12 Days Rwanda Safari.
Explore Rwanda, the land of 1000 hills on this 12 days Rwanda safari. You will visit Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking, Akagera National Park for game drives and boat ride – big game viewing experience, visit Nyungwe National Park for chimpanzee trekking and a canopy walk. Then, take a break on the beaches of Lake Kivu before you end with Kigali city tour.
Besides the wildlife experiences, this safari offers Rwandan cultural expeditions as you take a village walk at Iby”iwacu cultural center in Musanze area as well as the verdant tea plantations in Nyungwe National Park plus the lively local life in Gisenyi city.
- Gorilla tracking
- Chimpanzee trekking
- Big 5 game viewing – Akagera National Park
- Iby’Iwacu cultural village
- Lake Kivu beach leisure
- Kigali city tour
- Canopy walk Nyungwe Forest National Park
Day 1: Arrival.
Meet and greet with your tour guide on arrival at Kigali international airport and transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight in Kigali. No activities scheduled as you may arrive late evening.
In case of early arrival, you may arrange a city tour privately or contact us for a short evening tour in Rwanda’s capital.
Day 2: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park.
From Kigali after breakfast, drive to Volcanoes National Park located in Musanze about 2-hour drive. When you get there, you will have no trouble recognizing the stunning Virunga volcanic ranges. These are habitats for the endangered mountain gorillas and Volcanoes National Park is proud to have more than 10 families habituated for tracking.
On reaching, you check in your lodge and freshen up. Optional visit to Tree Nursery for tree planting experience.
Day 3: Gorilla Tracking and Iby’iwacu Cultural Tour.
Begin your day at 06:00am early morning with breakfast and take with you some packed snack and drinking water to Kinigi Park headquarters for briefing about gorilla rules/regulations. Gladly submit to what your ranger tells you to do for a successful gorilla tracking experience.
Then you begin a guided trek in the forest searching for habituated gorilla family which you are allowed to see and photograph for 1 hour. Thereafter, eat your snack in the forest and return to the lodge for relaxation.
Since you may be exhausted after the trek, relax the rest of the day.
Day 4: Golden Monkey Tracking/ Dian Fossey Hike
Following breakfast take a hike to Dian Fossey’s grave yard. You will learn about the works of Fossey who pioneered gorilla conservation not only in Rwanda but also inspired works of African Wildlife Foundation and the International Gorilla Conservation Program in DR Congo and Uganda. It’s a moderate hike and can take about 6 hours going up and returning to your lodge.
Afternoon village walk to the Iby”Iwacu cultural center. This community based organization helps local people around volcanoes national park to participate in sustainable farming, weaving, art and craft, cultural and tourism other than poaching. Visitors here get to meet local people, learn their traditions like dressing as king and queen, bow and arrow shooting, weaving and gladly take part in Intore cultural dance performance.
Return to the lodge, dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Transfer to Akagera National Park
From Volcanoes National Park, it will be 4/5 - hour drive via Kigali reaching Akagera National Park late afternoon. Check in at your lodge for late lunch. Night Game drive can be conducted on request after dinner. There are nocturnal animals like hyena, leopard, civets which are searched by use of spotlight.
Akagera National Park is the only savannah park of Rwanda with river Akagera meandering through the rolling savannah to create several lakes and swamps. Its home to the big 5 mammals including black rhinos which were recently re-introduced. The park’s lakes are also home to hippos, crocodiles and water birds among the 500 species recorded. There are zebras, giraffe, several antelopes like hartebeests and impalas and klipspringers.
Located in north eastern Rwanda, Akagera national park is the only savannah park named after river Akagera. It offers habitats ranging from swamp fringed lakes home to hippos, to open acacia and woodland savannah that make it an ideal habitat for big five mammals; black rhino, lion, leopard, African elephant and cape buffalo as well as other mammals such as giraffe, eland, zebra, impala, warthogs. The park also hosts over 500 species of native and migratory birds. On arrival check your lodge for lunch. After settling in go for an evening game drive to capture some sights of animals such as elephants, zebra, giraffe, impala, warthogs and buffaloes. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 6: Game Drive and Boat Ride
As we rise up early following breakfast. We depart to explore Akagera national park on a game drive in search of big mammals like Elephants, Giraffes, and Buffaloes, several Antelope species and the lions and black rhinos which were recently the re-introduced. Akagera game drives occur in the northern part where you will spend much of your morning have picnic lunch in the bush before returning to the lodge for lunch about 2 o’clock.
In the afternoon, there are also opportunities to explore the park by taking a guided nature walk with armed ranger. This can be incorporated on request especially in the afternoon or you will take a boat cruise on Lake Ihema for opportunities to watch Hippos and crocodiles in the water or by the shores are waterbucks, buffaloes or elephants. You may as well go for sport fishing - catch and release. The bird life during the boat is awesome with some rare species such as papyrus gonolek and shoebill stork.
Day 7: Akagera to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Set off to Nyungwe forest national park with enroute stop at Nyanza king’s palace or Butare natural museum. One of the best museums displaying Rwandan culture and heritage, expect to spend an hour and also get to eat traditional Rwandan lunch.
Thereafter, proceed to Nyungwe Forest National Park home to 13 species of primates including chimpanzees. Nyungwe is a montane tropical rainforest and a catchment area with several waterfalls and streams. Its biological diversity is beyond just primates, there are over 300 bird species including those endemic to the Albertine rift valley.
Arrive at the park early evening and check in your lodge. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 8: Chimpanzee Tracking and Canopy Walk
Breakfast will be served very early in the morning and later transfer to Uwinka the visitor of Cyamudong area for a briefing on the rules and regulations to be observed while on chimpanzee trek. After the briefing, you will be allocated to Rwandan park rangers who will take you through a trek to see chimpanzees with chance to come across other primates, bird species and floral species.
The chimp trek can take about 2-5 hours with one hour up close encounter with chimpanzees. Later, you will get back to your lodge and enjoy lunch then in the afternoon, you have a canopy walk. The canopy is such an awesome activity as you walk 50 to 70 meters above the ground on suspended bridges where the aerial view of the forest is most stunning.
Day 9: Transfer to Lake Kivu.
Lake Kivu is 46km away from Nyungwe National Park which is less than 1-hour drive to get there. But, before you leave Nyungwe you could go for a nature walk to Kamiranzovu waterfalls.
Later leave for Lake Kivu, one of the beautiful lakes with idyllic beaches and islands. It’s a scenic and a very important lake being on the border between Rwanda and DR Congo. You will relax on the beaches in Gisenyi city where you can do boat rides, swimming, canoe riding and catch a sunset.
Day 10: Lake Kivu to Kigali City.
After breakfast, you will take a boat ride visiting Idwji island, the biggest on the lake. Then have breakfast and leave Lake Kivu for Kigali city. Arrive in Kigali early afternoon check in your lodge and relax.
Optional Kigali night life experience at rooftop bar/restaurant.
Day 11: All day Kigali City excursion.
After breakfast go for half day Kigali city tour. There you will visit Kigali genocide memorial site, a cemetery where 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi are laid to rest in peace. Visit the natural history museum where the history of Kigali is found since its foundation in 1907, Nyamirambo women’s center and Kimoronko market for shopping souvenirs.
Lunch in city and after the city tour, you will return to the hotel late in the afternoon.
Day 12: Departure.
This is the very last day of your safari, hence you can use it to visit a few places you haven’t visited around Kigali.