8 Days Remarkable Rwanda Experience- Primates and Wildlife Safari

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali

Arrive at Kigali International Airport, meet and greet with the representative of Nature Trails East Africa and thereafter transfer to your accommodation. If there is time after your arrival, you will do a tour of Kigali City and visit some interesting places, of which not to be missed are the local crafts markets and the Gisozi Genocide Memorial and Kigali Museum. You shall be amazed by the cleanliness, organization, and development of this city. It also is one of the safest and fastest growing cities in Africa.stunning kigali city at night

Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation to choose from:

Luxury: Kigali Serena Hotel

Moderate: Lemigo Hotel

Budget: Golf Hills Residence

Day 2: Kigali – Akagera National Park

Have early breakfast and prepare to start the trip by 7.00am. Leave for Akagera National Park which is located on the northeastern edge of Rwanda, along the border with Tanzania. Akagera is Rwanda’s largest national park, covering 1085 square kilometers of savannah, mountain and swamp habitat. A safari in Akagera rewards with one of the most scenic landscape in Africa, that is populated with a lot of wildlife, and is still undiscovered. On arrival to the park, you will do a short game drive for your first animal sightings, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the park. From the game drive transfer to your accommodation, have lunch and relax. In the afternoon you will do a boat safari on Lake Ihema to spot water animals such as Hippos, Crocodile, plenty of water birds and other wildlife that flocks the shores to drink and cool in the water. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Journey time: 2.5 hours

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation

Luxury: Rusizi Tented Camp

Moderate: Akagera Game Lodge

Budget: Dereva Hotel

Day 3: Akagera – Volcanoes National Park

You will wake up to an early cup of tea/coffee and snack before heading out for a game drive in Akagera at 6.30am. You will explore the northern section of the park which has the highest concentration of animals, and breathtaking scenery. Expect to see Giraffes, Elephants, Zebra, Buffaloes, several species of antelopes and plenty of birds. You may also come across the rare animals such as Leopards and Hyenas. Birdlife is at its best in Akagera, with over 500 species recorded, making the highest concentration of birds in Africa. giraffe in Akagera national parkAfter roughly 4 hours in the park, return to the lodge for brunch, check out and leave for Volcanoes National Park. You will travel through Kigali where you do make a stop for lunch, before proceeding to the northern district of Musanze. Arrive in the evening, check into your accommodation for dinner and overnight.

Journey time: 5.5 hours

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Luxury: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge

Budget: Kinigi Guest House

Day 4: Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Wake up to an early breakfast, and transfer to the park headquarters in Kinigi at 7.00am. You are encouraged to take packed lunch or a snack from the lodge. Drinking water, rain jacket and proper hiking boots are essentials for the Gorilla trek. At the headquarters, meet the rangers for briefing, and thereafter transfer to the start of the trek for your assigned Gorilla group. Porters are available for hire at USD 10 to carry your stuff, while a hiking stick is provided free. Walk into the jungles and start your search for the Mountain Gorillas. When you find the Gorillas, you get within seven meters of these gentle giants. Observing these wild animals go about their business almost unfazed by you presence is almost magical! Generally, it is the most amazing wildlife experience you will ever have. up close with mountain gorillas in rwandaAfter one hour, return to meet the driver, transfer back to the headquarters to get your Gorilla tracking certificate and thereafter transfer back to the lodge.

Day 5: Bisoke Hike/Golden Monkey Tracking

mt bisoke hikeAfter the Gorilla trek which is the prime experience in Volcanoes, today you are going to have yet another adventure in the park. You may opt for the Bisoke Crater Lake Hike which is the most popular volcano trek in the park. Mt. Bisoke Volcano, 3711m, lies on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, but its summit which has a large beautiful Crater Lake lies within Rwanda. The volcano offers a challenging but beautiful hike though a range of mountain vegetation, filled with great views, rare plants, orchids, and accessional sighting of Golden Monkeys and Mountain Gorillas, and finally the beautiful Crater Lake at the summit. It is a moderate hike that requires some fitness preparation to ease on the challenge. Duration is 4 hours going up and 2 hours coming down.

A lighter alternative to the volcano hike is the Golden Monkeys experience which involves a relatively easy trek in the bamboo forests along the base of the mountain to track the rare Golden Monkeys. The monkeys are amazing to visit and incredibly good for photos.

Bother activities require going first to the headquarters in Kinigi to meet the rangers and from there transfer to starting point of the activities.

Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Volcanoes – Nyungwe Forest National Park

After breakfast, check out and travel to the southwest of Rwanda to visit Nyungwe Forest National Park. You shall make a stopover in Butare to have lunch and also visit the Ethnographic Museum of Uganda which has a lot of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the whole East African region. Proceed to Nyungwe Forest National Park arriving in the late afternoon. Have dinner and overnight.

Journey time: 4 – 5 hours

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Luxury: Nyungwe Forest Lodge

Moderate: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Budget: Gisakura Guest House

Day 7: Chimpanzee trekking, Canopy Walk

Chimpanzee Tracking RwandaHave early breakfast and transfer to the reception center to meet the rangers and start off the trek in the forest to find the Chimpanzees. There are two communities of habituated Chimps, one in Nyungwe Forest, and another in Cyamudongo Forest, an annex of the park. While tracking the chimpanzees through this pre-historic forest, you will also observe plenty of wildlife. Other than the Chimps, Nyungwe has many other primates including Blue Monkeys, Mangabeys, Baboons, Mountain Monkey, L’Hoest’s Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Vervet Monkey, and the Angolan Colobus among others. Birdlife is excellent! Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in the park of which include the biggest number of Albertine Rift endemics. After finding the Chimps, spend an hour following them through the forest. The Chimpanzee experience is so much different from the Gorillas in that the Chimps are constantly running and swing around in the forest hence viewing them is a bit sporadic! They are very noisy, since they communicate by way of screaming, pant-hooting and hitting the buttress of trees so loud that you get Goosebumps. It is a thriller-some experience to say the least. Return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon you will go to the reception center of Uwinka and do the canopy walk activity. Nyungwe boasts of the only canopy walk in East Africa. The walkway hangs 50 meters above the ground and runs for close to 200 meters. Enjoy breathtaking views across the forest and observe wildlife in the forest canopies. The activity is about 2 hours long, return to the lodge have diner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Nyungwe – Kigali

After breakfast, check out and depart for Kigali for your flight back home.

Tour includes:

  • One Gorilla permit (USD 750) per person
  • One Chimpanzee permit per person
  • One Golden Monkey permit per person
  • All the activities included in the itinerary
  • Park access & activity fees
  • Transport – tour vehicle, driver guide, fuel
  • Full board accommodation for 7 nights
  • All meals
  • Bottle water

Tour Excludes

  • Porter fees
  • Tips
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Souvenirs and other curios shop purchases
  • Visa fees
  • Phone bills, laundry, and other personal expenditures
  • Luxury drinks, e.g beers, soda, wines and spirits

What to bring

  • Rain jacket
  • Hiking shoes
  • Long trousers & shirt to protect from stinging nettles
  • Gaiters
  • Gloves
  • Cap/hut
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