5 Days Rwanda Gorillas and Cultural Safari

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Safari Overview

This 5 days Rwanda Gorillas and cultural safari takes you through some of the best safari experiences in Rwanda. On this Rwanda safari, visit and explore Rwanda’s cultural heritage: visit the genocide memorial sites and the reconciliation village in Bugesera, and enjoy a delightful Kigali City tour before embarking on a gorilla trekking experience in the Volcanoes National Park – which is home to the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas.

Still on your 5 days Rwanda gorillas and cultural safari, explore Dian Fossey’s great work and graves at Karisoke Research Center and visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village to explore more of Rwanda’s unique culture. The 5 days Rwanda gorillas and cultural safari will start and end in Kigali City.

Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival, Kigali City Tour & Explore Kigali Genocide Memorial Site

Upon your arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be welcomed to Rwanda by our safari guide. The safari guide will brief you about your 5 days Rwanda gorillas and cultural safari and what it entails before embarking on your first expedition, the Kigali City Tour. Enjoy the city tour experience as you get immersed in the Rwandese daily lifestyle. Appreciate the generous city of Kigali while you explore several museums and cultural sites, local markets, and local craftsman shops for traditional souvenirs, to mention but a few. Drive to your hotel after, check-in, and have lunch.

After lunch, visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site which is located in Gishozi, about 15 kilometers from the city center to explore more of Rwanda’s heritage. At the site, you will learn about the 250,000 Rwandese that were killed during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, as well as the significance of this site to the Rwandan Nationals. Return to your hotel later and have dinner. Overnight stay at your booked hotel.

Day 2: Visit Bugesera Reconciliation Village & Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park

5 Days Rwanda Gorillas and Cultural Safari

After breakfast, visit Bugesera Reconciliation Village to explore more of Rwanda’s culture and learn about the power of reconciliation. This village was established to create a place where the Tutsis and Hutus would settle their past differences from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, and live in harmony.  From there, return to your lodge and have lunch. After your lunch, transfer to the Volcanoes National Park to prepare for your gorilla trekking experience. Volcanoes National Park is about 2 hours drive from Kigali and on arrival, drive straight to your lodge and relax. Dinner and overnight stay at your lodge.

Day 3: Gorilla Trekking in the Volcanoes – Visit Iby’iwacu Cultural Village

On day 3 of your 5 days Rwanda gorillas and cultural safari, wake up early and have breakfast, before heading to the park headquarters for gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park starts at 8:00 am, with a briefing from the park rangers, followed by the assignment of a gorilla family to trek. In groups of 8, you will be allocated a gorilla family to trek and a guide to lead you on your escapade. After the briefing, the guide will take you through the tremendous hiking trails in search of any one of the 10 gorilla families that call this park home. Expect the trek to be filled with amazing sights of monkeys, birds, etc.

When you finally meet the mountain gorillas, you will be given an hour to spend time in their company, and how they behave and survive in their natural environment. You can take photos and as many videos based on the guide’s instructions. The guide will also be glad to answer any queries you may have about these mysterious apes. After gorilla trekking, return to your lodge and have lunch.

Later in the evening embark on a cultural visit to the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village where you will be welcomed by loud drums and dancing from the village natives. Take time to interact with the locals and learn more about their fascinating Kinyarwanda traditional practices. Enjoy a village tour, explore their traditional food delicacies, and enjoy traditional performances from the local dancers. Thereafter, return to your lodge and retire for the day.

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Day 4: Golden Monkey Trekking – Explore Musanze Caves

After breakfast, return to the Park Headquarters for yet another exciting expedition – golden monkey trekking. And like gorilla trekking, the experience starts with a briefing from the park wardens. Following the Park Ranger’s briefing, you will join your golden monkey trekking group, alongside an armed ranger and guide, and embark on your golden monkey trek. Unlike mountain gorillas, golden monkeys are such easy primates to spot; they often graze in the magnificent bamboo forest near the mountain’s foot. When you finally spot the golden monkeys, like gorilla trekking; you will have an hour to spend time studying, photographing, and finding out more about how they live. Following that, you will trek back to the starting point, where you will rejoin your guide and transfer back to the lodge.

Later in the afternoon, after your lunch, your guide will take you to visit the Musanze Caves. These caves were used as coronation grounds for Rwandese kings during ancient times; and recently during the 1994, Rwandan Genocide, thousands of refugees sought refuge in these caves. The caves feature several rooms, and corridors which you will explore while on a tour here, in addition to taking in the serene greenery amidst the Virunga Volcanoes. While in the cave, ensure to put on a helmet and make your way through the forest to the cave’s gaping mouth. Follow the pathways into the caverns to find the long-lost houses of the locals. Overnight stay at your lodge.

Day 5: Drive back to Kigali and Departure

Today marks the end of your 5 days Rwanda gorillas and cultural tour. Today, you will wake up and have breakfast at leisure, check out of your lodge, and drive to Kigali city where you will proceed to the airport for your departure back home.

End of safari

Guidelines for Gorilla Trekking in the Volcanoes National Park

  • To trek mountain gorillas, one must present a gorilla trekking permit.
  • When searching for the gorillas in the jungle, ensure to stay in your assigned groups to avoid getting lost
  • Avoid littering the park, for its not allowed
  • If you are feeling a little under the weather, do not go gorilla trekking because gorillas are susceptible to human diseases
  • When in the presence of mountain gorillas, maintain a low tone of voice and avoid unnecessary movements.
  • Flash photography during gorilla trekking is prohibited, as it frightens the gorillas.
  • Always maintain a maximum distance of about 7 meters away from the mountain gorillas.
  • Eating, drinking, and smoking near the mountain gorillas are not allowed
  • Avoid approaching or touching the mountain gorillas: even when they come towards you, especially the juveniles, just stay still and do not look directly at them.
  • Tourists are allowed only one hour to spend time with the mountain gorillas, nothing more, nothing less. This is aimed at minimizing the possibilities of diseases.
  • When planning your Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, brace yourself with a range of equipment including long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, comfortable hiking boots, plenty of drinking water and energy-giving snacks, insect repellent and sunscreen, a light-weight backpack, a good camera, and binoculars, a rain jacket since you will be in the jungle, a sun hat, etc.

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