Posts Tagged ‘kinigi guest house’

Gorilla safaris Rwanda | Tracking, Hiking, Trekking Tour

October 31, 2011

Approximately 800 mountain gorillas are left in the world. A majority of these are found in the Virunga massif. The Virunga massif extends over international boundaries. This makes conservation of this fragile ecosystem even more challenging. The surrounding hills are highly populated recording some of the highest population densities in the world. Besides the high population density, the civil strife in DR Congo has not abetted despite the continued presence of the international forces. To make mountain gorilla conservation worthwhile, the three governments of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo introduced gorilla tracking.

Note, unlike in the zoos, gorillas in Virungas are wild. Before any tracking can be done, these have to undergo a long process of habituation. During this time the researchers well versed in gorilla behaviour identify a viable family for habituation. For habituation, the family must have at least 5 individuals. Habituation involves making the family to get used to human presence. With hostile silverbacks, this is not easy. Some of the researchers have even been charged and sustained injuries. However once the family members are used to humans, there is minimal chance of injuries. However habituation does not prevent the silverbacks from exercising mock charges. That is why all tourists are advised not to imitate chest beating as silverbacks will interpret that as a challenge to its authority. Once habituated, mountain gorillas will approach you to touching distance. However visitors are discouraged from getting into contact with gorillas. Likewise all persons less than 15 years of age are not allowed to track gorillas. These two precautions ensures that communicable diseases are not transferred from humans to gorillas. Remember humans share 98% of their genes with gorillas. Likewise any person suffering from communicable diseases is discouraged.

To avoid confrontations with the silverbacks, visitors are advised to keep their distance( flight distance is the distance that an animal will keep away from another for fear of getting injured. The more dangerous the other animal, the further the flight distance.) To be on the safe side, just follow the instructions of the guide.

To keep the environment clean, visitors are advised not to litter the park in anyway. The policy is to leave only your footprints. Visitors must carry back all the litter they bring into the forest. Bury all the faeces.

Gorilla Tracking Safaris in Rwanda takes place in the morning. Visitors report at the park headquarters for briefing and guide allocation. There after they leave for the hiking trails. Depending on the location of gorillas, hiking takes 2-6 hours. Any person of average physical fitness can track gorillas comfortably as the pace of tracking is set by the slowest member of the group. Gorilla tracking safaris can easily be combined with the Great Wildebeest Migration Safari featuring wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara and Serengeti 11 days and the Kenya highlight tour 9 days.

Altitude: Tracking takes place in altitudes of about 3000 meters above sea level. Thus trackers are advised to take their time. Do not run up the mountains. Take your time to enjoy the scenery.

Gorilla tracking is a whole day affair with clients reporting at the park headquarters at 07:00 hrs. However depending on the location of the gorillas, some guest do finish tracking as early as 12:00 Hrs. If one completes this early, the afternoon can be spend visiting the local communities of Lake Burela and Ruhondo or even at Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu.

What to bring:
In addition to safari accessories-note books, cameras, video cameras, pens, dressing is very important when tracking gorillas. Short sleeves and are completely discouraged as thorny nestles will ruin your skin. Likewise you need hiking boots for firm grip as sometimes the ground is muddy. Gloves are important as sometimes you will grasp into thorny bushes to avoid a fall on slippery tracks. Bring a raincoat as it rains without warning. To protect your camera, have a water proof container. Bring a long a warm cardigan as sometimes it gets extremely cold.

Accommodation while tracking gorillas: There are several options available for those tracking gorillas in Rwanda. Accommodation hotels vary from luxury to mid-range to budget. Luxury options exists at Virunga Volcanoes Lodge and Sabyinyo Community Silverback Lodge. Mid range accommodation is offered by Gorilla Nest Hotel and Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. Budget accommodation is available at Kinigi Guest House. Some guests prefer accommodation at Ruhengeri (Musanze).

Gorilla Tracking permits

Gorilla permits can be bought as early as a year in advance or even on the tracking day.  Our advice is always avoid the last minute purchase as in most cases you will be disappointed . SEE  Gorilla Tracking permits-When to Buy/ Book your permit

For more details and gorilla tracking safaris contact  R&N Xplorer Africa Safaris

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Gorilla Trekking Rwanda Safari- 4 days Hiking And Tracking

May 20, 2010

Gorilla Trekking 4 Days 3 Nights Gorillas In The Mist Safari.

