Gorillas in the Mist

Dian Fossey Grave (Volcanoes National Park Rwanda)

In the footsteps of Dian Fossey

“There was no way that I could explain to dogs, friends, or parents my compelling need to return to Africa to launch a long-term study of the gorillas. Some may call it destiny and others may call it dismaying. I call the sudden turn of events in my life fortuitous”  Dian Fossey (Gorillas in the Mist)

This short  Gorilla Safaris makes it easy to combine your gorilla experience with another safari in East Africa. Rwanda has excellent international flight connections! Including direct flights to other National Parks in East-Africa!



Parks & Places:
Discover Kigali
Discover Volcanoes National Park

Special interest:
The Virunga Gorilla Experience
Dian Fossey
Habituation of Primates: what does it mean?

BUDGET (**): Hotel Chez Lando & Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, 
MIDRANGE (***): Hotel des Mille Collines & Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel.
HIGH-END (****): Kigali Serena Hotel & One & Only Gorilla’s Nest.

More information on Rwanda Recommended Accommodations

ROAD MAP (Estimates): 

Kigali – Musanze: 105Kms - 2h30
Musanze – Kigali: 105kms - 2h30

Kigali Airport - Musanze: 30 min.

  • Itinerary
    Gorilla in the Mist

    Day 01: Arrival in Kigali
    Day 02:  Kigali city tour and transfert to Volcanoes NP
    Day 03: Gorilla trekking
    Day 04: Dian Fossey grave hike – Kigali & departure

  • Day 01
    Arrival in Kigali

    You will be met with your driver-guide who will transfer you to your hotel. 
    Dinner & overnight at your accommodation

    Kigali is the capital of Rwanda and is one of the safest and friendliest of African capitals. First-time visitors to the bustling and colourful centre often remark how clean the streets are, a matter of pride across every community throughout the country. It is presently inhabited by approximately 1.2 million inhabitants. Kigali is developing rapidly, with new shopping malls, office buildings and, of course, the Convention Centre which lights up the night sky atop of one of the many hills.

  • Day 02
    Kigali city tour and transfer to Volcanoes National Park

    Your driver-guide will pick you up in the morning from your accommodation and together you will go on a city tour. We have often noted that some visitors are intested in visiting the Genocide Memorial centre. Situated on the outskirts of the city, the centre commemorates the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis. A visit to the genocide memorial is for most visitors an emotional event.

    After you city tour you will drive to Musanze (Volcanoes National Park). On arrival, you will be checked-in and have lunch. Later in the afternoon, you will visit the new Ellen Degeneres campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund".  The new Campus is a milestone in Gorilla Conservation and home of the Karisoke Research Center created by Dian Fossey in 1967.

    Dinner and Overnight at your accommodation.

    "The Ellen Fund" is supporting The Fossey Fund to create a campus that will support : the longterm health and care of the Dian Fossey Fund,  gorilla science, responsible tourism, and the needs of the local population. This campus will enhance the gorilla conservation efforts and the work started by Dian Fossey in 1967. This campus is the new home for the Karisoke Research Centre.

  • Day 03
    Gorilla trekking

    After breakfast you will report at the Park headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest animal experience ever. The day starts with briefing at the park headquarters. Once you have been assigned the gorilla family that you will visit, you then set off with your driver-guide to the starting point.

    See here the Magic Safaris Video

    Gorilla trekking is a very unforgettable experience. The hike through the bamboo forest may take between 30 minutes to 2 hours. You are encouraged to hire a porter who will be help you carry your backpack and offer you a hand when the trail gets a littler slippery or steep. Porters are sourced from the neighboring communities and by hiring one, you are contributing to their life. An encounter with the largest living primate is both frightening and breathtaking. You are only allowed 1 hour with them. You observe them as they groom, play and feed.

    Dinner and Overnight at your accommodation

  • Day 04
    Dian Fossey grave hike – Kigali & departure

    Today, you continue to explore the life and times of Dian Fossey. You will hike to her tomb and also visit the original Karisoke Research Centre where she started her work with the mountain gorillas.

    After breakfast, you report to the park headquarters and like yesterday your driver-guide will do the formalities. Today’s hike will provide excellent background information and this is a wonderful site to see! Dian Fossey is one of the greatest and most prominent primatologist of the 20th century. She was considered an authority in all issues related to the endangered mountain gorillas from 1967 till her death in 1985.

    This is a great way to pay homage to one of the greatest mountain gorilla researchers. You will learn about her work with the mountain gorillas in these remote mountains of Rwanda. While on the hike, you will get to see the beauty of this park: spot rare birds, forest elephants, buffaloes etc.

    The hike to the spot where she is buried alongside her favorite gorillas will take about 2 hours. It is pretty steep and muddy and you are encouraged to use the services of a porter. The rangers will show you also where she set up her first work station in the forest and from where she was killed.

    You will then descend and meet your driver-guide for the drive back to Kigali.  He  will drop you off at the airport in time for your flight.

    This is the end of what has been a memorable tour of the country of a thousand hills!

    Dian Fossey Grave (Volcanoes National Park Rwanda)

Your lifetime experience

This safari idea can be tailor-made to create a unique holiday for you. With our intimate knowledge of both Rwanda and Uganda, we look forward to designing and organizing a personalised and memorable holiday.

Contact us for a free quote

The Tour package includes: Return ticket for domestic flight, Airport transfers, accommodation, all meals, plenty of mineral water, the services of a driver-guide, all park and entry fees, all activities as per programme: Kigali city tour, 1 gorilla trek and 1 dian Foseey hike permit. 

It Excludes: International airline ticket, beverages, tips, visas and personal expenses. 

What to bring with you? Money for your personal expenses, outfit with adapted colours for wildlife observation, good walking shoes, raingear, a few long-sleeve shirts, slippers, sweater for cool evenings, sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sun cream, video/photo camera, a 200 mm or longer telepholens is very usefull, reserve batteries, films and a torch.

Rwanda Visa & Travel Requirments: Find out more.

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