High cloud forests, the cleanest city in the world, and more.
Rwanda. Lushly beautiful, deliciously secluded. It’s where you can track majestic mountain gorillas, one of the greatest wildlife encounters in the world. And as of next week, visitors are welcome back.
Here’s why you should go with our Virtuoso Travel Partner Micato Safaris.
- Did we mention the gorillas? A mere dozen habituated gorilla families live in Parc National des Volcans, and no more than eight people may visit any given gorilla family each day. That means gorilla trekking is exclusive, and we love exclusive experiences. And you will too!
- Very private luxury lodges amid volcanoes. Before privacy and distance were trendy, Rwanda was setting the bar for luxurious and remote lodges, including the stylish stone cottages of Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, the whimsical thatched lodges of One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, the eco-friendly, otherworldly treehouses of Bisate Lodge, and Singita Kwitonda Lodge, an eight-suite, one villa property that opened last year.
- Visit the “cleanest city on the planet.” Beyond the amazing gorillas, Eric Solheim, former head of the United Nations Environment Programme, has referred to Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali as the “cleanest city on the planet.”
- Rwanda is just one part of a perfect African journey. Rwanda and our exclusive gorilla trek is the perfect complement to one of Micato’s Classic or Custom East African safaris.
- Gorilla photobombing. Come on, look at this photo by Micato Safaris. If a 400 lb. silverback gorilla wants to be in your picture, wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?
Forbes Article – https://www.micato.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Micato-in-Forbes-December-2019.pdf
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
The velvet-green slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes are a lofty and lush paradise. In the rainforests here–buzzing with the sounds of jungle life–the soft mists prevail as they did when Dian Fossey wrote her legendary book Gorillas in the Mist. And the creature that drew Dr. Fossey is the same one which beckons to us: the rare and regal Mountain Gorilla.
DAYS 1 & 2 Kigali and Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
Talk to someone who’s paid a visit to the mountain gorillas of Rwanda’s highlands and you are likely to hear near-rhapsodic praise for a rare, beautiful, and often very moving experience. Our carefully orchestrated visits begin in Kigali, revitalized Rwanda’s charming capital, which we’ll tour before heading northwest to the Virunga Volcanoes, a stately chain of jungle volcanoes that top out at Mount Karisimbi’s 14,787 feet, higher than any Rocky or Sierra Nevada. We’ll settle into the superb Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, a fine base for our wanderings in these almost supernaturally verdant precincts.
The next day, led by our guide and his crew, we begin making our way through a forest of trailing vines, trilling bird calls, giant lobelia, and mossy hagenia trees—a Jurassic, emerald world—walking toward an encounter with one of the park’s ten habituated (meaning they aren’t frightened by us) families of mountain gorillas; no more than eight people are allowed to visit any given family for more than an hour each day. Seeing a 450-pound male saunter by only a few yards away is something you’ll want to tell your grandchildren’s children about.
(For a first-hand look at gorilla trekking from the traveller’s perspective, see this dispatch by Joy Phelan-Pinto.)
DAY 3 Burera and Ruhondo Lakes
We’ll pay our respects to a different gorilla family today, noting the subtle cultural differences between clans. Later we’ll explore the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, blue beauties in a sea of green, and mingle with local folks at a bustling food market in Ruhengeri.
DAY 4 Depart Kigali
We’ll make the drive to Kigali for our homeward flights. (One final note: travellers who’d like to visit more of our primate relatives should ask us about easy-to-arrange side trips that put us in contact with chimpanzees and colobus monkeys.) This option is available on Bespoke safaris or the following Classic Safaris.
Land arrangements, per person (2020)
|Double Occupancy||from $4,350|
|Gorilla Permits (nonrefundable)||$3,000|