Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure

Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure – 10 Days

Overview | Highlights | Detailed Itinerary | Includes | Request Quote



This 10 Days Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure is bound to enthrall you with Rwanda’s enchanting landscapes which seem straight out of the imagination of a poet or a painter and set your hearts aflutter with its scintillating wildlife. You’ll be mesmerized and surprised around every bend in the road. However, before you visit Rwanda, you need to take heed of this statutory warning. Traveling to Rwanda is dangerous as you will be so captivated by its beauty, that you may never want to return.

The topmost reason to book the Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure is a tryst with the enchanting mountain gorillas of Rwanda’s mountain jungle in Volcanoes National Park. Your heart will start beating faster as you trek across fields, hills, and slushy narrow paths to reach the thick of the jungle. As you walk with bated breath, cutting a narrow path in the almost impenetrable and thick vegetation, the excitement builds to a crescendo. The climax is when you are face to face with a huge but gentle silverback Gorilla or see a female gorilla nursing a baby just an arm’s distance away. That moment is bound to be frozen in your mind for life.

Safari Highlights

  • The thrill of trekking Mountain Gorillas in the challenging forest terrain and the humbling experience of coming face to face with them as they feed, play, rest, and bond with their young
  • A thrilling encounter with the delightful chimpanzees and watching them as they make awesome acrobatic maneuvers in the tree branches
  • Having ago on the challenging canopy walk, one of the most thrilling Rwanda adventures for those with guts where your ability to withstand heights is tested
  • Being treated to the colorful cultural gala of the Rwandese people at Iby’iwachu cultural village
  • Listening to the horrific tales of the genocide that claimed more than 1,000,000 lives in Rwanda in the 1990s
  • Viewing the mesmerizing and awesome features of the volcanic landscapes
  • Relaxing in the serenity of Lake Kivu on a Boat launch

Activity Schedule

Day 1: Arrival in Rwanda & transfer to Akagera National Park
Day 2: Full-day game drives in Akagera & transfer to Kigali
Day 3: City tour of Kigali & transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Day 4: Gorilla trekking & visit to Iby’iwachu cultural centre
Day 5: Golden Monkey trekking & transfer to Lake Kivu
Day 6: Optional activities around Lake Kivu
Day 7: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park, visit the Tea Factory
Day 8: Chimpanzee trekking & Canopy walk
Day 9: Trekking other primates & Nature walk
Day 10: Transfer to Kigali via Butale Kings Palace

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Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Akagera National Park, Boat cruise and Evening game drive

We start this Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure by travelling to Akagera National Park in the eastern part of Rwanda. The drive is approximately 2½ hours and on arrival you will go for a boat cruise on Lake Ihema to see aquatic animals such as Hippos, Crocodiles as well as water birds like the papyrus Gonolek, shoebill stork and African fish eagle.

In the afternoon you will go for a game drive in the park after which you will retire to the lodge of your booking for dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Full day game drives in Akagera National Park & transfer to Kigali

After an early breakfast, you will embark on a morning game drive. In a circuit you will visit different lakes where you will see buffaloes and elephants drinking from the water ponds and see various species of birds like Egyptian goose and fish eager.

Game Drive in Akagera National Park, Rwanda

You will have a picnic lunch in the park and go for the hills game drive where you will see; impalas, zebras, bush bucks, water bucks, topis, oribis, baboons, giraffes, cape elands among others.

In the late afternoon you will set off for Kigali.

Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your booking.

Day 3: City tour of Kigali & transfer to Volcanoes National Park

You will have breakfast and set off for Kigali to visit the memorial sites scattered in various parts of the city. The memorial sites will include the Nyamata church and the Rwanda Hotel where people who had sought refuge as the genocide raged were butchered, the Gisozi genocide memorial where the remains of the dead are buried and you will finish with a visit the Presidential Palace Museum which was the place of residence for the Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana, at the time of genocide.

Kigali City Tour

The Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure will later transfer to Ruhengeri town just outside the Volcanoes National Park and check in at the hotel/lodge of your booking.

Day 4: Gorilla trekking & Iby’iwachu cultural tour

Have an early Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure breakfast and set out for the Volcanoes National Park to trek the Mountain Gorillas. You will begin with a briefing on the rules of Gorilla trekking and start the trek in search for the Mountain Gorillas. The time taken to track the Gorillas can be as little as half an hour to as much as 5 hours!  Your gorilla trek will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the Gorillas.

