This 10 day itinerary combines two once in a lifetime experiences; gorilla trekking in Rwanda's Volcano National Park and incredible game viewing in Tanzania's world famous Serengeti National Park. All of this while staying at some truly luxurious accommodation will ensure that your trip is truly unforgettable.
Depart London Heathrow on the daytime flight to Nairobi.
On arrival in Nairobi connect onwards on a short international flight to Kilimanjaro. You will be met on arrival and transferred to Arusha Coffee Lodge where you overnight.
Nestled quietly away on its own coffee estate on the lower foothills of Mt Meru, Arusha Coffee Lodge is a haven of tranquillity away from busy Arusha and a great place to start or indeed end your adventure around Northern Tanzania.
The whole feel of the lodge comes from it's colonial heritage, the original building was constructed during the early 1900's and the Plantation Rooms and Suites are designed to be a nod to this era, with open fireplaces, elegant, comfortable decor and furnishings and stunning views. The food is a real feature of any stay here, with a superb choice of dining options when you are at the property and picnic lunches offered if you are out exploring further afield.
Transfer back to Arusha for your scheduled flight to the Serengeti. You will be met and transferred to the Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp where you spend the next three nights.
Each year, this little camp casts off from Lamai Serengeti and begins its own odyssey. Covering hundreds of miles and moving every couple of months along a route that the herds have travelled for hundreds of years.
Serengeti Safari Camp has just 6 open-plan walk-in Meru tents, with an en-suite bathroom at the rear. One of these tents is a family tent with two bedrooms and an adjoining sitting area.
The main dining tent sits in the middle of the line of tents, with the fireplace right in front and a separate library/bar tent nearby.
Transfer back to the airstrip today, arriving in time for your flight to Kigali. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to the Kigali Serena Hotel where you overnight.
Five-star elegance is offered at this international hotel located in the heart of the Rwandan capital’s ambassadorial and commercial area.
With a choice of luxury rooms and suites it is the ideal place to begin or finish a visit to this magical country of lakes, volcanoes and the glorious Mountain Gorilla. Guests can relax on the wide sundeck adjacent to the pool, at the Maisha Health Club, or take a stroll along one of Kigali’s wide and attractive boulevards.
Transfer today to Bisate Lodge, where you spend the next three nights.
Situated within the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, the 27-hectare Bisate site is incomparable in terms of its natural splendour, with sweeping views towards the Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno volcanoes. The lodge is close enough to Kinigi (the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters) to be convenient for morning gorilla treks, but far enough away so as to feel remote and even – as a result of the onsite indigenous reforestation project – part of the spectacular Park.
At 6am you will be collected from Bisate Lodge and taken on a Gorilla Tracking excursion. Your exhilarating trek, in the footsteps of the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, the largest living primate on earth, starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virungas with stirring views in all directions. Upon entering the national park, her paths littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive buffalo and elephant, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with colourful bird calls and butterflies.
Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth!
After the trek you return to Bisate Lodge for lunch followed by a Nature Walk.
Early in the morning you will be collected from Bisate lodge and taken on a Golden Monkey Tracking expedition.
The very beautiful Golden Monkey has a golden body, cheeks and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown, and tail-end. Not much is known about their behaviour; other than they live in social groups of up to 30 individuals and their diet consists mainly of leaves and fruit - it is believed they eat insects too. Restricted to the highland forest of the Virungas especially near bamboo, they share this habitat with their big Brother the Mountain Gorilla, inhabiting a small area that overlaps the territory of one of the Gorilla families Together, they face the same threats; snares, human encroachment etc. and are listed on the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species.
Tracking usually takes from 2 to 4 hrs. Once you come to the families, you will spend one hour with them as they go about their daily life; adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch while females carry their young, completely oblivious of on-lookers.
You return to Bisate Lodge for lunch after which you embark on a tour to the Caves. Located in the Musanze district and formed over centuries of volcanic activity from the Virunga volcanoes, these caves give tourists a rare look into Rwandan earth and history. The 1.25-mile long cave formations are a great place to explore. The guided tours explain the history of the caves from their formation to their various uses in history for example, during times of war they were used as a shelter. Tours of the caves take approximately 2.5 hours and are a great add-on activity.
Transfer back to Kigali this morning for your flight to London Heathrow
Early morning arrival into Heathrow
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