ENCOUNTER THE ULTIMATE OUT OF AFRICA
This Rwanda Gorillas and Tanzania Safari will provide a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that combines three extraordinary locations offering some of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences. Journey with us to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and its protected Silverback Gorillas, then onward into The Cradle of Humanity within Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, ending with a memorable finale in the Western Serengeti to view The Great Migration along the Grumeti River. Accommodations throughout the journey will encompass the renowned Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda, the charming lakeside retreat of Arusha Lake Duluti Lodge, the innovative sustainable Nomad Entamanu Camp, and the elegant Kirawira Serena tented camp while in Tanzania. These provide the perfect ambiance within their individual extraordinary settings of the regions visited. Discover and embrace this Garden of Eden paradise, its history and culture. Leave with a deeper emotional connection to this land, having embraced Africa as a precious “gift of life” to humanity.
Offered in partnership with International Expeditions & African Wildlife Foundation
For more than four decades, the African Wildlife Foundation has partnered and been a leader in mountain gorilla conservation within Rwanda. In 1981, AWF was one of the founders of the Mountain Gorilla Project (MGP). For a decade, AWF alongside the MGP led and developed anti-poaching programs, supporting park planning, instituting community education programs, and implementing Rwanda’s ground-breaking gorilla tourism industry. In 1991, AWF and partners expanded the Rwandan country-level program to create the International Gorilla Conservation Program – a transboundary program focused on conservation throughout the species entire range. In 2007, AWF financed and developed Rwanda’s first luxury lodging community-owned enterprise – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. THIRDHOME is proud to partner with the African Wildlife Foundation to provide our members exclusive and amazing access to the Mountain Gorillas along with accommodations within this extraordinary region and lodge.
Safari Adventure Group Size
This Rwanda Gorillas and Tanzania Safari is a private small-group tour with a maximum occupancy of only 14 participants. Our group size is kept small due to strict park regulations in Rwanda allowing limited access to the gorilla habitat and for our exclusive Premium Permits. This small-group Safari Adventure into Rwanda and Tanzania ensures a more engaging and rewarding safari experience while protecting the precious natural habitats of the regions we will visit.
Who Can Participate In the Rwanda Gorillas and Tanzania Safari Adventure
Exchange Club & Adventure Club Members, along with their family & friends can participate in the Safari Adventure ● Age requirement 15+ is strict for Gorilla Trekking specifically
Did you know that gorillas have fragile immune systems? As such, even minor illnesses in humans, such as a common cold, can be life-threatening to the gorillas. Since they are considered a critically endangered species, participants must be in good health or they will not be allowed to engage with the group on the trek to encounter with the gorillas.
Best Times To Visit Rwanda & Tanzania
The ideal time is June through October as this is considered the dry season. Rainfall around the country is minimal with temperatures also dropping, meaning you might experience chilly overnight conditions from time to time. One of the best things about these months is that dry season impacts lower water concentration areas and sources as such the animals congregate in higher numbers. You can enjoy visiting all of the national parks and regions, as conditions will guarantee great game-drives and wildlife viewing no matter where you are. In addition, the southern and western parks have fewer tourists. The wildebeest migration including zebras, gazelles, elands, and impalas can be seen throughout the year in Tanzania. The Serengeti is the most famous place to see migration, and although the best sightings are January to February specifically for calving season, it is also ideal between June through September.
Level 3-5: To experience this unique destination, you will need to be able to participate in physical activities such as trekking and walking over uneven terrain, climbing stairs, and various time-period lengths of standing (between 4-6 hrs) alongside an expert team of guides. You can easily climb onboard various modes of transportation (ex: 4×4 off-road vehicles, camelback/horseback, zodiac rafts or small exploration boats, etc), and can easily adapt to changes in elevation. In the adventure itinerary, you can expect some longer active days with included group activities, balanced with some leisure time to relax and explore as you wish. In addition, you’ll enjoy gathering with other adventure participants for occasional group meals on designated days within the itinerary, along with having some flexibility to experience the local dining scene on your own within the destination.
