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4 Day Virunga Drive

Rwanda

Overview

This short three-night stay in northern Rwanda offers the opportunity to engage with the endangered mountain gorillas in the forests on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes.

Safaris

Virunga Lodge – 3 Nights

Day 1 in Virunga Lodge
Departing from Kigali you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Your journey takes you through the beautiful terraced hills that characterise much of Rwanda’s landscape. Climbing gradually to the base of the spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga range, the five nearest peaks rising high above the verdant countryside, you arrive at the magnificent Volcanoes Virunga Lodge.
Approximate Travel Times: Driving 3 hours

Day 2 in Virunga Lodge
Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy.

Day 3 in Virunga Lodge
Either go gorilla tracking again (additional permits required, upon payment of supplement, subject to availability), or choose from one of many options. There is much to explore here:
Track the endangered golden monkeys.
Trek to Dian Fossey’s grave and the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favourite gorilla, Digit.
Visit the local school and community projects, supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust.
Visit Lake Kivu, home to some of the finest inland beaches in Africa.
Take a guided walk to Lake Bulera, to experience local village life.
Tour the ex Imbabazi Orphanage and flower plantation; have tea or lunch with staff and volunteers to learn more about founder Ros Carr and the Orphanage history.

Day 4 
Your safari ends with your journey to Kigali. Before transferring to the airport, there maybe time to tour the city and visit the genocide memorial, a moving testimony to this country’s past that it has courageously overcome. Return to your hotel or transfer to the airport in time for your return flight.

Location

This small mountainous country - by African standards – in East Africa, is bordered by DR Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

Experiences

Most people visiting Rwanda are there to have an encounter with the mountain gorillas, often describes as ‘life-changing’. With only an estimated 880 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique experience. The Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. When you trek to see them, you’ll be introduced by expert trackers and guides to one of the fully habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives. The Nyungwe Forest lies to the southwest of Rwanda and is the main area for viewing chimpanzees in the wild. Kigali is the capital city and most visitors to Rwanda need to overnight here at some point in order to connect with international flights. Treks to see the Gorillas can last up to four hours, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. It’s also fair to say that Rwanda is best suited to a more adventurous type of visitor! 

Accommodations

Basic safari lodges

Useful Info

Capital: Kigali

Time: Rwanda is two hours ahead of GMT and five hours ahead of EST.

Money: Rwanda's currency is the Rwandan franc (RWF).

Health: It is a good idea to get vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, polio and diphtheria. Many travellers also get vaccinated against hepatitis A and a yellow fever certificate is usually required for entry into Rwanda. Malaria is widespread throughout lowland Rwanda, so malaria precautions are generally essential. 

Water: Don’t drink tap or well water, only drink bottled water that is sealed.

 

Climate: Tropical highland climate, with lots of rain. Temperatures vary considerably between locations depending on their altitude.

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