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11 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trip, Rwanda Safari Highlights

ITINERARY: 11 days Rwanda Gorilla Safari Trip
Day 1: Kigali to Akagera National park, afternoon game drive in southern sector
Morning breakfast at the hotel followed by 3 hours drive to Akagera wildlife Park. The journey passed through phenomenal landscapes and living lifestyles to arrive at Akagera Game Lodge and after a quick rest at the hotel, continue on with a southern game drive alongside the Lake Ihema circuit.
Expect an encounter with a plenty of animals such as elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles and also many other mammal species.

Time permitting, we offer you a choice of value-added activities from the following:
– Evening birding walks around the lodge
– Participate in day-to-day local pastoral lifestyle.
– Presentation on the ecology of the Akagera ecosystem and the conservation efforts, including the coexistent dynamics between the local people and wildlife.

Day 2: Northern game drive and transfer to Butare via Kigali
Early morning game drive starts with a spectacular sunrise and early morning bird calls. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape through the northern circuit to see hippos, crocodiles and even more wildlife than on the lake circuit. Later transfer to Kigali for a quick / enroute lunch and then on to Butare, the original capital and intellectual centre of Rwanda. The journey goes through the magnificent hills and cultivated countryside, enroute visit to the famous King’s Palace in Nyanza, that offers visitors a window into pre-colonial Rwandan history, also visit the art museum at Rwesero Nyanza.

Day 3: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Breakfast and a visit to the National Museum, providing you with a deeper insight into Rwandan history and culture. Then proceed to Nyungwe Forest National Park, a home to 13 primate species including rare species such as Chimpanzees, the Blue Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys and the Angolan black and white Colobus Monkeys, as well as 300 bird species. Nyungwe primates forest presents a unique phenomenon in primate tourism due to its huge concentrations of habituated primates whose troops can include 400 to 500 individuals!

In the afternoon, proceed for colobus monkey trekking. You will hike through lush forests, endless, green tea fields and take in the stunning views of your surroundings. Overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge / Gisakura Guest House.

Day 4: Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzees Tracking and afternoon Canopy Walk
Morning breakfast followed by adventure trek to see wild chimpanzees and other primates like Angolan Colobus monkeys, vervets, Black and white colobus monkeys among other. Also see over 300 forest birds. Retire for lunch and take a canopy walk to explore more of Nyungwe forest. All meals, dinner and overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge / Gisakura Guest House.

Day 5: Depart to Kibuye, driving along the shores of Lake Kivu.
Lake Kivu is one of the great lakes in Africa and the largest of the fresh water lakes that gleam in the Albertine (Western) rift of the Great Rift Valley, stands at 1461m (4,790ft) above sea level establishing it as Africa’s highest lake. The northern shore of the lake is often subject to eruptions from nearby Mt Nyiragongo in DR Congo.

Kibuye is Rwanda’s most attractive of lake ports, nestled in a series of undulating hills and offering visitors spectacular / wonderful views of the lake, the islands and the stunning surrounding countryside. It is considered one of Rwanda’s hidden treasures, with its lush green hills and peaceful breeze.

Day 6: Morning transfer to Gisenyi town
This morning after breakfast, we will continue on to Gisenyi town, enjoy its waterfront and sandy beaches and excellent views of the Lake. Gisenyi town is a wonderful place to relax in western Rwanda, with a captivating feel of a tropical beach resort. Have lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing and re-energizing on the sandy beaches.

Alternatively, we can offer you the choice of a value-added tour activities as follows:
– Take a boat to hot springs and learn about the geographic make-up of the Virunga volcanic chain.
– Visit local projects in the area and interact with project members.
– Visit local artisans and a local women’s weaving association and see how your visit makes a difference in their lives.
Meals and Overnight at;
– Kivu serena Hotel(Luxury)
– Stipp hotel (Delixe)
– Paradise Hotel Malahide
– Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 7: Visit Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village in Musanze District Rwanda
Morning breakfast and travel to visit and stay at the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, based in the community bordering Parc National des Volcans (home of gorillas). Here, enjoy a wonderful, interactive experience, learn all about Rwandan traditions, culture, song and dance!!

Also you can participate in local dances and drumming, all while wearing traditional local “Umushanana” dress; shooting arrows, attending a traditional healer’s medicine show, sample local food and banana beer and visit a local households or schools. You can spend a night here, in traditional houses and participate in Gitaramo, a cultural tradition of sharing stories, song and dance while sitting around a warm fire, or transfer to;
Sabinyo Silverback Lodge
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Hotel la palme
Kinigi guest House

Day 8: Adventurous Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
Early morning transfer to Park offices for pre-trek briefing for all gorilla trekkers. After trekking, drive back to the hotel, have lunch and relax or take a walk to the Ruhengeri local Market, see and buy local Rwandan fabrics, foods, handicrafts, etc. and to see how local markets are organized. Dinner and overnight.

Day 9: Golden Monkeys Tracking in Parc National des Volcans
These are the most endangered primates in Africa and are endemic to the Albertine Rift! The troop of Virunga National Park is said to be the only viable species left. The young ones are small, fluffy and playful and are a joy to watch. Golden Monkeys mainly live on the lower reaches of the park making the trek generally short to find them.

After tracking golden monkeys, we can drive to the Virunga Lodge, enjoy a coffee/tea while taking in the spectacular panoramic views of the Twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo as well as the Virunga mountain chain.

Day 10: Dian Fossey Hiking adventure in Volcanoes National Park
Early breakfast followed by a wonderful excursion to visit the grave of Dian Fossey, situated at the former Karisoke Research Center, nestled between the volcanic peaks of Karismbi and Visoke. This is where Dian spent close to 20 years studying the Mountain Gorillas. The hike to Dian Fossey tombs is quite spectacular, goes through bamboo forest and afro-montane habitats, criss-crossed trails with tracks of forest animals like buffaloes and elephants! Expect an encounter with all sorts of wildlife as you make our way up and down to the site.

Day 11: Depart for Kigali
Morning breakfast followed by a picnic drive back to Kigali. Depending on your scheduled flight, you will be transferred to the airport where the tour ends.

Possible extensions
Between Day 5 & 6: Visit to L’Esperance Children’s Orphanage and Village
This is a chance to interact with local people, orphans and learn about Rwanda Culture! L’Esperance Orphanage and Children’s Village, located in Kigarama near Kibuye, expect a first hand view of how generous organizations and donations from individuals have helped this Children’s Village to thrive and have funded various innovative projects in and around the Village. In the evening, relax at the shores of Lake Kivu.