EXPLORE THE 98.6% HUMAN DOCUMENTARY
DISCOVER VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK CONSERVATION
EXPERIENCE UNFORGETTABLE TANZANIA
RWANDA GORILLAS AND TANZANIA SAFARI HIGHLIGHTS
- Experience a safari wildlife encounter like no other in the greatest regions of Africa
- View extensive wildlife from unique vantage points in three locations of Africa
- Encounter with Silverback Gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park on a guided trek
- Gain exclusive access to the Gorillas on our Premium Permit trek alongside Craig Sholley, renowned conservationist and Senior Vice President of the African Wildlife Foundation
- Enjoy an OPTIONAL guided excursion to view the rare Golden Monkeys in Rwanda and/or an OPTIONAL extra day of trekking to encounter with the Gorillas (standard permit only)
- Visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali with a private presentation by the Museum’s Director Honore Gatera, for a personal story-telling of this historical experience
- Journey to Kilimanjaro to an organic coffee & vegetable farm and overnight near Arusha
- Discover the remarkable Cradle of Humanity deemed one of Africa’s 7 Natural Wonders
- Admire the breath-taking UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania
- Explore the Crater on game drives to view its endangered species including rare Black Rhinos
- Embark on a Maasai Orpul ritual experience based upon healing and strength
- Venture out into the Serengeti plains in search of wildebeest, elephants, and buffalos
- Witness The Great Migration along the Western Corridor of the Serengeti National Park
- Escape into luxurious safari accommodations throughout the adventure
- Extend Your Safari Adventure – Consider Pre or Post custom extensions into surrounding regions of Africa (OR) explore another destination as a stop-over in conjunction with your international air route. Consider the coast of Tanzania’s beaches or South Africa to explore its vineyards and relax at the breathtaking Victoria Falls.
Gorilla Trek Ambassador
Gain access to the gorillas with our exclusive Premium Permit trek alongside Craig Sholley, renowned conservationist and Senior Vice President of the African Wildlife Foundation
Encountering Silverback mountain gorillas in the midst of their forested ‘turf’ is an unparalleled natural history experience. Exchanging glances with a 450-pound gorilla on his terms will change your life forever in the best of possible ways.CRAIG SHOLLEY
Craig Sholley’s experiences with wildlife and conservation began in 1973 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire, Africa. He has worked and traveled extensively since that time providing conservation expertise in a variety of world arenas. As an L.S.B. Leakey grant researcher in the late 1970’s, Craig studied mountain gorillas at Rwanda’s celebrated Karisoke Research Centre with Dian Fossey. Returning to the US, he redirected his interests in in designing natural history educational programs and wildlife tours for the Baltimore Zoological Society. Concurrently, Craig led nature expeditions and photographed wildlife throughout Africa, South America, and Asia.
n late 1987, Craig returned to Africa full time to direct Rwanda’s internationally-known Mountain Gorilla Project. Turning the project over to the Rwandan government in early 1990, Craig continued in Rwanda acting as Scientific Advisor for the award-winning IMAX film, Mountain Gorilla. Craig has served as a Senior Associate of the African Wildlife Foundation and on AWF’s Board of Trustees. He has also served on the Board of the Ecotourism Society. Throughout much of the ’90s, Craig was Director of Conservation and Education for International Expeditions, an organization widely recognized for its ecotourism initiatives.
Craig returned to Rwanda in 1995 on assignment with the National Geographic Society surveying the conservation status of mountain gorillas in Rwanda, DR Congo, and Uganda in the aftermath of Rwanda’s civil war. The findings of that trip are the basis of a 1995 article in National Geographic Magazine on mountain gorilla conservation. Craig has worked full time with the African Wildlife Foundation for over 17 years and presently serves as Senior Vice President. Craig has led countless safaris to natural destinations throughout the world. His favorite continental travel destination remains Africa and he has a strong positive bias for Uganda and Rwanda. We are honored to have Craig personally leading this extraordinary trek to view the Silverback Gorillas on our safari adventure!
