9 Days Best of Rwanda SafariDestination: Rwanda
This is one of our best tours. The best of Rwanda 9 Days is a journey through all the national parks (Volcanoes NP, Akagera NP, Nyungwe Forest NP and Gishwati-Mukura National park), the cultural sites and landscapes of the country of ""a thousand hills"", like Nyanza, Huye, Kigali, Lake Kivu.
Travel by road
9 day Itinerary
Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport we will welcome you and transfer you to the hotel in Kigali, for bed and breakfast accommodation, The Manor Hotel / Flame Tree Village Hotel / Cozi Safari Lodge (C) or Quiet Haven Guest House (E). BB
|DAY 2||Kigali – Nyanza – Nyungwe in the Southwest of Rwanda||
Full Board. After breakfast we depart towards the Nyungwe National Park in the south of the country. You will stop at Nyanza where you can visit the royal palace, entirely rebuilt for visitors but which reproduces original pieces of ancient furnishings belonging to the Mwami, the king of Rwanda. Lunch is scheduled in a restaurant in Huye (Butare), the second largest city in Rwanda and cultural capital, hosting the university and the National Museum. Very characteristic here are the shops of local handicrafts, which display typical local objects such as fabrics, wood and baskets. Arrival in Nyungwe Park for dinner and overnight at Nyungwe Top View Hotel (surcharge for Nyungwe House One & Only) (C) or Emeraude Kivu Resort (E). NOTE: The itinerary of the day can take about 7 hours on paved roads for 250 km
|DAY 3||The primates of Nyungwe National Park||
Full Board. After breakfast early in the morning, at 6 o'clock you will enter the Nyungwe Forest for the chimpanzee trekking and other primates, among which the Angolan colobus. There are two sites to do this activity: the entrance to Uwinka or the Cyamudongo forest, which is an integral part of the Nyungwe park. The park covers 1020 square kilometers of green hills, the largest pristine mountain tropical forest in East Africa. Nyungwe is home to 13 different species of primates, including chimpanzees (there are about 500), the colobus of Rwenzori, the monkey of Hoest, silver monkey, the face of an owl, red tail, vervet and baboons. Nyungwe is also the most important birdwatching site in Rwanda, with over 310 species of birds. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, optional activity, including the "canopy walk" to observe the forest and the birds, or another short walk in the forest. Dinner and overnight stay at Nyungwe Top View Hotel (surcharge for Nyungwe House One & Only) (C) or Emeraude Kivu Resort (E).
|DAY 4||Along the shores of Lake Kivu to Kibuye||
Full Board. After breakfast you will depart from Nyungwe to continue North along Lake Kivu, between the Rwanda hills and the panoramic view of the lake. You get to Kibuye in time for lunch. The town is located on Lake Kivu and is a great site for some relaxation. In the afternoon you are free or, optional, we can organize a boat trip on Lake Kivu. Dinner and overnight at Cormoran Lodge (C) or at Rwiza Village Guest House (E).
|DAY 5||The North West of Rwanda: Volcanoes National Park||
Full Board. After breakfast, leave Kibuye in the Northwest direction for the Volcanoes National Park. The road passes near the Gishwati forest, which in 2016 became the fourth national park in Rwanda with the name of Gishwati - Mukura National Park, with a total area of about 35 square kilometres. This forest is the habitat of chimpanzees, the golden monkey, monkey The Hoest, blue monkey, black and white colobus. Based on the developments of the activities in the park, we might propose to do a nature walk. In the afternoon or in the evening we reach Musanze (Ruhengeri) at the entrance to the Volcanoes National Park. The Park, with an extension of about 125 square kilometres, takes its name from the Virunga volcanoes that delimit the border with the Congo. Check in at the lodge, dinner and overnight at the Five Volcanoes Hotel / Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (C) or Le Bamboo Gorilla Lodge / Da Vinci Lodge (E). NOTE: The itinerary of the day can take about 4 hours depending on the road conditions. In case the optional activity for the day 6 is the mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda, we will propose an alternative accommodation for one night in Uganda.
