“A Rwandan Adventure Inspired by Dian Fossey’s Legacy.”
In 1967, a young American scientist began a journey that would illustrate how much one person can do to change the world. Her name is Dian Fossey. She was a conservation heroine whose pioneering work researching Mountain Gorillas helped change their image as brute beasts and launched an international campaign to save the Mountain Gorilla from extinction.
Dian wrote a book that received critical acclaim titled “Gorillas In The Mist” which codified the chronicles of her research making her an authority on the mountain Gorilla
Thanks to her work, Mountain Gorillas have survived decades of violent conflict even after her murder in 1985, and many conservationists believe that her prolonged presence in the Virungas played a large part in this.
This 5-day safari allows you to walk where Dian Fossey walked, see the places she saw, and meet the gentle, giant apes that inspired one woman onto a solitary path to change the world.
Rwanda is a city under construction in which new buildings are fast replacing outdated ones. Tared, dual–carriage roads crisscross Kigali, providing a seamless connection between urban settlements and the fog–covered countryside uplands. The city is a preferred destination for many travelers and organizers of international conferences. The city also boasts pretty good and safe walking lanes at any time of the day.
Proper hiking attire must be worn – you will be trekking in a rainforest with lots of vegetation, undergrowth, nettles, and normally a rather muddy terrain. Only 1 hour is spent with the Gorillas to ensure their protection and conservation.
Please note that if you are unwell with anything contagious, even a common cold, you may be denied any of the treks to ensure the safety of these amazing creatures. The park regulation and trekking permit regulations will not be refunded if you are denied entrance due to illness.
Trekking Attire & Equipment
- Hiking boots
- Lightweight trekking pants/shorts
Day 1: Arrival: “Murakaza Neza!“
Welcome to Rwanda. Upon arrival you’ll be received by Timmy, review your trek itinerary, and then you can take some time to explore Kigali, a modern metropolis city that boasts recognizable social, economic, and environmental successes.
- Kigali City Trek
- Nyamirambo Women’s Center (local lunch & community walk)
- Kigali Genocide Memorial Visit
Day 2: Drive to Musanze & visit The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund – Volcanoes National Park
The trek begins in Kigali in the morning at 0900hrs as we embark on a drive to Musanze town. Musanze town is the second largest in Rwanda which encompasses the Volcanoes National Park. Check into your hotel and after lunch, you will visit the Karisoke Research Center founded by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967.
Here at the museum, we shall learn more about the ongoing work in protecting the Mountain Gorillas. In the evening, expand your understanding of the Gorillas through an in-depth lecture from one of the head wardens of Volcanoes National Park.
Day 3: Golden Monkey Tracking & Trek to the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village – Volcanoes National Park
Enjoy a trek into the National Park with the park guides to view a unique and endangered species, the “Golden Monkeys.” Watch these playful and lively creatures in their natural habitat in the lower parts of the bamboo forest.
They are not so socially “tight” as the Gorillas and Chimpanzees and the number in the habituated group can vary on a given day between 20 and up to 80. The species are lively, curious, and “chatty” – and with a bit of luck you may have a close encounter with them – although they are also often seen high up in the trees.
After the trek, you will drive to the Iby’ Iwacu cultural Village where people, nature, and culture come together.
#DidYouKnow? : It is only in Rwanda where the Golden Monkeys species has been successfully habituated.
Day 5: Volcanoes National Park — Dian Fossey Tomb Hike & Karisoke
After an early morning cup of coffee, you will be up for a challenge to hike the Dian Fossey trail. The hike is usually muddy hence strong waterproof boots with good traction are needed also the need to use walking sticks.
At the site, you will find the house where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered and the grave site where she was buried near Digit, her favourite gorilla. You will also see places where she worked, Fossey’s old living Quarters which are now in ruins, and several other landmarks in the camp which are signposted.
The hike is an incredible experience physically, emotionally, and intellectually. It is also inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and left a legacy that exists even today.
After, visit the Karisoke Research Center, which was founded by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967. Meet with a resident researcher and enjoy a tour to learn about their ongoing work in the protection of mountain gorillas.
Day 6: Volcanoes National Park— Gorilla Experience
Early departure to the National Park to meet the Gorilla tracker/guide for orientation. Embark on the trek which can vary in length and difficulty, depending on the location of the gorilla family you will visit. Spend one hour observing these beautiful and endangered creatures, a truly privileged experience.
Approximately 1,000 Mountain Gorillas today exist in the world in the wild. They are found in DRC, Rwanda & Uganda. In Rwanda, twelve (12) habituated gorilla families are open to visit.
The time spent with them is limited (one hour) due to conservation considerations and to minimize the impact on the day-to-day life of the gorilla family you are visiting.
It is important to be well prepared to trek – you never know if your total trek will be “short” or “long.” The total duration of the trek can vary and be anything between 3 & 9 hours in length depending on the location of the gorillas, who are constantly moving.
You mainly walk where there are no paths apart from the occasional buffalo or elephant trails. After the trek, drive back to your lodge for a late lunch and probably a much-appreciated shower.
** Take precautions to wear proper hiking attire.
Day 7: Departure
After morning breakfast, you will be transferred back to Kigali for your departure.
- Accommodation & meals as described in the itineraries
- Gorilla tracking permit per person
- Transport in a 4WD safari car
- Park Entrance & activity fees
- English-speaking driver/guide
- Packaged Drinking water throughout the trip
- International Flights
- Any items not stated in the itinerary
- Tips for service people
- Alcoholic drinks
- Entry visas
- Personal Insurance
- Souvenirs & items of a personal nature