This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see mountain gorillas up close in their own environment, in real ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ territory.
Suggested route & duration
3 nights Kigali round-trip
Volcanoes National Park 2 nights
Kigali 1 night
About this independent tour
This itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own number of nights, change accommodation, add excursions and extend your holiday. Volcanoes & Gorillas operates on a private basis but you’ll join groups of up to 8 when trekking, and travel between destinations is in a 4x4 vehicle.
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK Home to around 480 habituated mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is where naturalist Dian Fossey carried out much of her incredible gorilla research. It is dominated by bamboo forests, grasslands and giant lobelias. The Rwandan side of the park is home to ten families ranging in size from nine to 37 members. Your permit to enter the park – one of a limited number – will give you two days of trekking in this captivating environment.
MOUNTAIN GORILLAS After being assigned a gorilla family to visit, you’ll enter the park in search of these magnificent creatures, accompanied by experienced guides. You might spot young gorillas climbing and playing, or a mother with a tiny wide-eyed baby. And just being close to a huge silverback is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. All precautions are taken to protect the gorillas. Visitors are asked to stay seven metres away to reduce the risk of transferring human diseases, viewing times are limited to one hour, there’s a maximum of eight people per group, and only one visit to each gorilla family per day. This makes the experience not only exclusive; it offers peace of mind too.
ACCOMMODATION Stay at either the Gorilla Mountain View Lodge or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Both are well located for entering the national park and after a day’s trekking you’ll really appreciate the little extras such as boot cleaning!
Tailor your tour
If you’re short on time and are looking for the ultimate Rwanda experience, this is it. For luxury accommodation to accompany this once-in-a-lifetime experience, consider staying at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge at the edge of Volcanoes National Park.
If you can extend your trip to a week, we highly recommend combining Volcanoes & Gorillas with Chimps of the Nyungwe Forest to form a 7-night ‘Majestic Rwanda’ itinerary. You’ll be able to see more of Rwanda’s lush landscapes and have the opportunity to head out on unforgettable gorilla and chimpanzee treks.
Or after an adventurous few days, you might simply want to flop on the beach in Zanzibar.
We’re experts in creating Africa itineraries and will take the time to craft a tailor-made holiday that’s right for you. Just ask one of our Personal Travel Experts to help.
Good to know
Luggage must be in soft bags weighing a maximum of 15kg. Minimum age 16 years. Non-refundable gorilla permit payments of approx. $3000 per person are required in advance as there are a limited number available each day – this includes 2 treks inside Volcanoes National Park. Trekking can be arduous and uncomfortable due to high humidity levels and altitude (primate habitats are tropical rainforests amongst the volcano peaks with an altitude of between 3500 and 4500 metres) and it can be anything between 1 and 6 hours before your first encounter, but your perseverance will be rewarded.