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Sample 14: Gorillas in the Mist, Lions in the Sunshine - Highlights of Rwanda Safari

Day 1

Arrive Kigali International Airport under your own arrangements (details to be advised).

You will be met by a representative of our local partners who will assist with immigration and customs formalities (including securing your Rwanda visa) while you enjoy coffee in the VIP lounge. You will then be assisted to your driver who will transfer you by private vehicle to The Retreat Hotel.

Days 1-2

Spend one night at The Retreat in a Superior King Suite, with breakfast included.

Day 2

Today you will be collected and transferred by private vehicle to Kigali International Airport.

You will be met and transferred by private helicopter transfer (Robinson R44) to Magashi Camp. Your luggage will precede you by vehicle

Days 2-5

Spend three nights at Magashi Camp in one Tented Room, on a fully inclusive basis (including accommodation, all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding premium brands), all lodge activities (guided game drives, boat cruises, walking safaris), park fees, laundry, and local Government taxes).

Day 5

Today you will be collected and transferred by private helicopter transfer (Robinson R44) to Kigali International Airport. Your luggage will precede you by vehicle.

You will be met on arrival by your private guide who will stay with you for the duration of your time in Rwanda. Your guided exploration of this beautiful and fascinating country begins with a tour of Kigali city, including the Genocide Memorial Centre and craft market.

The history of Rwanda dates back centuries, and Kigali has been a key part of it for a hundred years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare. Since then, the city has seen major economic development resulting in what it is today: a vibrant (and remarkably orderly!) African city of 1 million with wide boulevards, an international airport, world-class hotels and restaurants, and a lively, cosmopolitan population.

The highlight of the morning is a visit to the moving Genocide Memorial, where you learn about Rwanda’s history from pre-colonial times to the unimaginable 1994 genocide, as well as the country's impressive subsequent efforts to reconcile and rebuild; the recovery has been incredible, a true testament to humankind’s resilience.

After stopping for lunch at a local restaurant, you will drive (roughly 2 hours 30 minutes) north to Ruhengeri at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, arriving at Bisate Lodge in time for cocktails followed by dinner.

Days 5-8

Spend three nights at Bisate Lodge in one Forest Villa, on a fully inclusive basis (including Accommodation, All meals, All local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excludes premium imported brands and champagne), Lodge activities on property, Laundry, Complimentary in-room welcome massage, “Gym in a bag” per guest, Wireless internet connection in room only, and Local Government taxes).

Day 6

After an early breakfast (approximately 6:30am) drive to Volcanoes National Park Headquarters to be allocated a gorilla tracking group. At 7:00am you will be briefed by your trackers and then drive to the trail head for the start of an amazing adventure.

Our exhilarating trek, in the footsteps of the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, the largest living primate on earth, starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virungas with stirring views in all directions. Upon entering the National Park, her paths littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive buffalo and elephant, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with colorful bird calls, butterflies, etc. Through gaps in the canopy, the magnificent Virunga peaks, among the highest in Africa yet easily accessible, are glimpsed, beckoning an ascent.

Weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate, our experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives in or close to this forest, soon bring us up close with the family. Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!

Afterwards, you trek back to base where your guide will be waiting to take you back to the lodge for lunch.

This afternoon you might choose to relax at the lodge, or enjoy one of the guided on-property activities (village visit, nature walk, reforestation, etc.). Or, perhaps, venture further afield with your private guide to the market in Musanze, the Diane Fosey / Gorilla Museum, the twin lakes, Musanze Caves or any of the other local attractions

Day 7

Rise early and return to the Park Headquarters at approximately 6:30am for your second gorilla tracking experience. You will have the opportunity to visit a different gorilla family today.

Afterwards, trek back to base where you guide is waiting to return you to the lodge for lunch.

Day 8

After an early breakfast drive to the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters, where you will be allocated a Golden Monkeys tracking group. At approximately 7:00am you will be briefed by your trackers then drive to the trail head to begin your adventure.

