Amelia's GO-RILLA-GO Safari: Rwanda, Africa
November 1-6, 2017
WHO COULD RESIST A FACE LIKE THIS?
I can't. With only 750-800 Mountain Gorilla on the planet living in only ONE park, how can we not go honor them, treasure them, and tell them how much we love them? I did. And now for the first time, I'm about to invite YOU to join me. Won't you come to lush gorgeous Rwanda and meet these amazing beings
I think it's time we held our fellow primates in high esteem, learn to listen and learn from them, not let them languish in zoos. I think it's high time we visit the more peaceful primates on the planet and tell them we are trying to be responsible custodians of their Earth...and we need to apologize for the damage with have done and are trying to rectify. I visit these gorilla every year and have now been greeted by the Agashya Group two years in a row, who seem to mysteriously know I'm coming, and my hike into their jungle home to find them is always suspiciously short.
Here is a visual feast of what my new non-profit, Ark Angel, accomplished with 180 orphans just outside the Volcanoes National Park and you will get a delicious taste of the local life in Rwanda, both human and gorilla:
Come with me and let me show you the Mountain Gorilla wild, free, happy, peaceful and completely unencumbered by humans. I've put together the vacation safari of a lifetime, so if this was (like mine) your life-long dream, it's time to make that dream a reality. Do you want to meet these magical beings, too? I've made it easy for you. Let's GO!
Day One, November 1
Day Arrive in exotic Kigali where I will greet you at the airport and have my drive excort you to the Hotel Des Milles Collines
We will land in Kigali on November 1st and stay one night in the city before we are driven to the Volcanoes National Park where the gorilla live. The price includes the taxi from the airport.
We will go to Heaven Restaurant that night for dinner where you’d have a stunning view of Kigali and really delicious food. It’s the best restaurant in Kigali—owned by Josh Ruxin, who created a program to bring ALL the pharmacies into Rwanda so that the locals could have medicine. It’s all organic farm-to-table food and it’s terrific.
Evening Gorgeous hotel in Kigali Hotel Des Mille Collines This is the most historic hotel in Rwanda and where the president of Africa stays when he’s in town. My guests and I stayed there on last year's safari and arrived the same day as a meeting of ALL the African presidents, so this hotel is considered the national treasure of Rwanda. The famous film, Hotel Rwanda, was filmed in this very hotel. The poolside restaurant with live music under the stars made us want to stay there forever.
Day Two, November 2
Day Drive across stunning Rwandan farmland to the volcanoes. From Kigali, we will be driven to the Volcanoes National Park by my trusted driver who also acts as a tour guide as we cross this magnificent country in a pleasant 2 and a half hour trip. He will drive us into the mist covered mountains where we will check into Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge. The drive is about 2 and a half hours. (The $300 round trip transportation fee is included in your price.)
Evening Check into Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge and prepare for a three night stay there with all meals and hot drinks included. This is a discount safari park, but filled with character, African paintings and art, and the local flavor comes shining through by the murals of the gorilla on the walls, which you can enjoy while you have a drink around the open air fire-pits in the lobby. An exciting welcoming video is shown to acquaint you with the history of the Mountain Gorilla and the conservation measures being taken to preserve these precious beings. Adrenaline will already be coursing through your veins with the anticipation of meeting the gorilla early the following morning, so while you may be too excited to sleep--thrilled at what awaits you-- a fireplace will be stoked in your room by a staff member to help cut the chill in the frosty mountain night. A buffet dinner with local African food as well as Western foodand a nightly barbeque allows guests their choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options so there is truly something to please anyone. I love the Bambou Gorilla Lodge because of the staff, and while this is not a 5 star luxury resort, it is quaint and filled with adventures--including a troup of African singers and dancers on the property to mesmerize you with their music and dance--and you will save a mint by not booking one of the more commercial high-end gorilla trek hotels.