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
SUNDAY, MAY 30, 2021
ARRIVAL INTO KIGALI, RWANDA – ADVENTURE BEGINS
Travelers who are beginning their journey in Rwanda will fly to Kigali where they will be met and transferred by a representative. Continue onward to the Kigali Serena Hotel where you will meet-up with Craig Sholley from the African Wildlife Foundation for a safari experience introduction. Overnight at Kigali Serena Hotel with dinner included. Meals included: Dinner
MONDAY, MAY 31, 2021
KIGALI TO VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, you will explore Kigali before visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the final resting place of more than 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Through education and peace-building, the museum honors the memory of the Rwandans killed during this horrific time. After touring the memorial, the group will receive a private presentation by the Museum’s Director, Honore Gatera, whose personal story of a family loss is a compelling microcosm of the majority of his fellow countrymen and women. Afterward enjoy a fantastic lunch at one of the most coveted restaurants in Kigali, Heaven. Depart the restaurant and journey to Volcanoes National Park, home to a large percentage of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population. The park protects the steep slopes of the magnificent Virunga Mountains, a chain of extinct volcanoes that tower up to nearly 15,000 feet. It also protects the rich mosaic of montane and bamboo forests that provide the habitat for the world’s most endangered great ape. Volcanoes National Park was the base for the famous naturalist, Dian Fossey, who carried out her research on primates and gorillas. She is widely credited with saving the gorillas from extinction by bringing their plight to the attention of the international community. Your accommodations for the next three nights are at the luxurious Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. The concept for the lodge was crafted by the African Wildlife Foundation 10 years ago. At the time, the idea of local community ownership in a high-end tourist lodge was cutting-edge; paving the way for a business philosophy that simultaneously benefits wildlife conservation and improves the livelihoods of local people. This evening, enjoy personal stories and experiences from Craig’s lifetime memories with the gorillas and working with Dian. Craig will also provide an orientation on mountain gorilla behavior, conservation, and help you prepare for the gorilla trek again for our next day. Overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2021
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK GORILLA TREK
Enjoy an early breakfast and get ready for a truly remarkable life experience devoted to encountering mountain gorillas ‘on their turf.’ THIRDHOME has arranged for exclusive access with Premium Permits, which allows us to bypass the bureaucratic and time-consuming process of attaining a visitation permit, and go straight into the trekking experience to view our gorilla families. With guides, you will travel by vehicle to a specific departure point to start the trek. The trekking can take from one to six hours and climb to elevations, not in excess of 9,000 feet. Although the hike can be physically demanding, and the terrain is rough and muddy at times, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make it well worthwhile. Once we’ve located the gorilla family, you will have the opportunity to observe the special nature of these great apes and their social interacting dynamics. This wildlife contact is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of flashcard memory are recommended. These are wild animals, but experienced guides are with you and will share their knowledge, expertise, and stories. Return to the Lodge to shower and relax a bit before a group dinner. Overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2021
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK & RARE GOLDEN MONKEYS
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast this morning. Then embark on an OPTIONAL guided exploration – choose to trek another day to gain a second experience with gorilla family observations (14 participants are required per trek to operate on an exclusive access private group basis, or we can arrange a standard permit trek with external group guests with the park officials); (OR) you may opt to instead visit the fascinating Golden Monkeys. These primates have a prominent golden fur coat, which adds to their unique attractiveness. The Golden Monkeys are an endangered species and are endemic to the Virunga Mountain ranges that cover the whole Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. Their habitat is amongst the bamboo forests and the verdant jungle of the Volcanoes Mountains. There are two habituated troops within the Volcanoes National Park and the larger troop found in Sabyinyo has approximately 80-100 members. Spend your afternoon at leisure to relax before dinner. Overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 2021
RETURN TO KIGALI – JOURNEY TO KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA
After breakfast, we will depart the Lodge. Today we end our experience in Rwanda and journey by flight to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Airport. Upon arrival this afternoon, we will enjoy optional activities exploring an authentic coffee farm experience tour; take a guided nature walk with bird watching, or visit an organic vegetable farm and avocado tree naming ceremony. Tonight our accommodations are on Lake Duluti, located on the outskirts of Arusha. The charming chalets of Lake Duluth Serena Lodge face the coffee farm and each offers a private deck with amazing views of ancient indigenous trees scattered throughout the coffee farm. Overnight at Lake Duluti Serena Lodge. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2021
JOURNEY TO NGORONGORO CRATER
