Day 1 Airport pick-up and transfer to Musanze
Our guide/driver will pick you from Kigali International Airport. A two-and-a-half-hour drive north of the country will then lead you to Musanze, Rwanda’s second-largest city and the country’s tourism hub. You’ll be taken straight to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Distance from Kigali to Musanze:2 hours 30 minutes
Hotel options:Five Volcanoes| Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Day 2 mountain gorilla trekking
Your second day in Rwanda will begin at 6:00 am as gorilla trekkers are required to be at the park headquarters by 7:00 am. This is where your gorilla trekking expedition will begin from.
Critically endangered and currently numbering about 1,000 individuals (according to the 2018 census results), the mountain gorillas can only be found in two places in the world: the Virunga Massif, a volcanic range that straddles Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
After equipping yourselves with the essential gorilla trekking gear (hiking boots, long trousers, gloves, etc.), the park’s head ranger will divide you and other trekkers into different groups basing on your fitness. Usually, the more physically fit track gorilla groups that require a shorter, less strenuous trek while the fit ones can scour the forest for a longer time, and at a relatively higher altitude.
The mountain gorillas you’ll be allowed to view are families that have been habituated. As the excursion progresses deeper into the forest, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity – dung, nests, chewed bamboo shoots, etc. Once you find them, you’ll be allowed to stay with them for one hour. And despite their intimidating, massive size, don’t fret! Habituated gorillas are not aggressive; they’ll just stare at you blankly.
After gorilla trekking, you’ll be driven back to your hotel where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing or swapping stories with fellow travelers.
Day 3 Kigali City tour & departure
After breakfast, you will embark on a two-hour journey back to Kigali where you’ll tour the city and, maybe even, engage in a bit of shopping. The Nyamirambo neighborhood, awash with lots of craft markets and art galleries, will introduce you to the country’s contemporary urban culture while Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre will acquaint you with the barbarities of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which decimated the country and left an estimated one million people dead.
On the brighter side, however, the tour of Kigali will show you how Rwandans have put those dark days behind them and literally rebuilt their country – one picturesque building at a time.
Later on, you’ll be driven to Kigali International Airport to catch your flight back home.