Gorilla and Golden Monkey Discovery
A succinct trip to the emerald slopes of Volcanoes National Park to meet the rare and enchanting Mountain Gorilla and Golden Monkey
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- All accommodation including breakfast (some hotels may include more meals & activities)
- All tours specified in the example itinerary
- All private ground transfers
- One gorilla tracking permit per person
- One golden monkey tracking permit per person
At a glance
This five-day tour of Rwanda takes you from the capital of Kigali to the lush Volcanoes National Park for an exceptional and exclusive Mountain Gorilla encounter.
Spend your days meeting these mighty but gravely endangered creatures alongside your specialist guide on an intrepid and intimate trek through the east African rainforest. Then, go on to see the rare and charismatic Golden Monkey for yet another special primate adventure.
Staying in luxury, hand-picked hotels, this exciting itinerary includes private-led tours for animal encounters and other excursions such as visits to Dian Fossey’s research station and the beautiful twin lakes, Burera and Ruhondo.
Example Trip Itinerary
On arrival at Kigali airport clear Rwanda customs & immigration formalities and proceed to Arrivals where you will be met by your private transfer driver.
Accommodation in Kigali
- 11 rooms
- Swimming pool
The Retreat by Heaven is a charming and inviting small boutique hotel, recognised as Kigali’s first entirely solar-powered resort, as well as maintaining countless other eco-friendly credentials throughout its make up, including locally crafted sustainable teak wood furniture. The hotel enjoys a great location on a quiet and peaceful, tree-lined street in the Kiyovu neighbourhood of the city, and is just minutes from the city centre, ensuring it’s in a prime location for discovering Kigali. Guests will have a choice of 11 expansive rooms, with features such as peaked ceilings, front and rear private patios, bathrooms with indoor and outdoor rain showers, and air conditioning. The interior of each room is light, airy and spacious, featuring plenty of wood for a natural vibe, as well as touches of local art and decoration to add an element of tradition. There’s a fantastic on-site restaurant in which to indulge, known as Fusion. Blending international cuisine with local Rwandan and African flavours with a focus on quality local ingredients, the restaurant is set beside the hotel’s inviting saltwater swimming pool. Guests can find further relaxation in the shape of the hotel’s spa, giving them the chance to nurture themselves across a range of skincare or massage treatments, as well as relax in the Jacuzzi or sauna.
- 254 rooms and suites
- Outdoor pool
- Fitness centre
The Kigali Marriott Hotel is a stylish and contemporary hotel featuring everything you need for a comfortable stay in the city. Each of its 245 rooms and suites are spacious and feature floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the garden and city. Marble bathrooms and the latest technology make them a comfortable and luxurious space in which to relax, and you’re ideally located to explore the city if you wish. Enjoy Italian cuisine at the hotel restaurant then enjoy a cocktail in the lobby bar while admiring the view. If you need to unwind after a long flight or simply fancy some time to yourself, then the spa offers a range of treatments as well as a steam room, therapy baths and plunge pool. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre.
- 148 rooms (a/c, satellite TV, wifi)
- Cafe and bar
- Lounge and bar
- Swimming Pool & deck
- Health club
A very comfortable business-style hotel in central Kigali and only ten kilometres from the city’s international airport, this is a good option for those passing through onto other destinations or to relax before your flight home. A good and efficient level of facilities means you don’t have to go far for beverage, swim, stroll or meal and the staff are always very helpful here.
Enjoy a night in Kigali, you'll have our list of recommended restaurants and attractions to make sure you make the most of your time here.
You will be met with your private guide and explore the city of Kigali, including the Genocide Museum.
