10 Days Tanzania & Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Day 1:  Arrival Kilimanjaro  – Arusha

You will be met on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to Arusha where you will spend one night

Overnight: Rivertrees Country Inn ( 4 star ) or Kili Villa ( 5 star ) – Standard room  – Bed & Breakfast

Day 2: Lake Manyara / Tarangire & Ngorongoro 

  • Depending on your time of travel, we would recommend either Lake Manyara (November to May) or Tarangire National Park (late June to October) for game viewing

  After breakfast this morning you will be met at your lodge by your professional driver/guide.  After a short safari briefing, depart Arusha and drive to Lake Manyara or Tarangire National Park.

Your private safari vehicle includes:  driver/guide, free wifi, charging facilities and bottled water.  The same guide will remain with you for the duration of your trip

Located only 125km west of Arusha, Lake Manyara is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in the region and despite its small size, the park offers a variety of habitats with a shallow soda lake that covers 77% of the park.  The park also boasts a ground water forest, open grassland, acacia woodland and the rift wall.

Well known for her tree climbing lions, Lake Manyara is also home to;  buffalo, elephants, leopards, massive troops of baboons, impala, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, ostrich and hippos.

Popularly referred to as an ornithologist’s paradise, Lake Manyara National Park contains over 400 bird species found in most savanna and river habitats in East Africa. Common water birds to be seen here are pelicans, spoonbills, Egyptian geese, hammerkops and the migratory flamingoes, which arrive in hundreds of thousands creating one of Africa’s great natural sights over the soda lake.

Departing Lake Manyara, we make our way up the escarpment to the highlands of Ngorongoro with spectacular views of Lake Manyara below.  Arrive at your lodge in time for lunch.

Spend 2 nights at the lodge of your choice.

Overnight: Neptune Ngorongoro ( 4 star ) or &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge – Fully Inclusive basis

Day 3:  Ngorongoro Crater 

This morning after an early breakfast, we head down into the caldera of Ngorongoro Crater for a day’s game viewing with packed lunch.

One of the natural wonders of the world, Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive and intact volcanic caldera.  The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago brings a feeling like no other as you stand on the crater floor in amazement at the sheer height of her walls.

Game viewing on the crater floor often turns up the big 5 in a relatively short space of time. The crater has a population of over 25,000 animals with most of them being ungulates, which in turn brings a high density of predators.  The crater floor is fantastic for close-up photography.  Enjoy a picnic lunch on the crater floor with further game viewing in the afternoon.

Return to your lodge – overnight on a fully inclusive basis

Day 4: Ngorongoro –  Serengeti 

This morning after breakfast we depart Ngorongoro and drive to the central Serengeti.  On the way, you have the opportunity of visiting a Masai Village and/or OIduvai Gorge (optional excursions)

We will be spending 3 nights in the Serengeti with either morning and afternoon game drives, or full day drives with packed lunch.

Overnight:  Serengeti Serena Lodge ( 4 star ) – all meals  or Melia Lodge ( 5 star )  – Fully Inclusive basis

Day 5 & 6 : Serengeti National Park 

Relax with two full days in the Serengeti, home to more than three million large mammals spread over vast endless plains.  It is here that we may encounter the fascinating spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration, where one and a quarter million wildebeest trek in columns of up to forty kilometres long in search of grazing, drawing with them their predators and numerous other species of game.

Enjoy a full day’s game drive in Serengeti National Park with packed lunch.  Or you may prefer a morning and afternoon game drive returning to camp for lunch and a siesta. You are free to discuss with your guide on the ground

The magic of the Serengeti is everything you dream it to be and more!  Whether you are a frequent traveller to Africa or choosing Tanzania as your first African destination, the Serengeti is a place that never fails to thrill!  Everywhere you go, the environment is literally heaving with life – a photographer’s dream!

Day 7:  Serengeti  – Rwanda 

This morning you will be transferred to Seronera Airstrip for your flight to Kilimanjaro and onward to Kigali.

Rwanda is a breathtakingly beautiful country dotted with immaculate villages, and verdant tea plantations that spill down the hillside.  Known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills’ Rwanda has a very rich culture with some of the friendliest people on the continent

The Volcanoes National Park, at the foot of the Virunga mountains bordering Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Spending an hour in the company of a gorilla family is truly something that will be hard to beat.  However, Rwanda has more to offer than gorilla trekking. For the very active there are exquisite volcano hikes, or relax and take in some culture, visit the drum makers, micro- brewery, museums etc

Kigali

There are a number of smart shopping malls in Kigali city centre with some chic boutiques and coffee shops. But if you’re after something more authentic, take a stroll around one or two of its lively markets, you’ll usually be met with great friendliness. If you like browsing for curios and souvenirs from your Rwanda holiday, pay a visit to the Caplaki handicrafts cooperative, which sells a variety of local crafts.

