VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Volcanoes National Park is the oldest park in Rwanda; here Dian Fossey set up the Karisoke Research Center, where she studied the Mountain Gorillas and spearheaded her campaign to save this endangered specie.
Volcanoes National Park is not only the home to Mountain Gorilla, but also golden monkeys, spotted hyena, buffaloes, elephants, black-fronted duiker and bushbuck. There are also 178 bird species, including 29 endemics to Rwenzori mountains and the Virungas.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN KIGALI & VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
You will be met at the Kigali Airport by your Jewel Safaris guide, who will give you a briefing of the upcoming itinerary. Depending on what time you arrive, your guide will give you a tour of Kigali and its environment, including the Holocaust Memorial Center.
Again, depending on the time, your guide will take you to a local restaurant, either in Kigali or en route to the park, so you can taste Rwandese cooking.
After lunch, you will then drive to Volcanoes National Park, approximately a 2 hour drive from Kigali City center.
You will have the option, when you arrive at your accommodation to either rest up for the next day’s activity, or your guide can take you to a local village nearby to visit with the community that has traditionally lived in and around Volcanoes National Park. This will give you the opportunity to learn about the people, their way of life and even taste some local dishes..
Dinner in your hotel.
DAY 2: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK – GORILLA TRACKING
After breakfast you will be taken to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters where you will meet your Ranger-Guide who will lead you on the Gorilla Tracking Tour. It could take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours to spot the Silver backs and their families, depending on where they are on that day. Some visitors encounter the Gorillas fairly soon after starting their tracking, others do not for up to 8 hours.
Depending on when you encounter the Gorillas, you will either partake of the packed lunch that was prepared for you. Alternately, if you do find the Gorillas early, you will be taken to a nearby town for a typical Rwandan meal and a tour of the surrounding countryside..
In the late afternoon, you will be taken back to your accommodation for a rest.
Dinner at your accommodation.
DAY 3: RETURN TO KIGALI
After breakfast, you will depart to Kigali the capital city; depending on your flight time, a tour of the city of Kigali is possible..Also, time permitting, your guide will detour on the way to Kigali to show you the Karisoke Research center; this is where Dian Fossey had been doing her research on the Silver-backs, and the place where she was buried after being killed by poachers. Her burial site is next to her favorite Gorilla on the Research property.
There are many sites in and around Kigali of interest, and if time permits, your guide with continue the tour of Kigali City including a lunch stop in a Rwandese restaurant. When the time is appropriate, your guide will escort you to the airport for your outbound flight.
KIGALI SERENA HOTEL
The Kigali Serena Hotel is centrally located in the city; the hotel has become Kigali’s natural business hub. This is a luxury property with all modern conveniences. There is inside and outside dining options, swimming pool and a lounge and bar that opens onto a wide sundeck with awesome views of Kigali’s many green hills.
- Business Center
- Air Conditioning
- Laundry service
- Fitness center
- Free Parking
- Satellite TV
- Spa services
‘The Virunga Lodge sits on a ridge with stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes and twin lakes Bulera and Ruhonda. The accommodation is a number of Bandas, each with a terrace, with breathtaking views as well. The property is powered by Solar; there are stone fireplaces, open living rooms and private terraces in all the Bandas.
- Gift Shop
- Complimentary Massage
- Laundry service
GORILLA NEST LODGE
The Gorilla Nest Lodge offers you accommodation in a magical spot, where you feel you are sharing the Mountain Gorilla’s family space. There are breathtaking views from the lodge’s many terraces; the lodge is situated on the foothills of the Virunga Volcano Range. The surrounding Eucalyptus forest offers extraordianry solitude.
- Close to Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Camp
- Restaurant with authentic African cuisine