(Parc National des Volcans)
You slowly make your way up the dense forested hills, weaving through tall bamboo; the ground beneath you a tangle of roots and the air around you chilled with mist. Quite suddenly, the greenery in front of you is broken by the massive dark head of a silverback gorilla, and as your eyes meet, you are forever changed.
In the heart of Africa lies a land where mist hangs over great, old volcanoes that tower almost 15,000 feet high. Rwanda, also known as “the land of a thousand hills” is a place so breathtakingly beautiful, you’ll find yourself blinking more often, making sure the scene before you is not a mirage. Feel the exhilaration of trekking through dense rainforests, bougainvillea and frangipani flowers dotting the endless green hills around you as the crisp, moist air sends a shiver down your back; or maybe it’s the anticipation of seeing your first mountain gorilla. In the evenings, as you process the wondrous events of the day, relax in charming accommodations that allow you to commune with the natural world around you.
Before heading for the lush mountains, explore the beauty and heartache of Kigali. Visit the popular marketplaces where the vendors are as vibrant as the local produce, then continue on to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center built on the site where an estimated 250,000 victims were buried. This location serves as a place for grieving as well as educating about the tragic events that occurred in 1994. Continue on to the Park des Volcanoes located within a magnificent chain of dormant volcanoes and home to the last surviving mountain Gorilla populations. Trek with your expert guide in search of these immense and beautiful creatures and thrill at getting so close to them. It is an experience you will never forget.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer between the hotel and airport. After your guide has loaded up your luggage you will be driven through Nairobi admiring some of the sights (time permitting). Your guide will brief you on your itinerary en-route.
Take your flight from Nairobi to Kigali today. The flight duration is approximately 1hr 30mins.
Prepare your senses for an explosion of culture and emotion during today’s excursion through Kigali. Begin by visiting some of the popular market places to view and purchase if you’d like some of the local products. Next, you’ll travel to a location stained with heart aching cultural history, The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. This tragic memorial was constructed in April 2004 to honour those whom lost their lives during the Rwandan Genocide. The centre was built on the site where an estimated 250000 victims were buried. This location serves as a place where individuals can grieve the loss of their loved ones as well as to provide educational information regarding the genocide. Rwandans believe that although the gruesomeness and painful emotions associated with this tragedy may be construed as negative it is extremely important that the younger generations of Rwandans fully understand the reasons and effects of such an event on a nation. The Centre features three permanent exhibits which depict the events of 1994, as well as a children’s memorial which exhibits the history of genocidal violence towards children from all over the world.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer today from Kigali to Parc National des Volcans. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Park des Volcanoes is located in the Virunga Mountains, a magnificent chain of dormant volcanoes in the North of the country, and home to the world´s last surviving mountain Gorilla populations, currently a mere 700 individuals. A full day trek with your guide through the park is a reasonably strenuous activity which can last the morning or all day as you seek out the gorilla families. Viewing time is limited to one hour, and only 8 maximum are allowed per group. Visitors are asked to maintain a distance of 7m (about 22 feet) from the gorillas. Kids under age 15, or people sick with a cold, flu or other contagious illness, are not allowed to visit the gorillas.
PERMITS MUST BE PAID IN FULL AT TIME OF CONFIRMATION AND ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
Golden monkeys are a local subtype of the blue monkey which are endemic to the Albertine rift and live in the montane forests of the Volcanoes National Park area of Rwanda. There is currently 2 groups of habituate golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park, also popularly known as Parc de National Volcans. Each of the habituated golden monkey groups has between 80-100 members in each troop. The golden monkeys are a very playful and inquisitive primates which are habituated to human presence and will usually act up the presence of human visitors leaping from tree to tree as they feed on the bamboo shoots in the forest. Only open for visitors since June 2003, enjoy a rare treat watching these unique primates play and perform in the forest.
Like with gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekkers are required to assemble at PNV park headquarters at 07:00am for pre-tracking briefing. The park guides will lead into the forest for the search of the golden monkeys. The golden monkeys are mostly found at the foot of Mt Sabyinyo. Golden monkey tracking is generally less arduous and less challenging that the gorilla trek.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer today from Parc National des Volcans to Kigali. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Relax during this short flight departing Kigali, Rwanda and traveling to the urban hub of Nairobi, Kenya. The approximate flight time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is the new mid range lodge in the area and is perfectly situated for gorilla tracking in Rwanda. The 30 individual cottages have been built on 4 acres of land on the slopes of Mt Sabinyo. The stone and thatch cottages each have ensuite facilities, a small lounge with a fire place and a private veranda. The cottages are of a good size and are well positioned to give them privacy from each other. There is a separate restaurant and bar area where meals served to the guests. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge provides good value for money at the same time as great views and easy access to Parc National des Volcans.
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
Nathan Nerland ,
December 15, 2014
"Kensington Tours is always our only guided company we use because every staff has been amazing along the way and they accommodate everything we request, and more."
December 12, 2014
"Our week-long tour in Morocco went without a hitch in the company of a great driver and knowledgeable guide who were always prompt, courteous, helpful, and very nice. Kensington Tours' picks for our overnight accommodations were excellent, as well as the excursions planned for us. We're grateful to our conscientious agent, Lily, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome in Morocco. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands whenever we travel with Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"Our trip was a perfect 10 - exceeding all expectations! Starting with Christine Willner's attentiveness to our wish list and balancing it to our budget, every leg and element of our journey took place without so much as a hiccup. We were blown away by the quality of our tours, accommodations and guides. Thank you for giving us a great experience and wonderful memories!"
Rebecca Warren ,
August 02, 2014
"My 26 year old daughter recently traveled alone to Madagascar using Kensington tours. I was a little concerned about her safety and wanted to make sure that she would be well taken care of. Kensington was great from start to finish. Our travel agent, Marc Sisson, put together the tour in very short order with very little notice, had no problem doing it for just one person, and gave me a sense of security that my daughter would be well cared for. She did the Anjajavy 5 Day Beach extension. The tour guide who picked her up at the airport in the capitol city was outstanding -- very knowledgeable and helpful. The Anjajavy hotel was extraordinary. Her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. She kayaked, swam in the ocean and saw lemurs feeding. She got to practice her French with the outstanding hotel manager and otherwise was able to just relax and unwind. She described the experience as "visiting Eden." I highly recommend Kensington. I contacted a number of tour/travel agencies and none of them compared to Kensington. "
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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