6 Day Gahinga & Virunga

Day 1

Arriving in Kigali you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Set off for the Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge and cross the border into Uganda. Be sure to put your clocks one hour forward.

The lodge is located at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes and near the entrance to the national park. Enjoy your pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with stunning views of the Volcanoes or warm yourself inside by the roaring fire.

Approximate Travel Times: Driving 4 hours

Please book flights arriving no later than 1000 HOURS.

O/N Mount Gahinga Lodge (L,D)

Day 2

The Batwa Heritage Experience offers an interactive tour of the culture and history of one of Africa’s oldest tribes. On your tour, you will gain insight into their traditional life in the forest and even have lessons in hunting and gathering of medicinal plants. On the tour, you are welcome to ask the Batwa questions about their traditional lifestyle, as they explain their religious, marriage and courtship customs. At the Batwa Vocational Centre (established by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust) you can see first-hand the skills they are learning for self-sufficiency. Here you may even want to pick up a present or two to take home.

Other exciting activities for those interested in the culture and natural history of Mgahinga:

Hike the Muhavura, Sabinyo or Gahinga volcanoes. Mount Gahinga offers a gentler hike through the bamboo forest on the lower slopes and marshy craters at the peak.
Enjoy a performance from the Batwa Dance Group set against the enchanting setting of this volcanic landscape. This wonderful dance display (subject to pre-booking and group availability) is popular with Volcanoes Safaris clients and the local community alike. Learn more about the Batwa’s unique culture first-hand through their oral traditions. This initiative is fully supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust and helps build positive relationships between the different local communities.
Track gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. NOTE: one gorilla permit is included in the cost of this Safari, for checking of the gorillas in Rwanda. (To track gorillas in Mgahinga, additional permits required, upon payment of a supplement and are subject to availability). Tracking in Mgahinga can be challenging due to steep and muddy paths.
O/N Mount Gahinga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3

A relaxed morning during which you will be accompanied by a ranger to track the golden monkeys through the bamboo forests of the mountains. These pretty primates travel in large groups and are as energetic as they are photogenic, often seen playing in the high branches or foraging on the ground for bamboo shoots.

After lunch, you will drive across the border into Rwanda (remembering to put your clocks back one hour). The magnificent Volcanoes Virunga Lodge is perched on the top of a hill with 360° panoramic views of the chain of volcanoes and Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo. From the terrace you can take in the sunset over the lakes and – weather permitting – enjoy an exhilarating performance from the colourful Intore Dance troupe that showcases the unique Rwandese culture.

Approximate Travel Times: Driving 2 hours

O/N Virunga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4

It’s an early start for gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the enchanting bamboo forest on the slopes of the Virunga range of volcanoes. Checking the mountain gorillas is a very special experience. After a gentle climb of between one and 3 hours, you will spend an hour in the company of these gentle apes before returning to base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy. For full details of what to expect on your gorilla trek, and advice on equipment to bring, we refer you to the FAQs our website.

O/N Virunga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5

There is plenty to explore in this beautiful corner of Rwanda, as you can see from the photos on our website. Choose from one of the optional activities:

Go for a second gorilla trek (additional permits required, upon payment of supplement, and are subject to availability).
Alternative options include:

Trek to the grave of pioneer primatologist Dian Fossey and visit the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favourite gorilla, Digit, and many other gorillas.
Visit Lake Kivu, location of the finest inland beaches in Africa.
Take a guided walk to Lake Bulera, to experience village life.
Tour the former Imbabazi Orphanage and beautiful English cottage gardens. Here you can have tea or lunch with staff and volunteers to learn more about British founder Roz Carr, who lived in Rwanda for 50 years, and the history of the orphanage.
O/N:  Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 6

Drive to Kigali, City tour & transfer to the airport
Your safari ends with your journey to Kigali. Depending on the time of your flight, there may be time to tour the city before driving to the airport.

