4 days from £2789pp plus international flights.
If your main focus in coming to Rwanda is to see the mountain gorillas, this is the trip for you. A short trip to the gorillas is easier in Rwanda than in Uganda due to the distance of the gorillas from the incoming airports.
A gorilla safari is never going to be a cheap option as the permits are very expensive, but most people agree that the experience is absolutely worth it - especially given that it is the travellers visiting these incredible creatures which pay for their protection. Without tourism, gorillas would most likely be poached to extinction. Your hour with them will become one of your most treasured wildlife memories.
This is a private tailor made safari so you can change anything you want, and you can take the trip at any time you like. It's probably also worth pointing out that the price reduces significantly if there are more than 2 people in your party. This trip has been costed on 2 people travelling together. You have a driver/guide and private vehicle of your own.
As well as trekking to see the gorillas we have also included a trek to see rare golden monkeys also found here in the Virunga Mountains. Relatively little is known about these beautiful primates other than that they live social groups of about 30 individuals, but they are critically endangered.
In addition to these extraordinary wildlife experiences, we also take you to visit an ex-poacher's village (which is an award-winning conservation initiative, and surprisingly excellent fun), and a Kigali city tour (including the genocide museum if you wish). The people and culture of Rwanda will therefore also make an impact on you over these jam-packed 4 days.
Your accommodation for the trip is good quality, though not luxury. Upgrades are available.
You will be met at Kigali Airport and transferred downtown for a city tour. Kigali has been Rwanda's capital since independence in 1962. We'll take you to the Kandt Museum, tour old Kigali, visit the craft centres, and the genocide memorial site. Kigali and Rwanda, are very much looking forward now and it is a positive and vibrant place.
After lunch, we drive you to Ruhengeri at the foot of the Virungas. Dinner.
An early start sees us at the Volcanoes NP HQ to be allocated a gorilla trekking group. Even the trek through these ancient forests is exhilarating, but once you find the gorilla family you have an hour to enjoy their company. You'll watch them go about their daily life - playing, feeding, resting, sorting out the kids ... It's an utterly captivating experience.
In the afternoon, we'll take you to a nearby ex-poacher's village showcasing Rwandan culture. Full board.
Another early wake-up and you're off to trek in the forest to find the golden monkeys this time. It usually takes 2-4 hours to find them, and you have an hour to watch them. They are often more active than the gorillas so it's a very different experience, but nonetheless exciting.
After lunch we'll head back to Kigali. Breakfast, lunch.
After breakfast we will transfer you to the airport for your flight. Breakfast.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £2789 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2019 guide price pp sharing (based on 2 travelling together): £2789. There is a further reduction per person for 4 people travelling together.
Airport transfers; accommodation on twin share basis; all meals as shown; private vehicle and driver/guide; bottled water in vehicle; 1 gorilla trek permit; 1 golden monkey trek permit; park fees; emergency evacuation cover; Kigali city tour; entrance fee to ex-poacher's village.
International flights and taxes; visa; tips; drinks; meals not stated; personal expenses.
You need to fly into and out of Kigali International Airport for this trip. Kenya Airways via Nairobi is one option, and flights will cost from around £800pp.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made safari and as such you can take it when you like.
How this holiday helps
Mountain gorillas are rare. Very rare. There are only about 880 in the Virungas (about 480 individuals) and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (about 400). It is estimated that around 100,000 people live near the gorillas so there is constant impact on their habitat (deforestation for land to grow crops) and hunting for meat and trophies. Tourism plays a huge and critical role in protecting the gorillas. It’s a known fact that if tourism stops (eg in times of unrest in Uganda or Rwanda) gorilla poaching increases. A permit to trek to see the gorillas costs from $350 (in low season in Uganda) to $750 (high season in Rwanda). This money goes to the parks authorities to pay for guards and other protection methods so that we can keep the gorillas safe. So do come and see the gorillas, and you can feel content that you are doing your bit for their future existence.
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Find the best time to visit Rwanda
Time: GMT +2hrs
Flight time: Various airlines fly to Kigali including Kenya Airways via Nairobi.
Language: Main language is Kinyarwanda but English is widely spoken. Many people also speak French or Swahili.
Visas: Entry visas are issued on arrival, entry fee is $30, to British passport holders.
Health: Rwanda is a malarial country but the risk is low as most of the country is at high altitude. The following vaccinations are recommended: Hepatitis A & B, Polio, Tetanus & Typhoid. Yellow fever vaccinations is compulsory. Seek advise from your GP.