RWANDA

4-Day Rwanda Extension

For the gorilla enthusiast, we offer this special Rwanda extension with an emphasis on gorilla tracking. Enjoy two full days of tracking this magnificent animals in Volcanoes National Park, then pay tribute to Rwanda's recent history by visiting the Genocide Memorial Centre, which was built to inform and educate Rwandans who are too young to have lived through the genocide, but whose lives are nonetheless affected by it.

Major Destinations:

Genocide Memorial Centre, Volcanoes National Park

Activities:

Cultural Visits, Gorilla Tracking





DAY 1: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Arrive at Kigali airport, meet and greet, then drive to Kinigi via Ruhengeri. The road to Ruhengeri offers stunning scenery of the hills and valleys of this green and lush country, taking a little more than 2 hours. From Ruhengeri we have a 20-minute drive to Kinigi at the base of Sabyinyo Mountain, with excellent views of all of the Virunga Volcanoes.

DAY 2: GORILLA TRACKING

After breakfast we take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla tracking. We then hike into the forest to where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trek can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes not in excess of 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.

In Rwanda there are 7 gorilla families available for trekking with 8 tourists allowed to trek each group.

The Susa Family is the largest group with 41 gorillas. This family is typically the hardest to trek as it tends to range high into the mountains. The group is also well known for having a rare pair of twins – 5-year-olds named Byishimo and Impano.

Sabyinyo Family is normally the most easily accessible group and is led by the powerful silverback Guhonda.

Amahoro Group is led by the calm and easy going Ubumwe. Amahoro is made up of 17 members and its name – Amahoro – means peaceful. To reach Amahoro one must endure a fairly steep climb however the climb is well worth it once in contact with this tranquil group.

Group 13 was the first habituated group and at this time only had 13 members, hence the group name. Now the group has approximately 25 individuals.

Kwitonda Group has 18 members and is lead by the silverback, Kwitonda, which means "humble one." This group has 2 silverbacks and one blackback. This group migrated into Volcanoes National Park from the DR Congo and its relatively large range makes it a moderately difficult trek.

Umubano is a family of 11 and all were originally members of the Amahoro group, but these individuals broke off from the main group, when the dominant silverback from the Amahoro group was challenged by Charles, now leader of Umubano. When a young silverback challenges the dominant silverback, he must steal some of the females from the existing group in order to form his family; this is how Umubano was formed.

Hirwa is the most recent group and was formed from different existing families, namely Group 13 and Sabyinyo.

DAY 3: GORILLA TRACKING

Second gorilla tracking day. After gorilla tracking we drive back to Kigali for your overnight.

DAY 4: KIGALI CITY TOUR & GENOCIDE MEMORIAL, RETURN TO U.S.

Half-day city tour, including the genocide museum/memorial, we are then transferred to the airport to check in for your international flight

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