This morning after breakfast, we depart the lodge and journey via Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its tree-climbing lions, continuing onward to the world-famous Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Our home for the next three nights is set high atop the rim of the crater, providing extraordinary views of this remarkable Natural Wonder. Entamanu Ngorongoro Camp is a sustainable boutique camp nestled in a small, forested area. All the large, stylish tents offer sweeping views over the crater, the plains of the Serengeti, and the Gol Mountains. Overnight at Entamanu Ngorongoro Camp. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
SATURDAY, JUNE 5, 2021
NGORONGORO CRATER SAFARI EXPLORATION
Awaken to a beautiful serene location and enjoy breakfast. With a prime position for an adventurous day, just a stones-throw away from the floor of the crater, depart with your guide to explore out on a peaceful morning safari well ahead of any crowds. The Ngorongoro Crater is akin to the Garden of Eden in that practically every animal species in East Africa is represented here. The Crater is home to many rare and endangered species such as Black Rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, Grants, and Thomas gazelles and one of the densest populations of lions in Africa, all who roam about in the share of the acacia scrub; in addition, birding is fantastic within the Crate, with over 550 recorded species such as white pelicans, ostrich and flamenco birds. During our game drives, we will search for herds of elephants, buffalo, lions, and wildebeest with ample stops along the way for photographs. Our stay experience at the Camp will also include short highland bush walks including a memorable Maasai Orpul ritual experience – Orpul is a place of retreat for Maasai warriors to heal and gain strength, where they join together in a tribal holistic indigenous health-care practice of feasting on meat for days on end, along with drinking herbal digestive concoctions. In addition, the songs, meditation, and prayers that form part of the Orpul experience all are part of their recovery, process to psychosomatic and stress-related illnesses. Return to the Camp to relax and enjoy a group dinner. Overnight at Entamanu Ngorongoro Camp. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
SUNDAY, JUNE 6, 2021
JOURNEY TO THE WESTERN SERENGETI
Enjoy the morning with breakfast. After one last game drive, depart the camp by vehicle as we journey overland for one of the most beautiful drives in Tanzania. As we descend from the Ngorongoro highlands, the vastness of the Serengeti plains opens up and we get a real appreciation of the scale of this iconic wilderness. Arrive into our luxury tented camp that follows in the tracks of the wildebeest migration, and relax in Tanzania’s oldest park – The Serengeti National Park. Kirawira Serena Camp is located in the Western Corridor and Grumeti River region of Serengeti National Park. Known for its Nile crocodiles, the Grumeti is located in a lovely setting with rolling hills and acacia woodland habitat providing amazing wildlife viewing opportunities. Relax and be enveloped with the serene surrounding vistas. Time permitting, we will embark to enjoy a late afternoon game viewing excursion. Overnight at Kirawira Serena Camp. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
MONDAY & TUESDAY, JUNE 7 – 8, 2021
WESTERN SERENGETI MIGRATION EXPLORATIONS
Over the next two days of this amazing safari experience, we will enjoy a full slate of game viewing in the Serengeti, that will fully engage all of your senses. We will embark on morning and afternoon game drives. The Serengeti is a sacred place that offers animal sightings as abundant as the world’s largest zoos, but without all the cages and concrete. It offers us a chance to see an incredible range of wildlife as it was meant to be seen— free in the wild. You can watch the circle of life play out before your very eyes on a daily basis, which leaves you feeling a much deeper sense of attachment to the natural world. We will experience the beginning of the wildebeest migration, which naturally occurs at the beginning of June, in which the animals are often halted on the south side of the Grummet River allowing us to have a great vantage point. The wildebeest congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2021
DEPART SERENGETI TO KILIMANJARO – JOURNEY HOME (OR) CONTINUE ONWARD
Following breakfast this morning, depart the hotel for the Kilimanjaro Airport, where we will board our charter flight onward to Arusha Airport. On arrival, we will enjoy one last group lunch together and finish along with a visit for a little last-minute shopping at the Cultural Heritage Center. Afterward, we will continue to the Airport Planet Lodge for relaxation in day-room accommodations to await late departure flights. Depending on individual flight times, transfers to the airport for immediate check-in of your international flight onward can also occur. NOTE: If you are extending onward into another region of Africa or another destination then THIRDHOME Travel will coordinate and assist with your specific needs on this date. OPTIONAL – Continue your adventure into another region of Africa (refer to below add-on options) or perhaps consider a stop-over flight extension to a destination of your choice.
OPTIONAL POST SAFARI ADVENTURE EXTENSIONS
EXPLORE AFRICA OR OTHER DESTINATION LONGER
Continue onward after your Rwanda and Tanzania Safari Adventure with a post-tour add-on into other regions of Africa, or consider a stop-over flight extension of your choice en-route back to your home destination. All extensions are on a custom-request basis and quoted specifically for what you ideally want to experience – please inquire for more details.
Safari Lodges & Camps
THE RETREAT BY HEAVEN (KIGALI)
SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE (RWANDA)
LAKE DULUTI SERENA HOTEL (ARUSHA)
ENTAMANU CAMP (NGORONGORO CRATER)
KIRAWIRA SERENA CAMP (WESTERN SERENGETI)
Rejuvenate and unwind after active immersive game drives and cultural experiences in authentic boutique African hotels, lodges and camps throughout this safari adventure. Experience remarkable settings within extraordinary locations for optimal game viewing and regional excursions.
All accommodations offer posh appointments, private baths, either one or two bed configurations and delightful public areas for lounging and mingling together with your fellow adventurers.
