Arrival at Kigali international airport met and transferred to your Kigali Hotel.
Breakfast at your hotel, City Tour of Kigali including the Genocide Memorial site a grim reminder of a senseless massacre of innocent lives in 1994. Learn about Rwanda’s history from pre-colonial times to the 1994 genocide; learn about other genocides in the world and how this country has dealt with that past. Have lunch thereafter set off along the Rwamagana – Kayonza road to Akagera National Park. You will come across a lot of bird’s activity along the way. Banana plantations abound, with vegetable and Fruit markets lined along the roads.
Early breakfast, enter the park for Game drives; Akagera is home to a variety of animals, and an exciting reserve in which to spend a few days. It offers an interesting contrast to the more mountainous central and western parts of Rwanda. There are plenty of animals around and the birdlife is quite exceptional. Mammals include a healthy population of Elephant and Buffalo, plus 11 species of antelope including Impala, Common Duiker, Defassa Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Oribi, Tsessebe, Cape Eland and the rare Sable Antelope. Hippos are present in impressive numbers in the lakes and rivers and Zebra and Giraffe still roam the more open acacia dotted plains. After game viewing drive back to the lodge.
Breakfast at your hotel, Drive back to Kigali and proceed on the drive to Nyungwe National park via Butare, the second largest city of Rwanda and regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. Butare hosts the National Museum, several academic (Universities) and research institutions. Visit Nyanza the former Mwami’s Palace (King’s palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome. You will also visit the Butare National Museum in Huye which is one the best set-up, if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. A good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda. Lunch at a local restaurant in Butare. Afternoon drive to the wonderful rainforest reserve of Nyungwe at an altitude range of between 1600 M-2950 M above sea level with temperatures varying between 0°C and 30° C; average day temperatures 15°C. Nyungwe receives rainfall ranging 1800-2500 mm per year. Rainy season is September to May. Dry season June to August with some dry weeks in December and January. The main features and attractions in Nyungwe forest include Largest montane rain forest remaining in Africa, Mt. Bigugu (2925M), Kamiranzovu marsh (13 Km²). Nyungwe forest has 260 species of trees and shrubs and Over 100 species of orchids and giant lobelias. For those interested in botany, the flora in Nyungwe comes as an added bonus.
Early breakfast at your lodge, transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park offices. Enter the park for chimp trekking . Chimpanzees are great apes that are closely related to humans. During the morning’s walk we are also likely to encounter troops of primates. Nyungwe Forest hosts these intelligent primates who are an endangered species. The forest harbors more than 275 endemic and migratory bird species recorded Including the Ruwenzori turaco, Ross’s turaco, Grey –cheeked hornbill, Red-throated alethe, Red-breasted sparrow hawk, White-headed wood-hoopoe, Kungwe apalis, Ruwenzori batis, Blue-headed and Regal sunbirds.Afternoon, relax or enjoy the many optional activities in Nyungwe or visit the nearby areas including a tea farm / factory.
After an early breakfast re-enter the forest for canopy walk – experience the forest on a bird eye view, you will encounter tree climbing primates and rare birds, thereafter drive to Kibuye, also known as a beach city in Karongi district, and the capital of Western Province of Rwanda. The city lies about halfway down the eastern shore of Lake Kivu, between Gisenyi and Cyagugu, You should not miss visiting the Napoleon Island on this lake and the Ndaba Falls lie near the city. Lake Kivu is the largest of all lakes that fill the valleys of Rwanda. The lake is a 2650 Square kilometer freshwater expanse. Lake Kivu has an inland beach, the most serene environment within the central African Region.
Depart to Gisenyi a scenic drive that takes you over the Albertine (western) Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valleys. Gisenyi city lies on the eastern shores of Lake Kivu on the northwest part of Rwanda. Lake Kivu is one of the greatest Lakes in Rwanda, an extraordinarily beautiful inland water enclosed by steep, green terraced hills along eastern Rwanda. Gisenyi has a beautiful sandy beach lined with swaying palms and colonial-era hotels that exude an atmosphere of tropical languor.
Morning at Leisure to explore the Lake Kivu , optional boat ride to explore nearby islands, visit the famous and historical hot springs, thereafter drive to Ruhengeri, at the foothills of Virunga Volcanoes and the home of Gorillas. The town itself is located only 25km from Uganda boarder, it is relatively a small city of about 100,000 people. The constant flow of humanity is quite remarkable. The Town has great views of the surrounding volcanoes. People are very friendly here.
Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park HQs for registration, where the park staff determines which group of gorillas you will visit. The park staff discusses your fitness level and advises you of the trekking times and conditions to the various groups based upon their location in the park the previous evening. There are a total of 80 gorilla permits available each day with a maximum of eight trekkers visiting any one group. Once the trekkers are put into groups, each group’s Lead Guide briefs the trekkers of the trekking procedures as well as the “do’s and don’ts” while in the presence of gorillas. After the briefing, trekkers return to their respective vehicles for the drive up the mountain to the starting point. Trekking can take from two to six or more hours if the gorillas move before the park rangers locate them the next morning. The guides stop frequently to allow trekkers a chance to rest and take photos along the way. After the trek, rejoin your driver Guide for a transfer to your Lodge for lunch.
Early breakfast at your lodge, depart from foothills of the Virunga volcanoes and drive south a scenic sharp hills and valleys drive to Kigali. Transfer to Kigali International Airport for your departure flight.