This incredible 8-day gorilla tracking safari takes you to three incredible national parks in Rwanda and Uganda - Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi National Park in Uganda.
Day 1: Volcanoes National ParkOn arrival at Kigali International Airport a member of Australken team will be welcome you and transfer you to the City for Lunch. After Lunch you will drive to the Volcanoes Virunga Lodge in the Volcanoes National park. The journey north passes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterise much of Rwanda's landscape and gradually climbs to the base of the Virunga Volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. Arrive at the Lodge in the late afternoon for Dinner followed by Overnight at The Volcanoes Virunga Lodge LDBB.
Day 2: Volcanoes National ParkToday you will have the rare opportunity to observe the famous Rwandan mountain gorillas (subject to gorilla permits being available). Tracking the gorillas through the forested slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If you are lucky you can get to the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families, however, are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy.
Day 3: Volcanoes National ParkChoose from a variety of activities today. Head out for some gorilla tracking in the Parc National des Volcans (additional permit payment), visit the endangered golden monkeys or trek to Dianne Fossey's grave. Other options include driving to Gisenyi, visiting Ross Carr's orphanage and Lake Kivu, climbing the Visoke/Muhavura volcanoes, visiting the local school and community projects, or walking to Lake Bulera.
Day 4: Mgahinga Gorilla National ParkEnjoy a relaxing morning and visit the local school or orphanage before returning to the Volcanoes Virunga Lodge for lunch. Set off in the afternoon and cross into Uganda as you make your way to the Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge, situated at the base of the Virunga Volcanoes. Enjoy the rest of the day as you relax with a refreshing sundowner on the terrace before dinner. Overnight stay at Volcanoes Mount Mahinga Lodge LDBB.
Day 5: Mgahinga Gorilla National ParkToday you have the opportunity to go gorilla tracking again, this time in the Nkuringo part of the Bwindi National Park on the northern side of the Virunga Mountains (additional permit payment). If you prefer, climb the Muhavura or Gahinga volcano to get some spectacular views of the surrounding area, go for a nature walk to track the golden monkeys, or visit with the Batwa Pygmies as they teach you about their culture and some traditional hunting techniques.
Day 6: Bwindi National ParkDrive to the Bwindi Forest National Park through the ‘Switzerland of Africa’ with its winding roads, and many hills and valleys all with distant views of the volcanoes and lakes. Time permitting; you can go for a guided nature walk in the thick forest rich in birds, butterflies and monkeys. Alternatively, look for monkeys and birds near the river below the Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge.
Day 7: Bwindi National ParkWake up early and embark on another gorilla tracking excursion (additional permit payment). Tracking in Bwindi Forest requires stamina and can often take most of the day. In this thick and humid forest you'll almost have to cut your way through the undergrowth, a challenge that is richly rewarded upon your first sight of the shy and graceful gorillas camouflaged in the vegetation. Other options include a leisurely walk on one of the different trails that meanders through the Impenetrable Forest, a visit to local village or community project, or visit the Batwa Pygmies - the indigenous people of Bwindi.
Day 8: DepartThis morning, you’ll transfer back to Kigali in Rwanda where your tour will end. Depending on your travel arrangements, there may be time to tour the city.