Introduction to Rwanda Gorilla Tours from Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu, situated on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, is one of the captivating African Great Lakes. Nestled within the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift valley, this beautiful lake feeds into the Ruzizi River, eventually flowing southwards into Lake Tanganyika. On the northern shores of Lake Kivu lies Rubavu, formerly known as Gisenyi, a bustling town offering a gateway to Volcanoes National Park, one of Rwanda’s natural treasures. Here, we present a two-day journey for travelers seeking an enriching experience in the heart of Rwanda’s lush landscapes.
Rubavu, with its idyllic setting along the shores of Lake Kivu, serves as an ideal location for relaxation after the exhilarating Gorilla trekking adventure. Once a prominent colonial beach resort, Rubavu’s waterfront boasts a charming blend of faded old mansions, hotels, and trendy lakeside bars. It provides an inviting atmosphere for enjoying sundowners and cocktails, all while relishing the stunning views of Lake Kivu.
At Trek Africa Expeditions, we specialize in organizing Gorilla tours from Lake Kivu to Volcanoes National Park. The itinerary for your Gorilla tour from Lake Kivu depends on various factors, including your preferred trekking time, budget, and group size. Typically spanning two days, this excursion begins with our professional driver/guide picking you up from your location at Lake Kivu.
Rwanda welcomes Gorilla tracking enthusiasts year-round, offering unique experiences in different seasons. The optimal times for traveling to Rwanda are during the drier periods, spanning from December to early March and from June to September. The December-to-March period constitutes a lengthy dry season with temperatures occasionally reaching 29 degrees Celsius. Conversely, the months of March to mid-May and July to September are characterized by rainy weather.
While Rwanda generally enjoys favorable weather throughout the year, the dry season is favored for Gorilla tours due to minimal rain during treks and favorable hiking conditions in the rainforest. It is advisable to carry waterproof clothing, even during the drier months, as Rwanda’s Equatorial climate can be unpredictable. The dry season also coincides with peak tourism, which may result in higher prices for accommodations and other services.
On the other hand, budget-conscious travelers may find value in visiting during the wet season. During this time, hotels often offer discounted rates, enhancing the affordability of food and lodging. Moreover, lower demand for Gorilla permits increases the chances of encountering these endangered species without competition.
Your journey commences with a pick-up from your Lake Kivu hotel by our Trek Africa Expeditions Driver Guide. As you depart, you’ll be treated to breathtaking scenery while traveling through the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” Rwanda’s countryside. Depending on your arrival time, you may visit the Genocide Memorial Center before continuing your drive to Volcanoes National Park. Here, you’ll enjoy dinner and spend the night in the vicinity.
Drive time: 2-3 hours
Day two marks the pinnacle of your adventure as you set out for Gorilla trekking. After breakfast and a thorough briefing, you proceed to the starting point of your Gorilla trek. The allocation of a Gorilla family is influenced by your preferences and other factors. Trekking can range from 30 minutes to several hours, and fitness is crucial for an enjoyable experience. Your guide will provide insights into the forest’s natural wonders, bird species, and local wildlife.
Upon reaching the Gorilla family, you’ll have a precious hour to observe and photograph these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Following your trek, return to the National Park offices to collect your certificates. Finally, you drive back to Lake Kivu, where your tour concludes, offering unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for Rwanda’s natural beauty.
Drive time: 2-3 hours
Note: If you plan to fly back after your two-day Rwanda Gorilla safari in Volcanoes National Park, please ensure that your flight departs late from Kigali International Airport to allow ample time for your journey.