August 21-25, 2017
Extend your safari to have an unforgettable, close-up encounter with the critically endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Walking alongside these gentle giants is exhilarating and unlike any other experience in the world. The mountain gorillas are rare, critically endangered, and found only in a few small areas of protected forest; photographing them is incredibly special. Only 80 people, 10 groups of 8, are allowed to trek with the gorillas in Rwanda per day. The permits are in high demand and sell out quickly.
This special extension gives you the opportunity to add two days of trekking to your safari—an absolute highlight! We will trek to a different gorilla family each day. Each group is different in size, from the smallest group of 10 to the largest group of 30, and ranging in composition, including silverbacks, babies, and playful juveniles. The terrain will very from bamboo forest to open jungle. This will give you a variety of shooting opportunities from just two treks.
There are just 7 spots available for this incredible experience and photographic opportunity.
Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our local representative and transported via private vehicle to our hotel.
Accommodations: Kigali Serena Hotel
Day 2: August 22, 2017
Rise slowly this morning and enjoy a cup of coffee, followed by a leisurely breakfast.
After breakfast, we will visit the Kigali Memorial Centre. This is an intensely powerful look into the past and the incredible strength of the nation to unite and rebuild the country in a very short time. Kigali is now one of the most modern and beautiful cities in Africa.Participants from my past gorilla treks have stated this is a must in the itinerary.
After lunch, we will drive through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterize so much of Rwanda’s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the awesome Virunga volcanoes to the Gorilla Mountain Lodge.
Day 3: August 23, 2017
Go gorilla trekking!
After an early breakfast, we will drive to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters to be assigned our gorilla group for the day and have a briefing by our trackers before driving to the beginning of the trail. Our exhilarating trek in the footsteps of these gentle giants starts in the cultivated rolling hills of the Virungas with stunning views in every direction. Upon entering the national park, you will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest alive with exotic birdcalls and colorful butterflies. Weaving through overhanging vines and moss-covered hagenia, our experienced trackers, who have spent their lives in this forest, will lead us to the gorillas.
Upon sighting the gorillas, you will have one magical hour with them as they go about their daily lives, feeding, playing, testing dominance, interacting, and teaching their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback will be one of your greatest life moments. The hour is unbelievably intense with non-stop action, and you will be amazed by what you capture in this amount of time. Everyone will fell drained from the adrenaline rush of such an amazing experience.
In the afternoon, you may choose to relax at the lodge, an oasis of serenity at the base of Sabyinyo volcano, or have an option to visit a nearby ex-poacher’s village, an award-winning conservation initiative where former poachers were convinced to renounced their old ways and become conservation activists. Together with their families, they founded this little village where they now participate in eco-tourism showcasing Rwandan culture. You will learn about traditional skills, like fire making, archery, traditional medicine, traditional architecture (totally unique grass thatched huts that were used for the kings), cultural dances, and more. It is also possible to just take an excursion into the incredibly beautiful Rwandan countryside filled with stunning landscapes, mountain scenes, and the local people, who are friendly and accommodating. You can choose to pack every moment with photographic opportunities or rest up and review your images in preparation for tomorrow’s trek.
Accommodations: Gorilla Mountain Lodge (BLD)
Day 4: August 24, 2017
Go gorilla trekking again!
You have another early wake-up and breakfast before returning to the park headquarters for another day of trekking, where we will visit a new group of gorillas.
After lunch, we will drive down through the beautiful mountains to Kigali. We will stay overnight at the Kigali Serena, which is ideally located on one of Kigali’s most charming boulevards. The five-star hotel is built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art.
This evening, we will dine at a local authentic Rwandan cuisine restaurant.
Accommodations: Kigali Serena Hotel (BLD)
Day 5” August 25, 2017
Rise slowly this morning and enjoy a cup of coffee, followed by a leisurely breakfast. Transfer to the international airport.
The rain forest is moist, and it rains often in Volcanoes National Park, even in the dry season. We will be hiking through jungle in an environment that’s often damp or wet. Rain gear is highly advised to keep dry. Cloudy and misty is the best lighting conditions for photographing the gorillas. Participants will be provided with a complete gear and clothing list.
The gorillas cover large distances throughout the day. Our experienced trackers will use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits to locate them. The time taken to track the gorillas may vary from as little as one hour to as much as six hours round trip (up and down the mountain). Most of the hiking is on trails that lead to the general gorilla area, but the terrain is sometimes difficult, with some steep trails covered in dense vegetation. Participants should be in good physical condition.
This is an up-close and personal wildlife experience, and big lenses are generally not needed. Most images are captured with a range of a wile angle up to 300 mm.Porters are available to carry your gear for a modest tip. This is a luxury I never pass up. Trekking suddenly becomes an enjoyable hike in a beautiful environment because you are not burdened by carrying your gear.
The cost of this photo safari is $3,995 per person.
The price is based on double occupancy; single room supplement is $695.00, if available. If a solo guest is unwilling to share, and request single accommodations upon registration, then a single supplement will be charged. If you are a solo guest who is willing to share accommodations, we will do our best to match you with another guest of the same gender. If we are unable to match you with another solo guest of the same gender, then the single supplement will be charged.
A 1,000.00 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration to secure your spot. You may purchase travel insurance that will refund your deposit if you have to cancel your trip.
- Airport transfers in private vehicles
- Accommodations on a shared basis (please inquire about availability of single rooms)
- Two Gorilla Trek permits.
- All National Parks fees and taxes
- Meals as listed on the itinerary B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D= Dinner
- Private vehicles, guides, and drivers during the trip
- Bottled in the transport vehicles and at meals
What’s Not Included:
- Travel Insurance
- Personal purchases (such as curious, spirit liquors, telephone calls, internet, laundry…)
- Gratuities for the gorilla guides and our local driver guides
- Gratiuites for hotel/Lodge staff
- Porters for Gorilla Treking
- Optional extra activities –
- Pre- and post-safari tours
- Meals or accommodation before or after the safari
- flights to and from Rwanda
Traveling in remote locations can present challenges that may require slight changes to the itinerary. We will always try to run the tour as the initial itinerary. In the event, beyond our control, such as political unrest, natural disasters, overbookings by the lodge, where a change is required, we will do our best to keep you close to the original shooting location. It is our intention for you to have the best possible experience. We will try to notify you of any changes as soon as we are made aware of them. If, however these changes cause an increase to the price, the increase will be passed onto the participant.
Interested in joining us?
Due to the small group size of only 7 participants, which is an extension between to safaris with 8 participants each, this extension is expected to fill up quickly. If you are interested in this extraordinary experience, please register immediately. Once the spots are filled, they are filled.
Just add “Gorilla Extension” to the title on the registration of your main Safari
Use the button below to make your deposit. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this payment service.