Small Group Safari

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari with Scott Portelli

Join award-winning wildlife photographer Scott Portelli in the forests of Volcanoes National Park, tracking mountain gorillas and learning how to capture them perfectly on camera.

Duration 6 days
Price From $4,889
When Apr 2019
Destination Rwanda

Safari Overview

Like a phoenix rising from its turbulent past, Rwanda is a surprising and breathtakingly beautiful country. This 6-day journey explores the misty mountains of Volcanoes National Park, in search of the endangered mountain gorillas that call it home. Two mornings are spent trekking the gorillas in their natural habitat in the company of award-winning wildlife photographer Scott Portelli. Scott is there to assist you in taking the perfect images of these great apes; come rain or shine, he knows the best time, angles and camera settings to get great shots during your limited time with them.

Scott has spent thousands of hours in remote locations across the globe, filming and photographing wildlife both on land and at sea. A member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), he is regarded as a leading professional in his field, having reached the finals of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards and submitted winning images to the Sony World Photography Awards, Asferico International Nature Photography Awards and Travel Photographer of the Year Awards, among many other accolades.

On this safari you can spend up to an hour with the gorillas each time, and with the option of a third trek, you'll have plenty of opportunities to capture some incredible images. The afternoons are not wasted, as you'll learn how to edit your images professionally with expert guidance from Scott.

What makes this trip extraordinary?

  • Track mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
  • Receive expert photographic advice from wildlife photographer Scott Portelli.
  • Trek through the forests of Volcanoes National Park.
  • Visit the remains of Dian Fossey's research centre.

An incredible opportunity to come face to face with the endangered mountain gorillas of the virunga massif, and learn how to photograph them with guidance from the experts.

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Day by day

Day 1

Apr 20: Arrive Kigali

Upon arrival into Kigali Airport you will be met by our local representatives and transferred to the Kigali Marriott, your hotel for the evening. Settle in and join your fellow travel companions for a welcome dinner.

Day 2

Apr 21: Kigali - Volcanoes National Park

Depart after breakfast with Scott and your private guide and set off to explore city of Kigali, including a visit to the Genocide Museum. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving approx. 2.5hrs to Kinigi and the nearby 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. In the late afternoon you'll have a briefing where Scott will take you through the itinerary for the next few days, ensuring you are properly prepared for your encounters with the gorillas!

Overnight: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel B, L, D

Day 3

Apr 22: 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 one of 10 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'll 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. Scott will guide you through how to get the best out of your photographs, and in the evenings, go through them with you so you can improve your skills over the following days.

Overnight: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel B, L, D

Day 4

Apr 23: Golden Monkey Trek

This is an opportunity to practice your forest-photography skills. Set off into the forest to track the golden monkeys. This species is endemic to the Volcanoes National Park area and is known for being cheeky, playful and inquisitive. There are currently two habituated groups and guests are allowed to spend one hour with one group. Please bear in mind that there is no limit to the number of visitors so it can be quite busy. After your trek you'll return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon (if time and weather conditions permit) you'll visit the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, or the local markets in the town of Musanze.

Overnight: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel B, L, D

Day 5

Apr 24: Second Gorilla Trek in Volcanoes National Park

Your second day of gorilla tracking! After an early start, make your way to the park headquarters where you will be assigned a ranger and a gorilla group. Tracking the gorillas can take anything from 4-8hrs 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, alternately playing, grooming, snoozing and foraging. Return to the lodge later in the afternoon to relax, have a hot shower and reflect on the day’s activities.

Overnight: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel B, L, D

Day 6

Apr 25: Optional Third Gorilla trek or Dian Fossey Research Centre Visit

On your final day, you'll have the chance to once again track the gorillas or, alternatively, visit the Karisoke Research Centre where Dian Fossey worked, which includes a trip to the meadow which once served as the setting for her humble mountain hut, with views of the Bisoke, Karisimbi and Sabyinyo peaks. In the afternoon you’ll be driven back to Kigali Airportfor your onward flight. Guests joining Scott in Uganda will cross the border into Uganda and continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Trip Details

This safari is a small group safari departing on 20 April 2019. The price is per person sharing and there is an additional cost of £2,400 for two gorilla permits. 

Please note, there is a single supplement of £465.

 Travel dates  Prices  Availability
 20 - 25 April 2019  From £3,835   Spaces available 
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