Gorilla Short Break

5 days
from
£2,649
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Trip code: 
WYG
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays, Short Breaks
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
1–6

A short break to Rwanda's Virunga Mountains to spend time with mesmerising Mountain gorillas.

There are few experiences travelling that can compare to spending time with Mountain gorillas. Following a trek through the untamed jungle of the Virungas Mountains, the first sight of these close cousins is one that is likely to remain with you a long time. Watching them move about the foliage, juveniles playing under the watchful eye of the females and the giant form of the Silverback, the head of the family, can be emotional and enriching. This short 3-day break has no set departures but can be done as an exciting long weekend or as an extension to another trip when flying to or via East Africa.

Highlights

  • Spot mountain gorillas
  • Visit Volcanoes National Park

Key information

  • Travel by 4x4 safari vehicle
  • 2 nights lodge
  • Group from 1 person up
  • 1 Gorilla permit included
  • There is no single tour leader but local staff
  • No set departures/contact us for price of flights

What's included

  • All Accommodation
  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • London flights (if booking incl. flights)
  • Transfers
  • Gorilla permit

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Depart London

    Depart London

  • Day 2

    Arrive Kigali; transfer to Ruhengeri

    Starting in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, you will be met upon arrival and will be transferred about 3 hours (traffic depending) to Ruhengeri and our lodge near the park entrance.

    Accommodation: Mountain View Gorilla Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 3

    Gorilla tracking

    Head to the park entrance where you will meet the rangers who will accompany you to your allocated gorilla family.

    The gorillas move around and different families are located closer or further from where the trek starts. It is possible to ask to visit a family which is a shorter or longer walk but this can’t be guaranteed. As a result the hike could last from just one or two hours to a full day. Porters are available (at an extra cost) to help carry your backpack.

    Whilst tourists are only allowed to spend one hour with the gorillas, rangers stay with them all day so know where they have made their nest so are easy to find again the following morning.

    The terrain can be slippery and steep in places and there are no trails as such. As a result a descent physical condition is needed for the trek. As you approach the family, you will be asked to leave all your belongings, other than camera, behind. At this point, it’s only a few more minutes till you actually reach the gorillas and spend time with them, a truly special experience.

    As the length of the trek is unknown until that day, nothing else is planned for the rest of the day. Late lunch back at the lodge

    Accommodation: Mountain View Gorilla Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Return to Kigali, visit Genocide Museum, end Kigali

    Leave the lodge for the drive back to Kigali. We visit the Genocide Memorial Centre. The museum, dedicated to the 1994 Rwanda genocide, is sensitively designed but can be a very emotional experience (please note depending on timings we may be able to visit the Genocide Memorial Centre on the first day before going to Ruhengeri). From here we transfer to the airport in time to catch your flight home or will drop you at your hotel in Kigali.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Arrive London

    Arrive London

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Rwanda

From 1 November 2014, British nationals entering Rwanda will be able to get a visa on arrival on payment of a fee. The fee is currently fixed at $50US for a 30 day tourist visa. You can also choose to get a visa in advance at any Rwandan diplomatic mission or online. For some other nationalities the visa must be applied for online in advance; please check with your local consulate.

If after visiting Rwanda, you will also travel to Uganda and Kenya, you may apply for East African Visa that will cover all three countries. You must apply online through the Rwanda Online Visa Application System for the EAC visa. Please contact the Rwandan High Commission to obtain more information about the combined visa from Rwanda.

Vaccinations

Rwanda

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary , and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners.

Meals are home-cooked at our lodge.

Weather

Despite being close to the equator, Rwanda’s high altitude means that it has a fairly temperate climate. Cloud cover is common and rain can occur year-round, even during the dry season. There are two dry seasons, the main one from June to September and a shorter one from December to February. The main rainy season is March to May with a lesser one in October and November. Temperatures are fairly constant year round, normally between 15 and 27’C.

Is this trip for you?

This is a short break which can be done as a long weekend or as an extension to other trips, whether these take place in Kenya or Tanzania or fly via Nairobi.
There is only minimal driving (about 3.5 hrs depending on traffic to get between Kigali and Ruhengeri, near where the gorillas are) and we stay in a comfortable lodge near the entrance to the park for 2 nights.
Tracking the gorillas can involve hiking up steep, muddy trails, at times through fairly untrodden paths. Gorilla families move around and whilst you can ask to be taken to a family which is closer or one further away, there is no guarantee as to whether this will be possible and you may have to walk up to 6hrs. Park rangers will try and send people to appropriate gorilla families based on their abilities but you should be a confident walker and have appropriate footwear.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

We normally stay in the simple but comfortable Mountain Gorillas View Lodge.

Situated a short distance from the entrance to the park, in the village of Kinigi, this lodge is made up of individual en suite cottages with their own sitting area and fire place for those cool evenings.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

This trip can run on any day of the year. Please just request dates with our sales team and once the availability of gorilla permits is confirmed the trip can be confirmed. Whilst tracking gorillas you will be put in a group with up to 8 people and will be accompanied by guides and rangers.

The land only price (including transfers from and to Kigali Airport, accommodation, meals, gorilla permits and visit to the Genocide Museum) from GB£1949.

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Call us on 0208 772 3936