10 day Gorilla – Chimpanzee – Cultural Safari in Rwanda

Posted by on June 8, 2016

10 Day Rwanda Primate Trekking-Cultural – Relaxation Safari

10 days in the Land of a Thousand Hills on a 10 day Gorilla – Chimpanzee – Cultural Safari in Rwanda


On this 10 day Gorilla – Chimpanzee – Cultural Safari in Rwanda you Trek Mountain Gorillas, Visit a Cultural Village, go back in Rwandan History by seeing is historical site, visit Genocide Memorials and relax along Lake Kivu, the Costa del Sol of Rwanda.


Day 1 – Arrival in Rwanda:10 day Gorilla - Chimpanzee - Cultural Safari in Rwanda

Airport Arrival Information:  If you are coming to Rwanda only, you will need a Rwanda Tourist Visa, if you are visiting Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania you will need an East African Tourist Visa.  The other important item in East Africa is a Yellow-Fever Immunization Certificate.

Your 10 day Gorilla – Chimpanzee – Cultural Safari in Rwanda Begins.  You are met at the airport by your driver-guide who will introduce you to the Land of a Thousand Hills – Rwanda during the 10 day safari that will take you to some of the best places and Parks in the Country.

Today’s activities depend on your arrival time to Rwanda – most flights from Europe arrive late evening when it is too late for activities.  Should you arrive earlier in the day, then we will take Nyamirambo walking tour where you get an insight into the everyday life of Rwandans.

The other Visit would be to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center  – entrance is on a donation basis.  You can have a guide or purchase an interactive media guide to one of Rwanda’s sacred Places – the Genocide Memorial

From the airport – we take short journey and to the Heaven Boutique Hotel which has a large and popular restaurant Heaven Restaurant has been featured on American TV for its making a difference in the life of Rwandans The rooms of Heaven Inn are not elaborate in nature but comfortable and most affordable making it a nice place to stay while in Kigali, Rwanda. Your first night here is on a Bed and Breakfast basis – however excellent meals can be had here and most of the ingredients to the meals are Rwandan in nature. Other Hotels are available in the area and you are free to choose one if you would like to do so.

Lodging:  Heaven Boutique Hotel– Budget – Moderate – Hotel des Mille Collines – Upmarket

Meal Plan:  Lunch – Dinner – depending on arrival time


Day 2 -Spend a day in Rural Rwanda  with Azizi Life:

Spending a day in Rural Rwanda with Azizi Life, getting to know everyday Rwandans in a rural district with Azizi Life is one of those most unique cultural opportunities that are rarely on a Safari Itinerary, however we offer this cultural exchange on a Rwandan Homestead with Rwandan Artisans just a short distance from Kigali.

Spend the morning in the fields, preparing the soil, planting and harvesting.  There might also be a building project you can be involved it.

Afterwards it is Lunch Preparation with your host which for most turns out to be a lot of fun, especially the mealtime afterwards where you exchange ideas and thoughts. Bring some photos of your family, or your home and what you do in the country that you live.

During the afternoon, there is a whole other side that you learn about.  With the help of Azizi Life the people that you are with are accomplished Artisans who make jewelry, baskets, carvings and more that are sold at fair-trade prices in Kigali and shops in the Western World providing income to families in Rwanda.  The unique thing  is that many members of the co-ops were on opposite side of the Genocide however they have mended their ways and healed the wounds of the past by living and working together building a better Rwanda.

This is a great way to spend a day on your visit to Rwanda and often it results in forming long-term friendships.  We love to incorporate a day in rural Rwanda in your safari.

Heaven Boutique Hotel has an Azizi Life store in the restaurant where you can purchase things to take home at the end of your safari.

Dinner

Lodging:  Heaven Boutique Hotel– Budget – Moderate – Hotel des Mille Collines – Upmarket

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


Day 3 – Nyungwe Forest National Park

Early Breakfast and we depart for Nyungwe Forest National Park which is the largest Montane Forest in East and Central Africa. The drive here is about 5 hours – but as always in Rwanda it is a most scenic drive to get here.

We stop in Butare, the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. Huye former Butare province hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions, and visit Nyanza and the King’s palace.

