Once in a Lifetime Experience 2019
Sustainable tourism embraced by Kahuzi-Biega and Virunga National Parks in DR CONGO, Volcanoes National Park- RWANDA, and the National Parks of Bwindi impenetrable forest alongside Mgahinga forest in GANDA.
Virunga Program has remarkably maintained a high level of tourist satisfaction, meaningful experiences and awareness about sustainability issue. The tourist attractions and activities within Virunga Massif are unique and amazing !
- Day 1: Arrival Kigali and travel to Musanze
In and around Kigali, Musanze
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by Virunga Programs driver/guide and your day starts with a complimentary tour of the city. Named in 1907 by Dr. Richard Kandt, the first colonial resident governor of Rwanda, Kigali city is surrounded by lush green hills and is referred to as 'the land of a thousand hills'. Visit interesting spots which may include the craft market, Gisozi genocide memorial site and Kigali museum.
Afterwards depart for a 2 hour drive to Musanze, the second largest town in Rwanda, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains – The Virungas. Arrive at Red Rocks Intercultural Exchange Center for lunch before joining the local brew makers to understand the chemistry of the process of brewing a local beer from bananas. If you find the activity interesting enough you can join the women in squeezing the juice out of the bananas and drink a glass of juice (optional). Understand how long juice takes to turn into alcohol after adding in sorghum flour. Enjoy a big glass of our local brew if you feel like it! Among other activities they also do basket weaving in this local community, an activity which supports local families financially. Later drive to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Driving distance: 2 hours Activities: City Tour and Intercultural Exchange Overnight: Garden Place Hotel | Five Volcanoes Lodge | Virunga Lodge Meal Plan: Full board – lunch, dinner, bed & breakfas
Start pointKigali International Airport, Kigali City, Rwanda00:00 - 00:00
- Day 2: Gorilla Tracking
After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the Virunga National Park headquarters, Kinigi, to meet your guides for the day. After completing park formalities, you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breathtaking wildlife experiences on earth. You get so close to these awesome giant primates, staring at each other blankly not knowing who will break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare with less than 900 living today. You will get within meters of the family and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them.
The trekking may be fairly strenuous, up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. We encourage you, for your own enjoyment, to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy. (We’ve had people of 70 years old do gorilla tracking so this should not be a problem, all you need is to ask your driver guide to request a shorter group trip for you if you cannot trek far). It is important to bring good hiking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. Return to your hotel for lunch and later dinner and overnight.
Driving distance: 45 minutes or less Activities: 1 Gorilla Trek Overnight: Garden Place Hotel | Five Volcanoes Lodge | Virunga Lodge Meal Plan: Full board – lunch, dinner, bed & breakfast
- Day 3: Golden Monkey trek and travel to Kigali
Today, after an early breakfast, you will be driven to the National Park Headquarters to meet your guides again for your Golden Monkey trekking experience. With only a small number left worldwide, the golden monkey can be found in the foothills of the Volcanic Mountain Chain (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, Virunga National Park, DRC and Mgahinga National Park, Uganda). Characterized by its bright golden body, cheeks and tail, with constrasting black limbs, crown and tail end, these playful primates are a pleasure to watch. Afterwards you drive to Kigali for an overnight stay. Driving distance: 2 hrs Activities: 1 Golden Monkey Trek Overnight: Overnight: Great Seasons Hotel | Lemigo Hotel | Kigali Serena Hotel Meal Plan: Bed & breakfast
- Day 4: City tour and shopping
Engage in last minute shopping in one of the friendliest African capitals, before returning to the airport for your international flight back home or onward destination. Driving distance: 15 minutes Activities: City tour Overnight: 0 Meal Plan: Breakfast