|DAY 6||Mountain gorilla tracking||
Full Board. After breakfast at 8 o'clock, OPTIONAL (see supplement) the trekking begins in the forest in search of one of the mountain gorilla families accustomed to receiving tourists' visits. After the introductory explanation by the park rangers, you will go to the starting point of the trek. Take your backpack with a packed lunch, water, rain jacket, while you are advised to wear mountain hiking shoes. The time it takes to reach the assigned gorilla family is not predictable. From the moment the group arrives near the gorillas, you can stay for about an hour to observe their behavior, take pictures or movies. Today you can take another optional trekking in Volcanoes National Park, to choose between the golden monkeys trekking or visit the Old Karisoke Research Centre and the tombs of Dian Fossey and the mountain gorillas (see supplements). In the afternoon we recommend visiting one of the ecotourism projects in the local communities, including the Iby'Iwacu Cultural Village in Kinigi, a way to see people's lives, traditions and customs more closely and also to be able to attend the Intore dances. Dinner and overnight at the Five Volcanoes Hotel / Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (C) or Le Bamboo Gorilla Lodge / Da Vinci Lodge (E).
|DAY 7||Volcanoes National Park / Akagera National Park||
Full Board After breakfast transfer to Akagera NP with lunch en route in restaurant. Optional: Early morning it is possible to take another walk in Volcanoes National Park, choosing among the possible activities like the golden monkeys trekking or the Old Karisoke center visit. Akagera NP with 1085 square km of protected area, is named after the river Akagera which marks the border between Rwanda and Tanzania. This is a vast savannah, also characterised by the presence of important lakes, like Lake Ihema the biggest, Lake Hago and Kivumba. From 2010 many developments took place in the park, including the fencing of some areas and the reintroduction of lions. Today Akagera NP has become a positive example in Africa of good management of natural resources, also with attention to benefit local communities out of conservation practices. Dinner and overnight at Akagera Game Lodge (supplement for Ruzizi Tented Lodge) with view on the Lake Ihema. NOTE: The itinerary of the day can take about 6 hours on paved roads for 230 km.
|DAY 8||Akagera National Park||
Full Board. After breakfast, depart for photographic safari, with a choice between the offered loops like the Rwisirabo Loop or Kitabili Loop. Return by lunch time at the lodge. In the afternoon we propose to take the boat excursion on Lake Ihema, the larger water body of the park, activity that starts not far from the lodge. The 2 hours trip is a worthy experience, not only to spot hippos, Nile crocodiles and water animals, but expecially water birds. Among the common birds you might spot: whisltling duck, African openbill stork, African jacana, squacco heron, goliath heron, grey heron, African darter, great cormorant, African Fish Eagle, pied kingfisher, little bee eater, scarlet chested sunbird. In the evening take a short game drive to Lake Shakani and Lake Birengero. Return to the lodge by 6 pm (permitted time) for dinner and overnight at Akagera Game Lodge (supplement for Ruzizi Tented Lodge) overlooking Lake Ihema.
|DAY 9||Akagera National Park - Kigali||
Half Board. After early breakfast, at around 6.30 you take a long photographic game viewing from the Southern to Northern sector of Akagera National Park. The main areas for game viewing are the Lake Hago and Kitabili open grasslands, then reach Mohana plains. Due to the increasing numbers of the wildlife in the park, you might spot Maasai giraffes (especially in the Northern acacias savannah), bufaloes, zebras, impalas, antelope roan, oribi, waterbuck, elephants. Lions are also easily seen, while the rare leopard is a rare spot. For today you bring with you the packed lunch prepared by the lodge which can be taken from any pic nic point like on the shores of Lake Hago. In the afternoon, proceed back to Kigali and reserved for departure flights from Kigali International Airport or extend the overnight in Kigali. NOTE: The itinerary of the day can take about 6 hours including the safari for about 200 km.
The price includes:
1. Water on board
2. Entrance fees, taxes
3. Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe
4. Mountain gorilla permits
5. English speaking Driver/Guide
6. All the transfer in private means 4x4 safari Land Cruiser / land rover
7. Full board accommodation
8. Airport transfers