Rwanda Primate Safari and Adventure Tour (Kayaking & Biking & Gorillas) in 9 Days

Minimum Pax

2 Adults


9 days

tour Details

Day 1 - Arrival into Kigali

Check-in 21:00 - Heaven Boutique Hotel Villa
Heaven Boutique Hotel is a popular four star hotel with 30 rooms located on two separate properties in a peaceful, residential area of Kigali. Heaven Boutique Hotel features local Rwandan décor, warm hospitality, delicious breakfasts at Heaven Restaurant, and access to a solar-heated salt water swimming pool, outdoor yoga deck and fitness center.

Day 2 - Orientation day in Kigali

Start at 08:00 - Kigali City Mountain Biking Tour
Mainly sticking to the small back streets, which are perfect for mountain biking, explore a different side of Kigali visit some colourful neighbourhoods, pass by street traders and markets and also see some of the key sights. If you're getting on well or would like to stretch yourself a bit more, you can also ask your guide to explore some of the nearby hills, but this can be more challenging. Meeting at your hotel or other agreed location in central Kigali your guide will bring your bike, helmet and a clean water bottle for you to use.
14:30 - Kigali Genocide Memorial Visit
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a place of remembrance & learning where you will have time to reflect on a tragic time in Rwanda’s past. As you walk around the memorial and think about and remember the victims, 250,000 of whom have their final resting place here, you will be moved by the shocking events that led up to and took place during the genocide.

Day 3 - Kigali to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Start at 09:40 - King's Palace Museum
A reconstruction of the traditional royal residence, the King’s Palace is a beautifully-crafted thatched dwelling shaped like a beehive. In olden times, Nyanza was the heart of Rwanda. According to oral tradition, it was the site of battles and power struggles. For a long time, the monarchy was mobile, moving the court between various locations. When it eventually settled in one place, Nyanza was the obvious choice. The capital of the kingdom had as many as 2,000 inhabitants, and huts built with the same methods as seen here. At the back live a few long-horned Inyambo cattle, descended from the king’s herd, whose keepers carefully tend and sing to them, keeping alive a unique tradition. The elegant cows, derived from the wider Ankole breed, played an important role during ceremonies in honour of the king. They were decorated with rich jewellery and were taught to listen to a trainer’s songs and follow his movements in a stately parade. Rwanda ceased to be a monarchy in 1962, when it gained independence from colonial rule. However, the breeding and grooming of Inyambo is still carried out and a fascinating insight into Rwanda's history.
Start at 11:15 - Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda
A gift from Belgium’s King Badouin in the late 1980s, the Ethnographic Museum now houses one of Africa’s finest ethnographic collections. Seven galleries display historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological artefacts accompanied by visual aides, giving visitors a rich insight into the Rwandan culture. The exhibits open with geographical and geological displays, moving on to items used in hunting, agriculture, animal husbandry, pottery, weaving and woodwork. Traditional clothing and architectural methods are also illustrated, as well as the social importance of cattle. Descendants of the royal herd can be seen to this day at the King’s Palace in nearby Nyanza. The final room reveals traditional customs and beliefs, history, culture, poetry and oral tradition and cosmology. There’s also a highly regarded craft centre on-site.
15:00 - Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walkway
Accessible from the Uwinka Visitor Centre a Forest Ranger will lead your walk through the forest. With an eye for some of the 310 bird species, butterflies, orchids, centuries-old trees and 75 mammals including 13 primates that live here this walk is a spectacular journey in the largest surviving example of an Afro Montane ecosystem and one of the oldest continuously forested locations on Earth. The walk includes a 200m long canopy walkway that takes you high above the forest floor providing a unique platform for observing the forest.

