8 Days, 7 Nights Rwanda Gorilla Wildlife & Chimpanzee safari

Overview

The 8 Days, 7 Nights Rwanda Gorilla Wildlife & Chimpanzee Safari gives you a detailed encounter of Rwanda. It covers the major destinations of Rwanda including Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park, Lake Kivu, Nyungwe Forest National Park and the heritage town of Butare Huye district. The safari involves in chimpanzee trekking, wild game viewing recreational boat cruise, mountain gorilla trekking and culture and heritage tours not forgetting the genocide memorials.

Safari highlight

Day 1: Transfer to the Akagera National Park & do an afternoon boat cruise

Day 2: Do a morning game drive & afternoon boat cruise, sport fishing or relaxation

Day 3: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park via Kigali city

Day 4: Do gorilla trekking & do either Batwa Community Visit or Musaze Caves walk or the twin lakes tour

Day 5: Hike Dian Fossey site & transfer to Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)

Day 6: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park along the Congo – Nile Trail

Day 7: Morning Chimp trekking in Kyamudongo forest & after noon forest or canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park at Uwinka overlook.

Day 8: Morning drive through the park to Murambi genocide memorial (1000 bodies preserved) and continue to Kigali via Butare (Huye) Institute of Rwanda National Museums.  Drive to the Airport after final shopping.

Description

Day 1: Transfer to the Akagera National Park & do an afternoon boat cruise

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda 130km about 2.5hours drive from Kigali. You will drive along impressive scenic country side landscapes with rolling hills. This area is also known for the traditional Inyambo Cows in Rwamagana which are very beautiful to encounter. Continue to the park arriving at the lodge in time for lunch after which you will embark on a recreational boat cruise on Lake Ihema in the afternoon. Lake Ihema is the second largest lake in Rwanda and being in the park a range of wild game come to quench their thirst on its waters which gives it good sights. The lake also has crocodiles and Hippos not forgetting the impressive water birds.

Accommodation: Akagera game Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Ruzizi Tented Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Dereva Hotel (Budget/basic).

Day 2: Do a morning game drive & a sunset boat cruise, sport fishing or relaxation

After an early cup of coffee, you will embark on the game drive in the park to look for Buffaloes, elephants, Masai giraffe, waterbuck, Eland, Topi, Impala, Warthogs and Zebras among other animals. You will have lunch at the lodge and relax after which you can either embark on a sun set boat cruise on Lake Ihema or on sport fishing encounter on Lake Shakani. Retire for dinner and overnight

Accommodation: Akagera game Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Ruzizi Tented Camp (Midrange/Standard) or Dereva Hotel (Budget/basic).

Day 3: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park via Kigali city

virunga-volcanoes

After breakfast, you will embark on the transfer to Volcanoes National Pak in the north west of Rwanda passing through Kigali city. The drive is an interesting country side encounter with rural farmed landscapes and remarkable flora. You will make a stop in Kigali for short relaxation and lunch after which you will proceed for 116km about 2 – 3 hours’ drive to Volcanoes National Park arriving in the evening for relaxation dinner and overnight

Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury) / Hotel La Palme (Midrange/Standard) or Muhabura Hotel (Budget/Basic).

Day 4: Do gorilla trekking & do either Batwa Community Visit or Musaze Caves walk or the twin lakes tour  