NB: This gorilla tracking, hiking and trekking safari is organized at Rwanda Volcanoes National Park. The safari is private, full inclusive. Security wise no bad incidents have been reported in Volcanoes for the last 12 years.  This is a good record considering that tracking takes place everyday.

 

Day1/  Kigali – Ruhengeri-Kinigi

Upon arrival at Kanombe Airport, you are met and driven to your hotel. This 2Hrs drive takes you through the beautifully terraced hilly countryside of Rwanda to Ruhengeri the base of trekking and gorilla tracking.  Brief stopovers are provided on the way for photography.  Overnight Gorilla Nest Hotel/Kinigi Guest House/Sabyinyo Lodge (D)

Day2/  Gorillas in the mist day 1

An early morning breakfast is followed by a drive to Kinigi park headquarters for group, guide allocation and briefing. This is followed by a drive to the trailheads where hiking and trekking up the hills to the bamboo zone begins.  Hiking, trekking and tracking gorillas may take 2-3 hours.  Sight and stay with the Gorillas for one hour. Descend to your hotel for lunch.  In the afternoon visit Lakes Burela and Ruhondo Community.  Overnight Gorilla Nest Hotel/Kinigi Guest House/Sabtinyo Lodge (B/L/D)

Day3/  Gorilla Tracking 2

After breakfast, trek up the mountain for another memorable experience with gorillas. Return to the base hotel for lunch. In the afternoon drive to Gisenyi on the shores of lake Kivu. Overnight Kivu Serena/Malahide Paradise Hotel B/L/D

Day4/Gisenyi-Kigali

After breakfast drive to Kigali and transfer to the airport to catch your home flight.
Tour price based on two persons sharing

Budget USD,  1960.00 Total for 2 USD 3920.00

Mid Range USD,  2337.00 Total for 2 USD 4674.00

Luxury USD 3533.00, Total for 2 USD 6706.00

Explanations of Luxury, Budget, Mid Range

Prices are based on accommodation facilities during tracking days.  Luxury means 2 nights at Sabyinyo Lodge and 1 night at Kivu Serena.  Mid range means 2 nights at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge and 1 night at Kivu Serena Hotel.

The tour price.

INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS:

This safari is strictly private; fully inclusive thus you have peace of mind and free to enjoy your safari. The 4WD car is private hence you are guaranteed of limitless discovery in maximum comfort, privacy and a high degree of safety.  After tracking Gorillas guests are free to visit local people, drive to lakes Kivu, Burela and Ruhondo or even drive all the way to Uganda border at no extra cost. The car also comes with a local multi-lingual driver guide with wide knowledge of Rwanda’s history, local people, and attractions within reach. The driver guide is flexible so please do not hesitate to address any of your concerns to him.   The Gorilla Nest Hotel is a home away from home. Guest rooms are comfortable, spotlessly clean with en-suite bathrooms, writing desk and a TV.  The staff are friendly and radiates with warmth.  The restaurant serves delicious buffet featuring local and international cuisine.

In summary the tour price include the following:

  • Accommodation cost pp sharing
  • Meals indicated as B-Breakfast; L-lunch; D-Dinner.
  • Transportation in a private 4WD car fully fuelled and with a driver guide.
  • Driver’s Allowance’s allowances
  • 2 Gorilla permits per person
  • Park Entrance fee
  • Use of Government rangers and guides while tracking.  Guests are accompanied by guides and armed rangers.
  • Complementary tour of Lake Kivu on day 3
  • All government taxes
  • Complimentary tour of Genocide memorial of Gisozi
  • Mineral water during your tour.