Rwanda gorilla trekking safari

As you trek 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 watching as they feed, play, communicate and bond with their young.

You will return to the hotel for lunch and in afternoon be taken to the Iby’wachu cultural village where you will learn about the fascinating culture of the Rwandese people depicted through folk songs, storytelling, music, dance, and drama.

Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge.

Day 5: Golden Monkey trekking & transfer to Kibuye town

You will have breakfast and move to the Park head quarters for a briefing on the Golden monkey tracking rules before going out to track them in the forest.

Golden Monkey Trekking in Rwanda

The trek takes 1– 4 hours and you have one hour to stay with the Golden monkeys once sighted. You will return to your lodge for lunch and some rest and later transfer to Lake Kivu.

Dinner and overnight will be at the hotel of your Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure booking in Kibuye town near the Lake.

Day 6: Optional activities on and around Lake Kivu

You will have your breakfast and head for Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is the perfect place to chill out after the tiring Gorilla and Golden monkey trekking and hiking of the volcanoes. For most people, it is simply a place to relax and rebuild energy.

Lake Kivu Activities

You can take a nature walk, go birding on a boat ride, explore some islands, visit the nearby hot springs, go fishing, or visit the Congo boarder. You can also visit the Ndaba Falls or take a walk around Kibuye town to acquaint yourself with the lifestyles of the inhabitants.

You will later transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge.

Day 7: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park, visit to Tea Plantation & Factory

After an early Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure breakfast travel to Nyungwe Forest National Park, some 220km away from Kivu. The journey will take about 5 hours with lunch en route arriving in Nyungwe in the afternoon.

Nyungwe Forest Rwanda

Time allowing you will take a tour to the adjacent tea factory to see how the locally grown tea is processed to become one of the finest products Rwanda has for export.

Dinner and overnight will be at the lodge of your booking

Day 8: Chimpanzee trekking & Canopy walk

You will have an early breakfast and report to the Park headquarters for a briefing on Chimpanzee tracking rules. You will then start the trek for the chimpanzees during which you will also come across other primates such as Golden monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey, Angola colobus, Silver monkey, Hamlyn’s Monkey, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, and Olive Baboon.

Nyungwe Canopy Walk

You will also see various types of birds in the verdant flora of this ancient forest. After the chimpanzee trek you will go for the 2 hour famous Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk. The canopy walkway is suspended 50 meters in the air between big trees and stretches over a steep and deep valley across a massive forest cover offering breathtaking views across the misty forest.

You will have sightings at eye-level of a number of unique wildlife inhabiting the canopies including birds, butterflies, and several monkey species. For those who lack the guts for the canopy walk you can choose to go for a nature walk around the park or relax at your lodge.

Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge.

Day 9: Trekking other primates & optional nature / community walk

You will have breakfast and make another visit to the forest to trek other primates such as L’Hoest’s monkey, Angola colobus, Silver monkey, Hamlyn’s Monkey, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, and Olive Baboon.

You will also see various types of birds in the verdant flora of this ancient forest. In the afternoon you can choose to go for a nature walk around the park, visit homesteads to learn about their traditional settings and activities or just stay at your lodge relaxing.

Dinner and overnight will be at your lodge.

Day 10: Transfer to Kigali via Butare Kings Palace

You will have a relaxed breakfast and set off for Butare town where you will visit the King’s Palace Museum to learn about the epic history and culture of the Rwandan people from the collections of this Museum that depict the different aspects of their life over the years.

You will trace the evolution of traditional clothing and types of residences through the centuries, as well as how the people’s agriculture has developed through the years to the present. Built in 1989 with the help of the Belgian government, the museum also offers a detailed insight into the country’s tumultuous history.

You will after the visit to the museum transfer to Rwanda for a city excursion and later transfer to the Airport for your departure flight.

End of the Ultimate Rwanda Safari Adventure.

Requirements for this Safari

  • A Visa for Rwanda which you can get at the airport
  • Gorilla trekking permit paid for in advance
  • Travel & Health insurance arranged by you in your home country before you travel.
  • Yellow fever vaccination (certificate for proof)
  • Physical fitness

The Safari package includes:

  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • 4WD safari vehicle
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Chimpanzee trekking permit
  • Canopy walk fee
  • Services of an English speaking driver/guide.
  • Return airport transfers.

