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Rwanda Primate Adventure Tour

On the Trail of Gorillas, Golden Monkeys & the Big Five


Go deep into beautiful Rwanda, "Land of a Thousand Hills," for thrilling face-to-face encounters with endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Trek through densely vegetated tropical forests with professional ranger-guides in search of these gentle giants and wander through bamboo forests on the lookout for charming golden monkeys. Pair this incredible experience with epic game drives and Big Five sightings in Akagera National Park. Come evening, bask in the comfort of luxury eco-lodges, perfectly located for wildlife exploration.

8 Days

From: $5,495

Go deep into beautiful Rwanda, "Land of a Thousand Hills," for thrilling face-to-face encounters with endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Trek through densely vegetated tropical forests with professional ranger-guides in search of these gentle giants and wander through bamboo forests on the lookout for charming golden monkeys. Pair this incredible experience with epic game drives and Big Five sightings in Akagera National Park. Come evening, bask in the comfort of luxury eco-lodges, perfectly located for wildlife exploration.

Highlights


  • Stand face to face with mighty mountain gorillas in mist-covered Volcanoes National Park

  • See the Big Five on exciting game drives in enchanting Akagera National Park

  • Indulge in boutique luxury at high-end eco-lodges in the heart of the action

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Rwanda Primate Adventure

Start: Kigali, Rwanda  End: Kigali, Rwanda

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Kigali, Rwanda

    Day 1

    Welcome to Rwanda! Arrive in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and meet a MT Sobek representative outside the customs and immigration area at the airport, for your transfer to the hotel. This evening, gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel.

    Accommodation: Kigali Serena Hotel

    Transportation: 15-minute airport shuttle

    Meals: Dinner

  • Head to Akagera National Park

    Day 2

    After breakfast, journey to beautiful Akagera National Park in northeast Rwanda. Marvel at an immense variety of wildlife, including the Big Five and over 500 different species of birds, on an epic afternoon game drive. See elephants and buffalos emerge from the woodland to drink at the lakes, while giraffes, zebras, and antelopes graze tranquilly on the savannah. Keep an eagle-eye out for a leopard, spotted hyena, or even a lion! Later, settle into your luxury tented eco-lodge.

    Accommodation: Ruzizi Tented Camp

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Spot the Big Five in Akagera National Park

    Day 3

    Rise for a private boat cruise on the Akagera River in search of water-loving animals like hippos and crocodiles. Next, head out for a game drive followed by a delicious lunch and a rest back at camp. Take another late afternoon game drive on the savannah grassland, keeping watch for lions, rhinos, leopards, buffalos, elephants, antelopes and many more creatures. Share stories of the day's adventures back at camp.

    Accommodation: Ruzizi Tented Camp

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Local Communities

    Day 4

    This morning you'll explore nearby communities with local guides who have developed authentic cultural experiences for park visitors. You'll have a chance to engage with locals and share in part of their daily life, customs, and traditions. This visit directly benefits communities living along the boundary of the park, showing the benefits of tourism, and creating long-term support for the conservation of Akagera National Park. After lunch head out for another game drive and enjoy your final night at Ruzizi Tented Camp.

    Accommodation: Ruzizi Tented Camp

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Kigali & Head to Volcanoes National Park

    Day 5

    This morning head out for a guided tour of Kigali and visit the moving Kigali Genocide Memorial, the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the genocide against the Tutsi. After lunch at Hotel Des Mille Collines (known for its role in Hotel Rwanda), take a drive to Kinigi town at the foot of Virunga Mountains, passing lush hills and mist-shrouded valleys. At the lodge, enjoy an evening presentation by Gorilla Doctors, an organization dedicated to saving the lives of critically endangered mountain gorillas by providing hands-on care in the wild.

    Accommodation: Five Volcanoes Lodge

    Activity: Guided city tour

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Trek the Forest in Search of Gorillas

    Day 6

    After breakfast, take a short drive to the park headquarters and meet with local trackers for a talk on the etiquette of gorilla tracking, then hike with a guide through misty rainforest to encounter these gentle giants. Trekking can take anywhere from 1 to 6 hours, on rough and at times muddy terrain; a reasonable degree of fitness is required. The experience of seeing your first mountain gorilla at close range in the wild is among the most extraordinary nature can provide. Trek back to the lodge for a hot lunch. In the afternoon, if time permits visit the Dian Fossey Center and the vibrant markets of Musanze.

