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9-Days Exploring Rwanda’s History, Culture, Gorillas and Chimps

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices and Dates: $6000
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 9 days
Best months: January - February, June - August, November - December
Countries visited Rwanda Rwanda
Parks visited Volcanoes, Nyungwe Forest
Activity level Very Active - Trekking, mountain biking, kayaking
Safari type:
  • Camping
  • Cultural
On this 9-day safari, experience Rwanda’s beauty, wildlife and history. Spend time visiting historical landmarks and cities, ending the trip with an amazing opportunity to track chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in the wild.

DAY 1 – KIGALI: Arrive in Kigali. You will be met, and transferred to the Kigali Serena Hotel for overnight. 

DAY 2 – NYUNGWE FOREST: An early breakfast is followed by a drive to Nyungwe forest. On the way visit Nyanza King’s Palace, and the National Museum of Butare. In the evening, arrive for dinner and overnight Nyungwe Forest Lodge. (B, L, D) 

Nyungwe Forest Lodge was built to blend in with the surrounding environment and is situated in a tea plantation on the edge of the forest. All of the luxury rooms are forest facing & the lodge offers heated pool, boma for outdoor dining, fitness center, & WiFi in the main lobby.

DAY 3 – NYUNGWE FOREST: After breakfast, enter Nyungwe forest to track the chimpanzee (however this is in very hilly terrain with steep hills and deep valleys). Or enjoy Nyungwe’s rain forest by hiking in the well-maintained trails, tracking the acrobatic Angola Colobus Monkeys. Other primates include Black and White Colobus, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Blue Monkey, and L'Hoest's Monkey. After lunch, depart on the unforgettable, 1½ hour Canopy Walk on the suspension bridge, allowing access to the upper parts of the forest. You can see some unique ‘canopy’ species; apes, birds, butterflies, plants and insects, flowers, leaves and other animals that live in the roof of the forest, otherwise invisible, but can now be seen at eye level. Overnight Nyungwe Forest Lodge. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – KIBUYE: After breakfast, you will drive to Kibuye on Lake Kivu, enjoying lunch a local resident’s home along the way. Enjoy a free afternoon relaxing at the lake or kayaking, or choose to visit a local market. Overnight Cormoran Lodge. (B, L, D)

DAY 5 – VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK: After breakfast, drive about 5 hours to Volcanoes National Park. The Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen, bamboo forests, open grassland, swamp and heath. Volcanoes National Park is situated in north-western Rwanda. Best known for the mountain gorillas, other mammals that reside in the park are the golden monkey, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, spotted hyena and bush buck, as well as 178 recorded bird species—at least 13 species and 16 sub-species endemic to the Virunga and Rwenzori Mountains.  Enjoy a visit to the Iby' Iwachu Cultural Village, or “poacher’s village” a showcase of the Rwandan ways of living, traditional lifestyles, and dances by community members, done in a way that encourages them all to be a part of it while generating income for poor local people. Dinner and overnight Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. (B, L, D)

Standard: Gorilla Mountain View Lodge is a new moderate mountain lodge.  All the rooms are separate cottages with full en suite facilities, hot and cold running water. A comfortable dining/bar and sitting area with a fireplace is especially nice on cool evenings.

Deluxe: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge provides some of the most exclusive accommodations in Rwanda. All guest rooms and suites are individual cottages carefully positioned to offer wonderful views of the Virunga Volcanoes while retaining as much privacy as possible. Cottages feature a sitting room, fire place, dressing room, large bathroom with all modern amenities and veranda.

Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is Intore, a highly choreographed routine consisting of three components - the ballet, performed by women; the dance of heroes, performed by men, and the drums. Traditionally, music is transmitted orally with styles varying between the social groups. Drums are of great importance, the royal drummers having enjoyed high status within the court of the mwami. Drummers usually play together in groups of seven or nine.- Wikipedia.

DAY 6 – VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK: Gorilla tracking day. After breakfast, take a short drive to park headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and start trekking which can take 1 to 6 hours. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. The hike is physically demanding, yet the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located, the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. It’s important to take plenty of water and waterproof clothing is essential, including zip lock bags for cameras and film. Afterwards, trek back to base and drive to the lodge for a deserved shower and lunch. After lunch, tour the nearby ex-poacher’s village. Overnight at Gorilla Mountain View Lodge. (B, L, D)

DAY 7 – VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK: This morning, drive to Volcanoes National Park headquarters to be allocated to a totally different gorilla group. At 7:00 am you will be briefed by your trackers then drive to the trail head for the start of your amazing adventure. After the trek, drive to the lodge for a deserved shower and lunch. In the afternoon you will return to Kigali to check-in at Kigali Serena Hotel, and enjoy a farewell dinner hosted at a local restaurant. (B, L, D)

DAY 8 – KIGALI: After breakfast, drive back to Kigali for a city tour, including the Genocide Museum and local markets. Later, visit a local Rwandan’s home and enjoy a traditional Rwandan meal. Overnight Kigali Serena Hotel.

DAY 9 – KIGALI/DEPART: Enjoy breakfast, then a free morning before transferring to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

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