13 Days Best of Rwanda Tour Safari
Let’s take you on a Rwanda Gorillas, Chimps & Wildlife tour adventure and experience some rare innermost feeling of hanging with some of the rare earthly creatures and the beautiful peoples of historical Rwanda on this 15 Days Best of Rwanda Tour Safari.
Mention Rwanda to anyone with a small measure of geopolitical conscience, and that person will no doubt recall images of the horrific genocide that brutalized this tiny country in 1994. But since those dark days a miraculous transformation has been wrought and today the country is one of tribal unity, political stability, and a promising future.
Tourism is once again a key contributor to the economy and the industry’s brightest star is the chance to track rare mountain gorillas through bamboo forests in the shadow of the Virunga volcanoes. These conical mountains are shrouded in equatorial jungles and helped earn Rwanda the well-deserved moniker of ‘Le Pays des Mille Collines (Land of a Thousand Hills).
The 13 Days Best of Rwanda Tour Safari explores the renowned Volcanoes National Park, home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. Bordering Congo and Uganda, the park encompasses 4,507m-tall Mt. Karisimbi and 4 other forested volcanoes. And Kigali, the nation’s sprawling capital has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene.
DAY 1: Arrival in Kigali
Arrive at Kigali Airport and thereafter you will be met by the company representative heading straight to your place of an overnight stay. Overnight at Infinity Hotel BB
DAY 2: City tour Kigali
Breakfast and then spend this day acclimatization and getting to know the city. Sights for the day Kigali Memorial Centre, Museum of Natural History then have lunch. After lunch transfer to Bugesera in the afternoon to visit the reconciliation village, Nyamata, and Ntarama genocide churches. Return to hotel for relaxation. Accommodation and Meals at Infinity Hotel B-L-D
DAY 3: Kigali – Butare 135kms / 3.5hrs
Breakfast and then head to Butare the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. You will visit the National Museum, get an insight into Rwanda’s kingdoms, and discovery of colonial architecture, enjoy traditional dancers from the museum or the national university. Explore Nyanza – the former Mwami’s palace (King’s palace), and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th-century state. Thereafter head for an overnight stay at Hotel Ibis.
DAY 4: Butare – Nyungwe Forest National Park (158kms / 2.5 hrs)
After breakfast, we calmly transfer to the south of the country with a (lunch) stop in Butare. Here we will visit the National Museum, which houses one of the finest collections in East Africa. In the afternoon we continue to Nyungwe Forest. This protected area is a birder’s paradise and known for its 13 species of primates. Accommodation and Meals at Nyungwe Rainforest Lodge.
DAY 5: Nyungwe Forest National Park- Chimpanzee Trekking and Canopy walk
Breakfast and then have an early start to go and trek the Chimpanzees. Depending on the availability you are likely to trek chimpanzees in Cyamudongo Forest, a very small, isolated ‘island’ of forest surrounded by tea estates a little over an hour’s drive from the park office at Gisakura. This group consists of about 40 individuals. Alternatively, you might be taken to see a second habituated group, the Uwinka group, which is the largest with around 65 individuals. The duration of your trek depends on the location of the chimps – this could take from between 30 minutes to 3 hours to find them depending on how far they have moved in search of food. After lunch, you will have an option to choose any of these activities, the Canopy walk / Waterfall trail / Birding watching
- A guided nature walk to Kamiranzovu waterfall trail – Kamiranzovu is the largest wetland in the forest comprising of lush, forested mountains, and it resembles a giant caldera and drains through a dramatic gap between two peaks. On the more elevated western side of the trail, look out for the amazing views of the whole marsh, including its outlet. Through that gap, water flows about 3 km, to form Kamiranzovu Waterfall, then onward to Lake Kivu, Lake Tanganyika, the Congo River, and finally to the Atlantic Ocean.
- A 3- hour round trip canopy walk along a 160m-long and 70m-high canopy walkway. Take in the scenery rewarding you with an entire forest coverage with a few primate species.
