Day 1: Arrive Kigali – City Tour / Kinigi
Arrive in Rwanda's capital and main city, Kigali, this morning (or on the previous day). A city tour introduces some of Rwanda's recent history, including the evocative genocide museum. Continue by paved road to Kinigi Town, gateway to the Virungas, through green hills and valleys as we wind our way through the tapestry of forest, coffee and tea plantations. The grand Virunga Range comes into ever-nearer perspective as its five towering volcanic peaks rise before us. Our base in Kinigi lies at at the foot of Sabyinyo Mountain, named for one of the large male silverback gorillas in the area. Overnight at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge.
Day 2 & 3: Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla Trekking
After breakfast, we make a short drive to park headquarters where you'll meet our local guides and trackers. After a brief talk on the procedures and etiquette of gorilla tracking, we set off on foot into the dense rain forest. The trackers identify where the gorillas were seen the night before, then pursue them from that point. The trek to their current location can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as several hours, depending on how far the gorilla troop has traveled. The trek may also involve climbing to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. Vegetation is dense, and the terrain is rough and sometimes muddy, making for slow going at times. Although the hike can be physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the effort worthwhile – not to mention your ultimate reward! Once the gorillas are located, all fatigue fades, and the experience is often described as one of the most profound wildlife encounters on the planet. A picnic lunch is provided during each trek, and it is important to take plenty of water. It can rain at a moment’s notice, hence waterproof clothing is essential, as are Zip-Loc bags for cameras. After our second trek concludes on Day 3, you'll make the return journey to Kigali to spend the night.
Day 4: Kigali / Depart
Transfer to the airport today for homeward flights.