Gorilla Trekking 2023

There is nothing more intimate than being up close and personal with some of the most impressive creatures on the planet, the rare endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. If this is on your bucket list, now is the time to go as there are less than 880 gorillas left in the mountains.

Check out what it is like to spend time with these amazing primates that are virtually on the brink of extinction. This is your chance to see these beautiful mountain gorillas in their natural environment.

 

 

Gorilla Trekking (7 day tour) 2023 

When: 2 – 8 April 2023
Length of tour: 6 Nights / 7 Days
Group Size: Maximum 7 people
Pricing:  £6,480

Deposit £1,500 (Non Refundable)

*Single occupancy supplement £7,455 GBP applies for solo travelers.

Contact Us for more information 

 

Inclusions: Accommodation (shared) & meals as stated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner), airport meet/greet & airport transfers as per itinerary, private professional English speaking driver/guide and private 4×4 vehicles, Scott Portelli—professional photographer guide, transfers to all visited areas as per itinerary, park entrance fees as per itinerary, 2 x gorilla permits per person, 1 x golden monkey permit per person, entrance fees to the Genocide Museum in Kigali.

Exclusions: International flights, possible fuel surcharge, possible departure tax, early & late check in/out at lodges/camps/hotels, visas, tips, items of personal nature, items not mentioned in the `Inclusions` section, Dian Fossey hike, 3rd gorilla permit, any additional excursions & activities.

 Gorilla Trekking

 Gorilla Trekking 2018

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Your Host

Scott Portelli is an international award winning wildlife and nature photographer and film maker. Scott has spent thousands of hours in remote locations across the globe filming and photographing wildlife with a focus on conservation and education.

He was awarded overall winner of the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the year in 2021 and has also been awarded at the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year in London in 2016 and announced National winner of the Sony World Photography awards 2016. More recently he was awarded Winner at the 2020 AIPP Silver Linings awards in the WILD category and 1st place winner with Team Australia at the World Photographic Cup 2021 and winner at the prestigious GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2021.

Scott has spent a several years photographing the Mountain Gorilla’s in Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo and has an affinity with these amazing primates. His continued work to highlight the environmental issues in these regions and document the ongoing plight of climate change and human impacts on inhabitants of these regions is a key aspect of his work and various accolades.

During this expedition, Scott will share his behavioural understanding of wildlife and his photographic knowledge to help you capture those intimate moments with these unique creatures.


RWANDA

Remarkable Rwanda is just that. Like a phoenix rising from its turbulent past, this is a surprising country – safe, clean, proud, and breathtakingly beautiful. This five day journey explores the misty mountains of the Virunga Volcanoes National Park in search of the endangered mountain gorillas that call it home. Two mornings are spent trekking the gorillas in their natural habitat in the company of award-winning photographer, Scott Portelli. Scott is there to assist you in taking the perfect images of these great apes, come rain or shine – he knows the best time, angles and camera settings to get great shots during your limited time with them.

You can spend up to an hour with the gorillas each time, and with the option of a third trek, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to capture some incredible images. The afternoons are not wasted, learn how to edit your images professionally with expert guidance from Scott.

Day by Day Itinerary – Rwanda (7 Day Trip)

Day 1: Arrive Kigali

Upon arrival you will be met by your private guide and driven to Kigali Serena Hotel. The rest of the day is yours to settle in and start thinking about the adventures that lay before you. Settle in and join your fellow travel companions for a welcome dinner.

Overnight accomodation: Kigali Serena Hotel is a large and luxurious hotel close to Kigali Airport and the heart of the city. This five star luxury hotel has 148 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a spa and pool. The hotel is perfect for an overnight stop either before or after visiting Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking.