You will also visit the Butare National Museum in Huye which is one the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. A good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda

Lunch in Butare

We are headed continue to Nyungwe Forest where you have two major choice of lodging-moderate priced Nyungwe Top View Hotel and the Luxury Nyungwe Forest Lodge.

The lodge is a good value and meets better budget needs. The forest itself is home to 13 primate species including Chimpanzees which can be tracked here, it is also birder’s paradise, and hikers will find the unending trails inviting.

Lodging:  Nyungwe Top View Hotel– Moderate – Nyungwe Forest Lodge – Luxury

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


Day 4 – Nyungwe Forest – Chimpanzee Tracking:

Hike into Nyungwe Forest – Cyamudongo, the natural habitats for a huge population of Chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are great apes that are closely related to humans. Nyungwe Forest hosts these intelligent primates who are an endangered species.

Early Breakfast and we are off for the  Chimpanzee Trek in the Cyamudongo area with capable rangers to guide you through the forest.  There is a likely chance that you will see the chimpanzees up-close during your time in the forest.  Most likely you will see some of the other primates that are found here such as the Ruwenzori Colobus, the gray cheeked Mangabey and others that are at home in Nyungwe Forest.

You might also see a variety of birds such as the Ruwenzori Tturaco, Ross’s Turaco, Gray –Cheeked Hornbill, and regal Sunbirds to name a few.

Nyungwe-Forest-TrailsYou should be wearing long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, a wide-brimmed hat is good, well-worn in hiking boots, and a light rain jacket when chimpanzee tracking to make it a comfortable trek.  You might bring along a light daypack where you could things such as bottled water that you will need while trekking.

You can have a picnic lunch in the forest and continue your time here with a hike.

The time spent with the chimpanzees is always most memorable as you watch them go about their activities of the day.

Lunch You can choose to relax during the afternoon or take the 3 to 4 hour waterfall trail – there are some spectacular views of valleys along the way and you cross streams as you venture toward the waterfall and back.  Along the way watch out for primates, birds, butterflies and the scenery before you.

Dinner

Lodging:  Nyungwe Top View Hotel– Moderate – Nyungwe Forest Lodge – Luxury

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


Day 5 – Journey to Gisenyi along Lake Kivu:

Early Breakfast and we set off for the very scenic journey to Gisenyi and Lake Kivu. Most of our journey will be on an unpaved road that is most scenic as it curves its way through the Rwandan hills as we head for Gisenyi which is one of the most scenic areas along Lake Kivu the Costa del Sol of Rwanda.

We are headed for Gisenyi which has some of the sandiest and great lodges and hotels to pick from.  Two that stand out are the exclusive Lake Kivu Serena Hotel and the moderate Waterfront Resort that with its stone cottages and dining area stands out as a fantastic value-added lodge.

While here at Lake Kivu Be sure to try the delightful Sambaza Sardines that are most tasty dish.  While in Rwanda, at least once you will have to try the National Dish Goat Brochettes, or you might find beef, chicken or fish brochettes on the menu, nevertheless brochettes are loved by Rwandans.

Lunch

After Lunch relax along the lake, enjoy the views, take a leisurely boat ride, there are many things that you can see and do here at Lake Kivu in Gisenyi.

There is lots to do and see here along Lake Kivu – the hotels and lodges that we choose are right on the lake where you can enjoy the views of the islands and the Virunga Volcanoes in the distance.  At night you just might see a glowing volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lake Kivu is one of the best places to relax and chill out in Rwanda, a great place for swimming, boating, sailing, hiking, biking, visits to tea and coffee plantations and more.

Lodging: Waterfront Resort – moderate – Lake Kivu Serena Hotel – upmarket – other lodging choices

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


Day 6 – Gisenyi – Lake Kivu:

Breakfast at View Palm Resort and we take you on a different venture – the crop to cup coffee voyage which includes a boat ride – coffee picking on Nyamirundi Island – Coffee washing at the Gashashi Washing Station and Coffee roasting and  tasting with a lunch in Gisenyi.

This is a day of discovery of some of the best gourmet coffee in all of Africa.  The coffee from this region sells for over 20 usd a pound at Starbucks Coffee and one of the most famous one is Bourbon Coffee.

