Day 1 BUTARE - NYUNGWE
Morning flight Nairobi/Kigali arrive Kigali in the morning. Meet and greet. Transfer to Novotel Umubano hotel for coffee and briefing on you trip.
Then depart to Butare (about 2 hours from Kigali), the intellectual and cultural heart of Rwanda, set at a short distance from the traditional seat of the feudal monarch, and the site of numerous academic institutions including the country's largest university.
Visit the King's Palace at Nyanza. This is an enormous traditionally constructed dome, no longer in active use, but painstakingly maintained as a museum. Later on visit the National Museum on the outskirt of Butare that houses the finest ethnolographic collection in East Africa. Lunch at Ibis Hotel. Thereafter drive to Nyungwe Forest Reserve via Gikongoro with optional visit to a genocide memorial site.
Dinner & Overnight: GISAKURA GUEST HOUSE (this is a simple and basic lodge in Nyungwe - only available one in the forest).(L,D)
DAY 2 NYUNGWE: TRACKING CHIMPS AND OTHER PRIMATES LAKE KIVU
After an early breakfast enter the Nyungwe Forest Reserve for primates tracking.
Nyungwe Forest Reserve extends for almost 1000Km2 across the majestic hills of southeast Rwanda. This forest reserve is the largest montane forest remaining in East Africa. It is rightly celebrated for the rich variety of its flora and fauna. At least 200 different types of trees are found here, alon with hundreds of different flowering plants, including begonia, more than 100 species of orchid, and sensational giant lobelias. Of the larger mammals, primates are the most visible, with 13 recorded species representing 25% of the African primate checklist (this includes about 500 chimpanzees, colobus monkeys which move in troops of several hundreds, grey-checked mangabey and red-tailed monkey). Home to more than 275 bird species, Nyungwe is the most birding site in Rwanda. The trekking will take you until around 1400h.
After lunch visit the nearby lovely tea plantation and its factory (Gisakura Tea Plantation). Dinner & Overnight: Nyungwe Villas B,L,D)
DAY 3: NYUNGWE FOREST FOR CHIMPS AND OTHER PRIMATES
This morning, we re-enter the forest for a second search of chimps. (As the chimps are never guaranteed, we strongly recommend two tracking attempts). Lunch at the Guest House before driving west Cyangungu on the shores of lake Kivu.Lake Kivu is a beautiful vast inland sea enclosed by the steep, green terraced hills that are so characteristic of rural Rwanda.
From here proceed by speed boat to the lake resort town of Kibuye.
Lunch in Kibuye. Continue boat journey to Kivu Sun. Dinner &
Overnight: LAKE KIVU SERENA HOTEL(B,L,D)
DAY 4 KIBUYE TO VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
This day after a leisurely lakeside breakfast, we drive to Ruhengeri, main base town for Gorilla trekking. The drive is approximately 1.5 hours on a good paved road offering beautiful scenic views.. Stops and picnic lunch en route. Then drive on to your lodge in Kinigi, at the base of the Volcanoes.Dinner & Overnight : GORILLA MOUNTAIN VIEW LODGE (B,L,D)
Day 5 PARC NATIONAL DES VOLCANES - MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
As the famous Dian Fossey put it : "In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat, are great, old volcanoes towering almost 15,000 feet and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest- theVirungas(or Volcanoes). After breakfast at the lodge, report the Volcano Park office for gorilla formalities. Then drive to the edge of the Parc National des Volcans, briefing by the park's guides on how to behave in the forest and in the presence of gorillas. Thereafter, enter the park for the trip's highlight: MOUNTAIN GORILLAS TRACKING which will take you to midday depending on where you find them. Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, if time permits visit the little known but compellingly beautiful twin lakes Bulera & Ruhondo before proceeding back to Kigali.
Overnight : YOUR CHOSEN HOTEL (B,L)
Day 6 DEPARTURES
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Nairobi for your outbound departure flight