12 days Best of Rwanda vacation tour

Book this 12 days Best of Rwanda tour and discover what Rwanda has got to offer. This trip is especially good for travelers that are planning on visiting Rwanda for a vacation and are wondering what else they can do apart from the famous gorilla tracking adventure.  Rwanda is a small country but incredibly endowed with diverse habitats and wildlife, amazing landscape and friendly people with a rich culture. You can spend many days in Rwanda and experience so much. Also the country being small means you spend less time on the road to get to places and more time experiencing the beautiful destinations. This 12 days trip will take you around Rwanda to see and experience the best of what Rwanda has got to offer.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrival in Kigali

Today you arrive in Rwanda at Kigali International Airport. You will meet your tour driver and guide for the trip and transfer to your hotel to Kigali where you shall spend the rest of the day.

Accommodation to choose from:

Budget – YAMBI Guesthouse

Midrange – Heaven Boutique Hotel

Luxury – Kigali Serena Hotel / The Retreat

Day 2 – Kigali City tour

Today you shall explore Rwanda’s capital – Kigali City, which has become popular for her cleanliness, orderliness and safety – attributes which cannot be said of most African cities. Among the places you shall visit include Kigali Genocide Memorial to know about Rwanda’s recent dark history of the genocide and the journey to recovery. You will also visit the local markets and art galleries and the Nyamirambo Women’s Center for a walking tour in one of the most vibrant suburbs of Kigali and witness the way of life of the people.

Day 3 – Transfer to Akagera National Park, short safari and boat cruise

At 7.30am you shall set off for your safari trip to Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda. Rwanda is a mountainous country but has the savanna too and Akagera national park protects the only savanna environment in the country where a variety of big game can found roaming the plains. Akagera National Park has all the famous “big five”, i.e. Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Elephant and Buffalo

You shall do a short game drive on arrival in Akagera to spot some animals and appreciate the beautiful scenery, and then continue to check into your lodge.

After lunch you shall do the boat cruise on Lake Ihema, the largest lake in the park, and expect to see crocodiles, hippos and many animals along the shores plus enjoy the amazing scenery. The boat ride offers good birding opportunity with lots of water birds to be seen.

Hippos in Akagera National Park

Optional activity:

  • Night game drive: After 5.30pm you can go on a night game to discover the nocturnal life. A number of sought after animals become active at this time.


Budget: Rhino Lodge

Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge

Upmarket: Ruzizi Tented Lode

Luxury: Magashi Camp

Day 4 – safari in Akagera

Today you shall do a morning game drive in the the southern areas of the park to explore the varied landscape and beautiful scenery while increasing on the number of animals sighted.

Afternoon at leisure

Day 5 – full Akagera safari and transfer to Kigali

Today you shall do the full safari in Akagera, driving the entire length of the park from the lodge in the south to the exit in the north. You go through varied habitats which shall offer a variety of wildlife sightings and amazing scenery.

Giraffe in Akagera National Park

The full game drive is about 6 hours. You shall have picnic lunch and exit the park back to Kigali.

Day 6 – transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park for the canopy walk adventure

You will check out of the hotel by 7am and leave for Nyungwe National Park in the southwest of Rwanda. You shall drive for about 5 hours to get to Nyungwe, arriving at the Uwinka visitor’s center from where you shall set off for the canopy walk adventure into Nyungwe Forest. The canopy walkway provides breathtaking views across the park. The walkway also gives you access into the canopy where wildlife such as monkeys and birds live.

A Canopy Walk tour in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda



Budget: EAR Guesthouse

Midrange: Nyungwe Top View Hill Lodge / Emeraude Kivu Lodge

Luxury: One&Only Nyungwe House


Day 7 – chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe National Park

You will be up by 4.30am for breakfast and at 5am go for the chimpanzee trekking adventure in Nyungwe National Park. You will meet the park guides at 5am for briefing about the chimps and the park rules, and then drive to the start of the trek and set off into the jungle to meet the chimps – our closest relatives sharing 98.7% DNA.

chimpanzee in nyungwe forest

Optional activity:

In the afternoon you can do one of the following activities:

  • Tea plantation experience: In the afternoon you can do a tea plantation tour to see how coffee is grown, processed and harvested

Day 8 – transfer to volcanoes national park

After breakfast you shall drive to Volcanoes National Park in the north of Rwanda. This is a 5 hours journey of a scenic drive along Lake Kivu

Optional activities:

Before traveling to Volcanoes National Park you can do one of the following activities:

  • Colobus monkeys trek: go on a light and short trek to see these delightful species of monkeys in Nyungwe forest. You will trek a colobus monkeys trek that is closer to the edge of the park and within 2 hours you could be done with the trek.
  • Nature walk in Nyungwe forest: Instead you can do a longer trek in the forest of about 4 hours and immerse yourself in the beautiful nature of Nyungwe and encounter monkeys, rare plants, beautiful waterfalls, and amazing views


Budget: La Locanda

Midrange: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge

Upmarket: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Luxury: Amakoro Songa Lodge / Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Day 9 – golden monkeys and canoe ride

You will report to the park office at 7am for before going to the park for the golden monkey trekking adventure in Volcanoes National Park. The monkeys are not as popular as the gorillas but offer a nice adventure. The monkeys live in the bamboo forests which are at the base of the Virunga mountains. They are very active and attractive, so good for photography.

a golden monkey in volcanoes national park musanze

In the afternoon you shall go for the half day canoe ride on River Mukungwa in Musanze. The ride offers amazing views of the lush countryside and rolling highlands and a chance to gain an insight into the lives of the local people.

canoe ride on River Mukungwa in Musanze

Day 10 – gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park and transfer to Lake Kivu

The day for the gorilla tracking experience is finally here!  You will have an early breakfast, pick your lunchbox and transfer to the park office by 7am for briefing about the gorillas and the rules to follow while tracking the gorillas. At about 8am you shall head to the park for the trek on the slopes of the Virunga mountains to find the gorillas.

After the ultimate gorilla adventure in Volcanoes National Park you shall transfer to Lake Kivu for the much needed relaxation.


Budget: Inzu Lodge

Midrange: Paradis Malahide Lodge

Luxury: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Day 11 – Lake Kivu

Today you shall spend the day relaxing at Lake Kivu, Rwanda’s biggest lake that is located along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. You shall do a boat ride on the lake to enjoy the scenery and birding.

lake kivu gisenyi rwanda

Day 12 – transfer back to Kigali and departure

Today you shall depart back to Kigali for your flight back home.

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