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3 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Tour and Golden Monkey Tracking Safari in Volcanoes National Park
This 3 day Rwanda Gorilla trekking tour and Golden Monkey Tracking Safari will usher you into the oldest national park in Africa, Volocanoes National Park, for the Gorilla and Golden Monkey tracking expeditions. Both Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys are endangered and endemic to the Virunga ranges sprawling the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Volcanoes national park takes up Rwanda’s share of the Virunga Mountains and is home to a third of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys. Life time experience gets to the gist of the meaning when you stand a few meters before an unbothered family of the rare Mountain Gorillas after a trek into this 25,000-year-old dense forest. The greenery and the spectacular volcanoes views make the would-be challenging hike quite enjoyable. This trip is a combination of Gorilla trekking, Golden Monkey tracking, Ib’yacwu Cultural village visit and a walk along the twin lakes near Volcanoes National Park. This 3-day Gorilla trekking and Golden Monkey tracking safari starts and ends in Kigali city or airport.
Day 1 – Kigali City tour and Genocide Memorial site visit, transfer to Volcanoes National Park.
Pick up will be at any place or the airport in Kigali. Start in the morning with a visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial Site and a tour of other places in Kigali. After lunch at a city restaurant, we are to start a drive to Volcanoes National Park. It is a 2 hours drive from Kigali to Musanze, a small town close to the park. Depending on the place of stay, it may take between 15 minutes or more to reach your hotel/lodge from Musanze. A cultural or community visit to Iby’iwacu cultural Village is can be possibly done on this day in the evening or the following day after Gorilla trekking.
Day 2 – Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Iby’iwacu Cultural Village Tour.
Rise up early enough for breakfast and later drive to the park headquarters at Kinigi for a comprehensive briefing before the Gorilla trek. After the briefing, drive to the trek starting point away from Kinigi and it’s where you will get a walking stick (free) and a porter for hire. A porter is optional but you support the community by hiring one. In the company of rangers, guides and porters, get into the misty cloud forests to start the search for the Gorillas. The trek usually involves bushwhacking on steep and sometimes slippery terrain but it is quite doable if you are moderately fit. The time taken to find the Gorillas may vary depending on many factors but after finding them, you have an hour to observe, follow and photograph them after which you retreat back to the starting point where you will find your driver waiting to take you back to the lodge. In the evening, there is an option of visiting the twin lakes of Bulera and Rubondo that are near Volcanoes National Park or take the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village tour, if you didn’t do so the previous evening.
Day 3 – Golden Monkey Tracking and departure
Check out of the lodge after breakfast, pick your lunch boxes and get into your tour vehicle. Like on day 2, you are to return to the park headquarters at Kinigi for registration and briefing about the Golden Monkeys’ tracking regulations. The Golden monkey tracking activity is more or less like Gorilla trekking though not as strenuous. They are at the edge of the park which is not very far from the trek starting point. It can be a walk of 30 minutes or less and you are with these amazing apes. After an hour watching/observing them, you leave them to enjoy their privacy and return to the starting point. Meet your driver and start off the drive back to Kigali city or airport. End of the wonderful and exciting 3-day Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys trekking Safari in Volcanoes National Park.