1 DAY AKAGERA SAFARI
You will have an early morning breakfast and drive to Akagera National Park, the park lies in eastern Rwanda, hugging the border with Tanzania. It's characterized by woodland, swamps, low mountains, and savannah. The varied terrain shelters wildlife including zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions, and hundreds of bird species, such as the rare shoebill stork. In the southern part of the park, vast Lake Ihema is home to hippos and crocodiles.
The Park has a diversity of wildlife including buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, zebras, impalas, and many others. After a long time being extinct in Akagera National Park, the black rhinos and lions have recently been restocked. Their sighting is always not guaranteed due to their small number and the hiding character of the black rhino. Enjoy the game drive viewing the natural habitat of different animals, birds, and enjoying the view of different lakes and landscapes. This will be a very rewarding experience so remember to carry your camera so as to capture every memorable event. Then after all that you will drive back to Kigali.
1 DAY CULTURAL ACTIVITIY MUSANZE
After your heavy breakfast, you will be picked up by our English-speaking guide at the hotel in musanze for the whole day tour, He will take you to one of the local community family, participate with themto learn the methods of farming, Become part of a village family’s daily chores by beginning the morning in the gardens cutting grass for the animals and getting out in the fields for a seasonal agricultural activity. You will love the setting with the community guide for a chat after a pretty much physical activity in the garden.
Thereafter, harvest some food from the farms, visit the local market, join them learn the art of cooking with the local in homestay setting and be introduced to various cooking’s mainly preferred by the locals. After your lunch later I the afternoon hours participate in banana beer making, have an opportunity to experience Rwandan traditional living and what makes it authentic. Get a practical experience on grinding sorghum on the traditional grinding stone to make food and beer, you can join the production and grinding of sorghum that works as the fermenting catalyst. Learn how to weave baskets as a long history and culture of making beautiful hand craft items. Agaseke basket is a decorating gift item given the daughters during marriage ceremonies. It’s a precious feminine gift that has connotation of beauty and love. The tour ends with a Traditional Rwandan cultural dancing, then back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
1 DAY GORILLA TREKKING
You will be picked up in Kigali by our English speaking guide at 0430hrs In the morning and transfer for a 2 hour’s drive to Musanze Ruhengeri the second largest town in Rwanda, with its spectacular view of five volcanic mountains –The virungas. Then continue to kinigi RDB Headquarters to meet your guides for the day.
After completing our park formalities, we embark in life for once in a lifetime experience for mountain gorilla tracking. Once you spot them, you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousins. This perhaps one of the most breath taking wildlife experience on earth, you get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each others blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first.Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience! These massive giants are extremely rare with less than 700 living today. You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. The tracking maybe fairly strenuous rare, up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude .For your enjoyment, we encourage your to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy. (we’ve had people as old as 70yrs old do gorilla tracking so this should be not be a problem .All you need to ask your driver guide is to request a shorter group for you if you cannot trek far). Its important to bring good hiking boots ,long trousers, gloves for protecting against stinging nettles ,some snack and sweets( for you not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it’s an hour you will never forget. Return to Musanze/Ruhengeri to freshen up and have lunch then depart for a 2 hour’s drive back t Kigali.
End of service.
Driving Distance: 2 hours (both ways)
Activities: Gorilla Tracking
Meal plan: lunch
Transport in a 4WD safari vehicle exclusive to you
English speaking Guide
All guide fees
One gorilla tracking permit per person
international flights and visa
Driver guide or local escort tips
Drinking and dining rooms tips, porters, personal travel and luggage
Telephone bill, laundry and any item of a personal nature
Activities not mentioned in a program.
3 DAYS NYUNGWE AND LAKE KIVU
DAY 1: DEPARTURE FOR NYUNGWE
After breakfast you will drive to Nyungwe National Park. This lies in southwest Rwanda, partly abutting the Burundi border. It's a vast area of mountain rainforest, home to many species of chimpanzees plus owl-faced and colobus monkeys. The Canopy Walkway. It takes about 6 hours’ drive.Get to the hotel check-in and relax in the afternoon.
