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+ Optional Extension
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek
Search for the gorillas that traverse the Virunga Mountains for the heart-pounding thrill of observing these giants in their natural habitat. The intimate experience of coming close to these gentle giants as they interact, play and nestle into the forest foliage can be life-changing and unforgettable.
Extension Rate**
Standard: $5,495
Single: $6,395
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(866) 639-0079
Extension Itinerary*:
Day 11: Serengeti / Kigali, Rwanda
After our morning game drive and some leisure time at the lodge, take an internal flight to Kigali with a quick stopover in Mwanza for clearance. In Kigali after immigrations and customs formalities, meet your host for the transfer to the Kigali Serena Hotel for dinner and a restful night.
Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel (B, L from main program, D added for extension guests)

Day 12: Kigali / Kinigi
Morning sightseeing today includes a tour of the Genocide Museum. Enjoy lunch in Kigali before the drive to the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge where you can rest and prepare for tomorrow morning's trek.
Overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 13: Volcanoes National Park / Gorilla Trek
After an early breakfast we begin our gorilla trek. Mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is one of the most exciting natural history opportunities in all of Africa. To be so close to these amazing animals can truly be a life-changing event. Experienced national park guides will lead you through the thick forest in search of one of the habituated gorilla families that traverse the Virunga Mountains. Upon finding the group, we will have one hour with them to observe and capture remarkable photographs.
Overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 14: Volcanoes National Park / Musanze Tour or Optional Gorilla Trek / Kigali / Depart for U.S.
After an early breakfast, those joining the optional second gorilla trek will depart for Volcanoes National Park for one last look at these great primates.

The Karisoke Research Center was founded in 1967 by Dian Fossey and is the longest-running gorilla research site in the world. Guests not opting for the second trek will drive to nearby Musanze for a guided tour of the facility dedicated to the conservation of mountain gorillas and their habitat. While viewing the interactive exhibits including artifacts from Fossey’s cabin, and a virtual model of the Virunga mountains, we’ll learn about gorilla behavior and social structure, the biodiversity of the forest, and how the center works with local communities to foster awareness and protection of this endangered species.

After, stroll through a local market in Musanze to experience the unique culture and crafts of Rwanda. Observe a weaving group while they create colorful and beautiful baskets and perhaps choose one to take home.

Everyone will return to the lodge to refresh before lunch, followed by the drive back to Kigali where we have use of a day room at the Kigali Serena Hotel before the transfer to the airport for your departing flight.
Day room: Kigali Serena Hotel (B,L, light snack)

Day 15: En Route / Arrive U.S.

Note: Trekking will involve walking and climbing hills in tropical forests on uneven, sometimes rocky, steep and/or slippery ground, at a moderate, unhurried pace. Park regulations state that the maximum time that can be spent with the gorillas is one hour. The time spent searching for the gorillas does not count as part of the hour.

*Extension itinerary subject to change
Activity Level:

Moderate

We expect that guests on this program can walk 1-2 miles up and down hills in tropical forests on uneven, sometimes rocky, steep and/or slippery, terrain. The forest can be humid and paths may have heavy vegetation. A degree of physical fitness is necessary as you may need to pull yourself up steep slopes by grasping onto branches or bushes, or even get a boost. Porters can be hired at Volcanoes National Park to assist you with trekking and to carry your equipment. Trekking can take anywhere from 1-5 hours, depending on how long it takes to find the gorillas. It is advisable to bring an energy bar and bottled water. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes, to which you may not be accustomed, from 5,100 feet in Kigali to 7,000-9,500 feet while gorilla trekking.

Accommodations:

Kigali Serena Hotel

While in Kigali, you will relax in style in the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel on one of the city's most charming boulevards. Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel's pan-African style, wide sundeck overlooking a large outdoor pool and lovely tropical gardens will be a peaceful retreat while you enjoy your time in Rwanda's capital city.
Room Amenities: King or twin beds, air conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, safe, mini-bar, tea and coffee-making facilities, and en suite bathroom with sundries (shampoo, conditioner, and soap), and hair dryer.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

On the edge of Volcanoes National Park, the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge’s location is an ideal base from which to trek the Virunga Mountains and its habituated groups of Mountain Gorillas. Its friendly staff and collection of individual cottages will make you feel at home, and its beautiful views will remind you of adventures in store for you. Each cottage has a fireplace (wood and charcoal or space heaters provided on request).
Room Amenities: King or twin beds, sitting area and en suite bathroom with shower.

Please note: accommodations are subject to change.
What's Included:
  • Airfare from the Serengeti to Kigali (KGL)
  • Accommodations at Kigali Serena Hotel and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (or similar)
  • Meals, including 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 3 dinners
  • Transfers, all park fees, and one gorilla trek permit with the option to purchase a second permit for one additional trek
  • A temporary membership in the Flying Doctors Service
  • Please note: Group space may not be available within 90 days of departure.
**Extension rates are per person based on double occupancy except where noted as Single, in U.S. dollars. Single availability limited. Airfare from Tanzania to Rwanda on Day 11 is included. Airfare otherwise not included. ***In lieu of an extension deposit, gorilla trek permit fees are required to guarantee availability. Permits for the included gorilla trek and optional second trek are purchased at the time of reservation at a cost of $1,500 per person per trek. Gorilla permit fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.