Life changing. There’s really no other way to put it. Volcanoes National Park is more like a place you’ve read about, or seen in the movies, than like a place on earth. How something this majestic exists is almost a mystery. Gorillas, tombs, mountains, villages, and golden monkeys are just a few of the national treasures encompassed in the park! Located only a two-hour drive from the Kigali International Airport this is one of the most accessible places on earth to view gorillas in the wild.
If you had the opportunity to take your family and friends on the adventure of a lifetime, would you do it? If you said yes, then this is the spot for you. Imagine with me, for just a minute, what day one could hold.
A small mist rolls over the land as you leave your luxury vacation villa, coffee and tea waits for you as you arrive. Traditional dancers perform ancient movements as you finish the beverages. A safety briefing brings you up to speed on the nature of things. Two scouts left as the sun rose to track your family of gorillas. Ten different families inhabit the park, you get assigned a group all to yourselves. If your worried about your fitness, porters can be hired to help you for as little as 15 dollars a person.
The trek begins in earnest. Two armed guides navigate you through the forests. Sometimes you find the gorillas in minutes, other times you must hike further into the beautiful country. Either way the immense forest hangs in beautiful repose during the entire hike.
The guide holds out his hand, he stops the group. Whispering about the gorillas just ahead. You crest a hill; the majesty of the animals takes you back for a second. Two younglings play in the trees, an evident joy hang about them. The elder gorillas eat from the forest floor and rest in ease. The grace and power of the group is immediately obvious. As you stay low and quiet you get in position to see the whole group and take pictures. Throughout the day you move slowly behind them as they meander through the forest. After watching the animals for some time, the journey back to your luxury vacation rentals begins. The elation of the day carries you back on easy legs. A true African safari!
If that doesn’t sound amazing, I might just call you crazy! That’s just one aspect of what makes this place so great. After the long day you’ll be escorted back to the Kataza house. A place designed with the landscape in mind and only ten minutes from the park’s headquarters.
Two heated pools help you relax after the intense experience, large fireplaces scatter about the property, inside and out. An immaculate wine cellar holds the refreshments for the night, everywhere you look is beautiful.
After a quick swim why not indulge with a massage by the fire? The onsite staff will take care of everything. Every meal is a true farm to table experience. The food a celebration of local cuisine and vegetables directly from the garden. Every amenity of a large resort offered in true solitude. Finally, you wrap the night up in the private cinema.
And that’s just day one! The activities and experiences are almost endless. What you do next is entirely up to you. We suggest taking in the culture of the native people with a guided tour.
The town of Ibi’Iwacu is located within the park and only a short ride away from the Kataza house. This is a unique experience to meet the people in their culture and be embraced by them. They are happy to share their culture, beliefs, artifacts, and rituals with you. Local food is a must while visiting, along with a trip to the local banana brewery.
The encounter doesn’t stop there. Sit on the throne and become king for a day in a reenactment of the ancient Rwandan regent ceremony. Then listen to the stories of local medicine and tales passed down through generations. In short, take in the culture, see how they live and understand what it means to be Rwandan.
Once you’re ready for another hike, why not visit Dian Fossey’s tomb? One of the most desirable hikes in all of Volcano National Park. It is truly a transcendental experience. She’s buried next to her gorilla best friend, Digits. The beauty of the place is not to be underestimated.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg, when you get here, you will not be disappointed. It’s rare to experience such natural beauty, relaxation, culture, and dining expertise in one place. Once in a lifetime probably isn’t true, because after you experience this, you’ll be back.
Your life will never be the same after spending time in volcanoes national park and we can’t wait to help you experience it!