Private road transfer from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park
Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park
- Six forest villas
- Dining area and bar
- Tree nursery
The spectacular Bisate Lodge is located in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, with panoramic views across rural hills and Afro-alpine forests to great conic peaks of Volcanoes National Park. Utterly unique in its design, six sumptuous forest villas are luxurious while retaining environmental principles and reflecting the culture of the surrounding country. Each has a generous yet intimate combination of bedroom, reception space and bathroom, heated by a central fireplace a private deck looking out to Mount Bisoke The spherical stone and thatch architecture, said to be inspired by the Royal Palace of traditional monarchs, continues through to the communal areas such as the dining room, bar and spa, detailed with a variety of woven materials, local crafts and more modern touches. Bisate is a short drive to the national park’s headquarters, from where gorilla treks depart daily, and you can also embark upon forest hikes to see rare Golden Monkeys and other wildlife. Visit the site of Dian Fossey’s research camp and grave, meet the community on guided village walks, plant a tree as part of the Bisate’s reforestation project or perhaps tag along with the chef to the local market to buy ingredients.
- 8 guest cottages
- Main lodge with restaurant, bar & lounge
- In-room massage
- WiFi (in main lodge only)
- Gift Shop, Library
Seated in the foothills of the Virunga mountains there are three things to look forward to when staying at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge: breath-taking views from every angle, warm and helpful staff, and seeing the captivating mountain gorillas in their wild natural habitat on your daily treks. The eight spacious standalone cottages are decorated in a homely style and their seclusion really adds to the ample and individual privacy here. On the other hand the big fireplaces, appealing lounges, library, dining area and curio shop of the main lodge give the whole property a warm and convivial personality, and where guests can relax and talk excitedly over the exploits of their day. Again, the staff do their utmost to assist you in whatever way they can and the food served at Sabyinyo is delicious and surprisingly elegant for its far-flung setting. On the whole Sabyinyo is a fantastically sophisticated and friendly base to explore this very poignant part of Africa.
- 8 stone cottages
- Bar & Lounge
- Massage Room
- WiFi (in the main building)
Sitting atop a 2,300-metre hilltop with panoramas of the ‘twin lakes’ of Ruhondo and Bulera and the string of Virunga volcanoes laid out in front of you, this eco-lodge and its scenes truly sum up the magic of central Africa. Eight ‘naturally’ stylish banda cottages (4 double, 4 twin) are set out in this property’s beautiful terraced gardens, affording each a share of the superb views and a good helping of privacy too. En suite bathrooms and running solar hot water allow you to enjoy luxurious comfort with always a minimal environmental impact too. Paved pathways converge on the property’s main lodge for dining, massages, the curio shop, bar and lounge, and all with stunning views. Apart from the truly personable level of luxury and staff hospitality here at Virunga the lodge also excels in a wonderfully diverse and extensive menu of daily activities and local cultural excursions.
Spend your days here in the magnificent Volcanoes National Park tracking the rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas with expert guides and trackers. In Rwanda there are 10 habituated gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park, with a maximum of 8 tracking permits per group per day. Other activities to enjoy whilst in this magical terrain are; trekking to volcano craters, tracking golden monkeys, cultural tours and the Dian Fossey Hike. Speak to your travel designer about how you wish to spend your time here.
The endangered Golden monkey enjoys a territory of highland forests, especially bamboo, living in groups of up to thirty individuals. A handful of troops in Volcanoes National Park have been habituated and can be tracked in a similar way to the gorillas. The monkeys are playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches or frolicking on the forest floor towards the base of the volcanoes and have overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
The gorillas cover large distances overnight, and they are never constantly in one area. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts. For this reason, one group cannot be said to be easier to track than another. The time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as 9 hours before returning to camp. The terrain can be extremely difficult, with steep slopes, and dense vegetation. In addition, the altitude means participants do need to be physically fit in order to enjoy the hike.
Once the gorillas are located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them.
Between Musanze and the Ugandan border are two scenic lakes usually referred to as the twin lakes; Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo. They are fed by rivers and a lake in Uganda. The twin lakes area is very scenic, with steep and intensively farmed hills surrounding the pristine dark blue waters. They offer magnificent views over the whole of the Virunga Volcanoes.
Private transfer from Volcanoes National Park to Kigali Airport
Get in Touch
Gorilla and Golden Monkey Discovery
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.