The Safari package excludes expenses of a personal nature such as:

  • Other drinks apart from bottled water
  • Laundry
  • Tips to local guides
  • Telephone expenses
  • Porter fees while trekking Gorillas
  • Personal insurance
  • Cigarettes

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What to Expect on a Rwanda Gorilla Safari

For a great gorilla trekking experience you need to be fairly fit, equipped for the humid, muddy conditions of a rainforest hike, and in good health – gorillas are susceptible to human illnesses but don’t have our immunity, which means a common cold can be deadly to a whole family of gorillas and you won’t be permitted to trek if you are unwell. Even in the dry season, the rainforest is a challenging environment: it’s humid, wet and muddy with some steep slopes, plenty of insects and thick vegetation. It is absolutely worth the effort to spend time with gorillas in the wild, but be prepared to exert yourself on the trek.

Your professional gorilla guide and tracker leads you into the forest’s secret paths, looking for a habituated gorilla family. Once found, you’ll approach the gorillas quietly and settle down to observe them from between 7 and 10m (22 to 32 ft) away. You’ll spend between 40 minutes and an hour with the gorillas, watching the adults forage and groom each other while the babies tumble and play. You’ll be under the watchful gaze of the great silverback patriarch, whose soft brown eyes constantly sweep over his family protectively. Witnessing gorillas express typically human gestures and emotions is a truly profound experience and one of the reasons that gorilla trekking is such a life changing encounter.

You’ll be asked to leave any personal items or bottled water you’re carrying with your porters and approach the gorillas with only your camera. You are not allowed to use a flash and it’s best to use a camera that doesn’t make loud clicks, whirring or other mechanical noises.

Quick links to gorilla trekking tips

When To Go – Best time to go on a Gorilla Safari in Rwanda

Although a Rwanda Gorilla Safari can be conducted all year round in the Virunga Mountains, due to the somewhat damp seasons experienced by Volcanoes National Park jungle in which these gorillas stay, the majority of tourists prefer visiting in the dry seasons where traversing the jungles is somewhat doable – and that is the months of June to September as well as from December up to February. You can visit at any time of the year, the low season calls for cheaper gorilla permit price.

Temperature & Weather

Up the mountain Forest could be very cold especially in the morning & night. The annual mean temperatures range is 7°C to 20°C with the coldest months being June & July. Hence warm clothing are required, plus wet weather gear because Virunga receives up to 2390mm of rain every year. This is centered on during 2 wet seasons, short rains in March- May & heavy rainfall in the months of September-November. In Virunga, rain often falls as long hours of soft drizzle, instead of short tropical deluge. Our Tour Experts will help you prepare depending on the season.

Getting There

Volcanoes National Park is located in north-western corner of Rwanda approximately 3 hours drive from the Kigali International airport.

The gorilla permit

The gorilla permit is the second most important document next to your Visa and passport. The Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1500, a hefty sum but very much worth it. You should know that some of this money is used to take care of these creatures, help them repopulate and protect them from the rampant poaching.

Acquiring a gorilla permit can be strenuous especially in peak season. We would recommend buying them months in advance to avoid the long cues. The permit per  person in most cases is included in the package price, so you’ll not need to hustle acquiring the document.

Once you have the gorilla permit and you’re guided into the jungle, prepare your emotions because seeing the mountain gorillas is guaranteed.

What To Wear on the Gorilla Safari.

Rwanda Gorilla Safari gear guide: Good quality walking boots if trying any hikes or even climbs, warm layers of cloth for the cold evenings and clothing for wet weather remember it becomes cold and wet at this high altitude.

However during the day, the sun is strong even when cloudy therefore always remember to carry and wear sunscreen as well as a sun hat. In addition, you may have to carry along waterproof bags to safeguard cameras plus additional equipment for the hike. Water plus snacks are additional recommended items plus a packed lunch for people doing full-day expeditions.

What else after the gorilla safari?

While in Rwanda, besides visiting the mountain gorillas, you can take a game drive safari across the boarder into Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo National Park or within Rwanda you can visit Kigali City, Akagera National Park and several other Rwanda attractions worth checking out. Most tourists on African trip combine Tanzania safari adventures with gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda in addition to a safari in Kenya or Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking in Tanzania.

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Quick Safari Details

Number of people: Tailored

Leaves When: Any Day

Start/End: Kigali, Rwanda

Activities: Road Drive, Gorilla Trekking, Jungle Trek, Game Drive, Culture & History

Destinations: Volcanoes N.P, Akagera N.P, Nyungwe N.P, Kigali and Lake Kivu

Price: Request a Quote

Best time to go: June to September and December up to February.

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