8 days highlights of Rwanda wildlife tour

This 8 day tour will take you to Rwanda’s major wildlife destinations which are the three national parks – Volcanoes national Park, Nyungwe forest national park and Akagera National Park. Covering just these parks will give you one of the best wildlife experiences you ever had; from a safari in Akagera National Park that has the famous “African Big Five” and many other wild animals, to a trek in volcanoes that will bring you face to face with a mountain gorilla, and finally the treks in Nyungwe to watch the chimpanzees – man’s closest relatives.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Rwanda

Today you will arrive in the “land of thousand hills” landing at Kigali International Airport. Your waiting tour driver shall welcome you and transfer to your hotel in Kigali. Depending on your flight schedule, you may go out for a tour of Kigali City which has been declared by UN as the most beautiful city in Africa and the third greenest in the World.

Accommodation options:

Upmarket: Kigali Serena Hotel

Mid-range: Heaven Boutique Hotel

Budget: YAMBI Guesthouse

Day 2 – transfer to Akagera, short safari and boat cruise

You should have breakfast by 7.30am and leave for Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda. The drive to the park shall take you about 2.5 – 3 hours. After checking in at the gate you shall start off your safari in Akagera National Park with a short game drive to look for animals and take in the beautiful scenery. After 1 – 2 hours you shall continue to the lodge and check in for lunch and some relaxation.

At 3pm you shall go for a relaxing boat cruise on Lake Ihema. This is a 1 hour ride that will give wonderful sightings of crocodiles and hippos plus beautiful scenery.

Hippos in Akagera National Park


Accommodation options:

Upmarket: Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Midrange: Akagera Game Lodge

Day 3 – Full safari in Akagera National Park

You will have your breakfast as early as 6am, pick your lunchbox and set out for the full safari in Akagera national park. This is a 6 hour game drive covering the whole length of the park starting from the south where you spent the night to the north of the park. You will go through several habitats ranging from woodlands, thickets, swamps, to grassland and savannah. Expect to see a range of wildlife. You will have picnic lunch and return in the south of  the park by late afternoon.

giraffe in Akagera national park

Day 4 – Transfer to Volcanoes National Park and afternoon Mukungwa river canoe ride

After breakfast you shall check out and travel north of Rwanda (via Kigali) to Volcanoes National Park

Check into your lodge, settle in and have lunch.

At 2pm you shall go for the Canoe trip on River Mukungwa for the rest of the afternoon. This is 3 – 4 hours ride which offers the best opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside in the foothills of the Virunga mountains. You shall enjoy the wonderful scenery. Along the way you shall meet locals.

canoe ride on River Mukungwa in Musanze

Accommodation options:

Luxury: Amakoro Songa Lodge

Upmarket: Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Midrange: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge

Budget: La Locanda

Day 5 – Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park

You will report to the park office at 7am and you will be allocated to a gorilla family that you shall track. Meet the guide allocated to your group for briefing and then transfer to the park for the gorilla trekking adventure in Virunga mountains. Rwanda has about a third of the mountain gorilla population in Volcanoes National Park and trekking to see them is one of the best wildlife adventures.


Day 6 – Morning golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park and transfer Nyungwe forest national park


After your breakfast you shall be transferred to the park office in Kinigi to meet the Volcanoes National Park guide for briefing and then continue to the park for your golden monkey tracking adventure. You track a troop of about 100 golden monkeys which inhabit the bamboo forest at the base of Mt. Sabyinyo. This is a relatively short and light adventure. You may trek for about 1 hour before finding the monkeys and only 1 hour is allowed to watch the monkeys.

After the short golden monkeys tour you shall set off to Nyungwe Forest national park in the south of Rwanda. This is a 5 – 6 hour journey. You shall drive along the beautiful Lake Kivu and enjoy stunning views of the lake at different viewpoints. You will stop over along the way for some relaxation and lunch at Lake Kivu.

Accommodation options:

Luxury: One&Only Nyungwe House

Midrange: Nyungwe Top View Hill Lodge

Budget: EAR Guesthouse

Day 7 – chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park

You will be pretty early for breakfast and transfer to the ranger station by 5am to find the park guides and then continue to the park for your chimpanzee trekking adventure in Nyungwe National Park.

chimpanzee in nyungwe forest

In the afternoon you shall go for a tea plantation tour at the edge of Nyungwe forest to learn how tea is grown in Rwanda.

Day 8 – canopy walk in Nyungwe forest and travel to Kigali

After early breakfast you check out and transfer to Uwinka for the canopy walk in Nyungwe forest. Thereafter continue to Kigali for your evening flight or overnight.

A Canopy Walk tour in Nyungwe Forest National Park Rwanda

Share This!