DAY 2: CHIMPANZEE TREKKING + CANOPY WALK
Take an early morning breakfast then drive to this park for the starting point of your chimpanzee trek. Two species of chimpanzee occur in Africa. There is the Bonobo and the Common Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes (often shortened to Chimpanzee, and sometimes referred to as the Robust Chimpanzee). The largest remaining populations occur in central Africa (Gabon, DR Congo and Cameroon). About only 400 individuals, the population in Rwanda is an endangered one. However; it should be mentioned that it is not guaranteed to see the chimps as they are unpredictable and can move long distances in one day. Nyungwe National Park is the largest block of montane forest in East and Central Africa and it is an incredibly rich area of biodiversity. You will have lunch first and later in the afternoon go for Nyungwe canopy walk. The canopy walkway provides an exhilarating perspective on the ancient treetops and wildlife. The canopy walk sets 50 meters above the ground with a 150-meter walkway and is the first of its kind in East Africa and third on the continent after South Africa and Ghana. It allows visitors to see the forest from above the trees and be at eye level.
Later in the afternoon drive to gisenyi. This is about 4 hours’ drive.
Activity: Chimpanzee Trekking + canopy walk
DAY 3: KAYAKING –DEPARTURE TO KIGALI
After breakfast you enjoy kayaking in Rubavu (also known as Gisenyi) is a waterfront town located on the shores of Lake Kivu, one Africa’s great bodies of water.At 4hours away from NyungweNational Park, Rubavu is a great way to unwind after trekking adventures. Lake kivu lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, Gisenyi has some of the most spectacular scenery, peace and tranquillity in Rwanda, Lake Kivu by kayak is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the scenery, gazing up at the mountainous backdrop from the tranquillity of the water. We find a picturesque coastline where traditional fishing boats ply the azure waters and lush, verdant hills reach up around you. Visiting the border of Rwanda and Congo is also a part of this tour. Later in the afternoon you will drive back to Kigali.
Activity: Kayaking. Visit the border of Congo
4 DAYS GORILLA AND CHIMPANZEE TREKKING
DAY 1: DRIVE TO MUSANZE
Your Drive Guide will pick you from the Hotel drive to Musanze check-in to the hotel, after settling everything go for lunch, and visit Musanze food market. Later go back to the hotel relax in the afternoon and get ready for the gorilla trek.
Driving Distance: 2hrs
DAY 2: MOUNTAIN GORILLA TRACKING
After an early breakfast, our driver-guide will drive you to the Volcanoes National park headquarters to get a briefing from the park guides. The guide will go with you to the volcanoes forest and start trekking the mountain gorillas. You will be amazed by the behaviors, size of the mountain gorillas, and how they communicate. After 2hours of experience, you will drive back to Musanze town for lunch and later drive to kibuye its 3hrs30 drive from Musanze. Get to kibuye check-in to the hotel spend the afternoon at the shore of lake kivu.
Activity: Gorilla trekking
DAY 3: KIBUYE – NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK (CANOPY WALK)
After breakfast, you will depart for Nyungwe National park which takes about 2hours’ drive from Kibuye. You will first check-in to the Hotel, have lunch and later in the afternoon go for canopy walk. The canopy walkway provides an exhilarating perspective on the ancient treetops and wildlife. The canopy walk sets 60 meters above the ground with a 150-meter walkway and is the first of its kind in East Africa and third on the continent after South Africa and Ghana. It allows visitors to see the forest from above the trees and be at eye level.
Driving distance: 2 hours
Activity: Canopy walk
DAY 4: CHIMPANZEE TREKKING-KIGALI
Take an early morning breakfast then drive to the starting point of your chimpanzee trek. Two species of chimpanzee occur in Africa. There is the Bonobo and the Common Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes (often shortened to Chimpanzee, and sometimes referred to as the Robust Chimpanzee). The largest remaining populations occur in central Africa (Gabon, DR Congo, and Cameroon). About only 400 individuals, the population in Rwanda is an endangered one. However, it should be mentioned that it is not guaranteed to see the chimps as they are unpredictable and can move long distances in one day. Nyungwe National Park is the largest block of montane forest in East and Central Africa and it is an incredibly rich area of biodiversity. Later in the afternoon drive back to Kigali if your flight is in the evening your guide will drop you to the airport.
