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Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Safari

  • Akagera National Park
  • Volcanoes National Park
  • Mountain Gorilla Tracking Safari
  • Kigali City Tour
  • Genocide Memorial Museum
  • Lake Kivu

Overview

If viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat has been a long-time bucket-list item for you, now is the perfect time to realise that travel dream. Following a devastating year of lock downs and limited tourism, the Rwandan authorities announced an unprecedented discount in the price of Gorilla permits.

To make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime offer, we have put together a seven-night Rwandan Gorilla Tracking Safari from 10 June 2022 to 17 June 2022 with Dave Pepler.

Join our small group of like-minded travellers and journey to Rwanda. Our first stop is Akagera National Park for a truly exceptional wildlife experience. From here we travel to the sandy shores of Lake Kivu, overlooking glimmering waters and emerald-green mountains in the distance. The Volcanoes National Park is our next stop, one of the oldest parks on the continent. Shrouded in mist, the mountainous area is rugged and wild, covered in lush rainforest. It is here that we will trek into the forest in search of the mysterious mountain gorillas. We end our tour in Kigali with an informative city tour and visit to the evocative Genocide Memorial Museum.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to make a travel dream come true.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE KIGALI

Early morning departure from O R Tambo Airport for Kigali, Rwanda.
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel in the city. Arrival Covid-19 Test will be done at Kigali Airport.
The rest of your day will be spent at leisure.
Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Kigali Serena Hotel or similar (dinner)

DAY 2: KIGALI - AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast, drive to Akagera National Park. The Park is set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania and scenically dominated by a labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River. Be on the look-out for game as we head to the lodge for check in. Enjoy an afternoon game drive before dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Mantis Akagera Game Lodge or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 3: GAME DRIVE AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

Today you will spend your day exploring Akagera National Park with morning and afternoon game drives.
Akagera National Park offers a truly exceptional wildlife experience. It is the only Big-5 reserve in Rwanda and is also home to the rare swamp-dwelling Sitatunga. Guests also have the opportunity to see an abundance of birdlife, including the rare Shoebill stork, the endangered papyrus Gonolex and the much sought-after Red-faced Barbet. With over 500 recorded species, Akagera is one of the best birding environs in the world with the highest recorded number of species per unit area. The Park has a unique diversity of habitats, including lakes, marshes, savannah, mountains, and woodland, and is the largest protected wetland in central Africa.

Lunch and dinner at the lodge.

Overnight Mantis Akagera Game Lodge or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 4: AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK - GISENYI

Today after breakfast you will depart from Akagera National Park to Gisenyi via Kigali. Stop in Kigali for lunch before you proceed along the shores of Lake Kivu to Gisenyi. It is a picturesque lakeside town on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, often referred to as the ‘Martha’s Vineyard of Rwanda’ with its pretty shoreline and colonial-style hotels. One of the greatest freshwater lakes in Rwanda, Lake Kivu lies in the Albertine Rift – part of the Great Rift Valley – and has a secluded inland beach lined with swaying palms, enclosed by green terraced hills.
Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Lake Kivu Serena Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 5: LAKE KIVU, GISENYI

After breakfast at the hotel your day will be spent at leisure. Enjoy hotel activities and exploring local areas.
Dinner and lunch at the hotel.

Overnight Lake Kivu Serena or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 6: LAKE KIVU – VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

After a relaxed breakfast at the hotel, you will depart to the Volcanoes National Park. The journey passes through the beautiful, terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape.

A pre departure test will be done in Musanze (a negative PCR test is required before gorilla trekking. The same test will be used to re-enter South Africa).

Lunch and dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 7: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, GORILLA TREKKING

Today you will have the rare opportunity to observe the famous Rwandan mountain gorillas. Tracking the gorillas through the forested slopes of the Virungas is a magical experience. If luck is on your side, you will find the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families, however, are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy.
You will be placed in a group of maximum 8 people, accompanied by a trekking guide and an armed park ranger. You will have the choice to hire a porter to accompany you on the trek. This would mean that you might not be in the same trekking group as Dave Pepler. This will not have an influence on your experience as group members will share their experience with Dave the afternoon at the lodge.
Return to the lodge for lunch followed by a leisurely afternoon. Dinner at the lodge.

Overnight at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge or similar – (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 8: DEPARTURE

Breakfast at the lodge. Depart from the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes, driving south past coffee, tea, and banana plantations on a breath-taking scenic drive back to Kigali. On arrival in Kigali, you will enjoy lunch followed by a city tour and visit to the Genocide Museum. You will then be transferred to Kigali International airport for your onward departure flight.
Check-in for your evening flight to Johannesburg.

END OF SERVICES

Dates

10 June 2022 - 17 June 2022

Rates

Please note that once you have completed a booking form, the Gorilla Permit is payable, non-refundable, and non-changeable. Correct passport details including passport numbers are required to issue permits.

Tour price:
(Based on a group of 9 paying adults)

Per adult sharing: US$ 3 980.00
Single supplement: US$ 875.00

To be added to the tour cost:
Gorilla trekking permit: US$ 500.00 per person
This is a discounted rate. The original rate for a gorilla permit is US$ 1 500.00

COVID test costs to be added to the tour cost: US$ 120.00

Included

  • All airport transfers and assistance in Rwanda
  • Accommodation in Kigali on Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis
  • Accommodation on safari on Full board basis
  • Private transport in a 4x4 tourist converted jeeps (maximum 5 guests per vehicle)
  • Services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • Meals as indicated in the programme
  • Park Entrance Fees in Akagera National Park
  • Gorilla Trekking permits (quoted separately)
  • Covid19 tests (quoted separately)
  • Bottled drinking water while trekking and in vehicle
  • Dave Pepler as tour leader
  • All taxes on the services quoted above

Excluded

  • Meals and beverages, other than specified.
  • Domestic and international flights
  • Airport taxes.
  • Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas.
  • Excess baggage charges levied by airlines.
  • Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants.
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature such as drinks, telephone calls, etc
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the “inclusions” listing above.
  • Tipping (suggestion US$ 110.00 per person)

NOTES:

  • Gorilla permits and park fees are based on current Government Park Tariffs. Park fees and permits are subject to change without prior notice. The increase will be for the client’s account.
  • Gorilla permits are non-refundable & non-transferable
  • Passengers should bring only soft sided bags on safaris.
  • All tpassengers must have Identification Card/Passport with them for the gorilla trek.

COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS:

  • Currently, 3 x negative PCR tests are required. Please note these regulations are temporary measures and could be changed without prior notice. Your travel consultant will provide updated information closer to departure.
  • On arrival in Kigali a valid PCR test not older than 72 hours is required. Test to be done in South Africa prior to departure.
  • Before leaving Kigali Airport guests will do a 2nd PCR test and are not allowed to leave Kigali without a positive test result.
  • Clients need a PCR test not older than 72 hours when visiting the gorillas. The itinerary is structured in such a way that this 3rd test will also be the one used to re-enter South Africa.
  • These regulations can be changed without prior notice or on short notice.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

South African Passport Holders require a visa for Rwanda.  The visa cost is currently USD 50.00.  You can obtain your visa from the Rwanda High Commission or apply online.

Travel in Rwanda is in short wheelbase 4x4 vehicles seating 6 passengers and the driver = total 7 people in the vehicle – 5 people in the back and 1 next to the driver.  For safety reasons and comfort Live the Journey prefer not to allocate a passenger to the middle seat in the back.   On this tour we will only accommodate 4 people in the back with one passenger next to the driver.  A window seat is therefore guaranteed to all our guests.