9 Days Rwanda Gorilla Safari & Wildlife

Overview

The 9 Days 8 Nights Rwanda Safari is one of the comprehensive safaris that you can undertake in Rwanda. The safari takes you through the Rwanda genocide memorial sites of gisozi and Nyamata, gorilla trekking and golden Monkey tracking encounter in the Virunga Mountains, the recreational encounters on Lake Kivu, impressive sceneries along the Congo - Nile Trail, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest and wild game viewing in Akagera National Park. The safari incorporates recreation, wild game, primate and heritage tours.

Safari Highlight

Day 1: Arrive in Rwanda (Kigali International Airport), visit the Gisozi genocide memorial & transfer to Volcanoes National Park in the evening

Day 2: Do gorilla trekking & visit the twin lakes or Batwa community in the afternoon

Day 3: Do golden monkey tracking & transfer to Gisenyi (Lake Kivu). Undertake an evening boat ride or a bicycle ride along Lake Kivu

Day 4: Whole day drive along the Congo-Nile trail on the shores of Lake Kivu with impressive sceneries to Nyungwe National Park

Day 5: Do morning chimpanzee trekking in Kyamudongo forest & an afternoon forest/nature walk

Day 6: 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 Kigali city for overnight

Day 7: Visit the presidential palace, Nyamata genocide memorial & transfer to Akagera National Park in the afternoon.

Day 8: Do morning game drive & afternoon boat cruise on Lake Ihema.

Day 9: Transfer from Akagera National Park to Kigali city, do the final shopping at the craft center & transfer to the Airport for flight departure.

Description

Day 1: Arrive in Rwanda (Kigali International Airport), visit the Gisozi genocide memorial & transfer to Volcanoes National Park in the evening

Arrive in Rwanda through Kigali International Airport which is the main Airport in Rwanda where you will be picked by your driver guide for a courteous introduction about the safari and Rwanda in general. From here, you embark on the visit the Gisozi genocide memorial where great counts of the remains of the Rwandese people especially the Tutsi and the moderate Hutus are kept in memory of the bloody genocide that hit Rwanda in 1994. From here, you will embark on the 116km transfer about 2 ½ hours’ drive to Volcanoes National Park for dinner and overnight.

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

Day 2: Do gorilla trekking & visit the twin lakes or Batwa community in the afternoon

batwa-community-rwanda

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 opt to visit the Batwa people, who are among the last surviving group of short people in the whole world or 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 3: Do golden monkey tracking & transfer to Gisenyi (Lake Kivu). Undertake an evening boat ride or a bicycle ride along Lake Kivu

After breakfast, embark on the golden money tracking at 8am in Volcanoes National Park. It is such a thrilling encounter to see these golden apes as they roll themselves in the bamboo forest stems and play their hide and seek games. The golden monkeys are also critically endangered and are to be existing in the Virunga massif across the globe. From the activity which tends to take about 4 hours, you will have lunch, relax a little and embark on the drive to Lake Kivu 110km about 2 hours’ drive. Upon arrival, you will embark on the recreational sun set boat cruise on the largest lake in Rwanda that stretches to Democratic Republic of Congo. You can also opt to do a bicycle ride on the shores of Lake Kivu before retiring for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (Upmarket/Luxury) / Hotel Gorillas Lake Kivu (Mid-range/Standard) or Paladise Malahide (Budget/Basic)

Day 4: Whole day drive along the Congo - Nile trail on the shores of Lake Kivu with impressive sceneries to Nyungwe National Park

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 5: Do morning chimpanzee trekking in Kyamudongo forest & an afternoon forest/nature 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 forest / nature walk exploring the forest on foot in detail. The walk exposes you to impressive flora including the flamboyant orchids. 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 6: 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 Kigali city for overnight

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 for dinner and overnight.

Day 7:  Visit the presidential palace, Nyamata genocide memorial & transfer to Akagera National Park in the afternoon.

After breakfast, embark on the visit to the presidential palace where the President Juvenal Habyarimana used to stay at the time of genocide. The presidential palace also has the remains of the FALCON 50 Presidential Jet which was brought down by a rocket launcher on 6th April 1994 an incident that sparked off the bloody genocide.  You will proceed to encounter the Nyamata genocide memorial where other thousands of Rwandese were killed in cold blood after they had sought a refugee on this church. After this encounter, you will drive for 130km about 2.5hours drive to Akagera National park arriving in the afternoon for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

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

Day 8:  Do morning game drive & afternoon bat cruise on Lake Ihema.

lake-ihema-boatcruise

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. In the afternoon, you will embark on the boat cruise on Lake Ihema which is the second largest lake in Rwanda with possibility of encountering Crocodiles and Hippos not forgetting a range of water birds. This boat cruise can be done in the afternoon or at the sun set.

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

Day 9:  Transfer from Akagera National Park to Kigali city, do the final shopping at the craft center & transfer to the Airport for flight departure.

After breakfast embark on the drive back to Kigali city. You can do a final personal shopping encounter in Kigali impressive malls and craft markets after which you will transfer to the Kigali International Airport for your flight back home.

End of safari