Mountain Gorillas & Highlights of Rwanda
Currently available as a tailor made photographic safari
10 day, 4 centre 'must see' photography and videography safari
Small group - max 7
Tour leader: Trai Anfield - wildlife photographer, film maker and presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Living World
Mountain gorilla trekking is a once in a lifetime experience, so we believe in doing it right: Rwanda has much more than gorillas to offer, and we wouldn't want you to miss out while you're here!
Our journey through Rwanda allows you to experience the finest gorilla treks with the most experienced and charismatic guides, and to seek out the full range of Rwandan primates including golden monkey, spectacular black and white colobus and chimpanzee. Plus all the other mammals, birds
and reptiles that share these complex ecosystems.
We tour the most beautiful regions of this spectacular country, including Nyungwe forest, Lake Kivu and the Virunga Massif, and delight in discovering Rwanda's vibrant culture in cosmopolitan Kigali and local villages throughout this little explored African gem.
'This is the most emotionally challenging and rewarding wildlife photo shoot I have had the privilege to experience. The intimate glimpse we gain into the family lives of these most human of animals is something you will never forget, especially when you have insightful images to bring back home'
Trai Anfield, tour leader
Mountain Gorillas & Golden Monkeys of Rwanda Highlights
2 days Mountain Gorilla trekking
Golden Monkeys trek
colobus monkey trek
Nyungwe Forest canopy walk
Lake Kivu boat safari
community walk in Kigali's vibrant suburbs
tour of Kigali's poignant Genocide Memorial & museum
Kings Palace & National Museum tours
apres trek tours and cultural experiences
experienced photographic tutor Trai Anfield
best guides and porter service on gorilla treks
excellent full board accomodation
safari supports primate conservation
combine with Kenya Maasai Mara, Botswana,
Victoria Falls or a beach break
Our journey through the heart of Rwanda begins in cosmopolitan Kigali. Here we will join a community walk through some of the capital's most vibrant suburbs, sampling Rwandan hospitality and day to day life plus a delicious traditionally home-cooked lunch. In the afternoon the Genocide Memorial museum puts the whole of our Rwandan experience in context and, although it can be deeply affecting, should not be missed.
Title. Double click me.
From Kigali we head south to Nyungwe forest, through rice plantations and forests, breaking our journey with tours of the King's Palace - complete with royal cattle - and the National Museum on the way. Nyungwe's pristine forest is home to chimpanzee, colobus monkeys and a plethora of birds. Two nights here, staying in luxury amongst lush tea plantations, gives us plenty of time for trekking, birdwatching and taking in the famed canopy walk.
Next is a stunning drive along the shores of Lake Kivu, passing through some of Rwanda's most beautiful scenery en route. An overnight stop on the shoreline gives us plenty of opportunity to capture the landscape in the best light, and a morning boat safari on Lake Kivu is a great way to get close to varied birdlife and thousands of resident bats.
For the final phase of our tour we head for the mountains and Musanze, gateway to the Virungas National Park, and our base for gorilla trekking. Our lodge is a cosy and welcoming haven from the chilly mountain nights, with great food, wildlife all around the grounds, and local cultural experiences right on your doorstep.
Each day in the mountains begins with a traditional wecome in music and dance, then we set out on our trek to find the undisputed highlight of our trip, the mountain gorillas. The fragile nature of the gorillas’ existence becomes apparent as we trek deep into the forests of the Virunga mountains, one of their few remaining habitats.
This is a photographic experience that we truly have to work for – we must be prepared to trek steep paths hacked out of dense undergrowth for between 2 and 6 hours in order to find our family group. Gorillas change the location of their sleeping nest each night and it is only thanks to our dedicated guides, who track them day after day, that we will be able to find them. Porters will carry our photography kit and belongings, but a reasonably good level of fitness is required to negotiate the steep and rough terrain for several hours.
When we reach our gorilla group, every minute and every shot counts… but do also remember to stop clicking and take time to fully experience being in the presence of these truly incredible animals.
We will encounter the gorillas on two separate day treks, with further opportunities to experience Rwandan rural life afterwards, and a less physically challenging but very rewarding trek to photograph the region's golden monkeys to round off our trip. These beautiful and charming primates are easier to access than mountain gorillas, often gather in great numbers, and provide excellent photographic opportunities.
Your Most Asked Question: How Close Will We Get To The Gorillas?
Please note that we are always 100% respectful of the need to remain 7m from the gorillas, and always operate under the strict guidance of our Rwandan trek leaders...but gorillas are inquisitive and assertive, and often approach us, so we are very close indeed - an awe inspiring experience!
An example is this huge silverback, who pushed past us on the track so closely that we could no longer take photos - he was way too close for Trai's lens to focus! All she could do was hope that her wrist mounted GoPro would capture the moment. We all had to make ourselves very humble as this mighty king aproached - deeply respectful and awestruck. How did this encounter look from Trai's point of view? Have a look at the video clip below!
Departures and Costs
This itinerary is currently available as a tailor made photographic safari
All photographic tuition, all entrance fees to the included National Parks, Kigali community tour, all museum entry fees, excellent accommodations with meals mentioned, bottled drinking water, all Rwandan transfers, 4x4 custom built safari vehicle with knowledgeable driver/guide.
International flights, trekking permits, visa, personal insurances, optional activities, meals not mentioned, beverages other than water, tips, personal expenses.