Day 1: Welcome to Rwanda
A representative will be at Kigali Airport to pick you up from your flight.
Depending on your arrival time you may be able to visit some of Kigali’s craft markets to browse amongst the pottery, carvings, batik, weaving, sculpture, musical instruments, leather and fabrics on offer. Prepare to use your haggling skills! All activities and purchases today are at your own cost.
Spend a night in Kigali.
Day 2: Travel to Nyungwe Forest
In the morning you will meet your driver/guide and you will set off towards the famous Nyungwe Forest, one of the largest forests in East and Central Africa. The forest is abundant with flora and fauna including 13 primate species from colobus monkeys, mangabeys, blue monkeys and, of course, our cousins the chimpanzees. Nyungwe Forest is also a famous location for birders. With about 310 recorded bird species, 26 of which are endemic, this is one of the most important – and still little known – bird-watching destinations in Africa.
In the evening, you will settle into your preferred hotel.
Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking
After a very early morning start, you will proceed to the chimpanzee tracking trail in either the Cyamudongo or Uwinka sections. The total population between the two groups is a healthy 80 individuals. This exciting up-close encounter with human’s closest relative you will not soon forget.
After the chimp tracking you can relax at the hotel or choose an optional activity that you can discuss with your guide.
In the afternoon you can go for East Africa’s only canopy walk. This walk takes place above a deep gorge cutting across the massive forest. Lasting about 1½ hours, the walk takes you through some beautiful foliage and animal habitats. En route you will have the chance to spot blue monkeys and unique birds that dwell in the upper levels of the forest canopy.
Sign up for this activity with your booking.
Day 4: Journey to Kibuye(Karongi) on Lake Kivu
In the morning you can enjoy the nice views from your lodge. After lunch you will travel to Kibuye on the eastern shores of Lake Kivu. Time allowing, you can visit the Ndaba Falls or take a walk around Kibuye town. In the afternoon you can you can rent a boat and visit a few islands. All activities today are at your own cost.
Day 5: To Volcanoes N.P.
Today you shall drive northeast to the town of Musanze close to the Virunga Volcano massive range. This beautiful area represents the gateway to the gorilla tracking.
The lodges for tonight are located near the entrance of the national park with an amazing view overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes. From here you will start your Gorilla tracking the next day.
Day 6: Gorilla Tracking
Today you will start early! From the lodge, you drive into the park about 30 minutes to the RDB office. The head ranger of the RDB will divide you into groups based on interest and fitness. From here your driver/guide will take you as close as possible to the starting point of your tracking.
Today you will track one of the habituated Gorilla groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. The time taken to track the gorillas can take as little as half an hour to as much as 8 hours!
Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorillas’ current location. Your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Once the gorillas have been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Rwanda’s own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.
Note: Wild African Safaris purchases the permits in advance but is unable to reserve a specific gorilla group as it is for the head-ranger to decide this!
Day 7: Departure
Today after a relaxed breakfast you shall be transferred by your driver/guide back to Kigali. Depending on your departure flight you can visit the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, which opened in 2004. It’s a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant Children’s Memorial, and a detailed description of the darkest hour in Rwanda’s recent history in time to catch your flight back home.
Your driver/guide will take you to the airport in time for your flight home. Sadly, this is where you say goodbye to Rwanda.