This safari allows you to trek mountain gorillas twice on two different days and with two different gorilla families. Double gorilla trekking in Rwanda provides a unique opportunity to observe differences in behaviour and group dynamics between two different gorilla families. The length of tracking may be different with unique challenges that can make the experience even more memorable.
Look forward to take up two different activities after each of the two gorilla trekking episodes. One is going for a cultural tour to the IbyI’wacu cultural village to learn about the culture of the people of Rwanda. After the second gorilla tracking experience, visitors will have an opportunity to visit the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.
Start with a tour of the city of Kigali. Rwanda has changed a lot since the genocide in 1994 and it would be a great opportunity to see this transformation first hand. The city is neat and well organized compared to some African capitals.
Afterwards you will visit one of the Kigali genocide memorial centre to learn about what really happened during the 1994 Rwanda genocide. You will be told about how the people are coping and what steps they have put in place to ensure that it never happens again.
After the genocide site visit, you will go visit the former presidential palace and some local markets where you can buy some local crafts. Lunch will be in Kigali before embarking on the 2-3 hours’ journey to the Volcanoes National Park.
After an early breakfast, go for briefing on gorilla trekking safari at the park offices in Kinigi. All gorilla trackers must attend the briefing in order to know what to expect during gorilla tracking. There are 10 habituated Rwanda gorilla families that are available for tracking.
You will be assigned one group based on your overall fitness among other factors. Mountain gorilla trekking is a challenging but a worthwhile experience.
Spend an hour observing the youngsters rolling and playing close to the adults. Some of the primates may try to come close to you out of curiosity. Stay calm and do not make sudden movements. Always follow the instructions of the head guide.
After the one hour watching and taking photos of the gorilla family, you will head back to the starting point where our guide will take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest.
In the evening you will be taken to enjoy local dances and tales of the people of Rwanda at the IbyI’wacu cultural village near the volcanoes national park. The IbyI’wacu Cultural Village is arguably the best place to go and experience the beautiful culture of the Banyarwanda.
Now known as the Gorilla Guardians village, it was set up to offer employment to former poachers with the hope that it would make them leave park animals alone. Now it has grown into a large facility with all tribes from Rwanda gathering in one place to showcase all that is good about Rwanda.
Wake up early enough and follow the same program like that of the previous day. However, this time you will be assigned a different gorilla family to enable you have a different experience. Try to hire a porter for gorilla trekking tour after the briefing to help you carry extra luggage or equipment. Porters are often students and former poachers. By supporting them you help them raise money for their families and school fees.
After completing the activity and observing the second gorilla group, our guide will take you for a tour of the beautiful twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. Lake Burera and Ruhondo stand out because of beautiful scenery.
A visit to Lake Ruhondo and Burera is also included in the program. These lakes offer a tranquil and romantic atmosphere especially for couples. The lakes are excellent for relaxation after gorilla trekking. You can take a boat and go for canoeing or island hopping to meet the local people.
The two lakes are excellent for relaxation before embarking on activities at the Volcanoes National Park the next day. The two lakes are also a popular stopover for people traveling past the town of Musanze on their way to Kigali or Uganda.
Take boat trips to enjoy beautiful views of the lake and watch the sun setting down. The boat cruise provides opportunities to marvel at the majestic looking Virunga Mountains which are found in the area.
Then there are views of the magnificent landscape, the beautifully terraced hills, tropical rain-forests and beautiful small islands found within the lakes. The islands include Bushongo, Munanira and Bishosho.
Get the opportunity to enjoy nature walks. The guides will ensure that they take tourists to spots with amazing features. The nature walks usually including visiting the local communities where tourists get to meet and interact with them.
This interaction with the local people exposes tourists to the ways of life of ordinary folks in a developing country. You will learn how the local people take care of their homes, farms and families. A visit can end with attending an organized traditional music and dance performance. If walking is not your thing, you can hire a bike and cycle around the Twin lakes and local communities.
Lake Burera and Ruhondo also offers one of the best birding spots in Rwanda. A visit to the lakes exposes birders to rare bird species living in the vicinity.
The species to look out for include the handsome Francolin, the Rwenzori apalis, red faced woodland wabler, the kingfisher bird, Rwenzori batis, brown necked parrot and the Rwenzori Turaco among other rare birds.
Visiting Rwanda’s twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo should be on your bucket list when visiting the Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking or Mountain hiking. Visiting the two lakes will expose you to beautiful scenery while taking part in fun-filled activities hence creating wonderful memories of your time in Rwanda.