Day 4 - See the Chimpanzees of Nyungwe Forest

Spend an amazing hour watching a troop of wild chimpanzees in the forest! Setting off very early at 5am, you will transfer to a section of Nyungwe Forest known as Cyamudongo, where most of Rwanda’s habituated chimpanzees are located. Here you’ll meet your local ranger a small visitor centre, and then as soon as the trackers locate the family of chimpanzees – that number about 40 individuals – you’ll be off, trekking along the paths but also possibly, scaling short sections of the steep rainforest slopes immersed in the forest. Listen carefully and you may hear the chimps before you see them literally swinging from the trees or possibly running around on the ground all around you! This is a wonderful wildlife encounter! However, there’s more because chimps are only one of the primate species that are found in Nyungwe Forest; So there’s a good chance you may also encounter some of the others as such as Silver Monkey, L’Hoest Monkey, Owl faced monkeys, Red-Tailed Monkey, Crowned Monkey, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Vervet Monkey and Olive baboons... And if you're into birds then make sure to ask your guides to point out the species that you may find on the trails, which if you're really lucky may include the rather impressive Blue Turaco!

Day 5 - Begin Lake Kivu Kayak Adventure

07:30 - Kayaking on Lake Kivu from Kibuye
Explore Lake Kivu on a peaceful kayaking journey along the shores of one of Africa’s Great Lakes. With an experienced and qualified leader in charge, you will paddle a modern sea kayak or sit-on-top to dip into inlets and across bays as you soak up the spectacular scenery, meet the fishermen, see local fish farms and optionally visit the hot springs. You will have the chance to visit a nearby fishing village and you’ll also visit Munini, popularly known as Napoleon Island, for a hike to the summit viewpoint and the spectacle of a raucous bat colony. To finish this adventure, a rewarding swim in the warm, clean water from the kayaks is very refreshing! This afternoon you will be transferred to Cyimbili by motorboat to go on a fascinating tour of the artisanal coffee plantations. After the coffee tour, you will be transferred back to Gisenyi for dinner and to check into your next hotel.
15:00 - Gishayu Island (Mid Range camping)
Gishayu island is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt locations on Lake Kivu, where still covered in many native trees, it's a haven for many species of birds and a wonderful place for an afternoon or early morning stroll. At sunset, local fishing boats also often set off for a night on the water, with their crews singing as they go. Staying in our large, quality bell tents, our guides will prepare a quality meal for our guests at the campsite. With motorboat support, we will bring all the ingredients and equipment that we need, however, please expect a nutritious meal served on plastic plates rather than haute cuisine. Soft drinks and beers are available. Normally, for food safety reasons we only cook vegetarian food. However, depending on logistics on the day, we may be able to buy fish or meat from local people or bring it from a local market. When we purchase from local people, however, this helps to provide them with an additional income.

Day 6 - Continue kayaking along Lake Kivu to Cyimbili

12:00 - Kayaking on Lake Kivu from Kibuye
Explore Lake Kivu on a peaceful kayaking journey along the shores of one of Africa’s Great Lakes. With an experienced and qualified leader in charge, you will paddle a modern sea kayak or sit-on-top to dip into inlets and across bays as you soak up the spectacular scenery, meet the fishermen, see local fish farms and optionally visit the hot springs. You will have the chance to visit a nearby fishing village and you’ll also visit Munini, popularly known as Napoleon Island, for a hike to the summit viewpoint and the spectacle of a raucous bat colony. To finish this adventure, a rewanrding swim in the warm, clean water from the kayaks is very refreshing!
14:00 - Cyimbili Coffee Tour
This fascinating tour of a thriving Coffee washing station provides brings to life the entire process of harvesting, washing, roasting, grinding and preparing some of the best coffee in Rwanda - and the world. Coffee has literally transformed the small community of Cyimbili and created a sustainable income for numerous local families. In fact, whilst it is (sometimes) possible to buy Cyimbili coffee after the tour, the beans grown here are also included in some of the best-known coffee brands in the world.