The very beautiful Golden Monkey is endemic to the Virunga Mountains of central Africa. This handsome primate has a golden body, cheeks and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown, and tail-end. Not much is known about their behavior, other than that they live in social groups of up to 30 individuals and their diet consists mainly of leaves and fruit - it is believed they are also insectivorous. Restricted to the highland forest of the Virungas amongst the bamboo, they share their habitat with the Mountain Gorilla. Together, these mammals face the threat of snares, human encroachment etc. and are listed on the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species.

Golden monkeys are typically found on the lower slopes of the Virunga Mountains, and the trek to locate them often takes an hour or less. Once guests arrive with the habituated families, they spend one hour with them as they go about their daily life. Adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch, while females carry their young, completely oblivious of on-lookers.

After your trek, your private guide will meet you at the trailhead and return you to Bisate Lodge to collect your luggage.

Continue with your private guide on a scenic drive along the shores of Lake Kivu to Nyungwe House (roughly six hours).

Days 8-11

Spend three nights at Nyungwe House in one Nyungwe Room, on a full board basis (including accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, non-alcoholic beverages with meals, and two resort activities per person per day).

Day 9

Today you will enjoy a Chimpanzee trekking experience.

Rise early and travel to the starting point for your trek into Nyungwe Forest, Africa’s oldest montane forest and home to over 13 species of primates (including over 500 chimpanzees). Once a chimpanzee group is discovered guests will spend one hour observing them going about their own lives and marveling at the human-like features and behavior that makes them our closest relatives - with 98.7 % shared DNA. The chimps communicate by way of deafening screams, loud hoots and thumping tree bark and buttresses in dramatic memorable displays. Please note that chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe can be quite strenuous and, because the chimps have such a large home range, there is no guarantee of finding them.

Day 10

This morning you will enjoy a Colubus Monkey trekking experience.

Embrace the home of East Africa’s most diverse primate population, as you track the Colobus monkeys through Nyungwe’s lush forest trails. Nyungwe is home to the largest troop of Colobus monkeys in Africa, and is also one of the few places on the planet where L’Hoests’s monkeys can be seen.

After enjoying lunch at Nyungwe House, your private guide will take you into the National Park for a short hike and "canopy walk" over the forest.

Proceed along the Igishigishigi Trail to a 500’ long and 230’ high walkway suspended above a ravine in the lush montane rainforest of Nyungwe National Park. The bridge provides an exhilarating perspective over the ancient treetops and wildlife of the Nyungwe forest.

Along the roughly one hour walk to the canopy walkway visitors will see countless butterflies, orchids and colorful birds, including many endemic to the region, and may encounter one of the area’s thirteen species of primate.

Day 11

Today will be collected and transferred by private helicopter transfer (Robinson R44) to Kigali International Airport. Your luggage will precede you by vehicle.

You will be met on arrival and transferred by private vehicle to the Serena Hotel.

Spend the afternoon relaxing at Kigali Serena Hotel in one Prime Room.

This evening you will be met and transferred by private vehicle to Kigali International Airport.

You will be met and assisted through check-in and security, and to the boarding gate for your onward flight.

From this point you will depart under your own arrangements (details to be advised).

Rough Cost - 2024

From around $25,690 to around $30,090 per person sharing.

Rate Includes

Accommodation as specified, Meals as specified, Ground transportation and excursions as noted, Park and entrance fees for lodges/camps inside national parks, Intra-Africa flights as specified, All government and airline taxes.

Rate Excludes

International flights to and from southern Africa; Drinks (unless otherwise specified), Items of a personal nature, Gratuities, Laundry (unless otherwise specified), Meals other than specified, Excursions other than specified, Flights other than specified, Medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, Visa fees and departure taxes (where applicable).

** PLEASE NOTE: These rates are given as guidelines, and will differ depending on factors such as the time of the year that guests travel, the number of guests travelling, and the class of airline seats available. All rates are subject to change at the discretion of the properties/operators, and due to currency fluctuations, unforeseen increases in fuel prices, increased airline prices, or any future government imposed taxes.

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