- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Day 1: Arrival at Kigali Airport
Arrival at Kigali Airport and meet Cul Tours and Safaris Guide. Diner (D) is included in the package. Overnight at your Hotel. Transfer to Nyungwe Forest NP via Huye (Butare).
Day 2: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest NP via Huye (Butare)
After breakfast, you will depart for Butare, the second largest city of Rwanda which is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic and research institutions. On enroute to Butare, a visit to Nyanza (present day Nyabisindu), the former Mwami’s (King’s) palace and the seat of the feudal monarchy is appropriate.
The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka’s palace in Uganda.
Visit the National Museum is a well set-up, if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It’s a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region.
After the tour of the museum, experience a spectacular performance of the national ballet with the Intore-dancers. The performance is regarded by many as one of the highlights of a safari. Lunch is served in Butare and in the afternoon we shall drive to Nyungwe Forest NP. Your driver-guide will stop at the Uwinka offices to have the last update on the presence of the semi-habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys. This helps you to prepare ahead of the next day’s activities.
Enjoy a serene overnight at the Guest House of Gisakura breakfast, lunch and dinner shall be served.
Day 3: Primate & Canopy Walk – Nyungwe NP
Nyungwe Forest NP is a paradise for hikers. The terrain is rugged and steep, and you will be at relatively high elevation. Wear good hiking shoes and bring warm clothing!
Depending on your personal interests, you will have a vast array of opportunities to explore the largest high altitude rainforest of East Africa!
Of a particular interest are the large social groups of Angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), close to 300 individuals. These are the largest troops of this species known in the world!
Nyungwe Forest NP has become increasingly popular for the Chimp trekking at Chamodongo! Be prepared for both activities to have a hiking challenge!
At sunset, continue your adventure with the Canopy walk, the popular one in East-Africa!
Day 4: Transfer to KIbuye and relax in the afternoon
After breakfast, you will leave for Kibuye, passing through the green fields of tea plantations before exploring the shores of Lake Kivu.
Kibuye is the most beautiful among the three resorts on Lake Kivu. Lunch will be served here. After Nyungwe, most participants welcome that relaxing moments on the shores of Lake Kivu! Lake Kivu is Bilharzia free! Rest of the day is at leisure (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner).
Lake Kivu is unique: Its deep waters contain an enormous quantity of dissolved gas. There are, in fact, 65 billion cubic meters of methane, in other words the equivalent of 50 million tonnes of petrol lying at the bottom of the lake under 250 m of water. If it were exploited, this energy, veritable manna from heaven, would provide Rwanda with an almost inexhaustible source of energy, freeing it from worry about energy needs linked to its development projects. There is a pilot station for the extraction of methane for energy.
Day 5: Transfer to Gisenyi by road/boat
Today, you head north-east, parallel to Lake Kivu. You will have the opportunity to experience the daily lives of the people in the countryside as it has been lived for centuries, virtually unchanged. This is a very scenic route and provides the opportunity to see the people at work – cultivating bananas, cassava, sorghum, beans, rice, potatoes, and even coffee in their steep and tiny fields. In addition, there are several massive tea plantations, villages, innumerable tiny brick works, and surprises around every corner.
Arrival at Gisenyi for lunch. Relaxing afternoon on the beautiful Lake! (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner).
Option: Client has the option to have a boat trip from Kibuye to Gisenyi).
Distance & driving times: Kibuye – Gisenyi – 3h30. Boat trip takes 2h15. (Conditions Apply! Ask us!).
Day 6: AM Relaxing – PM Transfer to Volcanoes N.P
You can do as much and as little as you want because Volcanoes NP is only 1 hour from your hotel. You can stay on the beach and enjoy the peaceful lake! If you are interested, we shall take time to visit some amazing sites on our way: Nyundo with multiple craft-shops, Imbabazi Orphanage at Mugongo. In the afternoon transfer to Volcanoes NP. Overnight at your hotel in Kinigi, Volcanoes NP.
Nyundo is one of the earliest Catholic centers in Rwanda founded at the start of the 20th century and has the only secondary school of arts.
Imbabazi Orphanage founded by Mrs. Rosamond Halsey Carr in 1994 at Mugongo, cares for the genocide orphans. Rosamond Halsey was a young American fashion illustrator when she married an adventurous hunter-explorer, Kenneth Carr. Together they journeyed to then “Congo Belge”, present day DRC. Upon their divorce In 1949, Kenneth left and Rosamond stayed in Congo until 1955. She later moved to northwest Rwanda where she stayed for the next 50 years. She witnessed all Rwanda’s historical events since then and among which was the 1994 genocide. She is the author of Land of a Thousand Hills: my life in Rwanda.
Day 7: Gorilla Tracking – PM Traditional Village
After breakfast you will report at the ORTPN headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest ape experience ever. Cul Tours and Safaris will lead you to the slopes of one of The Virunga volcanoes for your trek.
After the trek, you will have lunch at your hotel or at Ruhengeri and in the afternoon (if time allows), you will enjoy an excursion as you explore the beautiful lakes in the region: Lake Bulera & Ruhondo. An excellent vista of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes depends on weather conditions.
Overnight at your hotel. (Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner).
Day 8: Second Gorilla Tracking or another activity – Transfer to Kigali
For a second gorilla trek, we propose that you visit one of the groups with a longer hiking time; the Susa group which is located on the slopes of the Karisimbi volcano, has more than 35 members and will give you a great sense of achievement!
– An excursion to the top of the Bisoke volcano (3.711 m) of which the distinctive feature is a beautiful crater lake! Fantastic views in all directions, lushly forested slopes, shady bamboo forest and an exhilarating climb!
– An excursion to the tombstone of Dian Fossey and the former Karisoke Research Center. The excursion will provide excellent background information and this is a wonderful site to marvel at!
– A visit to the Golden Monkeys: the little-known Golden Monkey (cercopithecus mitis kandti) is listed as “endangered”, the newly habituated groups of about 40 individuals are the only ones in Africa. The Kabatwa troop is located not so far from the Park Headquarters and the Musanga troop lives near the Karisimbi volcano and has a much longer walking distance.
Transfer to Kigali for your departure (Breakfast and Lunch).
- Transportation in a 4WD tourist minibus with upgrade Toyota land cruiser for luxury.
- Accommodation with meals as indicated in the itinerary
- 1 Gorilla permit per person
- Services of an English speaking guide
- Drinking water during the tour
- Any optional activities (Please take note of this)
- Visas and insurance (Uganda visa is at 50$, East African is at 100$) Please, apply online before you travel.
- Expenses of any personal nature
- Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Porters that may carry your luggage during the gorilla tour.