The golden monkey trekking tour in Volcanoes NP is one of the top adventures to do in Rwanda. The activity involves a relatively easy trek through the bamboo jungles in the lower zones of the Virunga Volcanoes to find and spend an hour with the striking Golden Monkeys. Afterwards head to misty Bwindi, which is home to more than half the population of the remaining 720 Mountain Gorillas. Bwindi offers a unique birding opportunity, cultural experiences, and the elusive primates.
Bwindi National Park is most notable for being home of over 400 of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorilla population, estimate of 880 (November 2012) mountain gorilla population, which has been under protection since 1964. There are 12 habituated mountain gorilla families/groups open to tourism here. Bwindi forest vegetation has been in existence at least 25,000 years, – there is about 310 species of butterfly, 51 species of reptiles, 200 types of trees, 88 species of moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammals including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and of course the famous residents – the mountain gorillas. Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Some relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi before having an experience of a lifetime watching at close range these majestic apes as they feed, play and relax. Before crossing to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a great game viewing experience.
Day 1- Transfer to Volcano National Park, Golden Monkey tracking and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP(Uganda)
You will be met by our driver guide in Kigali 06:am and we transfer to the park head offices in Kinigi by 7.00am. Join up with the other Golden Monkeys trekkers, meet the ranger guide for a few minutes talk about the activity and the park, and by 8.00am you transfer to the trail head just outside the park. Enjoy great views of the mountain scenery as you start your trek into the park to find the golden monkeys. The golden monkeys live near the edge of the park in the bamboo forests where the ground is relatively flat and easy to trek. Find the monkeys and follow them as they feed, notice how they skillfully pick the young bamboo leaves from the tip of the bamboo tree. They may also move out of the park into the potato fields and how they love the potatoes!
After an amazing one hour with the golden monkeys you will return to the trail head drive back to the lodge for lunch and thereafter head to the border, after clearing we will proceed to Bwindi.
Dinner and overnight will be at
- Broadbill Forest Camp/Ruhija Community Rest Camp (Budget)
Day 2- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for a boat ride
You will have an early morning breakfast and move to the Park headquarters to join other trackers in a briefing about the gorilla trekking rules at 7:45 am. You will trek through thick creepers and undergrowth with your guides to find the Gorillas, which can take you 1-8 hours. The steeply forested landscape is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access by tourists. You will have one hour to stay with the Gorillas once sited and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi. The drive will be a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’ because of its unique cool weather despite being near the Equator. This lake is said to be one of the most beautiful places in western Uganda. It is the second deepest lake in Africa [900 meters deep] and also one of the few places in the country where it is considered safe to swim as it is bilharzia free. You will take a boat ride on this lake and hike to different viewpoints before returning for Dinner and overnight stay.
- Hawk’s Eye (Budget)
Day 3- Transfer to Queen Elizabeth
Wake up early in the morning have your breakfast, set off for Queen Elizabeth through volcanic formation of the western Rift Valley towards Queen Elizabeth N.P. The descent reveals a stunning panorama of lakes George an Edward amidst game-filled plains where you will reach in the afternoon check in you’ Lodge have lunch and some rest for sun to go down, in the afternoon go the unique boat cruises that takes 2hrs on the Kazinga channel and onto Lake Edward. The trip passes through possibly the highest hippo concentration in Africa and many mammals may be seen drinking water. The cruise offers the excellent platform for photography and game viewing. The birdlife is colorful and abundant, In the evening go for a game drive with a chance to see Elephants Lions Buffaloes etc later return for dinner and overnight stay.
- Tembo Safari Lodge/Engiri Game Lodge (Budget)
Day 4- Chimp track and travel to Kigali
Wake-up early morning have breakfast and head to Kalinzu Forest Reserve for an up to 4 hours chimpanzee trekking with a tracker and guide. The Forest Reserve is home to 6 groups of chimps, comprising over 300. Please bring suitable closed walking boots and long trousers! Afterwards transfer back to Kigali Airport with lunch en-routes to catch your evening departure flight back home.