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Gorilla tracking and Golden monkeys in Rwanda

Beautiful Rwanda: Nyungwe + Lake Kivu + Gorillas


UPW9K
9 NIGHTS
FROM £4,995
International flights quoted separately
Explore the rainforests, lakes & mountains of Rwanda in depth, with your own private guide. Travel to the pristine forests of Nyungwe to see chimps & white colobus monkeys in their natural habitat & a vast array of tropical bird life. Relax on the shores of Lake Kivu, before tracking endangered mountain gorillas on foot in Volcano National Park. English speaking guide, transfers, gorilla & chimp permits included.
Mountain Gorillas Rwanda Lake Kivu Nyungwe Rainforest Birds
• 
Kigali
• 
Nyungwe Rainforest
• 
Colobus Monkeys
• 
Chimpanzees
• 
Olive Baboons
• 
Bird Watching
• 
Volcanoes Park
• 
Gorilla Tracking
• 
Golden Monkeys
• 
Lake Kivu
• 
Kigali
• 
Nyungwe Rainforest
• 
Colobus Monkeys
• 
Chimpanzees
• 
Olive Baboons
• 
Bird Watching
• 
Volcanoes Park
• 
Gorilla Tracking
• 
Golden Monkeys
• 
Lake Kivu
Day 1
You will be met at Kigale Airport and transferred to your hotel in this bustling city.
 
Check in, settle in and relax in your warm African surroundings.
Day 2
This morning we visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali.
 
We then travel to Butare, the former colonial capital and intellectual centre of the country, where we visit one of the finest museums in East Africa.
 
After travelling 6-hours through scenic countryside, we arrive at pristine Nyungwe Rainforest in southwest Rwanda. Check into your mountain lodge, situated in Central Africa's best preserved rainforest in the watershed between the Congo River to the west and the Nile River to the east.
Day 3
This morning we head into Nyungwe Forest National Park to track Chimpanzees in their natural environment. Tracking a noisy chimp family is a thrilling experience and is best in the morning, when they come down to the forest floor to forage. The chimps are very mobile, so viewing can be quite unpredictable and never guaranteed (chimps are seen about 50% of the time), but the walk itself is enchanting.
 
Nyungwe Forest National Park covers an area of approximately 375 sq.miles (970 sq.km) of pristine rainforest, grassland, wetland, waterfalls, bamboo and wetland. Its is home to an extremely wide diversity of life, including 85 different mammals and 13 primate species -  25% of all those found in Africa. These include chimpanzees, olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey and black and white colobus monkeys. With their distinctive black face, surrounded by long white locks of hair and mantle of white hair on their shoulders, they are an awesome sight. You can also hope to see the golden monkey, blue monkey, L'Hoest's monkey, Hamlyn's monkey, red-tailed monkey, Dent's mona monkey & vervet monkey. Many of these primates are found only in these montane rainforests, with Nyungwe having more endemic species than any other forest in the Albertine Rift Mountains. The rainforest is also is home to over 275 bird species, 32 amphibians, 38 reptiles and over 1,000 different plant species.
 
In the afternoon enjoy a thrilling Canopy Walk, descending down a zig-zag footpath to the first tower deep in the forest valley. Then enjoy a 1.5-hour walk along the suspension bridge which allows access to the treetop canopy - where you can see apes, birds, butterflies, insects, flowers, plants and other wildlife that lives in the roof of the forest.
 
Note: Chimp tracking is limited to a small group, with a minimum age of 12 years. Please note the chimpanzees move a lot - sometimes far into the dense forest. So wear good walking shoes and expect to walk a lot today in very hilly terrain.
Day 4
This morning we travel 4-hours from Nyungwe to Kibuye in the western part of the country.
 
After checking into your lodge, enjoy a tour of the vicinity and some relaxation.
 
Day 5
Today we transfer by boat from Kibuye to the "sea port" of Gisenyi, passing several small fishing villages. You will also see people from Idjwi Island coming to sell theiir goods.
 