Activity: Chimpanzee Trekking
All accommodation on Half Board (HB), Full Board (FB) or Bed and Breakfast (B&B) basis as quoted in the text
· Safari vehicle and fuel
· English and French-speaking tourist guide
· All Activities
· Free mineral water in the vehicle during the tour
· Air Evacuation emergency insurance
· Visa fees
· Drinks / alcoholic drinks
· Additional meals
· Activities not part of the described program
8 DAYS BEST OF RWANDA
DAY 1: KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL - VILLAGE EXPERIENCE
After Breakfast, Your Guide will pick you from the hotel and visit Kigali Genocide memorial, here you will get a chance to learn more about the Rwandan genocide that took place in 1994. after you will drive to eastern part of Rwanda in the village where you will be able to interact with local community and experience village life by getting to see and learn a lot, like how to cook some local food then you eat together with the locals, farming lessons, fetching water using Jerry cans and sharing stories with locals. You will spend a night with your host family.
Accommodation: Home Stay
Activity: Genocide Memorial & Village Experience
DAY 2: AKAGERA GAME DRIVE - KIGALI
After an early morning breakfast drive to Akagera, start searching for the big five, rhinos, lions, buffalos, leopard, and elephant in the expansive Park. Arrive at the picnic site for your lunch then later go on your afternoon exploration with a game drive by visiting the giraffe valley. Depart the park in the late afternoon through the northern gate and travel back to Kigali arriving early evening.
Activities: Game Drive
DAY 3: KIGALI-NYUNGWE FOREST
Have breakfast and thereafter embark the vehicle and transfer to Nyungwe forest and on yourway to this forest have your lunch en-route, visit King's palace Museum and Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda
Activities: King's palace Museum and Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda
DAY 4: CHIMPANZEE TREKKING
Have breakfast and meet at the park offices for the briefing about the primates and the forest, afterenter into the tropical rainforest searching for the shy chimpanzees in the tree branches. While onthis walk expect to spot other primates like the white and black Columbus, Vervet monkeys, redtailed monkeys and manageably. More birds can be spotted too in the Nyungwe National park,after the trekking go for lunch and later drive to kibuye where you will spend an overnight
Activities: Chimpanzee Trekking
DAY 5: KIBUYE
You will have a relaxing Day at the lake, after breakfast you will take a boat trip to the island of Amahoro Napoleon’sisland -with its colony of fruit bats (aptly known as one bar island as all it has on it is one bar).Deeply incised creeks, towering mountain ranges and islands offer a magnificent panorama. Afternoon at leisure.
Activities: Boat Ride
DAY 6: KIBUYE – MUSANZE
After breakfast you will depart for Musanze area the second largest town in Rwanda, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains, then check in at Red Rocks and have lunch and later on the afternoon visit Gorilla Guardians, a Non-Profit umbrella organization that aims at improving the lives of reformed poachers and communities around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through provision of conservation incentives, supporting community enterprise development and livelihood based projects.
Activities: Gorillas Guardians
DAY 7: CULTURE TOURS AND PAINTING LESSONS FOR KIDS
After Morning breakfast you will start your day with some traditional Dance lesson, basket weaving and learning to make a famous local banana beer, a beer made from Banana Juice, this is a good experience for kids and adults banana beer is made from bananas and sorghum flour, all work is done by hands and the juice from bananas will be the best morning drink for the kids and others get to test the fermented banana beer. After the experience you will go for lunch in Musanze Town later have a short city tour. The tour includes visiting Art galleries like Icuti and Ikirunga Art Galleries provides visitors with art pieces that depict Rwanda cultural history and where kids can learn how to paint with a local artist and take what they paint back home as souvenirs. A visit to the Musanze Marketfound in the middle of the town is recommended for the adventurers who like to experience local culture; purchasing local food , clothes stalls that pack both Rwanda traditional attires and western fabrics, traditional handicrafts and, of course, meeting the local people.
Activities: Culture Experience & Painting Lessons
DAY 8: MUSANZE – KIGALI
Have breakfast, and after embark the vehicle and drive back to Kigali with lunch en-route. Then drive to the airport for your return flight back home.
