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Big Game & Mountain Gorillas



/ person
  • 1
  • 8 Days

Marcel Walter

Mapendano Voyages

We are a company aiming to offer the ultimate natural experience in Central and Eastern Africa.

  • Local time:01:03

Big Game & Mountain Gorillas

This safari brings you to Akagera National Park for game viewing, track the endangered mountain gorilla on the slopes of the dramatic Volcanoes National Park and cool off on the shores of Lake Kivu HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: . Big game Viewing at Akagera National Park . Discover on foot the mountain gorilla . Lake Kivu and its islands . The unique landscapes of the Land of a 1000 Hills



Arrive at Kigali International airport, met and transferred to your hotel. Kigali offers a charm offensive, the people here being some of the warmest and most welcoming you could ever hope to meet. Approximate Travel Times: 0h 15, 10 km

Hotel in Kigali, 1 night


Early start to the Akagera National Park. Akagera National Park covers an area of 112,000 in the east of Rwanda, is set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterise much of Rwanda. Dominated scenically by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is archetypal African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland. 1. The park is a microcosm of Rwanda in terms of its inspiring turnaround success story, from a dilapidated park to a flourishing reserve. 2. It is the most convenient savannah Big Five add-on to the gorilla experience and just two hours’ drive from Kigali. 3. The park is a microcosm of Rwanda in terms of its inspiring turnaround success story, from a dilapidated park to a flourishing reserve. It is the most convenient savannah Big Five add-on to the gorilla experience and just two hours’ drive from Kigali. A diversity of habitats in one park including lakes, marshes, savannah, mountains and woodland makes for spectacular scenery. 4. After the introduction of black rhino, it will be the only park that is home to both the Big Five, as well as the rare shoebill and sitatunga. 5. Birding is exceptional, with some 482 bird species. Akagera is, above all, big game country! As well as being home to the shy oribi and to the elusive topi, the Highlands afford a breathtaking view across the undulating hills, rolling grassland to the extensive series of lakes, linked by papyrus swamps. Elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck are some of the game roaming this peaceful heaven. The bird life is also remarkable. The diverse habitats of the area are home to over 500 species of birds. Morning short game drive. Lunch at the lodge. Game drive and boat ride on lake ihema. Overnight into the park Approximate Travel Times: 21/2hrs, 170 km Read more

Into Akagera Park, 2 nights


Full day safari in Akagera. Game drive from south to north. During the game drive along a well designed network of tracks, there are plenty of animals one can see including elephants, buffalo, zebra, bushbaby, antelopes and many other mammal species. On rare occasions, one can see species such as leopard, lion and black rhino. As one of the most scenic savanna in East Africa, the game drive in Akagera provides an opportunity to see gentle hills blending in beautifully with lowland swamps and water bodies. Overnight into the park Read more

Into Akagera Park


Drive around 5 to 6 hours from Akagera National park to Volcanoes National Park. Lunch in Kigali. Afternoon, follow the road as it climbs to the base of the majestic volcanoes, with spectacular views across the five peaks. Continue toward Volcanoes NP. Overnight at Volcanoes National Park’s edge. Approximate Travel Times: 5 to 6 hours, 300km Read more

Volcanoes NP, 3 nights


After waking at sunrise, there is short drive to the park headquarters, where briefings, porters and coffee awaits before stepping into the cool forests to begin the adventure. Guides help steady the pace, with stops for water, signs of gorillas and a chance to soak up the views of the valleys below. As the first light of dawn breaks through the curtain of mist clinging to the summits of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyniyo, Gahinga and Muhabura, we make our way into the Parc National des Volcans. Tracking the gorillas through the unique vegetation can take several hours of challenging walking in wet and muddy conditions. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! To see gorillas, the trek will have been worth the hardship. Dinner and overnight near Volcanoes National Park Read more

Volcanoes NP


An Elusive Treasure in the Virunga Mountains This little known monkey is one of the most endangered primates in Africa and it is now thought that the only viable population of these monkeys is in the Virunga Volcanoes. A smaller population may exist in the Nyungwe Forest in Southern Rwanda but this has yet to be verified. The golden monkey is a distinct species of guenon - Cercopithecus Kandti and is endemic to the Albertine Rift. Back to the lodge for lunch. Afternoon visit twin lakes, Burera and Ruhondo. Dinner and overnight near Volcanoes National Park Read more

