Rwanda & Tanzania Primate Safari
Days 1, 2 and 3 – Gorilla Tracking, Volcanoes National Park
After arriving into Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, you will be met by your driver who will drive you through lush, cultivated valleys to the Volcanoes National Park for 3 nights. This afternoon you have the time to relax and prepare for one of the most amazing wildlife experiences in Africa – Gorilla Tracking. The Volcanoes National Park is one of the wildlife successes of Africa. Over the years since the Genocide in the 1990s, tourists have been coming to track gorillas here, and the revue generated from this has allowed Rwanda to not only protect but grow the gorilla population. Revenue generated by tourists has also allowed Rwanda to develop other national parks and reintroduce animals that had previously been extinct in the country.
This morning you meet your team, trackers and guide for your gorilla tracking on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. After a short briefing at the park headquarters where you will learn more about the family of gorillas you will be tracking, you head off on your gorilla safari. Trackers head out ahead of the team to find where the gorilla family is so they can guide you in the general direction. After you find the family of gorillas, you get to spend 1 hour with them as they go about their daily lives. This is one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa and one that few get to experience.
Tracking on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park can be tough going and so it is recommended to be fit before embarking on a gorilla adventure.
Day 4 – Kigali
This morning you have the chance for an additional activity in the Volcanoes National Park before heading back to Kigali. Enroute to your hotel you can visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. This is a moving tribute to the horrific atrocities that took place across Rwanda in the 1990s.
Days 5, 6 and 7 – Serengeti National Park
You have an early start to get your scheduled flight direct into the Serengeti National Park. Renowned for forming part of the great wildebeest migration that moves between the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya. The herds follow the rains and are constantly on the move in search of fresh grasses that sprout after the rains, so your location will depend on the time of the year you travel. Typically, the herds are the in the south to give birth around December time and then start moving north through the western corridor, making it to the northern part of the Serengeti around June or July time. They then move between the Serengeti and Masai Mara between July and October when they start to move back south through the eastern corridor.
The Serengeti is large open grassland with rocky outcrops and a few forested areas along the rivers. These huge open grasslands are the perfect habitat for cheetah, making this one of the best places in Africa to see these spotted cats. Lion, leopard and hyena make up the rest of the large carnivores while elephants, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, topi and other antelopes make up the majority of the herbivores. Spend your days on morning and afternoon game drives in search of the migration as well as the other plentiful game.
Days 8, 9 and 10 – Rubondo Island National Park
From the Serenegti National Park you get a short flight to Rubondo Island in the southern section of Lake Victoria. This hidden gem is well off the beaten track but is certainly worth the effort to get here as part of your primate safari. Why come to Rubondo Island – well for the chimpanzees.
it is so remote that only a handful of park wardens, researchers and staff from the only camp on the island, call it home. The forested island is home to shy elephants, chimpanzees and the rare sitatunga antelope. The island is refuge for the animals that were released here many years ago. In the 1960s a professor from the Frankfurt Zoological Society released 16 chimpanzees onto the island and today visitors have the rare chance to be part of the chimpanzee habituation program.