You are invited to Kubwa Five Safaris’ mountain safari in Rwanda to have a closer look at human’s long lost cousin, the gorillas. This gorilla safari will take you to the Virunga Mountains area. You will enjoy trekking in the environment of these marvelous giant primates not only once, but twice. Additionally, you will also enjoy cultural visit and tour at Kigali city. Get an amazing chance to see gorillas as close as a friend here!
Your accommodation is valid and will greatly depend on your budget. Kubwa Five Safaris can and will help you choose from the list when planning your trip. At whatever level, Kubwa Five Safaris provides the very best for their guests. Please note that Kubwa Five Safaris reserves the right to substitute equivalent or superior hotels. If a hotel of the equivalent standard is not available, Kubwa Five Safaris may substitute the next best quality hotel or suggest a superior at an extra charge.There is free Wi-Fi in the hotels
Kubwa Five Safaris does not have triple rooms in most of the hotels in Rwanda. Most of the hotels have double rooms (a room with one big bed for two people or a room with two single beds occupied by two people), this means the third person will be left without a room to stay and the alternative would be to occupy the single room (a room with one bed). The single room supplement applies for odd (3, 5, 7, 9,11, etc.) travelers. Therefore the single room supplement fee is to be paid by the person occupying a room alone.
There are three plans that you can choose for this safari: budget, mid-range, and luxury. For budget accommodation, you will be staying at Garden Place Hotel on the first two nights of the safari and Great Seasons Hotel on the third night. For mid-range accommodation, you will be staying at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge on the first two nights and Lemigo Hotel on the third night. Furthermore, if you choose the luxury accommodation, you will be staying at Virunga Lodge on the first two nights and Kigali Serena Hotel on the third night.
The Garden Place Hotel is a uniquely spacious hotel offering comfortable stylish accommodation to both business and holiday travelers. Strategically located near the Rwanda volcanoes, the hotel offers a distinctive blend of comfort, warmth, and personalized hospitality. The luxury rooms boast a view of volcanic mountains. The Garden Place Hotel is a perfect option location for those wishing to do gorilla tracking or simply to come relax in the serenity and beauty that the Virunga Mountains of Northern Rwanda has to offer.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is located in Kinigi in northern Rwanda and on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The lodge is located on the foothills of the Mount Karisimbi, one of the volcanic mountains that make up the Virunga Massif. The lodge is about 10 minutes’ drive to the main entrance of the Volcanoes National Park where gorilla trekking starts.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is an eco-lodge with 30 spacious chalets. To ensure the least disruption of the surrounding environment, the eco-lodge was constructed with a locally available material. Every chalet comes with a sitting area with a fireplace and has a tea / coffee making machine. The eco-lodge supports the surrounding rural community by purchasing farm-fresh produce that is served in the lodge’s restaurant.
The magnificent Virunga Lodge is the premier luxury gorilla lodge of Rwanda and one of Africa’s finest and most renowned lodges. The lodge is perched high on a ridge with stunning views of the Virunga volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east. It offers the finest views in Africa, uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional, as well as personalized service by the carefully trained staff. It is the first accommodation choice for the luxury traveler who wants to go tracking the endangered mountain gorilla. In 2017, Virunga Lodge has been ranked on Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the best Africa Resorts in their 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
Great Seasons Hotel is a modern facility, comfortable and conveniently located in the quiet and high-end suburb of Gacuriro / Kagugu hills, just 15 minutes’ drive from Kigali International Airport (KG), 10 minutes to the city center, and only five minutes’ drive away from the famous Rwanda Genocide Memorial center. The hotel has standard rooms, twin rooms, junior suites, and executive suites. The executive suites have two bedrooms, a large sitting room, and a fully equipped kitchenette.
Situated in Kigali, 300 meters from International Gorilla Conservation Program, Lemigo Hotel features rooms with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Units at the hotel offer mountain views and guests can enjoy access to a hot tub and a sauna. The accommodation provides free shuttle service and a 24-hour front desk for guests. The guest rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a coffee machine, a bath or shower, free toiletries, and a desk.
All rooms come with a private bathroom and some units at the hotel have a terrace. All units at Lemigo Hotel are equipped with a seating area. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. There is an in-house restaurant which specializes in Indian and Asian cuisine. Lemigo Restaurant ranks among Kigali’s best fine dining establishments and features a delightful menu prepared by Executive. The accommodation features a fitness center.
Kigali Serena Hotel is perfectly situated within one of the city’s most vibrant boulevards. Here, guests are welcomed into a gleaming granite atrium, adorned with fantastic Rwandan artworks, where they are then ushered to contemporary rooms that feature air conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity, a satellite television, and a lovely ensuite bathroom. The hotel offers a wonderful selection of dining options from the Milima Restaurant that overlooks the sparkling swimming pool to the Sokoni Restaurant that has become a popular meeting place for both locals and travelers alike. In the evenings, a retreat to the hotel’s convivial lounge where two bar areas await.
Please note that you are required to buy a gorilla permit in advance of your trip. Only eight people are allowed to visit each gorilla group per day as the demand is high. To buy your gorilla permit, you will need to provide Kubwa Five Safaris with your full names, nationality, birth-date, passport number, preferred date of trekking, your home address, and gorilla permit fee. The minimum age for visiting the gorillas is 15 years.
