A tour around is an all-round educational and fun packed experience around this gorgeous country. Rwanda may be famously known for the mountain gorillas and it may be the highlight of the trip but it is also home to lots of other amazing fauna as well incredible views of hills, volcanoes plains and rain forests. All this is made better by the very welcoming people of Rwanda who forget their troubles and make sure you enjoy every bit of your journey or trip. The development in Rwanda is immense and damage that was caused by the devastating and haunting genocide is slowly fading.
Day 1: Pick-up from hotel in Kigali, Rwanda and go on a Kigali city tour
You will be picked by our staff from the airport as soon as you arrive and they first check you in into your hotel for you to rest a little and find something for yourself to eat before taking you on a tour around the capital city Kigali.
The city radiates beauty with its green lushed hills as well as the clean and tidy city that is a beehive of activities. You will visit the features that make Kigali what it is including Gisozi genocide memorial site, the artisan shopping centre where you can get local arts and crafts, the national museum in Kigali where you will learn about the history of Rwanda and the pre-colonial period, post genocide developments around the city and Juru park which is one of the highest points in Kigali.
Day 2: Morning transfer to Akagera National Park and afternoon southern lake-circuit game drive
Passing through Rwanda’s phenomenal landscapes, you will drive to Akagera national park and check in at Akagera game lodge. You will rest for a short time and later go for game drive in the south along the Ihema circuit.
Prepare yourself to see lots of animals including giraffes, elephants, hippos, zebras, crocodiles alongside several other small mammal species. It is known as being one of the most scenic savannahs here in East Africa so this drive with immerse you into the beauty of gentle hills that blend so perfectly into the swamps and lakes. In addition to the game drive, you will enjoy evening walks; participate in the day to day pastoral lifestyle as well as participating in the local activities like drama and weaving of crafts.
Day 3: Northern game drive and transfer to Butare via Kigali
A dazzling sunrise amidst early morning bird songs begins the day which will see you enjoy another game drive but this time in the northern circuit having enjoyed the south the previous day. You won’t fail to see hippos as well as crocodile in addition to plenty of other wildlife. From here you will first have lunch in Kigali before heading to Butare which was originally the capital during colonial times and is an intellectual centre as well given the many institutions there. You will also visit the palace in Nyanza which was now set aside as a museum which will offer you an insight into the Rwandan culture.
Day 4: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Before heading to Nyungwe, you will first visit Rwanda’s national museum to give you more insights about the rich culture of Rwanda. We you arrive at Nyungwe Forest national park, you will be received and straight away taken to explore the 13 different species of primates that live here. Among these are chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Blue monkeys and the Angolan white and black Colobus monkeys. Nyungwe has one of the largest concentrations of habituated primates with close to 400-500 animals which are the reason why Nyungwe forest national park attracts a huge number of tourists into Rwanda.
The park also harbours almost 300 species of colourful birds making it one of the most important ornithological hubs here in the country. After all this incredible activity it is deserving to just sit back and relax while enjoying the stunning views of Mother Nature surrounding.
Day 5: Trek chimpanzees
This day is dedicated to trekking chimpanzees alone in the depth of Nyungwe forest. These will be seen in the wild caring for the young ones, playing, sleeping to mention but a few and the sight is just a must see for everyone. Following the trek depending on the time available, you can join the local community to enjoy storytelling, drama as well as music, participating in weaving of crafts and also buying some items from the locals to take back home. You can also listen to a presentation from the on-going conservation efforts about the ecology of the forest.
Day 6: Morning transfer to Kibuye, driving along the shores of Lake Kivu.
Kibuye is a town that is located on the shores of Lake Kivu which is the largest fresh water lake in Rwanda and is also one of the great lakes in Africa. The lake stands at 4,790ft above sea level and its waters gleam in the Albertine rift of the rift valley. Kibuye is one of the towns that beams with a lot of activity from the enthusiastic occupants of this area. Series of interwoven and undulating hills that give off incredible views of the lake and its islands make this town exception from the other lake towns. It is very peaceful and liberating one of the reasons it attracts very many people.
Day 7: Visit to L’Esperance Children’s Orphanage and Village
Located in Kigarama L’Esperance children’s orphanage and village has thrived on the kind hearts of generous organisations as well as individuals and this has seen many unprivileged orphans turn their lives around. The orphanage uses these donations to put up projects for sustainability through which the community around has been able to benefit as well from this. Visiting this place will make you realise the fruits of generosity and you may want to a part of it too by giving something to maintain this place.
Day 8: Morning transfer to Gisenyi
Gisenyi is another lake town and you will make it here in the morning mainly to relax on its waterfront sandy beaches and catch stunning views of the lake from this side of the town as well.
Day 9: Morning transfer to Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village in Musanze District
Today we shall go cultural by visiting Iby’Iwacu cultural village which is found in Musanze district. Here you will be able to interact with the natives of this place learning and enjoying the Rwandan culture at the very same time. You can as well participate in the singing, drumming or even dancing. You will at one point learn how to wear their traditional outfit locally known as the “Umushanana”you will also visit the local “brewery” and get to see how local beer here in Rwanda is made out of bananas. The community also has different projects that the community came up with and you will be able to see what these projects are, the activities and what it takes to maintain them.
Day 10: Gorilla Trekking in Parc National des Volcans
You will head to the parks headquarters in the morning which will start the trek with a brief from the chief ranger from the park. You will then head out into the wild for the trekking to begin in the company of your guide. Once the trek is completed, you will drive to Musanze where you will have lunch and also relax. You will then take a stroll in the market where you will be able to get yourself some items like fresh foods, fabric, crafts name it.
Day 11: Golden Monkeys Trekking in Volcanoes National Park.
The most endangered primate in Africa is the golden monkey and it is endemic to the Albertine rift. Viable populations of the monkey are still present in the Virungas. The little ones in particular are more fun to watch as they cheerfully chase one another. Trekking golden monkeys is such a fun thing and once you get finished you will finish off the day with spectacular views of the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera.
Day 12: Transfer to Kigali, stopping at SINA GERARD Urwibutso Ecotourism Project
At the end of the trip you will return to Kigali but first you will take a tour at the Urwibutso Ecotourism project. The project was manned by a gentleman who began with a small restaurant back in 1993. As the years went by, the business grew and he then thought about fulfilling his goal of being the author of processing and producing organic fruits and vegetables in Rwanda. That saw the birth of the project and it has been growth all the way since then. This project has benefited the locals tremendously by giving them job opportunities. The enterprise also supports the local farmers of the area, trains farmers and also provides schools and education. When there you will be able to see al l these and even interact with the locals.