9 DAYS GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE OF RWANDA
DAY 1: ARRIVE KIGALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by Our driver/guide and be transferred to your hotel in Kigali arriving for overnight on bed and breakfast.
DAY 2: DEPART FOR RUHENGERI + INTERCUTURAL EXCHANGE
After breakfast you will depart for a 2 hours’ drive to Ruhengeri area the second largest town in Rwanda, with its stunning backdrop of five volcanic mountains – The Virungas- Arriving at the Red rocks intercultural exchange center for a lunch that you will help prepare. Our cooking lessons involve mainly Rwandese dishes in an African cuisine and in an African Kitchen – With a range of fresh crops, the ingredients for African cuisine are diverse even though certain foods are common to many regions. Ground maize or corn (called ‘sweet corn’ in the UK) is used as the basis for many meals. Maize flour is cooked with boiling water to form a stiff porridge (called ugali in Swahili or Kaunga in Kinyarwanda). Sometimes it’s made into dough. This starchy staple is served with sauces or stews as well as different fresh vegetables like Cabbage, carrots, spinach and other traditional greens. You get to join our staff in the kitchen as you explore the varieties of food grown from our farm behind the main building. Get your hands dirty; it’s fun!! If you haven’t cried in a long time the smoke from the kitchen will give you a chance to if you are not swift in keeping the wood together to keep the flames burning. Enjoy the meal outside in the sun or at the dining area as you chat with the locals and you will be introduced to the Rwandese way of telling evening stories of our past and present. This kind of tour will give you an inside way of the Rwandan culture and way of life that leaves you with a picture of our history. Later in the afternoon indulge in banana beer production to understand the chemistry about the process of brewing a local beer from bananas fruits. If you find the activity interesting enough you can join the women in squeezing the juice out of the bananas and drink a glass of juice (Optional). Understand how long juice takes to turn into alcohol after adding in sorghum floor. Enjoy the big glass of our local brew. Among other activities they also do basket weaving and with your visit this local community will be proud of this activity and families supported financially. Continue for your local home stay arriving for dinner and overnight.
Activity: Intercultural Exchange
“Red rocks” is a cultural exchange project, which is willing to spread all aspects of Rwandese Culture, life style, traditions & history. We involve and benefit local people in cultural tourism. We offer basic types of accommodation (back packers) and community related activities. The rooms have clean but shared bathrooms and hot shower.
DAY 3: GOLDEN MONKEY TRACKING + TWIN LAKES VISIT
This day is set out for Golden Monkey tracking in the Volcanoes National Park. Entering dense stands of bamboo interspersed with open glades; you will make your way deep into golden monkey territory. Guides lead visitors to the habitat of groups of ‘habituated’ golden monkeys – monkeys that have become accustomed to human presence. Though viewing is kept to a maximum of one hour, travellers can get an up-close look at the golden monkey in its natural habitat. Adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch. Females carry their young, completely comfortable among onlookers. Return to your hotel to freshen up and have lunch then depart for the twin lakes of Bulera & Ruhondo– These are beautiful lakes located at the base of volcano Muhabura and close to the border with Uganda. They are surrounded by steep hills with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains. These twin lakes are great spots to be visited and used to be referred to as neglected gems but things have changed and Bulera and Ruhondo are a place not worth missing out on. Their deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls with the outlines of the nearby Virunga Volcanoes provide a spectacular backdrop. Later drive back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Activities: 1 Golden Monkey Trek + Twin Lakes Visit
DAY 4: GORILLA TRACKING + KAGANO COMMUNITY VISIT
After an early breakfast, you will proceed to the National Park headquarters – Kinigi to meet your guides for the day. After completing our park formalities, we are embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. Once you spot them you are allowed to spend an hour watching your closest long lost cousin. This is perhaps one of the most breath-taking wildlife experiences on earth!!! You get so close to these awesome giant primates. You stare at each other blankly not knowing who to break the long silence first. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 700 living today. You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. We encourage for your own enjoyment to make sure that you are perfectly fit and healthy. (We’ve had people as old as 70 years old do gorilla tracking so this should not be a problem; all you need is to ask your driver guide to request a shorter group for you if cannot you trek far)It is important to bring good hiking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget. Evening visit to the Kagano community village as you get to know why the community left the park and when was that. Return to your hotel for lunch and later dinner and overnight.
