Silverback Gorilla
4-day adventure

Gorilla Trekking - 4 days

Kilimanjaro
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Code: RWGR4

4 days
3/5

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Our local team

Established in Moshi over 15 years ago to focus on Kilimanjaro, our local agency in Tanzania is run by Emanuel Nguma and is made up of an office team, expert guides, assistant guides, porters and cooks. They're all on hand to look after you every step of the way. We have successfully and safely placed thousands of our guests on the summit of Kilimanjaro over the years and we are proud of the exceptional service that we provide on the mountain....
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Kandoo's view

A once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal to the few remaining mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. If this is not on your bucket-list it should be. One of the most wonderful animal encounter experiences you will ever have, carefully controlled and managed so that the gorillas health and welfare is always the primary concern this really is a trip not to be missed.

The plight of the Rwandan gorillas was brought to the world's attention by Dian Fossy famously played by Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist. Forced out of their natural habitat by farmers or hunted by poachers, numbers of these magnificent primates left in the World has now sadly declined to only 700, with the majority of these inhabiting the Virguna mountains that overlap Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are now heavily protected by a team of park wardens. A few of the gorilla families have been habituated and are tracked by the park scouts and can be visited by a small number of visitors.

This 4 day trip includes 2 permits allowing you to visit the gorillas on two separate days and make the most of your time with this critically endangered species.

Trip highlights

  • Get up close and personal with Mountain Gorillas
  • Fully supervised by expert Ranger Guides
  • Visit the charming and historic city of Kigali

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Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Kigali to Volcanoes National park

    On arrival at Kigali International airport you will be met by your driver/guide. Depending on your time of arrival you will visit the 1994 Gisozi Genocide Memorial site and enjoy a tour around Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, before making your way to the Volcanoes National Park. You will travel north through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda¹s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the volcanoes and your lodge for the night.

    • Accomodation: Lodge
    • Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Gorilla Trekking

    Gorilla trek! An early start, as you must arrive at the park gate by 7am. You will drive to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park where you will be briefed by your trackers/guides before heading off up the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes. You may visit one of the ten habituated groups. No more than eight people may visit any group on any given day, so you can rely on having an intimate experience with your group, whichever one you visit. Tracking the gorillas through the lush forested slopes of the Virungas is an absolutely magical experience. Overnight at lodge.

    • Hiking time: 7 - 8 hours
    • Accomodation: Lodge
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Day 3

    Gorilla Trekking

    Today you will return to the Volcanoes National Park to go gorilla trekking again. Again, you will be briefed by your designated tracker before setting off again to find your group. You can choose to visit the same gorilla family as yesterday, or track one of the other groups. Some gorilla families are more elusive than others elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy, so you should be able to hike for anywhere between two to five hours on steep mountain trails. Overnight at lodge.

    • Hiking time: 7 - 8 hours
    • Accomodation: Lodge
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Trip information

Difficulty

Searching for the Mountain Gorillas can be very strenuous. The Gorilla groups are spread throughout the jungle that clings to the steep slopes of the volcanos. You should be prepared to hike through dense undergrowth on steep and slippery trails with high humidity. To get the most out of this trip and ensure you able to reach the gorillas, you should have a good level of fitness and be prepared for up to 8 hours of difficult hiking. To discuss your suitability for this adventure please  feel free to contact us. 

Food & drink

Lodge accommodation in the Volcanoes National Park is booked on a full board basis. There will be a range of evening meals for you to choose from. Any additional drinks required are for your account, which must be settled when you check out of the lodge. Any dietary requirements noted on your Participation Agreement will be passed to the team in Rwanda, but please let your guide know if you have any further requirements.

Accommodation

Full board, mountain lodge accommodation is included in the cost of your trip. The lodges we use are located very close to the national park headquarters and provide comfortable, ensuite double or twin rooms. Single rooms are available on request and subject to availability. 

Luggage

While you are in the jungle with the Gorillas, your luggage can be left at your accommodation. There is a safe at you accommodation that can be used to store valuables if you wish. 

Pre-trek briefing

On your drive from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park, your guide will talk to you about what you can expect on your gorilla trek and what time you need to be ready to depart in the morning. Before beginning the trek, all participants are required to attend a full briefing at the park headquarters.

Budget & change

US dollars are widely accepted and are the best currency to travel with, as you will not be able to purchase Rwanda Francs before you arrive. If you want some local currency to purchase snacks, drinks or souvenirs then we can take you to an ATM or bank. If you are relying on a credit or debit card for emergency funds, make sure you tell your card issuer that you will be using it abroad, or you may find that it won't work when you really need it.

