DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN KIGALI AND TRAVEL TO VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK.
While on a trip to Rwanda on the first day of your 4 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safaris, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda tour guide will pick up at the Kigali International Airport and brief you on your upcoming 4 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safaris. Your journey will begin immediately you are in the vehicle in the parking lot; heading off to Volcanoes National park, a two and a half hour drive. Time permitting, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will give you a tour of Kigali city; this will include the Genocide Memorial Center, the most famous attraction in the Capital City.
You will then drive the two and a half hours it takes to Volcanoes National Park and check in at your accommodation. Dinner will be served at your lodge.
DAY 2: GORILLA TRACKING AND IBY'IWACU CULTURAL CENTER
You will get up early in the morning on the second day of your 4 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safaris, be served a quick breakfast at your lodgings and head off to the Park Headquarters of Volcanoes National Park. Upon arrival at the Park Headquarters, you will be served coffee or tea, while a local cultural group entertain you with a local dance and drumming routine. Shortly thereafter, the final paperwork will be finished, and you will be assigned to one of the 10 families of Mountain Gorillas. A short briefing and talk about park etiquette will be given by your Park Ranger and then you will be ready to head off to the track for your search for the gorillas.
You will then drive to the starting point for your tracking. Because the Mountain Gorillas are always moving about the forest, it could take anywhere from an hour to 8 hours to meet up with the particular Gorilla Family you have been assigned to. There are rangers in the forest following the trail left by the Gorillas in the early morning; these rangers are in constant contact with your Ranger Guide. When the Gorillas are spotted, your Ranger Guide will then be alerted and you will proceed to the exact location that they are at that moment. We highly suggest you take a few snacks with you and water, should you be in the forest for many hours; these snacks you will have to eat either before or after meeting the Gorillas, as it is not permitted to eat in front of them. When you finally meet up with the Gorilla Family, you will be allowed one hour of observing and photographing.
After the Gorilla Tracking, you will return to your accommodation for lunch and a little rest. There is an opportunity for your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide to take you to the Iby'iwacu Cultural Center in Kiningi. Here at the Center you can watch local drummers and dancers perform their native music and dance moves. In addition, the local people put on costumes and recreate a traditional wedding ceremony for their guests, a most interesting drama to watch.
Before night fall, you will be returned to your accommodation for dinner.
DAY 3: CLIMBING MOUNT BISOKE
After breakfast on the third day of your 4 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safaris, you will be taken to the base of Mount Bisoke (a.k.a. Visoke) The climb is not very demanding, but the elevation may disturb some, in terms of breathing; in addition there are some steep stretches along the trail. The summit is 3,700 meters above sea level; at the top is a beautiful Crater Lake. Mount Visoke is both in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Rwanda, the summit is in Rwanda.
The ascent takes around 3 hours, the round trip, 5 hours, possible longer if one is not experienced. Guides will escort you and porters are available to carry your luggage. Your hotel will pack you a lunch for the trip; one should take plenty of drinking water. After the climb-hike, you will be taken back to your accommodation, where you can rest up and have some dinner.
DAY 4: GOLDEN MONKEY TRACKING AND RETURN TO KIGALI
After another early breakfast on the last day of your 4 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safaris, you will return to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters to report for your Golden Monkey Tracking. As on the day you went Gorilla Tracking, you will be served coffee and tea while you watch a local drum and dance group entertain you briefly. You will then be assigned a group and a Ranger Guide, who will brief you on the Golden Monkey Tracking procedure. You will then go with your group to the track and begin your search for the Golden Monkeys. As they prefer bamboo to eat, they are not as difficult as the Mountain Gorillas to find; your search will begin at the foothills in the bamboo forest, which is nearby.
After your Golden Monkey Tracking is complete, you will return to the vehicle and re-unite with your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide, who will then escort you back to your hotel for lunch. After you have eaten, you will pack up your things and start your journey back to Kigali. When the time is right, your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight. Time permitting, your guide can also take you to a local market and/or handicraft workshop if you are interested in doing some shopping before leaving Rwanda.