A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial is a moving testimony to this country’s past that it has courageously overcome (guests to pay/donate entrance fees directly). Transfer to the airport in time for your return flight. (B, L)
Itineraries Nearby
Tour Packages

2 Days Lake Mburo NP
16 Days Uganda Safari
8 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari
8 Days Queen Elizabeth-Lake Mburo NP
4 Days Nights Murchison Falls
3 Days Ssese Islands Tour

On your safari tour in Rwanda and Uganda you will experience the ancient Batwa culture, climb a volcano or track golden monkeys in Mgahinga, Uganda and track the mountain gorillas in Parc National des Volcans (PNV), Rwanda.

The drummers of the Intore Dance Group

The drummers of the Intore Dance Group

Your 6-day safari starts and finishes in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, from where were you will drive to Mount Gahinga Lodge nestled in the Uganda foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes. This exclusive Uganda adventure lodge has the impressive backdrop of three of the awe-inspiring volcanoes. The lodge’s rustic charm has an absorbing atmosphere of tranquillity and history.

The Batwa tribe of Mount Gahinga were the indigenous forest dwellers. Experience their culture in a guided, interactive tour of their history and customs, learning the ancient forest survival skills that have been passed down from generation to generation by the tribe elders. Tracking the golden monkeys in the forest of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park will be one of the highlights of your stay in Uganda.

The magnificent Virunga Lodge, back across the border in Rwanda, is perched high on a ridge and has stunning views of the volcanoes and the twin lakes Bulera and Ruhonda. Virunga Lodge is the premier luxury destination for tracking endangered mountain gorillas during our Rwanda safaris, and a respected supporter of the local community.

An encounter with some of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas in the enchanting bamboo forests of Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans is a mesmerising experience. Trekking through the forest usually takes a few hours, and you will spend one hour with the gorillas themselves. Other park activities include hiking one of the Virunga volcanoes or visiting the grave of the famous primatologist Dian Fossey and her beloved gorilla, Digit.

On your return to Kigali for the flight home, you may have the opportunity of visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial and touring the city.

+ Iteneraries

Day 1

Arriving in Kigali you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Set off for the Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge and cross the border into Uganda. Be sure to put your clocks one hour forward.

The lodge is located at the foot of the Virunga Volcanoes and near the entrance to the national park. Enjoy your pre-dinner drinks on the terrace with stunning views of the Volcanoes or warm yourself inside by the roaring fire.

Approximate Travel Times: Driving 4 hours

Please book flights arriving no later than 1000 HOURS.

O/N Mount Gahinga Lodge (L,D)

Day 2

The Batwa Heritage Experience offers an interactive tour of the culture and history of one of Africa’s oldest tribes. On your tour, you will gain insight into their traditional life in the forest and even have lessons in hunting and gathering of medicinal plants. On the tour, you are welcome to ask the Batwa questions about their traditional lifestyle, as they explain their religious, marriage and courtship customs. At the Batwa Vocational Centre (established by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust) you can see first-hand the skills they are learning for self-sufficiency. Here you may even want to pick up a present or two to take home.

Other exciting activities for those interested in the culture and natural history of Mgahinga:

Hike the Muhavura, Sabinyo or Gahinga volcanoes. Mount Gahinga offers a gentler hike through the bamboo forest on the lower slopes and marshy craters at the peak.
Enjoy a performance from the Batwa Dance Group set against the enchanting setting of this volcanic landscape. This wonderful dance display (subject to pre-booking and group availability) is popular with Volcanoes Safaris clients and the local community alike. Learn more about the Batwa’s unique culture first-hand through their oral traditions. This initiative is fully supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust and helps build positive relationships between the different local communities.
Track gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. NOTE: one gorilla permit is included in the cost of this Safari, for checking of the gorillas in Rwanda. (To track gorillas in Mgahinga, additional permits required, upon payment of a supplement and are subject to availability). Tracking in Mgahinga can be challenging due to steep and muddy paths.
O/N Mount Gahinga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3

A relaxed morning during which you will be accompanied by a ranger to track the golden monkeys through the bamboo forests of the mountains. These pretty primates travel in large groups and are as energetic as they are photogenic, often seen playing in the high branches or foraging on the ground for bamboo shoots.