The crop to cup Coffee Experience ends with a delightful lunch and coffee tasting.

Afternoon – relax along the lake, walk into Gisenyi town for a bit of exploration.
Dinner

Lodging: Waterfront Resort – moderate – Lake Kivu Serena Hotel – upmarket – other lodging choices

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner


Day 7 – Volcanoes National Park – Kinigi Guest House:

Breakfast and we are off to Volcanoes National Park which is about two hours or less of scenic drive time from Lake Kivu to Volcanoes National Park with its splendid scenery that you will encounter as you come closer to Kinigi and reach here.

Lodging Choices abound near Volcanic National park – it ranges from budget to upmarket and luxury.  Kinigi is a most convenient location for Gorilla Trekking, Golden Monkey Trekking, Hikes, and climbs, including one day hikes- climbs of Volcanoes.  You can also explore the nearby Musanze Caves.

Make your lodging choice below to fit what you are looking for in regards to accommodations while Gorilla Trekking.

Lunch

Afternoon Visit to Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village where you take an interactive walk, meet former poachers who have turned to conservationist, see the traditional ways and culture of Rwanda in a village.  Learn to shoot a bow and arrow, become queen or king for a few minutes, learn how to drum and more.  Village visits must be booked ahead of times, overnight stays in the village can be arranged.

Dinner

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 8 – Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla Trekking:

Early Breakfast and the day of your personal Gorilla Encounter has arrived.  You will be assigned to a gorilla group according to your level of fitness.

It is important that you wear the right clothing and waterproof hiking boots.  Long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, rain jacket or poncho, daypack, wide-brimmed hat is good protection against the sun, well-worn-in hiking boots, packed lunch and two liters of water.  You will also need gardening gloves that are tough to pull yourself up on branches.

Why wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirt in the tropics?  The answer is simple – for your protection.  There are nettles, thorns, nasty branches and brush.  There are also mosquitoes, the attire above protects you.

Purchase a low-priced walking stick and use the services of a porter, you will find it helpful and you are assisting a Rwandan Family.

The gorilla trek itself can be from two hours or less to all day long depending on where your gorilla group is located on that day. No matter the length of time, it is the experience of being in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas, a once in a lifetime experience that matters here.  The very reason that you came to Rwanda.

Dinner

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 9 – Golden Monkey Tracking or Dian Fossey’s Research Center:

Breakfast

Today you have three choices of activities – you can trek Gorillas for the second day. 

You can also visit Dian Fossey’s Research Center and Graveside or track the endangered Golden Monkeys of the Virunga.  They are only found in the foothills of the volcanoes in the bamboo forests.

Golden Monkey Tracking and the visit to Dian Fossey’s Research Center are half-day activities. Gorilla Tracking on the other hand is most likely a longer activity.  You can track the same gorilla group or another if you choose to track gorillas for the second time.

If you take a half-day activity such as Dian Fossey’s Research Center or Golden Monkey Trekking than in the afternoon we can visit the Musanze Caves which is a newer tourism activity and has proved to quite popular and is an expertly guided tour of caves that are cathedral size.

Dinner

Meal Plan: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 10 – Departure From Kigali International Airport:

Kigali-airport-departureBreakfast and we depart for Kigali – depending on your departure time – we can visit some local craft-markets and you can buy some things that will remind you of Rwanda and your time here during these 10 days.

We say goodbye – however we can extend your safari into Uganda where you can depart from Entebbe- we can add wildlife experiences, gorilla tracking and chimpanzee tracking in Uganda.

The safari would then end up in Entebbe from which you would fly out to your home country.

Many people combine Uganda and Rwanda for the best of Africa on one safari. The drive time in Uganda would be minimal in nature since we would carefully tailor it to your wishes – thank you for visiting the Land of a Thousand Hills and a Million Smiles – Rwanda.


This private safari includes all permits, all lodging, all food, all activities, bottled water in vehicle and is changeable as to lodging arrangements.It does not include – tips, drinks at lodges such soft drinks or alcohol


If you are interested in this 10 day Gorilla – Chimpanzee – Cultural Safari in Rwanda – please contact us


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