The price does not include the following

  • Tips& Gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff
  • Beverages
  • Extra meals
  • Optional tours
  • Air fares- We can book the flight NBO-KGL; KGL JRO at
  • Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance-guests are advised to take comprehensive travel insurance prior to arrival. AAR cover is for evacuation and it should not be mistaken for travel insurance

Further reading

To book this safari Email us rnxploresafaris@gmail.com

Another  4 days 3 nights Gorilla safari Rwanda From R&N Xplorer Africa Safaris

Gorilla Tracking Rwanda Trekking Accommodation Lodges And hotels

May 3, 2010

Getting from Kigali to Ruhengeri and Kinigi

Gorilla tracking, hiking and tracking safaris in Rwanda starts from Kinigi in Musanze (former Ruhengeri) province.  Tracking takes in Volcanoes National Park(Parc des volcans).  Every morning at 07:00Hrs, all trekking participants are briefed on dos, don’ts and other hiking regulations at Kinigi Park headquarters.

The drive from Kigali to Ruhengeri will take about 1 hour.  From Ruhengeri (Musanze) town to Kinigi, the base of gorilla tracking is about 30-45 minutes.   The drive from Kigali to Ruhengeri takes you through beautifully terraced hilly country side with lots of photography opportunities.  Inclusive of photo stops, it might take you even 2 hours to drive from Kigali to Kinigi. Every

An alternative to driving from Kigali is using an helicopter/ charter flight to Ruhengeri Airstrip and driving to Kinigi by car.  You will need advance  arrangements with the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority.

Accommodation While on  Gorilla Tracking And Trekking Safaris

Accommodation is available at Kinigi or at Ruhengeri(Musanze). Accommodation can be categorized into three depending on the price you pay and the level of comfort-Luxury, Budget and Mid range.

Three luxury properties for your stay while tracking are, Sabyinyo Silverback Community Lodge, Virunga Luxury Lodge and Jack Hanna’s House.  The best in terms of proximity to gorilla tracking is Silverback.  Virunga Luxury Lodge enjoys an enviable location on top of a hill with undisturbed vistas of Virungas and the surrounding areas.

Kinigi Guest House

Kinigi Guest house is the oldest property at Volcanes.  The rooms though basic are clean.  They provide accommodation and meals.  Do not expect comfort in this property.

Gorilla Nest Lodge/ Hotel

Gorilla Nest Lodge is medium property located inside a eucalyptus forest.  The tall trees though beautiful have blocked the beautiful views and they tend to make the place more cold. Hotel facilities include parking, restaurant, bar and laundry.  They also have a mini golf course.  They have permanent electricity.  Due to cold weather, they have several fire places outside, though fire is rarely lit in these areas.  However fire is always available in the restaurant and bar area at night. To keep the cold away, the property provides extra blankets in the rooms.  More are available on request.  Food is local served in buffet style.

Basic rooms are clean with tiled floors and private showers with an electric.  The facility also has family or superior rooms with sitting area and two bedrooms.

In some of the nights, Gorilla Nest organizes Intore, the local Barret to entertain guests.  If you feel you cannot stick to your seat, you are free to join the dancers.

Jack Hanna’s House

This is a private house booked through Gorilla Nest when the owner is not around.  The house has two bedrooms and a kitchen with panoramic views of Virungas and the min golf course.  Booking the house include staff.

Sabyinyo Community/ Silver Back Lodge

Sabyinyo Lodge comprises of the main building with reception, sitting room with snug area, dining room, library, and a responsible tourism / community awareness room, shop and bathrooms. Three large fireplaces provide warmth.

Accommodation at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge comprises five double cottages, two suites and one family suite. All are stone buildings with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs, and feature large sitting areas, fireplaces, stylish en-suite bathrooms finished with Venetian plaster a dressing room and a sheltered veranda. Heat exchangers in the fireplaces provide a plentiful supply of hot water.  The family suite has a second bedroom with en-suite bathroom.

Virunga Volcanoes Luxury Lodge

Located on hilltop between Lakes Burela and Ruhondo, the Virunga Luxury Lodge is the unrivaled destination for landscape lovers.  From the lodge, one enjoys specular views of Virunga Mountains, and the surrounding.  The lodge has a total of  8 bandas constructed of local material. Being on a hilltop, water has to be brought in.  The rooms have bush showers and lighting is by lantern lamps.

The main building has a fire place and a bar.

From the lodge, its is 45 minutes drive to the park headquarters.

