Rwanda’s Gorillas & The Great Migration

This custom one-of-a-kind safari has been created to offer you an incredible Gorilla-Wildlife-Migration Experience. It has been created to offer everything that can be included in a safari of this type. First, you will travel to the amazing revitalized country of Rwanda where you will tour its capital and then to track Gorillas in the area where Dian Fossey of “Gorillas In The Mist” fame did her research. Then it is on to Tanzania where your safari has been designed to coincide when the Great Wildebeest Migration occurs in the Serengeti. This is one of the most stunning wildlife spectacles in the world. You will stay at wonderful well-situated lodges chosen for their excellent locations and organized in a manner to maximize your game viewing time and minimize your transfer times from park to park. It provides the option for some unique cultural opportunities as well. This is a trip designed for you to fall in love with Africa – its beauty, its people and its wildlife.

Day 1: Today you will arrive on your international flight in Kigali, Rwanda. After a short drive from the airport you will spend the night at the Hotel des Mille Collines (BB). This hotel may look familiar to you as it was made famous in the film “Hotel Rwanda” and is where those events took place. Check in, relax and get ready to experience Rwanda!

Day 2: After breakfast we have arranged a a tour of Kigali and you will be amazed how clean the city is as plastic bags have been banned in Rwanda and everyone is responsible on the last Saturday of the month to clean their neighborhood. You will also be given a tour of the Genocide Memorial. This memorial gives a full honest description of what took place here 30 years ago. Afterwards you will make your way up to the mountains near Parc Nationales des Volcans (Volcano National Park). The drive takes about 3 hours and there is no rush to get there. There may be some time to shop along the way. You will have time to spend with your guide and get to know him as you journey north through beautiful terraced hillsides that characterize much of Rwanda’s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the awesome Virunga volcanoes, sometimes with as many as five peaks visible. This park, made famous in the movie Gorillas In the Mist was the base for the American naturalist Dian Fossey to carry out her research on the gorillas in the area. You will stay at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (FB). Located on the road going to Volcanoes Park Headquarters is the perfect starting point for your time in the mountains. With just 13 rooms the hotel also boasts a pool and a beautiful garden to relax in after your day.

Day 3: Today is your big day to go find Gorillas. Your guide will take you to park headquarters. Here you will be briefed and be split up into groups of no more than 8 people to trek to see one of the habituated gorilla families. Once located, the time of which will depend on where the Gorillas are that day, you will be able to spend about an hour observing the gorillas in their natural habitat. Then it is back to Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (FB) to get cleaned up and enjoy a sundowner and savor the amazing wildlife experience you have just had.

Day 4: Today you will spend another day at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (FB). You will have the option of choosing 2 of the following activities – Diane Fossey hike to see where she is buried, Bisoke Mountain Hike, or a trek to see the golden monkeys. There is also the option for an additional fee to choose a second gorilla trek. The choice of activities other than the gorilla trek can be done on this day but a second gorilla trek must be arranged at the time of booking.

Day 5: Today you will say your goodbyes to the mountains and return to Kigali. After breakfast, drive back to Kigali and check back into Hotel des Mille Collines (BB). Following lunch, enjoy the “This is Africa” Project tour - this experience brings you right into the heart of the colors, noises and smells of Africa. Working with the young and charming women of the Nyamirambo Women’s Center (NWC) they will guide you through their home area. Among others, you will experience the Muslim quarter with its Arab influences, the market, the West African tailors, the hair salons, the recording studio with its local rap music, the butcher, the health center and the primary school. Your hosts will also invite you to one of their homes where you will learn how to cook a Rwandan meal. Then it is back to stay the night at the Hotel des Mille Collines (BB). Here you will make your preparations for an early morning departure the following morning for the next phase of your adventure – a wildlife safari in Tanzania!

Day 6: This morning you will arise early and board a plane in Kigali and make your way to Tanzania. You will most likely land in the border town of Mwanza on the shores of Lake Victoria to clear customs and immigration. Then you will fly to the Serengeti where you will meet your Tanzanian guide and do a game drive as you make your way to Nasikia Mobile Camp (FB). With just 8-12 tents that remain mobile throughout the year, the camp is moved each season for the best location for the wildebeest migration. This intimate camp is set up for the best location of wildlife. In the August-October period its location gives you the best chance to witness the great wildebeest migration as they cross back and forth between Kenya and Tanzania across the Mara River. In January-February it is in the Southern Serengeti where 100s of thousands of wildebeest are mating and calving.