Tips

We realize that tipping may not be a common practice in all countries but in Rwanda it is a standard practise. Our recommended rate for your guide is $10 per person per day, and for the trackers who search for the gorillas $5 per person per day. There are also porters available to help carry daysacks while trekking and to assist guests when the trekking becomes tough. These can be hired for $10 per porter. We encourage our clients to hire a porter as these are ex-poachers who are now earning a living through sustainable tourism.

Formalities & health

Passport

You will need a passport with at least 6 month validity remaining from the date of your departure from Rwanda.

Visa

Nationals of Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America are issued with an entry visa valid for a period up to 30 days and can pay upon arrival without prior application. The visa costs $30. Certain nationalities not mentioned above or those planning to stay longer than 30 days must apply for a visa in advance, so check with your local Rwandan Embassy or online at https://www.migration.gov.rw/ . To secure a visa you will need to present proof that you have sufficient money to support yourself during your stay in Rwanda.

Vaccinations

Below we have set out what is the general guidance for travel to Rwanda. We strongly advise you to consult with your own GP or travel clinic near you before travelling. They will have the most up to date and medically accurate information relevant to you, and should be relied upon over these recommendations.

Strongly Advised Vaccinations

- Hepatitis A: This can be spread via contaminated food and water.
- Tetanus: Tetanus is often present in the soil, and can contaminate open wounds easily. Tetanus vaccine should be used every ten years if travelling.
- Typhoid: Typhoid can also be spread via contaminated food and water, and poor hygiene.
- Diphtheria: This potentially fatal disease is spread mainly via spit, but occasionally through contact with cuts on the skin.
- Yellow Fever: This can be contracted by being bitten by a contaminated mosquito. This vaccination is not essential if you are arriving directly in Tanzania. You do need it though if you plan to arrive through any country that is subject to yellow fever. Simply stopping over at an airport in an affected country should not require vaccination, but leaving the airport even briefly would make it necessary

Sometimes Advised Vaccinations

- Hepatitis B: This illness is spread via contact with blood or bodily fluids. It is many, many times more virulent than HIV/AIDS. Some 8% of the population of Tanzania are believed to carry the virus.
- Rabies: Rabies is spread via contact between the saliva of any infected animal and an open wound (including bites, but also licking existing wounds). Rabies is fatal unless treated, and treatment of an unvaccinated rabies patient can be very difficult in many parts of Tanzania.
- Tuberculosis: TB is generally contracted through inhaling airborne sputum.
- Cholera: Cholera is spread via contaminated food and water, and poor hygiene.
- Measles: This disease is spread through inhaling sputum.

Health

Malaria and Mosquitoes

Rwanda is the home of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and you are at risk of contracting malaria whilst in the country. A bout of malaria can ruin your entire trip, so it is best to protect yourself.

Your doctor can prescribe anti-malarial medications, but we also recommend wearing long sleeves and trousers, as well as using a good mosquito repellent that contains DEET.

Medication

Your guide carries a first aid kit at all times. However, we recommend bringing any medicine you feel you may need. This could include:

  • Painkillers
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets
  • High factor sunscreen for lips and skin
  • Moisturising cream (for sunburn)
  • Elastic bandage, regular bandages and Blister bandages
  • Sanitary products
  • Water purifying tablets or filters
  • Mosquito repellent

Equipment & clothing

Clothing to bring

  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Buff / gaiter
  • Sunglasses
  • T-shirts (short and long sleeve)
  • Thermal long sleeve shirt
  • 2 sweaters - 1 light/1 warm
  • Soft shell or fleece jacket
  • Waterproof and windproof hard shell jacket
  • Waterproof and windproof hard shell trousers
  • Breathable fast drying underwear
  • Comfortable long trousers (fast drying)
  • Shorts for trekking in warm weather
  • Comfy trainers/shoes for evenings
  • Socks for hiking
  • Hiking boots (with ankle support and a slightly ridged sole)
  • Toiletries (including wet wipes)

Equipment to bring

  • 1 duffel bag - 70 to 90 litres (flexible and water resistant)
  • 1 daypack - 30 to 40 liters to carry with you while hiking
  • Water purification system (charcoal filter, chlorine tablets or similar)
  • 2 water bottles (minimum 1 litre or a water bladder)
  • Quick drying towel

Price

Prices start from £3899 / $5075 per person depending on the size of your group

Want to add flights or create a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • Meet on arrival at Kigali Airport and transfer to your hotel
  • 3 nights full board accommodation in Volcanoes National Park
  • National Park entry fees
  • Services of an expert Ranger Guide
  • Return transport from Kigali to Volcanoes National park
  • Visit to Gisozi Genocide Memorial site

Price does not include

  • International flights and visa
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses
  • Travel insurance 
  • Meals not specified in your itinerary
  • Personal trekking equipment

Options

  • Extra nights in Kigali 
  • Single supplement