Starts any day. January to December4 days from $3745.00
Arrive Kigali, Rwanda
Welcome to Rwanda. You are met on arrival at the airport, and taken directly to your luxury accommodations in Kigali. Your luxury hotel is located on a charming boulevard, and built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art.
The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Kigali & Volcanoes National Park
The history of Rwanda dates back centuries, and Kigali has been a part of it for a hundred years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare. Since then, the city has seen major economic development. Today Kigali is a vibrant African city of 1 million with peaceful tree-lined boulevards, world-class hotels and restaurants, crafts and curio shops as well as a lively, cosmopolitan population.
This morning you are escorted on a brief city tour of Kigali. Visit the Kandt House Museum of Natural History, for a good explanation of the interaction and interdependency of man, wildlife and this environment. Proceed to explore old Kigali, with a stop at the Caplaki Handicrafts Cooperation, a collection of market stalls selling a varied selection of wood carvings, drums, baskets and ceramics. Next, visit the Kigali Memorial Center, containing a permanent exhibition of the Rwandan genocide. The center is built on the site where more than 250,000 people are buried. Learn about Rwanda’s history pre-colonial to 1994 genocide as well as other genocides in the world.
After lunch at a local restaurant, head north to Ruhengeri, located at the foothills of the Virungas, just outside the “Parc National des Volcans.”
Late afternoon, arrive at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Situated in the foothills of the mighty Virungas, minutes from the national park, your lodge offers extraordinary views to the volcanoes and surrounding countryside. All eight guestrooms are spacious, and include a living area, fireplace, sheltered verandah, and an en-suite with bathtub and shower.
Tonight enjoy dinner at this luxury lodge. (B,L,D)
Volcanoes National Park
Rwanda boasts 13 species of primates, one quarter of the total number in Africa. At the moment, there are eight habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. Each family will usually reside in a different section of the ranges, further or higher up the volcanoes. Gorillas are however not territorial and when two families come together, the Silver-backs may fight, sometimes to death, to defend family not territory. Numbering only about 700 individuals worldwide, the Silver-backs are a critically endangered species. Your visit to these gorilla families contributes to the preservation of this special, almost human-like creature.
After an early breakfast, drive to Volcanoes National Park headquarters, where you are assigned a gorilla-tracking group. After a briefing by your trackers, drive to the trail head for the start of this amazing adventure. Your exhilarating trek follows the footsteps of the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas. Entering the national park, you are instantly immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with colorful butterflies and hypnotic bird calls. Through gaps in the canopy, you can see the magnificent Virunga Mountains peeking through. Weave through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia and giant lobelias until your experienced guide leads you through the forest to a gorilla family. Upon sighting the gorillas, stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant Silverback is one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!
Important Note: Based on the location of the gorillas, trekking may involve up to 8 hours of hiking through lush jungle with uneven terrain, slippery slopes and steep, muddy trails.
Return to your lodge for lunch, followed by a tour of the nearby ex-poacher’s village. Discover how through an award-winning conservation initiative, former poachers were convinced to renounced their old ways and become conservation activists. Living together in this little village, they showcase the eco-tourism of the Rwandan culture. Learn about traditional skills such as fire-making, archery, traditional medicine, traditional architecture, and cultural dances. (B,L,D)
Volcanoes National Park to Kigali & Depart for Home
Enjoy early morning in the park. After breakfast you are driven back to the Kigali airport for your departing flight. (B)
Kigali Serena Hotel, Kigali
Ideally located in one of Kigali's most charming boulevards, the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel is built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art. Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel center is the Executive Lounge and Bar, which opens onto a wide sun deck overlooking the newly refurbished swimming pool. Also overlooking the pool, the popular Milima Restaurant offers a wide range of all-day buffet choices, while the relaxed Sokoni Cafe offers inside and outside poolside seating.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes National Park
The Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge offers cottages, each one situated within the rolling hills, including the main lodge. Each cottage is made of stone with terra-cotta roofs. The main lodge consists of a reception area, bar, dining room, library, and shop. Each cottage has at least one private veranda, a living room with a fireplace, one bedroom, one dressing room, and a large modern bathroom. A hair dryer is included and laundry service is also available. Thick walls help maintain the warmth from the fireplace. This property is available for an additional charge. A 2014 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List Hotel