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Remarkable Rwanda is one of the world’s most captivating and sort after destinations. From near destruction in the tragic 1994 genocide to a never before seen reconciliation, recovery and period of peace and stability, Rwanda is now considered a leader in the region and an innovative developing country which bans plastic bottles, is the 7th safest place to walk alone at night in the world and has the world’s highest representation of women in Parliament.
Home to some of the most special animal encounters on the planet you will get to trek and spend time with rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Colobus and Golden Monkeys as well as go spotting the big 5 on a safari drive.
If getting you to all 3 National Parks wasn’t enough on this tour you get to spend a night overlooking Africa’s sixth largest lake, Lake Kivu and participate in multiple cultural, historical and coffee experiences that Rwanda is world renowned for. All whilst staying at best in class accommodation to suit your budget and lifestyle.
Rwanda truly earns it title of being Remarkable.
Kigali – Kigali
Depending on arrival time
Welcome to Kigali, Rwanda. Our tour representative and your driver/guide will meet you at 7:30am, Kigali International Airport. Then we provide you with a detailed briefing at the Bourbon Coffee Restaurant before we head off on the 2.5 hour drive to Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda.
Mid-morning, we will arrive at park headquarters and register before taking a very interesting behind the scenes tour. Here key park management will go through the history of Akagera National Park (Africa’s 2nd oldest National Park), their anti-poaching methods and confiscated items, conservation measures and a look at their innovative tracking room which monitors the movements of the parks newest inhabitants the lions and rhinos.
We will then drive and check in at your accommodation and have lunch before embarking on an afternoon game in the Southern Circuit of Akagera. This circuit is particularly known for its Giraffes, Zebras, Baboons, Water buck and Buffalo.
At 5 o’clock we head towards Lake Ihema for a fantastic Boat Safari and sun downer. This is an opportunity to get up close from a whole new perspective and see hippo’s, crocodiles and many of the 423 bird species of Akagera, all whilst watching the sun set over this magical first day.
We then return to your accommodation for Dinner and overnight at Akagera Game Lodge
After breakfast we head off around 8am and leave the sotuhern sector of Akagera National park for the central sector via a game drive experience.
We will arrive around midday at Hippo Beach which is perfect timing to spot these massive animals laze about and yawn in the waters and banks of the lakes. Look out also for crocodiles and lots of bird life.
After lunch we head towards the Northern sector of Akagera National Park for a Game drive.. The northern sector has wide savannah’s and is where we are most likely to spot Lions and the newly introduced and very shy Rhinoceros’. Keep your eyes open for plenty of giraffes, warthogs, water buffalo, topis and even the odd leopard and hyena. The lions where introduced 5 years ago and their numbers are increasing very healthily and the Rhinos are only less than a year in the park so it will be a great day if we manage to spot them.
Mid afternoon we return to Akagera South via Game drive as you head for your accommodation for Dinner and overnight at Akagera Game Lodge.
TRANSFER TO KIGALI
Today have your breakfast at leisure and later you will be assisted to check out of your accommodation. Embark on your vehicle for your 2 hours transfer to Kigali. You will arrive on time for lunch. After your lunch at the historical Hotel Des Mille Collines also known as Hotel Rwanda and from here you will proceed to your hotel to check in and freshen up .Dinner and overnight at Park Inn Hotel or similar
After breakfast at your Hotel, At 8am embark to your 4×4 vehicle and exit Kigali. First stop is a 2-hour drive en route to the traditional power and cultural Centre of Rwanda in Nyanza/Butare at Kings Palace which offers a detailed look into the Rwandan traditional seat of their monarchy. It is an impressive re-enactment display, restored to its 19th century state and made entirely with traditional materials. Many facts and skills and cultural uniqueness are learnt at this very interesting site.
A further hour down the road is the Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda which displays ancient and historic artifacts from throughout Rwandan history. Upon arrival we have organised Rwanda cultural troop for your entertainment later after you will visit museum and we take you for lunch in Butare before transferring a further 2 hours to Nyungwe National Park and then on to Lake Kivu a further hour. You will see beautiful rain forest and plenty of monkeys on the side of the road before arriving at your accommodation overlooking the beautiful Lake Kivu.
Check in and refresh at your accommodation ready for Dinner and overnight at Emeraude Kivu Resort.
After breakfast it’s time to embark on a few experiences in the Ancient Temperate Rain forest of Nyungwe. Besides the Chimpanzees Nyungwe is probably most well known for it’s large populations of Colobus Monkeys. These unique black and white monkeys are found usually not too far from the park headquarters and the trek not too strenuous.
