6 Days Serengeti and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari offers travelers one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa. The tour involves encounters will all of Africa’s big 5 (leopards, lions, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes) and mountain gorillas. The trip traverses the two countries of East Africa – Tanzania and Rwanda. Observing the Big 5 from the Serengeti National park and Ngorongoro conservation area while gorilla trekking from Volcanoes national park. The tour starts in Tanzania and ends in Rwanda.
While in Tanzania, travelers will visit the Serengeti national park and the neighboring Ngorongoro Crater. The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater have arguably the densest population of wildlife in Africa. The Serengeti is located in the northwestern part of Tanzania and close to the border with Kenya. The Serengeti is known globally for hosting the largest animal migration on earth. Each year over 2 million animals (wildebeest, zebras, gazelle, impala and eland) move between the park and the Maasai Mara in search of fresh grass as dictated by the rains. This migration draws thousands of visitors to the park to observe new calves or witness the endless battle between predator and prey. The Serengeti has the largest population of lions in the world (over 3000 lions) and is divided into three main sections – The Serengeti plains, the western corridor and the northern corridor. Regardless of which section you visit, expect to see lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, eland, hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, countless birds and small primates.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was once part of the Serengeti National Park but became a separate entity in 1959. The Area is made up of the famous Ngorongoro crater, Olduvai Gorge and several remote highlands. The area is often described as the cradle of mankind because it is where the very first human fossils where excavated by the Leakey family. However, the most popular attraction is the Ngorongoro crater is the key attraction. The crater has the densest population of wildlife in Tanzania. Because of the protective crater rims, the animals remain in the crater throughout the year with only a few migrating. In general, the Ngorongoro conservation area is home to lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, wildebeest, zebras, hyenas and primates like the blue monkey. The area is also home to birds like silver-cheeked hornbill and grey crowned cranes.
The Volcanoes national park is Rwanda’s most famous tourism destination. It is situated along the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Volcanoes National Park is one of the four natural habitats for mountain gorillas and because of that a popular destination for gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking is one of the most amazing wildlife experiences. It is a completely different experience from a game drive in the savanna plains. You will be looking out for creatures that look and behave like we humans.
- Day 1: Pick up – Transfer to Serengeti National Park with stop at Olduvai Gorge – Afternoon game drive in Serengeti plains
- Day 2: Morning game drive in Serengeti – Game drive in Ngorongoro Crater
- Day 3: Early morning game drive Ngorongoro – Departure to Rwanda through Arusha
- Day 4: Kigali City tour – Drive to Volcanoes national park – Visit the twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo
- Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park – Visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village
- Day 6: Drive to Kigali for departure
- Game viewing in Serengeti national park
- Game viewing in the Ngorongoro crater
- Visiting Olduvai Gorge
- Kigali city tour
- Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
- Iby’iwacu village visit
- Visiting the twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha – Transfer to Serengeti National park with stop at Olduvai Gorge – Afternoon game drive in Serengeti plains
On arrival at Arusha international airport, you will find our Guide waiting to welcome you. The Guide will give you an overview about the Tanzania program and start the journey to the Serengeti. The driver will make a stopover at Olduvai gorge to allow you visit the museum housing some of the oldest human fossils on earth. As you enter Serengeti National park, you will have a short game drive along the plains before heading to your lodge. Look out for lions, giraffes, elands, zebra, elephants, cheetahs, buffaloes and wildebeest. Late in the evening, you will check in to your lodge for a shower and refreshments. Dinner and Overnight at Serengeti Bush Camp/Serengeti Serena Lodge
Day 2: Morning game drive in Serengeti – Game drive in Ngorongoro Crater
On the 2nd day of your 6 Days Serengeti and Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, This will be an eventful day because you will be having game drives throughout the day and moreover in two of the world’s greatest safari destinations. You will start with a morning game drive in the Serengeti savanna plains to see more of the animals you saw on the first game drive and more. This morning game drive will take about 2 hours. After completing the morning game drive, you will slope southeast wards to the Ngorongoro conservation area. Lunch will be at the rim of the Crater.
After lunch, you will drive inside the crater for an amazing game drive. There is a plethora of wildlife species on the crater including lions, elephants, elands, wildebeests, zebras, hyenas and hippos. The Ngorongoro crater is often referred to as the “garden of Eden” for wildlife. It has spectacular scenery with everything that the animals would need to survive. Animals in Ngorongoro Crater don’t need to migrate because there is enough to eat and drink even in the drier months. After an amazing encounter with all the big 5 in the crater, you will retire to your lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight stay at Hhando Coffee Lodge/Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge
Day 3: Early morning game drive Ngorongoro – Departure to Rwanda through Arusha
On the 3rd day of your 6 Days Serengeti and Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, wake up early and go for one more game drive at the Ngorongoro crater to search for more of the animals you saw yesterday and those you might have missed. The Ngorongoro crater is excellent for spotting black rhinos and ostriches but there are also giraffes, jackals and the weird looking vultures. After completing your game drive, you will begin the journey to Arusha International Airport so that you depart to Rwanda early enough. It takes only 45 minutes to get to Kigali from Arusha International Airport.
Accommodation options: Marriott Hotel (Luxury), Des Mille Collins Lodge (mid-range) and Step Town Motel Kigali (budget).
Day 4: Kigali City tour – Drive to Volcanoes national park – Visit the twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo
On the 4th day of your 6 Days Serengeti and Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, You will wake up early and take breakfast as you wait for the Guide/Driver to pick you up and start with a city tour. Kigali is small but one of the cleanest and most organized cities in Africa. The driver will take you around the city with stops at the Genocide Memorial Centre, the former presidential palace, the main city market and one artisan shop. At the end of the city tour, you will have lunch and begin traveling to the northeastern part of the country. It takes 3 hours to get to the Volcanoes National Park from Kigali. Once you reach, you will check-in, shower and freshen up. The driver will take you to visit the beautiful twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.
Accommodation options: Five Volcanoes Hotel (high end), Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (mid-range) and Hotel Muhabura(budget).
Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park – Visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village
Before sunrise, you will have breakfast and drive straight to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters for a briefing about gorilla trekking. In this session, you will be informed about the rules for gorilla trekking, the history of the park and what to expect. After the briefing and verification, you will be assigned a gorilla group to track along with 7 other tourists. You will then proceed to the starting point of the hike before going straight into the thick bamboo forests. It is quite challenging to get to the gorillas because they live far away from the park offices. You will therefore have to trek for about 2 to 4 hours to find them. When you find the gorillas, you will have to adhere to the rules stipulated by the park Ranger. You will spend one hour observing the primates feed, play around and communicate among themselves. The social behaviors of the gorillas will intrigue you compared to other animals. They are very organized and shrewd like human beings.
After one hour of interaction and taking pictures with the primates, you will be led out of the forest and taken back to the starting point for your certificate of participation. You will return to the lodge for lunch and relax as you wait to be taken to the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village. The driver will appear at around 3:30pm, to take you to the cultural village. Now known as the Gorilla Guardians Village, the site is the best place to experience the traditional culture and norms of the people of Rwanda. You will get a chance to visit the local herbalist, local beer makers, art and craft shops. You will also be invited to take part in activities like bricklaying and playing local games. The crowning moment is watching music and dance performances from the local Kinyarwanda and Batwa groups. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above
Day 6: Drive to Kigali for departure
This will be your last day of the trip. You will have breakfast in the morning and check out of the hotel to start the journey back to Kigali. Once you reach Kigali, the driver will either drop you at Kigali international airport if your flight is in the afternoon/evening or at your hotel if you still have a day or two in Rwanda.