Inspiration Itinerary | Trekking Gorillas



Where gorillas roam

For many, a “bucket list” item for an African safari has trekking for the Mountain Gorillas as a top priority. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is the home range of these much-loved primates but whilst close to the equator, the higher altitude mountainous rainforests guarantees a colder and often damp climate with daily bursts of rain. Thus once you have trekked for much of your day up and over these stunning mountains in honour of that once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the Gorillas, a roaring fire and a relaxing spa treatment back at your cottage along with plenty of hot running water for your bath, nourishing food and your own private deck where you can sit and contemplate what you have experienced amidst the amazing forest views, is an absolute must.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, the only community-owned lodge in the Virungas, will deliver on those requirements splendidly.  Sitting in the foothills of these mighty mountains with rainforest all around and offering only 8 guest stone cottages, it is an idyllic retreat to relax and very conveniently located base from which to get to the trekking start point and further explore the region. Thoughtfully constructed with elegant furnishings and impeccable service, Sabyinyo is not only a wonderful place to stay.  The money earned from its guests offers real benefits to the people and primates of this region via the numerous local community and conservation projects underway.

A three night stay is recommended so that you can also enjoy the numerous other activities on offer. Take your pick from trekking the endangered Golden Monkeys, scenic drives to see the twin volcanic crater lakes Burera and Ruhondo, visit vibrant local communities or hike to Diane Fossey’s gravesite, to name a few.

You will love

  • Well located to start Gorilla trekking
  • Majestic mountain rainforest
  • Luxurious traditional-style stone cottages
  • Superior lodge team and service
  • Community owned



We recommend that you have at least one overnight stay in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, at the start or finish of your itinerary. This will allow you to recover from your long flights (or the gorilla trekking) and take some time to learn about the country’s history and experience its genuinely warm hospitality. Highly recommend is a Kigali City Tour which would include a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, honouring the memory of over one million Rwandans who were killed. With more time you can also take a community walking tour or explore Kigali’s creative art, music, and dining scenes.


Your local guide, who will remain with you for the entire duration of your stay in Rwanda, will collect you in Kigali, for the scenic road transfer over about two and a half hours to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge nestled in the foothills of Volcanoes National Park. The lodge affords wonderful views of the volcanoes and surrounding countryside and once you have settled in and had lunch the remainder of the day is yours to explore and enjoy. This evening enjoy a pre-gorilla trek briefing, sunset drinks and dinner.


After a restful sleep you will be up early to experience the main reason to visit Rwanda, trekking for the mountain gorillas. The lodge will have already fitted you out with your complementary loaned rain backpack, rain jacket, gators, and gloves. You will meet at the park’s headquarters at 7am for a briefing before being allocated your trekking guide and porters. The distance of each gorilla trek is varied, so depending on which gorilla family group you are allocated to, the duration is anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day. When you have found the gorillas, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour in their presence. Refreshments are provided along with lunch.

If you find the gorillas quickly you might be back at the lodge in time for a soak in your heated pool or a massage and a nourishing lunch. The remainder of the day can be spent as you wish. If time permits it is recommended that you take a scenic drive with your guide to see the twin volcanic crater lakes Burera and Ruhondo.


Take a second gorilla trek today or alternatively enjoy one of the many activities on offer such as trekking to find the rare Golden Monkeys, hike to Dian Fossey’s gravesite, visit the Musanze Caves or enjoy an interactive visit to the vibrant traditional communities and villages in the region.


After check out this morning you can explore the region further with your guide or return to Kigali in order to connect with onward arrangements.


A selection of the finest safari camps

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge – Volcanoes National Park

The elegant Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge lies hidden amongst the foothills of the Virungas - an ideal location for mountain biking, seeing rare golden monkeys and tracking the endangered gorilla population. The décor is cosy and inviting with deep armchairs, fireplaces and panoramic views over the five volcanoes. Read More

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