I shall never forget my first encounter with gorillas
Dian Fossey - Author of Gorillas in the Mist
No experience is quite like coming eye to eye with mountain gorillas in their natural setting. After you trek through dense jungles and up and down slippery slopes, the hour spent with our closest relatives is one experience you will carry with you for life. All this against the stunning backdrop of volcanoes and terraced farmlands in Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills.
When to go
Travel to Rwanda is possible year-round but the best time to visit Rwanda is during the dry seasons, which run from mid-May to September and mid-December to mid-March.
Volcanoes National Park
Against the scenic backdrop of bamboo groves, rain forests and steep volcanoes, this is one of the best places in the world to track gorillas. In addition, you can spot endangered golden monkeys here.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
A park with an incredible biodiversity, Nyungwe Forest is one of the oldest rain forests on earth. Thirteen species of primates make their home here, including chimpanzees which are easily tracked. Uwinka Overlook features East Africa's highest canopy walk.
Easily tacked on to the start or end of a gorilla trek, a tour of Kigali, one of Africa's most attractive, cleanest and safest capitals is worth your while.
Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park is Rwanda's conservation success story. Once deplated of wildlife it is now one of the few parks in East Africa where you can see the Big Five. Elephants, buffalo, giraffe and plenty of antelope are easily spotted while lion and leopard are more elusive. One of Africa’s prettiest national parks - think lakes, papyrus swamps, savannah and rolling hills - it has rhino as well.
Beaches in the heart of Africa
The western border of Rwanda is made up by Lake Kivu and at the town of Gisenyi you will find great beaches and comfortable hotels to make a beach holiday this far from the ocean a reality.
Come eye to eye with a family of mountain gorillas. Watch the youngsters at play, while the adults go about their daily life of foraging and lazing about. Do you feel the kinship?
Kigali Genocide Memorial
Rwanda's dark past is commemorated at this powerful and moving monument.
While gorillas are the indisputable highlight in Rwanda, other primates such as golden monkeys and chimps can be tracked in places like Volcanoes NP and Nyungwe Forest.
Uwinka Overlook in Nyungwe Forest National Park features a suspension bridge hanging a dizzying 50m high above the canopy. Look down if you dare on to the giant trees below you while listening to birds, waterfalls and monkeys.
Spot the Big Five
The “Big Five” - lions, leopards, Cape buffalo, elephants and rhinoceros - can be found in Akagera National Park, Rwanda's conservation success story.
Hit the beach
Yes, this far from the ocean you can have a beach holiday. In the west of the country Lake Kivu has great beaches, plush hotels and private clubs where a holiday in the sun is a distinct possibility.
Rwanda Gorilla Trek
Tour code: FGOR
Why we love this trip: there is no other experience on earth than coming eye to eye with a family of our closest relatives
Places visited: Kigali, Volcanoes NP
Signature Experiences: gorilla tracking, optional Genocide Memorial, optional golden monkey trek
Length: 3 days
Accommodation: city hotel, safari lodge
Included meals: breakfast Kigali, all meals while on trek
Transport: Minivan & on foot
Departures:daily private departures
Price: from $1925, including gorilla permit
Gorillas & Masai Mara
Tour code: EWYU
Why we love this trip:
This popular safari visits major game parks in Kenya and offers gorilla tracking
Places visited: Nairobi, Lakes Naivasha & Nakuru, Masai Mara, Jinja, Lake Bunyonyi, Volcanoes NP, Kigali
Signature Experiences: game drives, Great Migration, village visit, optional balloon safari, rafting, gorilla trek
Length: 16 days
Accommodation: full service camping in campsites, permanent tented camps, hotels
Included meals: 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 13 dinners
Transport: overland vehicle
Departures: set small-group dates
Yes, we can tailor this in lodges and hotels - price on request
Price: Small group departures prices from $3910