Besides these facilities, one can get accommodation at the hotels in Ruhengeri/ Musanze.

To book any of the facility contact R&N Xplorer Africa Safaris , Email: rnxploresafaris@gmail.com

Learn more about gorilla tracking tours and book 4 days 3 nights Rwanda gorilla tracking tour

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Gorilla Tracking Rwanda What to bring | Gorilla Tracking Requirements

May 1, 2010

IMG_20170901_111914Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda takes place in Volcanoes National Park in altitudes of about 2000 Meters above sea level.   Volcanoes experiences a modified equatorial climate.  Volcanoes National Park(Par des Volcans) is both hilly anwd cold.  The groundswell are usually wet and the paths are full of stinging plants-nettles.  Besides, the rains are random.  In this regard all prospective trackers are asked to bring the following

  • Long trousers/ pants- to avoid stinging nettles please do not wear short parks when tracking gorillas.  The trousers must be strong enough to withstand occasional pulls from thorns.
  • Long sleeved shirts/ t-shirts.  To avoid stinging nettles
  • Gloves- These are required to avoid injury to your hands.  Remember the grounds are wet and slippery.  To avoid injury from thorny bushes and objects on ground
  • Hiking boots- Please bring average waterproof sturdy walking boots reaching ankle level not mountain climbing boots. Something light and hardy will do.
  • Warm cardigan- Volcanoes can get extremely cold.  A warm cardigan is required to keep off cold.
  • Long sleeved Rain Coat or anorak -it can rain anytime in Volcanoes National Park even on hot days.  The downpours are heavy and extremely cold.
  • Water proof container for your cameras.  Yes I know there are waterproof cameras but even them to be sure just put them in a waterproof container.  When you are slipping and falling in muddy grounds you do not want your precious photos damaged or do you?
  • If you desire headgear (hats), a baseball cap is recommended as gorillas are familiar to them.
  • Enough water- minimum of 2 litres of drinking water to avoid dehydration.  Carry four just in case the hike proofs longer than expected.  Sometimes it can be 8 hours.
  • Film Camera- A film camera for domestic use is recommended.
  • A camera
  • If you are interested in birds, you can bring Field guide to birds of East Africa by Fanshawe and a pair of binoculars.

When to book Your Gorilla Tracking Safari.  It is important to book your gorilla tracking safari as early as possible.  For June/ Jul/ August and early September, book your safari latest January.  Any other months you try your luck any time, But to be sure give it three months in advance.

FAQS, GORILLA TRACKING TIPS.  How long is the trek?  How long will you stay with gorillas?  Can one fail to see them?  Security? At what altitude is the hike?  What level of fitness do you requires?  Are you likely to meet other animals besides gorillas?  OH Yes, we will answer all those right now

  • Treks to the gorilla can take as short as 2 hours or as long as 8 hours.  Remember gorillas roam the whole of Volcanoes National Park without any restrictions.  Thus they can be near or far.  Some gorilla families like the Susa are usually far while other like Umubano are near.
  • You stay with the gorillas for only one hour. Strictly one hour no more.  Longer stays tend to make gorillas aggressive.  Yo do not want to be charged,  Do you?
  • Level of fitness- any average person can do gorilla tracking. Since 2007 only one of our guest failed to see gorillas
  • By statistics, gorilla sighting in Rwanda  is 100%.  However remember gorillas are wild so one cannot guarantee a sighting.
  • Tracking commences at 07:00 Hrs daily from Kinigi Park Headquarters.
  • Roads in Volcanoes are extremely rough.  You need a 4×4 car in Rwanda .  You can use public means from Kigali to Ruhengeri.  However having your own car gives you a high degree of flexibility.  You can stop whenever you want.
  • Porters are available to help you with luggage.  Porters will cost you USD 10.00.  It is advisable to have one
  • Other animals in the park-elephants, buffaloes, golden monkeys, duickers.
  • Since 1994, Rwanda has proofed to be one of the most secure countries in the world.  However in towns take due care as you would in your own country.

Book your 4 days 3 nights gorilla tracking safari.  For June, July, August and September book and deposit for permits by January.

To Book Email: rnxploresafaris@gmail.com