Rwanda is one the must go to places in East Africa. From tracking the endangered mountain gorillas to meeting very friendly locals plus wonderful lakeside views, this tour is definitely going to make you feel Rwandan at the end of the trip. All types of accommodation are available from budget, mid and high range accommodation for the most comfortable and relaxing time here in Rwanda.
Day 1 – Arrival in Kigali
On arrival you will be picked by our driver who will take you to Golf hills residence which is just 15 minutes away from the airport. A rest is enevitable after the long journey and when you wake up you can take a stroll around the city markets and get yourself something from pottery, batik,carvings, sculpture, leather, weaving to mention but a few.
Day 2 – Visit Nyamata Church & the Genocide Memorial
The killings that took place in 1994 that left the whole of East Africa paralysed as you may have read claimed the lives of many innocent Rwandans.
Today you are going to see for yourself the brutality that took place many years ago. First we shall go to Nyamata church were mass killing occurred taking the lives of over 5000 people who had sought refuge there only to be betrayed by their own. The killers were not afraid of going into sacred places so these did not survive.
One of the most hit districts was Bugesera which had a population of 62,000 people and only 2000 people survived. All this took place in only a period of 5 days. Hearing this for yourself will make it more real than when you only read them in papers or online. In 2004 the memorial centre was opened to give a dignified tribute to the victims as well as sharing with the world the brutal happenings of time.
Day 3 – To Nyungwe Forest
Abundant with flora and fauna Nyungwe forest is one of the largest in Eastern and central Africa. Be sure to find chimpanzes, mangabeys, Angola colobus monkeys, blue monkeys among others. 13 different types of primates, 310 species of birds with 26 of them endemic are all found here.
For bird lovers, birding is very dignified here with the famous canopy walk which will get you nerves all flaring as you move on the suspended trail that hangs over tall tree branches. Enjoy every moment that you have got here.
Day 4 – Chimpanzee Tracking
Chimp tracking is done at either Cyamudongo or Uwinka here in Nyungwe forest that have a total population of 80 chimps. The closeness of chimps to human kind is about 98% and you will be amazed to evidently see this for yourself. After chimp tracking you will relax at the lodge and choose whether to go visit the local community or just to remain at the lodge and rest.
Day 5 – Forest Canopy Walk and Waterfall Hike
A deep gorge hoisted above the massive forest is where the canopy walk takes place. Full of adrenaline, the walk takes approximately 1-5 hours and it is full of magnificient views of nature of the forest. You spot very distinctively from up here blue monkeys, colourful birds at this elevated spot. The view is just incredible.
Later you will also have a waterfall hike that starts from Gisakura guest house that is located next to the ORTPN offices and this lasts 3-6 hours. You will cross several streams before you make a steep decent to the base of a small refreshing waterfall. Monkeys are often seen along the trail. The views are stunning and you may need to take every moment.
Day 6 – To Kibuye on the shores of Lake Kivu
Kibuye is a lake town that is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Kivu. After a relaxed breakfast in the morning you will head there and you will see how the town is growing fast. You will enjoy a boat ride as well on lake Kivu and there after relax at the Moriah hill resort that is right at the shores of Lake Kivu. Moriah resort is a 4 star resort with a sauna, very good restaurant and sauna. You will relax and rest.
Day 7 – Gisenyi
From Kibuye you will head to Gisenyi which is also a lake town just like Kibuye. It is situated next to the border with DRC. Activity on Gisenyi is not very different and you will enjoy birding, boat rides on the lake as well visiting the busy market of the town.
In the afternoon you will have lunch at Bistro restaurant or Auberge de Gisenyi then take the rest of the day off to do something of your choice or even just rest and relax at Palm Garden resort where you will be spending the night.
Day 8 – To Volcanoes National Park
From Gisenyi you will drive north east to Musanze a town close to the Virungas which has a chain of volcanic ranges. You will spend the night at Gorilla View lodge which is situated at the edge of the dense forest of Parc des volcans, the rooms are spacious enough and comfort to immerse you in breathe taking beauty all the way. Enjoy a cmp fire as you catch sight of Mount Sabinyo that slowly rises in the background.
Day 9 – Gorilla Tracking
This will start very early in the morning first coming to the ORTPN offices for a brief and also to be assigned a gorilla family that you will be trekking as well as a guide to move along with. You will then set out into the depth of the jungle in search of the animals and this can take between 2-6 hours before you can get to these creatures. Once in their presence you will be given up to a maximum of 1 hour in their presence.
These animals just like human beings feed, care for their young one, they embrace, play and show affection for their loved ones and this will be seen once in the presence of these animals. You may need to capture all these moments and be careful to avoid flashes when taking pictures as these make the animals very uncomfortable. Your guide will also distinctively describe for you every activity that you will see them do. You will spend the night at gorilla view lodge where you will relax after this interesting escapade.
Day 10 – Back to Kigali and departure
Having enjoyed all this while in Rwanda’s wild you will say goodbye and return to Kigali where you will catch your flight back home.