Day 7 - Lakeshore walk and Mukungwa River Canoe trip

10:00 - Handspun Hope Community
Designer knitwear, such as warm jumpers, hats and scarves made from merino wool are a fashion statement in New York, Paris and London. And now they are handmade in Rwanda from handspun wool. Meet the shepherds and members of the cooperative to see a successful, practical and viable project that is transforming an entire community. The real jobs created by Handspun Hope mean that the (mostly) women they employ have a work-based solution to poverty that is restoring dignity to formally impoverished people. It is helping them to move into economic self-sufficiency so that they can become leaders of change in their families and surrounding communities. Whether you just visit the initiative in Musanze town for a short tour or spend the day really getting to know the women and taking part, you will see an example of how real change is coming to Africa. You will have the opportunity to meet the shepherds as they tend their flock of merino sheep in the temperate climate on the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo, one of the Virunga Volcanoes. They allow the wool to grow until it is 9cm / 3.5 inches long so that it produces the softest fibres and then after shearing, it is taken to the Musazne co-operative where it is transformed. You could also visit the cooperative This is where a small army of industrious women set to work. They start by carefully washing, cleaning and combing it into fluffy rolags, or rolls, of wool. The rolags are fed into the spinning wheel and transformed into a single-ply yarn. Two single-ply yarns are then reverse fed back through the wheel, creating the two-ply yarn used to created Handspun Hope's stunning organic yarn. Every day, the women collect natural plant material like avocado pits, onion skins and eucalyptus bark, that they use to create 100% organic dye baths. Once the yarn has been dyed and dried, the knitters set to work to craft beautiful garments. Try your hand at each stage of wool production after (optionally) visiting the shepherds on Mount Sabyinyo, the women in the Musanze centre will show you and help you to have a go at every stage of the wool production process. During this fascinating and unique insightful day you’ll learn just how skilled they are and how much work and effort they put in. It’s a wonderful way to interact with and connect with a group of friendly people, to learn about their lives, laughing with them and appreciate how each garment is made with both pride and hope for a better future, is unique and takes around eight months from wool growth to a finished product.
12:00 - Migano Cafe
Migano cafe is a popular local cafe serving great food in the centre of Musanze.
14:00 - Mukungwa River Canoe Trip
Set in the foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes, discover this special way to journey though the countryside in our modern canoes! Soak up impressive views, spot abundant birds, look out for the otters and meet friendly communities. Led by an experienced Kingfisher Journey’s activity leader, this river is mostly very gentle and flat with one short, easy rapid and one section where the water goes quite fast. The start is a 15 minute transfer from central Musanze (add about 15 minutes from Kinigi). Here your activity leader will give you a briefing on the riverside before you get on the water. The first section is a flat and easy opportunity to learn how to steer your canoe as you float gently downstream. After about 20-30 minutes you will pull over for a short additional briefing about the small rapid, where helmets must be worn. Then as you continue deep into the countryside, you are surrounded by the sights and sounds of rural Rwanda. You’ll be given an additional briefing about the approximately 200m section where the water speeds up as it goes around a few corners. After about 2.5-3 hours on the water the end of the trip is just after a road bridge. It takes about 20 minutes to drive back to Musanze and a further 15 minutes to Kinigi.

Day 8 - The Mountain Gorillas: Your Finale

07:00 - Mountain Gorilla Trek
On arrival, everyone will be split into groups of up to 8 people – and maybe joined with other tourists – before being allocated a ranger. You will then drive a short distance to the start of the trail, from where you will trek in the forest for around 1-3 hours or so to meet the gorillas. When you find them, the hour you spend with these incredible primates is a true lifetime experience that you will never forget. To see – and walk amongst – a family of mountain gorillas is a wildlife encounter unlike any other on Earth. You’ll be so close to the individual gorillas. Boisterous adolescents will be misbehaving whilst playful children are constantly demanding the attention of their parents as aunts and uncles wander together in an extended family group under the watchful eye of the silverback. You may only be a visitor, but you will briefly be part of their family in a really remarkable way. Once you have returned to the Head Quaters, head back to your hotel for a celebration lunch, followed by an afternoon at leisure to relax or visit the local community projects in the area.
Day 9 - Depart Rwanda
  • Entry Permits
  • Park Ranger Fees
  • Relevant Government Taxes
  • Full time English or/and French speaking Driver/Guide
  • Full Board Accomodation
  • Ground Transportation by a 4×4 vehicle
  • Airport transfer, as long as your flight is on the same day on which the safari ends
  • Airfares
  • Visa Fees
  • Personal Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature such as; drinks, tips, laundry, telephone, cigarettes, accommodation & meals not indicated in the itinerary and optional activities.
Traveler pickup is offered. Travelers May specify their pickup point between Airports, hotel and other places.
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

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