Terra Incognita Gorilla Tour Reviews:
This tour covers :
Kigali, the Genocide Memorial,
Akagera National Park, Volcanoes National Park,
Dian Fossey Grave, Gorilla Trekking
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Rwanda, home to the critically endangered Mountain Gorilla, where we shall TWICE track these gentle giants. The Mountain Gorillas inhabit some of the most spectacular scenery on earth, high on the flanks of the Virunga Volcanoes. We will also take the opportunity to visit the grave of famed primatologist Dian Fossey, who dedicated her life to the conservation and protection of these animals. Also spend time in the savannahs of Akagera. An incredible journey!
Day 1: Saturday. Arrival to Kigali, Rwanda Plan to arrive in Kigali today - International flights arrive from Brussels, Nairobi, Addis Ababa and Johannesburg. You will be met upon arrival at the International Airport outside baggage claim and transferred to the Kigali Serena Hotel. Overnight in Kigali Serena Hotel. (D)
Day 2: Sunday. Akagera National Park, Rwanda Today we depart for Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda bordering Tanzania. This is just a two-hour drive and we should be at the Lodge in time for lunch. We can clean-up, settle into our rooms, relax poolside and late this afternoon we should have chance for a "Game Drive" before sunset. Welcome dinner and orientation at the Lodge this evening. Overnight at Akagera Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Monday. Akagera National Park An early morning game drive in the Park should reward us the chance to see a variety of birds, elephant, hippo, giraffe, spotted hyena, buffalo and crocodiles. We return to the Lodge in time for lunch, and then we shall plan on a short siesta. Later this afternoon we may enjoy a canoe ride on Lake Ihema, which is very rewarding for seeing the large number of hippo, the huge Nile crocodile and many birds, or we can choose to go on another game drive. Dinner at the Lodge this evening. Overnight at Akagera Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Tuesday. Akagera National Park to Volcanoes National Park An early start this morning as we head towards Kinigi in the north-west of the country. Along the way we will stop for lunch in Kigali, and shall visit the Genocide Memorial, where we shall hear stories of survival and the heart-warming stories of recovery and rebuilding hope. The journey north goes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda's landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the awesome volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. We settle in this evening at our base for the next four nights, the dramatically located Virunga Lodge, overlooking the lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo.
This evening we meet one of the Veterinarians from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, and hear about their ongoing efforts to protect the Mountain Gorillas. They will join us for cocktails and dinner, and will share with us some of the stories, challenges, and successes of their important work. Overnight at Virunga Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Wednesday. Gorilla Trek, Volcanoes National Park Today we take our first Gorilla trek. We will arise early this morning and drive the short distance to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park where we shall meet our trackers and head up the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes. We may visit one of the five habituated groups. No more than EIGHT people may visit any group on any given day, so we can rely on having an intimate experience with our group, whichever group we visit. The trek can be quite strenuous, so you should be able to hike for two or three hours on steep mountain trails. Overnight at Virunga Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Thursday. Dian Fossey Grave, former-Karisoke Research Center, Volcanoes National Park Today we can visit the grave of Dian Fossey, located next to that of Digit her long-time favorite Gorilla. The grave site is located at the former Karisoke Research Center where Dian spent some twenty years studying the Mountain Gorillas, and the trek to the site is quite spectacular, passing through bamboo forest and afro-montane habitats - indeed the trails are criss-crossed with the tracks of forest buffalo and elephant! We may see all manner of wildlife as we make our way up and down to Karisoke, nestled between the volcanic peaks of Karismbi and Visoke. Alternatively we can relax at the lodge today, visit some of the local villages, or perhaps trek to see the endangered Golden Monkeys that also make this area home. Overnight at Virunga Lodge. (B,L,D)
For more information about this escorted tour including the latest prices please visit: www.ecotours.com/dest_rwanda.html
Terra Incognita Ecotours make a difference to you, and to the areas we visit. Indeed, we pledge to engage in “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” Hence we adhere to the following principles:
- Minimize impact - Build environmental and cultural awareness and
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation
- Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
- Raise sensitivity to host countries political, environmental, and social climate
- Support international human rights and labor agreements
We take these principles to heart, and for every person who joins one of our ecotours we make a donation to one of the leading conservation organizations working in the area. Indeed we partner with these organizations to help increase their effectiveness. Our conservation partners will send a representative to join us, to explain their work, to provide added insight, to make your experience more relevant, rewarding and unique.
Gerard Caddick founder of Terra Incognita ECOTOURS introduces the "Gorillas in the Mist" Rwanda tour.