Day Three, November 3
GORILLA TREK to meet the Mountain Gorillas. ($80 taxi ride included in your price.) It is an early morning and you can take the “easy” hike choice and search for the nearest gorilla group, which can usually be found in 1-2 hours. The hike is not strenuous and the jungle is glorious. We found the group within 45 minutes on both of my annual gorilla treks. You will need proper hiking boots in case of muddy slopes and gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorny bushes. (Pictured here was the gorilla-child sleeping at my feet!)
The rest of the day, we will relax and pour over the most amazing pictures you’ve ever taken in your lives. I took this picture of Michelle and Rita Black who accompanied me in 2016, and it shows you how friendly even the big male gorilla are. This handsome gentleman waited for us and eagerly posed for pictures. In the jungle, you will happen on a group of gorilla that are so close you could literally touch them, and while we will have an armed guard with us at all times--not so much to protect is from these peaceful beautiful beings, but to protect the gorilla from us! They may touch you but we will not touch them. Both years, I found myself in the middle of a gorilla group as if I were happening on an innocent family picnic!
Gorilla youngsters are abundant and can be playing in the trees about you. Dozens of gorilla surround you and are quite happy to be visited and photographed by humans, and one of the greatest honors of my life was having two gorilla mothers bring me their babies so that I could admire the tiny new babies in their arms. (Notice the older brother of this new baby girl is resting on his mother's shoulder! I took this photo myself in July of 2016 and rest assured I barely had to zoom AT ALL because the guide actually made me take a step back because yet another of her sons was sleeping at my feet!) This experience is one for which I have no words. To see these animals wild and free, happy and safe on earth in their home environment, living off the land in a political structure where there is no strife but only harmony, is such a lesson for the humans of this world. These peaceful creatures are so misrepresented in our media and so misunderstood, to be in the gentle presence of such tranquil animals changed my life forever. And while the hour goes by quickly, it is moments I will never forget. Human children are very welcome on this trek, and this new perspective will change their lives forever.
Day Four, November 4
Day to rest at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge where the staff will welcome you with open arms and want to take pictures with us. We we bask in the memories of the gorilla trek and pour over pictures. There are quilted couches where you can prop up your feet, and I will be available to help process the shock of being is such a beautiful place, and also answer questions about animal communication if you need help with your lessons or have questions about your animals back home.
Day Five: November 5
GOLDEN MONKEY TREK to meet the fabulous-face monkeys. Another early morning walk through the misty jungle, magical meetings and outrageous photo opportunity.
Local African markets are stationed at the gates of the park so shopping for souvenirs is a must.
These purchases also help the local people and artists of the Volcanoes National Park, so it's a win-win to buy beautiful clothing, jewelry, bags, carvings, bowls, and of course, gorilla memorabilia to take back home.
Day Six, November 6
Check out, say good-bye to the staff at Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge who will all be hugging you and in tears, begging you to come back next year (they are the loveliest people I’ve ever met), taxi back to the airport in Kigaliand if time allows and you are intrigued, a visit to the Genocide Museum in Kigali before we arrive at the airport.
Amelia’s GO-RILLA GO Safari
5 Nights, 6 Days Double Room
$4,450.00 before permits
$5,300.00 with permits (gorilla permit is $750, golden monkey is $100)
This includes the famous Hotel Des Milles Colline.
5 Nights, 6 Days Single Room
$5,800.00 after permits
This price is inclusive of all meals at the Bambou Gorilla Lodge, hot drinks (alcohol excluded), transportation from airport, to and from Volcanoes National Park to Kigali, transportation to gorilla and golden monkeys ($80 each way,) and one night at the Hotel Des Milles Colline.
This price does not included your flights, but Rwandair is now offering specials from Dubai to Kigali. https://www.rwandair.com/
As your tour operator, all fees can be paid directly to me but the gorilla permits need to be secured via bank transfer in advance. Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge hasgiven me special clearance to intervene on your behalf. I will see to it that the staff helps to secure your permits in advance.
This is HIGH SEASON, so the permits will be tricky and Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge has promised to help us secure them. Only x amount are given out every day because the gorilla can only be disturbed for one hour a day, and it’s on a first come, first serve basis. In order to book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and type GO-RILLA-GO in the subject line.