    Accommodation: Five Volcanoes Lodge

    Activity: 1-4 hours gorilla trekking up to 8,833' elevation

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Encounter Mountain Gorillas

    Day 7

    Rise early for another full day of gorilla tracking. Hike through the bush, pushing your way through the undergrowth and parting thick creepers. Expect to stay with these gentle giants of the African forest for an hour after first encountering them. Volcanoes National Park is renowned for its mountain gorilla population, living in 10 families. Looking deep into their expressive brown eyes is an unparalleled experience. In the afternoon, choose an optional visit to Iby'Iwachu Cultural Village or the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. Gather for a festive farewell dinner this evening.

    Accommodation: Five Volcanoes Lodge

    Activity: 1-6 hours gorilla trekking up to 8,833' elevation

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Track Rare Golden Monkeys

    Day 8

    This morning set out to explore more of Volcanoes National Park, this time in search of the rare golden monkeys. The park's beautiful bamboo forests are among the only places in Africa to see these charming endangered primates in their natural habitat. After lunch drive back to Kigali and transfer directly to the airport for your flight home.

    Activity: 2-4 hour wildlife trekking

    Transportation: 2.5 hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

  • Jan 13 - 20, 2023
    $5,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement+$3,100 non-refundable primate permits due upon booking
    Check for AvailabilityConfirmed
  • Jun 22 - 29, 2023
    $5,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement+$3,100 non-refundable primate permits due upon booking
    Available
  • Aug 03 - 10, 2023
    $5,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$1,100 single supplement+$3,100 non-refundable primate permits due upon booking
    Available

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Trip Pricing:


2022 Pricing

2 to 3 guests from $6,295 per person double occupancy

4 to 5 guests from $5,695 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,495 per person double occupancy

8 to 10 guests from $5,395 per person double occupancy

2023 Pricing

2 to 3 guests from $6,295 per person double occupancy

4 to 5 guests from $5,595 per person double occupancy

6 guests from $5,495 per person double occupancy

Additional Costs:


Non-refundable Primate Permits due upon booking: $3,100

Private pricing excludes potential additional costs such as internal airfare, single supplement, or any park fees that may be required for the trip.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • Additional non-refundable primate permit fees
  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Patrick Kwizera

Patrick Kwizera

As the former national chairman of the Rwanda safari guides, Patrick is a highly skilled trip leader who creates incredible adventure travel experiences in his home country. Patrick has been a professional guide for 15 years, and loves leading treks through the dense tropical forests in search of mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Meet Patrick on MT Sobek's wildlife adventures in Rwanda!

Robert Mukwaya

Robert Mukwaya

Robert has been guiding in the protected regions of Rwanda and Uganda, including Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, for 12 years. He has developed a special fondness for gorillas and brings a wealth of knowledge to every adventure. As well as being a graduate of Travel & Tourism Management, Robert is an avid reader and has expanded his guiding experience to include birding. He's much-loved for his friendly nature, great organization skills, and understanding of endangered gorillas.

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Welcome to Rwanda! Arrive in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and meet a MT Sobek representative outside the customs and immigration area at the airport, for your transfer to the hotel. This evening, gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel.

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Rise for a private boat cruise on the Akagera River in search of water-loving animals like hippos and crocodiles. Next, head out for a game drive followed by a delicious lunch and a rest back at camp. Take another late afternoon game drive on the savannah grassland, keeping watch for lions, rhinos, leopards, buffalos, elephants, antelopes and many more creatures. Share stories of the day\'s adventures back at camp.

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This morning you\'ll explore nearby communities with local guides who have developed authentic cultural experiences for park visitors. You\'ll have a chance to engage with locals and share in part of their daily life, customs, and traditions. This visit directly benefits communities living along the boundary of the park, showing the benefits of tourism, and creating long-term support for the conservation of Akagera National Park. After lunch head out for another game drive and enjoy your final night at Ruzizi Tented Camp.

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This morning head out for a guided tour of Kigali and visit the moving Kigali Genocide Memorial, the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the genocide against the Tutsi. After lunch at Hotel Des Mille Collines (known for its role in Hotel Rwanda), take a drive to Kinigi town at the foot of Virunga Mountains, passing lush hills and mist-shrouded valleys. At the lodge, enjoy an evening presentation by Gorilla Doctors, an organization dedicated to saving the lives of critically endangered mountain gorillas by providing hands-on care in the wild.