Wake up in the morning for a cup of coffee at your place of stay after which you transfer to Kinigi Park Headquarters in Volcanoes National Park for the gorilla trekking encounter. At 8am, you catch up with the briefing exercise by the park rangers about the gorilla trekking conduct. In this session, you will be allocated a specific gorilla family that you are going to track and in case of special concern such as mobility issues, you can notify the responsible personnel to allocate you a suitable family.  For the sake of the adventurous ones, you can also notify the responsible personnel to allocate you a more strenuous and challenging gorilla family to track. After this encounter you head to the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes where the Park is located in search of the critically endangered mountain gorillas which only thrive in the Virunga Massif and the famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the neighboring Uganda. The activity which may last between 2 – 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements will involve a 1 hour of direct encounter with gorillas coupled with unlimited opportunity to take as many photos as you wish after which you will descend back to the gorilla trekking point. The gorilla trekking in Rwanda is most times brief as the gorilla families tend to be closer to the starting point. After returning, transfer back to lodge for a short relaxation and in the afternoon you can either undertake the Musaze caves walk to encounter the ancient caves where acted as a refigium for the Rwandese Royals during the times of war at a store for supplies. You can also opt to visit the Batwa people, who are among the last surviving group of short people in the whole world. Alternatively, you can visit the Twin lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera for amazing scenic views and recreational boat cruise. Retire in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury) / Hotel La Palme (Midrange/Standard) or Muhabura Hotel (Budget/Basic).

Day 5: Hike Dian Fossey site & transfer to Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)

After breakfast, embark on the hike to Dian Fossey site to encounter the grave yard of the famous mountain gorilla conservationists that the world has ever had. The Dian Fossey is credited International for fighting tooth and nail to see that the plight of mountain gorillas gain international momentum and interest towards their conservation and continued existence. The hike takes you through challenging mountain sides and has got impressive views of Mount Karisimbi and Bisoke which are among the eight Virunga Volcanoes that exists in the area. Thus paying tribute to this woman is one of the rewarding things that you can ever contribute to her commemoration and the existence of mountain gorillas. Return from the activity for lunch after which you will transfer to Gisenyi (Lake Kivu) for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury) / Hotel Gorillas Lake Kivu (Midrange/Standard) or Paladise Malahide (Budget/Basic).

Day 6: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park along the Congo – Nile Trail

After a relaxed breakfast, embark on the transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park 240km about 7 hours’ drive along the Congo Nile Trail that stretches along the impressive shores of Lake Kivu. The divide marks the point of separation between catchment areas for the Nile River and River Congo. The area has good scenic views that will occupy you throughout the journey. You will drive through Kibuye town where you can stop for lunch and then through Cyangungu before proceeding for 54km to Nyungwe National Park arriving in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Upmarket /Luxury) / Nyungwe Hill Top Hotel (Mid-range/Standard) or Gisakura Guest house (Budget/Basic).

Day 7: Morning Chimp trekking in Kyamudongo forest & after noon forest or canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park at Uwinka overlook.

canopy-walk

After an early breakfast, embark on the chimpanzee trekking encounter in the forest of Nyungwe. The encounter begins at 8am local time and takes you through the impressive montane forest that has got a considerable position in the East African region. You have an opportunity of seeing chimpanzees as they swing on tree branches, make pant hooting calls and socialize. Return from the activity which lasts between 2 – 5 hours for relaxation and lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, you will embark on the famous Nyungwe Canopy walk which is the first of its kind in East Africa and the third in Africa. The canopy walk staring at Uwinka overlook is one of the rewarding encounters that you can have in Rwanda. It offers impressive views of the lush forest canopy and counts of primates and birds that inhabit it. Retire for relaxation, dinner and overnight

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Upmarket /Luxury) / Nyungwe Hill Top Hotel (Mid-range/Standard) or Gisakura Guest house (Budget/Basic).

Day 8: Morning drive through the park to Murambi genocide memorial (1000 bodies preserved) and continue to Kigali via Butare (Huye) Institute of Rwanda National Museums.  Drive to the Airport after final shopping.

After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Kigali city 268km about 6 hours’ drive excluding stops en route. You will make a stop at Murambi genocide memorial where 1000 bodies of the people who lost their lives during the bloody genocide are preserved. You will also visit Butare National Museum to encounter great ethnographic museum of its kind in East Africa in Huye district from which you will continue to Kigali, do the final shopping and then transfer to the Airport for flight departure.

End of safari