Day 1: 1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...Your private guide, with his/her 4WD vehicle, meets you on arrival at Kigali Airport, either off an international flight, or after a safari elsewhere in Africa. Leaving the lively capital, you drive north-west through lush hills and bustling market towns for approximately 2 hours, to the stunning Volcanoes National Park – well known as the venue for Dian Fossey's pioneering studies of the mountain gorillas. Your 4-night stay here is based at the Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. This comfortable lodge, close to the park's boundary has a lovely garden from which to relax, and it's a perfect base from which to explore the national park.
Day 2: 1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...Start early on your first morning for a trip to track the golden monkeys. These primates are beautiful, endangered and more agile than the mountain gorillas. They live in bamboo thickets on the lower slopes of the mountains – and tracking them acclimatises you perfectly to the slight altitude, before heading higher to the gorillas.
Day 3: 1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...Early in the morning, meet at the park headquarters for a briefing, and then hike up into the rainforest to a troop of magnificent mountain gorillas. Each troop has its own 24-hour guard, so their location is known; you usually have an hour with them, time to sit and observe them at very close quarters indeed. Because of the very close contact between gorillas and visitors (often as little as 7m), and the risk of passing on infections which are fatal for them, travellers who are ill will not be allowed on gorilla-tracking trips.
Day 4: 1 night at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge (full board & activities) | Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge...On your final day, track to see another troop of inspiring mountain gorillas. The forest paths are generally good during the dry season, but can be challenging when wet; all have steep sections. The troops are spread out: the lower groups are often accessible by a hike of 90 minutes or even less, whilst reaching one of the higher groups can take a strenuous 3-4-hour hike. The gorillas themselves are very big but very gentle and have evolved long, shaggy coats due to the high altitude. Once you reach them, they seldom move very far – 1km per day would be typical for a group.
After a relaxed breakfast and last views of the park's environs, drive for roughly two hours south-east back to Kigali Airport. Here your private guide and 4WD vehicle leave you to continue your journey, either home or to your next destination.