Activities: 1 Gorilla Trek
DAY 5: MOUNT BISOKE HIKE
After an early breakfast and with your packed lunches; depart for Kinigi and on to the starting point of your hike. Mt Bisoke stands at 3700m; it has the typical conic shape of a “perfect” volcano and in its crater lays a deep crater lake. The volcano does not present an exceptionally demanding climb but it is nevertheless still a tough hike. The high elevation demands extra strength of climbers and the whole excursion can take between 5 hours and the whole day depending on the speed of the walk and the frequency of stops. The ascent typically takes around 3 hours. During the climb, you will cross a series of different vegetation habitats starting with bamboo forests, then moving into Hagenia – Hypericum forest and finally moving through Senecio – Lobelia bush near the summit. The trek starts at 07:00am from the Park’s headquarters in Kinigi. Porters can also be hired from the park headquarters but a professional guide from the park will accompany you for the hike. Return to your hotel to freshen up and later stay for dinner and overnight. (It is important to bring with you sufficient drinking water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day).
Activities: Bisoke Hike
DAY 6: LOCAL COMMUNITY VISIT (BEE KEEPING +LOCAL VILLAGE MARKET PHARMACY VISIT)
After breakfast and with your packed lunch we depart for a VILLAGE WALK-This is a walk through one of the villages in Musanze; this helps visitors gain a broad perspective of a Rwandan way of life. The walks go through the villages residing the volcanoes and you will have views of the volcanoes – enjoy the mountainous vegetation in its natural state. Continue for a visit to the bee keepers. Members of various bee keeping associations produce bee hives that they place in swamps or forest areas rich in certain types of plants. Depending on what kind of honey is desired, these plants for example could be banana trees or certain flowers. Honey is an important means to cure a number of local diseases, so that it is shared with traditional doctors. The remaining honey is sold to local people and the benefits are shared with the other association. Take a tour to a local village market pharmacy and learn of the healing abilities in traditional medicine which has been used for ages by the Rwandan people. Later take a walk around Musanze town then a small hike around the Amahoro tours office that leads you to a small picnic site where you enjoy your packed lunch as get to see different types of birds while enjoying the view of all the Volcanoes. Later return to your hotel for dinner and overnight
DAY 7: LOCAL SCHOOL VISIT + DEPART FOR GISENYI
After breakfast; Look into the Rwanda’s education by visiting local schools and participate in either teaching or play games with the children, that way they appreciate tourism ( if schools are not closed for the routine break ) Get to interact with the primary school children in this remote locale and get an idea of how they lead their lives. Later have your lunch then depart for Gisenyi arriving for check in at your hotel. The afternoon is spent in this largest port on the Rwandan shore of Lake Kivu (You will be in the company of our guide to show you around). Enjoy a boat ride to one of the islands in Lake Kivu. Simply explore the town, enjoying the hustle and bustle of the local market or wander through the leafy streets admiring the old colonial buildings. Later stay for dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Activities: Inter cultural exchange + 1 hour boat ride in Gisenyi
DAY 8: DEPART FOR KIGALI
After breakfast the early part of the day is spent on the Rwandan shore of Lake Kivu. Take a swim at this lake that covers an area of 2,700 km² (1,040 sq. mi) and sits at an altitude of 1,460 m² (4,790 ft.) above sea-level. The lake-bed is situated in a rift valley that is slowly being pulled apart, causing volcanic activity and making it especially deep. Its maximum depth of 480 m (1,575 ft.) is ranked the fifteenth in the world. The lake is surrounded by majestic mountains. This one of the African Great Lakes lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Depart for a 3 hours’ drive to Kigali arriving for overnight at your hotel.
