9 days
Duration
Rwanda
Location
3/10
Physicality
Gondwana Ecotours
Operator
$5,690
base price per person

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Hike through the mist-covered bamboo rainforest with endangered mountain gorillas on this 9-day adventure. You will also explore a jungle with over one hundred golden monkeys, boat on one of the Great African lakes, Lake Kivu, and learn about the country’s history and culture.

You can savor local coffee, sip banana wine, and learn to cook Rwandan food so you can enjoy the cuisine even when you have returned home.

Itinerary

1

Day 1: Arrive in Kigali

Your guides will meet you at the airport and take you to your lodging in Kigali, three kilometres away. Four-star Lemigo Hotel is located in an urban oasis within the city centre. It’s a perfect place to recover from your travels before heading off to see the gorillas. It has wifi, fitness centre and comfortable amenities.
2

Day 2: Sample Local Cuisine

After breakfast, we explore Kigali’s neighbourhoods. We make a stop at the local market to pick up ingredients, before we head to the local NGO Aspire Rwanda. The organisation helps vulnerable women, teaching them about agriculture, health and business so they can earn a living. The NGO also has cooking classes, which will be our activity for the day. A local woman will meet us and teach us how to cook a delicious local meal with the ingredients that we bought. Later, we drive through rolling green hills with coffee plantations and farmland on our way to Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, at the base of Rwanda’s famous Volcanoes National Park. The lodge has comfortable beds, a relaxing lounge area with wifi, and a fireplace in your room for chilly evenings. The lodge was built using environmentally friendly local materials such as bamboo and works closely with the local community to ensure they directly benefit from tourism in the area.
3

Day 3: Jungle Trip with Monkeys

After breakfast, rangers will take us through the beautiful jungle with over one hundred chatting, eating, and playing golden monkeys. Later, you can either unwind at the lodge or learn about Rwanda’s ancient past at the cultural centre where you can try shooting with bow and arrow, pound grain and dance.
4

Day 4: Track Mountain Gorillas in Virunga

Today, we will come face-to-face with the incredible mountain gorillas. The guides will lead us across farmland, along stony walls and over the threshold into the bamboo forest in Virunga. We will move through the jungle and follow the gorillas at their pace in their own habitat.
5

Day 5: Hiking or Gorilla Tracking

Today, you can either go on a guided hike to Dian Fossey’s grave or up Mt. Bisoke to the crater lake within, which is a more challenging route. If you don’t want to hike, you have the option to track mountain gorillas again if you give advanced notice and pay for the second permit. In the evening, you can listen to a Rwandan story-teller before our last dinner at the lodge.
6

Day 6: Indulge in Coffee

Today we explore Gisenyi, a small town on the shore of one of Africa’s great lakes, Lake Kivu. By the lake, we also learn more about coffee, which is one of Rwanda’s most important exports. Just seven kilometres from downtown Gisenyi is also Paradis Malahide lodge where we will spend the night. The beautiful space provides the perfect escape with its ideal climate, perfect amount of sunshine, relaxing lake and rolling green hills.
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Day 7: Explore Islands and Local Markets

Today we wake up on the quiet Lake Kivu. After breakfast, you can take a boat to visit the small islands, explore markets in town with your guide or relax by the lake. After lunch, we go back to Lemino Hotel in Kigali.
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Day 8: Explore Kigali

On our final day in Kigali, we will visit the genocide memorial and a beautiful craft market. After lunch, we go to an up-and-coming art collective with some of the best coffee in the country. The local artists make wild, colourful pieces and offer dance and community-themed events. We’ll have dinner at the restaurant “Heaven” before we return to Lemino Hotel.
9

Day 9: Return Home

We have breakfast together before a shuttle will take you to the airport.

Overview

Trip Dates New dates coming soon!
Arrival/Departure Location Kigali, Rwanda
Included Accommodation for 8 nights in hotels
Local guides, and a Gondwana Trip Leader for groups of six or more
All meals included (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) except for the first and last day
Guided tour of Kigali and the Genocide Museum
Golden monkey tracking experience
Guided observation of Virunga’s mountain gorillas with a Conservationist Gorilla Tracker—($750 permit included)
Unique cultural activities (dancing, community visits, banana wine-making and more)
Boat cruise on Lake Kivu and coffee plantation visit
National Park entrance fees
Not Included Some meals first and last day

Permit at optional gorilla tracking day 5

Flights
Price $5,690 per person * $606 Single Supplement

Why Choose Gondwana Ecotours?

‘Gondwana’ was part of the Pangea supercontinent, when all the continents were together and the world was one. Gondwana Ecotours aims to bring people from different continents closer together one trip at a time.

