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Rwanda Safari Extension Info

Rwanda: Virunga Mountain Gorillas

4 days, 3 nights | Safari Extension from $3,698 per person
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Overview

Face-to-Face with Endangered Primates

Imagine the life-altering wonder that thrills you when, after trekking through dense rainforest for a morning, you are greeted by the noble faces of wild mountain gorillas wandering among the trees.

The rare privilege of gazing into a great ape’s eyes may be the highlight of your trip to Rwanda, but the journey doesn’t end there. Take in endless vistas of sapphire lakes and dormant volcanic cones from the terrace of your bush-chic eco-lodge. Enjoy a complimentary massage, then witness the pageantry of whirling Intore dancers, who with their brightly colored garb and long, flowing white hairpieces once entertained Rwandan kings.

Additional time for relaxation and optional activities all end over sundowners and dinner, with tales of your escapades lingering into the evening as you recollect these adventures of a lifetime.

Safari Style: Safari Extensions
Activities: Gorilla tracking, Intore dance performance, optional walks, cultural visits and treks at an additional cost
Accommodation: Luxury safari lodge
Getting Around: 4x4 safari vehicles
Meeting & Departure Point: Kigali, Rwanda

Tour Highlights:

  • Experience face-to-face encounters with one of the world’s rarest primates as you trek through clouds in the exuberant greenery of Rwanda’s volcanic highlands
  • Thrill to the jangling rhythm of colorfully clad, spear-wielding Intore dancers
  • Relax with a complimentary massage
  • Share gorilla-watching stories and spectacular vistas over sundowners at your luxurious lodge
  • All meals and drinks
  • One gorilla tracking permit in Rwanda ($750)
  • Deluxe safari lodge (with private bath)
  • Post-gorilla tracking massage
  • Transfers from and to the Kigali Airport
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW Safaris staff
Itinerary & Accommodations
Day 1 Arrival and Transfer to the Parc National des Volcans

Upon arrival in Kigali, you are met at the airport for your 3-hour journey to Virunga Lodge. This scenic drive takes you through the beautiful terraced hills that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape. Climbing gradually to the base of the spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga range, you arrive at the magnificent Volcanoes Virunga Lodge. The lodge is perched high on a ridge and has stunning views of the Virunga volcanoes, often capped in clouds, and the twin lakes Bulera and Ruhondo, and has been described as having “the best view in the world.” It is the premier luxury destination for tracking the endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

By staying at this luxury safari lodge, you are also helping to protect and support the surrounding communities and conservation activities, through a connection with the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), a nonprofit organization established in 2009. The VSPT receives funding through Volcanoes Safaris, which contributes $100 from every full safari booking as well as private donations.

The VSPT aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats, and work with communities and institutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict. There is a school in the village abutting the lodge grounds that is fully supported by the activities and business of the lodge.

Included: Land transfer, lunch, and dinner

Approximate Travel Time: 3 hours

Day 2 Parc National des Volcans; GorillaTracking

One of Virunga’s primary attractions is gorilla tracking in the Parc National des Volcans (Volcano National Park). Through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, this is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy. You can choose whether you want to track an easier-to-find or a more elusive gorilla family, tailoring the tracking experience to your preferences.

Upon your return to the lodge, you can choose to enjoy a complimentary massage, and then witness the pageantry of whirling Intore dancers, whose brightly colored garb and long, flowing white hairpieces once entertained Rwandan kings. Intore is the most famous and distinctive style of Rwandese dance, which is based on the courtly victory dance of the Rwandan mwami (kings). The word intore means “best,” and it was a great honor for those selected. They would receive a privileged education and training and had a high status within the court. The dancers use traditional weapons such as spears, shields, or bows along with their dramatic costuming.

Included: Gorilla tracking, breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3 Parc National des Volcans, Optional Activities

Today you have a full day of relaxation, or you may choose from an array of optional activities. If you have arranged for additional gorilla tracking (additional permit charge of $750 per person), you return to the jungle for one more day of trekking. This additional permit must be booked and paid for in advance with CW Safaris; permits are non-refundable once confirmed.
Other possible activities which can be booked and paid for direct with the lodge range from easy 1-2 hour village walks and cultural market visits to more moderate treks in the national park. Half-day and full-day treks are offered in the local forests, to the top of volcanoes, or to Dian Fossey’s grave and gorilla cemetery. Costs range from $30 to $80 per person plus tips.

Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4 Kigali

Enjoy the views from your rooms’ private terrace one final morning before a bountiful breakfast. Transfer to the Kigali Airport late morning in time for late afternoon or evening flights home.

Included: Land transfer, breakfast

Approximate Travel Time: 3 hours

Dates & Prices

Safari Extensions 2017 Pricing

Seasons Number of Travelers
1 2 3 4 5 6 Single Supplement Info
Jan 1 - Feb 28 $6,298 $4,798 $4,498 $4,398 $4,398 $4,398 $550
Mar 1 - May 31 $4,598 $3,698 $3,398 $3,198 $3,198 $3,198 $490
Jun 1 - Oct 14 $6,298 $4,798 $4,498 $4,398 $4,398 $4,398 $550
Oct 15 - Dec 14 $4,598 $3,698 $3,398 $3,198 $3,198 $3,198 $490

*Pricing for two or more guests is based on double occupancy and does not include Single Supplements. Pricing for one traveler includes Single Supplement and other fees. Reserve early for best pricing; prices and dates are subject to change.

This Safari Extension is available on request in combination with any of our Scheduled Group Safaris.

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Guides

Our Guides

Guests who travel frequently with CW Safaris know that our guides truly set us apart from other adventure-travel companies. All CW Safaris guides are locally based and fluent in English, with exceptional knowledge of the region where you’ll be traveling. Their expertise in wildlife and natural history and their keen, deeply rooted understanding of life in the African bush will ensure your safety, well-being, and enjoyment throughout every safari. You could not be in better hands!
Here is a sampling of our extraordinary guides in Rwanda:

Paul Ruganitwali

Paul is Rwandan and has been a safari guide for nine years. He speaks French and English, among other languages. His most memorable encounter on safari was seeing a silverback and a female “flirting” before the male pretended not to be interested. The female wandered out of his sight and started playing with another male. When the silverback heard her grunts of delight, he ran down to find out what the noise was about and, boy, was he jealous!

Vincent Katwire

Vincent is from the Bushenyi District in western Uganda, but he is most at home in the rich, green rainforest of the towering Virunga Mountains, the natural habitat of the mighty mountain gorilla. He has been a guide for 10 years and loves how mountain gorillas seem to care for each other like humans do. Although he can’t speak gorilla (at least, not yet), Vincent does speak five languages (English, Runyankole, Luganda, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili) that he regularly uses on safari. His most precious memory is escorting a visually impaired guest on an incredible journey to visit the mountain gorillas.

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Pair this Extension with ANY Scheduled Group Safari. See our recommended pairings below.

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