Gorillas in Style

Duration: 4 days

Highlights: Kigali, Volcanoes National Park

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Day 1 - Arrive Kigali

You'll be met at Kigali airport by our driver who transfers you by road to The Retreat located approx. 15 mins drive from the airport.

The Retreat is a 5-star hotel located in a relaxed residential area only a short walk from Kigali’s city centre. The creation of American owners and Italian architects, this boutique hotel combines first-class comfort and stunning accommodation with environmental sustainability. It is the first resort in Kigali to be fully solar-powered, and achieves its elegant style using locally-sourced resources and craftsmanship. Each room has a front and back patio, indoor and outdoor showers, and handmade English mattresses designed for an exceptionally good night’s sleep. The hotel provides a pool, sauna, spa and gym, and offers brilliant tour services so its guests can easily explore Kigali and other parts of Rwanda – including the famous gorillas. The hotel’s Fusion restaurant is one of the most popular places to eat in the city, concocting delightful dishes sourced from local farms. The Retreat has intertwined the best of local and international nations to create a gorgeous base for tourists wishing to experience Rwanda’s fascinating capital. 

A personal butler can organise any of the following activities:

  • Horse rides to the top of Mount Kigali
  • Bike riding with a professional biker
  • Weaving baskets at the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre
  • Intore ‘Rwanda’s ballet’ dance lessons
  • Art lessons at Nyiro Art Centre
  • Kigali City Tour
  • Shopping for ingredients at Kigali’s food markets and a cooking class thereafter
  • Fashion Tour - go to a market and choose fabric and then get a custom outfit made up by a local tailor.

Overnight: The Retreat

Meal Plan:

Day 2 - Kigali City Tour - Helicopter Ride to Volcanoes National Park

After breakfast, proceed on a City Tour of Kigali.

Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, has been at the centre of the country’s dedication to move past their tragic history, and make the country stronger and better than ever. The city has been hailed as one of the cleanest, safest and prettiest capital cities in Africa. This is unsurprising considering the substantial strides Rwanda has taken to ameliorate the country, from its ban of plastic bags to the implementation of Umuganda which sees a monthly coalition of all citizens to clean up their neighbourhoods. Kigali’s extensive development has also seen the growth of cultural and contemporary activities; shopping at trendy artisan hub Kigali Cultural Village, exploring the explosion of colours at Kimironko Market, enjoying the city’s burgeoning dining and café scene, or honouring the country’s painful past by visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Situated in the centre of Rwanda, Kigali is also the ideal base for guests to explore the rest of the country’s treasures, such as tracking the famous mountain gorillas.

After lunch, fly by helicopter to Ruhengeri at the foothills of the Volcanoes National Park. Drive 20 minutes to Bisate Lodge arriving late in the afternoon.

Bisate Lodge, located just outside Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, is a delightful base from which to experience the country’s magnificent gorillas. The main lodge and 6 thatched villas, scattered across an extinct volcanic cone, blend into their forested background and boast unparalleled views of Bisoke volcano. The rooms’ interiors are warm, rich and elegant, and guests’ comfort is further enhanced by the gorgeous main lounge, complete with bar, wine cellar and fireplace.

Service at Bisate Lodge is equally warm - with its intimate size, the camp enjoys a wonderfully personal atmosphere. It also demonstrates a strong sense of conservation and community responsibility. It has developed an ongoing reforestation initiative, as well as several community projects ensuring that local people benefit. Aside from tracking gorillas and the rare golden monkey, guests can also trek to the top of a volcano, try mountain biking, explore local villages, and even plant their own tree as part of the reforestation initiative.

Overnight: Bisate Lodge

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 3 - Gorilla Tracking

07:00: you will be given a full briefing by your trackers – you will be told about the gorilla family that you are tracking, what to expect during the track, how to behave when with the family, how long you will be with them as well as meeting the other travelers who are tracking with you. There will be a total of eight guests per gorilla family. Once your briefing is completed you will meet your porter who will help you carry your backpack and help you with your footing during the hike. Then your driver guide will drive you to the start of the trail head to begin your amazing adventure.

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as “life changing” and with good reason. With only an estimated 1000 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment.

Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Trek to see them and you’ll be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives. Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours + depending on the family allocated to your group and their location. The journey back can take just as long, but you are often carried along by the euphoria you feel at seeing the gorillas!

Afterwards, you trek back to base where your driver will be waiting to take you back to the lodge for a well-deserved shower and lunch.

In the afternoon, visit Ibyiwacu Cultural Centre. Dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Overnight: Bisate Lodge

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 4 - Helicopter flight to Kigali - Depart

After breakfast, take a helicopter flight to Kigali and depart.


Meal Plan: B

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