village life.
Overnight Accommodations
Luxury: Lake Kivu Serena Resort
Mid-range: Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel

Day 3: Visit the Shores of Lake Kivu-Ross Carr Orphanage in Musanze

Rosamond Halsey was a young American fashion illustrator when she married an adventurous hunter-explorer, Kenneth Carr. Together, they journeyed to the former republic of the Belgian Congo in 1949 but they later divorced. Kenneth left, but Rosamond stayed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1955. From there, she moved to northwest Rwanda where she stayed for the next 50 years. She witnessed a big part of Rwanda's historical events including the 1994 civil war. She is the author of "Land of a Thousand Hills: My Life In Rwanda." The resident guide will give us a story about the life and times of this lady, her relationship with local people and Dian Fossey the famous gorilla conservationist. For those who have watched the movie "Gorillas in the Mist," some of the scenes in this movie were shot on location here on this property. After visiting the orphanage, we continue to Musanze on the foothills of Volcanoes National Park.
Overnight Accommodations
Luxury: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Mid-range: Gorillas Hotel Musanze

Day 4: Gorilla Tracking

Today's activity may be the most exciting and challenging of our entire expedition. The mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park are part of a worldwide population of just about 800 individuals. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to one of the 8 habituated family groups that live in this mountain park. For up to five years each, these groups have undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually brought them to tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day and allowed a few privileged visitors to interact with them in the wild. The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. Experienced guides will accompany us on our tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides and trackers will use their knowledge of the gorilla's habits and information from the previous day to locate the groups' whereabouts. Because of this, time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as 8 hours before returning to the hotel. Once the gorillas are located, our group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. This is one of the world's truly memorable experiences-a look into one of these magnificent creature's eyes brings home the poignant fact that they are on the edge of extinction, and that our presence here contributes to ensuring their continued survival. The hour is often over all too quickly, and we slowly make our way back to our lodge to recount the days adventures.
Overnight Accommodations
Luxury: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Mid-range: Gorillas Hotel Musanze

Day 5: Karisoke Research Center, Golden Monkeys, Cultural Experience

This morning, there are various options on offer: we can track golden monkeys, visit Mt. Visoke or visit the Karisoke Research Center. This afternoon, continue exploring the cultural highlights of this area and visit the Iby Iwachu Cultural Center for cultural dancing and an informative experience about traditional local medicine. This cultural group was formed by pygmies and ex-poachers and we shall listen to their side of the story after abandoning the illegal practice.
Overnight Accommodations
Luxury: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Mid-range: Gorillas Hotel Musanze

Day 6: Return to Kigali

This morning, have breakfast at the lodge and later travel back to Kigali. If time permits, do some shopping before departing for home, or wherever your journey continues.

Plan Your Trip