Gorilla Trekking in Parc Des Volcans

“In the heart of Central Africa, so higher up that you shiver far more than you sweat, are fantastic, old volcanoes towering up nearly 15,000 feet, and almost covered with rich, green rainforest – the Virungas” wrote primatologist Dian Fossey.

The Parc des Volcans is situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, protected by the steep slopes of a magnificent mountain variety. The Parc is a wealthy mosaic of ecosystems – evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland and swamp. It is also house to the rare mountain gorilla.

An exhilarating trek by means of the cultivated foothills of the Virungas gives amazing views in all directions. Then, all of a sudden, the trail enters the national park, immersing you in the quiet intimacy of the rainforest, alive with birdlife and chattering monkeys, and the elusive populations of elephant and buffalo. By way of gaps in the forest canopy, you can see a glimpse of the magnificent peaks which are easily reached and amongst the highest in Africa.

On the base of the Virungas is the bustling marketplace town of Ruhengeri. On the outskirts of town is a natural bridge of solidified lava flow. It is a fascinating relic of the volcanic activity that has shaped this scenic region. The seldom visited but lovely Lakes Burera, Ruhondo and Karago are also within straightforward access.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is situated on the edge of the Parc des Volcans and is a fantastic lodge to stay at when visiting Rwanda. Read a lot more about Rwanda gorilla trekking and the plight of the Mountain Gorilla on our internet site (www.safari.co.uk).

Gorilla trekking and luxury Kenya safari itinerary

Day 1
Depart from London’s Heathrow Airport on the Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Day 2
Arrive and connect onwards to Kigali. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Kigali Serena exactly where you keep for one night (bed and breakfast).

The Kigali Serena is located on the stylish Rue de la Revolution in central Kigali, the commercial hub of Rwanda. Guest rooms are luxuriously appointed with a 300 square metre Presidential suite, 6 luxury suites, 18 studios, 19 superior rooms and 60 deluxe rooms, such as a specially designed and equipped accommodation for disabled guests.

The hotel also boasts a fully equipped fitness centre, enterprise centre, present shop and an outside swimming pool. Two restaurants and a lounge bar cater for a assortment of sophisticated tastes – from the fashionable to the quietly elegant.

A tiny, landlocked republic in Equatorial Africa, Rwanda lies on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift and the watershed among Africa’s two biggest river systems: the Nile and the Congo. Frequently named the “land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is a mountainous country with a moist, temperate year-round climate.

This is a sultry land of lakes, rain forests and rolling hills, offering a number of magnificent lakeside resort towns. It is well-known for its mountain gorillas, which can be spotted in the country’s magnificent national parks. The Volcanoes National Park in certain, on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), at present homes the world’s largest population of mountain gorillas. The mountain gorilla is a tourist attraction special to Rwanda and it is estimated that 350 of the 650 existing mountain gorillas are located in Rwanda and the DRC, producing the Gisenyi region property to the highest concentration of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Days three to five
Following breakfast you will be met and transferred to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge where you stay for 3 nights (inclusive of meals, neighborhood drinks and activities).

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is situated on the edge of the Parc National des Volcans in North Western Rwanda, in an undulating area of eleven hectares with fabulous views towards the Parc National des Volcans.

All guest cottages are discreetly and privately situated in the folds of the hills and each and every has its own special view. The altitude of the lodge is roughly 7,000 feet above sea level so the climate is typically cool and the volcanoes rise to a height of almost 15,000 feet.

The lodge comprises of a central constructing with reception, bar, dining room, library/games room and shop. Both the bar and dining area have comprehensive outdoor decks from which guests can enjoy the spectacular views. The accommodation comprises 5 cottages, two suites and a family suite and all have at least a single private veranda, a sitting space, bedroom, dressing space and a huge contemporary bathroom. The loved ones suite has an further bedroom and en-suite.

The lodge is constructed of regional stone, finished with an ochre coloured plaster. Terracotta tiled roofs give a stylish contemporary Rwandese flavour. All guest rooms have large windows to make the very best of the fantastic views. Double thickness wall preserve the warmth from the fireplaces when it is cold outside and hold the rooms cool in the warmer weather throughout the day. The lush gardens have been extensively landscaped.

The rainforests of the Virunga Volcanoes are the last refuge of the Mountain Gorilla. The Virungas span Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the Parc National des Volcans becoming the Rwandese element of this ecosystem. The lush slopes of the volcanoes give an appropriately dramatic natural setting for what is possibly the most poignant and thrilling wildlife knowledge to be had anywhere – to see the Mountain Gorilla in its organic habitat. Roughly half of the world’s wild population of Mountain Gorillas are resident on the Rwandan slopes of the Virungas. 5 habituated households of gorillas are visited, and these families have from seven to more than thirty 5 men and women in every single.

