Round Rwanda Gorilla & Akagera Safari

This is a wonderful private safari throughout Rwanda with many highlights including tracking chimpanzees in Nyungwe, gorilla trekking in the highlands, golden monkeys, game-viewing in Akagera and Lake Kivu. On this tour you pack in many of Rwanda’s treasures in an exciting 8 night safari.

Round Rwanda at a Glance:

2 nights Akagera National Park at Ruzizi Tented Camp or Magashi Camp, Full Board & Activities

1 night The Retreat at Heaven, Kigali, B&B

2 nights Nyungwe Forest, Lake Kivu Emeraude Hotel (with optonal upgrade to Only & Only Nyungwe House)

1 night Lake Kivu Comoran Lodge, B&B

2 nights Volcanoes National Park, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Please note: The Gorilla permit ( US$ 1500) per person per trek is NOT INCLUDED, due to price being subject to change without notice.

Depending on your flight arrival time, you may need to add on an initial night in Kigali at the start….

Need some more inspiration for your Rwanda safari? Check out Peter’s Rwanda safari trip to get a first-hand report.
See Day by Day
Day 1

Kigali to Akagera National Park, 2 hours

You will be met on arrival at Kigali International Airport. Then, you depart Kigali by road with Marabou storks and black kites soaring over the city above you. As you travel along the Rwamagana – Kayonza road to Akagera National Park this is likely to only be the start of a great deal of bird activity along the way. Banana plantations abound and many small vegetable and fruit markets line the roadside.

Rwanda plantations

Akagera National Park

Akagera is set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania. Rwanda’s leading National Park and its own savanna reserve, Akagera is dominated scenically by a labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River. After a drive of approximately two hours (or longer for those interested in birds), you arrive at the charming Ruzizi Tented Lodge in time for lunch, followed by a later afternoon game drive and dinner.

 

Ruzizi Tented Lodge L-DBB


Accommodation: Ruzizi Tented Lodge
Located in: Akagera National Park - Rwanda

Accommodation: Magashi Camp
Located in: Akagera National Park - Rwanda

Day 2

Akagera National Park

Today you have a full day of game viewing with morning and late afternoon game drives. You will also have an hour’s boat ride on Lake Ihema. this is a great way to see some of the hippo pods and  the big Nile crocodiles that hard to see from the shore. You can also see park’s abundant waterbirds including breeding colonies of noisy and smelly cormorants and open-bill storks.

Akagera National Park zebra and topi

All meals and overnight are at the lodge. Ruzizi Tented Lodge  or Magashi Camp – L-DBB


Day 3

Return to Kigali

Return to Kigali after breakfast. Then take a late afternoon visit to the Genocide Museum. Lunch and dinner today is for your own account.

Kigali - genocide memorial museum

 


Accommodation: The Retreat by Heaven
Located in: Kigali - Rwanda

Accommodation: Kigali Serena Hotel
Located in: Kigali - Rwanda

Day 4

Kigali to Nyungwe Forest National Park, 5 ½ hours

Leaving the City of Kigali, drive to Nyungwe National park via Nyanza (currently called Nyabisindu) the former Mwami’s Palace (King’s palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka’s palace of Buganda.

Proceed on to Butare, the second largest city in Rwanda and regarded as its leading intellectual centre. Butare hosts the National Museum, several academic (Universities) and research institutions. You will also visit the Butare National Museum in Huye which is well presented and one of the finest ethnographic museums in East Africa. This makes it a great introduction and information resource on the cultural history of Rwanda.

Lunch at Butare, then proceed to Nyungwe and check in Emeraude Lake Kivu Lodge L-DBB

 


Day 5

Chimpanzee Tracking

Trek the cheeky chimpanzees, return to the lodge for lunch. The Rwandan chimps are under threat but tourism gives them a value and helps their survival.

Rwanda chimpanzees in nyungwe

In the afternoon visit to the local tea factory. Rwandan tea is high quality  and only dates from 1952. All meals and overnight at the lodge.


Day 6

Nyungwe to Kibuye Via Lake Kivu approximately 3 ½ hours

After breakfast, drive to Kibuye and on to Cormoran Lodge to stay one night. Set on a scenic drive that takes you over the Albertine (western) Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valleys to Kibuye. Kibuye is also known as a beach city in Karongi district, and the capital of Western Province of Rwanda. A city located between Gisenyi and Cyagugu about halfway down the eastern shore of Lake Kivu.

Cormoran Lodge L-DBB

Lake Kivu by Mila of Cedarberg Africa


Accommodation: Cormoran Lodge
Located in: Lake Kivu - Rwanda

Day 7

Kibuye to Ruhengeri, approx 4 hours, 2 nights Gorilla Mountain View Lodge

Continue with your adventure! Head north-east through hills and valleys of Rwanda, crossing the River Akagera.  (The Nile and Akagera are combined to form the longest river in the world). Continue to the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes.  Arrive at Ruhengeri, the base for gorilla trekking.

Stay overnight at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge or (if you wish to reduce the cost) we have a number of more affordable alternatives.

gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

 

 


Accommodation: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Located in: Rwanda - Volcanoes National Park

Day 8

Gorilla Trekking safari

Early departure at 06:30 hours; drive to Volcanoes National Park Headquarters for registration where the park staff determines which group of gorillas you will visit.

The park staff discusses your fitness level and advises you of the trekking times and conditions to the various groups based upon their location in the park the previous evening. There are a total of 80 gorilla permits available each day with a maximum of eight trekkers visiting any one group.

gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Once the trekkers are put into groups, each group’s Lead Guide briefs the trekkers of the trekking procedures as well as the “do’s and donts” while in the presence of gorillas. After the briefing, trekkers return to their respective vehicles for the drive up the mountain to the starting point.

Porters may be hired for the trek to carry your backpack and gear; Cost, US$10 per person/per day. We advise that you utilize this service.

Trekking can take from two to six or more hours if the gorillas move before the park rangers locate them the next morning.  The guides stop frequently to allow trekkers a chance to rest and take photos along the way. Have lunch at the Lodge; thereafter, afternoon spent at leisure, you may choose to visit the twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo or visit the local markets!

Gorilla Mountain View Lodge L-DBB


Day 9

Head back to Kigali, approx 2 ½ to 3 hours

Leaving from foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, drive South past coffee, tea and banana plantations on a breathtaking scenic drive to Kigali. Everything and everywhere, sheer green and hanging on the hills.

Upon arrival, drop-off at the Kigali International Airport for your onward flight.


View Interactive Itinerary
See Route on Map
Includes:
Accommodation with breakfast in Kigali, full board on safari, 4x4 safari vehicle, bottled water in the vehicle and while on trek, chimpanzee trekking permit, other excursions as detailed
Excludes:
Gorilla tracking permits ($1500), gratuities
Minimum number:
2 people
Health requirements:
Anti-malaria precautions essential
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