We will take a packed lunch today. After refueling you have a choice of either a Isumo Waterfall Trek or Canopy Walk.
The Isumo Waterfall trek takes around 2 hours from start to finish and is a great way to experience the rain forest and it’s exotic bird life. You may even see different types of monkeys along the way.
The Canopy walk is about a 20 minute trek from the park headquarters. The suspension foot way gives you a super interesting perspective of the rain forest canopy.
In the afternoon return to your accommodation to enjoy the sunset, Dinner and overnight at Rwiza Village or similar
After breakfast, you will check out and transfer to Musanze, Volcanoes National park via a crop to cup coffee tour at Rushel Coffee washing Station. Here you will see the process of picking, drying, packaging and tasting of the Bourbon Arabica beans from the nearby coffee farms. Lunch at Rushel Lodge on the shores of Lake Kivu.
After lunch we head towards the lake border town of Gisenyi. We will visit the Batwa Pottery and learn their activities and the ways of living ever since the beginning. The Batwa where the original forest dwellers in these lands but are now a struggling minority. They have found a niche as fisherman and pottery artisans and they are known to make the best handmade pottery in the region.
After the Batwa Pottery experience it a further 1.5 hours towards Musanze, Volcanoes National Park. The road is excellent and as you approach you will witness the stunning scenery of 5 Volcanoes.
On arrival we have a special tour organised with the Gorilla Doctors. Here you will see their programs and contribution to the conservation of this rare species. Every life counts when your population is only 1000 and these dedicated experts make a difference. They also have an amazing in depth knowledge of Gorillas, their behaviors and language which will had a lot of value to your trek tomorrow.
Check in and enjoy Dinner at Davinci Gorilla Lodge
After your early breakfast you will be transferred from your accommodation around 6:30am to the Volcanoes National Park headquarters and meet with excellent and well informed local guides who keep in touch with the advance group (trackers). The guides will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla tracking basing on their experience with gorillas.
We then hike into the forest to where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point with the communication of the advance group.
The trek can take from 2-6 hours and climb to altitudes not in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile.
Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being one of the most profound natural animal encounters in the world. Remember it’s a good idea to hire a porter to help you carry your backpack or bag and can give you a hand during hiking.
After the trek we return to your accommodation to freshen, rest up and take lunch. In the afternoon visit to Ibyiwacu Cultural Village.
Ibyiwacu Cultural Village
This is where dance is organized and you experience the traditional lifestyle of Rwandan pre-colonial period. The village is fascinating with a variety of cultural experiences it can offer, and probably the best way to get to know the local people, their culture, and their ways of living” is to take part in daily life activities.
Agricultural tourism will be part of the wider experience where guests will join local people and participate in the lesson of how they produce their agricultural products such as millet grinding using stones, and attend lessons of preparing a local dish i.e. (Ubugari, Igikoma etc).
The wider part of experience is IGITARAMO, where all gather around camp fire, with drums and local dances before sunset, where stories, riddles are recounted by storytellers of the old Rwanda with everyone seated around the fire.
After you will return to your accommodation for Dinner and Overnight at Davinci Gorilla Lodge or similar
After and early breakfast we leave for the Golden Monkey Trek at 7 am. Golden Monkeys are very rare and nowhere in Africa is there better access to large habituated numbers than in Rwanda.
These unique, playful and beautiful creatures will entertain you for a good hour and the trek on average is normally much easier than the Gorilla Trek.
After the trek return to your lodge for a freshen up and check out by around 11am. Your departing flight doesn’t leave until the evening so now we will transfer you via a scenic 2.5 hour drive to Kigali and use our remaining time to experience the culture and coffee of Rwanda.
On arrival we shall go for lunch and later proceed for a 1/2 day city tour that will include Kigali Genocide Memorial and Question Coffee Master Class.
Kigali Genocide Memorial is an educational, emotional, challenging and inspiring . This transparent memorial will educate you on the causes, horrors, impact and ultimately inspiring reconciliation that is unprecedented in its successes.
Then we transfer you to Question Coffee Cafe to your final activity of the day which is a question Coffee Master Class . Rwanda is home to some of the world’s best specialty coffee and no one knows more about it than Question Coffee. Here you will learn about Rwandan Coffee Culture, coffee making, tasting, roasting and packing. This is a very enjoyable sensory experience.
As your flight doesn’t leave until the late evening we will take you to dinner at one of Kigali’s very good restaurants before transferring you to Kigali Airport for your flight home.
We wish you save travels and many fond memories.