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One for the bucket list: Ker & Downey Africa’s ‘Luxury Gorilla Trekking Expedition’

By LLM Reporters on 1st August 2019

Located within the lush forested slopes of the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda’s last living mountain gorillas live in harmony with rare golden monkeys and three-horned chameleons. Relive scenes from the iconic film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ as you trek through forests once walked by Diane Fossey in her life’s devotion to protecting the primates of Rwanda, before returning to your luxurious lodge overlooking the volcano crater.

Intrigued? Cape Town based travel company Ker & Downey Africa has become synonymous with their curation of luxury experiences throughout Africa – gorilla trekking being among their specialties. Combining both Zambia and Rwanda, their 14-day ‘Luxury Gorilla Trekking Expedition’ invites seasoned travelers to embrace their inner pioneer by day and retreat to ultimate luxury at night. This one-of-a-kind trip is dictated by the finest bucket-list experiences, award-winning lodges in remote destinations and unrivalled wildlife sightings.

Day one – three

Landing deck at Thorntree River Lodge
The landing deck at the Thorntree River Lodge

Experience life on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River at the luxurious Thorntree River Lodge. Located in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, Thorntree River Lodge is a short distance upstream from one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls. End off adventurous days traversing the park on big game safaris, tracking rhino on guided walking safaris, witnessing the largest waterfall in the world, with a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River teeming with wildlife.

Day three – six

The Villa Suite at the super luxury Time + Tide King Lewanika Lodge

Next up, guests will be whisked away to Zambia’s most exclusive lodge, Time + Tide King Lewanika Lodge. Located in Liuwa Plains National Park, the prestigious King Lewanika Lodge overlooks the plains that host Africa’s second-largest wildebeest migration and is renowned for being the only permanent luxury camp in the park. Join award-winning guides on daily game drives and walking safaris, before settling in around the campfire for a night under the African sky.

Day six – ten

Exterior of Time + Tide Chinzombo
Guests are accommodated at the wildly luxurious camp, Time + Tide Chinzombo, located on the banks of the Luangwa River

The safari experience continues in South Luangwa National Park, a destination famous for walking safaris. Guests will be accommodated at the wildly luxurious camp, Time + Tide Chinzombo, located on the banks of the Luangwa River. The park is renowned for its world-class predator action and the elusive leopard can often be spotted on game drives. Between adventurous safaris and bushwalks, guests will enjoy in-villa spa experiences or the privacy of their private plunge pool. In the evening, guests are invited to settle down with a drink at the firepit and watch wildlife come to drink from the banks of the river.

Day ten – eleven

The Retreat
The Retreat is the perfect base for a one-night stay in Kigali

The next leg of the journey takes guests to Rwanda, the gateway to luxury gorilla trekking in Africa. On arrival at Kigali Airport, their dedicated driver will meet them and accompany them to the 5-star boutique hotel, The Retreat – the perfect base for a one-night stay in Kigali.

Day eleven – thirteen

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
Located on the rim of an eroded volcano, eco-sensitive Bisate Lodge gives travelers direct access to Rwanda’s premier gorilla trekking destination, Volcanoes National Park

Your day is off to an early start as you transfer from Mfuwe Airstrip to Lusaka and onward to Kigali on Rwandair Express. Located on the rim of an eroded volcano, eco-sensitive Bisate Lodge gives travelers direct access to Rwanda’s premier gorilla trekking destination, Volcanoes National Park. The thatched forest villas blend into the lush forest setting, each boasting views over the natural amphitheatre. The luxury gorilla trekking experience transport guests into the forest interiors to witness one of twelve habituated gorilla families for a one-hour encounter with Africa’s endangered mountain gorilla. During their stay, it is also possible to visit the local community or to spend an afternoon planting saplings with the team at Bisate’s reforestation nursery.

Ker & Downey Africa research, curate and operate LuxVenture trips throughout the African continent from their home base in Cape Town. Each trip includes on the ground support and a personal customer experience coordinator who will ensure that every detail of your trip is planned and executed to world-class service standards. Visit Ker & Downey Africa’s website to view more of their sample LuxVenture itineraries or get in touch with one of their LuxVenture designers to start curating your luxury adventure expedition today.

Image at the very top of the article credit: Roger and Pat de la Harpe Photography