Day six
In the afternoon you will be returned to the airport exactly where you board the Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Macushla House exactly where you stay for one particular evening (bed and breakfast).

Macushla is around twenty-5 minutes from Nairobi City only thirty minutes from Wilson domestic airport and forty-5 minutes from the international airport. A low rambling home with an desirable garden that is surrounded by indigenous forest, Macushla accommodates a maximum of ten guests in delightful big and airy rooms with open beamed ceilings. The sitting space location has lovely log fires and the standard of cuisine is excellent.

There is also a little cottage set apart from the major location which consists of two rooms and is ideal for households.

Within walking distance of Macushla is the Giraffe Centre, which is well worth a visit. The owner of the lodge, Carry Henken, will happily arrange for you to check out other points of interest in and about Nairobi.

To cool off there is an desirable terrace and little swimming pool. Warm hospitality is a hallmark of Macushla Home.

Days 7 to 9
In the morning you will be met and transferred to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport where you board a scheduled light aircraft flight departing to the Masai Mara. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Sala’s Camp exactly where you stay for 3 nights (inclusive of meals, nearby drinks and laundry service).

Sala’s Camp is situated on the banks of the Sand River, a secluded and private corner of the Mara, providing spectacular views across the plains towards Tanzania.

The Carr-Hartley safari tradition of adventure and elegance beneath canvas with personalised service continues to be Sala’s Camp trademark. The camp accommodates a maximum of 14 guests in six spacious double tents and a single honeymoon tent. These en-suite tents are comfy and romantic, offering running hot and cold water, lighting and flushing toilets. The mess tent offers access to charging points for cameras and other electronic equipment.

Guests have the chance to witness 1 of the world’s greatest organic spectacles, a organic wonder of the planet – the Great Wildebeest Migration and voted in November 2006 a new organic wonder of the planet. Every year the promise of rain and green grass brings a lot more than 1.3 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra. These several migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by a block of hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena. Sala’s Camp is located at the heart of the migration.

This secluded spot is nestled on the convergence of two rivers and delivers tranquillity and tremendous views along the Sand River towards Tanzania and the Serengeti. From your tent you will be able to get pleasure from at abundance of birdlife and wildlife. Activities are complemented by the private method of the knowledgeable group and include morning and afternoon game drives, bush breakfast and lunches, sundowners and shared fire-side experiences. Other activities include Balloon safaris and visits to Masai villages which can be arranged by the Sala’s Camp group.

Days ten to 12
Following your morning activity you will be returned to the airstrip where you board a scheduled light aircraft flight departing to Ukunda. On arrival you will be met and transferred by road and boat to Funzi Keys exactly where you stay for 3 nights in a beach front cottage.

Funzi Keys is probably the most luxurious beach hideaway in Africa. Situated on a private island fifteen minutes by light aircraft from the Kenya Coast, the island accommodates guests in a choice of thatched cottages inspired by standard Omani architecture. There are nine seafront cottages presented on a full board basis and each and every with a vast ‘bedroom’ with four-poster bed, a jacuzzi bath with a view, Omani furnishings and an open-fronted lounge with sofas and low tables.

The lodge has not too long ago expanded to incorporate eight garden cottages which are available on a half board rate and although slightly smaller sized than the seafront, and with no a jacuzzi bath or sea view, these are furnished to an equally higher standard and only minutes from the principal lodge and seafront.

The owners, Alessandro Torriani and his wife Claudia, are normally there and they charmingly and unobtrusively keep in touch with each and every guest to go over what they would like to do every day and what you would like to consume and drink – there are no menus.

Funzi Keys has an huge pool and a wide range of water sports. Guest can appreciate inclusive activities ranging from snorkelling, trips to the sand bank, sailing, canoeing, creek fishing, wind surfing, dhow and boat trips in the bay and to the Ramisi River and sundowner dhow cruises. Guests could also appreciate a complimentary massage, pedicure and manicure.

Other activities accessible at extra expense contain scuba diving and deep-sea fishing in the nearby Pemba Channel where the huge catches attract sports fishermen from all more than the world.

Guests frequently like to merely explore the island with its pretty creeks, spectacular bird life. Snorkelers and divers will want to visit the owner’s private islands to the south where there are marvellous reefs and hundreds of species of fish. There is a modest beach in front of the lodge and a superb private white sandy beach a few hundred yards away by boat.

The atmosphere is private and relaxed with superb cuisine and dinner can be prepared to order and enjoyed by your own campfire on the beach outdoors your lodge, in the dining room or on board a dhow moored just offshore. The dhow can also be used for dreamy sunset cruises around the islands.

Day 13
In the afternoon you will be returned by road and boat to Mombasa where you board the Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. On arrival connect onwards to London’s Heathrow Airport.

Day 14
Arrive into London Heathrow.

(Photo Credit Michael Poliza)

Janie Harmsen is a dedicated specialist in luxury gorilla safaris.

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