Day 2: Kigali – Volcanoes National Park

Depart after breakfast with Scott and your private guide and set off to explore city of Kigali including a visit to the Genocide Museum. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, drive approx. 2.5hrs to Kinigi and the Volcanoes National Park. A ‘true island in the sky’, the Volcanoes National Park is home to some of the worlds few remaining mountain gorilla, which were first studied here in 1959 by George Schaller, and through the 1960’s by Dian Fossey and her colleagues. In the late afternoon you’ll have a briefing where Scott will take you through the next few days and ensure you are properly prepared for your encounters with the gorillas!

Overnight accommodation: You will find a warm welcome at Five Volcanoes, which is ideally situated close to the park headquarters for the start of the gorilla treks. The hotel comprises of 8 deluxe en-suite rooms, a two bedroom family suite and a two bedroom Main House. After a day of trekking what better way to relax than in the sparkling swimming pool or enjoy a massage in the hotel grounds. There is an on site bar and restaurant as well as an outdoor fire pit, perfect for enjoying a pre-dinner drink and reminiscing on an incredible day tracking mountain gorillas.

Day 3: First Gorilla Trek – Volcanoes National Park

Today will be spent tracking the world famous mountain gorillas. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to either one of ten habituated family groups. An early breakfast and you’re off to the park headquarters at Kinigi to register and be allocated your gorilla family for today. Once this is done, you set out by vehicle to the start of on your gorilla safari. The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. However, experienced guides will accompany you on your gorilla tracking, many of whom have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project’s headquarters where you will learn the incredible conservation work, they do.

Scott will guide you through how to get the best out of your photographs and in the evenings, go through them with you so you can improve your skills in following days.

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Day 4: Second Gorilla Trek – Volcanoes National Park

Your final day of gorilla tracking! An early start to make your way to the park headquarters where you are assigned a ranger and a gorilla group. Tracking the gorillas can take anything from 4-8 hours in lush green, steep, muddy, terrain! It is, however, the experience of a lifetime… coming across these amiable primates in their natural surroundings is quite awe-inspiring as you watch them go about their daily lives, playing, grooming and eating! Return to the lodge later in the afternoon to relax, have a hot shower or massage and reflect on the day’s activities.
In the afternoon if time and weather permits, visit the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo or the local markets in the Musanze town.

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Day 5: Optional 3rd Gorilla trek or Optional Dian Fossey Visit

Today you have a chance to either track the gorillas one more time or visit the remains of the Karisoke Research Centre where Dian Fossey worked, which includes a chance to visit the meadow of where her mountain hut used to be, with views of Bisoke, Karisimbi and Sabyinyo peaks.

For those who wish to relax at the lodge and recuperate after the last days activities, then this is of course also an option! Permits for gorilla treks are US$1500 per person, and Dian Fossey Trek is US$75 per person.

Optional additional 3rd Gorilla trek (subject to permit availability, £1,200 or US$1500).

Optional visit to the Karisoke Research Centre where Dian Fossey worked, which includes a chance to visit the meadow of where her mountain hut used to be, with views of Bisoke, Karisimbi and Sabyinyo peaks (£60 or US$75).

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Day 6: Golden Monkey Trek

Opportunity to practice your forest-photography settings and skills. Set off into the forest to track the golden monkeys. The golden monkeys (also known as blue monkeys) are a local subspecies of the Sykes monkey who are endemic to the Volcanoes National Park area. They are known for being cheeky, playful and inquisitive. There are currently two habituated groups and guests are allowed to spend 1 hour with one group. Please bear in mind that there is no limit to the number of visitors so it can be quite busy. After your trek you’ll return to the lodge for lunch. Later you set off back through the land of a thousand hills to Kigali.

Overnight accommodation: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Day 7: Final day

Today is at leisure. Either spend the time relaxing around the hotel’s pool & gardens or make arrangements to head out and explore more of the city if there is sufficient time before your transfer back to Kigali airport for your onward flight.

Have a read of the gorilla Trekking Trip report visit to Rwanda and the Volcanoes National Park:

Video footage from our previous trips:

 

Please review our Terms & Conditions and Cancellation policy. 

Contact Us if you’d like to join this adventure.