Volcanoes NP


VOLCANOES NP: optional additional activities Options available include a second Gorilla Trek, or trek to a habituate group of Golden Monkeys ( cercopithecus mitis kandti), or visit the Karisoke Research centre built by Dian Fossey and the site of her grave, located in the Park between the Karisimbi and Bisoke Volcanoes - three hours trekking accompanied by a Park Ranger, or to climb Bisoke volcano with its superb crater lake. Dian Fossey's tomb: One popular hike while near the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the one to Dian Fossey’s Tomb and the adjacent gorilla cemetery in the former Karisoke Research Camp. The Karisoke scientific base was established by Dian Fossey in the saddle area between two volcanoes; Mt Visoke and Mt Karisimbi (from which the name Karisoke is derived). The camp site stands at an altitude of around 3000m (over 9000 ft) and was abandoned during the unrest of the 1990’s. The trek involves a 30-minute drive from the park headquarters to the trailhead then a 10-minute stroll to the park boundary. From here, the ascent through the forest takes anything from 90 minutes to three hours, depending on your fitness and how often you stop to enjoy the scenery while the descent takes 2 hours. Fossey’s old living quarters – which she nicknamed the mausoleum – are now in ruins, and several other landmarks in the camp are signposted. The hike offers a good opportunity to see birds and other creatures typical of the Virungas en route. At the site you will find the house from where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985 but the more peaceful is the place where she was buried just next to her favourite gorilla, Digit and about 20 other mountain gorillas either killed by poachers or suffered death for other reasons. The tomb’s headstone reads: No one loved gorillas more Rest in peace, dear friend Eternally protected In this sacred ground For you are home Where you belong In her journal, Dian Fossey’s final words were, “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Today, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund monitors ten gorilla groups (out of 15 total) in Rwanda and have so many other projects to help conserve the gorillas and other animals in the region. This hike is an incredible experience physically, emotionally and intellectually. It is so inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and left a legacy that exists even today. If you find yourself in Rwanda and you’re up for a challenge, I highly recommend the hike. Or Climbing Mt Bisoke: The mountain is located within Rwandan Volcanoes National Park and Congolese Virunga National Park. The steep slopes of the peak are densely covered with equatorial rainforest and alpine meadows. The summit does not gather snow, but is often shrouded in fog. Bisoke is one of the mountains considered a habitat for the Endangered mountain gorilla, and the Karisoke Research Center founded by Dian Fossey is located in the valley to the west. Mt Visoke stands at 3700m, it has the typical conic shape of a “perfect” volcano and in its crater lies a deep crater lake. Or 2nd gorilla trekking: Another option is a 2nd gorilla trekking. Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! Afternoon continue toward Rubavu, a nice small town,located on the northern shore of lake kivu Dinner and overnight at Paradise Malahide Resort Read more

Lake Kivu, 1 night

Airport transfer

Enjoy during the early morning hours the peaceful atmosphere of the calm and pristine waters of Africa’s highest lake. Return to Kigali. Lunch and airport transfer. Approximate Travel Times: 3h30, 150 km.



Day in trip
Day 1
Location Kigali
Day 2
Location Akagera
Day 4
Location Musanze
Day 7
Location Rubavu
Day in trip
Day 1
Location Kigali
Day 2
Location Akagera
Day 4
Location Kinigi
Day 7
Location Rubavu
Day in trip
Day 1
Location Kigali
Day 2
Location Akagera
Day 4
Location Kinigi
Day 7
Location Rubavu


Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Entrance fee

Package excludes

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular 76fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Beverages
  • Additional journeys and transfers


3 Reviews

Kris de Bardia, France

Gorilla and Chimps tour : a dream trip ! Great tour, great organisation, great vehicle, great countries (Rwanda and Ouganda) and world class quality guide. We got what we came here for (Apes) but got much much more thanks to the flexibility of the management and thanks to our smart and knowledgeable guide. Thanks Mapendano ! :) Read more

Dan FAVRE, Switzerland

EXCELLENT ! I contacted Mapendano a few months before the departure. They organised everything and all was perfect in the communication (answers to my questions were quick and complete). During the trip, I visited twice the gorillas and both experiences were different and complementary. The hotels were excellent, so was the food. Samuel, guide / driver, couldn't possibly have been nicer or more helpful - he felt like an old friend by the end of the first week. He was perfect during the safari drives in the animals parks. We only got little problems with the car (2 flat tires and another problem with the transmission), it was just part of the trip and the lost of time was minimal. I highly recommend MAPENDANO for any trip in central Africa. Read more

Corinne, France

Nous avons eu la joie et la chance de tomber sur cette agence en septembre 2014. Nous avons été plus que satisfaits, vraiment enchantés par le pays et surtout par notre chauffeur guide Jean-Marie Kiguge que je recommande vivement pour ses grandes connaissances mais aussi son service impeccable. N'hesitez pas, avec Mapendano vous êtes entre de bonnes mains. Read more


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