Day 1: Volcanoes National Park
You will be met on arrival at Kigali airport, relax on the two hour drive to Kinigi via Ruhengeri. The road to Ruhengeri offers stunning scenery of the hills and valleys of this green and lush country; you will understand why this is the Land of the Thousand Hills. Continue to the base of Sabinyo Mountain, with excellent views of the rest of the Virunga Volcanoes. Overnight at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Lunch, Dinner.
Gorilla Mountain View Lodge
The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge has 30 individual en suite brick cottages. Each large bedroom has a comfortable sitting area and a fireplace with simple and comfortable furnishings are simple but comfortable. Being at altitude, it can get cold here and the fireplaces are lit every evening by the staff. The lodge grounds are very well maintained and from here there are beautiful views of the volcanoes. A local dance troupe entertains every afternoon (except Sundays). The central area has a bar and a restaurant where the food is good home cooked fare. We definitely also advise to you to dress warmly for dinners during the winter months. However if you are chilly in the mountain evenings, just ask the staff for a 'bucket' of heated charcoal that you can put next to your table to help keep you warm. Electricity and hot water are supplied by a generator that is turned on at about 6 pm, and runs until 11:00 am in the morning.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
The lodge, situated in the foothills of the mighty Virungas, the chain of 15,000 ft volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, affords wonderful views of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside. Accommodation is in five double cottages, two suites and one family suite. All are stone buildings with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs, and feature large sitting areas, fireplaces, stylish en suite bathrooms finished with Venetian plaster a dressing room and a sheltered veranda. Heat exchangers in the fireplaces provide a plentiful supply of hot water.
The main lodge building comprises reception, sitting room with snug area, dining room, library & games room, a responsible tourism/community awareness room, shop and bathrooms. Three large fireplaces provide warmth and all rooms are finished with a polished wooden floor. Two patio areas afford wonderful and dramatic views to the Virunga Volcanoes and the surrounding lowland farmland.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking
After breakfast take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with the excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Then hike into the forest to where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes up 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of memory are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice, hence waterproof clothing is a highly recommend and waterproof bags for camera gear is essential. Please note that plastic shopping bags are illegal in Rwanda so it's better to bring tough ziploc plastic bags for your things. Overnight at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge or Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. All meals.
Day 3: Gorilla Trekking
This morning you head out again to track gorillas. This afternoon return to the lodge and then drive to Kigali for overnight. All meals.
Ideally located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards, the five-star Kigali Serena Hotel is built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art. Each of the 160 rooms is en suite with air conditioning and 24 room service as well as flat screen TVs and WiFi connection. The hotel centers on the Executive Lounge and Bar, which opens onto a wide sundeck overlooking the newly refurbished swimming pool. Also overlooking the pool, the popular Milima Restaurant offers a wide range of all-day buffet choices, while the relaxed Sokoni Café offers inside and outside poolside seating.
Day 4: Kigali & Depart
This morning take a guided tour of the city, including a visit to the genocide memorial center. The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre was opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004. The Centre is built on a site where 250,000 people are buried. The Centre is a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide and serves as a place where people can grieve those that they have lost. One of the principle reasons for the Centres existence is to provide an educational facility. Rwandans believe that it is extremely important for the younger generations of Rwandans who will not have lived through the genocide but whose lives will still be affected by it, to be able to have access to a place where they can learn about the reasons and affects of the genocide. The Centre includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the genocide in 1994. There is also a children’s memorial, and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The Education Centre, Memorial Gardens and National Documentation Centre of the Genocide all contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation. In the evening you are transferred to the airport for your international flight home. Breakfast, lunch.