• Leopard in Zambia

Itinerary Summary

Duration
13 Days
Price
£12050
When
Jun -Sep
Destination
Rwanda & Zambia
Type
Tailor-Made
Duration Price When Destination Type
13 Days £12050 Jun -Sep Rwanda & Zambia Tailor-Made
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Rwanda and Zambia Tracking Safari

An exciting tailor-made walking safari encountering the endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda, followed by the big game of South Luangwa National Park. This safari on foot allows you to enjoy intimate wildlife encounters as well as fantastic photography opportunities.

The experience of watching a family of gorillas at play, foraging and relaxing is one that will stand out in your memory for a lifetime. Many describe feeling a deep connection to these great apes, which you are sure to share in when tracking them. You will also be able to spend a day in the company of the local population of golden monkeys. Zambia, and in particular the South Luangwa National Park, remains the finest place in Africa for walking safaris. Walking in Zambia, the prolific game and unrivalled expertise of the local guides mean that sightings of leopard, elephant, hippo, lion and wild dog are not just rare experiences, but commonplace.

Walking safaris and tracking wildlife on foot is an incredible experience that can be tailored to your fitness level and how adventurous you are feeling. Walks are largely, blissfully, conducted in silence. Your expert guide will encourage you to really listen and connect with the environment. Tune into bird calls, or the barking of baboons, are their alarm calls signalling the presence of predators? You will stay in two of the finest bush camps in the South Luangwa, with the chance to walk between the two. Continuing to Zambia’s incredible Lower Zambezi you will have the chance for yet more game viewing as well as relaxing on a boat cruise, or continuing the silent safari theme on a canoe safari, allowing for incredible up-close encounters with elephants in particular.

 

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Tracking the world famous mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park twice!
  • Tracking the fast-moving and photogenic golden monkeys.
  • Visiting the moving Genocide Memorial.
  • Travelling “The Land of a Thousand Hills”
  • Explore Zambia - the home of the walking safari - on foot.
  • Enjoy diverse safari experiences in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi including game drives, walking safari, boat safaris and canoe safaris.

Embedded Video Overview

A 13-day gorilla & game tracking safari in Rwanda & Zambia 
from $15,364 per person, excluding gorilla permits and international flights

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Kigali - Kigali Serena

Upon arrival you will be met by your private guide and driven to the Kigali Serena. The rest of the day is yours to settle in and start thinking about the adventures that lay before you. If you have time you may wish to explore the markets or visit the Genocide Museum.

Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel (D)

Day 2

Kigali - Volcanoes National Park

This morning, you have the chance to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. It contains a permanent and extremely moving exhibition of the Rwandan genocide. After lunch, you travel north to Ruhengeri and the Volcanoes National Park. A 'true island in the sky', the Volcanoes National Park is home to some of the world's few remaining mountain gorillas, which were first studied here in 1959 by George Schaller, and through the 1960s by Dian Fossey and her colleagues. You will arrive at Virunga Lodge where you will be introduced to the lodge and briefed on your stay, you will then be shown to your suite.

Overnight: Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 3

First Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park

Today will be spent tracking the world famous mountain gorillas. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to either one of ten habituated family groups. An early breakfast and you're off to the park headquarters at Kinigi to register and be allocated your gorilla family for today. Once this is done, you set out by vehicle to the start of your gorilla safari.

The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. However, experienced guides will accompany you on your gorilla tracking, many of whom have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas' habits and information from the previous day to locate the group's whereabouts.

Overnight: Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 4

Golden Monkey Trek

A relaxing day today as you set off into the forest to track the golden monkeys. Spend an hour with the cheeky golden monkeys and then return to the lodge to relax throughout the afternoon or explore the local area including Lakes Ruhondo and Burera.

Overnight: Virunga Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 5

Final Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park - Kigali

Your final day of gorilla tracking! An early start to make your way to the park headquarters where you are assigned a ranger and a gorilla group. Tracking the gorillas can take anything from 4-8 hours in lush green, steep, muddy, terrain! It is, however, the experience of a lifetime... coming across these amiable primates in their natural surroundings is quite awe-inspiring as you watch them go about their daily lives, playing, grooming and eating! Following your trek you will be driven back to Kigali for an overnight stay.

Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 6

Kigali - South Luangwa National Park

Today, at a time to be advised locally, you will be driven to Kigali International Airport in time for your international flight to Lusaka International Airport, Zambia (please note the cost of this flight is not included in the price of the itinerary). Upon arrival into Lusaka, you will need to clear immigration before being assisted to your light aircraft flight to Mfuwe, the gateway to the South Luangwa National Park. You will be met by your guide on arrival and driven to Chindeni. On arrival at the camp you will be briefed on your time on safari before being shown to your room.

Overnight: Chindeni Bushcamp (B, L, D)

Day 7

On safari at Chindeni Bushcamp

The fabulous location of Chindeni Bushcamp in the southern sector of South Luangwa guarantees a rewarding safari experience thanks to the plethora of wildlife found in the area and the relative lack of visitors. Walking is encouraged to allow you to have the true Zambian safari experience but there is also a vehicle in camp should you wish to explore further afield on game drives and after dark on a night drive. South Luangwa is known for its leopard population, large elephant herds found around the rivers and lagoons, puku, Thornicroft giraffe, wild dog and lion who lie in wait for animals coming to drink. Birders are also richly rewarded with carmine bee-eaters being a highlight.

Overnight: Chindeni Bushcamp (B, L, D)

Day 8

Chindeni - Chamilandu

After your morning game activity you will be driven to your next camp in the South Luangwa, Chamilandu, enjoying a game drive as you go. Alternatively, it is possible to walk between the two camps which is a fantastic experience and allows you to take in the journey with wildlife viewing along the way. Upon arrival, settle in and have lunch. In the afternoon, head out on a game activity in the area.

Overnight: Chamilandu Bushcamp (B, L, D)

Day 9

On safari at Chamilandu Bushcamp

As with all Bushcamp Company camps, the focus at Chamilandu is on getting out on foot and exploring the South Luangwa on a walking safari. There is of course always the possibility to go on game drives too as well as using a spotlight after dark on a night drive to spot nocturnal species including genet, and the park's healthy population of leopard are also often spotted out at this time. Chamilandu also has the benefit of having a photographic hide, which is the perfect way to spend an afternoon watching wildlife, particularly for keen photographers.

Overnight: Chamilandu Bushcamp (B, L, D)

Day 10

South Luangwa - Lower Zambezi

Today, at a time to be advised locally, you will be driven to Mfuwe Airport in time for your light aircraft flight to the Lower Zambezi National Park. On arrival into the Jeki Airstrip you will be met by your guide and game driven to Old Mondoro. This is one of the most beautiful parks in Southern Africa with spectacular views of the escarpment and the river. On arrival at Old Mondoro you will be briefed on your stay and shown to your tent. If there is time you will go out on a game drive, a sunset boat cruise or maybe a guided walk to look at the smaller things!

Overnight: Old Mondoro Bushcamp (B, L, D)

Days 11-12

On safari at Old Mondoro

Old Mondoro is renowned for the quality of guiding that is on offer, providing guests with an unsurpassed safari experience in the Lower Zambezi. Whilst game drives and walking safaris are offered, and are certainly rewarding thanks to the camp being in the vicinity of lion, leopard and wild dog territory, the camp's location on the Zambezi lends itself to water activities. You have the chance to go on boat cruises in search of big game coming to the water to drink, as well as learning more about the plethora of birds along the river, and a highlight has to be the guided canoe safaris as you gently explore the tributary channels of the Zambezi with elephant regularly seen; a truly amazing experience.

Overnight: Old Mondoro Bushcamp (B, L, D)

Day 13

Lower Zambezi - Depart Lusaka

Today, at a time to be advised locally, you will be game driven to the Jeki Airstrip in time for your light aircraft flight to Lusaka. On arrival into Lusaka you will be met and assisted to check in for your onward flight home, marking the end of your time on safari in Zambia.

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