A certain level of fitness is required for the gorilla tracking and you may not be allowed gorilla trekking if you are suffering from a communicable disease. In case of sighting gorillas, no flash photography is allowed and a fast film is therefore recommended. For gorilla trekking, please consider booking as far in advance as possible. Booking three months in advance is recommended. The gorilla permits are booked and paid for at the same time.
You will be transferred in a 4×4 Safari Landcruiser / minivan (up to eight passengers) with pop-up tops and seven window seats for game viewing. Groups of 12 or more people who would like to travel in one vehicle are offered 25 to 28 seat coasters that have about 16 window seats. Kubwa Five Safaris’ vehicles are well-maintained to provide the maximum level of comfort and safety.
Kubwa Five Safaris recognizes this for a fact – the success of your safari will largely depend on your driver / guide. It is because of this that Kubwa Five Safaris has a great team of carefully selected drivers / guides who are well-trained. Kubwa Five Safaris’ drivers can speak English. If you require drivers or guides who speak other international languages, they can organize for German, Spanish, and Chinese speaking guide or translator, but you are required to inform Kubwa Five Safaris at the time of booking.
This safari will take place in Northern Province, Rwanda.
In this safari, you will get a full board accommodation with en-route meals as indicated in the itinerary, including three breakfasts, three lunches, and two dinners. In Uganda and Rwanda, tap water is not suitable for drinking, therefore please use bottled water which is available in your safari car and at accommodations.
Kubwa Five Safaris takes care of your dietary needs as far as the hotels cooperate, which is usually positive when you let Kubwa Five Safaris knows in advance so they can make the necessary arrangements with the different lodges in your itinerary. Please make sure that your driver / guide contacts the reception on arrival at the lodge.
While visiting the Red Rocks Intercultural Exchange Center, you can join the women in squeezing the juice out of the bananas and drink a glass of juice if you are interested.
Please book your flight to arrive at Kigali International Airport (KGL). Transfer from and to this airport is included. Kubwa Five Safaris will pick you up from the airport.
Kigali International Airport (KGL) has the following flights: RwandAir, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airways, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Coastal Aviation. You can fly internally in Rwanda by charter flights to most of the safari destinations or helicopter with Akagera Aviation.
On arrival at Kigali International Airport (KGL), you will be met by Kubwa Five Safari’s driver / guide and your day will start with a complimentary tour of the city. Named in 1907 by Dr. Richard Kandt, the first colonial resident governor of Rwanda, Kigali city is surrounded by lush hills of green and is referred as the land of a thousand hills.
You will get to visit interesting spots which may include the craft market, Gisozi Genocide Memorial site, and a Kigali museum. Then, you will depart for a two hours’ drive to Ruhengeri area, the second largest town in Rwanda with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains – the Virungas. You will arrive at Red Rocks Intercultural Exchange Center for lunch, then join the local brew makers to understand the chemistry about the process of brewing a local beer from bananas fruits.
If you find the activity interesting enough, you can join the women in squeezing the juice out of the bananas and drink a glass of juice (optional). You will understand how long juice takes to turn into alcohol after adding in sorghum floor. You will also enjoy the big glass of the local brew. Among other activities, they also do basket weaving and with your visit, this local community will be proud of this activity and families will be supported financially. Later, you will drive to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Driving time: 2 hours
Activities: City tour and intercultural exchange
Overnight: Garden Place Hotel / Mountain Gorilla View Lodge / Virunga Lodge
Meal Plan: Lunch and dinner
After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the national park headquarters in Kinigi to meet your guides for the day. After completing the park formalities, you will embark on a once in a lifetime experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them, you will be allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This will perhaps be one of the most breathtaking wildlife experiences on earth. You will get so close to these awesome giant primates.
You will stare at each other blankly, not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 700 living today. You will get within meters of the family and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous with up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude.
Kubwa Five Safaris encourages for your own enjoyment to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy. They have had people as old as 70 years old do gorilla tracking, so this should not be a problem. All you need is to ask your driver guide to request a shorter group for you if you cannot trek far. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. After the adventure, you will return to the hotel of your choice for lunch, late dinner, and overnight.
Driving time: 45 minutes
Activities: 1 gorilla trek
Overnight: Garden Place Hotel / Mountain Gorilla View Lodge / Virunga Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Today after an early breakfast, you will proceed to the national park headquarters in Kinigi to meet your guides for the day for your second gorilla trekking experience. Mountain gorillas do not survive in captivity which is why they are not seen in zoos and meeting them in the undergrowth is an inspiring moment. Quietly chewing away at their vegetarian delicacies, they seem like a marooned human family.
The tender grooming and firm disciplining of their offspring seem all too familiar. The gorilla family cast a wary glance at the sudden human intrusion into their private world but is comforted by the clucking made by the trackers. When provoked, the noisy but harmless silverback grunts, screeches, bares his fangs and beats his chest, before slithering off with attendant females, offspring, and other mature males. Later, you will return to your hotel to freshen up then have lunch. You will then be transferred to Kigali town in the afternoon for overnight at your hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
Driving time: 2 hours
Activities: 1 gorilla trek
Overnight: Great Seasons Hotel / Lemigo Hotel / Kigali Serena Hotel
Meal Plan: Breakfast and lunch
After breakfast, you will depart for a two hours’ drive to Kigali. You will engage in the last minute shopping in one of the friendliest African capitals before returning to the airport for your onward international flight back home.
Driving time: 15 minutes
Activities: City tour
Overnight: None (end of the safari)
Meal plan: Breakfast