- Birdwatching nature walk – The forest has over 280 bird species and over 100 various types of colorful butterflies. After lunch has a canopy walk above a steep and deep valley stretching across the massive forest. The platform is 50 meters above ground level and 90 meters long. It allows tourists to view butterflies, birds, and blue monkeys that dwell in the upper levels of the forest. The forest has 13 rare primate species, the world’s largest-ever recorded arboreal troop of black/white colobus monkeys, and nearly 300 species of birds and 154 types of orchids. Accommodation and Meals at Nyungwe Forest Lodge (B-L-D)
DAY 6: Nyungwe Forest National Park – Lake Kivu (380 km / 6 hrs drive)
From Nyungwe we continue to Gisenyi the largest port on the Rwandan shore of Lake Kivu. Have a relaxed lunch and thereafter enjoy the view from your hotel. Accommodation and Meals at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
DAY 7: Lake Kivu
Have a relaxed breakfast and then head for a boat ride on the lake, while exploring the small islands and rich birdlife. After lunch, you will head to the local market or wander through the leafy streets admiring the old colonial buildings. Dinner and Overnight at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
DAY 8: Lake Kivu – Volcanoes National Park (100kms/ 2 hrs)
After a calm breakfast, we proceed to one of the most beautiful safari parks of the country: Volcanoes National Park. It is an area with rich montane ecosystems, from bamboo forest to open grassland and swamps. Accommodation and Meals at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
DAY 9: Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla Trekking
Today you will have the opportunity to spend some time with the endangered mountain gorillas. You will make a beautiful hike through the green landscape and hills of the Virunga Volcanoes. Spend a magical hour with these amazing creatures while your guide will explain more about the family and their behavior. Return to the lodge in the (early) afternoon for relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking view. Accommodation and Meals at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
DAY 10: Golden Monkey Hiking OR Dian Fossey
Breakfast and then head for the Golden Monkey Trekking: Originally thought to be a subspecies of the blue monkey, this playful and gregarious primate is now classified as a species in its own right and with a single known viable population in the Virungas; this is one of Africa’s rarest primates. The monkeys can often be found playing and feeding in the rich bamboo forests where tourists can expect a close encounter with these beautiful animals OR visit the Dian Fossey project- this takes a 3 -4 hours activity to the graveyard where several of Dian Fossey’s favorite gorillas were buried and Dian Fossey is also buried near the graves of her beloved gorillas. The clients can have a look at the facility- labs, research center and meet the researchers plus staff who work on the Dian Fossey project. After any of these activities, this will see you return to your hotel for a late lunch relaxing into the evening as you enjoy the beautiful views of the backdrop of the three Volcanic mountains. Accommodation and Meals at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
DAY 11: Volcanoes National Park – Akagera National Park 270kms / 7hrs)
Early morning breakfast and then head for the low-lying undulating plains of Akagera National Park the home to elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and zebras, more than a dozen types of antelope species, and elusive lions and leopards, you with a stopover in Kigali for early lunch before proceeding to Akagera arriving for an evening game drive thereafter heading to your lodge for a cool relaxed evening, Accommodation and Meals at Ruzizi Tented Camp
DAY 12: Akagera National Park
Have breakfast and then enjoy a game drive experience in search of animals like the: elephant, giraffe, hippo, zebra, and crocodiles. After lunch head for a boat cruise on Lake Ihema for 2.5 hours, look out for crocodiles and hippos, and over 40 waterbird species, this is also the best way to view the park’s abundant waterbirds including breeding colonies of noisy cormorants and open-bill storks.
Accommodation and Meals at Ruzizi Tented Camp
DAY 13: Akagera National Park – Kigali (120kms / 3hrs)
Breakfast and then head back to Kigali town arriving in time for lunch and thereafter continue to the Airport for your international flight back home
- Ground transportation in a safari customized 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with gasoline/fuel
- Mineral water in the vehicle,
- Services of an English speaking Driver/guide,
- Accommodation as shown at the lodges mentioned in the itinerary,
- Meals as shown (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner),
- All Park Entrance Fees,
- Gorilla Trekking Permit per person.
- International Airfares; Excess baggage charges;
- Ugandan Entry Visa Fees
- International travel Vaccinations and Inoculations;
- Items of personal nature such us Room service,
- Beverages, Communications charges (telephone, fax, internet), Laundry, etc.;
- Postage fees, Porterage fees, Tips and Gratuities for your Driver/guide and Hotels staff,
- Shopping charges for Curios and Crafts,
- International Airport Departure Taxes,
- Optional activities unless specified as included,
- Any other services not expressly shown in the itinerary or indicated as included.
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