- Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Extension
Post-Trip, 6 Days
Add an optional pre- or post-trip extension to Rwanda for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. From our base at the spectacular Virunga Lodge, track gorillas and hike to the original site of National Geographic grantee Dian Fossey's Karisoke Research Center.
Following our afternoon visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, transfer to our hotel near the airport and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Following an early morning flight to Kigali, journey into the lush hills surrounding the city on an excursion that traces Rwanda’s path from despair to hope. We visit a “reconciliation village” supported by the Millennium Villages project, a unique development approach conceived by Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the United Nations Development Project. Here, survivors and perpetrators live side by side in an effort to heal the wounds of the genocide and build a brighter future for Rwanda. Listen to the moving testimonies of both a perpetrator and a survivor, and discuss the challenges—and the promise—of former enemies living as one. Visit the village health center and the primary school, fruits of the Millennium Villages project. This afternoon, travel back to Kigali for dinner at the legendary Hotel des Mille Collines—featured in the movie Hotel Rwanda—where more than a thousand Rwandans found safe haven during the genocide.
This morning, pay a visit to the Kigali Memorial Centre, where a poignant exhibition recalls Rwanda's mid-1990s genocide and testifies to the country's remarkable resilience. Then, travel north through the beautiful countryside to Parc National des Volcans.
Spend the day tracking mountain gorillas in the forested hills of Parc National des Volcans. Follow local guides through thick undergrowth and dangling vines in search of gorilla families. Once we find them, sit among these gentle giants, observing their interactions; listening to their distinctive grumbles; and viewing one of the planet’s most endangered creatures from an awe-inspiring, up close perspective.
Trek to the original site of the Karisoke Research Center, where the late Dian Fossey, a National Geographic grantee, carried out mountain gorilla research for 18 years. Or strike out into the lower reaches of the park on the lookout for golden monkeys, a distinct species of primate that can often be found in thick bamboo stands. Or if you prefer, you may enjoy an optional second day of gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans for an additional cost. In the afternoon, head back to Kigali.
After breakfast, transfer to Kigali International Airport for your flight home, arriving the next day.