Activities: At Leisure
DAY 9: NTARAMA & NYAMATA MEMORIAL VISIT + DEPART
After breakfast and depending with your flight departure timings; you will depart for a complementary visit to the Ntarama church where mass killings occurred during the 1994 genocide; more than 5000 people were killed in the church. The Ntarama Genocide Memorial is located about 30 kilometres south of the capital city of Kigali. Located in the Bugasera region, this church and its contents are a reminder of the horrifying violence that took place at this site during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Learn more about the unity and reconciliation commission. Proceed to Nyamata memorial site- a church where around 2,500 people were killed and it has become emblematic of the barbaric treatment of women during the genocide. Continue to Nyamata a church where around 2,500 people were killed and it has become emblematic of the barbaric treatment of women during the genocide. In the church at Nyamata, there will be graphic and audio-visual displays that will focus particularly on the mass rape, brutalization of women and the use of HIV as a deliberate weapon of genocide. Return to the city for lunch then be transferred to the Kigali International airport for your flight back home.
Activity: City Tour
10 DAYS BEST OF RWANDA
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AT KIGALI INTERNATIONAL
Arrival at Kigali international airport met and transferred to your Kigali Hotel.
DAY 2: KIGALI
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.
DAY 3: AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
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.
DAY 4: TRANSFER TO NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
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.
DAY 5: NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
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.
DAY 6: NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK AND KIBUYE
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.
DAY 7: GREAT RIFT VALLEYS
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.
DAY 8: LAKE KIVU
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.
DAY 9: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK GORILLA TREKKING
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.
DAY 10: DEPARTURE
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.
15 DAYS BEST OF RWANDA & UGANDA
DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Arrive Kigali international airport, be met by our drive guide thereafter transfer to your hotel.
DAY 2: KIGALI
Pick up by the driver guide from your hotel in Kigali for a tour of Kigali city. Kigali is a beautiful modern and very clean city, offering visitors a chance to visit the Gisozi genocide site, craft shops, and local markets. Have lunch and later hit the road driving north-wards to Volcanoes national park in Musanze province.
DAY 3: GOLDEN MONKEYS AT VOLCANOES N.P.
This day is set out for Golden Monkey tracking in the Volcanoes National Park. Entering dense stands of bamboo interspersed with open glades; you will make your way deep into golden monkey territory. Guides lead visitors to the habitat of groups of „habituated‟ golden monkeys – monkeys that have become accustomed to human presence. Though viewing is kept to a maximum of one hour, travelers can get an up-close look at the golden monkey in its natural habitat. Adult monkeys frolic in plain view, feeding on bamboo leaves and leaping from perch to perch. Females carry their young, completely comfortable among onlookers. Later visit Red Rocks intercultural center be introduced dance.
DAY 4: LAKE KIVU
Start your day with breakfast at your hotel and embark on a journey with your guide to Lake Kivu. This is the largest freshwater Lake in Rwanda and provides a perfect relaxing place when in Rwanda. Afternoon relax along the lake shores or take an boat to explore nearby Islands.
DAY 5: TRANSFER AND LAKE BUNYONI
After breakfast drive to the border of Rwanda and Uganda via Cyanika border post. Enter Uganda then drive out to Lake Bunyonyi for a canoe ride your guide will give you an introduction to Uganda. You later proceed to your hotel for check in and relaxation. We recommend and early night in order to be ready for your gorilla trekking expedition the next day.
DAY 6: GORILLA TRACKING; BWINDI N.P.
Today is the big day… Prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the rare Mountain Gorilla. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda. You will be required to wake up early in the morning then be led to the visitor’s reception center for a briefing about the park. You are allocated guides before heading into the forest in search of Mountain Gorillas.
DAY 7: QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
Head out to the beautiful wilderness of Ishasha plains that are a part of Queen Elizabeth National Park - the oldest & second largest National Park in Uganda, located at the base of the massive Rwenzori Mountains, adjacent to lakes Edward&George. The park is covered by Savannah plains that provide an abundance of Game viewing like; Elephants that trumpet when you get too close, lazy Leopards laying in the sun, abundant Gazelle and buck, Lions, Buffaloes, Hippos and others. If you’re lucky, a game drive through the open savannah of Acacia on the edge of the Albertine Rift valley will enable you view ‘Tree climbing Lions’ and other wild animals.
DAY 8: QUEEN ELIZABETH N.P.
After breakfast, go in for a game drive in time to see the sun rise. You will search for all the wildlife in the park; Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, Warthog, etc.In the afternoon, take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel- a natural channel which connects Lake Edward to Lake George. View Buffaloes, Elephants, Waterbucks, Crocodiles and the highest concentration of Hippos plus a variety of colourful species of Water birds like Crested Eagles, Pelicans and Cormorants – an Amazing diverse collection of the African animal Kingdom which comes to the waterhole to drink or bathe. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.