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After breakfast, take a short drive to the park headquarters and meet with local trackers for a talk on the etiquette of gorilla tracking, then hike with a guide through misty rainforest to encounter these gentle giants. Trekking can take anywhere from 1 to 6 hours, on rough and at times muddy terrain; a reasonable degree of fitness is required. The experience of seeing your first mountain gorilla at close range in the wild is among the most extraordinary nature can provide. Trek back to the lodge for a hot lunch. In the afternoon, if time permits visit the Dian Fossey Center and the vibrant markets of Musanze.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 4. The hikes to see the mountain gorillas can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 hours over moderately steep, thickly forested, and uneven terrain, and the climate will be hot and humid.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 5

Guided city tour

Day 6

1-4 hours gorilla trekking up to 8,833' elevation

Day 7

1-6 hours gorilla trekking up to 8,833' elevation

Day 8

2-4 hour wildlife trekking

Accommodations


Luxury eco-lodges with modern comforts and great access to Rwanda\'s raw wilderness. Includes the top-rated Ruizi Tented Camp.

Five Volcanoes Lodge
Five Volcanoes Lodge

Located just 10 minutes from Volcanoes National Park HQ, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is perfectly situated for forest exploration. Its lodge atmosphere and lush gardens make for a relaxing stay, and its deluxe rooms are well-appointed with modern amenities and rainfall showers. You'll also find a pool and restaurant onsite to complete your boutique hotel experience in Rwanda.

Kigali Serena Hotel
Kigali Serena Hotel

Centrally located on one of Kigali's charming boulevards, the upscale Serena Kigali Hotel features an elegant lobby showcasing local art. Contemporary rooms come with perks like Wi-Fi and minibars. Guests unwind at the Executive Lounge and Bar that opens onto a sundeck overlooking the hotel's swimming pool. Milima Restaurant serves buffet meals paired with views of tropical gardens.

Ruzizi Tented Camp
Ruzizi Tented Camp

Ruzizi Tented Camp is a luxury eco-lodge located on the banks of serene Lake Ihema. Blending into the natural surroundings, this top-rated retreat has nine tents, each boasting an en-suite bathroom, comfortable queen bed, and pretty hand-crafted touches. Eat well in the thatched dining area then follow a wooden walkway to the stunning lakeside deck for a drink beside the fire pit. Delight in pure luxury in the wilderness!

Weather


Be prepared for cool or warm, dry or wet weather when gorilla trekking. Most of Rwanda is situated on a plateau above the western arm of the Great Rift Valley, where the weather is pleasant year-round.

 
Jan
Jun
Aug
Kigali 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Kigali
81
61
79
59
82
61
Volcanoes National Park 
High
Low
High
Low
High
Low
Volcanoes National Park
59
45
59
45
59
45

FAQs


How long can I spend with the gorillas?

Upon seeing the gorillas you will have just one hour with them, so we do two treks. On the second trek, you often feel you can put your camera down and really enjoy.

Will I definitely see the gorillas on a gorilla trek?

There are no guarantees, but it is highly likely you will see them. Guides are trained in locating the gorillas and will know where they were the day before, as well as their movement habits.

What are gorilla tracking conditions like?

You will find yourself climbing up steep slopes at high altitudes, scrambling through, over, and under dense undergrowth with nettles, barbed vines, and bamboo thickets on slippery and muddy terrain. It\'s important to be in good physical condition.

What type of vehicles are used to get around?

This trip uses durable 4x4 safari vehicles.

Are vaccinations required for Rwanda?

No vaccinations are required for entry but a certificate proving you\'ve had the Yellow Fever vaccination is required if you are travelling from a country with a risk of Yellow Fever.

Is Rwanda safe?

Many people believe Rwanda is a dangerous place. However, it\'s actually one of the safest countries in Africa today. Crime and hostility towards travelers are rare.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Guest Reviews


"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."

Bob J.
MT Sobek Guest

"A prominent reason we have chosen MT Sobek as our favorite adventure travel company has been the excellent travel guides."

Carol & Burt D.
MT Sobek Guests