After lunch, you will drive across the border into Rwanda (remembering to put your clocks back one hour). The magnificent Volcanoes Virunga Lodge is perched on the top of a hill with 360° panoramic views of the chain of volcanoes and Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo. From the terrace you can take in the sunset over the lakes and – weather permitting – enjoy an exhilarating performance from the colourful Intore Dance troupe that showcases the unique Rwandese culture.

Approximate Travel Times: Driving 2 hours

O/N Virunga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4

It’s an early start for gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the enchanting bamboo forest on the slopes of the Virunga range of volcanoes. Checking the mountain gorillas is a very special experience. After a gentle climb of between one and 3 hours, you will spend an hour in the company of these gentle apes before returning to base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy. For full details of what to expect on your gorilla trek, and advice on equipment to bring, we refer you to the FAQs our website.

O/N Virunga Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5

There is plenty to explore in this beautiful corner of Rwanda, as you can see from the photos on our website. Choose from one of the optional activities:

Go for a second gorilla trek (additional permits required, upon payment of supplement, and are subject to availability).
Alternative options include:

Trek to the grave of pioneer primatologist Dian Fossey and visit the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favourite gorilla, Digit, and many other gorillas.
Visit Lake Kivu, location of the finest inland beaches in Africa.
Take a guided walk to Lake Bulera, to experience village life.
Tour the former Imbabazi Orphanage and beautiful English cottage gardens. Here you can have tea or lunch with staff and volunteers to learn more about British founder Roz Carr, who lived in Rwanda for 50 years, and the history of the orphanage.
O/N:  Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 6

Drive to Kigali, City tour & transfer to the airport
Your safari ends with your journey to Kigali. Depending on the time of your flight, there may be time to tour the city before driving to the airport.

A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial is a moving testimony to this country’s past that it has courageously overcome (guests to pay/donate entrance fees directly). Transfer to the airport in time for your return flight. (B, L)
Itineraries Nearby
Tour Packages

2 Days Lake Mburo NP
16 Days Uganda Safari
8 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari
8 Days Queen Elizabeth-Lake Mburo NP
4 Days Nights Murchison Falls
3 Days Ssese Islands Tour

+ Gahinga & Virunga Tour

On your safari tour in Rwanda and Uganda you will experience the ancient Batwa culture, climb a volcano or track golden monkeys in Mgahinga, Uganda and track the mountain gorillas in Parc National des Volcans (PNV), Rwanda.

The drummers of the Intore Dance Group

The drummers of the Intore Dance Group

Your 6-day safari starts and finishes in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, from where were you will drive to Mount Gahinga Lodge nestled in the Uganda foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes. This exclusive Uganda adventure lodge has the impressive backdrop of three of the awe-inspiring volcanoes. The lodge’s rustic charm has an absorbing atmosphere of tranquillity and history.

The Batwa tribe of Mount Gahinga were the indigenous forest dwellers. Experience their culture in a guided, interactive tour of their history and customs, learning the ancient forest survival skills that have been passed down from generation to generation by the tribe elders. Tracking the golden monkeys in the forest of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park will be one of the highlights of your stay in Uganda.

The magnificent Virunga Lodge, back across the border in Rwanda, is perched high on a ridge and has stunning views of the volcanoes and the twin lakes Bulera and Ruhonda. Virunga Lodge is the premier luxury destination for tracking endangered mountain gorillas during our Rwanda safaris, and a respected supporter of the local community.

An encounter with some of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas in the enchanting bamboo forests of Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans is a mesmerising experience. Trekking through the forest usually takes a few hours, and you will spend one hour with the gorillas themselves. Other park activities include hiking one of the Virunga volcanoes or visiting the grave of the famous primatologist Dian Fossey and her beloved gorilla, Digit.

On your return to Kigali for the flight home, you may have the opportunity of visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial and touring the city.

+ Location

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Rwanda Cultural Dances