Day 7: Spend a full day in the Serengeti. You will go on a game drive to look for wildlife and perhaps enjoy a lunch in the bush. There is a wide variety of wildlife in the area. The return at the end of the day to sit around the fire, enjoy a sundowner and contemplate all that you have seen. Spend another night Nasikia Mobile Camp (FB).

Day 8: Spend a final day enjoying the Serengeti and the beauty that is the Serengeti. There is so much to see and do. Your guide throughout your stay here will provide you with a wealth of facts on not only the wildlife, but the birds, plants and insects and how they are all intertwined in the “circle of life.” Tonight you will spend your final night in the Serengeti at Nasikia Mobile Camp (FB).

Day 9: This morning after breakfast you will continue on with your safari. You will make your way to the Ngorongoro Highlands. Along the way you will stop at Olduvai Gorge. Olduvai Gorge is the archeological site known as “the cradle of man.” Visit the museum and enjoy a brief rest in the place where it was demonstrated that humans originally evolved in Africa. A little known fact is that Olduvai is a misspelling of Oldupai, which is a Maasai word for the wild sisal plant that grows in the gorge. Tonight you will stay at the Rhino Lodge (FB), a simple but reliable lodge set on the crater rim. It is well situated for an early start into Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow.

Day 10: Today you will descend into the Ngorongoro Crater floor for a game drive in one of the mostly densely packed wildlife areas in the world. This is one place where you may spot a rare rhino. Enjoy lunch around a hippo pool. At the end of the day, ascend the rim again and stay at Rhino Lodge (FB) one more night.

Day 11: After breakfast you and your guide will make your way to Tarangire National Park. Along the way you will stop at the village of Mto Wa Mbu. Here you will visit a small village, see how they work their shamba (small scale village farm). You might visit the market, maybe a school and participate in other cultural activities. Then you will continue to Tarangire where you will stay at Tarangire Safari Lodge (FB). Located amongst the rugged baobab trees (sometimes known as the “upside down tree”) Tarangire Safari Lodge boasts one of the best views in the park. You can view animals on their way to the river while sipping drinks from the veranda. Tarangire has the second highest density of elephants in Africa and it is not uncommon to have one wander into camp! Return at the end of the day to watch the sunset before heading off to dinner. You might even fall asleep to the sounds of lions off in the distance (or close up, but don’t worry there are Maasai guards posted around camp all night).

Day 12: Spend another day in Tarangire National Park and all the wildlife there is to see – your experienced guide will take you to the best places to see elephant, buffalo, lion, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest; and perhaps an elusive leopard or cheetah. You will spend another night at Tarangire Safari Lodge (FB).

Day 13: This morning you will leave Tarangire and head back to Arusha for your international flight home. Depending your flight time we can arrange a day room for you at KIA Lodge. Located just 5 minutes from the airport on a clear day from its Kilimanjaro Bar it boasts a great view of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Pricing Available Upon Request.

This is an all-inclusive trip and includes full board accommodation throughout, (except at Hotel des Mille Collines which is bed and breakfast), gorilla tracking and all other activities in Rwanda, specially adapted 4x4 safari vehicles with complimentary bottled water, and experienced English speaking guides for your exclusive use while on safari and in Rwanda (except for gorilla tracking where you use the Park’s guides), flight from Kigali to Tanzania all transfers and internal flights, park and entrance fees, activities stated in the itinerary and regional medical evacuation insurance.

It does not include international flights, Tanzanian and Rwandan visa fees, drinks, tips, other activities, international travel insurance and items of a personal nature. We strongly recommend all clients take out international travel insurance – we can advise on this if you would like.

Please noteThis itinerary is subject to availability of accommodations and space on chartered flights. It is best to book as far in advance as possible to insure the best chance of having space available.

Thank You For The Opportunity To Be Your Safari Company!

Hotel des Mille Collines

Rhino Lodge

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Tarangire Safari Lodge

Nasikia Mobile Camp