Discover The Unexpected

10 Days Rwanda Culture and Gorilla Tracking Safari

Overview

This safari starts with a visit to Omwami’s palace in Nyanza, continuing to the locally revered hot springs of Rugarama near Nyungwe Forest in South West of Rwanda, the largest afro-montane forest in Central Africa. With over 10000sq.km in size, Nyungwe – the undisputed giant in Central Africa – is rich in birds, butterflies, over 300 bird species including albetine endemic species and a habituated families of chimpanzees, monkeys and other primates.

We proceed to Gisenyi, where Ross Carr’s orphanage is found. We explore Gisenyi and enjoy the lake breeze from Lake Kivu. We continue North, to Ruhengeri at the base of Parc Des Volcans as our base to explore this part of Rwanda where we track mountain gorillas, visit local communities including the Batwa pigmies. In Kigali, we can have an optional city tour such as museum visits or craft shop excursions.

Best time to visit: June-Sept / Dec-Feb

Duration

10 days

Map Overview

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 -Day 1 - Arrival in Kigali

Pick up at the airport upon arrival and transfer to hotel. [Approximate driving time: 30 minutes]

Inclusion

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation

HOTEL LE GARNI

After breakfast, you will depart for Butare the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions. On your way to Butare, you will visit Nyanza (currently Nyabisindu) 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 that can be compared with the Kabaka’s palace of Buganda. You will visit the National Museum which is one the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It’s a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region.

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Butare Resort

Visit the Botanical Gardens and locally revered hot springs in Rugarama. Lunch at Butare and later proceed to Nyungwe Forest NP. Your driver-guide will stop at the Uwinka offices to see the semi-habituated groups of chimps and coloubus monkeys. This will help you to prepare your activities of the next day.

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Gisakura Guest House

Early morning visit to Nyungwe Forest. In Nyungwe Forest NP: guided nature walk or primate treks. Of a particular interest are the large social groups of Angolan Colobus (Colobus angolensis), which may be over 300 in population. These are the largest troops of this species known in the world! Nyungwe forest accounts 25% of the African Primates!

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Gisakura Guest House

Drive via Kibuye on the stunningly beautiful Lake Kivu through beautiful countryside, crossing valleys full of agricultural produce. Kibuye which is one of the three resort towns on Lake Kivu is the most beautiful. We will arrive in time for lunch. After Nyungwe, a relaxing time at the shores of Lake Kivu awaits. Take a boat out on the lake to see the various islands and swim in the refreshing bilharzia-free waters of the Lake or stroll about in the nearby villages rambling across a number of hills.

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Molia Hill Resort Kibuye

After breakfast, we will either drive to or take a speed-boat trip to Gisenyi (on payment of a $200pp boat supplement + visa fees $110). The trip is not only an encounter with local people; fishermen, fishing villages but also with the residents of Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets.

You will be picked up in Gisenyi for lunch and if time allows, we make arrangements to cross the border of Goma (Optional). Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. The visit shows the fantastic capabilities of the local population to overcome this natural catastrophe!

Idjwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 40 km in length and with an area of 285 km², it is believed to be the largest inland island in Africa, and the eighth largest in the world. Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometers separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island’s southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometer from a promontory of the Rwandan coast.

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Serena Kivu Sun

Visit Ross Carr’s Imbabazi Orphanage. Imbabazi Orphanage was founded by Mrs Rosamond Halsey Carr in late 1994 at Mugongo to care for the genocide orphans. Rosamond Halsey was a young American fashion illustrator when she married an adventurous hunter-explorer, Kenneth Carr. Together they journeyed to then “Congo Belge” (now Congo DRC) in 1949 but where they later came to a pungent divorce. Kenneth left but Rosamond stayed in Congo until 1955. From there on she moved to northwest Rwanda where she stayed for the next 50 years. She witnessed all Rwanda’s historical events, including the vinegary genocide of 1994. She is the author of “Land of a Thousand Hills: My life In Rwanda.”

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Hotel La Palme

After breakfast, we proceed at the ORTPN headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing then drive to the slopes of one of the Virunga volcanoes to start Gorilla trekking.

After the trekking, we will have lunch at your hotel or at Ruhengeri and in the afternoon, if time allows, an excursion to explore the beautiful lakes in the region: Lake Bulera & Ruhondo. An excellent view of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes can be seen from there depending on weather conditions.

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Hotel La Palme

Excursion to the top of the Bisoke volcano (3.711 m) with its beautiful crater lake! There is also an option to have an excursion to the grave of Dian Fossey and the former Karisoke Research Center. Another is a visit to the Golden Monkeys: the little-known Golden Monkey (cercopithecus mitis kandti) listed as “endangered”. We can also visit local communities and surrounding communities.

Transfer to Kigali for overnight at your hotel. [Approximate driving time: 3 hours]

Inclusion

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Accommodation

Hotel Le Garni

Tour of the city (optional) including a visit to the markets, the handicraft shops, and the Genocide Memorial Center at Gisozi. Time permitting, we can also visit the Nyabugogo market, and the Franco-Rwanda cultural center.  In the evening, we arrange for your transfer to the airport.

Inclusion

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Accommodation

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Inclusions

  • Park fees
  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • All Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water on all days
  • Camping Equipment
  • Porterage

Exclusions

  • International flights (from/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (tipping guideline US$20.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Rescue Fee
  • Climbing Gear
  • Sleeping Bag

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Included and Excluded in Every Tour?

The inclusions and exclusions vary by tour. Each tour has its specific set of inclusions and exclusions. Please refer to the individual tour page to see what is specifically included in that tour.

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What Are Your Cancellation Terms?

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What If I Have Special Needs or Requirements?

We strive to cater to all requirements, such as providing wheelchair-friendly accommodation or rooms on the first floor if stairs are a challenge. Please communicate with us in advance about your needs.

What Vaccines and Health Requirements Are Needed?

The requirements vary depending on the country and nationality. For the most accurate information, please visit the page specific to your destination and consult the corresponding embassy page for the latest information.

What Are the Road Conditions Like?

Most safari parks have bumpy but manageable roads, with some roads being paved. Generally, guests do not view this as a problem.

Can I Choose Other Accommodation Than What's Specified?

Yes, if you have a special preference, let us know, and we will offer alternatives from our vast network of company-owned and partner accommodations. Booking with us allows you to enjoy discounted rates as we have special agreements with our partners.

Is Electricity Available 24 Hours in the Lodges and Camps?

Most standard camps and lodges are equipped with generators, so electricity is generally available 24 hours. However, some interruptions may occur but are typically not a significant concern for guests.

Will My Mobile/Cellular Phone Work During the Tour?

es, though signal strength may vary in different areas.

What About My Special Diet and Food Preferences?

We cater to all diets, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, among others. Please inform us in advance about your dietary preferences.

What Activities Can My Kids Do While on a Safari?

A safari offers an enriching experience for children, allowing them to observe animals in their natural habitat. Some camps and lodges offer amenities for children, such as playrooms and pools, though these are not universally available. We suggest bringing activities that your children enjoy.

Is Tipping Required?

Tipping is not required but is recommended. The amount varies by country, but you should tip according to what you feel is appropriate.

These are general FAQ to guide your planning. For detailed information specific to your destination, please visit the corresponding page on our website.

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