- Thie Rwanda Gorillas and Tanzania Safari includes 10 nights in boutique accommodations (4 & 5-star properties) throughout group itinerary – 1 Night in Kigali; 3 Nights in Volcanoes National Park; 1 Night in Arusha; 2 Nights in Ngorongoro Crater; 3 Nights in Western Serengeti
- Arrival/Departure airport transfers including all in-destination itinerary touring
- Group meals as noted on the day-to-day safari itinerary
- House wines & beers, sodas and drinking water within Volcanoes National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Western Serengeti accommodations (limited laundry services also provided)
- Premium Permit for 1 exclusive trek-hike to encounter with the Silverback Gorillas
- Rwanda safari ambassador trek leader & host, Craig Sholley (SVP of AWF)
- Expert naturalist guide services throughout the safari
- REQUIRED: Domestic flight from Kigali to Kilimanjaro – approx $295 one-way per person
- REQUIRED: Volcanoes National Park Fee 2021 – $120 per person
- REQUIRED: Travel insurance is mandatory to participate (cost is additional)
What’s not Included & OPTIONAL
- International airfare to/from beginning and ending of safari adventure
- Internal Domestic flights pre or post-safari for any non-adventure extensions
- Meals “on your own” when not provided in the scheduled group itinerary
- Premium Alcoholic Beverages such as champagnes, liqueurs, fine wines
- Any activities outside of the organized safari adventure itinerary
- Any Pre or Post Extensions (before or after the adventure) outside of the group safari
- OPTIONAL Rwanda Premium Experiences: Additional Gorilla Trek day $1595 per person with standard permit / $1895 per person for premium permit / Golden Monkeys Excursion $150 per person / Hot Air Ballooning over the Serengeti (pricing based on number of participants)
PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS
- Visas and/or other required Health certificate forms specifically required per each destination
- Passports must be valid for 6 months (or more) beyond the scheduled return date.
- Click here for information about visas and additional entry requirements for US Citizens.
- Click here for current CDC immunization requirements and country information.
Safari Adventure Pricing
RWANDA GORILLA TREK ONLY (4 Nights)
$7695 per person based on Double Occupancy
DEPOSIT REQUIRED: $1995 per person (non-refundable after OCT 15, 2020*)
+ REQUIRED Travel Insurance (details below)
Please note: A voluntary tax deductible donation of $1000 per person has been included in the Rwanda Gorilla Trek for the continued conservation efforts in the protection of the gorilla habitat.
FULL SAFARI – RWANDA & TANZANIA (10 Nights)
$15,995 per person based on Double Occupancy
DEPOSIT REQUIRED: $4995 per person (non-refundable after OCT 15, 2020*)
+ REQUIRED Travel Insurance (details below)
Please note: A voluntary tax deductible donation of $1000 per person has been included in the Rwanda Gorilla Trek for the continued conservation efforts in the protection of the gorilla habitat.
FINAL PAYMENTS FOR SAFARIS DUE: FEB 15th, 2021
The Rwanda Gorillas and Tanzania Safari deposits are non-refundable after OCT 15, 2020. Cancellations after OCT 15, 2020 will incur an administrative penalty of $150 per person. Final Payments are non-refundable. To participate in a THIRDHOME Adventure, we require all participants to purchase Travel Insurance to cover the majority of unforeseen circumstances. Please refer to our full Terms & Conditions listed below for all THIRDHOME Adventures.
OPTIONAL ADD-ON EXPERIENCES
Add these while in Rwanda or in the Serengeti regions
Golden Monkeys Excursion| $150 per person
Additional Gorilla Trek Day (Standard Permit) | $1595 per person
Hot Air Ballooning in the Serengeti | Based on the number of participants
Pre & Post Extensions
TANZANIA COAST – SOUTH AFRICA & OTHER DESTINATIONS
All extensions are customized and are subject to availability at the time of request; extensions will require a separate participant deposit to be quoted. Flights for extensions are not included in the land price; in addition, any required tourist visas for extension destinations are not included. These extensions can operate with a minimum of 2 participants. Extensions are non-refundable.
- ZANZIBAR & TANZANIA COAST – escape to stunning beaches and remote islands
- MAHALE MOUNTAINS – seek to play with Chimpanzees in western Tanzania
- SOUTH AFRICA – explore Cape Town Winelands, Victoria Falls & Kruger National Park
- EAST AFRICA – fly to experience the remote wilderness of Ruaha National Park
- EUROPE STOP-OVERS – spend extra time enjoying stop-over European cities en route
TRAVEL INSURANCE IS REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE
Travel Insurance is a mandatory requirement to participate in any THIRDHOME Adventure; insurance is required to be purchased at