Alternatively, the lively Nyamirambo area of Kigali is regarded as the most vibrant quarter of the city, known for its excellent tailors and hair salons, as well as its many bars and cafes. As with any city, take care if visiting at night but during the daytime, Nyamirambo Women’s Centre offers interesting walking tours around their neighbourhood that takes in their own craft shop, a typical Rwandan meal and the local market too.

Overnight: Hotel Des Mille Collines ( 4 star ) or The Retreat By Heaven ( 5 star )

Day 8: Musanze – Rwanda 

This morning you are met at your hotel by your driver/guide with private safari vehicle. Visit the Genocide Museum and enjoy a Kigali City tour inclusive of lunch before heading off to Musanze (previously known as Ruhengeri) to your base for gorilla trekking

Perhaps the city’s best known landmark, and with good reason, is the very insightful and moving Kigali Genocide Memorial standing amid beautiful rose gardens and fountains. The memorial sets out the history leading up to the genocide in Rwanda and also explains other genocides around the world. It includes poignant displays of victims’ photographs and belongings, bringing the realities of the atrocities to life. While it might seem an unusual tourist attraction and can be upsetting, it does help to put into context how and why the genocide happened and to better appreciate just how far the country has moved on together in the intervening years. It also plays a vital role in educating Rwanda’s new and future generations about the genocide.

Other Trips in Volcanoes National Park

Apart from gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park – there are other interesting hiking trails here. Before your visit to the gorillas.  One of the more popular routes is to the tomb of Dian Fossey and the Karisoke Research Centre she established, which takes a couple of hours of fairly steep walking. Another beautiful option is a day hike to the crater lake on Mount Bisoke.

Several other primates have made Volcanoes National Park their home too and it’s possible to track two troops of habituated golden monkeys, a totally different experience to gorilla tracking. Golden monkeys tend to inhabit the bamboo forests on the lower slopes, so the walk to reach them is relatively easy. Again, once you find them, you’ll have just an hour in their presence. They’re fast-moving little creatures, and very entertaining as they constantly swing through the bamboo or chase each other in circles all around you. They’re also very pretty, with shiny reddish-gold backs that blend in perfectly with the golden bamboo.
People are as much a part of Volcanoes National Park as its primates and a visit to one of the cultural centres in the area to gain an insight into local life and traditions is not only very interesting but also benefits the local communities and deters them from engaging in negative activities like poaching. Two very good examples are the SACOLA Cultural Centre, with excellent traditional Intore dancing, and Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, both near Kinigi.

Wildlife of Volcanoes National Park

Even without mountain gorilla safaris, Volcanoes National Park would be fascinating. Its altitude ranges from about 2,500m to the peak of Karisimbi, at 4,500m, resulting in extensive bamboo forests and some of the last remaining afro-montane forest habitat on the planet.

As well as its infamous mountain gorillas, the Park harbours a spectacular array of rare and endangered animals and plants. There is a variety of other primates, including the endemic golden  monkeys,  forest elephants, buffalo, giant forest hogs (Africa’s largest swine), bushpigs, bushbucks, black-fronted duikers, spotted hyenas, and around 200 species of birds.

Spend two nights here inclusive of all meals (other inclusions as shown below)

Overnight : Bishops House ( 4 star ) or Bisate Lodge  ( 5 star ) – Fully inclusive of all meals

Day 9: Gorilla Trekking 

Today one of the most humbling and enthralling wildlife experiences imaginable awaits your discovery. Coming face to face with an endangered mountain gorilla is something words cannot aptly describe.

Please note that gorilla trekking is strenuous with treks ranging from 45 mins up to eight hours, at high altitudes in hot African conditions.

The thrill of the hour you spend quietly observing these gentle giants once you find them is well worth the hike to get there! Although mountain gorillas are wild animals and it should be noted that sightings cannot be guaranteed, viewing success rates are well over 95%.

Return to your lodge and overnight.

Day 10:  Departure Kigali

This morning you have the option of trekking Golden Monkeys before returning to Kigali (+-3 hour comfortable drive).  Transfer to the airport for departure or overnight Kigali

End of Services 

Contact us for more information.

Our itineraries are “recommended itineraries” and may be booked as suggested. However, they also serve to inform you, as a possible first time traveller to Africa, an idea of what can be done. If you find that the recommended itineraries do not suit you entirely, we will tailor make a program to best meet your individual requirements.

Costs will vary according to season & year of travel, as well as desired standard of accommodation 

There are no set departure dates.  Please inform us of your preferred dates of travel

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