Lake Kivu & Rwanda Gorillas

Day 1

Nairobi – Kigali – Ruhengeri

On arrival in Kigali, you will be met by a driver-guide from Hills in the Mist Tours who will transfer you to Ruhengeri in a private vehicle. The drive takes around an hour and a half, passing small villages and rolling hills covered in a patchwork quilt of fields on the way. As you get close to Ruhengeri, you can enjoy some spectacular views of the Virunga Volcanoes where you will be tracking gorillas tomorrow. You will be driven to your hotel where you can relax for the afternoon.

Day 2

Volcanoes National Park – Ruhengeri

Today you will set off early after breakfast for the park headquarters where you will register for the gorilla trekking. Once you`ve been assigned a group and have had a briefing from your guide you will be driven to the trailhead where you will start the walk. Your trek will take anywhere from an hour to five hours to reach the gorillas – depending on which group you`ve been assigned. The terrain changes from farmland to bamboo forests, into stinging nettles and rainforest before you will find the gorillas. Trackers leave before the tourist groups to locate the gorilla groups so your guide should know where to take you, and once you`ve found the group you will have one hour with them. Make sure you take plenty of extra film as you`ll be surprised at how many photos you will want to take!

Day 3

Volcanoes National Park – Ruhengeri

After breakfast you will set off to track the golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park. This will be a completely different but just as rewarding experience to tracking the gorillas. You will track the monkeys with a guide through the forest of the Volcanoes National Park and you will spend an hour with them once you find them. The walk is generally easier than the trek to the gorillas, although this depends on the monkeys movements. There are two habituated troops of golden monkeys, both of which have around 80 members in the family. They are incredibly lively, so can be quite hard to photograph until they settle down or go into a clearing, but are fascinating to watch leaping from tree to tree!

Day 4

Ruhengeri – Lake Kivu

This morning you can have a leisurely breakfast before setting off with your driver for Lake Kivu. The drive takes around an hour and a half, and the rolling hills that characterise Rwanda`s landscape become much more dramatic and cliff-like as you drive on. You will pass small farming villages and banana plantations before descending into the valley to Gisenyi, the town at the north of Lake Kivu. Your driver will take you straight to the Kivu Sun Hotel, where you can relax for the night unwinding and resting your weary legs after your two days of trekking in the Volcanoes National Park.

Day 5

Lake Kivu

Today is free for relaxing or exploring Lake Kivu – you can go swimming in the hotel pool, or in the lake itself, have a tour of Gisenyi town, or hire a boat to visit some of the nearby islands on the lake. You can decide on the day what you`d like to do – your driver will help you with all of your arrangements.

Day 6

Lake Kivu – Kigali – Nairobi

This morning you will depart Lake Kivu and drive back to Kigali – it will take around two and a half hours or longer if you stop a lot to take photographs, and the road takes you past the Virunga Volcanoes and Ruhengeri on the way. Your guide will help you check in at the airport for your flight to back home.