Low-Impact Travel

Gondwana ecotours leave a small impression on the environment because of the small group size and the activities. They carbon offset your airfare — good for your conscience and good for our planet.

Unique Lodging

Feel the heart of the destination by staying at locally-owned and eco-friendly hotels whenever possible.

Donations To Causes

A portion of the proceeds goes to a local non-profit or organization associated with your ecotour.

Local Guides & Trip Leaders

Enjoy the unsurpassable experience of local guides who share their country, culture, and customs while a Gondwana Trip Leader takes care of your travel details.

Ecotourism and Responsible Travel

Gondwana believes that travel is an opportunity for personal and collective fulfillment, building connections and driving creativity. Achieving these goals requires responsibility, sustainability and respect throughout planning and implementation. Gondwana’s Seven Key Sustainability Principles guide them towards those goals.

1. Recognize That Travel Has Substantial Impacts

Gondwana recognizes that travel has substantial impacts on the environment, the ecosystems that we visit, as well as the local communities, economies and development. They further recognize their role in understanding and affecting those impacts and seek always to improve both our understanding and our impact.

That’s why they examine all elements of their trips and operations for their impact on the environment, culture, society, economy and development and how we affect all the forms of capital that we interact with (natural, human, physical, and economic).

2. Goods, Products & Services We Use Don’t Begin Or End With Us

All of the goods, products and services used along the way don’t begin or end with us. They required energy and resources to produce and deliver, and usually enter the waste stream. For these reasons, Gondwana “reduce, reuse and recycle” in that order. For impacts we can’t mitigate they purchase carbon offsets to make every trip carbon neutral.

3. Sustainability Starts With You

Sustainability starts with you. Finding balance in ourselves is difficult but often a prerequisite for other forms of success. That’s why Gondwana offers programs on health and wellness including workshops and activities to support good nutrition, fitness, mindfulness and more. Additionally, Gondwana strives to always serve gourmet, fresh, local and organic meals and have top of the line spa treatments available – our short cut to relaxation. They hope to send every client home feeling rejuvenated and with new tools to maintain that balance in their day-to-day life.

4. Respect & Empower Local Communities

Tourism plays a substantial role in local communities. Responsible tourism includes local stakeholders in decisions and processes that will affect their lives and is always respectful of local custom and culture. To fulfill and promote this principle, Gondwana provide opportunities to engage and interact with stakeholders in the community: students, small farmers, and more.

5. Preserve Ecosystems For Future Generations

Stewardship and responsibility are especially important when visiting sensitive ecosystems. Gondwana’s objective is to preserve all of the sites they visit for the enjoyment and enrichment of future generations. To do that they engage in conservation through educational opportunities, trip activities, and actions they take as a company. They also always look for ways to give back to the destinations they visit through support for local causes.

6. Be Tolerant & Embrace Diversity

Diversity is essential to healthy systems. In all Gondwana’s actions and activities they seek to be always tolerant and embrace diversity – diversity of experience, perspective, interests and abilities. They provide ADA accessible options on their trips and do their best to accommodate every special request and need.

7. Always Improve & Seek Better Understanding

Sustainability is defined by complexity. Gondwana seeks to always improve their understanding and their impact. To that end they keep an open dialogue and invite you to join the conversation!

Read about Gondwana’s accolades in the Press

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This is a multi-day trip with fixed departure dates. Some trips have different itineraries or lengths, so please check that you've chosen exactly what you want, and the correct trip start date. If you have any questions at all, please use the chat feature and we'll answer as quickly as possible.

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Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 4 reviews
Antha Ward
June 9, 2016

Jared has been working very hard at building Gondwana Ecotours for a few years now and we have been with him most of his journey. You won’t find a better Tour Planner and Guide….promise! His attention to detail is incredible and his love of the land simply amazing. And, okay, I’ll give, this Hummer-driving Republican will even admit that the eco part of his tours is quite noteworthy LOL

Melissa Gibbs
July 8, 2016

The hotels, restaurants, tours, outings, services, and attention to detail were top-notch. I wouldn’t hesitate to travel with Jared and Gondwana Tours again!

Edmond Tsang
August 21, 2016

Gondwana brings more joy, fun, smile, laugh and awareness to our travel experience! One of my favorite ways to see the world!

Jena Frederick
September 8, 2016

If you want to broaden your horizons and go to exotic places all while feeling taken care of and in good hands I recommend Gondwana Tours. I truly enjoyed the mix of luxury, rugged adventure, great food and enough swank to keep my whole family happy at every turn.

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