DAY 9: KALINZU FOREST
Kalinzu Forest is home to over 414 species of trees, shrubs and in this forest, you can find 379 species of birds which is an amazing treasure trove for birders. 378 Species of Birds call this their home including the Great Blue Turaco, Black and White Cascket, Cuckoos, and Sunbirds. There are six different Species of Primates found in Kalinzu Forest Reserve including; the Blue Monkeys, Vervet Monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys and over 220 Chimpanzees. You can hike up the Kishunja Hill Viewpoint, where you can behold the entire Forest Canopy, great parts of the Queen Elizabeth National Park and some Peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. Being close to Queen Elizabeth National Park, wildlife tend to come from the park and if you are lucky you can see Leopards, antelopes, and wild pigs. In the evening head out for an evening game drive as you watch the sun set over the horizon.
DAY 10: FORT PORTAL
Transfer to Fort Portal and have a visit of the King’s Palace. The palace is worth a visit purely for its panoramic views. Looking down from the highest hill is the residence of King Oyo, who ascended the throne in 1995 at the age of three. Later proceed to your lodge for refreshment and overnight.
DAY 11: KIBALE FORES
Depart at 8:00am your chimpanzee tracking excursion will commence. Kibale Forest boasts of the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins- the Chimpanzees. At this moment, in Uganda, there are approximately 4,950 Chimps left in the wild, which makes this forest a perfect and best place to spot chimpanzees in Africa! During the excursion, your ranger will point out the other species living in the forest, including birds, flora and fauna. In the afternoon, you’ll embark on a nature excursion. Your swamp walk (1- 2 hours) will take you through grassland and some beautiful scenery. It is usual to spot 3 or 4 different primate species during this walk through the highlight is catching a glimpse of the Great Blue Turaco bird!
DAY 12: TRANSFER TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Today you head out for the mighty Murchison Falls National Park, which is the largest national park and Uganda's flagship with exceptional wildlife. The meandering Victoria Nile and the dramatic Murchison Falls neatly bisecting Uganda's largest park, here you'd expect a wide range of animals and you'd be right. It's a stunning habitat for wildlife and it’s where to go in Uganda for classic big game species.
DAY 13: MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
After an early breakfast, you head out on an early game drive while the animals are the most active since it’s not yet so bright and temperatures are cooler. This is the best time to spot wild animals.A drive through the park brings you eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many tropical birds. They are all there in Murchison Falls National Park! .In the afternoon, a 3hour Boat Cruise along the Victoria Nile will lead you to the base of the Murchison Falls. Along the way, you will be able to view a wide variety of birds and wildlife; numerous hippos, elephants and crocodiles, as well as breathtaking scenery.
DAY 14: BUDONGO CHIMPS / TO ZIWA RHINOS/ TO KAMPALA
Transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. En route to Ziwa, you will go for a chimpanzee trekking experience in Budongo forest.Budongo Forest offers an extremely rich biodiversity including 24 species of small mammals, 9 species of primates and 280 butterflies. It is also the natural habitat of more than 600 chimpanzees. Other primates that can be observed are the Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys and Grey-cheeked Mangabeys. Later you trek rhinos at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary- this Rhino reserve is a true success story of the revival of rhinoceros after the extreme poaching that killed the last rhino in Uganda in 1982. Doing this guided trek gets you “up close and personal” to these special animals that are among “Africa’s Big five.”After trekking Rhinos, you will proceed to Kampala reaching your hotel late in the evening.
DAY 15: KAMPALA
Kampala the capital of Uganda is an amazing city seated on 7hills and located in the central region. It is not as advanced as Modern day first world cities but has lots of infrastructural development going on and Kampala’s main tourist attractions are majorly pre-colonial and colonial sites that have a lot historical attachment to Ugandans. You will explore some of the seven hills of Kampala and visit several places among which include: Kabaka’s Palace & Parliament: The Kabaka`s Lake, Gadaffi Mosque: Later proceed to Entebbe airport from where you’ll catch your departure flight home.