Check into your lodge on beautiful Lake Kivu - one of Africa's great lakes situated in the Albertine Rift, a western branch of the Great Rift Valley.
Day 6
At leisure to relax on the shores of fresh water Lake Kivu, which empties into the Ruzizi River and flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika.
 
Here you can enjoy optional boat excursions on the lake with scenic views of the various islands (pay locally) and walks along the lakeshore. Watersports on the lake include wind surfing, kayaking and jet skiing. The Gisenyi volcanic hot springs are also within easy reach.
 
In the evenings you may glimpse the volcanic glow from great Mount Nyiragongwe in the Virunga Mountains.
Day 7
Today travel 1.5-hours from Lake Kivu to Volcanoes National Park - home to half the world's population of critically endangered mountain gorillas, and also a sanctuary for colobus monkeys and chimpanzees.
 
Travel through beautiful terraced hills and climb to the base of the spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga range. This dense equatorial jungle is accessible only on foot and features one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, including 120 species of mammals, 350 bird species including hornbills and turacos, 220 butterfly species, 27 frog species as well as chameleons, geckos and many other endangered species. It also boasts over 1,000 different flowering plants, ferns & trees.
 
Learn about the conservation work being done by the Karisoke Research Centre, sponsored by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, before checking into your hotel.
Day 8
This morning we enter Volcanoes National Park - home to critically endangered mountain gorillas, and also a sanctuary for colobus and other monkeys.
 
This dense equatorial rainforest is accessible only on foot and features one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, including 120 species of mammals, 350 bird species including hornbills and turacos, 220 butterfly species, 27 frog species as well as chameleons, geckos and many other endangered species. It also boasts over 1,000 different floral species.
 
After walking (or driving up to 1.5-hours) to your specified gate, rangers will allocate you to a small group of up to 8 people - with each gorilla family graded as a short, medium or long hike, based on their location the previous day. We recommend you ask your guide to request the appropriate category for you, although this cannot be guaranteed as the gorillas may have moved significantly overnight.
 
After a briefing, you will then track a family of endangered Mountain Gorillas, accompanied by two guides - one at the front and one at the back. The group will walk at the speed of the slowest member, so it is important to proceed at your own pace and enjoy the experience. We strongly recommend hiring a local porter at a cost of around $15 per person, as not only is this an important source of local employment, but they will carry your backpacks and give you a hand up (or a push) where necessary. Expect to walk 1 to 4-hours each way in steep, sometimes muddy and dense tropical jungle conditions to view a family of these enormous primates and observe their behavior up close - a rare privilege indeed.
 
In the evening enjoy a display of traditional dancing.
 
You must take a copy of your passport with you today, as this will be required to trek. You must be over the age of 15 years to track gorillas and be sufficiently fit to walk for the period indicated. Ensure you arrange a packed lunch with your lodge and carry sufficient water in your backpack (at least 2 litres). You should wear long trousers, long sleeved top, long socks (tucked into your trousers to keep out biting ants), proper walking boots and gardening gloves to protect your hands from nettles and undergrowth. Start off wearing a light fleece, as it is cold in the forest in the morning and pack proper rain gear, including a rain jacket and waterproof trousers, as it can rain at any time. A walking stick to help with the steep ascents will be provided if you don’t have your own.
 
You cannot be sick or have any infectious disease and no eating or drinking is permitted in the vicinity of the gorillas. Only one hour is allowed with the gorillas and you have to keep a distance of at least 7 metres. No flash photography is allowed and no touching the gorillas (although they may decide to touch you)!
Day 9
Today enjoy a guided nature walk in Volcanoes National Park, tracking troops of rare Golden Monkeys.
 
These rainforests are also home to numerous bird species, so superb bird watching is also assured.
 
In the afternoon visit a local school and enjoy a canoe ride on the scenic Twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, which together offer an important wetlands habitat for water birds.
Day 10
Time permitting, you can visit a local school today.
 
Afterwards transfer 2.5-hours to Kigali Airport for your flight home.
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